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Next YEAR in the Bookstore: Numbers, Napa Valley and Not Being a Victim

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Tuesday marks the publishing New Year with some important numbers &#8212 including a new look at an Important Number. Then we close the week with a new book on how to shine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
The Hostage by W.E.B. Griffin is the latest in Griffin’s Presidential Agent series, featuring the cast from the first of the series, By Order of the President. “An army major turned special presidential agent, Charley Castillo is rich, brash, well connected, and very good at what he does. Tons of money have gone missing in a UN oil-for-food scandal, an American diplomat has been murdered in Argentina, his wife has been kidnapped, and others have been killed in the hunt for the money. It’s up to Charley and his cohorts to solve the murders by finding the widow’s missing brother, who is knee-deep in the scandal… Griffin just keeps on getting better with a formula that, while predictable and sometimes implausible, is exciting and great fun.” &#8212Robert Conroy, Booklist

Laura Schlessinger has a new tutorial: Bad Childhood, Good Life (subtitled “How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood”). “According to controversial radio talk-show host Schlessinger, a.k.a. ‘Dr. Laura,’ many people find themselves stuck in the role of ‘victim,’ reliving dysfunctional childhoods and repeating damaging behavior. Using examples from her show’s transcripts and postshow listener comments and sharing her own personal history, she offers conservative commonsense advice framed in maxims: victims should become not just survivors but conquerors; positive behavior and attitude changes should be made without expecting linear change and growth.” &#8212Lucille M. Boone, Booklist

Just Rewards is the finale of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Harte family saga. “After 25 years, passions, revenge, envy, and unbridled ambition are still taking their toll on the Harte family, this time on Emma Harte’s great-grandchildren. … It’s all very Dynasty-like and very delicious. Bradford keeps the pace moving briskly as she takes the reader from one great British house to another and expertly brings the various subplots together in a surprising conclusion.” &#8212Ginger Curwen, Barnes & Noble review.

Want “A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life”? Pick up The Number by Lee Eisenberg. “Eisenberg’s arc through life could be used to define the baby boom. In the 1970s, he coined the term power lunch; in the 1980s, he edited Esquire and invented rotisserie baseball. In the 1990s, he wrote books on finding the good life through golf and fishing, and at the end of the decade, he joined an Internet retailer. These days, he’s thinking about retirement, particularly about his Number: the amount of money he’d need to have socked away in order to be confident that his postretirement life would meet his expectations… A few of Eisenberg’s chapters feel scattershot, but his perceptive analyses of real and fictional people’s financial hopes and strategies will inspire readers to reconsider their Numbers and their methods for investing.” &#8212Publishers Weekly

All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz is a fast-paced, well-plotted romantic thriller set in a tiny Napa Valley village. “A mysterious e-mail from a childhood friend, Pamela Webb, draws big-city reporter Irene Stenson home, but when Irene arrives, Pamela is dead, apparently of a drug overdose. Handsome but damaged ex-Marine Luke Danner, who owns the lodge where Irene is staying, helps her look into the case. The plot thickens when Pamela’s house gets torched shortly after she dies, and soon Irene and Luke follow a trail that leads to Pamela’s father, a powerful senator who may have played a role in the death of Irene’s parents when she was a young girl. When Senator Webb’s PR flack is found murdered after getting caught up in a blackmail scheme and Luke and Irene start their predictable but torrid romance, Krentz sets up a series of compelling confrontations. The dialogue, which dominates the book, is strong throughout; the plot is tight. …an impressive page-turner from a master of the genre.” &#8212Publishers Weekly

Friday, January 6, 2006
Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love by Star Jones “began when Star took a close look at herself and her life and realized she wasn’t happy with what she saw: obesity precluded her from crossing her legs, she needed an asthma inhaler, she couldn’t fasten her own necklace, and, worst of all, she got too tired to shop &#8212 a disaster because Star Jones Reynolds is a seriously committed shopper. Then she realized something else: with all her extraordinary accomplishments, none of it mattered without true love. Thinking long and hard, she finally understood that she hadn’t yet met the man of her dreams because she wasn’t ready for him. Star decided to make it happen… Until you read this book, you won’t know how she got there &#8212 and how you can echo her triumphs and shine.” (Publisher’s release notes)

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