Archive for November, 2009

Oprah Announces End of Show

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

A  tearful Oprah explained her decision to say “goodbye” live on her show Friday.

Well, not goodbye quite yet — the show continues through September 9, 2011; quite a long goodbye. The Oprah site is already featuring her “Top Twenty Moments” (a lot of weeping and, yes, the Book Club is one of the moments and, no, the Sarah Palin interview is not, nor is Tom Cruise’s).

Actually, we may be saying hello to even more Oprah in the future, as the Discovery Network Health channel morphs into the Oprah Winfrey cable network, OWN, in January 2011. Officially, Oprah has said she will not bring the Oprah Winfrey Show to the Oprah Winfrey Network, but news sources, such as  the LA Times, are already predicting she will do a daily show on OWN.

Big Titles; Week of 11/23

Friday, November 20th, 2009

When Michael Chrichton died last year, he left two books, Pirate Latitudes, which releases next week and an unfinished thriller.

Of the titles coming out next week, those by Chrichton, Koontz, & Butcher lead in holds. Butcher has the highest holds to copies ratios.



Butcher, Jim, First Lord’s Fury
Chrichton, Michael, Pirate Latitudes

Pirate Latitudes
Michael Crichton
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2009-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061929379 / 9780061929373

HarperAudio: 9780061930256; $34.99

HarperLuxe: 9780061929403; pbk; $27.99

Audio downloadable from OverDrive

Entertainment Weekly gives Pirate Latitudes a C, saying Crichton should not be remembered for this “hackneyed historical novel filled with bosomy maidens and blustery old navy dialogue.” but, “Crichton’s great talent was writing books that were virtually impossible to put down, even when they were bad. Pirate Latitudes is no exception.” Spielberg bought the film rights back in August (Jurassic Park with pirates?).


Jin, Ha, A Good Fall

A Good Fall: Stories
Ha Jin
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2009-11-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0307378683 / 9780307378682

Blackstone Audio: CD 9781441711458: $29.95

Book and audio downloadable from OverDrive

This collection of stories by 1999 National Book Award winner, Ha Jin gets the lead review and 3.5 of a possible 4 stars in People‘s “Books” section this week. The stories feature people who leave China to try for a new life in the U.S. People says Jin “writes with humor about it means to be a bewildered stranger in a strange land.”

Koontz, Dean, Breathless
Roker, Al, The Morning Show Murders
Wambaugh, Joseph, Hollywood Moon



Sklenicka, Carol Raymond Carver
Bradley, James The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
Scottoline, Lisa, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman



Hunter, Erin, Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice

Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice
Erin Hunter
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins – (2009-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061555096 / 9780061555091

Book downloadable from OverDrive

Say It Isn’t So, Oprah!

Friday, November 20th, 2009

It looks like it may be real this time. Oprah told her staff yesterday that her last show will be on Sept 9, 2011. She will make an official announcement on her show today.

According to reports, she wants to concentrate on her cable network, OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network, natch), planned for launch in January, 2011.  Variety reports,

Insiders said new episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show won’t be moving to OWN, but Winfrey will have a daily presence on the channel via series, specials or promos.

At the very least, OWN will have the rights to the entire 25-year Oprah Winfrey Show catalog beginning in September 2011.

Book publicists around the city may be referring to today as “Black Friday.”

More Best Books

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Library Journal has just released its Best Books list. As we’ve come to expect, there are few overlaps with the other lists that have appeared to date.

But, perhaps with a business a diverse as book publishing, we should be more interested in differences than similarities. In the list intro, LJ‘s Book Review editor, Barbara Hoffert says the editors were looking for “unique voices” as well as “highlighting what might otherwise be lost.” No wonder many of the titles are not familiar.

LJ notes that sister publication, PW caught flak for their Top Ten list, because it includes no female authors. Of LJ‘s 31 Best Books, 11 are by women, or about one third of the list. Although that’s much better then PW‘s Top 10, it’s similar to PW‘s Top 100 which includes 30 women.

This year, LJ added Street Lit to their selection of best titles in the genres.

It’s a genre that appears to be going mainstream. PUSH, originally published over 13 years ago, is now #1 on the NYT Pbk. Trade Fiction list after 11 weeks, due buzz around the movie. A street lit title that has not benefited from media attention, The Cartel 2, by Ashley JaQuavis, has been on the extended list for two weeks, which may be the first time a book published by a small, street-lit focused publisher (Urban Books) has appeared on the NYT list. Two of Urban Book’s titles appear on LJ‘s list.

An even surer sign that street lit is getting notice from main street; the Wall Street Journal‘s Op/Ed page recently railed against the genre (‘Precious’ Little of Value in Ghetto Lit) and mentioned that, horrors, libraries are stocking the genre; “Even libraries now stock gangster-lit novels, because they bring new readers in the door.”

Barbara Genco, Collection Management Editor for Library Journal, and her Pratt LIS students put together a useful guide to street lit resources for the recent BEA, available here.

We’ve updated the Bests — Titles Selected by Three or More — Spreadsheet.

National Book Award Winners

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

In case you haven’t heard already, the National Book Award Winners were announced last night.

In the L.A. Times “Jacket Copy” blog, Carolyn Kellogg reports on the event; the dinner was “dwonsized” from last year’s lamb to chicken. The New York Times‘ book beat reporter Motoko Rich not only tweeted as the NBA was in progress, she posted interviews and stories in the “Arts Beat” blog (her full story in the newspaper is here).

Claudette Colvin, the subject of the winning Young Adult Literature title was at the dinner and joined author Phillip Hoose on stage.

Book TV will be running video of the event on Sat 8pm & Sun 10am ET



Let the Great World Spin
Colum McCann
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2009-06-23)
ISBN / EAN: 1400063736 / 9781400063734

eBook downloadable from OverDrive


The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
T.J. Stiles
Retail Price: $37.50
Hardcover: 736 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-04-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0375415424 / 9780375415425

Books on Tape; UnAbr; 9781415965917; $100
Audiobook and eBook downloadable from OverDrive


Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy (New California Poetry)
Keith Waldrop
Retail Price: $19.95
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: University of California Press – (2009-03-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0520258789 / 9780520258785

Young People’s Literature

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Phillip M Hoose
Retail Price: $19.95
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) – (2009-01-20)
ISBN / EAN: 0374313229 / 9780374313227

Brilliance Audio

  • CD Unabr Lib Ed; 9781441802378; $59.97
  • MP3-CD Unabr Lib Ed; 9781441802392; $39.97

Audiobook downloadable from OverDrive

Strange Feline Tricks

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A shoutout out to the 14 libraries who, according to WorldCat discovered Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs before we spied it in the new issue of People (thank heaven; it’s a welcome relief from all those photos of the 110 Hottest Guys on the Planet).

Sadly, it seems the book is currently out of stock.

Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs
Julie Jackson
Retail Price: $14.95
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books – (2009-09-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0811867048 / 9780811867047

S&TC, the Prequel

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

How many times has Gossip Girl been called “Sex and the City for Teens”?

Come May, there will be an actual S&TC for teens, when Candace Busnell publishes The Carrie Diaries, the first of two fictional diaries supposedly written by Carrie Bradshaw as a teenager.

The grownup version of Carrie will appear in theaters in May, with the release of Sex and the City 2.

Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog gives a sneak peek at the cover and so do we:

The Carrie Diaries
Candace Bushnell
Retail Price: $18.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen/Balzer + Bray – (2010-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061728918 / 9780061728914

HarperChildrensAudio; 5/1/10; UNAB; 978-0061983948; $25.99

Time for Baking

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A recipe for spicy caramel corn from The Craft of Baking featured in the “Cooking with Dexter” column in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine was all it took to send the book rising on Amazon.

Who could resist that cover?

The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own
Karen DeMasco, Mindy Fox
Retail Price: $35.00
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0307408108 / 9780307408105

Hudson Miracle Dispute

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

First there was Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s autobiography, Highest Duty, with his account of the miraculous landing on the Hudson that brought him to fame. In it, Sullenberger says, as he has from the beginning, that credit for the feat should not go to him alone, but to the teamwork of everyone involved.

Now comes a different take. In the book, Fly By Wire, William Langewiesche says there’s another member of the team that hasn’t received the credit it deserves; the Airbus’s automation system.

Sullenberger recently shot back, saying that Langewiesche “greatly overstates” the importance of the plane’s equipment.

Library users are with Sullenberger; holds are much higher for his book than Langewiesche’s, as are number of copies.

Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters
Chesley B. Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow
Retail Price: $25.99
Roughcut: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061924687 / 9780061924682

HarperAudio, 9780061953255, UNAB. $39.99
HarperLuxe, 9780061927584, pbk, $25.99
Audio and eBook downloadable from OverDrive

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson
William Langewiesche
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2009-11-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0374157189 / 9780374157180

Tantor Audio available 12/21/09. Read by David Drummond

  • 5 Audio CDs (Retail Pkg); 9781400115464; $29.99
  • 5 Audio CDs (Library  Pkg) : 9781400145461; $59.99
  • 1 Mp3-CD (Retail  Pkg); 9781400165469; $19.99

I’m In Love with a Dump Truck

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Has everyone seen The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler?

I could shout from the rooftops. It’s not just another truck book with bold graphic child-friendly pictures, you can sing it (think “I’m a little teapot”);

I’m a little dump truck
Run by Hard Hat Pete.
Driving down the street.

Pre-school teachers are knocking each other out of the way to get their hands on my review copy. Buy a stack; children’s librarians will be hoarding them for story time.

Little Dump Truck, The
Margery Cuyler
Retail Price: $12.99
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) – (2009-09-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0805082816 / 9780805082814

Holiday Crafts & Programs

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Hold the presses! When I did my recent round-up of holiday craft books, I let one slip through the cracks.

My favorite cookie baking book of all time has been Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Really; it was all that anyone needed for the holidays.

Rose’s Christmas Cookies
Rose Levy Beranbaum
Retail Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks – (1998-11-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0688101364 / 9780688101367

Then last year came Cookie Craft: From Baking to Luster Dust, Designs and Techniques for Creative Cookie Occasions by Valerie Peterson  and Janice Fryer. Sweet! I learned how to make fancy cookies like those you see in pastry shops; how to make cookies in beautiful shapes and cool designs that not only looked good but were tasty too. The price of the book was worth it just to for the tips on how to roll out the dough, and when to put it in the fridge. Plus, the professional design techniques are inspiring.

When I was at the Brooklyn Public Library, we had a cookie decorating program that was an amazing success. We could have used Peterson and Frye’s tips on how to make and freeze quantities of cookies for decorating.

With Cookie Craft Christmas, my new rolling pin and a couple of gingerbread people cookie cutters, I am ready to go.

Cookie Craft Christmas: Dozens of Decorating Ideas for a Sweet Holiday
Valerie Peterson, Janice Fryer
Retail Price: $14.95
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company – (2009-10-07)
ISBN / EAN: 1603424407 / 9781603424400


Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

On NPR’s Fresh Air last night, Joshua Kosman, author of The Buyout of America, spoke to Terry Gross about how private equity companies work. Kosman believes that their practices are leading to another credit crisis.

The book rose to #117 (from #4,194). Libraries own modest quantities, with holds averaging 1:1.

The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis
Joshua Kosman
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover – (2009-11-12)
ISBN / EAN: 1591842859 / 9781591842859

Downloadable eBook from OverDrive.

TOKYO VICE on The Daily Show

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

When you make Jon Stewart laugh this much, it’s great for book sales. Jake Edelstein’s Tokyo Vice went to #95 (from #201) on Amazon after this appearance last night.

As we noted earlier, Edelstein was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air last week. Tokyo Vice was reviewed in the Boston Globe on Thursday.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Jake Adelstein
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis


Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
Jake Adelstein
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2009-10-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0307378799 / 9780307378798

Audio and eBook downloadable from OverDrive.

Atlantic’s Best Books

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The Atlantic magazine’s literary editor wades into the fraught waters of best books lists, selecting the Top Five, plus 20 runners up.

As we have come to expect, there is little agreement with other list. Of the 25 titles, just four also appear on Amazon’s Top 100 and one on PW‘s Top 100. None appeared on either of the other pub’s top ten and none are National Book Award finalists.

Below are the titles that appear on more than one list:

Byatt, A.S., The Childrens Book — Amazon #88 and Atlantic Top Five

Davis, Lydia, Collected Stories — Amazon #56 and Atlantic Runner Up

Mantel, Wolf Hall — Amazon #3 and Atlantic Runner Up

Munro, Alice, Too Much Happiness — Amazon #30 and Atlantic Runner Up

[Ed, Note: Earlier, Gordon Wood’s Empire of Liberty was on this list. We are not sure how his name slipped in, but while his book was chosen for two best books lists, he is definitely not a woman.]

The  Atlantic list is heavily weighted towards nonfiction, particularly history and biography;  just six fiction titles are on the list of 25.

As to the women authors; two of the top five are women, and 9 of the total 25, which works out to 36% of the list, a higher ratio than the other lists.

Again this year, we are posting links to all the major best books lists (at right), as well as compiling the selections into one spreadsheet;  Bests — All Adult Titles — Spreadsheet.

We’re only linking to the major national list, but the Largehearted Boy is compiling links to EVERY best books list (as well as all the best music lists). He claims to be a Web developer, but we’re guessing he was a librarian in another life.

Important New HIV/AIDS Title

Monday, November 16th, 2009

If you go into the 600’s at my library looking for books on HIV/AIDs, you are unlikely to find any. I patiently explain to faculty that the research in this area is changing quickly and I have weeded most of the dated titles, keeping only memoirs like Pedro and Me. I recommend websites and articles in databases for students and faculty for current information.

That’s why I was particularly happy to discover an important new YA title, Quicksand: HIV/AIDS In Our Lives by Anonymous (Candlewick). Written in a caring yet passionate tone as a first-person account of what it is like to learn that someone in your family has contracted the disease, the book covers a range of topics like diagnosis, false fears, the stigma of having HIV, the toll on family and friends, and the current medical care and research

Quicksand: HIV/AIDS in Our Lives
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Candlewick – (2009-11-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0763615897 / 9780763615895

Also included is a very helpful selected bibliography. I am checking it to make sure these resources are easily accessible to our community.