EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT
A Broadway Hit

Jane Pauley takes a look at “the hit of the season on Broadway,” The Curious Incident of the Dog in the  Night-Time, on today’s CBS Sunday Morning, through the eyes of a group of Philadelphia students with autism.

The publisher took the unusual step of publishing a “Broadway Tie-in Edition” of Mark Haddon’s 2003 best seller:

9781101911617_4142eThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: (Broadway Tie-in Edition)
Mark Haddon
RH/Vintage: November 25, 2014
9781101911617, 1101911611
Trade Paperback; $14.95 USD

 

 

Soon to join it on Broadway is the stage adaptation of first two books in Hilary Mantel’s Tudor trilogy, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, set to open on March 20 .

It also has a tie-in, but in the form of the play itself along with, according to the publisher, “a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any reader looking for an even deeper understanding of Mantel’s historical creations.”

9781250064172_adad7Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies: The Stage Adaptation, 
Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton (adapted by)
Macmillan/Picador: February 24, 2015
9781250064172, 1250064171
Trade Paperback; $16.00 USD

 

 

The BBC six-part series adaptation begins April 5 on PBS Masterpiece. Two tie-ins are coming soon:

9781250077608_83fe09781250077585_a734f

Wolf Hall: As Seen on PBS Masterpiece
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077585, 1250077583
Trade Paperback, $16.00 USD

Bring Up the Bodies: The Conclusion to PBS Masterpiece’s Wolf Hall
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077608, 1250077605
Trade Paperback, $16.00 USD

A Modern Day Proust

NYT Mag KnausgaardLast year, the daily NYT profiled Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard claiming he “has held much of the literary establishment in thrall ever since his 3,600-page, six-part autobiographical novel, My Struggle, started appearing in English in 2012.” but admitting, “If you are a lay reader, you may not have heard of Mr. Knausgaard.” The NYT Style magazine, T even asked him  to write about his “tortured relationship with fame,”  a status confirmed by a backlash in both The Nation and Slate, with Katie Roiphe asking, “What if My Struggle Was Written By A Woman?

“Lay readers” will be let in on the secret with a two-part excerpt from the fourth book in the series, beginning with an approporatedly moody cover feature in the March 1 New York Times Magazine.

It is published by the nonprofit Archipelago Books which ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish a special hardcover edition of My Struggle: Book One last year.

9780914671176_e9ba7My Struggle: Book Four
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Archipelago: April 28, 2015
9780914671176, 0914671170

 

HAWK Lands on Best Seller List

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.40.38 AMAs we’ve been tracking, H is for Hawk (Grove Press; OverDrive Sample), Helen Macdonald’s memoir has been enjoying remarkable reviews and now, it debuts on the 3/8  NYT Nonfiction list at #8.

We’re a bit surprised, because its official pub date isn’t until next week, but the book actually shipped last month. Gregory Cowles notes in his Inside the List column that Macdonald has been flummoxed by the response the book’s already received in the U.K. (her actual quote, from  the Belfast Telegraph is, “That threw me into a massive wobble!”). We can expect it to rise higher on next week’s list, which will reflect the impact from the raves in this week’s People and Entertainment Weekly.

The author responded yesterday to the tweeted news from her publisher:

Arriving at #11 is another memoir that has received media attention, combat photojournalist Lynsey Addario’s  It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War (Penguin, Feb. 10; OverDrive Sample).

9780316084239On the Young Adult list, The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger (Hachette/Poppy) arrives at #2, its first appearance since being published in 2010, as a result of  the promotion for its film adaptation, which arrived in theaters last week. A low-budget film (which may be the welcome-to-shadowhunter-academy-9781481443142_lgreason the publisher decided to only release the tie-in as an eBook), its “respectable” success is being attributed to an effective social marketing campaign, which may have also driven interest in the book. (View trailer here and see “What Makes The DUFF This Generation’s Mean Girls“)

Further down, at #7 is a standalone eBook short story from Cassandra Clare, Welcome To Shadowhunter Academy, the first in the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy which will be publised monthly, as announced last fall in Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” column. It is available both and and eBook ( ISBN 9781481443142) and downloadable audio (ISBN 9781442383937).

In fiction, The Girl on the Train continues to chug along at #1 with no slowdown in sight. Publishers Weekly compares the BookScan numbers to those for another well-known blockbuster and finds “The Girl on the Train has pulled well ahead of where Gone Girl was six weeks in. At that point, Gillian Flynn’s book had sold 116K units total [which is below GOTT‘s  more than 230K units], was #3 on the week’s Hardcover Fiction list, and was the #11 book overall.” Holds in libraries are continuing at a steady rate of 4:1.

FIFTY SHADES Meets … TV?

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.11.38 AMOn the heels of the massive success of Fifty Shades of Grey at the box office and the book’s return to bestseller lists, comes news that Anne Rice’s 1980s BDSM trilogy might become a television series.

The company behind Lifetime’s Devious Maids has bought the TV rights to Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy (Plume. 2012; OverDrive Sample), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rice will executive produce with Rachel Winter (who was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Dallas Buyers Club).

In contrast to her reactions to some of the adaptations of her previous novels, Rice seems happy with Thania St. John as the choice of screenwriter, telling The Hollywood Reporter “Thania’s voice resonates perfectly and will keep this story true to my original vision.” St. John has written for Grimm, Buffy the Vamipre Slayer, Chicago Fire, and Covert Affairs.

Long controversial and frequently challenged in libraries, The Nerdist says the hard core trilogy, first written under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure, “makes 50 Shades of Gray look like an episode of The Brady Bunch.”

USA Today reported last November that Rice is working on a fourth book in the series.

11 Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of March 2

Next week, the final book in Dennis Lehane’s trilogy arrives, the public will finally get their hands on the memoir all the reviewers are raving about and a new book arrives from the surveillance expert that Malcolm Gladwell urges everyone to read.

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 March 1

Holds Leaders

9780060004903_615d1  9780399171758_3ad69

World Gone By, Dennis Lehane (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

In 2008, Lehane surprised his fans by stepping away from detective novels and into a historical epic, with The Given Day, (2008), set during Boston’s 1919 police strike. He picked up the story in Live by Night, (2012), with Joe Coughlin the black sheep youngest son of the prominent Boston Police captain from the first book, as he becomes a Prohibition era mob boss. This, the final in the trilogy, extends the story into WWII and is an Indie Next pick for April:

In the prologue of World Gone By, Lehane describes his main character but certainly captures his own abilities as well: ‘Joe Coughlin had a gift for bringing the beacons of the city into contact with her demons and making it all seem like a lark.’ This is Lehane’s great gift: creating characters with the full scope of human dimensions — our inner angels and devils, our passions and our crimes — and immersing them in the timeless trials of our world while disguising his feat as the entertainment of a ‘good read.’ Lehane is a magician, a maestro, and a master of the written word. — J.B. Dickey, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Ben Affleck is set to star and direct a film adaptation of Live By Night. for Warner Bros. Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana & Elle Fanning will also star. That studio also holds the rights to the first in the series, but there’s been no further news about it.

The Assassin, Clive Cussler, Justin Scott (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio)

The eighth adventure featuring private detective Isaac Bell, following 2014’s The Bootlegger, also coauthored with Scott.

Advance Attention

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.40.38 AM  9780307271037_b504a

H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald (Grove Press, March 3, 2015; OverDrive Sample)

From The New York Times Book Review to People magazine, all are entranced by this memoir (see our stories from last week as well as this week).

Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

On the cover of this coming Sunday’s NYT Book Review, Neil Gaiman strives mightily to love Ishiguro’s heavily anticipated novel. He can take a cue from the Washington Post‘s former Book World editor, Marie Arana who is a fan and booksellers, who picked it as an Indie Next title.

#1 Picks

9780812996678_a6c37  9781451694147_722a5

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce, (Random House; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

#1 LibraryReads March pick:

Miss Queenie Hennessy, who we met in Joyce’s first book, is in a hospice ruminating over her abundant life experiences. I loved the poignant passages and wise words peppered throughout. Readers of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will enjoy this book. There’s no fast-paced plot or exciting twists–it’s just a simple, sweet story of a life well-lived. — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Caldwell was the co-author of The Rule of Four (2000), which was considered a more literary Da Vinci Code. In a starred review, Booklist says this new title may sound like it’s mining the same territory, but it “has more in common with high-end literary-historical thrillers like those by Iain Pears … [and is] the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think.” Independent booksellers like it so much they made it the #1 March IndieNext pick.

It is also a LibraryReads March pick:

A murder on Vatican property begins this tale of religion, politics, and family. Two brothers, both priests, struggle to make sense of their friend’s murder. When one is accused, the other must go to extreme lengths to prove his brother’s innocence. Caldwell’s second novel is a book to savor. This is a heart-wrenching book you will want to read more than once. — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

More Picks

9780399172779_9b9a8  9780062198761_2c369

Where All Light Tends To Go. David Joy,  (Penguin/Putnam; BOT)

LibraryReads March:

This beautifully written novel juxtaposes the glory of the Appalachians against the despair of everyday life. Jacob McNeely recognizes his family’s brutality, but Maggie, the love of his life, gives him hope. Achingly told, the visceral prose will stay with readers long past the conclusion. Fans of the Southern fiction of Ron Rash and Wiley Cash will fall in love with this new voice. — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

 

Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral,  Mary Doria Russell, (HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

A favorite from December’s GalleyChat, collection development librarian Janet Lockhart (Wake County Public Libraries) welcomed this new novel by the author of the popular book group title The Sparrow as “compulsively readable” and “A bravura piece of storytelling.“

It is a March Indie Next pick:

This continuation of the story begun in Doc is equally engaging. From a shroud of American West mythic bombast and misrepresentation, Russell creates compelling, realistic characters with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday shown to be both heroic and heatbreakingly human. Epitaph focuses on Josie Marcus, the love of Wyatt’s life. Theirs is a grand romantic tale told in hardscrabble detail, and Russell even makes what could have been cardboard villains into fully realized characters, both flawed and sympathetic. A rip-roaring good yarn!  —Kathi Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Crossover Picks

9780062224101_062ce  9780451470775_e3bbc

Vanishing Girls, Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins)

LibraryReads March:

Reminiscent of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this book begs for a re-read after you finish it. Nick, the main character, is recovering from a devastating trauma. Her family life is turned upside down, and a longtime childhood friendship is strained due to her sister’s exploits. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read multi-layered stories. — Sybil Thompson, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH

The author is at work on the screen adaptation of her 2014 book Panic for Universal.

Mosquitoland, David Arnold (Penguin/Viking BYR; Listening Library)

This YA title has garnered a remarkable amount of “Love” from librarians and booksellers on Edelweiss, and received an advance rave in the 2/27 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which notes that, among the current “glut of angst-ridden first-person novels about the everyday trials of adolescence … [it] is a breath of fresh air when a novel like David Arnold’s Mosquitoland bucks the usual classifications and stands defiantly alone.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9780393244816_0c984Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, Bruce Schneier, (Norton)

The cover blurb, from Malcolm Gladwell, reads, “The public conversation about surveillance in the digital age would be a good deal more intelligent if we all read Bruce Schenier first.”

Schneier, the cryptographer who helped journalist Glenn Greenwald review Edward Snowden’s NSA documents, will be interviewed on NPR’s Science Friday next week. Both Politico and the Atlantic will feature excerpts and reviews are coming from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Economist.

Indie Favorite for April

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.31.58 AMA debut novel that is an in-house favorite at Algonquin, strongly promoted by Workman’s library marketer Mike Rockliff, tops the just-released April Indie Next List. Orhan’s Inheritance (Algonquin Books, 4/7) by Aline Ohanesian which takes place in both the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, centers upon a dark segment of Turkish history as explored through two characters, an elderly woman living in an Armenian-American nursing home and a Turkish man learning about his family’s past.

In his recent library newsletter (download it here), Rockliff extols Ohanesian’s prose, sharing an excerpt to prove his point:

Seda takes a deep breath and picks up the embroidery in her lap. She hunches over her hands, letting her fingers work the delicate stitching. Three rows of red and yellow diamonds mark the pattern as Anatolian in origin. Despite her resolve, the past is bleeding out of her fingers, staining everything it touches.

The Indie Next annotation is equally compelling:

Debut author Ohanesian’s historical novel relives the nearly forgotten tragedy of the Armenian Genocide during and after WWI. Through deportations, massacres, and executions of Christian and Jewish Armenians, the Ottoman Empire and its successors eliminated 1.5 million citizens. Ohanesian’s beautifully written book shares a tale of passionate love, unspeakable horror, incredible strength, and the hidden stories that haunt a family. Highly recommended. — Doug Robinson, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA

Orders are light at many libraries we checked.

In the newsletter, Mike also announces he will retire in June after ALA Annual in San Francisco, which gives us one final chance to thank him for many years of unflagging enthusiasm for both books and libraries.

HAWK Reaches New Heights

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.40.38 AM

Last week, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk (Grove Press, March 3, 2015; OverDrive Sample) got rare double raves from sister but quite separate publications, the book section of the daily NYT and the cover of the Sunday NYT Book Review.

This week, it gets the same treatment from another pair of sister publications, People magazine and Entertainment Weekly.

It’s People‘s “Book of the Week,” with this stellar review (not available online),

Obsessed with falconry since childhood, British naturalist MacDonald decides to adopt and train a goshawk as a way to handle the frief that overwhelms her after her father’s death. Her evolving relationship with th feral bird, whom she christens Mabel, is the subject of this unusual memoir. Captivating and beautifully writtten, it’s a meditation on the bond between beasts and humans and the pain and beauty of being alive.

Entertainmenet Weekly begins their review (also not yet online) by declaring that this “memoir about an out-of-work English professor grieving over her father who comes to find solace and purpose by killing bunnies for her hawk will be one of the loveliest things you’re read this year …”

For R.A. purposes, you may want to cut the “killing bunnies” section when quoting the review.

“Groundbreaking” AFTER BIRTH

9780544273733_9d7efCalled “ground breaking” by Flavorwire, this Sunday’s NYT Book Review goes even further in praising a new novel that examines issues of motherhood, After Birth by Elisa Albert (HMH, Feb 2; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), warning that it should not be consigned to the “women’s fiction” category, but should be considered, “… as essential as Red Badge Of Courage. Just because so much of mothering happens inside a house doesn’t mean it’s not a war: a battle for sovereignty over your heart, your mind, your life.”

It is also a “People Pick” in last week’s issue (not online),

Faculty wife and new mom Ari’s idea of work-life balance is being just as sick of her dissertation as she is of her maternal obligations. Then a pregnant indie-rock legend movers to town. Can commiserating with her girl crush cure Ari’s postpartum depression? Albert’s scathing send-up of modern motherhood boils with dark humor and brutal honesty.

Wendy Bartlett at Cuyahoga greatly increased the library’s order, even though holds are still light, based on a request from staff expecting it to be a hit with women under 35 as well as that rare rave from the NYT Book Review.

On a side note, we’re finding ourselves in the unusual situation of quoting the Book Review often these days, a result of their covering titles earlier and publishing reviews that make you impatient to read the books. Wendy reports the Cuyahoga staff has noticed the change and now consider it nearly as influential on generating interest as People and Entertainment Weekly.

ME BEFORE YOU, The Sequel

635604653206302811-JojoMoyesThis September, fans can stop wondering what happened to Louisa Clark, from Jojo Moyes’ best selling novel, Me Before You, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman).

The sequel, titled of course After You, is announced today by USA Today.

The announcement comes just as production is about to begin this April on the movie version of the first book, starring Emilia Clarke as Lou, a young woman who is hired as caretaker for the paralyzed Will, to be played by Sam Claflin. Originally scheduled for release in August, according to USA Today, it won’t hit screens until 2016.

The book is currently showing as Untitled on some distributor sites:

ISBN: 0525426590 EAN: 9780525426592
Penguin/Pamela Dorman; $ 27.95
Pub Date: September 29, 2015

Ernie Cline’s ARMADA Release Set

9780804149112_319ecTweeting the official release date of his second novel yesterday, author Ernie Cline set fan sites aglow:

My second novel ARMADA will be published on July 14th, 2015! It’s now available for pre-order: http://t.co/P7ib8DgFrQ pic.twitter.com/rtOMoeP5VP — Ernie Cline (@erniecline) February 25, 2015

Publisher RH/Crown’s description here.

Ready Player OneIt also seems that the long-gestating film adaptation of his first novel Ready Player One, (RH/Crown, 2011) is moving along. The screenwriter, interviewed in Den of Geek! late last month, says he thinks he’s nailed it and adds, “Often with a book adaptation – if you’re adapting Catcher in the Rye, it’s difficult to do anything but make it worse. It’s very hard to capture what makes the book great on film and do justice to it. With Ready Player One, it’s this universe he’s created with the opportunity to be more true to the thing than the thing itself, if you know what I mean.” Maybe we’ll understand that once the film is released.

Armada has also been optioned for a movie adaptation.

FIFTY SHADES Meets …

Following the success of Fifty Shades of Grey at the box office, The Hollywood Reporter looks at four other erotic novels that are making their way to screens. All of them are still in the development phase, with no directors or actors attached, so they could use pitches. Below are our suggestions:

9780425263907  cvr9781476730097_9781476730097

Crossfire series, Sylvia Day (Penguin Berkley; first in the series, Bared to You, above left, with cover riffing on the iconic Fifty Shades tie) —  Set in an ad agency, rights were acquired two years ago by Lionsgate for a TV series, so, of course, it’s “Fifty Shades meets Mad Men.”

Beautiful Bastard, Christina Lauren (S&S/Gallery) — About a hardworking, ambitious assistant and her difficult boss, it’s “Fifty Shades meets Working Girl.” (note the book cover makes reference to BOTH a tie and cuff links).

 9781476792484_179e7  9780142196724

After, Anna Todd (S&S/Gallery) — This boy-band fan fiction was signed for a film adaptation by Paramount Pictures last fall. It will inevitably be pitched as “Fifty Shades meets One Direction” but a warning, when this “watt-pad sensation” was published in book form, it did not have the success of Shades of Grey, so it may turn out to be “Fifty Shades meets John Carter.

On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves, (Penguin Plume)  — A romance about a woman who is shipwrecked with the teen age boy she has been tutoring. It is “Fifty Shades meets Cast Away.”

The Review Trifecta, BRAGGSVILLE

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 9.59.37 AMHaving already won two influential fans, the Washington Post‘s Ron Charles and the LA Times’ David Ulin, Welcome to Braggsville (HaperCollins/Morrow, Feb. 17; OverDrive Sample) by T. Geronimo Johnson gets the second premiere spot (the first right, after the cover) in the upcoming March 1 NYT Book Review, with another enthusiastic, if slightly mixed, review.

It’s difficult to match the openers of the earlier reviews:

“The most dazzling, most unsettling, most oh-my-God-listen-up novel you’ll read this year is called Welcome to Braggsville.” (Ron Charles, the Washington Post)

“When was the last time you were shocked by a turn in a novel? Not merely surprised or astonished but actually stunned? T. Geronimo Johnson makes it happen twice in his second novel, Welcome to Braggsville.” (David Ulin, the L.A. Times)

The Sunday Book Review begins more obscurely, “If you imagine a satirical The Indian Princess, James Nelson Barker’s 1808 libretto about Pocahontas, or a macabre E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, you might come close to T. Geronimo Johnson’s second novel Welcome to Braggsville.” The reviewer goes on to a requisite NYT BR quibble, complaining that the metaphors and similes weigh the story down in spots and ends, “Organic, plucky, smart, [it] is the funniest sendup of identity politics, the academy and white racial anxiety to hit the scene in years. Recent racial satires like the film Dear White People or Tom Wolfe’s novel Back to Blood fumble to light dead fuses … Johnson, by contrast knows just which dark corners to expose … and how to whirl an affecting yarn all the while.”

An Indie Next pick for February, the book is also getting review attention in local papers, several via the syndicated Associated Press review; “narrative diversions and jazzy prose riffs will frustrate some readers but thrill others, and overall Johnson deftly pokes dark fun at a wide swath of culture, high and low.”

Johnson describes the book in his own words below:

Early Reviews: THE BURIED GIANT

9780307271037_b504aComing next week, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) appeared on all the “Most Anticipated” lists for the new year and is getting a great deal of advance review attention.


The NYT Book Review features it on the cover of the upcoming issue , with a review by Neil Gaiman (whose just released collection of stories and poems Trigger Warning, is also getting attention), in a review that indicates he had trouble nailing the book down, regretting his “inability to fall in love with it, much as I wanted to, ” and even after “reading it a second and third time … still finding  its characters and events and motives easier to understand, but even so, it guards its secrets and it world close.” He can’t let it go, however, because it “does what important books do: It remains in the mind long after it has been read, refusing to leave, forcing one to turn it over and over.”

The New York Times daily critic, Michiko Kakutani, has no problem dismissing it, calling it an “eccentric, ham-handed fairy tale with a jumble of story lines lifted from Beowulf, Arthurian legend and assorted folk traditions … recounted in stilted, formalistic language that’s presumably meant to evoke a bygone era.”

Among the novel’s fans are the Washington Post‘s former Book World editor, Marie Arana and booksellers, who picked it as an Indie Next title:

Ishiguro’s new novel is a work of wonder, transport, and beauty. A recurrent theme in his earlier books, always shown with great originality, is the matter of what happens after we have lost our way. In The Buried Giant, Ishiguro explores losing direction, memory, and certainty, as the primary characters cling to remnants of codes of behavior and belief. Which is the way through the forest? Where might our son be? And where is the dragon, and who shall seek to slay her? Set in the time just after King Arthur’s reign, Ishiguro’s tale, with striking, fable-like rhythm and narrative, shows how losing and finding our way runs long, deep, and to the core of things. — Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

The Oprah Ripple Effect

9780804188241_p0_v1_s600These days, it takes more than an Oprah pick to make a book a sensation.

The most recent Oprah 2.0 Book Club pick, Cynthia Bond’s debut novel Ruby (RH/Hogarth; RH Audio; RH large type announced for March 17;  OverDrive Sample). announced two weeks ago, reached a high of #98 on Amazon’s sales rankings then dropped out of the Top 100 (it hit the March 1 NYT Trade Fiction list at #7).

After a feature about the author on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, it rose again, this time to #82. The story focuses on the author’s financial struggles as a single mother while she worked to complete the book. Bond was widely compared to Toni Morrison at the time of the novel’s publication, which racked up a number of starred reviews, and received fairly wide attention for a literary debut, but sales did little to change the author’s life until Oprah came along.

opr_cvr-lgAnd more is coming. NPR notes, “Because today’s market is much more segmented now than when her original book club began, Winfrey is personally promoting Ruby in her magazine, on her cable network and in interviews.”

The upcoming March issue of O Magazine features Oprah’s interview with the author (sneak peek here). By the way, we’re a little scared by that cover. Please don’t tell us that Oprah has discovered the life-changing magic of tidying up (looking more closely, Oprah’s approach is clearly more American, with rules like, “Know What It’s Worth” before throwing anything out.)

Ruby is a first in a projected trilogy, which may be a good thing for Oprah, who bought both the movie and TV rights.

The Oscars — Good for Books?

9780679723059-2It would seem last night’s big Oscar winner, Birdman, a movie with an original script, would have little effect on books, but since its October release, it has caused Raymond Carver’s short story collection, What We Talk About When Talk About Love, (RH/Vintage) to increase in sales by 121%, reports Publishers Weekly. The movie, about an actor trying to score a creative comeback through a Broadway adaptation of the title story, includes several quotes from Carver, references to the title, as well as enactments of scenes from the story.

As a result, publisher RH/Vintage is releasing it as an ebook for the first time (there is a version currently available to libraries, but in Mandarin).

An original, unedited manuscript of the story, called Beginners, is also available in Raymond Carver: Collected Stories, (Penguin/Library of America). RH/Vintage will also release it as a standalone ebook in September.

Library holds are light so far. The movie has just been released on demand, so interest may grow.

UPDATE: The Telegraph writes about Carver’s influence on the director. saying the movie’s main character “could have flown right in from a 21st-century Carver story.”