News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Fan Favorites Set for DARKEST MINDS

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Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion).
The first in the YA dystopian trilogy, it features a group of teens with special powers who are persecuted by the government and are on the run hoping to find a sanctuary.

The news, announced by the Hollywood Reporter, caused a flurry of excitement on fan sites.

The cast already includes another fan favorite, Amanda Sternberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games. She also stars as Maddy Whittier in the upcoming adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s Everything, Everything, set for release in May.

One of Time magazine’s Most Influential Teens 2016, Sternberg is described as:

“one of her generation’s leading social activists, especially regarding race, representation and gender identity. As a result, she’s earned some high-profile admirers. Among them: Gloria Steinem, who sat for a one-on-one interview with Stenberg for Teen Vogue, and Beyoncé …

Fans have more to look forward to. As theThe Hollywood Reporter notes, “a host of young up-and-comers [are] on the call sheet.”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) directs, in her live-action debut.

The movie, still in pre-production, is expected to premiere in September 2018.


The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants, based on the best selling Dav Pilkey series (Scholastic), was released yesterday, arriving in time to be featured before the kids movies set to dominate theaters for the next two weekends, Power Rangers and The Boss Baby.

Dropping a hint that this may be the first of series, Dreamworks adds the words The First Epic Movie to the title. It opens in theaters on June 2.

Captain Underpants movie  9780545504928_153d8  0590846280

A tie-in is being released, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard on April 25, 2017 (Scholastic), but libraries may prefer to spend their money on additional copies of the original twelve-volume series.


MARLENA is the Electric Debut Novel of 2017!


With FOUR phenomenal starred reviews and tons of acclaim, Julie Buntin’s MARLENA is the electric debut novel you need in your collection!

It’s also been selected for the the following:
B & N Spring 2017 Discover Picks
PW Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts
April 2017 Indie Next List

“In Buntin’s vivid debut, Cath, now a New York City public librarian in her thirties, tells the story of the friendship that changed her forever. Though Cath tells her story in flashbacks, Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.”Booklist, starred review

Look It Up

9781101870945_9cd32Rising on Amazon, currently at #72, and building holds is Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, Kory Stamper (PRH/ Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The NYT ran an illustrated feature in today’s paper and online yesterday, saying that Stamper is a word-nerd cult figure, with a joyful and invested following on social media. Of they book the paper writes it:

mixes memoiristic meditations on the lexicographic life along with a detailed description of the brain-twisting work of writing dictionaries [it] describes [Stamper’s] own initiation into the art of lexicography, which involves wrestling with the continuous evolution of language. She walks the reader, chapter by chapter, through different aspects of a definition, including grammar, pronunciation, etymology and more.”

The Atlantic says it is an “eloquent love letter to letters themselves … a cheerful and thoughtful rebuke of the cult of the grammar scolds.”

Sites as diverse as the A.V. Club and The Economist weigh in as well.

The majority of libraries we checked have strong holds on very light orders or have not purchased at all.

Below is a sample of one of Stamper’s popular videos:

Saunders To Silver Screen

Lincoln in the BardoMegan Mullally (Will & Grace, Infinity Baby) and husband Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, The Founder), have bought the film rights George Saunders’s NYT bestseller, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Overdrive Sample).

The couple will produce alongside the author. Both worked on the audiobook version with him.

I am thrilled to be in artistic cahoots with Megan and Nick, two artists I’ve long admired,” Saunders told Deadline Hollywood, “This is going to be big fun. My hope is that we can find a way to make the experience of getting this movie made as wild and enjoyable and unpredictable as the experience of writing it — I am so happy to have such fearless companions on the trip.”

The A.V. Club points to the challenges facing the adaptation, “The book has more than 150 narrators … then there’s the matter of the archival texts intercutting the musings of Willie and his new neighbors. And that’s all before you get into those neighbors’ appearances.” However, the producers have already dealt with those issues for the audiobook version.

RITA Award Finalists

The Romance Writers of America announced on Tuesday the finalists for the RITA Awards for romance fiction.

9780062100344_217efThere are 13 categories include over 80 nominees (a good opportunity for displays, see The Romance Dish for useful descriptions of all 13 classifications).

Among the finalists are popular authors such as Sabrina York, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, J R Ward and Loretta Chase, whose Dukes Prefer Blondes (HC/Avon; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), part of her Dressmakers series, appears in the Historical Romance: Long category.

Attesting to the growing reach of self-published novels, 11 of the nominees come from the authors’ own imprints, including AAB Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane (Create Space; OverDrive Sample), in the Contemporary Romance: Long category.

RWA’s the Golden Heart award nominees for unpublished manuscripts were also released.

All the winners will be announced on July 27.

Spring Picks Ready to Bloom

Just one of the many lists sure to come, New York Magazine has published their “Spring Book Preview,” a list of ten choices ranging across nonfiction and fiction, big names and new authors.

9780316465977_0cf9bThe Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio) is including, with the comment, “Ferris’s three novels have earned him a reputation as a high-concept high-wire artist … His stories, by comparison, are compact gems of timing and everyday absurdity.”

9780451493583_f9dc0One of the debuts comes from award-winning reporter Omar El Akkad who was born in Egypt and now lives in Portland, OR. In his book, a dystopian novel set in 2074, American War (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), “the U.S. (now a smaller country due to global warming) enters its second Civil War … Told through the lens of a young Southern refugee who comes of age in a time of horror … terrifying in its prescient vision of the future.”

9780062377210_08078Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night by Jason Zinoman (Harper; HarperAudio) gets one of the nonfiction nods. The magazine says “Zinoman presents a well-rounded portrait of the late-night legend … a must-read for any comedy fan.”

The full list is online.

Mystery Great Colin Dexter Dies

9780804114905_1e4b39780804119542Colin Dexter has died, age 86. He created the character Chief Inspector Morse, the beloved, curmudgeonly detective based in Oxford who likes opera, poetry, and has a fiendishly clever mind.

The first book in the series is Last Bus to Woodstock was published in 1975. The final book, #13, The Remorseful Day, was published 24 years later in 1999. The books were adapted into the Inspector Morse TV series that ran on PBS from 1987 until 2000. The show spun-off two sequels, one about Morse’s partner, Inspector Lewis, and one about a younger Morse, Endeavour.

“He was one of the greatest crime novelists of the 20th century and deserves to be ranked alongside Chandler, Christie and Doyle,” Andrew Gulli, the editor of the mystery magazine The Strand, told the NYT.

The paper also reports that he won two Golden Dagger awards from the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain and, in 1997, he received the organization’s lifetime achievement award, the Diamond Dagger.

Dexter killed off Morse in his last book, using for the title a line from an A. E. Housman poem, “How Clear, How Lovely Bright,” as a way of saying goodbye:

How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

DARK MONEY Fills The Swamp

9780307947901_fddd1Jane Mayer’s 2016 best seller, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; trade paperback; OverDrive Sample) is back in the news, and rising again on Amazon, jumping from #468 to #48, after the author published a new piece for this week’s The New Yorker entitled “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind The Trump Presidency.”

Mayer was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday about the subjects of the story, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, who have “been major backers of Breitbart News and Steve Bannon’s other projects for years, and they were influential in getting Bannon and Kellyanne Conway into leadership positions in the Trump campaign.”

Dark Money was one of The New York Time’10 Best Books of 2016 and is currently a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, which recognizes a “book of extraordinary originality and lasting influence.” The winner of that award will be announced on Monday.

Most libraries we checked still have holds queues.



Read our chat with Betsy, below.

Join us for our next live chat on April 26, 5 to 6 p.m., ET with Pablo Cartaya, to discuss his upcoming book, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora.

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Live Blog Live Chat with Betsy Bird, FUNNY GIRL : FUNNIEST. STORIES. EVER.

Sandberg Leans In to OPTION B

9781524732684_e51e2Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer and bestselling author of Lean In, is set to publish s new title next month, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT), co-written with Adam Grant, author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

The book is based on personal experience, as Sandberg writes on Facebook:

“A few weeks after my husband Dave died, I was talking to my friend Phil Deutch about a father-son activity that Dave was not here to do. We came up with a plan for someone to fill in so my son would not have to miss out. I cried, ‘But I want Dave.’ Phil put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.’ That became my mantra, and for the past two years I’ve tried hard to find meaning and happiness in the wake of our despair.”

On the strength of that post, picked up by Bustle and InStyle, which headlines their story, “You’ll Definitely Want to Read Sheryl Sandberg’s Empowering New Book,” it soared up Amazon’s sales rankings, and is currently at #9.

Thus far, library holds queues are light, but keep in mind, however, that Lean In got off to a slow start.

Dancing Up The Sales Charts

9781455596300_932fbMisty Copeland, the first African American woman to be a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, has published a new book, Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You (Hachette/Grand Central Life & Style; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is rising on Amazon’s rankings thanks to an appearance on CBS This Morning, jumping from #920 to #36.

A clearly admiring panel of hosts talked with Copeland about the mental and emotional strength it takes to be a star athlete and dancer, calling the book “inspiring.”

It is Copeland’s third book, after her memoir Life In Motion and the children’s book Firebird. This time she stresses understanding health as a long journey, discovering what works for each person, and creating an individual version of a healthy image.

Franklin Fascination

9780393249385_b3036Rising on Amazon is a nonfiction account of a fabled sea-faring mystery, Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition by Paul Watson (Norton; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), about the sad fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. The book not only details the doomed Arctic expedition seeking the Northwest Passage, but also the historic search for the lost ships and the modern discovery of their find. It leaped to #79 on Amazon’s sales rankings after the author appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition.

In a brief, but wide ranging conversation, Watson details some of the search, telling NPR that Franklin’s wife, Lady Jane, was “extraordinarily assertive” and forced the Royal Navy to search for her husband and even lured the United States into looking for him.

The book is also getting newspaper coverage.

The Seattle Times calls it eloquent and “more valuable than most of what comes from the cottage industry of Franklin books.”

In an illustrated story, the Dallas News says that Watson “handles the complexity of the search admirably well.”

Watson has a much longer segment on Think, a program on the public radio station KERA in North Texas. Below is the Morning Edition segment:


YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues., March 21

This edition of YA GalleyChat has ended. Read the transcript, below.

Join us for the next chat, Tues. April 19, 4 to 5 pm.(3:30 for virtual cocktails) to discuss Young Adult and Middle Grade galleys.

The Holy Trinity of Trap

9781501165320_fce57Gucci Mane, who The New York Times calls “one of hip-hop’s most prolific and admired artists” is releasing his memoir, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane (S&S, Sept. 19, 2017).

Given his large social media presence (over 3 million followers on Twitter alone), his announcement of the book and its arresting jacket sent it climbing on Amazon where it is now in the Top 100 (at #100).

The publisher says “In his extraordinary autobiography, the legend takes us to his roots in Alabama, the streets of East Atlanta, the trap house, and the studio where he found his voice as a peerless rapper. He reflects on his inimitable career and in the process confronts his dark past—years behind bars, the murder charge, drug addiction, career highs and lows—the making of a trap god. It is one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of music.”

For those unfamiliar with “trap music,” the Guardian described the Atlanta-based genre last year, calling Gucci Mane one of the “holy trinity of trap”

The announcement was covered by Billboard and New York Magazine, along with a number of pop culture and music sites.