Archive for the ‘Display Ideas’ Category

RA Opportunity: SERIAL

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

9781595581037_05a86  9780812994520_5655e  9781451657586_f00a4

Serial, a nonfiction podcast designed by the creators of This American Life, has become such an obsession, that fans gathered for “listening parties” for the final episode of the first season in mid December. Since the episodes are posted at 7:30 on Thursday mornings, at least one of these events, held at a Lower Manhattan bar, was dubbed “Serial and Cereal” (with a splash of Jameson’s in the coffee).

The debut season, which began in October, focuses on a Baltimore high school student found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison. Each week, Sarah Koenig, the host of Serial, examines the case and goes where the evidence leads, introducing a rich cast of characters and an immersive and suspenseful story that has become the most listened-to podcast in the history of the medium (see coverage in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Entertainment Weekly).

Libraries have responded to the interest. The Chicago Public Library offers a reading list that includes nonfiction and audiobooks, such as Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2014; OverDrive Sample) andThe Skeleton Crew by Deborah Halber (Simon & Schuster, 2014; OverDrive Sample), also linking to the Serial site.

The New York Public Library highlights six books on criminal justice for Serial fans, including The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (The New Press, 2010; OverDrive Sample). Fanwood Memorial Library in New Jersey also offers listeners guidance for next reading choices, including Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (Random House/Nan A. Talese, 1996; OverDrive Sample) and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House/Modern Library [reprint], 2013 ; OverDrive Sample).

In addition, Business Insider recently posted a list of suggested true crime books (such as Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me [Norton [20th Anniversary Ed], 2000; OverDrive Sample]) while BookRiot offers a list of audiobooks to try after Serial concludes (including Mary Roach’s Stiff  [Norton, 2003]).

There will be more. A second season has been announced, thanks to listener donations, although the subject and release dates have not yet been announced.

A Reading List for Cuba

Friday, December 19th, 2014

9780345381439President Obama’s decision to restore U.S. relations with Cuba has dominated the news cycle. The New York Times took the opportunity to create a reading list of 13 books on both Cuban history and Cuba’s relationship to the US.

Others have also jumped in. The Daily Beast scooped The Times by a day with the Five Book Best Books on Cuba while the San Rafael Public Library (CA) offers a lis  of fiction, nonfiction, and films.

Back in 2011,  novelist Oscar Hijuelos offered his selections on the site Five Books.

Beyond the Bun and Glasses

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

BuzzFeed creates those annoyingly effective numerical lists, such as:

17 Baby Elephants Learning How To Use Their Trunks

24 Things Everyone Experiences On A One Night Stand

71 Thoughts Every Woman Has While Bra Shopping

In a change of pace, they offer one for National Library Week, a good inspiration for book displays, 11 Literary Librarians Who Smash Stereotypes.

(Image via BuzzFeed and Flickr: 10409977@N06)


Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Sundance Film Festival ends this weekend and many of you may have figured out that the unifying theme of our book display challenge is “Books at Sundance,” the movies based on books that premiered at the festival.

Apparently, our contest was too obscure; nobody came up with the correct answer by Monday’s deadline. Many were partially right, that all the books are the basis for movies, but nobody caught the crucial timely element, that they will all be shown at Sundance. We are awarding some winners, nonetheless, who will receive copies of the coveted print galley of Rainbow Rowell’s forthcoming book, Landline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press). If you didn’t win, you can comfort yourself by downloading the egalley.

How are the films doing with critics? Jamie Marks is Dead, based on One for Sorrow received a mixed review from Variety; Life Itself, based on Roger Ebert’s memoir, is called “enthralling” by Entertainment Weekly; Low Down, about a noted jazz pianist, fared well with Variety‘s reviewer, but less so with The Hollywood Reporter‘s; White Bird in a Blizzard is called a “sci-fi sex romp” by The Guardian; garnering the most attention is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of a spy in A Most Wanted Man.

U. S. theatrical releases dates have not been announced for any of the films.

Life Itself, Roger Ebert   One for Sorrow   Low Down

 A Most Wanted Man   White Bird in A Blizzard

Titles (links are to WorldCat)

Life Itself, Roger Ebert, Hachette/Grand Central, 2011

One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak, Bantam Books, 2007

Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood, A.J. Albany, Bloomsbury/Tin House, 2003

A Most Wanted Man, John le Carré, S&S/Scribner, 2008

White Bird in a Blizzard, Laura Kasischke, Hyperion, 1999

Name That Display!

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Below is a virtual book display. What ties these books together and what title would you give the display? Email us with your answer (please also tell us how you came up with it) — put NAME THAT DISPLAY in the subject line (deadline, midnight, Eastern, Monday, Jan. 20).

The first to answer correctly wins a coveted print galley of Rainbow Rowell’s forthcoming book, Landline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press).

Note: if you don’t win, you can comfort yourself by downloading the egalley.

Life Itself, Roger Ebert   One for Sorrow   Low Down

 A Most Wanted Man   White Bird in A Blizzard

Titles (links are to WorldCat)

Life Itself, Roger Ebert, Hachette/Grand Central, 2011

One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak, Bantam Books, 2007

Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood, A.J. Albany, Bloomsbury/Tin House, 2003

A Most Wanted Man, John le Carré, S&S/Scribner, 2008

White Bird in a Blizzard, Laura Kasischke, Hyperion, 1999

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

Women’s (formerly Orange) Prize Longlist

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Gone Girl Bring Up the Bodies Life After Life

Will Gone Girl “Rob Hilary Mantel of the Hat Trick?” asks The Independent, following yesterday’s announcement of the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (title changed from the Orange Prize after the telecom company decided to end its 17-year sponsorship). Mantel has already won two major UK awards this year, the Booker and Costa prizes, for her second Tudor novel Bring Up the Bodies, (Macmillan/Holt). No author has won all three in one year.

Gillian Flynn’s word-of-mouth phenomenon has appeared on many best books lists and is nominated for an Edgar, but a nomination for a literary prize is particularly sweet. As Flynn tells The Independent, “I was incredibly thrilled by the news. It’s really nice especially for someone who writes stories with mystery as they aren’t always recognised so widely. I feel really proud.”

Also on the list are Zadie Smith’s NW (Penguin/Viking) and Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior(Harper). Both authors have won the award before.

One of  the longlist titles is forthcoming in the U.S. but has already been called a favorite of 2013 by librarians on EarlyWord‘s GalleyChat (Gillian Flynn goes even further. In a blurb on the book’s cover, she calls it “One of the best novels I’ve read this century”), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur, 4/2/13).

Previous prize winners include Madeline Miller last year for her debut novel, The Song of Achilles,(Harper/Ecco), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk about Kevin (Harper; 2005), Marilynne Robinson for Home (Macmillan/FSG; 2009) and Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (HarperCollins; 2002). This is an opportunity to create a display of all the past winners, as well as this year’s nominees.

The shortlist will be announced on April 16th and the winner of the £30,000 on June 5th.

Our downloadable spreadsheet, Women’s Prize, Longlist, gives U.S. publication information, as well as notes on how the titles were received here.

Mediterranean Diet Books Soar

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Mediterranean diet 9781118067789  cover-65

Reports on a new study that supports the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet caused several titles to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings. Stories appeared in multiple news sources, including the New York Times, USA Today and on TV.

NETFLIX Programming Based on Books

Friday, February 1st, 2013

House of Cards SpaceyNetflix begins streaming an original series today, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. The first two episodes of the 13-part series are directed by David Fincher (The Social Network). It is based on a BBC series (with the setting changed from the House of Commons to the House of Representatives), which in turn is based on a trilogy of novels by former British Conservative Party Chief of Staff and best-selling author in Britain, Michael Dobbs:

  • House of Cards (1989)
  • To Play the King (1992)
  • The Final Cut (1994)

The novels are no longer in print in the U.S., but several libraries own them.

House of CardsNPR covers the new venture today  and NPR’s movie critic, David Bianculli, gives House of Cards a thumbs up, saying it “is to Netflix what The Sopranos was to HBO…an identity maker and a game changer.” He also gives kudos to the original, a “wonderful British miniseries from 1990, which starred Ian Richardson as a career politician who spoke to the camera directly as he schemed and charmed his way through the corridors of power.”  That series is owned by libraries; if it is languishing on your shelves, now is the time to put it on display.

Netflix is currently at work on another series, based on a book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2010). It is being directed by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan.

Fleming. Ian Fleming

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

When Fleming and Bond had equal billing.

Recent James Bond movies have moved further and further from their origins in Ian Fleming’s series of novels (Wikipedia offers an exhaustive essay on the differences between the books and the movies). Skyfall, which opens next week isn’t based on an Ian Fleming book or short story (and thus, there is no tie-in novel, although there is a behind-the-scenes title, Bond On Set: Filming Skyfall by Greg Williams, Penguin/DK, 10/1/12). Unlike the first Bond movie, Fleming’s name is buried in the credits.

We haven’t yet reached the point where people are surprised to learn that the Bond character first appeared in a series of books. Movie reviewers are keeping his name alive. In his Newsweek review of Skyfall, historian Simon Schama mentions Fleming multiple times and calls Skyfall the best Bond movie yet (he also calls On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, “one of Fleming’s best books” and, the movie version, “stunningly shot and artfully written”).

Bond also continues in books, written by authors hand-picked by the Fleming estate. William Boyd accepts the mantle next, with an as-yet-untitled book, to be published in the fall of 2013, the 60th anniversary of the first Bond book Casino Royale. He will follow in footsteps of several others. Jeffery Deaver published Carte Blanche, in 2011 (S&S). It was a NYT hardcover best seller for 4 weeks. Sebastian Faulks’ Devil May Care (S&S, 2008) also spent a few weeks on the hardcover list. Raymond Benson published 6 titles from 1997 to 2002; John Gardner, 14 (the same number as Fleming wrote himself), from 1981 to 1996. Kingsley Amis, under the name of Robert Markham, was the first, with Colonel Sun in 1968.

Which Bond novels are the best? Several have offered their opinions:

GoodReads, Best/Favorite Bond Book, The Best James Bond Novels: Ranking the Fleming Originals

The TelegraphCarte Blanche: the greatest James Bond novels, Bond. James Bond

If you are doing Bond book displays, include James Bond’s guides to birds, if you own them. Fleming, a birding enthusiast, named his character after this American ornithologist.


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

If  you’ve seen Toby Jones as Hitchcock in the HBO movie, The Girl, you’ll want to compare his performance to Anthony Hopkins, in the trailer, below, for Hitchcock, set for a limited, Oscar-qualifying run beginning Nov. 23rd. That’s Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma (played by Imelda Staunton in the HBO movie).

Both movies are based on books:

The Girl —  Spellbound By Beauty, by Donald Spoto (RH/Three Rivers)

Hitchock — Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello (Dembner Books, dist. by W.W. Norton, 1990), being re-released as Hitchcock!: Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of PsychoSoft Skull Press, Dec. 24 (also, Blackstone Audio).

The original novel, Psycho, treated so disparagingly by Helen Mirren in Hitchcock, it still available in print as well as in audio.

Psycho, Robert Bloch, Overlook Press, 2010; Blackstone Audio

With the wealth of titles published about Hitchcock, this is a great time for a book display.


Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Below, director Joe Wright introduces a new, six-minute clip of his film of Anna Karenina (try to get past the surprisingly stilted into). Opening in theaters on November 9th, it stars Keira Knightly and Jude Law with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard.

Get those Russian-themed book displays ready.

Official Site:

Vintage is releasing a tie-in edition in October. The translation is by Tolstoy’s close American friends Louise and Aylmer Maude, originally published in 1918.

Anna Karenina (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Leo Tolstoy
Retail Price: $12.95
Paperback: 976 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2012-10-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0345803922 / 9780345803924

A 2004 Oprah book club pick, it is still available in that edition. Two of the beneficiaries of that pick were the husband-and-wife translators, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who, according to a story in the New York Timeshad never heard of Oprah or her club when they got the news that their translation was getting a new print run of 800,000 copies.

In reviewing this translation in the New Yorker, James Wood said the couple are “at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy’s ‘characters, acts, situations.'”

New Yorker editor David Remnick explored translations of Russian classics in depth in “The Translation Wars: How the race to translate Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky continues to spark feuds, end friendships, and create small fortunes.”

Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Retail Price: $17.00
Paperback: 862 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics – (2004-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0143035002 / 9780143035008


Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

When James Cameron’s The Titanic came out in 1997, publishers experienced a sudden windfall as the sales of over 30 backlist and new titles from a range of different publishers jumped onto best seller lists (resulting in the joke that it “floated all boats”).

Publishers are hoping that magic hits again, when the movie is rereleased in 3-D on April 4th, days before the 100th anniversary of the disaster. This time around, audiences will be offered another reenactment of the events in Julian Fellowes’ (Downton Abbey) two-part, four-hour series, Titanic, running April 14 and 15 on ABC. Fellowes has been on the offensive about the big-screen version, calling it inaccurate.

One of the books that experienced renewed sales the first time around was Walter Lord’s 1955 classic A Night to Remember (reissued in a 50th anniversary edition in 1996, with an intro. by Nathaniel Philbrick). It’s included in USA Today‘s extensive roundup of 25 available titles, as is the update of the movie tie-in (new forward by Cameron):

James Cameron’s Titanic
James Cameron
Retail Price: $24.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harper Design – (2012-03-06)
ISBN / EAN: 0062119389 / 9780062119384

Just one adult fiction title is featured in that list, The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. The author was profiled in the NYT prior to the book’s release in February. The approaching anniversary is bringing renewed attention; the book was reviewed by Carolyn See in The Washington Post on Friday and was recently featured as an adult book for teens in SLJ. The public is picking up on the connection; several libraries are showing heavy holds, as high as 8:1.

The Dressmaker: A Novel
Kate Alcott
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 322 pages
Publisher: RH/Doubleday – (2012-02-21)
ISBN : 978-0385535588


Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Today Show site offers “The Draper Papers,” a list of six titles that give a sense of that era, including two by ad execs. The contrast between the period covers and the updated versions demonstrates how much the show has stylized the past. (See also our earlier roundup of new titles by some other real mad men, and one woman.)

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front Line Dispatches from the Advertising War, Jerry Della Femina (S&S)

“For a nonfiction take on Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s three-martini lunches, office dalliances, and innovative ad campaigns, Della Femina’s frank and funny book is just the ticket. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner even cites the memoir as an inspiration for the series.”


Confessions of an Advertising ManDavid Ogilvy, (current edition, Southbank Publishing)

“Unlike Della Femina’s book, Confessions of an Advertising Man is more of an advertising handbook, dispensing advice and wisdom from Madison Avenue wunderkind David Ogilvy. Regarded as the father of modern advertising, Ogilvy lays down some mind-blowing concepts that can benefit many industries and business professionals.”

Booked for the Oscars

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Six of the nine Academy Awards Best Picture nominations were adapted from books. In all, thirteen movies based on books received nominations. Two of those titles, Hugo and The Descendants, also received nominations for Best Director [NOTE: Thanks to those that pointed out that we overlooked the Best Picture nomination for Hugo in the earlier version of this story. We have now corrected that oversight].

Hugo is regarded as the film that stands to gain the most from winning. Worldwide box office so far is about half the movie’s $170-million production cost. The L.A. Times quotes Scorsese,  “I think this could help the audience understand that it’s an enjoyable and very moving experience — that it has some depth to it.”

Below are the thirteen movies based on books that received major nominations, with links to an EarlyWord story about each. Full tie-in information is in our 2011 Books-to-Movies Archive (plenty of titles there for a book display, whether actual or online).

The Adventures of Tintin — Best Music (John Williams) — Tintin Teaser

Albert Nobbs — Best Actress (Glenn Close), Best Supporting Actress (Janet McTeer), Best Makeup — ALBERT NOBBS, The Book

The Descendants — Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Editing (Kevin Tent), Best Adapted Screenplay — What Makes George Clooney Run?

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow) — INCREDIBLY CLOSE This Christmas

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  — Best Actress (Rooney Mara), Best Cinematography (Jeff Cronenweth), Best Editing (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall), Best Sound Editing — Still Talking about DRAGON TATTOO

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 — Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects

The Help — Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) — Alternate Ending to THE HELP

Hugo — Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson), Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker), Best Music (Howard Shore), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay — Behind the Scenes with Hugo and Martin

Jane Eyre — Best Costume — JANE EYRE At the Box Office

Moneyball — Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Best Editing (Christopher Tellefsen), Best Adapted Screenplay — MONEYBALL Is Rolling

My Week With Marilyn — Best Actress (Michelle Williams), Best Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh) — THE MARILYN OBSESSION

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Music (Alberto Iglesias), Best Adapted Screenplay — The Anti-Bond

War Horse  — Best Picture, Best Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Best Music (John Williams, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing — Spielberg’s WAR HORSE