New Title Radar: Big Names, Media Hits, Week of Oct. 21

Sycamore Row   We Are Water   Goldfinch

The top three most anticipated books for next week, based on library holds are John Grisham’s  Sycamore Row, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT; RH Large Print), Wally Lamb’s We are Water (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print).

All titles highlighted here and more are listed, with full ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 21.

Grisham will have his usual publication-day sit-down with Matt Lauer on the Today Show on Tuesday. The new novel brings back Jake Brigance from the author’s very first novel, A Time To Kill. In addition to the Today Show, Grisham is also scheduled to appear on publication day on PBS’s Charlie Rose show, NPR’s Morning Edition and NPR’s Diane Rehm show.

Wally Lamb’s We are Water is both an IndieNext and a LibraryReads pick:

Annie Oh, a newly famous artist, sends her family into a tailspin when she announces her intention to marry her powerful gallerist, Viveca. While Annie’s husband Orion is devastated by the loss of his wife of 27 years, her children’s responses range from delight to denial. Good writing and distinct characters, personalities and voices.” — Katie Karkheck, Valley Cottage Library, Valley Cottage, NY

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, only her third in 20 years, is being reviewed widely. The NYT‘s Michiko Kakatani gave it a rare rave a full two weeks before publication as did Stephen King in his cover review of the NYT Book Review. The kudos continue to roll in, with “Dickensian” the favored description. It gets four stars and is designated a “Pick” by Peoplr. Entertainment Weekly is a holdout, giving it just a B-, marking it down for being, ” long on well-drawn incident but short on engaging plot.”

Media Magnets

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Barring  major breaking news that plays havoc with schedules, the media will be filled with books next week (see spreadsheet for full list). Dick Cheney gets double attention, as the subject of one book Days of Fire,(RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT)  and the author of another, Heart, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio;Thorndike) which book reveals that he nearly died in 2010, giving pundits the opportunity to wonder what might have happened if he had. Speaking of alternate histories, Jeff Greenfield speculates on how history would have been different If Kennedy Lived (Penguin/Putnam). Warren Buffet’s son, Howard, will be getting attention for his book on solving world hunger, 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World. Rounding it all out, incongruously, a poet will appear on The Colbert Report; Billy Collins, for his new collection, Aimless Love, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT).


The big movies based on books arriving next week are 12 Years A Slave, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup and Carrie., based, of course, on the Stephen King horror novel (links to the trailers on the right).

Several tie-ins to upcoming movies are being released next week:

9780316240055-1   9780449819609   9780143126454_42b6d-1

The Monuments Men, Robert M. Edsel, (trade pbk; Back Bay Books; premium mass mkt ed., Little, Brown; audio, Macmillan Audio)

Widely expected to be an Oscar shoe-in, this movie, opening Dec. 18, features a marquee full of major stars;  George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. In addition to The Monuments Men, Edsel published another book in May on the rescue of art works in WW II, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, (Norton). Several other books and a documentary have also been released about the story (see our earlier post). Trailer here.

How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff, (RH/ Ember)

Based on a Meg Rosoff’s debut novel, a Printz Award winner published in 2004, before the term “YA dystopian novel” was common, this film is directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Of Scotland) and stars Soairse Ronan as Daisy, an American teenager who is sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside just before World War III breaks out. The movie opens in selected theaters on Nov. 8. Trailer here.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, (Penguin Books)

At 46, Helena Bonham Carter is one of the youngest actresses to play the part of Miss Havisham (she is edged out slightly by Gillian Anderson, who was 43 when she starred in the BBC TV miniseries). The film’s director, says, however, “if you read the book she’s actually in her 40′s.” The movie opens on 11/9. Trailer here.

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