Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

Get Ready: Titles To Know, The Week of April 14

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The CollectorNext week is light in terms of releases from big-name repeat authors, but Nora Roberts is guaranteed a #1 spot on best seller list with The Collector, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Large Print; Brilliance Audio), a standalone hardcover. Booklist stars it, saying, “Roberts is performing at the top of her literary game, and the novel’s opening nod toward Rear Window should clue readers in to the fact they are in for an addictive blend of sleek suspense and sophisticated romance that would make Hitchcock proud.”

Below are a few other titles to have on the tip of your tongue (download our spreadsheet for ordering information on these and more titles arriving next week):

AxeFactor-199x300The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Mystery, Colin Cotterill, (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Highbridge Audio)

If the title alone doesn’t sell you, this LibraryReads annotation may do the trick:

“I love this sharply-written and quirky cozy mystery. Jimm Juree is a wonderful character, slyly funny and insightful, with an oddball cast of family and friends to back her up. Set in coastal Thailand, this is a laugh-out-loud funny mystery with plenty of great twists and turns that will keep readers guessing.” – Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Until You're Mine Until You’re Mine, Samantha Hayes, RH/Crown

Word of mouth is building for this thriller.  It gets “much love” from ten  readers on Edelweiss, plus this passionate review from a bookseller, “When it comes to mysteries, I really treasure the authors who keep me guessing every time: Sophie Hannah, Mo Hayder, Michael Robotham, Tana French, Gillian Flynn – and now Samantha Hayes. I thought I had the book all figured out, but kept reading anyway because the story sucked me in. I’m glad I did, because the ending blew me away: I honestly had no idea what was coming. ” All four prepub reviews were strong and Entertainment Weekly features it this week with a B+, saying  ”Hayes plants the seeds of suspense early, and they gestate until a truly spectacular ending bursts forth.”

The Kind Mama

The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, Alicia Silverstone, Rodale Books

Back in 2010, the Oprah Show launched Alicia Silverstone’s book on the vegan lifestyle, The Kind Diet, into public consciousness and onto best seller lists. Expect Silverstone to make the talk show rounds for her new book on motherhood (she’s camera-ready, proving it with book trailer released back in November) which addressed the hot-button question, “When did making babies get to be so hard?”

Early April Kids Books to Love

Friday, April 4th, 2014

We’re being showered with some great kids books this month. Below are some new arrivals that caught my eye (for my picks of YA titles, click here).

The Pigeon Needs a BathThe Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Mo Willems, Hachette, Disney-Hyperion

Over ten years ago four-year-olds everywhere screamed, denied, and prevented a small blue pigeon from driving a bus. Pigeon has found a hotdog, wanted a puppy, longed for a cookie, stayed up late and I am pretty sure that we are not surprised that now he needs a bath.

9780316The Adventures of BeekleThe Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, Dan Santat, Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Beekle is a doughy white roundish creature with a golden crown. He is an imaginary friend who lacks a child. Beekle impatiently waits in the land of imaginary creatures for his perfect match until he just can’t wait any longer and journeys off to find the child himself. Santat has created a fantasy world of helpful imagined companions. We meet a navy blue octopus who seems to have mehndi designs trailing up its tentacles, a cheerful wind cloud who helps fly a kite, and a playful salamander-like creature; all part of a community of children in a familiar yet strange landscape saturated with color.

Have You Seen My Dragon?

Have You Seen My Dragon?, Steve Light, Candlewick

Counting from 1 to 20 we wander the street of Manhattan as a the eponymous dragon hides in plain sight. Light’s retro crowded pen and ink drawings evoke the hustle and bustle of the big city with judicious spots of color to help young readers find the 2 red hotdogs in golden buns, 3 purple buses and so on and so on.

Cowy Cow , Chris Raschka, Abrams/Appleseed

When I found out that Abrams Appleseed was bringing the Thingy Thing books back in print, I did cartwheels. When I found out that they were adding 4 new titles right away, I did hand springs. Okay not really, but my heart did. I have adored these simple stories that are just right for the emergent readers since the silly Moosey Moose who pined for long pants to wear on his antlers. Don’t worry, kids get the joke.

Ninja Ninja Never Stop

Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!, Tad Carpenter, Abrams Appleseed

Picture books about ninjas abound:

The Boy who cried Ninja, Alex Latimer, Peachtree Publishers

Wink the Ninja Who Wanted To Nap, J.C. Phillipps, Penguin/Viking Juvenile

The Three Ninja Pigs, Corey Rosen Schwartz, Dan Santat, Penguin/Putnam Juvenile

Nighttime Ninja, Ed Young, Barbara DaCosta, Hachette/Little, Brown

This one with its bold graphics and bouncy rhyme is a delightful romp.

The 12-Story Treehouse   9781250026910_deb21

A year a go I proclaimed my adoration of Andy Giffiths, author of The 13-Story Treehouse, illustrated by Terry Denton, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends). It bears repeating, especially now that there’s a sequel, The 26-Story Treehouse :

Are you a little sick of the refrain, “Boys don’t read … boys stop reading … boys can read but don’t”?

My not-so-secret weapon is Andy Griffiths. Got a third grader who isn’t in to reading yet? Give him Griffiths and Denton’s The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow! and The Cat on the Mat is Flat. It can mean the difference between a kid becoming a life-long non-reader or a fluent confident reader who knows there are books out there to be enjoyed.

This new title is a not-so-tongue-in-cheek memoir of Andy and Terry who live in a 13-story-treehouse, with all the fantasy rooms a kid could dream up; a see-through-pool, a basement laboratory, a marshmallow shooting cannon, a shrink ray AND the ability to transform a cat into flying catnary (click on the cover to see treehouse in its full glory). Let’s not be sexist about the appeal of this volume. All genders of third graders will be fighting over it.

Register with SLJ and you can have a class/ library visit with Andy Griffiths live from the Twin Cities Rock Star Supply Co.

Early April YA Titles

Friday, April 4th, 2014


Below are three YA titles to add to your pile of kids books to love in early April (see for my picks for younger kids here):

The Here and NowThe Here and Now, Ann Brashares, Delacorte Press

The new book by author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, is a very different kind of novel. Prenna might seem like an ordinary teenager but she is not. She is a member of a community of time travelers who have landed in the present from a devastating plague ridden future. Her movements, her contacts with others, and her very conversations are circumscribed by “the twelve rules” put in place to keep them safe and not disturb the time. Yet, how much can Prenna trust that the leaders have their members best interest in mind when she knows that any misstep could cause a person’s removal or death at the hands of those pledged to keep them safe? A page turner.

The Ring and the crownThe Ring and the Crown, Melissa de la Cruz, Disney-Hyperion 

Sweeping romance, alternative history with Franco/Anglo crown, where there was no American Revolution, and internecine royal conflict threaded with magic construct a compelling and riveting fantasy novel, plus a crazy great book trailer.  Do not miss.

Vigilante PoetsThe Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, Kate Hattemer, RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers

Brainy outsiders? “Look at me” theater gleeks? Handsome popular guy? Cool English teacher? Villainous administrators? Outsized crushes? Just an ordinary Minneapolis arts high school until a reality show takes residence. It’s all down hill from here, unless the Vigilante Poets can save the day in this outstanding debut novel.

Get Ready: Seven Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles, Week of March 31

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Finally arriving next week, as we turn the corner to the spring book season, is a novel that both librarians and booksellers can’t wait to get in to readers’ hands, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.

Among the big names arriving are new books by Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Brian Freemantle (download our spreadsheet for ordering information on these and more).

Below are seven to have on the tip of your tongue:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio; Thorndike)

After an extraordinary amount of  advance buzz, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, finally arrives on shelves next week. It is the #1 pick for April for BOTH LibraryReads and IndieNext. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a galley, scroll through the reviews on Edelweiss to get a sense of how much excitement this novel is generating among your colleagues.

Here’s the response from someone who has read the book in depth, the audio narrator Scott Brick:

I’ve been blessed to narrate over 600 audiobooks thus far, and this book instantly pushed its way to the top of my list of absolute favorites. I told someone recently that I wish I could redo the book, and they asked, ‘Why, did you not like the way it turned out?’ I said ‘No, I just wish I could have that experience of reading every word again over and over again.’

Wendy Bartlett from Cuyahoga P.L. suggests, “Read this one before the customers find it.”

A.J. Fikry is a lonely and grumpy young widower whose life is transformed by the power of story. The wonderful Gabrielle Zevin (and if you don’t already have a favorite Gabrielle Zevin title, honey, where have you been??) begins each chapter in Fikry’s life with a page about a great book or short story whose theme is explored as you turn pages—like Eudora Welty’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” for instance. [NOTE: Thanks to the commenter who pointed that we confused the attribution -- the author of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is actually Flannery O'Connor. Our apologies -- Zevin has the proper attribution in her book].

But you (or your customers) don’t have to know the stories or books to enjoy this paean to booksellers, book people, and readers. Okay, sure, it’s set on a gorgeous island in the bookstore we’ve all wanted to own, with the townspeople we’ve all wanted to live next to. It’s a universal story with a bookstore setting, and I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling it except know this: you’ll be utterly and completely charmed.

Flash BoysMichael Lewis, Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio)

Every new title by Lewis is an event and like his other books, this one is embargoed, so there hasn’t been much  information to go on, other than the author’s stunning track record as someone the media hotly pursues (the media blitz begins on Sunday with 60 Minutes and includes the Today Show on Tuesday, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Daily Show with Jon Steward. Download full Michael Lewis Media Roundup). More information emerged yesterday when the International Business Times broke the embargo, saying the book  ”Shines Light On High-Frequency Trading,” a practice that enables banks to “Screw Their Customers.” The promotion for the 60 Minutes segment, released today, is headlined, “Stock Market Rigged, Says Michael Lewis in New Book.”

Frog MusicEmma Donoghue, Frog Music,  (Hachette/Little, Brown)

Most libraries have bought this one conservatively, but early consumer reviews indicate that, although quite different from Donoghue’s best selling Room, it will find its own large audience. In addition to Ron Charles’s rave in the Washington Post, it’s the lead book review in this week’s People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars and the author is profiled in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review.

Under MagnoliaFrances Mayes, Under Magnolia, (RH/Crown; BOT; Thorndike)

Mayes is known, of course, for her books that made everyone dream of restoring a falling-down ruin in Tuscany. In this one, she examines her troubled childhood in Georgia. The prepub reviews are extraordinarily enthusiastic, indicating this one bears watching.

Off CourseMichelle Huneven, Off Course, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton Books)

Expect reviewers to be jumping on this one, based on the critical success of the author’s previous title, Blame, a National Book Critics Circle finalist. The L.A. Times review is the first one. It includes this intriguing line, “What Huneven so skillfully points out here is that love triangles, torrid affairs and the like are not just reserved for protagonists in Jackie Collins airplane novels.” Plus, we’re taken with that cover, which looks like something from Ransom Riggs’ collection.

The Harlem HellfightersMax Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters, (RH/Broadway)

The book we most often see people reading on the subway is Brooks’s World War Z (before Brad Pitt turned it into something unrecognizable). Brooks’s new one is graphic novel about an actual war and an actual group of soldier; the black World War I regiment nicknamed, “The Harlem Hellfighters.” Sony has picked it for a big screen adaptation.

The Goblin Emperor

Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor, (Macmillan/Tor Books)

As we head in to the new season of Games of Thrones, readers may be interested in other fantasy books that explore politics and power. This one has extraordinary pre pub reviews, such as LJ‘s; “Court intrigue and politics are popular fodder for fantasy novels, but rarely have they been done better than in this fantastic new novel from Sarah Monette (writing as Addison). The writing is lovely, with characters who live and breathe.” It is also a GalleyChat favorite.

Get Ready: Four Titles You Need to Know The Week of March 24

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In addition to the several titles by known quantities arriving next week (e.g., Tempting Fate by Jane Green, which gets 3.5 stars in this week’s People magazine and the author is called, “one of the first ladies of chick lit”) below are four titles you need to know.

These and other notable titles arriving next week are listed, with alternative formats and full ordering information, on our downloadable spreadsheet

A Call to Action   Thrive, Huffington

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, Jimmy Carter, (S&S; S&S Audio)

The former president has what publicists call a “platform,” meaning easy access to the media. For this book, on violence against women and girls around the world, he is scheduled to appear this weekend on the Sunday’s Meet the Press and NPR’s Weekend Edtion. Next week, he will be on a wide range of shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman and the Colbert Report.

Thrive, Arianna Huffington, (RH/Harmony; RH Audio)

Huffington has already been on the stump for this book; appearing on Ellen this week. DeGeneres passionately recommended it, saying she’s been telling everyone to read it. Huffington’s revolutionary advice? More sleep! It’s currently at #18 on Amazon’s sales rankings and lbraries are showing holds

Every Day is for the Thief Every Day Is for the Thief, Teju Cole, (Random House)

Expect many reviews for this book by PEN Faulkner Award-winning author of Open City, published in 2011 (and the March Read for The Atlantic‘s Twitter Book Club). There’s already advance attention; the author is profiled in the NYT and the L.A. Times, in an early review, calls it a “wonderful meditation on modern life in Nigeria.” It arrives on the heels of another Nigerian author winning the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Americanah.

Washington's SpiesWashington’s Spies, Alexander Rose, (RH/Bantam)

The tie-in version of the basis for a heavily-promoted AMC series Turn, which begins 4/6/14.

New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 6

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The Invention of Wings - Oprah   Standup Guy  Your Life Calling

Arriving next week, Sue Monk Kidd’s new book, The Invention of Wings, (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; Thorndike) already has a powerful endorsement as the first pick of the year for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0Entertainment Weekly, adds its endorsement, saying The Invention of Wings, “isn’t just the story of a friendship that defies an oppressive society; it’s a much more satisfying story of two people discovering together that their lives are worth the fight.” (for those attending Midwinter, Kidd is one of the speakers appearing at United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea on Mon., Jan 27).

It is second in terms of holds for the week to Stuart Woods’ 28th title in the Stone Barrington series, Standup Guy,  (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike).

Jane Pauley was in the news last week for simply making an appearance on her old Today Show stage. Her new book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, (S&S; S&S Audio, read by Pauley) is also likely to get media attention.

Several LibraryReads picks arrive next week:

Little FailureLittle Failure, Gary Shteyngart, (Random House)

“Little Failure is the marvelous tale of the Shteyngart family’s journey from Leningrad to Queens in the 1970s. Gary Shteyngart captures an amazing snapshot of that time in history, and this engaging memoir is suffused with conflict, love, and a lot of hilarity.” – Laura Scott, Park Ridge Public Library, Park Ridge, IL

Also, it gets a strong review from Entertainment Weekly.

The wind is not a riverThe Wind Is Not a River, Brian Payton, (Harper)

“A tender love story about a reporter stranded during World War II on one of the Aleutian Islands, and his feisty wife, who travels to find him. The geographical and historical setting of American warfare in the North Pacific, little known to most, is very intriguing. Readers will fall in love with the main characters’ fierce determination to survive and love against all odds.” –Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

And in movie tie-ins:

Winter's Tale MTI  Flowers in the Attic

Winter’s Tale (Movie Tie-In Edition), Mark Helprin, (HMH/Mariner Books) — starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, the adaptation opens on Velentine’s Day.

Official Web site:

Flowers in the Attic, V.C.  Andrews, (S&S/Gallery Books and Pocket Books; AudioGo) — Lifetime explores new territory with this remake of a cult classic, set to debut on Jan 18.

Official Web site:

All the above titles, and more coming next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Jan 6

New Title Radar, Week of Nov. 25

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Supreme Macaroni CompanyNew releases are understandably light next week as stores gear up for Black Friday, traditionally the big post-Thanksgiving gift-shopping day, clearing the way for Adriana Trigiani’s The Supreme Macaroni Company (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe), the final in her series featuring Valentine Roncalli.

Her previous title, The Shoemaker’s Wife, a standalone historical novel, was a departure and her biggest seller to date. The Supreme Macaroni Company, although a contemporary story, has a similar appeal in that it features a big, bickering, loving Italian family. A favorite of the morning TV shows, expect to see Trigiani on at least one next week.

9780143122685   City of Lost Dreams

A title to watch is City of Lost Dreams, Magnus Flyte (Penguin Books; Thorndike), the continuation of the story that began with the trade paperback original, City of Dark Magic, (see our Penguin First Flights feature). The new title is called by Kirkus “another lively, amusing romantic mystery …  Sensual, witty and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, set forth in sparkling prose and inhabited by characters well-worth getting to know. Wunderbar!”

Movie Tie-ins: Week of Nov. 4

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Ender's Game Tie-in  Big Sur  Diana: Her Last Love

The biggest opening for a film adaptation this weekend is Ender’s Game, starring Harrison ford and Asa Butterfield. Based on Orson Card Scott’s 1985 SF novel, it opened in some theaters last night. The E! Online news site reports that forecasters expect it to finish the weekend at #1, despite a threatened boycott. The mass market edition has been NYT best seller list for 54 weeks. UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly examines the question, “Is Ender’s Game the next big YA franchise? Or is it The Golden Compass?” (they come down on the side of the latter).

Opening in more limited runs are Big Sur based on Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel and Diana, the biopic featuring Naomi Watts, based on Diana; Her Last Love, by Kate Snell, released here for the fist time as a tie-in last month. The film got a sour reception in the U.K. where it opened last month (it has a positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes of only 9%).

To see trailers of these and other upcoming film adaptations, click on links at right, under Movies & TV Based on Books — Trailers.

Tie-ins Releasing Next Week

Many Oscar hopefuls begin debuts this month (as USA Today puts it, this is the time when “Hollywood trims the turkeys for awards season“). Three of the tie-ins releasing next week are for movies considered to be strong contenders.

August: Osage County tie-inAugust: Osage County, Tracy Letts, (Perseus/Theatre Communications Group)

Based on the Pulitzer-winning play, the movie opens Dec. 25 and stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and the actor-of-the-moment, Benedict Cumberbatch.


9780143124726_0830bPhilomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-in) , by Martin Sixsmith, intro. by Judi Dench, (Penguin; this is the book’s first release in the U.S.)

Judi Dench is considered a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination for her performance as a woman searching for the son she was forced to give up fifty years before. It’s directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and opens in an Oscar-qualifying limited run on Nov. 22.

9780143125273_3986f-2The Sting Man: Inside Abscam, Robert W. Greene,

Based on the true story of  the ABSCAM sting of the late 1970′s and ’80′s, the movie, titled American Hustle, stars Christian Bale as a con artist recruited for sting operation led by a federal agent (Bradley Cooper). It also stars Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. Directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook which also featured Cooper and Lawrence), it opens Dec. 18 (after a limited opening on Dec. 13). The book is a paperback re-release of a 1981 title. The cover blurb reads, “The true story behind the film American Hustle.


9780544164222_dcd3d  9780062325938_0_Cover

The Hobbit: Movie Tie-in, Tolkien, J.R.R., (HMH/Mariner)

Probably the biggest release of the year, nonetheless, the second of the Hobbit movies is not on Oscar lists. It opens Dec. 12.

The Motel Life Movie Tie-in Edition, Willy Vlautin, (Harper Perennial)

Starring, Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, this is based on  Willy Vlautin’s debut novel.  Opens next week, Nov. 8.

Media Alerts; Week of Nov. 4

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Double DownWe were dubious that the authors of the 2010 best seller Game Change, about the first Obama election, could get a similar level of attention for their follow up Double Down, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio) on Obama’s second campaign, which was somewhat less game changing (and didn’t involved a race against a ticket that included Sarah Palin).

However, strategic leaks from the embargoed title, which releases next week, are making an impact; the book rose to #31 on Amazon sales rankings, from #1,731. Holds in libraries are not great yet, but the news is just beginning.

Brian Williams covered the story last night; “NY Times reveals ‘Double Down’ bombshell” (NYT story, “Book Details Obama Aides’ Talks About Replacing Biden on 2012 Ticket“).

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The NYT isn’t the only publication leaking news from the book; The Washington Post offers “The eight best tidbits from ‘Double Down’

As Williams notes, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will appear on The Today Show on Monday. The book is also scheduled to be featured on NPR Weekend Edition tomorrow and Fresh Air next week.

Also Scheduled

The Bully PulpitThe Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Goodwin will appear on this week’s CBS Sunday Morning, and next week on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Charlie Rose Show, Meet the Press, and even on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. A favorite of Jon Stewart’s, she will also appear on The Daily Show.

9780385535328-2The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay, Hooman Majd, (RH/Doubleday; Tantor Audio)

Iranian/American NBC News contributor and author of bestsellers The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollah’s Democracy, writes about what it was like to live as an unwelcome guest in Tehran with his blonde, blue-eyed wife and young son. He will be featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow and Fresh Air on Tuesday.

The Heart of Everything That IsThe Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend, Bob Drury, Tom Clavin, (S&S; S&S Audio)

To be featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, on Tuesday, this is an Indie Next pick for November:

The authors present the epic story of Red Cloud, the only Native American tribal leader to defeat the U.S. Army in the West. Red Cloud could be vicious and savage and he used those attributes to achieve power. But he could also show patience and restraint in his efforts to defeat the Army’s expansion into the Powder River country of present-day Wyoming. This book presents an important chapter in American history that needed to be told, using Red Cloud’s own autobiography as a major source. —George Rishel, The Sly Fox, Virden, IL.

9781476714325American Heroes: On The Homefront, Oliver North and Bob Hamer  (S&S/Threshold Editions, S&S Audio)

Based on the Fox TV series, War Stories with Oliver North, this will, of course be featured on the FOX shows Hannity and Fox & Friends.

Kids New Title Radar: Week of Oct. 21

Monday, October 21st, 2013

AllegiantAs you undoubtedly already know from the eager lines of kids waiting for it, tomorrow is  Allegiant Day, with the release of the final volume in Veronica Roth’s YA dystopian series (HarperCollins/Tegen; Dreamscape Audio). Amazon reports that it is selling 5:1 more copies than did Mockingjay (Hunger Games Book 4)  in the month prior to its release (an encouraging comparison for Summit, which is producing both as movie franchises).

Midnight release parties are being abetted by an online reading by Roth of a chapter on the Divergent Web Site, beginning just before midnight tonight. Entertainment Weekly is the first with a review, giving it just a B+, revealing that, “Barely six chapters in, Roth brutally offs a character who’s been around since the first book. The message: In this dystopian universe, nobody is safe” and that the novel has a “shocking ending.” The reviewer rightly adds “None of this will matter to Roth’s fans, who thrill to the heart-pounding immediacy of her writing and swoon over Tobias, the damaged dreamboat who co-narrates Allegiant with his true love, Tris.”

BattleBunny1Tomorrow is also Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka Day, with the release of Battle Bunny (S&S/Atheneum). The creators, joining forces for the first time, have  gone all meta-cognition on us, first producing one of the most insipid picture books in recent history (Birthday Bunny– a faux Golden Book illustrated by Mathew Myers), then transforming it via the magic marker of a fictional boy reader into the far less saccharine Battle Bunny.

This creates some cogintive dissonance for me as a librarian. I believe that defacing books is wrong, even though there is a long tradition of creating art from old books. Should I buy  a book for my library that celebrates such defacement?

Definitely. I need multiple copies AND will want to print out the original for programing.

[See our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Oct 21, for other titles coming out this week]



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

Friday, October 18th, 2013

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

9780385525183 9781476725390_0ee54 9780679644057

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:

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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.

New Title Radar: Week of Oct. 14

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Among the big-name authors with titles arriving next week is legal thriller favorite, Scott Turow with Identical. Helen Fielding has already been receiving attention for her third Bridget Jones title, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, which is the Today Show‘s next book club pick.

Titles highlighted here and many more arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, with ordering information and alternate formats, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 14.

Watch List

9781616202538Guests on Earth, Lee Smith, (Algonquin)

The fascination with Zelda Fitzgerald continues. This summer two novels,  Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) and Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck (Penguin/NAL), brought renewed attention to her struggle with mental illness. In this novel, Lee Smith presents the story from the point of view of a young girl Zelda takes under her wing while in a mental ward. Librarians on GalleyChat predict this one will be a winner.

Media Magnets


The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone, (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

A book about the most-talked about company in the country by a senior editor at Bloomsberg Businessweek; of course it will get attention. USA Today has already covered one of the revelations from the book; Bezos’ biological father only learned that Bezos is his son through Stone. In the understatement of the year, he says, “I wasn’t a good father or a good husband.”


Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget  (S&S/Gallery Books)

The co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear and ABC’s The Chew will be making the rounds of ABC shows next week, including Good Morning America, The ViewRachael Ray Show, and, of course, The Chew.


The Book Thief, Movie Tin-in   9780345803597  9780306822162-1

The Book Thief,  Markus Zusak, (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; Listening Library)

Starring  Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson with Sophie Nélisse in the lead, this is now scheduled to open on Nov. 8th.

Official Movie Site:

The Counselor: A Screenplay, Cormac McCarthy, (RH/Vintage)

The Wall Street Journal features a story this week about McCarthy’s first foray into writing an original script, after seeing many of his books adapted (No Country for Old Men, The Road, All the Pretty Horses). The movie, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Brad Pitt, opens Oct. 25.

Official Movie Site:

The Mayor of MacDougal Street [2013 edition], Dave Van Ronk, Elijah Wald, Da Capo Press

The Coen brothers’ latest movie,  Inside Llewyn Davis, is inspired by this memoir by Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002), one of the founders of the 1960s folk music revival. Opening Dec. 20, it stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake.

Official Movie Site:

Kids New Title Radar — Week of Oct. 14

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Among the many series titles that arrive next week, one offers an unusual opportunity. We rarely get to see how life ultimately works out for teen series characters. Next week, Phyllis Naylor lets fans in on what happens to Alice, from entering college through her 60′s. Appropriately, it’s titled, Now I’ll Tell You Everything,

The titles highlighted here are listed on our downloadable spreadesheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 14.

Picture Books

I Am a FrogI’m a Frog! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Number 20 in the series, another pitch-perfect title from Mo Willems. This time the two very different best friends, Elephant and Piggie, tackle the complicated topic of “let’s pretend.”



  When Blue Met Egg   9780803738782

Please Bring Balloons, Lindsay Ward, (Penguin/Dial)

The many who were charmed by Ward’s bluebird (When Blue Met Egg, 2012) will be equally enchanted by this dreamy fantasy featuring carousel bears. The author presents a preview of the book’s lovely art on her blog.

9781419709869Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale , Steven Guarnaccia, (Abrams BYR)

Hip parents with stylish progeny will enjoy this retelling and playing spot the designer,


Middle Grade

9781442476813The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit , (S&S BYR; S&S Audio)

Kirkus gives this one the right hook, “Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan meet Nancy Drew. In this first novel by Oscar-winning actress Spencer, Randi Rhodes thrives on solving the mysteries that unfold in her busy Brooklyn neighborhood.”

Sweet Feet: Samantha Gordon’s Winning Season, Samantha Gordon with Ari Bruening, (Walker Children’s; simultaneous paperback)

The biography of a ten-year- old girl who is a football phenom and internet sensation.

Young Adult

Now I'll Tell You Everything
Now I’ll Tell You Everything, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, (S&S/Atheneum)

Booklist says it best, “Naylor has given fans a gift: the chance to see how life unfolds for a beloved character. This 500-page farewell is the twenty-eighth title of a series that began in 1985, and it opens when Alice is 18 and headed off to the University of Maryland … we follow her from college to marriage and babies, all the way up until the eve of her sixtieth birthday. For the diehard Alice fan.”

More Y.A. Series

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Revealed, P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio)
The House of Night series has been on The New York Times Children’s Series bestseller list for nearly 150 weeks and counting. It’s also reach #1 on German, and UK bestseller lists. This is the eleventh and next-to-last in the series.

The Darkest Minds Never Fade, Alexandra Bracken, (Hachette?Disney-Hyperion)

Second in action packed dystopian fantasy series, following The Darkest Minds (2012). Kids will be screaming for number 3.
UnSouled, Neal Shusterman, (S&S BYR)

Unwind the first of this trilogy was a tour de force of near future dystopic fantasy. Imagine a world where birth control is illegal, parents have the right to “unwind” oppositional or ordinary or just “spare “adolescents for their body parts. Anyone who has read number one will not want to miss this next one..

Kids New Title Radar; Week of Oct. 6

Friday, October 4th, 2013

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Several big kahunas arrive next week. James Patterson’s Confessions: The Private School Murders (Hachette/LBYR; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), Rick Riordan’s 4th title in his Heroes of Olympus series,  The House of Hades (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion; Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Print) and the highly anticipated, aggressively promoted, novel by Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale, Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends, 9780545603683-2(Hachette/LBYR) which ties in to Mattel’s doll franchise, with videos, apps and games, following Mattel’s previous Monster High (with tie-in titles by Lisi Harrison).

To top it all off, the tie-in to Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Scholastic) also arrives. But don’t let all these  big names obscure some other books worthy of attention.

All the titles mentioned here are listed, with alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 6

Picture Books

Captain Cat   9781616202460

Captain Cat, Inga Moore, (Candlewick)

Moore, who has created lush editions of the classics Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden, charms with this tale of an island overun with rats and ship filled with cats.

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea, Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin, (Algonquin YR)

For those looking for more cats at sea tales, this animal adventure story will remind readers of Avi’s Poppy.

Facts For Younger Kids

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National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space, Catherine D. Hughes, David A. Aguilar, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean , Catherine D. Hughes, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

I love this First Big Books series. Stunning pictures (click through to the book on space to see some of the spreads) and fact-filled fun.


Maps, Daniel Mizielinski, (Canglewick/Big Picture Press)

A stunning publishing debut for a new publishing house, which introduces itself  this way, “Big Picture Press is a new list of highly illustrated books launching September 2013, publishing as an imprint of … Candlewick Press (US and Canada). We believe that books should be visually intelligent, surprising, and accessible to readers of all ages, abilities, and nationalities.”

Middle Grade

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Will in Scarlet, Matthew Cody, (RH/Knopf BYR; Listening Library)

An old fashioned fast-paced historical adventure from the point of view of the youngest member of the Robin Hood’s band of merry men.

The Grimm Conclusion, Adam Gidwitz, Hugh D’Andrade, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile)

Adam Gidwitz has taken apart, mashed-up, spun around Grimm’s fairytales in this series that has a Princess Bride narrative tone. Don’t miss number three. All are superb read alouds.

Young Adult

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The Eye of Minds, James Dashner, (RH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library)

A cyber reality page-turning adventure from the the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series as well as the books in the 13th Reality series and The Infinity Ring.

The Midnight Dress, Karen Foxlee, (RH/Knopf; Listening Library)

Kirkus calls this mystery, “smart, intricate storytelling loaded with genuinely teen concerns. Atmospheric, lyric and unexpected.”

Just One Year, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile; Dreamscape Audio)

Published in January, Just One Day told the story of a pair of teenagers spending a day (and night) in Paris, from the point of view of Allyson. Just One Year picks ups where the first book left off, but from the boy’s point of view. Must have for the 9780805092677romance fans.

Emerald Green, Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Young Listeners)

I’ve been waiting for this — the final book in the Ruby Red Trilogy , a this time traveling romance series with a hint of humor.

New Title Radar; Week of Oct. 6

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Top Down  Dallas 1963  Camelot's Court

9780393347333Opening today, the Tom Hanks-produced movie Parkland reminds us that the fiftieth anniversary of the JFK assassination is next month. Based on Vincent Bugliosi’s Four Days in November (Norton; tie-in released last week), it examines the chaos at the Dallas hospital when the dying president was brought to  the emergency room.

Several  books about Kennedy arrive next week, including a novel by former PBS New Hour anchor Jim Lehrer, Top Down, (Random House). The title refers to the fateful deceision to remove the bubble top from Kennedy’s car.

In Dallas 1963: Politics, Treason, and the Assassination of JFK, (Hachette/Twelve), two Texas journalists  look at the politics that made Dallas a city so hostile to JFK that many, including vice president Lyndon Johnson, a Texas native, warned him not to make the trip.  In Camelot’s Court (Harper),  Kennedy historian Robert Dallek examines the president’s relationships with his advisors.

For a gentler view, Caroline Kennedy has edited a book of her grandmother’s personal family photos, Rose Kennedy’s Family Album, (Hachette/Grand Central).

All the titles highlighted here, and more, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, with ordering information and alternate formats, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 6

Known Quantities

Leading in library holds among next week’s titles are new book by Stuart Woods, John Sandford, and a Christmas themed book by Debbie Macomber, whose fan base has grown since Andie MacDowell brought new attention to the Cedar Cove books with the Hallmark TV series. Speaking of big names,  twenty writers, including Lee Child, C. J. Box, Charlaine Harris, John Connolly and Mary Higgins Clark collaborate on a “serial novel” titled Inherit the Dead, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio).

In nonfiction, Daniel Goleman, author of the long-running best seller, Emotional Intelligence, turns to the subject of what make leaders in Focus, (Harper; HarperAudio)

Watch List

LongbournLongbourn, Jo Baker, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

A GalleyChat favorite that is now a LibraryReads pick for October, this is the downstairs to Pride and Prejudice‘s upstairs, focusing on the servants in the Bennet household. Word seems to be getting out; libraries are already showing holds.

Jo Baker spoke to librarians at the Random House Breakfast during BEA:

Media Magnets

I Am Malala  Elizabeth Smart

Two remarkable young women who have triumphed over  adversity will be featured in the news this week. One is  the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for her efforts to secure education for women, Malala Yousafzai. She writes about her beliefs in  I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio). Honored last week at Harvard, she is currently a favorite for the Nobel Peace PrizeDiane Sawyer landed the first U.S. television interview with Malala, to air beginning on Monday on all ABC News broadcasts culminating with a special edition of  20/20  on Friday, Oct. 11. On Tuesday, Oct. 13, she is scheduled to appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is also featured on the cover of Parade magazine. [NOTE: we got ahead of ourselves and announced this on last week's New Title Radar].

Also arriving is Elizabeth Smart’s memoir, My Story, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) who was kidnapped at age 14, survived nine months of rape and torture, managed to engineer an escape and now is an advocate for educating children on sex crimes. NBC News will air Elizabeth’s Story: A Meredith Vieira Special tonight.  Smart will appear again live on the Today Show on publication day, Tuesday, October 7. (See our downloadable spreadsheet for several other titles that are scheduled for media attention next week).

Movie Tie-ins

Romeo and Juliet gets a Hollywood makeover  that’s newsworthy enough to land it in the pages of the new issue of People (USA Today quipped about the premiere, “Some aspiring screenwriter named William Shakespeare worked with Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes to produce the screenplay.”)  The trade pbk. tie-in (RH/Ember) includes both Shakespeare’s and Fellowes’ versions. Worth seeing, if only for Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence.