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January 4, 2010

Happy New Year --- And The New Year Means....

Posted by carol
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a very relaxing holiday.

I am stealing a few extra days on the Outer Banks to get some paperwork and reading done before I head back to the office on Thursday. It's nice to have a few days of utter quiet before I get caught back up in the swirl of things.

I wanted to give you an update on the blog. Those of you who read the newsletter know that as we waved goodbye to 2009 we also waved goodbye to Shannon McKenna Schmidt who has shepherded and guided this blog as our Contributing Editor since we started it. Shannon leaves in the spring on a long-term trip around the country in an RV. After years where she traveled for the research and writing of her book, Novel Destinations, she realized that she wanted to take some time to see America, not just as a vacationer in short spurts, but as a traveler who could spend as long as she wanted in places to truly absorb them.

Along the way, I am sure she will be poking around some bookstores and dropping us a guest post or two. I really look forward to seeing what she has to share about this adventure. Shannon has been a part of The Book Report Network for more than a decade, and it's really tough for me to see her leave. I know you join me in wishing her all good things and thanking her for all she did in what I call "setting the table" here by finding terrific contributors in authors, readers, booksellers, librarians and others. Throught these varied voices we were able to bring news about what is going on for --- and about --- book clubs. It's been fun watching our audience grow --- and reading the pieces each day.

Today I welcome Dana Barrett as our new Contributing Editor. I met Dana at a dinner a few years ago when I was at a conference in Atlanta. At that time Dana owned a bookstore called Coffee Buy the Book in Roswell, Georgia. Later that trip I stopped by her store and had a great time shopping there. On a subsequent trip I went there with my sister and my son. Dana and I kept in touch through the years and we always have been trying to figure out a way to work together. And with this position managing and coordinating the blog I finally found one.

Dana is in a book club, and also facilitates a book club for Better World Books, where she works in their marketing department (her bookstore closed a couple of years ago). I look forward to seeing her add her own special voice to this blog in the weeks and months to come. She's already shared some ideas with me and I think you will continue to be in for quite a treat here.

If you have an idea for a blog post, or just want to say hi, you can reach Dana at

Please join me in welcoming her. We'll be back with a regular update tomorrow.

Here's to a great 2010.

Carol Fitzgerald (