Archive for the ‘Memoirs’ Category

Dunham Drops New Title

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

lenabook2_largeFollowing her best seller, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham is releasing a surprise new title, in a move characterized by BuzzFeed as “Beyoncé-style,” referring to the singer’s surprise release of the album Lemonade.

Is It Evil Not To Be Sure?, a 56-page “chapbook” of excepts from Dunham’s college diaries, was released early this morning as an eBook, published under Dunham’s imprint Lenny. So far, it is not available from library vendors. A $25  limited hardcover edition of just 2,000 copies will be available for sale beginning at noon today, with profits going to the organization, Girls Write Now.

Ripert Charms

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

9780812992984_72d44Three-star Michelin chef, author of four cookbooks, familiar to many from his appearances on various cooking shows, including his own, Avec Ripertwas feted on yesterday’s CBS This Morning for his new book, a memoir, 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio).

Libraries are showing heavy holds on very light ordering.

The New York Times profiled Ripert, an this book,  earlier this month. During the interview, Ripert eats a prodigious meal. saying, “When I eat, I eat. I do not understand the idea of guilty pleasure. It’s all about pleasure.”

Publishers Weekly reflects the universal praise from trade reviewers, “With his exacting prose and eye for detail, Ripert has created a wonderful memoir about his early days as a chef.”

LAB GIRL Blooms

Monday, May 16th, 2016

9781101874936_d2c41The most recent audio book club pick by Slate [UPDATE: sorry, the audio is no longer on the Slate site. It is available free on iTunes]  Lab Girl, Hope Jahren (PRH/Knopf; BOT; OverDrive Sample), currently #18 on the extended NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and a GalleyChat favorite.

Slate critics Susan Matthews, Laura Miller, and Katy Waldman offer glowing praise, calling it “wonderful” “beautiful” and “endearing” and saying it is already one of the 10 best books of the year, comparable to H is for Hawk and to the work of Oliver Sacks.

Beyond the style of the memoir and its tone, the Slate critics centrally appreciate the detailed insider look at what it is like to “do science.” They also appreciate the way Jahren approaches science as not about getting the world to tell you what you want it to, but listening to what is really happening.

They conclude the conversation by saying the book should be required reading.

Readers seem to agree, holds are strong at libraries we checked with spikes well above a 3:1 ratio at some locales.

TODAY Show Double

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

9781455567065_d1864Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, Ally Hilfiger (Hachette/Center Street; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon due to a double appearance on the Today show.

Hilfiger, daughter of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and star of MTV’s 2003 show Rich Girls, talks with Jenna Bush Hager in one feature and in another with Hoda and Kathie Lee. Both interviews address her physical and mental struggles with Lyme Disease.

Timed to coincide with Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Hilfiger memoir details how she was misdiagnosed for 14 years, suffered a mental breakdown, and was hospitalized before finally getting treatment.

Ordering is low thus far at libraries we checked.

Staffing Up: THE GLASS CASTLE

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

glass If you’ve been rooting for the film adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ best selling memoir The Glass Castle, (S&S/Scribner, 2005), you’ll cheer at the news that the main cast in nearly in place, signaling that the film may finally move forward after having been originally signed four years ago.

Actress Sarah Snook, reports Deadline, is in negotiations to play the sister of Brie Larson who stars as Walls, a role originally assigned to Jennifer Lawrence. Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson will play their parents.

In The Glass Castle Walls writes the harrowing story of her childhood, growing up with dysfunctional, sometimes homeless  parents, to eventually become a well-respected journalist. A best seller in hardcover, it had its biggest success in trade paperback, and was in the top ten on that NYT list for over two years straight, returning many times since, including a run last summer.

Megyn Kelly Memoir This Fall

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

13071938_1685157351746730_3986732117481768984_oMegyn Kelly, Fox News anchor and host of The Kelly File, announces on Facebook that she will publish her memoir this fall.

Kelly’s profile has risen lately thanks to Donald Trump’s attacks.

Trump is not sticking to the boycott. In a new twist, Deadline Hollywood reports that Kelly will interview the candidate in her first prime time special, Megyn Kelly Presents, airing during sweeps week on May 17.

The untitled book (Harper: ISBN 9780062494603) is available to preorder through library vendors and will release on 11/16/2015, one week after the presidential election.

According to the publisher the book will detail Kelly’s rise in journalism, her career at Fox, and the 2016 primary.

NOBODY on the Rise

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

The following tweet …

…sent the Pitch Perfect actress/comedian’s book of autobiographical essays rising on Amazon’s sales rankings to #27. Libraries we checked have not ordered it yet.

Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio, November 15, 2016)

Prince Dies

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Just one month after announcing plans to publish his memoirs, the musician Prince has died.

His agent, Esther Newberg told the Wall Street Journal at the time that Prince had already turned in 50 pages of the manuscript for the book, which was to be titled The Beautiful Ones. It was set to be published next year by the Penguin Random House imprint, Spiegel & Grau.

The cause of death has not been announced. Prince was 57.

Not Just Cars and Surfin’

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Brian WilsonThe HBO documentary, Love & Mercy, released last year, looked at the many painful aspects of the life of the co-founder of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson.

Wilson was not involved in the making of the movie, but he called it “very factual.”

He is about to add more facts to the story, in a memoir titled I Am Brian Wilson (Perseus/Da Capo Press, October 11, 2016). The press release announcing the publication  date has been picked up by several news sources, including the New York Times.  A brief  excerpt of the book is on The Rolling Stone Web site.

Holds Alert: A MOTHER’S RECKONING

Friday, February 19th, 2016

9781101902752_e76d6The NYT posted their online review (to run in print in the Feb. 28 Sunday Book Review) of A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold, Andrew Solomon, (PRH/Crown) on Feb. 15.

Just a few days later the paper felt the need to post a follow-up piece to summarize some of the over 900 comments the review prompted.

That level of engagement with the book is reflected in libraries across the country. Holds are growing and libraries haven’t caught up with them.

We reported in “Titles to Know and Recommend” last week that ABC News was covering the book in a big push, with an ABC Prime Time Special with Diane Sawyer, promoted on Good Morning America. The author also appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air on Tuesday.

The book clearly touches nerves, as indicated by the remarkable number of personal reactions to it from reviewers.

Entertainment Weekly gave the book an A grade, saying:

“This book, which can be tough to read in places, is an important one. It helps us arrive at a new understanding of how Columbine happened—and, in the process, may help avert other tragedies.”

The LA Timess reviewer, responding both to the book and to the ABC coverage, writes:

“I believe Sue Klebold … I feel so sorry for her — I really do. Did you watch 20/20? Her pain is so raw, her vulnerability so extreme. I want to reassure her: One way or another this book will change lives. What it won’t do is bring Dylan back … And what it also won’t do, is my guess, never mind what I believe, is allow Sue Klebold to forgive herself.”

The Washington Post reviewer says:

“Reading this book as a critic is hard; reading it as a parent is devastating. I imagine snippets of my own young children in Dylan Klebold, shades of my parenting in Sue and Tom. I suspect that many families will find their own parallels. This book’s insights are painful and necessary, and its contradictions inevitable.”

The book is currently #31 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Born to Sell

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Born to Run SpringsteenAfter yesterday’s announcement that the Boss will publish a memoir in September, the book instantly rose to #1 on Amazon sales rankings, indicating it may be worth the reported $10 million advance.

Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen
S&S, September 27, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1501141515

Tony Bennet’s Collaborator

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Tony Bennett’s untitled memoir coming in August, is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of the “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016.” So far, it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites, but now we know who will serve as Bennett’s co-write.

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon announced that he is taking a six-week leave to work with Bennett on the book, returning in late March.

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Bennett, who will  will turn 90 in August, published an earlier memoir when he was 72, The Good Life: The Autobiography Of Tony Bennett (S&S/Atria, 1998). The New York Times Book Review called it “as breezy as an evening listening to Bennett himself.”

He also published a book of the lessons he lives by, including anecdotes from his life, Life Is A Gift: The Zen of Bennett, (HarperCollins, 2012).

Grim Reader

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Based on recent best seller lists, people love to read about death.

AIR

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday examines the trend, prompted by a recent article in The Guardian which, based on the popularity of Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample), offers two explanations: the books present examples of ways to face the inevitable and the seemingly sad subject holds a measure of optimism, because the act of writing a memoir grants a measure of immortality.

9780767905923  9781401323257

The interview highlights a couple of well-known examples, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (Hachette/Hyperion, 2008) and Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom (PRH/Doubleday/Broadway, 2002).

9780805095159_a145b9780451492937_0cfcbThere are plenty of newer examples too, including Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Macmillan/Holt; 2014), which has been on the NYT hardback nonfiction bestseller list for over a year and Gratitude by Oliver Sacks (PRH/Knopf, 2015), now in its fifth week on that same list.

New #1 Best Sellers

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

There’s no surer sign of the beginning of a new season than movement on the best seller list.

Two new titles land at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction and Nonfiction best seller lists, breaking through titles that have dominated the top spot for weeks.

AIR  lucy-barton

At #1 in nonfiction is one of our crystal ball titlesWhen Breath Becomes Air, (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

A young neurosurgeon’s account of facing his own death, it is followed at #2 by another new best seller, Pope Francis’s The Name of God Is Mercy (PRH/Random House).

In fiction, Elizabeth Stout’s latest, My Name Is Lucy Barton (Random House; Random House Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) breaks through to number one, moving The Girl on the Train down to #3, which has just completed over a year on the list, most of that time in the top five. At #4 is an even greater phenomenon, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, on the list for 89 weeks.

Big Surprise: Caitlyn Jenner Planning a Memoir

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Set to write a memoir about her transformation from Bruce to Caitlyn, Jenner announced her co-author will be Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Buzz Bissinger.

Bissinger wrote the book Friday Night Lights, which became both a movie and a TV series.

The memoir is set to be published by Hachette/Grand Central, tentatively in spring of 2017. The New York Times reported the story, earlier today followed by People magazine and several other sources.

Jenner tweeted: