Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category

Closer to Screen: JONATHAN STRANGE

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Jonathan StrangePhotos from the set of the BBC production of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 best seller, are available via The Daily Mail.

The 7-part series, which Time magazine’s critic calls “Possibly my most-anticipated new TV show of the year” will air in the U.S. on BBC America, but no dates have been announced.

In its day, the book was also eagerly anticipated, as Michael Dirda’s Washington Post review makes clear. Although Clarke said in a 2004 interview that she plans to continue the story, the only book she has published since is a collection of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 2006).

The book is still in print. Media tie-in editions have not yet been announced.


Monday, January 6th, 2014

The GoldfinchHolds are heavy on Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio; Thorndike) and are likely to continue to rise. It jumped to #1 on Amazon’s sales rankings soon after Christmas, indicating that this was the gift people were disappointed not to find under the tree and that it will continue to sell in to the new year.


New York’s Frick Museum has been an unexpected beneficiary of the interest. It is host of a traveling exhibit from the Mauritshuis museum, which features the painting of the book’s title, Carel Fabritius’s The Goldfinch. The book was published just as the show opened, causing attendance to spike. The marquee piece of the show, Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, is now vying for attention with the lesser-known, tiny Goldfinch (one weird reflection of its popularity; the museum shop added a Goldfinch tote bag to the one featuring The Girl).

The painting has a power of it’s own, as Malcolm Jones attests in an appreciation of it in the Book Beast and was even featured in the Wall Street Journal back in 2010.

If you are planning a visit, take a look at 5 Things You Should Know About The Frick. The Mauritshuis exhibit runs through January 19.

Best Sellers of 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Slate explores the cultural implications from Amazon’s list of the year’s best sellers (still being updated as we near the actual end of the year, so the positions fluctuate a bit). In the top ten, The Great Gatsby, shows that “We’ll tolerate the occasional work of actual literature as long as it’s super-short and there’s a movie.”

Are our British cousins any more high brow? Not according to the list from Nielson’s Book Scan (published in the Guardian), where not a single classic appears in the top 100, movie-related or not.

Their list is as influence by popular culture as ours. At #1 is My Autobiography by Alex Ferguson (he’s “the most important football man of the past 25 years,” according to the Guardian‘s own, not particularly admiring, review). The rest of the list is dotted with tv and movie tie-ins.

perfect-pies   isbn9780297870470-detail

It seems the Brits are even more obsessed with their weight than we are. The Fast Diet is at #4 on their list, but  only comes in at #70 on ours. And, shudder, at #8, there is a book called The Hairy Dieters by some guys formerly known as “The Hairy Bikers,” who seem to have gone through a Paula Deen-like conversion (minus the racial slurs) from a less-than-healthy lifestyle exemplified by their previous titles like The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies (hope they wear hair nets).

Gangsta GrannyMany other titles are recognizable; Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which made its appearance in the UK in January, comes in at #3. Others, not so much; there’s British comedian/author David Walliams, who has 5 children’s titles on the list, including Gangsta Granny, adapted into a Christmas BBC TV special this year, but not yet available here. (The Guardian offers a deeper dive into the list).

Hope you enjoy making your own cultural comparisons.

Weird Story of the Year

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Fifty Shades of GreyFirst it was bed bugs in library books. Now it’s something weirder, but fortunately it may not require nuking.

In Belgium, researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven found that library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey tested positive for herpes and cocaine. Jan Tytgat, a professor of toxicology, told the The International Business Times that “the deposit on the books was too low to pose a threat to readers when leafing through the pages.”

No news on why, but for some reason the university tested books in the Antwerp Library, finding that heavily-borrowed books contain “25-40% more microbes on them than less-borrowed ones.”


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.”

USA TODAY: 20 Years of Best Sellers

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

USA Today Best-Selling BooksUSA Today Best-Selling BooksTwo decades ago, USA Today challenged the NYT as the publisher of THE recognized consumer best seller list (Publishers Weekly actually invented the idea in the early 1900’s; the NYT was a relative newcomer, beginning their list in 1942, but it held sway in the consumer’s mind as the arbiters of best sellers) by instituting a list with a difference. Rather than dividing it by age range and format, USA Today ran one inclusive list, offering a clearer snapshot of what Americans are reading.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, USA Today‘s Bob Minzeheimer takes a look at how tastes have evolved, from the demise of self-help, to the effects of changing formats and types of retailers.

Several observations ring true with what one would expect; children’s and YA books have grown in sales, more people are now buying through online retailers and reading e-books. On the other hand, is is surprising to note that the “Oprah Effect” was not long-lasting as might be expected; none of her picks was the top seller for its year and none appear in the top 25 books of each of the three eras of the USA Today lists.

We were pleased to be asked to comment for the story. Now we’d love to know your observations; tell us what you think has been the biggest changes in reading habits over the last twenty years.


Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The first image has just been released for the big screen adaptation of Suite Francaise, (RH/Knopf), which has finished filming in France and Belgium. Irène Némirovsky’s book, on which it is based, became a surprise hit when it was published in 2004, more than 60 years after the author’s death in Auschwitz.

The photo shows Michelle Williams as Lucile, from the second novella in the book Dolce. While her husband is in a WWII German prisoner of war camp, she is living with her mother-in-law in rural France. Behind her is Matthias Schoenaerts as the German officer who occupies their house.

The Weinstein Co. bought the U.S. distribution rights in April. It is expected to be released next year, but no specific date has been annnounced.

Directed by Saul Dibb, the film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley and Ruth Wilson.



Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The Light Between Oceans, Trade PbkThe debut word-of-mouth best seller, The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike), first spotted by librarians at last year’s BEA Shout ‘n’ Share panel, went on to become a best seller in hardcover and continue in trade paperback, at #14 after 21 weeks and is a reading group staple.

DreamWorks acquired the film rights and has just named Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) as the director according to Deadline.

The book trailer outlines the story:

ROOM To Movies

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

RoomThe 2010 surprise best seller, Room by Irish/Canadian author Emma Donoghue (Hachette/Little,Brown), is being adapted as a film, with the book’s author writing the script and Lenny Abrahamson directing, reports Deadline.

The novel features a story that has become familiar from news stories; a woman is kidnapped and forced to live in a small shed. In this case, the woman has a son who she tries to protect from the truth. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was featured on the majority of the best books lists for that year.

Best Seller Debuts: NIGHT FILM and BONE SEASON

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Night Film  Bone Season

Two heavily promoted titles debut on the USA Today best seller list. Night Film, by Marisha Pessl, (Random House; RH Audio) arrives at #13, with Samantha Shannon’s  The Bone Season, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury), the first title in the reinvented Today Show Book Club, close behind at #18.


Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Dark PlacesFilming began in Shreveport, Louisiana, this week for the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s second novel, Dark Places (RH/Crown). Photos of Charlize Theron on set were published in the U.K.’s Mail Online. Theron plays the lead role, Libby Day, a character that, says the publication, “shares a chilling similarity [with] her own childhood,” since both witnessed the murders of family members when they were children.

Gone Girl

Christina Hendricks recently joined the cast and will play a stripper [UPDATE: Hendricks has been given a larger role, as the murdered mother of the main character, played by Charlize Theron]. The film is currently scheduled for release on Sept. 1 of next year.

Work is also beginning on Gillian Flynn’s more famous third novel, Gone Girl (RH/Crown). Rumors that sites are being scouted in the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau created local excitement this week. David Fincher directs the movie which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Erotica Trumps Patterson

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

9780425267080On the new USA Today best seller list (download it here), the latest title by James Patterson, Mistress,  lands at #2, behind Maya Banks’ Burn (Penguin/Berkley; Brilliance Audio), the final book in her erotic trilogy, Breathless. This is the author’s  first time at #1 on the list.

Banks’s deal with Penguin/Berkley for the Breathless series was big news when it was announced, so big that it got covered by the Hollywood trade site, Deadline, even though no movie deal was attached.

This series makes use of less explicity erotic covers than some of Banks’s previous titles, featuring closeup photos of water, ice, and smoke.

The previous books in the series arrived in quick succession and both hit the USA Today list. Rush, published in February, arrived at No. 4 , and the second, Fever, hit No. 2 in April.

Letting Go (9780425272947), the first title in Banks’ next series, the Surrender Trilogy, (a spinoff of her earlier series, Sweet Surrender) will be published by Penguin/Berkley in February, 2014.


Monday, August 5th, 2013

One of the first people to single out Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling (Hachette/Mulholland; Hachette Audio) for special attention was one of LJ‘s mystery reviewers, Terry Jacobsen, formerly of Solano County (CA) Public Library, who made it LJ‘s Mystery Debut of the Month for April. Shortly after the author’s true name was revealed, Jacobsen was interviewed on CNN.

So, what is Jacobsen’s most recent pick? It’s…

Jump-the-Gun-Med-Res-Front-Cover-178x276Jump the Gun: An Annabelle Starkey Mystery #1, by Zoe Burke, (Poisoned Pen, simultaneous hdbk, trade pbk and large print; Blackstone audio)

Releasing tomorrow, Jacobsen describes it as, “Quickly paced and so clever, Burke’s debut is a winning semi-cozy caper, perfect for movie fans. She never misses a beat with her light rom-com banter, multigenerational ensemble, and sense of fun.”

See all of Jabobsen’s picks here.

SILENT WIFE an Official Sleeper Hit

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Silent WifeThe NYT‘s publishing reporter, Julie Bosman, has pronounced The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin, 6/25), the next Gone Girl, now that it has hit best seller lists (debuting on the NYT‘s own combined print and ebook list at #11).

The NYT is a bit late to the party (their reviewer, Janet Maslin, predicted a different novel, Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls, Hachette/Mulholland, would be the heir. The NYT has yet to review The Silent Wife). In libraries, holds have been growing steadily (we issued our first holds alert for it on July 2).

The article details the book’s publishing history and points out that Walmart has only just ordered it. Once copies begin selling there, it is likely to reach new heights on best seller lists.

One of our favorite mystery reviewers, Sarah Weinman writes in the New Republic about the appeal of the unlikeable heroine, as exemplified by The Silent Wife. Watch for Weinman’s forthcoming book, Troubled Duaghers. Twisted Wives, (Penguin) an anthology of stories by women crime writers. Her introduction should be required reading for all readers advisors.

GONE GIRL Movie Finds Its Amy

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Gone GirlFormer Bond Girl, Rosamund Pike has accepted the lead role of Amy in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (RH/Crown), opposite Ben Affleck, according to Entertainment Weekly. She most recently starred opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher.

Dark Places

The film is expected to begin production in September, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, production for a film based on the author’s previous title, Dark Places (RH/Crown), starring Chloe Moretz and Nicholas Hoult, is expected to begin in August.

The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles interviewed Flynn last week, who talked about the moment she realized Gone Girl was a hit.