Archive for November, 2008

NYT Cover for 11/30

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The cover review of this Sunday’s NYT Book Review is of the biography of V.S. Naipaul. It has already been reviewed favorably in many other publications (Daily NYT, Washington Post, LA Times). Libraries have a modest number of copies, with comfortable holds to copy ratios.

‘The World is What it Is’, By PATRICK FRENCH

This biography of V. S. Naipaul is a monument truly worthy of its subject, elucidating the enduring but painfully asymmetrical love triangle at the core of Naipaul’s life and work.

New to USA Today Bestsellers, 11/19

Friday, November 21st, 2008

A book that’s not new to the list has reappeared at #81, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, in the news as Obama chooses his cabinet. Library holds are very heavy in some libraries.

It’s a sign of the times; the paperback reprint of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes (Harper Perennial) on the list. The hardcover, published in another time, did not appear on USA Today‘s list, although it did appear for six weeks on the NYT  extended NF list last year. Library holds on this one are also strong.

The top two new titles to the couldn’t be more different:

Adult Fiction and Nonfiction

#6 The Christmas SweaterGlenn Beck,  Threshold Editions

#8 Too Fat To FishArtie Lange, Anthony Bozza,  Spiegel & Grau

#9 Just After Sunset: StoriesStephen King,  Scribner

#13 YOU: Being BeautifulMichael F. Roizen, Mehmet Oz,  Free Press

#19 The Hour I First BelievedWally Lamb,  Harper

#29 American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White HouseJon Meacham,  Random House

#32 A MercyToni Morrison,  Knopf

#73 Call Me TedTed Turner, Bill Burke,  Grand Central

#84 The Bodies Left BehindJeffery Deaver,  Simon & Schuster

#93 Ender In ExileOrson Scott Card,  Tor

#148 Alex & MeIrene Pepperberg,  Collins

Original Paperbacks

#57 Shadow Kiss, (Vampire Academy Series #3) Richelle Mead, Razorbill

#101 Every Now and ThenKaren Kingsbury,  Zondervan

Graphic Novels

#59 Fruits Basket, Vol. 21, Takaya Natsuki,  TokyoPop


#114 A Very Marley ChristmasJohn Grogan, Richard Cowdrey,  HarperCollins

‘Shadow Country’ in Paperback

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Publishers Weekly reports today that Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen, which just won the National Book Award in fiction and is currently out of stock, will be available in paperback just after Thanksgiving (original pub date was June, ’09; Amazon lists new pub date as Dec 2). The book’s publisher, Random House, has also gone back to press in hardcover.

Some libraries are showing heavy holds.

Peter Matthiesen
Shadow Country
  • Hardcover: $40; 912 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (April 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0679640193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679640196
    • Paperback: $16; 912 pages
    • Publisher: Modern Library (December 2, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 081298062X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0812980622

    ‘People’ – Wally Lamb Not the Sexiest Man Alive

    Friday, November 21st, 2008

    We’ve been lurking around newsstands, waiting for the new issue of People, which is generally available on Wednesdays, but didn’t show up until today.

    The hot news? Hugh Jackman IS the the sexiest man alive.

    But, sadly, according to People, Wally Lamb is not. His Hour I First Believed gets just 2.5 out of a possible 4 stars with a review that sounds more like a single star. Saying it offers “something for everyone,” the reviewer feels it is weighed down by “a meandering family saga…the kitchen-sink approach slows momentum.” Further, the “thrice-married rage-prone hero is hard to like.”

    People has the minority opinion on this one; Entertainment Weekly rated the book a solid A, calling it his “best ever.” USA Today liked it a lot, calling it a page-turner, but conceding that there are times when,

    Lamb’s tale could have benefitted from a more ruthless editor…But as they say, it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts. Lamb knows this better than most.

    It hardly matters what the reviews are saying. The book is #19 on this week’s USA Today bestseller list, making it the fourth top-selling adult fiction hardcover.

    Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater is #1, Stephen King’s Just After Sunset is #2 and David Baldacci’s Divine Justice is #3, which will likely be the order on the upcoming NYT fiction list. It is also showing heavy reserves (nearly 600 on 30 copies in one multi-branch library)

    For the other titles in this week’s People, as well as the other weeklies, check our listing of reviews in Weekly Magazines.

    Finger-Pointing over ‘Twilight’

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    We’ve all seen the phenomenon that is Twilight. It makes you think that the idea of turning it into a movie was a slam dunk. Not so, according to a story in the NYT today (For Studio, Vampire Movie Is a Cinderella Story). Paramount Pictures had the rights, but let them go,

    because someone at the studio decided in 2006 that the series was a dud. (A game of finger-pointing is now under way at Paramount over who deserves the blame.)


    There won’t be finger-pointing over House of Night; Variety reports that the bestselling (currently at #4 on the NYT Childrens Series list) paperback teen vampire series has been optioned.

    The fourth book, Untamed, was recently released by St. Martins. In all, nine books are planned.


    P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

    • Paperback: $8.95; 352 pages
    • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 23, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0312379838
    • ISBN-13: 978-0312379834

    National Book Award Winners — Adult

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    The winners in the adult categories are:

    • Fiction: Peter MatthiessenShadow Country (Modern Library)
    • Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-ReedThe Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company)
    • Poetry: Mark DotyFire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (HarperCollins)
    Newspaper coverage:

    Winner of the NBA for Young People’s Literature…

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    …is  Jody Blundell, for What I Saw and How I Lied

    What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell, (Scholastic)

    Fifteen-year-old Evie, doesn’t think of herself as beautiful. Not like her mother who could double for Lana Turner. Evie is anxious for the days when her curves will appear and she can as they say, “fill in a sweater.” Evie’s voice is sharp and crisp as we experience her confusion and discovery in this lyrical coming-of-age story set in the post WWII era. 

    • Hardcover: $16.99; 288 pages
    • Publisher: Scholastic Press (November 1, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0439903467
    • ISBN-13: 978-0439903462

    ‘Coraline’ Trailer

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    The trailer for Coraline has just been posted. To see it in high-res, go to Yahoo,

    More scenes are available at the Focus Features site.

    Follow that up with two fascinating behind-the-scenes trailers on the CinemaBlend Site

    What Blurbs Can Tell You

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    Tom Daschle was just named to Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Health & Human Services. As it happens, he published a book on health care in February. It just rose to #128 (from a lowly #11,339) on Amazon. (Update as of 6:45 p.m., EST, the book is now at #29)

    Curiously, the book was blurbed by a certain Senator.  Will this send reporters off in a mad scramble to see what other books the Senator blurbed?


    Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis

    by Tom Daschle, with Scott S. Greenberger and Jeanne M. Lambrew

    • Hardcover:  $23.95; 240 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (February 19, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0312383010
    • ISBN-13: 978-0312383015

    OverDrive Debuts Media Console for Mac

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    OverDrive announces the debut of the Overdrive Media Console for the Mac today. 

    Earlier this summer, OverDrive announced they had been able to break through roadblocks to make some titles downloadable in the MP3 format (the format that runs on Mac, iPods and iPhones). The Media Console makes downloading and managing those titles easier for library customers.

    Unfortunately, there are fewer titles available from OverDrive in Mac’s MP3 format than there are in the Microsoft format (Windows Media Audio, or WMA), which is often difficult to explain to library customers.

    In order to make titles available in MP3, publishers must be willing to offer titles without Digital Rights Management software (the software that puts limits on how the audio can be used). This is because Apple software can only read titles encrypted with Apple’s DRM, available exclusively on titles downloaded through iTunes and Audible. Thus, OverDrive cannot encrypt DRM on titles in MP3 format the way they can titles in the Windows format.

    Many publishers have been reluctant to give up DRM for fear of piracy (true, publishers don’t seem overly worried that CD’s can be ripped and downloaded, but that takes a bit more effort). Random House recently made their titles DRM-free, so they could be sold to iPod users through more vendors than Audible and iTunes. However, they specifically excluded libraries from this arrangement, because, they said in their press release, without DRM, there’s no way to limit “borrowing privileges.”

    Until Apple makes its DRM software available to other vendors, or until all publishers make their titles available DRM free to libraries, you will have to continue to try to explain why iPod users can only download a limited number of titles.

    If you’re a glutton for punishment and want to learn more about DRM, check out A Closer Look at Digital Rights Management from

    Life in a Bear Market

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

    The Wall Street Journal selects Five Books To Retire BySome of this year’s most valuable volumes on retirement finances and planning

    The basic advice? Start early, be prudent, or work longer. 


    The Little Book That Saves Your Assets

    David M. Darst

    • Hardcover: $19.95; 208 pages
    • Publisher: Wiley (August 4, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0470250046
    • ISBN-13: 978-0470250044


    The Truth About Buying Annuities

    Steve Weisman

    • Paperback: $18.99; 208 pages
    • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (August 15, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0132353083
    • ISBN-13: 978-0132353083


    The Smartest 401(k) Book You’ll Ever Read 

    Daniel R. Solin (Perigree, $19.95)

    • Hardcover: $19.95; 240 pages
    • Publisher: Perigee Trade (June 24, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0399534520
    • ISBN-13: 978-0399534522
    • Audio CD: $19.95, Unabridged
    • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, (April 1, 2009)
    • ISBN-10: 1433271001
    • ISBN-13: 978-1433271007


    Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge

    Alicia H. Munnell and Steven A. Sass

    • Hardcover: $29.95;207 pages
    • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (May 1, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0815758987
    • ISBN-13: 978-0815758983


    Retire, And Start Your Own Business

    Dennis J. Sargent and Martha S. Sargent

    • Paperback: $24.99; 316 pages; includes CD
    • Publisher: NOLO;  (May 1, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 1413307655
    • ISBN-13: 978-1413307658

    ‘Coraline’ The Movie

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

    Clearly, people think the movie of Neil Gaman’s Coraline is going to be big; USA Today features a “first look” at the movie that is not coming out until well after the holidays (Feb. 6).  The photo gallery gives a sense of what the movie will be like. If you want even more, check out the online video from IGN about the making of the movie. 

    Below is tie-in information from our listing of Upcoming Movies — with tie-ins. Note that there is now a movie tie-in audio, at less than half the price of the original; a good opportunity to fill in missing or damaged copies.

    FEB 6, ’09

    Film Title: Coraline
    Director: Henry Selick
    Animated, 3D stop motion, featuring the voices of: Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane, Teri Hatcher
    Based on the book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

    Coraline Movie Tie-in Edition
    by Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean

    • Reading level: Ages 9-12
    • Paperback: $6.99; 176 pages
    • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (October 28, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0061649694
    • ISBN-13: 978-0061649691
    Coraline: The Movie Collector’s Edition
    Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean
    • Reading level: Ages 9-12
    • Hardcover: $19.99; 192 pages
    • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (October 28, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0061649708
    • ISBN-13: 978-0061649707

    Coraline Movie Tie-In CD 

    This a  low-priced ($9.95; the original was $22) movie tie-in version of the original unabridged audio, read by Neil Gaiman.

    • Audio CD: $9.95; unabridged
    • Reader: Neil Gaiman
    • Publisher: HarperChildrensAudio;  (October 28, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0061660167
    • ISBN-13: 978-0061660160
    Coraline Graphic Novel
    by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (Illustrator)
    • Reading level: Ages 9-12
    • Hardcover: 192 pages
    • Publisher: HarperCollins (June 24, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 006082543X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0060825430

    What Stephen King is Reading

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008


    Paste magazine asked various authors to pick the books they liked most this year.

    Stephen King says that 2008 marks his discovery of British thriller/suspense writer Robert Goddard. He calls the books “amazing tricks of conjury. Here are surprises that really surprise.”

    As King says, a “handful” of his books have been reissued in the U.S (large libraries I checked have about a dozen); a good opportunity for a display — “What Keeps Stephen King Up at Night.”

    (Thanks to Publishers Lunch for pointing this article out).

    Will the Real FDR Book Please Stand Up?

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

    What book was Barack Obama referring to when he appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday? He mentioned “a new book out about F .D. R.’s first 100 days,” but gave no author or title.

    According to the NYT, this lead to a scramble to figure out which book it might be. Speculation focused on three titles:

    1.  F D R: The First Hundred Days, Anthony J. Badger
    2. Nothing to Fear: F D R’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America, by Adam Cohen (due in January)
    3. The Defining Moment: F D R’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, by Jonathan Alter

    An Obama spokesperson brought an end to the debate late yesterday when it was revealed that the President-elect was referring to not just one, but two books; Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment and a title that didn’t even appear on the list of possibilities, F D R by Jean Edward Smith.

    Below are all four titles, in order by their rankings on Amazon as of this morning:

    #58 on Amazon:

    The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

    by Jonathan Alter

    • Paperback: $16; 432 pages
    • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 8, 2007)
    • ISBN-10: 0743246012
    • ISBN-13: 978-0743246019
    • Audio CD: Unabridged edition
    • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America; (May 28, 2006)
    • ISBN-10: 1572705531
    • ISBN-13: 978-1572705531


    #506 on Amazon

    F D R

    by Jean Edward Smith

    • Paperback: $29.95; 880 pages
    • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (May 13, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0812970497
    • ISBN-13: 978-0812970494
    • Audio CD: $34.95, Abridged 
    • Publisher: Random House Audio;  (May 15, 2007)
    • ISBN-10: 0739343440
    • ISBN-13: 978-0739343449


    #766 on Amazon
    F D R: The First Hundred Days
    Anthony J. Badger
    • Hardcover: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Hill & Wang (February 1998)
    • ISBN-10: 0809044412
    • ISBN-13: 978-0809044412

    This title is currently out of stock, but the NYT says the publisher is reprinting because of demand from booksellers.


    #23,651 on Amazon
    Nothing to Fear: F D R’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America
    by Adam Cohen
    • Hardcover: $29.95, 352 pages
    • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The (January 8, 2009)
    • ISBN-10: 159420196X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1594201967
    • Audio CD: Unabridged; 11 Audio CDs; Library Binder Pkg; $60.79
    • Publisher: Tantor Media;  (January 1, 2009)
    • ISBN-13: 978-1400110411

    Twilight Mania, AGAIN

    Monday, November 17th, 2008

    You may have thought you’d already lived through it, but Twilight Mania is back, with a vengance. 

    The movie opens next week. The NY Times reports on the thousand squealing fans who showed up for a mall appearance of the actor who plays Edward.

    You may remember the skepticism that accompanied his casting. Seems that’s over.

    The Times doesn’t mention it, but there is a paperback unauthorized biography of the 22-year-old actor. A few libraries have ordered it.

    This is just the beginning; the Times notes the rights to books two and three, New Moon and Eclipse have just been signed (The Hollywood Reporter says the deal also includes the final book, Breaking Dawn).

    Robert Pattinson: Eternally Yours 

    by Isabelle Adams

    • Paperback: $4.99; 192 pages
    • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (October 21, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0061765538
    • ISBN-13: 978-0061765537