EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

A Tale of Two #1 Best Sellers

Fulfilling rumors from yesterday, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample), is an instant #1 NYT best seller, debuting during its first week on sale. In a slight adjustment to the rumor, it arrives at #1 on the Combined Fiction list, but not on the Hardcover Fiction list. On that list, the number one spot is still held by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), on the list after 37 weeks, representing another unusual trajectory, the slow and steady rise.

Is The Girl on the Train actually a debut, as is widely claimed? Not according to Gregory Cowles in the NYT‘s “Inside the List” column, it can only be counted as a debut thriller, since, as Hawkins herself says in an NPR interview, she previously published romantic fiction under a pseudonym (The Wall Street Journal identifies her alias as Amy Silver; WorldCat lists all three of Silver’s titles as only published in the U.K. and only held in U.K. libraries).

Still, a book by an author with no identifiable track record arriving at #1 during it’s first week on sale is a major feat (it wasn’t until “debut” author Robert Galbraith was revealed as actually being the famous writer of a certain series of childrens book that The Cuckoo’s Calling hit best seller lists, several months after publication).

As we noted earlier, to our knowledge, there’s been only one debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale, Elizabeth Kostova’s first book, The Historian, (Hachette/Little, Brown). It debuted on the hardcover list in 2005, back before there was an ebook list, so technically, that record still holds.

If you look at other lists, the story is different. On the PW/BookScan list,  The Girl on the Train is #2, after Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (RH/Bantam) and All the Light We Cannot See is at #3.

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The other debut novel on the new hardcover fiction list is The First Bad Man by Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), arriving at #6, after a barrage of media attention, not all of it positive. A few libraries are showing heavy holds.

On the Combined Nonfiction list, Ghost BoyThe Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius (Simon & Schuster, 2011; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #5, long after its original publication, due to attention from the new NPR show, Invisibilia, (see our earlier story). Several libraries have ordered additional copies (it is now available in trade paperback) because of  heavy holds.

Debuting on the Combined Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list at #8, is a title that some libraries have not yet ordered, Picture Your Prosperity, by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, (Penguin/Portfolio; Penguin Audio, 1/13/15). It’s been covered in the business press (the NYT Business section, and in Forbes).

Books Set to Explode,
Week of Jan 26

Arriving next week are two explosive books. Ghettoside, by L.A. Times journalist Jill Leovy, investigates how our criminal justice system fails African Americans and is already making headlines. The other, James Patterson’s latest, is literally exploding as part of a promotional stunt.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 26.

Holds Leader

9780316211130_dcb2dPrivate Vegas, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio)

In most libraries, the holds leader for this week is still lagging behind the holds leader from last week. In most libraries, the debut phenomenon, The Girl on the Train tops Private Vegas.

Perhaps feeling the heat, Patterson has crafted a new promotion. Private Vegas will literally explode, for the fan willing to pay $300,000 for the privilege (also included, a trip to Vegas and dinner with Patterson). The less well heeled can sign up for a chance to win a self-destructing eBook. Others can get a similar thrill by checking out library eBooks.

Media Attention

9780385529983_bd29dGhettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill Leovy, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Michael Connelly’s cover blurb, “Gritty, heart-wrenching … Everyone needs to read this book, ” is one you might expect to find on a novel, but this book is nonfiction, an investigation into the murder of a young black man in Los Angeles by an L.A. Times reporter. Flavorwire picks it as one of “10 Nonfiction Books That Will Define the Conversation in 2015″ and it seems to be doing just that, with advance coverage that includes:

New York Timesreview by Dwight Garner – Jan. 22

L.A. Times — Review, “Ghettoside focuses on one L.A. murder to make case for more policing” – Jan. 22

New York Times Book Review Cover review – Jan. 25

Features are also planned on NPR:

NPR Weekend Edition – 1/24

NPR Fresh Air – 1/26 or 1/27

Picks of the Week

9780062072948_439b2The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, Julia Quinn, (HarperCollins/Avon; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

A February LibraryReads Pick:

“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard’s motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.” — Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT

9781627791991_67ddbThe Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, Sharma Shields, (Macmillan/Holt paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

On O magazine’s list of “10 books to pick up now” (link not available) and Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” (it also gets an A in the review section):

“A young boy grows up obsessed with the creatures known as Bigfoots — understandable, considering his mother ran away with one — and goes on to raise a very unusual family in this wildly fantastical debut novel.”

9780451471475_c55f3I Was Here, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile; OverDrive Sample; Listening Library)

A People pick (note, it is a YA title, which People doesn’t mention, attesting to its crossover appeal)

“‘It’s not your fault.’ So ends Meg’s suicide note to Cody. Still, Cody can’t help but feel guilty — how could she not have known that her best friend was suicidal? But when Cody goes to Meg’s college to pack up her things, she realizes there’s a lot she didn’t know. A heartbreaking novel about coping with loss from the bestselling author of If I Stay.’

9780544315495_b2fafThe Jaguar’s Children, John Vaillant, (HMH; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Reviewed by Alan Cheese on All Things Considered, 1/20/15

IndieNext pick:

“Vaillant has established his reputation as an accomplished writer of nonfiction, and he now brings his considerable talent to this debut novel. There are no easy moments in this story told by Hector, a young man engaged in an illegal border crossing inside a sealed tanker truck. Vaillant uses Hector’s narration to bring the frequent brutality of the illegal immigration experience to light in visceral detail, engaging both the reader’s sympathy and revulsion, which linger long after the last page is turned.” — Fran Keilty, The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT

9781602862524_57e05Wolf Winter, Cecilia Ekbäck, (Perseus/Weinstein; Recorded Books)

IndieNext pick:

“Maija, her husband, Paavo, and their daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, leave Finland to settle in Lapland in the beautiful area near Blackasen Mountain. One day, Frederika discovers the body of one of the villagers. Was he killed by wolves or was he murdered? What powers does the mountain have? The harsh ‘wolf winter’ brings the settlers together to survive, but what tragedies, secrets, customs, and vengeance are they hiding? When Maija and her family arrived at the mountain, readers were told, ‘This was the kind of land that didn’t know how to let go.’ Ekb?ck’s intriguing tale of Swedish Lapland in 1717 gives insight into the land and people of the far north and is also hard to let go.” — Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT 

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is #1

Girl on the TrainWe’re hearing rumors that the debut rapidly racking up holds in libraries, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample), will hit the tomorrow’s NYT best seller list at #1.

UPDATE: EarlyWord just received confirmation from the publisher that it is indeed an instant best seller, debuting on the Feb. 1st list, to be released online tomorrow.

This makes it only the second debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale (the record was set in 2005 by Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian).

The book it is often compared to, Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s third novel, also made its debut on the list at #1 in June, 2012.

Author Paul Hawkins is one of the speakers at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting, on the LibraryReads/AAP panel (sorry, that event is now completely booked). She will also sign in Penguin Booth #4823 on Jan. 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY Nominated for An Edgar

9780062088253_d693eAmong the six nominees for an Edgar in the Best Novel category, one stands out as a pleasant surprise. Although it contains elements of suspense, Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe).  is not primarily a mystery.

It was a LibraryReads pick last year, with the following recommendation,

“Cash’s second novel is as good as his first [A Land More Kind than Home]. In this story, we meet Easter and her sister Ruby, who have been shuffled around the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina. Then their ne’er-do-well father whisks them away in the middle of the night. I was on the edge of my seat as I followed the girls’ tale and hoping for a safe outcome.” — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

The full list of nominees in the Best Novel category:

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe)

Wolf  by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic; Thorndike)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike)

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (RH/ Delacorte)

Several LibraryReads picks were nominated in other categories:

Dry Bones in the Valley, Tom Bouman, Norton; Thorndike) — Best First Novel

“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Life We Bury, Allen Eskens, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Best First Novel

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III, Ben H. Winters, (Quirk Books)  — Best Paperback

“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Mary Higgins Clark Award

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.” –Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI

Live Chat with Debut Author,
M. O. Walsh

We had a great chat with Neal; he is as thoughtful as you would expect based on his book. Scroll down to see what you missed.

Live Blog Live Chat with M. O. Walsh, MY SUNSHINE AWAY
 

Lessons of Scarcity

pioneer-girl-ciA headline from yesterday’s SlateA Tiny Press Printed Only 15,000 Copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Autobiography. Big Mistake, has sent Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, (South Dakota Historical Society Press) flying back up Amazon’s sales rankings.

Part of the appeal may be the comment that, now that the book is out of stock, “’Used’ copies on Amazon (in this case meaning ‘existing’) started at $399 as of this writing,” (see our earlier stories on the book, from August and December).

Holds are also climbing in many libraries. Cross your fingers that circulating copies will be returned.

Making Headlines:
GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Guantanamo DiaryBook news is currently dominated by Guantánamo Diary  (Hachette/Little, Brown), a memoir by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Larry Siems. The author, who is still being held at the prison, details the tortures he has endured there. Featured on yesterday’s Morning Edition, the host noted, “The Pentagon confirmed to NPR that for a brief period at Guantanamo in 2003, a ‘special interrogation plan’ was designed for Slahi, and it was outside the military’s own standard interrogation procedures.”

Excerpts are published in People magazine, it will be on the cover of the Feb. 15 NYT Book Review (online now, three weeks ahead of the print version, presumably to coincide with the publication), is featured in the L.A. Times, reviewed by The Washington Post. and the basis for a NYT Op-Ed piece.

The Guardian. which is serializing the book, features a documentary about it on their Web site:

In the U.K., celebrities, including Colin Firth, Jude Law, Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Cave are supporting the “Free Slahi” campaign.

Check your orders. Most libraries have ordered conservatively and holds are light so far, but we expect them to surge as the story creates even more headlines.

UPDATE: coverage is expected on Friday’s PBS Newshour. ABC This Week is planning coverage, TBA, and the daily NYT is also planning a review. The book was embargoed, so no advance reviews. LJ noted it in Prepub Alert in July and  Kirkus  just posted their review online.

Guantánamo Diary
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, edited by Larry Siems,
Hachette/Little, Brown,  January 20, 2015
Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio,  9781478986942
E-Book, 9780316328609

YA GalleyChat, Tuesday, Jan. 20

It’s the first YA GalleyChat of the new year!

Join us today, 5 to 6 p.m. (4:30 for virtual cocktails), EST — #ewyagc


NPR Book Club Wraps

9780374280604_abe23The new NPR Morning Edition book club wrapped up today with a discussion of the first selection, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct), picked in December by bookstore owner and author Ann Patchett.

The book, which has hit the lower rungs of the NYT best seller list as a result of the section, is also one of five finalists for the NBCC Nonfiction Award, announced yesterday and  has been made into a movie, titled The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Gabriel Byrne. Currently in post-production, the release date has not yet been announced.

The next title in the club will be announced soon; we will let you know when it is.

Buy Alert: MARCH, BOOK TWO

marchbookone_softcover_lg  march_book_two_72dpi_lg

The second book of the award-winning graphic memoir by Congressman John Lewis, the next in a planned trilogy, arrives today.

Featured today in Entertainment Weekly ‘s “Shelf Life” column, the story notes that Book One, “took the world by surprise. Acclaimed by the comics press and social justice activists alike, it was an engaging and accessible work of nonfiction about one of the most important moments in American history.” It also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, one of YALSA’s Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens and was on multiple best books list for the year.

Book Two may have taken the library world by surprise. Reviewed last week in Kirkus and yesterday in SLJ‘s “Good Comics for Kids” column, it does not appear on library catalogs we checked.

March: Book Two
Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Top Shelf; January 20, 2015

m00eIn a  feature about the books on CNN in July, Lewis said he used the comic format because many in his generation in the ’60s were deeply inspired by a comic book called Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story (watch the video to the end, for a story about libraries).

Top Shelf Comics has republished that comic book in print as well as in a digital bundle with Book One.

Amazon Turns to Books

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming al the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up by doing the same with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

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Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story in the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternate reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

RA Alert: Scott McCloud’s
THE SCULPTOR

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 5.07.12 PM

The book on many a comics readers’ mind in the next few weeks (and maybe all year) will be Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor (Macmillan/First Second, Feb. 3), a massive 496 page graphic novel that Cory Doctorow called McCloud’s “magnum opus” back in April. Due out on February 3rd, it is the story of a washed up young artist who makes a deal with Death to create art that will be remembered – but he only gets to live 200 days to do so.

The comic book scene is buzzing with anticipation and Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015.” For advisors who need a bit of backstory, McCloud is a writer/artist that readers treasure for his nonfiction books (drawn, of course) explaining how comics work (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics - all published by William Morrow). The Sculptor is his first graphic novel in over a decade and follows in the wake of his cult favorite title Zot! (which HarperCollins reprinted in 2008). McCloud discussed creating the book, which took five years, in USA Today last June, sharing that he wanted to make a book that was “an engrossing read — a page-turner from beginning to end.”

Macmillan offers a look at McCloud’s innovative page design, use of perspective, and his color palette of pale blues and deep blacks. First Second provides more images as well as a glimpse of the cover and the spine – showing just how big a book The Sculptor is.

Many libraries have yet to order it, in spite of glowing reviews and stars from library trade journals and the long-simmering publicity.

THE SLAP Is “Not About the Slap”

The SlapThe first full-length trailer for the 8-episode TV series based on the controversial award-winning Australian novel, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, (Penguin, 2010) was released on Friday.

TV critics asked the cast questions about the act that sets off a series of events, a man slapping someone else’s child at a neighborhood barbecue. At one point, during panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Zachary Quinto, the actor who administers the act of corporal punishment told the critics, “It’s not really about the slap. All of these characters come to the table with a tremendous amount of internal conflict and struggle about different aspects of their lives. The great thing about it is it’s a launching point for very little black and white and a lot of gray.”

Also starring Uma Thurman, the series is directed by Lisa Cholodenko, (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge and the movie The Kids are All Right). It premieres Thursday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. NBC.

The book became a reading group staple in both Australia and the U.K. and was made into a popular Australian TV series in 2011 (as a result, some reports cite the new adaptation as a remake of that series, without noting the original source material).

Released in the U.S. as an original trade paperback, it received a strong endorsement from the Washington Post. The reviewer praised it for giving American readers a sense of life in Australia, while exploring subjects that resonate here,

In The Slap we live for a few short weeks in suburban Australia, learning the language, becoming intimate with the characters and experiencing their customs. But finally the novel transcends both suburban Melbourne and the Australian continent, leaving us exhausted but gasping with admiration.

The setting for the American version is Park Slope, Brooklyn.

STILL ALICE, Oscar Bump

Behind American Sniper, a second, quieter film did well at the box office this weekend. Also the recipient of good timing  Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, expanded nationwide this weekend and was able to capitalize on the movie’s star, Julianne Moore, becoming the front-runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar.

It’s a Cinderella story for both the book and the movie. Unable to get an agent for the book, Genova self-published it. Her guerrilla marketing was so successful that she then landed an agent and a mainstream publisher, Simon & Schuster. Released as an original trade paperback in 2009, it went on to become a best seller. Appropriately, as the author recently told the Boston Globe, for the film rights, the she took a chance on a “very small new production company,” because she felt, “they really understood the intent of the story.”

In libraries we checked, Still Alice is neck-and-neck in holds with American Sniper.

Genova, a neuroscientist, has published two novels since, both dealing with brain disorders. Left Neglected is about the results of a brain injury and Love Anthony, about autism. In her next novel, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; 4/7/14), she writes about a family dealing with Huntington’s Disease.

Tie-ins:

9781501107733_6d66bStill AliceLisa Genova
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
Trade Paperback

Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Books

Audio CD, &S Audio

 

AMERICAN SNIPER
Storms Box Office

The Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, was a big winner at the box office this weekend, giving the movie industry much-needed hope.The timing of the film’s wide release, immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, is considered a big factor in its success.

Another is the film’s patriotic appeal, although that is being question by several who object to the movie making a hero of a man who said in his book, “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

The movie’s subject, the late Chris Kyle is getting renewed attention, including this story on NBC’s Nightly News:

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9780062238863_986cb  9780062376336_4cf40  9780062290793_498b1

As a result, his book, which has been a long-running best seller, now occupies three spots on the Amazon top 10, with another editions is at #64:

#1 —   Mass market ed. with original cover, (Harper, 2013)
#5 —   Trade pbk tie-in (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2014)
#8 —   Hardcover memorial edition (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2013)
#64 — Mass market. tie-in, (Harper, 2014)