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MostlyFiction.com Newsletter Update

Posted to subscriber list on 10-22-03.

Hello MostlyFiction.com readers!

Two things happened this week that tell me that MostlyFiction.com is getting too big and unwieldy and probably in need of a redesign. First, I was searching Google for related links for a review/author for the Bookmarks section and was surprised to find that MostlyFiction.com had an excerpt from a previous novel from that same author. How did I forget that? Second, one of the reviewers wrote to tell me a review was incorrectly linked. When I looked into I discovered that I had replaced the review of a book by Ellen Ullman with one by Linn Ullmann during the site move -- and I didn't even notice. In five and half years of doing this site, that was the first time I made an error of that magnitude.

So if I seem to go into hibernation for the next few weeks -- it is not because of the impending snow (really, they are forecasting snow for tomorrow) but because I finally purchased an upgrade to Dreamweaver so that I can "fix" the site.

Meanwhile, despite these lapses, twelve more reviews have been posted to MostlyFiction.com. They are as follows:

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DEAFENING by Frances Itani
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

War and deafness are the twin themes of this psychologically rich, impeccably crafted debut novel set during WWI. It's the story of Grania O'Neill who loses her hearing when she is five years old and it is also about the hearing man she marries, who ends up on front line duty in the Ambulance Corps for Britain.

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WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD by Jincy Willett
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

When Jincy Willett's book of short stories was published in 1987, no one noticed. Except for one fan, a boy, who wrote to ask if he could stage a play from one of her stories. Years later, when asked if there was one book out-of-print that he'd like to see back in print, David Sedaris said "Jenny and the Jaws of Life." Turns out he was that same boy -- and the book was reprinted last year. Thus it is this mere twist of fate that we are lucky enough to read Willett's first novel with its bold title and a "light, breezy, and often satiric send-up of New England values, the literary life, family interdependencies" and much more.

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SET THIS HOUSE IN ORDER: A ROMANCE OF SOULS by Matt Ruff
Reviewed by Jenny Dressel

This novel has the most unusual premise but is told in the most ordinary way. Andy Gage is diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (MPD) and with psychiatric help, is learning to give all of his personalities their due proper "space" or time in the body. And he's managing just fine until his boss cajoles him into helping another MPD who doesn't yet know that she is one. Fair warning: when you read this, be ready to pass this book onto others because you will be recommending it to everyone. It is one of those books you will want others to experience.

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THE ANOMALIES by Joey Goebel
Reviewed by Poornima Apte

The debut novel from the former lead singer of the punk rock band The Mullets is about a quirky band trying to make their first break in Kentucky. As Poornima points out, this novel will probably be enjoyed most by the early twenties set -- but don't underestimate this young writer's talent with is his "incisive and often witty prose."

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THE FOX'S WALK by Annabel Davis-Goff
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

During the First World War, ten-year-old Alice Moore is left in the care of her autocratic grandmother at Ballydavid, a lovely country house in County Waterford. Living in a rigid, old-fashioned household where propriety is all, Alice isforced to piece together her world--a world on the brink of revolution--from overheard conversations, servants' gossip, and her own keen observations. As Mary points out, "Davis-Goff's novel describes the Irish Revolution as it is seen from the drawing room of an Anglo-Irish estate. In a most unusual move, the author presents this life with sympathy, understanding, and no apologies, though she does not condone the inequities inherent in the lifestyle."

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PRINCE OF AYODHYA by Ashok K. Banker
Reviewed by Sudheer Apte

Embodying all the elements of a classic epic fantasy, the ancient Hindu mythological tale The Ramayana is full of sweeping adventure, gods and monsters, and a questing prince. Now, Ashok K. Banker adapts The Ramayana into an epic fantasy.

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HELLO, DARKNESS by Sandra Brown
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Sandra Brown is one of the few authors who started out as a bonafide romance writer -- earning a lifetime achievement award -- to successfully transition to mainstream suspense fiction. I quickly became a fan after reading ENVY -- but it seems that Ms. Brown is getting edgier all the time.


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THE THIN PINK LINE by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Reviewed by Shannon Bloomstran

So what happens if you think you're pregnant, you tell everyone you are, and then you find out you are not pregnant -- but decide not to tell anyone. Shannon volunteered to review this book, stating if there was any humor to be found in pregnancy, she was ready for it.

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THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS by Neil Gaiman
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Yeah, we know this is a kid's book -- just look at the shape of the book and you know it. But it's also Neil Gaiman and if you know anything about Cindy -- she's a Neil Gaiman fan. So is she too old for this book? Check out the review and see.

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TRUTH by Jacqueline Sheehan
Reviewed by Kam Aures

Born a slave, survived a free bondwoman, reborn an outspoken abolitionist, Sojourner Truth died a heroine of graceful proportions. But the story of her inner struggles is as powerful and provocative as her accomplishments and is thus captured in this moving work of fiction.

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UNPAID DUES by Barbara Seranella
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Munch Mancini is a most unusual protagonist -- she's an auto mechanic, but even more interesting is her past in which she was a drug addict and hooker. In this sixth novel in the series, Munch's past comes right up against her when a dead woman's arrest record which reveals a set of Munch Mancini's fingerprints and Munch isn't giving up much information to her old friend and detective as to why this might be.

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BLEACHERS by John Grisham
Reviewed by Kam Aures

Grisham explores nostalgia and regret in this short book about a dying controversial coach and what went on fifteen years earlier.

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OCTOBER RAFFLES:
We are giving away two copies each of six different books this month. To enter, start here: WIN A BOOK!

SEPTEMBER RAFFLE WINNERS:
All winners have been notified by e-mail, but not all books have been claimed. Please check this page:
All Previous Raffle Winners
If you have won, send me an e-mail with the book title and author in the subject line to let me know.

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HALLOWEEN READING:

SUSANNAH MORROW by Megan Chance

ALL THAT LIVES: A NOVEL OF THE BELL WITCH by Melissa Sanders-Self

SECOND GLANCE by Jodi Picoult

RED SOX EMPATHY READING:
SCREWBALL by David Ferrell

WHEN BOSTON WON THE WORLD SERIES by Bob Ryan

READING THE WINNERS:
J.M. Coetzee - the Nobel Prize Winner

2003 National Book Award Finalists

2003 Man Booker Prize Winner


Have a safe (but scary) Halloween!

Regards,

Judi Clark
MostlyFiction.com

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