book reviews
Letters to the Editor             

We love to hear from you about the books that you enjoy, both
recent reads and endangered novels that still deserve an audience.

February 2014

Re: Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

I just wanted to say thank you for choosing me for this contest. I was very excited to receive the book, as it was one I had just placed on my reading list. I've already received the book and can't wait to read it!

A random number generator actually chose you, but you are most welcome :-). And itís a remarkable read, hope youíre enjoying it as much as I did!

August 2012

Re: Let the Devil Sleep by John Verdon

Like you, I had been put off by the weirdness of the second mystery towards its end, but this one appears to be more along the lines of his first. I like the random aspect for covering up a murder, which could be figured out when he first mentioned the men with the black umbrellas. Not sure that I knew who the murderer was, though!

I definitely liked this one better than the second, glad you did too! I also liked the fact that all the violence heíd faced took its toll on the protagonist Ė way too many mystery heroes and heroines bounce back incredibly fast from the most horrendous experiences. This always irritates me as do the constant concussions that leave no long term damage.

August 2012

Re: Georgette Heyer Birthday Giveaway

We asked for feedback on "why you love Heyer's novels & how you discovered her"; here's a selection from your responses:

Casey: I fell in love with her and her books by accident, my librarian introduced me. After you read one you can not help but love them.

Yuka: I found out about Georgette Heyer's books at the library. I really enjoy the setting and the characters. The Grand Sophy is my favorite.

Patti: Her books bring me to an era I wish I had lived in!

LeAnn: Found Georgette Heyer as an author by reading historical novels. She writes intriguing stories with the historical background to piece it all together!!

Susan: I love Heyerís novels because they are so wonderfully written. I discovered them at the library. Once I read one I knew I needed to read them all!

Diana: I Love Georgette Heyerís historical novels, they make me really feel like I have been transported back in time. I found her novel Royal Army while browsing a bookstore for something to read on a flight to Europe last summer. Although I am a new fangirl to Georgette Heyer, I love her style, and I have shared her works with many friends and family members.

River Chick: I love Georgette's books because of the variety -- romance, mystery, historical. I discovered her books at a thrift shop.

Kathy: A great way to escape from the every day.

Anne: I discovered Georgette Heyer after I started posting on a forum devoted to the 1995 BBC TV miniseries Pride & Prejudice. The people there were all Austen fans, like me. But unlike me, many of them had read Heyer's books and loved them. She was not Jane Austen, but then she didn't try to be. Her historical novels are witty, entertaining, and historically accurate. Present-day writers who try to emulate her don't have the style, the wit, and especially her understanding of the past.

Irene: I love Georgette Heyer's novels because they are witty and somewhat unpredictable. The heroines are always engaging and never wimpy. I was first introduced to Georgette Heyer when my mother brought some of her books home from the library nearly 40 years ago. I was hooked from the first page.

Jason: Yes, I am a man and enjoy Georgette Heyer's novels. I was bored several years ago and was at my mother's. She had Why Shoot a Butler. I loved the style and the story. Exquisite I would say. Not my normal Clive Cussler or Jack Higgins, so it was a fresh look on writing.

Ruth: Of course, like SO many others, the love affair began with Jane Austen. As an adult, after I had read and re-read ALL the Austen works, I craved more. After about 50 years, I can't even remember when I read my first Heyer, but when I did, I was hooked for life. Like my collection of Austen, I already own MANY of Heyer's works, and have read and re-read all my favorites. Because I also dive into a good mystery now and then, Georgette does double duty.

April: I first heard about Heyer from Jo Walton at the blog. She made me interested in searching out something by the author. At the time, the only book available at the library was False Colors. I fell in love with her sweet, silly, clever and caring characters.

 Don: They are retro.

Nancy: I haven't read any of her books. I hope that doesn't count against me because I have always had in mind to do so.

Lilian: I haven't read a Heyer book yet, but I would love to start. As for how I "discovered" her: I am intrigued by her because I was chatting with a fellow book blogger recently, and she commented that she thought Heyer's romance was classy for their covers (looking like an Austen classic). And I ended up curious about Heyer's work.

Laura: I discovered Georgette Heyer through these great re-issues that Sourcebooks has been putting out recently. I read my first of her work last year, and I was hooked! Her style really reminds me of Jane Austen-- so classy. I haven't read any of her "modern" books yet, and I'm looking forward to it.

Nancy: I like the way she brought the past alive along with the romance.

Laura: The first Heyer book I discovered was totally by accident when I was 15. It was The Masqueraders, which I still have a copy of and read at least once a year. The book had been cast aside by someone who thought it was a modern romance. It set me off on a mission to find more by her! I have discovered many other fine authors on the way.

My introduction to Georgette Heyer was in my teens. My father recommended her books and my aunt had most of them. I have read and re-read my own complete collection over the years, and have always appreciated her witty dialogue, grand romances, and strongminded heroines. She will never be dated,


April 2011

Re: Teens Reading Online

I just wanted to send you a quick e-mail to say thank you for your web page (Teens Reading Online). I work for an after school program for a middle school, and we usually have an allotted read-aloud time with the kids. Before we select certain materials, we have to do some background research on the topic and get the topic approved by all the parents. Our most recent topic is mythology. Your site had some links to great information for this. Thanks so much!

One of my colleagues shared a great mythology resource that we've been making use of with the kids, The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Mythology. If I was technologically capable, I'd make a web page and put this link on there, but I'm not, so I thought it could be of use on your web page for yourself and your viewers. Let me know what you think. :-) Thank you again for making a difficult project much easier. :-).

Thanks very much for the kind words as well as the link (which I just added to our Teens Reading Online page). Sounds like a great topic for read-aloud.

All the very best,

April 2011

Re: The River of Doubt

Just finished reading the River of Doubt and I thought it was excellent. The further along I got, the more it reminded of a modern day suspense novel. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next on their expedition, all the while hoping for a happy ending. I passed it on to my father, who is enjoying it now.

I grew up in Oyster Bay, NY, where my parents still currently reside. I live about 30 min. away. I had visited Sagamore Hill on many occasions and was always fascinated by it. Today I'm still fascinated every time I take my two young sons there for a visit.

Perhaps a novel about Sagamore Hill would be another interesting story for Ms. Millard to take on.

That book seems to have impressed a lot of people, including our reviewer! You made me wonder what Candice Millard is working on currently and I found a comment thread on Amazon, which says sheís Ďworking on a book about the assassination of James Garfieldí.

She comments: ĎNo nature in this one, but lots of science. Alexander Graham Bell and his induction balance--invented in a desperate attempt to save Garfield's life--are a large part of the story, as are Joseph Lister and antisepsis.í

Sounds like another great read and one that you might enjoy. Thanks for taking the time to write and all the very best,

August 2008

Re: Tamora Pierce

I'm glad you have done this interview. If I wasn't inspired by Mrs. Pierce before I really am now. You did a nice job. A big fan of books,

Thanks for writing to tell me so - Tamora Pierce is indeed a wonderful author. In my family, my niece Alanna read her books first, then introduced them to my father, who got me started reading them too. Even though these books are aimed at young adults, weíve had three generations (so far!) hooked on them.

July 2008

Re: The River of Doubt

I recently finished reading this incredible story of Teddy Roosevelt and the cast of brave souls that dared venture into the South American wilderness. I was enthralled by the detail of the adventure and deeply moved by their bravery, endurance and lastly gravely saddened in the end when I learned that Kermit, whom I also had considered the hero of this enduring trek had taken his own life.

I realize the interview between Josephine A. K. Locke and Candice as recorded on this website  is over 2 years old. But I am also an admirer of Theodore Roosevelt and just finished reading Candice's book. I was hoping if you have the opportunity you could pass this note of thanks and appreciation on to Candice for writing such a grand story. She touched my life and I want to extend a note of thanks to her.

That story seems to have affected many people strongly as we get quite a few enthusiastic comments about it from readers. I'm not in direct contact with the author but have forwarded your email to her publishers who I hope will pass it on.

August 2007

Re: The River of Doubt

I just finished reading The River of Doubt by Candice Millard. It is one of the best books I've ever read, fiction or non-fiction. I rarely read the Acknowledgment section of any book, but I did this time. Her extensive research provided her with the knowledge of this ninety-three year old daring and dangerous adventure, but as a talented superb writer she imparts her knowledge in descriptive detail. She chose to conclude her book with an emotional moment, when one of Teddy Roosevelt's beloved friends, George Cherries, speaking to a group of socialites and dignitaries, began to weep. 'I was in the consulate at La Guayra, Venezuela when the Consul received the cable announcing Colonel Roosevelt's death. He handed it to me without a word. When I read that message, the tears came to my eyes', and after a lingering pause, he finally said 'As they do now.' My eyes filled with tears as well. And, if I understand correctly this is her first book. Bravo!! Is there any possibility that The River of Doubt might be made into a movie?

I havenít read the book myself (Josephine reviewed it), but you make me want to. Did you also read our Interview with the author? I havenít heard of any movie plans either, but it certainly sounds like this would make an exciting and inspiring one!

July 2007

Re: Patterson in Person

I also went to a James Patterson Booksigning at Books-A-Million in Charleston, SC in 2001. I was really impressed and told everyone how friendly and down to earth Mr. Patterson is. I remember that day when I had a camera, a security guard came to me and told me no pictures could be taken. He saw what was going on and he not only allowed it, he even posed for a few pictures. Then as I was standing in line to have my book autographed, a gentlemen ahead of me actually handed him a book that was not one he wrote, and of course by a different author. Mr. Patterson looked at the book, smiled at the man and then back at me, rolled his eyes a little and then signed it. When I handed him my book, he took time to say a few words to me then asked me how I wanted my book signed. He was very personable and I only wish that everyone could get the chance to meet him in person and come away with the perception I have. Iím sure you came away with the same impression. He leaves one wondering about his state of mind sometimes with some of his Alex Cross novels I must say, but after meeting him I found that he is a really kind man. I wonít miss the next booksigning when he comes back to SC.

I have to agree with you. I was very impressed with his professional manner and how he tempered it with a laid-back talk that had everyone either smiling in agreement or laughing at some quip. I also enjoyed hearing that he truly enjoys what he does. He loves to write. He mentioned another author (canít remember his name) who feels compelled to write but doesnít like it and finds it difficult. Itís evident Patterson is happy in his occupation - look at his output. Prodigious.
Mary Ann

Re: The Name of the Wind

I have also read most of the same authors you mentioned in the interview. I just wanted to say there is no better painkiller for a herniated lumbar disc than a big, fat, intricate, multifaceted novel. Thanks for a most entertaining and involving read.

June 2007

Re: What's in a Review?

The saddest aspect of Richard Schickel's acerbic comments is his dismissal of the fact that people are reading and sharing their views, in short communicating about what they read. Surely that is the goal of any writer. There will always be vast differences in the quality of both the oeuvre and the review, but this is true of all creative projects. And for one individual to assume that he is the epitome of quality/intelligence and that all others are inferior is ludicrous.

I totally agree that there's room for - and benefit from - a range of reviews and reviewers, and that what matters most is spreading the word about great reading. The Internet has played a big part in the success of series like Harry Potter, and its power to boost books and authors is, if anything, still very much on the rise.

April 2007

Re: New Steve Hamilton Book

I have heard he is coming out with a new book in September, something with Night in the title. Could you confirm this to me?

I just queried the publisher (St. Martinís Minotaur) and they tell me that itís called Night Work and will be on sale 9/18,

Re: C. J. Critt

I was searching the internet to find more information on C. J. Critt and came upon your page. You are so right that the person who narrates talking books makes or breaks the book and C. J. Critt is wonderful. I will take a note of the other names you have mentioned as well. Living in France not only do most people not know what an audio book is it would be impossible to borrow them in a library, whether in French or English. As I can't really afford to buy them either I have had to find other means to get some. I really enjoy listening to them though, it is a whole new experience at 50 to discover this pleasant experience after a life time of reading..

You're so right that a skilled narrator can make a huge difference. I tend to read printed books very fast, so find the speed of audiobooks a little frustrating. But I love to listen to them on long car trips, especially when I find a talking book that all the family can enjoy. And they're great for passing time on the treadmill as well :-).

You might want to look through a few more of our Audiobook Columns. And have you looked into some of the online sites where you can download audiobooks, like Just search for audiobook download and you'll find different options. Happy listening!

Re: River of Doubt

My book Club chose this for April - tough to find it at the library - excellent! I could not believe it was written by a woman! I would love to know more about the author. Presentation is this coming Monday night - too bad I just found this website!

Our reviewer also interviewed the author, Candice Millard - you might like to read the e-Interview. All the best,

March 2007

Re: Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields

Thank you so much for the great book - Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields. He writes well, and I love Civil War and World War two documents. I found it interesting that he [Shaara] mentioned Israel Richardson at Antietam's battle. Israel Richardson was from Pontiac Michigan; he was a Union General who fought in many battles. He didn't die in Antietam Maryland; he died of battle wounds later, but was then brought back to Pontiac where his men and himself are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. I see his grave almost daily; you can see it from the main roadway, University Drive, but most people who drive by it have no idea who he is or what he and his men did.

Hopefully this summer I will be able to visit some of the 'New England' battlefields - Gettysburg and Antietam. I often ponder what our American heroes did for us in the past. I am thankful for all Veterans no matter what war or frontier they were/are engaged in. It seems many Americans don't realize these men and women are only in their late teens and early 20's. What courageous souls they are. Just like your brothers [my uncles] were.

Sergeant Jeffrey Peterson, Pontiac Police Department, Michigan
(writing to his Aunt Josephine, who reviewed the book)

January 2007

Re: Started reading again after sickness

My name is David Johnson and I came out of a coma to find myself enjoying reading again - something I have not done for years. Whose books did I happen to discover? Mr. Patterson's. They are great. I have to go to the library every few days to get another one. Tell him thanks.

James Patterson certainly seems to have a universal appeal. Try to get hold of his new one - Step on a Crack. Itís one of his best!

December 2006

Re: Mary Higgins Clark's No Place Like Home

On page 410 she states "The Biblical phrase 'I will vomit you from my mouth,' ran through my mind and I felt a powerful urge to ..." Is this really a quote from the Bible, and if so please quote the scripture for me? I never heard that one before!! Thank you.

I just looked it up on the Internet and it's apparently in World English Bible, Revelation 3:16: "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth." Quite an image!

October 2006

Re: ThrillerChiller Theater

I really enjoyed The Replacement by Anne Frasier.

Me too Ė Iíll pass on your comment to the author, thanks for writing!

Re: The Magic Pumpkin

I like your story. My favorite part is when Jacko came to life and Kevin made a wish. I liked when Kevin wished for Katie's daddy to get well.

Hi Katherine! Itís awfully nice of you to write and tell me you like my story. I think my favorite part is the very end but I like the wish part too.

August 2006

Re: Tim Davis, thanks

I'm hoping you can forward this email to Tim Davis. He reviewed my book The Second Perimeter on Bookloons, and I just wanted to thank him for the nice review. New authors are pretty insecure animals and a review like Tim's is very much appreciated.
Mike Lawson

Mr. Lawson, thank you for the note of appreciation. As a freelance book reviewer (and as a university instructor of undergraduate literature and writing courses), I escape the too frequent tedium of the classroom (and the reading of undergraduate writing assignments) by reading and reviewing as much new fiction and nonfiction as I can in my spare time. And I especially look forward to reading debut works in which I occasionally "discover" new and noteworthy writers. Your work in The Second Perimeter was just such a pleasant discovery. Of course, with my energies too heavily committed to the classroom (and to writing book reviews), I remain more than a little envious of anyone who can successfully negotiate the rigors of novel-writing, the perils of finding an agent, and the uncertainties of publication and promotion. So, although I remain envious of you, I wish you well in your future as a published writer. I hope your publisher gives you the kind of promotion your book deserves.

Re: Winter's Child

I've read all of Margaret Maron's books in both the Judge Deborah series, and my special love the Sigrid books (wish there were more). Winter's Child sounds like it's going to be a bit darker than usual, but definitely not dark enough to scare off cozy readers. Since I read everything from the coziest of cozies to noir, I'm looking forward to Winter's Child. Ms Maron's books have afforded me many, many hours of pleasurable reading.

I also enjoy Judge Deborah (and look forward to Winterís Child which Iím about to open next), but donít recall reading the Sigrid books - thanks for bringing them to my attention!

Hilary, the two series are totally different. Deborah comes from a large, close family. Sigrid only has her mother who isn't around much. she's a closed in loner in the beginning of the series, but as the books continue, Maron allows her to grow and open up to relationships. Sigrid Harald, a police lieutenant in New York City, is featured in: One Coffee With (1981); Death of a Butterfly (1984); Death in Blue Folders (1985); The Right Jack (1987); Baby Doll Games (1988); Corpus Christmas (1989); Past Imperfect (1991); Fugitive Colors (1995). Some of the books are out of print and difficult to find, but if you check out both online and used bookstores you might luck out with the whole series.

Re: Comment

Just finished reading the interview with Lois Duncan ... very well done. Ms. Duncan is such an interesting person and writes so well. Our local HS instructor assigns one of her books each year to his classes. Thanks again for the article.

Thanks for taking the time to write to us Ė Iíve passed on your comment to the author and to Josephine who came up with the interview questions.

July 2006

Re: Contests

When I enter your contests, I greatly appreciate being referred to by name - even though your computer is doing it. Thank you.

And thank you for taking the time to tell us! My husband wrote the code for that, so Iíve passed on your message to him, nice to know his work is appreciated :D,

May 2006

Re: Book Review, Richard Powell / Don Quixote, U.S.A.

My sister, Dorothy Quigley, recently sent me a copy of your review of Don Quixote, U.S.A., in which you asked "if anyone hears about plans to reissue Richard Powell's excellent novels, please let me know as I'd love to acquire more of them." Well, I'm lettin' you know. Dorothy is in control of the copyrights for all dad's books, and has been VERY active in attempting to get them reprinted. She has already gotten A Shot In the Dark out, and is working on several others. BTW, I enjoyed your review. but then what's not to enjoy when you say such nice things about our dad?
Steve Powell

That's wonderful news. Your father is one of my all-time favorite authors Ė my dad introduced me to his books and I was quickly hooked, and enjoyed many hours of reading (and re-reading) pleasure. Thanks so much for writing,

April 2006

Re: Journey Between Worlds

Thank you for the review of Journey Between Worlds. I'm happy that the reviewer pointed out that it is really not science fiction, but a teen romance. I have been trying to make that clear ever since the original edition was published, but anything set on another planet automatically gets labeled "science fiction" and is promoted that way by publishers -- and as a result, it is put on science fiction shelves in libraries and bookstores, where the girls most apt to enjoy it don't find it. I hope this edition will reach those who don't ordinarily read science fiction, as they are the readers I intended it for.
Sylvia Engdahl

Iíve passed on your email to Anise who reviewed Journey Between Worlds. She has daughters, so understands what they like to read :-). I hope her review helps a little to match the book with the audience you intended. Your comments remind me of one of my favorite YA science fiction books, Heinleinís Podkayne of Mars, which I read as a teen and remember much more for its depiction of its young heroine than for her technological surroundings.

January 2006

Re: Christmas wafers

Would you please tell me where I may buy the Christmas wafers. I am going to try your recipe for kompot. I have heard of it, but have not tasted it. You said to refrigerate, does that mean overnight? Thank you for your kindness.

Happy New Year to you and yours, may it be happy, healthy, and loving. Thank you for reading Memories of a Polish Christmas. It is heartwarming to hear from our website readers.

The following urls are for website(s) that provide Polish products, and the oplatek (wafers). You might also check the area you live in for Polish parishes, as they most often provide the oplatki for their congregation and anyone else interested in same. (There is a Polish church in Manchester, NH, about 25 minutes from my residence, which keeps the tradition each Christmas.)

I have purchased oplatki through website Poland by Mail, which features everything from books to movies, etc. Here is the url connection direct to the oplatek page:

Other websites of interest include the POLISH AMERICAN JOURNAL, newspaper published in the United States, a source for American, and Poland news from many communities:

The following features the Kompot recipe you inquired about:

In answer to your question about the length of time to refrigerate, the recipe does not stipulate a specific time frame. But I suggest overnight refrigeration. However that is flexible. It really comes down to taste, and to be honest - I like to eat it warm! :-)

Sto Lat (live a hundred years - a greeting & song for birthdays and other occasions) as well as Na Zdrowie (to your health).,

December 2005

Re: Great Column

Josephine's column was just marvelous. Evoked memories of my own (Irish-American) Christmases. Bravo!!!!

I thought so too, loved the feeling in it! Thanks for writing to tell us, and I wish you a wonderful Irish-American holiday and a fantastic year to follow,

Re: Great Site!

I love your website and all the links to contests! This is such a fabulous site for book lovers! Thanks!

Thanks for the kind words and have a wonderful holiday and New Year!

November 2005

Re: Congratulations on your 5th anniversary!

What an accomplishment! I discovered your web site a few years ago and visit at twice a week. I use it for reviews, your wonderful columns, features and the fun contests. As a children's librarian, I often pass this resource along to patrons and colleagues. Kudos on having the ingenuity and initiative and most of all dedication in creating this wonderful web site dedicated to book lovers!

Thanks, it's very kind of you to write and I'm delighted that you visit so often and find useful content. As an avid reader, you must love your job, and it's such an important one. Take care and all the very best for the holidays!

Re: James Patterson

I was at the dentist's office and found a copy of Along Came a Spider and starting reading it, I was hooked so I took the book with me as I left. I have gotten several friends reading his books now, I am specially engrossed with Alex Cross I feel as though he is part of my family. I am awaiting Mary, Mary. James was in NJ but just a little to far for me to travel to see him. I was disappointed but I am a senior citizen and walk with a cane and just could not get to meet him. Hopefully went he comes back he will be closer to my area. Tell him to keep those Alex Cross books coming, I even picked out the murderer in one of his books boy was I excited.

You'll love Mary, Mary as Alex Crosss humanity comes across even more strongly than before in this one, and its a great twisty plot (and tough to spot the villain)!

July 2005

Re: On Books & Loons Newsletter Issue 37

Thanks for the idea in your e-mail but I did just that yesterday. I went to my favorite used book store and found my favorite "mysteries" and also found a wonderful book, Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson. I read 45 pages while under the dryer at my beauty shop today. He is, of course, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winning author. I never heard about this man but I am deeply absorbed in this book. I also love history and autobiographies.

Being retired I am able to read before my nap every day and at night before going to sleep. I also tutor children and tell them to always be reading something, even if they cannot pick it up every day. Most of them tell me they do it too and that makes me proud.

Great minds think alike (yours and Joyce Carol Oates' :-)). I often receive books to review that I would not have picked up myself, and am also often surprised and delighted by how much I get from them. And I'm impressed by your encouraging kids to read, you have every right to be proud of that.

March 2005

Re: The Ha-Ha Audiobook Giveaway

I received this book in the mail yesterday. I was so happy. I have never actually listened to an audiobook before, but it was very nice to just sit in a chair with the headphones on and my knitting in hand while someone read to me. Thanks for the book. I am enjoying it immensely!

Glad to hear it - I found it a wonderful read. I enjoy audiobooks in the car, but can see that they would work well with knitting too. All the best!

January 2005

Re: James Patterson

I just wanted to say that I have a reading problem (dyslexia) and I started reading the ladies mystery clubs books and I actually am reading much better since I started with your books. I just wanted to say keep up the good work and I am trying to get 3rd Degree. I just started collecting all of your books. GREAT JOB, WELL DONE

I've passed on your email to James Patterson's publishers. I'm so glad you're enjoying his books. Though the topics are often horrific, I think he writes in a very simple style that makes his works widely accessible. Happy reading!

Re: Thank you for Your editorial on Books on Tape

Really appreciate your referral to rental options - will try that!

Glad you found it useful - I love audiobooks for long car trips myself,

November 2004

Re: The Twelve Days of Camping

This is great. I got this web address from the girl scout council in Mobile, AL where my daughter-in-law lived when she was in Girl Scouts.

I'm making a memory quilt from my daughter-law's girl scout shirts ... I'm going to print this for her too. She loves Christmas and this is perfect for a former Girl Scout. Thank you for another idea for her photo album that's going with her quilt.

I'm really glad you like it. Most of the poem came to me in the middle of the night in a tent in the woods; I grabbed a flashlight and a pen :-). I've had people write to tell me they were going to use the poem in a Christmas play, or sing it in the woods, but this is the first quilt appearance. I'm honored!

Re: Johnny Cash Tribute

Nicely said and appreciated. Wish we had a politician in Washington we could say that about.

Thank you for your comment regarding Johnny Cash, and yes we could use more like him in all parts of society. The Man In Black's life and legacy is inspirational and will be for generations to come. The admission of faults and weaknesses is a strength within itself. Hope you get a chance to read the book, Johnny Cash the Songs edited by Don Cusic. Thank you, too, for visiting,

Re: Breast Cancer Husband

I found your site the other day, and I was deeply touched by the beautiful review you gave to my new book, Breast Cancer Husband. I can't thank you enough for such a wonderful and accurate characterization.
Marc Silver

October 2004

Re: James Patterson

I love James Patterson's books. I read them on the way back and forth to work. I just finished reading Big Bad Wolf which my sister wants. She hooked me on to James Patterson. I really love the way he can really just have me in another place with Alex Cross. My sister and I have read all of his books and he is getting better and better. I think that he is the best that I have ever read. I have to run to get London Bridges.

If you loved The Big Bad Wolf you'll be even more thrilled by London Bridges. You have an exciting read in store!

Re: James Patterson

Love all of your book. Have read all of them. I can read them as fast as you can write and can't get enough of your work. I live in South Florida also. Write faster! Let us see more of you in Broward County.

I've passed your enthusiastic comments on to Mr. Patterson's publisher. Have you started reading London Bridges yet on And he's putting out a kids' book too, that looks like lots of fun, SantaKid. Lots to look forward to :-),

Re: The Magic Pumpkin

I read your story to my little sis and she says that she really likes it.

Thanks for telling me, and please wish your little sis a spooky, happy Halloween,

September 2004

Re: James Patterson

Mr. Patterson, I have read all your novels and I would really love to see you in Raleigh, North Carolina to get a signed copy of London Bridges. Every book you write, I stand in line to make sure I get one of the first copies hot off the press. I love your work and you are a brilliant author. Your books keep me on edge and ready for more.

I understand there will be information soon on James Patterson's November tour on his Website. I too love Alex Cross and am looking forward to London Bridges, which sounds like a super-thriller!

Re: Column on bullying (Books vs. Bullies)

Love all the Bookloons features, but as a children's librarian, I particularly enjoyed this one. The Revealers has been on my list to read for a while, will now pick it up!

What I liked about The Revealers is that kids looked for (and found) creative solutions that involved community awareness - I'd love to know what you think when you read it.

Re: A Daughter of Liberty

I was just reading your interview with Allan Cole about his book A Daughter of Liberty. From that interview, I could not tell if the Shannon Family about which he says this book is written is a fictitious family or is it a real family by the name of Shannon. Was there really a Shannon Inn in Cherry Valley, NY? He says the story is based on diaries, letters, interviews, etc. so I wondered just how true to facts it is. By the way, the reason I am interested is that my elderly mother-in-law grew up in Cherry Valley, NY and her family has lived there for 200 to 250 years.

The Shannon family is fictitious. The members are the fictional ancestors of Major Dennis Shannon in the Vietnam novel, A Reckoning For Kings. There was one line in the book from Major Shannon's grandfather where the old man says that the Shannons have fought in every American war since Queen Anne.

The Shannon family is loosely based on my own Irish family. They have also fought in every American War. The grandfather in Reckoning is based loosely on my own grandfather Frank Guinan, who chased Poncho Villa, lost a lung to Germans in WWI and was one of the founders of the famed Philadelphia Boxing Assn. (Where Rocky came from). In the Navy he was fleet champion. In the Army he was division champion. In the Marines he was also division champion. (light weight) In civilian life he fought through the Depression - with only one lung - to put food on the table for his family. Quite a guy.

The Cherry Valley material was checked out by the Cherry Valley historical association, who were most helpful. I think they still carry the book in the museum gift shop.
Allan Cole

Re: Lindsay Boxer

Please!! We need more of Lindsay Boxer. Will James Patterson be writing more of her stories? She and her friends are exciting to read about.

I understand that the next Women's Murder Club novel will be out next summer and called 4th of July. I'm looking forward to it too!

August 2004

Re: Star of the Sea

I would never have found the wonderful book Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor if it hadn't been reviewed in your newsletter. I have found it to be a wonderful book about Irish history during the time of the Irish famine. I highly recommend this book! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

That's why we're here :-). I'll let Barbara (who wrote the review) know how much you liked the book - and thanks for taking the time to let us know.