Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Mass Market Paperback Title Tops LibraryReads for December

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

No Good Duke Goes UnpunishesFor several months on GalleyChat, we’ve been hearing about a book with a memorable title, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (HarperCollins/Avon; Brilliance Audio), so it’s no surprise to learn that it’s the #1 LibraryReads pick for December.

Published as a mass market paperback, this may put to rest one of the old fables about libraries; that they don’t buy paperbacks.

9780062068538It’s a good week for Maclean; her previous title in the Rule of Scoundrels series, One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, (HarperCollins/Avon) was selected by Kirkus as one of the 100 best fiction titles of the year.

We hope you’re already familiar with LibraryReads, the nationwide “library staff picks” program that identifies ten favorite titles each month.  Here’s how you can be part of it:

1) Nominate your favorite forthcoming books – info. on how, here

2) Promote the LibraryReads picks in your library, through your web site and newsletters by using the downloadable LibraryReads Marketing Materials

3) Read the LibraryReads picks and recommend the ones you like (many of the December titles are still available as e-galleys through Edelweiss and NetGalley)

Click here for our downloadable list of LibraryReads Dec titles, with ordering information and alternate formats. A list of all the titles to date is downloadable here; LibraryReads All Picks To Date.

National Book Awards Tomorrow Night

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Bleeding EdgeThomas Pynchon has given the National Book Awards a gift in the form of a publicity hook. He will not appear at the ceremony tomorrow night, even though his book, Bleeding Edge, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio) is one of the five finalists, giving both the New York Times and the Washington Post a headline.

Tomorrow night, will stream coverage of “red carpet arrivals and interviews,” live on their Web site at 6 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony, hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, broadcast on C-SPAN2 beginning at 7:40.

9780812993806For an insider’s look at the crazy process of creating the P&L for one of the fiction finalist’s books, George Saunders who is up for Tenth of December, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT), read Dan Menaker’s “What Does the Book Business Look Like on the Inside?,New York magazines’s excerpt from his memoir, published today, My Mistake(HMH). In the Daily Beast, he writes about the most under-appreciated books he’s edited, (not mentioning that the Saunders title received more attention than anticipated, beginning with the NYT Magazine cover story, “George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You’ll Read This Year“).

Washington Post critic Ron Charles, says his money for tomorrow night’s winner, is on Rachel Kushner’s “brilliant” novel,  The Flamethrowers,  (S&S/Scribner; Brilliance Audio).


Eleanor Catton on PBS NewsHour

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Award for The Luminaries, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Brilliance Audio), is currently making appearances in the U.S.

On  PBS NewsHour last night, Jeffrey Brown gave her a chance to explain her novel, which she herself calls a “publisher’s nightmare,” one that, says Brown, “all the reviewers [are] trying to figure out and explain to their readers.”

The book is currently at #19 and rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and, as we noted previously, holds are rising in libraries.

Link here for a  video of the NewsHour interview. Listen to Catton read from the book here.


Monday, November 11th, 2013

9780316074315-1Once again, the UK’s major book award, the Man Booker, has influenced readers in the U.S. Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Brilliance Audio), which was released here on the day the award was announced, has been on the NYT Fiction Best Seller list for two weeks and is showing heavy holds on modest ordering in most libraries.

Reviews appeared here shortly after the award was announced. All noted the book’s unusual length (834 pages), without calling it  overlong. Said Bill Roorbach (Life Among Giants, Workman/Algonquin, 2012) in the NYT Book Review, “as for the length, surely a book this good could never be too long.”

Nat’l Book Award Finalists Announced

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, today, David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Books and Chairman of the National Book Foundation, announced the finalists for the National Book Awards (winners to be announced on Nov. 20; the presentation of the awards will be hosted by the Morning Joe co-hosts, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough).

Download our spreadsheet, with ordering information and alternate formats, here: Nat’l Book Awards Finalists, 2013


Kushner, Rachel, The Flamethrowers, (S&S/Scribner)
Lahiri, Jhumpa, The Lowland, (RH/Knopf)
McBride, James, The Good Lord Bird, (Penguin/Riverhead)
Pynchon, Thomas, Bleeding Edge, (Penguin Press)
Saunders, George, Tenth of December, (Random House)



Lepore, Jill, Book of Ages, (RH/Knopf)
Lower, Wendy, Hitler’s Furies, (HMH)
Packer, George, The Unwinding, (Macmillan/FSG)
Taylor, Alan, The Internal Enemy, (W. W. Norton)
Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by (RH/Knopf)


Bidart, Frank, Metaphysical Dog, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Brock-Broido, Lucie,  Stay, Illusion, (Knopf)
Matejka, Adrian, The Big Smoke, (Penguin)
Rasmussen, Matt, Black Aperture, (Louisiana State)
Szybist, Mary, Incarnadine, (Graywolf Press)

Young People’s Literature


Appelt, Kathi, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Ages 8 to 12, (Atheneum)
Kadohata, Cynthia, The Thing About Luck, Ages 10 to 14, (Atheneum)
McNeal, Tom, Far Far Away , Ages 12 And Up, (Knopf)
Rosoff, Meg, Picture Me Gone, Ages 12 And Up, (Penguin/ Putnam)
Yang, Gene Luen, Boxers & Saints, Ages 12 to 17, (Macmillan/ First Second)

First U.S. Consumer Review of the Booker Winner

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Luminaries

The first consumer review of the Man Booker Prize winner, The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, published here yesterday (Hachette/Little, Brown), coincidentally the day the award was announced, is by novelist Chris Bohjalian in The Washington PostUPDATE: We’re wrong — it’s a close tie for which publication had the first U.S. consumer review. The Barnes and Noble Review released one on Oct. 15. It is also an excellent guide to appreciating the novel.

Not only is Catton the youngest person to ever win the Booker, but at over 800 pages, her book is the longest in the award’s history. Bojalian notes that he had to create his own “Cliff Notes” to keep the characters straight and that the book is “astoundingly complicated and almost defies explanation. Moreover, I can’t recall the last time I read a novel that left me so baffled. In the end, however, I was awed…”

He goes on to offer readers a handle on this Byzantine story about a group of characters in an 1860′s  New Zealand gold-rush town; “the key to following the story is to try to follow the money.”

The book, which had a modest announced first print run of 15,000 copies, jumped to #10 on Amazon sales rankings on the news of the award. If it follows in the footsteps of previous award winners, it will continue on to other best seller lists and enjoy healthy sales here.

Many libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering. It was only reviewed prepub after the longlist was announced by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Both publications starred it. It also appeared in the Millions preview of the  ”Most Anticipated” books of the fall.

9780316074322The author’s debut, The Rehearsal (Hachette/Back Bay) received praise from author Adam Ross (“a wildly brilliant and precocious first novel”) in the NYT Sunday Book Review when it was published in 2010. It is still in print in trade paperback.


Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

9780316074315-1The winner of this year’s Man Booker Award, just announced in London, is the youngest in the history of the award; Eleanor Catton, 28 wins for The Luminaries, (Hachette/Little, Brown). In a great stroke of timing, the book is being released in the U.S. today.

UK reviews – Telegraph; The Observer.

Alice Munro Wins Nobel Lit. Prize

Friday, October 11th, 2013

9780307596888_il_1The top 15 titles on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list, which represents the books that have seen the largest jumps in sales in the last 24 hours are, of course, by the newly-announced Nobel prize winner in literature, Canadian short-story writer, Alice Munro.

Five of her many titles rose into the top 100 (all published by Knopf):

#8 Dear Life (the hardcover rose to #95), her most recent collection

#14 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

#18 Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

#22 Runaway

#31 Selected Stories

This is the first time since Doris Lessing won in 2007 that the prize winner is an author who writes in English. The New York Times reports, “The selection of Ms. Munro was greeted with an outpouring of enthusiasm in the English-speaking world, a temporary relief from recent years when the Swedish Academy chose winners who were obscure, difficult to comprehend or overtly political.”

Winners in the last six years were:

2012 — Mo Yan, China

2011 — Tomas Transtromer, Sweden

2010  — Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru

2009  — Herta Müller Germany (born Rumania)

2008 — Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, Franch

Munro, who is 80, has said that she has retired from writing. Reminded of that in the telephone conversation recorded soon after she learned she had won (listen to it here) she opens the door a bit, saying “But this may change my mind.” She also says she hopes this award will bring new recognition to the short story, which is “often brushed off as something people do before they write their first novel.”


Awards Season

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Three major literary awards are being announced in the space of less than a week. To help keep track, see our schedule below.

This is  an opportunity to create displays of the contenders.

Thurs., Oct 10 — Nobel Prize in Literature

No shortlist — so contenders are anyone’s guess. The leading favorites in betting at Ladbrokes are:

Haruki Murakami (5/2)

Alice Munro, (4/1)

Joyce Carol Oates (8/1)

Further down the list is Bob Dylan (50/1) — we assume the prize would be for his lyrics. The Chicago Review Press has published  two volumes that examine every song Dylan wrote until 2006; Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973  and Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006, both by Clinton Heylin.

The Guardian’s pick is Javíer Marías (see our earlier story). His odds are only 33/1.

Tues., Oct 15 — Booker Winner 


We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo, (Hachette/Little, Brown)  – Consumer review links

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, (Hachette/Little, Brown) — coming next week — no U.S. consumer reviews yet; UK reviews – TelegraphThe Observer

Harvest, Jim Crace, (RH/Doubleday/Nan A. Talese) — Consumer review links

The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri, (RH/Knopf) – Consumer review links

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozseki, (Penguin) – Consumer review links

The Testament of Mary, Colm Tóibín, (S&S/Scribner)  - Consumer review links

Wed., Oct. 16 — National Book Awards Shortlists, to be announced on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

Downloadable llonglists:


Nat’l Book Awards – Nonfiction Longlist

Natl Book Awards- Poetry Longlist

Nat’l Book Awards; Young People’s Longlist

Nobel Prize Announcements Begin

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Betting is running high on Bob Dylan to win the Nobel prize in Literature, reports the Guardian. Daily announcements of the various prizes begin this week. The winner of the prize for literature will be revealed this Thursday.

Don’t get too excited, however, Dylan has been in the lead before. As the Guardian puts it, “Ladbrokes [the London betting agency] have made a killing on Dylan betting in years past … And they’d be fools not to give punters the option of giving them money in this way.”

InfatuationsConsidered a serious contender is Spanish novelist Javíer Marías. His latest title, The Infatuations, (Knopf; Spanish language edition, Los enamoramientos, Vintage Espanol) was published here in August.

The Millions noted earlier this year,

Each of [Marías's] last few books with New Directions [see listings here], translated by Margaret Jull Costa, set a new high-water mark—most recently, the mammoth trilogy Your Face Tomorrow. Now he’s made the jump to Knopf [downloadable list here; Javier Marias -- Knopf titles], which means you’re about to hear a lot about him. And deservedly so, it would seem: The Infatuations has already been called ‘great literature’ in Spain and ‘perhaps his best novel’ in the U.K.

As predicted, he book did receive attention here. It was reviewed in both the NYT Book Review and the Los Angeles Times.

I Am MalalaIn addition, another Nobel Prize, the Peace Prize, may go to an author. Malala Yousafzai, the now 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban last year for her campaign for women’s rights to education, is publishing her memoir this week, I Am Malala (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio).

Diane Sawyer landed aninterview with her, which is being featured all week on ABC, beginning with today’s Good Morning America, World News tonight and the full interview on 20/20 on Friday, the day the Peace Prize will be announced.  She also appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tomorrow.

Lahiri Nominated for Both Booker and N.B.A.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Proving the fluidity of nationality these days, Jhumpa Lahiri is now a contender for two national fiction awards for her novel, The Lowland, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print). She is on the Booker shortlist, limited to authors from the British Commonwealth and Ireland (she was born in London to parents who had immigrated from India). She is also on the longlist for the National Book Awards, announced today, which are limited to authors from the U.S. (her family moved to the U.S. when she was two).

The list also includes George Saunders’ collection of short stories, The Tenth of December(Random House; BOT), which was propelled onto best sellers lists earlier this year by the  NYT Magazine cover story, “George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You’ll Read This Year.”

The entire list, with annotations and links to selected reviews and author interviews is on the Book Beast web site. Full bibliographic information for all the titles is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Natl-Book-Awards-Fiction-Longlist.

This is the final of the four longlists; those for Young People’s Literature, Poetry and Nonfiction were announced earlier this week. Finalists will be announce on Oct. 16 and the winners on Nov. 20. 

Strong Showing for Norton on the NBA Longlist

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

NBA Longlist

As publisher of 3 of the 10 titles on the National Book Awards longlist announced today, W.W. Norton is tied with the much larger Random House for number of titles. They are also one of two independent publishers represented on the list; the other is Atlantic Monthly Press, with one title. (Full bibliographic information for all the titles is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Nat’l Book Awards – Nonfiction Longlist).

As NPR’s All Things Considered noted on Monday, the National Book Awards “have been criticized for nominating obscure authors whose books don’t sell as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize or the Man Booker Prize.” None of the titles on this  year’s nonfiction longlist would be considered esoteric, but few of them have received much attention to date. The most well-known is probably Lawrence Wright’s investigation into Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, (RH/Knopf).

In an attempt to steer away from “obscure authors,” notes NPR, the judging panels have added “nonwriters, including librarians and book sellers.”  However, only one bookseller is on a panel; Rick Simonson of Seattle’s Elliott Bay bookstore on the fiction panel. The sole librarian is Lisa Von Drasek, curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University of Minnesota (and EarlyWord Kids Contributor).

The full longlist, with annotations and links to reviews, is on the Book Beast web site. The fiction longlist will be announced tomorrow morning.


Nat’l Book Awards: Poetry Longlist

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013


Following yesterday’s announcement of the longlist for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature, the poetry longlist was announced this morning.

The Book Beast, which has the exclusive on the announcement, notes that the list includes “acknowledged masters like Frank Bidart, Lucie Brock-Broido, and Brenda Hillman; dynamic newcomers like Matt Rasmussen, and the decade-in-the-making follow-up to Mary Szybist’s debut, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Granted.”

The Book Beast annotates each title, with links to reviews and author interviews. Full bibliographic information is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Natl Book Awards- Poetry Longlist.

The nonfiction longlist will be announced tomorrow, followed by the fiction list on Thursday.

First Nat’l Book Awards Longlist

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The National Book Awards committee is working to create excitement about this year’s nominees. Taking a cue from other awards, the announcements will be rolled out slowly, with a longlist for each category, followed by shortlists on Oct. 16 and the winners announced on Nov. 20.

Adding more anticipation, and more opportunity for media coverage, the longlists of ten titles for each category are being announced each day this week, on the Book Beast:

Today –  Young People’s Lit. – Click here for the BookBeast listing with annotations and links to consumer reviews. Our downloadable spreadsheet with bibliographic information and alternate formats – Nat’l Book Awards; Young People’s Longlist

Tues. — Poetry

Wed. — Nonfiction

Thurs. — Fiction

Covers of the titles on the Young People’s Literature longlist below:


Man Booker Awards Open to US Authors Next Year

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The British literary world is “stunned,” reports the UK Independent, by the news that the influential Man Booker Awards will allow entries from U.S. authors next year.

The organizers say that excluding US writers is increasingly “anachronistic.” Indeed, nationalities are becoming more fluid. For instance, Ruth Ozeki, on the shortlist for A Tale for the Time Being, (Penguin/Viking), was born in New Haven CT., studied at Smith College, and now lives in both the U.S. and Canada. Jumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowland,  (RH/Knopf), was born in London to Indian immigrants, moved with her family to the U.S. when she was two, currently lives in Rome, but has said she considers herself American.