Surgeon Atul Gawande new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio) debuted on this week’s NYT Best Seller Hardcover Best Seller list at #3 and is currently #6 on Amazon’s sales rankings (between Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Patton and John Grisham’s Gray Mountain). Libraries are showing heavy and growing holds on conservative ordering.
THE big title of the fall arrives next week, John Grisham’s Gray Mountain … George R.R. Martin fans will have something to tide them over until The Winds of Winter arrives … and several titles are already getting media bumps.
All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 10/20/14
Grisham’s latest is not only the holds leader for the week, but for the entire season. The protagonist is a young lawyer, Samantha Kofer, who, after her cushy corporate job is ended by the collapse of Lehman Bros., takes on pro bono work in a small Appalachian coal town. There she learns, up close and personal, how people’s lives are ruined by the machinations of big companies. PW suggests this “may be the debut of a series character.”
A distant second to the Grisham in holds for the week, but still strong, this is the first new title in the series in four years. A relocation to Hollywood offers shopaholic Becky the opportunity to fulfill what seems to be her ultimate destiny as a celebrity stylist. The author is scheduled to appear on CBS This Morning on Wednesday.
George R.R. Martin Teases
Game of Thrones fans will soon be teased by two “new” books by George R.R. Martin (the eagerly anticipated next book in the series, The Winds Of Winter, is expected in 2015, but no pub date has been announced). Coming next week, is a Y.A. title, The Ice Dragon, (Macmillan/Tor Teen). Originally published as part of the 1980 anthology of stories, Dragons of Light, edited by Orson Scott Card, it was then republished as a stand-alone book in 2007, now out of print. The new edition features artwork by Spanish artist Luis Royo. Entertainment Weekly previewed it in August, saying “the book’s themes more resemble those of a children’s fable than HBO-ready sex-and-gore fare.” OverDrive Sample
Arriving next week is The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin, Elio Garcia, Linda Antonsson (RH/Bantam), which gives further background on the series to insatiable fans.
Nicholas Kristof in a column in the NYT Book Review last week notes that Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, as “America’s young Nelson Mandela.” In the long blurb on the cover, John Grisham says that Stevenson is “… doing god’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”
Stevenson appeared on the Daily Show last night and is scheduled for NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.
This week brought a rare occurrence, and author featured on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Not only that, Meyers called Asar Nafisi, “cool” (Part One, Part Two). In this book, she attempts to answer the question of whether books can be as meaningful to Americans as they were to her Iranian students in her best seller, Reading Lolita in Tehran.
Philbrick won the 2000 National Book Award in Nonfiction for In the Heart of the Sea, about the Essex, a Nantucket ship hunting whales in the South Pacific in 1819, when it was stalked and eventually sunk by a sperm whale, setting the crew adrift for 90 days.
The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as the whaling ship Essex’s first mate Owen Chase. He published an account of the story, published in 1821, which inspired Herman Melville (played byBen Whishaw in the movie) to write Moby Dick. Chase’s book is still available in several editions, including The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale, (Penguin Classics, 2000) with an introduction by Philbrick.
Ebola Survival Handbook: A Collection of Tips, Strategies, and Supply Lists From Some of the World’s Best Preparedness Professionals
Lost Arts Publishing (Author)
Pbk, 138 pages, $7.95
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 9/22/14
Published via Amazon’s self-publishing platform, CreateSpace, the book appears to only be available via Amazon (some copies are being sold on EBay).
Also rising in sales is Richard Preston’s 1994 book The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus, (RH/Anchor trade paperback, also available as mass market pbk; S&S Audio), about an Ebola outbreak in Washington D.C. It’s currently at #27 on Amazon’s sales rankings and libraries are showing holds. OverDrive Sample.
Next week, Elin Hilderbrand trades in sand for snow as she jumps on the Christmas-themed novel band wagon. The setting is still the familiar Nantucket … fitting with the holiday theme, a book of short stories by Y.A. authors will also intrigue adults … blasts from the past include Norman Lear’s memoir and Cary Ewes’s story of the making of The Princess Bride.
All the titles highlighted here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 10/13.
The number one holds leader for the week, and in a tie with next week’s Gray Mountain by John Grisham, is also a LibraryReads pick:
“Leaving Timeis a love story – love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna’s mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms–the good, bad and the ugly–and it is brilliant.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Kirkus notes, “increasingly, best-selling authors are producing Christmas novels, family dramas in which the Christmas Spirit prevails. They often seem like rushed marketing ploys, though occasionally they hold up to the author’s own standards. Hilderbrand’s falls somewhere in between; her skill at creating character is present, but the plot feels constrained and a little predictable.” Both Booklist and LJ were more forgiving.
An original trade paperback from indie publisher Prometheus Books’ new mystery imprint (the name refers to the address of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia).
“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI
Harris, who plays a creepy character in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, here writes his autobiography in the form of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you have trouble imagining that, check the OverDrive Sample. Harris, of course, also narrates the audio (the publisher assures us that it won’t force us to try to jump around). UPDATE: Harris is interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio)
Elwes, featured on the Today Show this morning (read an excerpt of the book on the site), is scheduled for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered this Sunday (UPDATE: Listen to the interview here) as well as Fox News’s Fox & Friends on Tuesday. As in the book, the audio includes reminiscences from other stars of the show, including Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, and Rob Reiner.
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig (Norton)
The author was already interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air this week and the book is covered in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. The review includes this tidbit, “Eig notes that when [birth control pioneer Margaret] Sanger gave an interview to Mike Wallace she was asked, ‘Could it be that women in the United States have become too independent — that they followed the lead of women like Margaret Sanger by neglecting family life for a career?’ The year was 1957.” You can view that interview on C-Span.
Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow, (S&S/Howard)
Fox TV, of course, will be all over this one:
• Hannity, October 14
• Fox & Friends, October 15
• Lou Dobbs Tonight, October 15
• Fox News-TV/Fox & Friends, October 18
• The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, October 15
• Fox & Friends, October 18
• America’s News HQ, October 19
Leave it to Y.A. authors to bring a thoughtful twist to holiday-themed books. Says Kirkus of these twelve stories, “Rich language and careful, efficient character development make the collection an absorbing and sophisticated read, each story surprisingly fresh despite the constraints of a shared theme.”
The Listening Library sample is from Rainbow Rowell’s story (the embed code is not working, link to it here); read it in full via the OverDrive Sample.
Confounding odds makers once again, the Nobel Prize in literature, announced today, goes to French author Patrick Modiano, whose more than 30 novels often focus on the Nazi occupation of France. The Academy described him as “a Marcel Proust of our time.” If you’re not familiar with him, you’re in good company. The Guardian comments, “Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even widely read people in other countries.”
Several titles by Modiano are listed in on American library catalogs, including the 1974 film Lacombe, Lucien, by director Louis Malle, for which Modiano co-wrote the script which is partially based on Malle’s own experiences during the occupation and a children’s title, Catherine Certitiude.
Publisher David R. Godine’s web site today features the three Modiano titles they have published in English (the Washington’s Post‘s Ron Charles delivered the news to Godine, who was “staking dahlias” at the time and exclaimed, “This means we’ll be ahead this year!”):
Missing Person, Patrick Modiano, translated by Daniel Weissbort, 2004 — Also winner of the most prestigious French literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, it was reviewed by Booklist and Library Journal. Saying it is probably his “best known novel,” The Guardian describes it as being, “about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.”
Honeymoon, Patrick Modiano, 1995 — also reviewed by Booklist and Library Journal
Catherine Certitude, Patrick Modiano — A children’s title, it was reviewed by several library publications. The following is the publisher’s description:
This charming book will delight any child — or adult — who appreciates ballet, Paris, New York, childhood, and mystery (not necessarily in that order). The book’s plot is deceptively simple: Catherine, the eponymous heroine, begins her story watching her own daughter demonstrate jazz steps in their ballet school on a snowy afternoon in New York. Memory takes her (and the reader) back to her childhood, spent in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. In her youth, Catherine lives with her gentle father, Georges Certitude, who runs a shipping business with his partner, a loud, failed poet named Casterade. The real partners in this story, however, are the father and daughter who share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon.
As a result of the prize, Yale University Press has moved up the publication of the following title from January to November:
Former defense Secretary Leon Panetta criticizes President Obama in his new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio). He explains why in an interview with Charlie Rose on today’s CBS This Morning. He was also interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Morning Edition and is scheduled for the Daily Show tonight.
On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly worked hard to get him to criticize Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi. Panetta responded that, as head of the Defense Department, he was not familiar with the inner workings of the State Department, but could say, “If I know Hillary Clinton, if she knew there was a problem at Benghazi, she would have done something about it.’
The book is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently at #14. Libraries are showing holds on light ordering.
The NYT today looks at the halo effect of the success of the Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander on the books. After the TV series debuted, the first in the book series went to #1 on best seller lists for the first time since its publication twenty years ago, two others in the series also hit the lists (in addition, the most recent in the series, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, which came out in June, hit the list at #1).
The final eight episodes of season one are set for release on April 4 of next year. Starz has also ordered a second season, to be based on the next book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, (RH/Delacorte, 1992). Like Game of Thrones, to which it is compared, there are plenty more books to draw on, eleven novels plus several novellas and shorter pieces (see Gabaldon’s own chronology here).
While Game of Thrones and other TV series have brought readers to the original books, the article does not mention that this is not always the case. The just-concluded HBO series The Leftovers, for instance, had only a small effect on Perrotta’s book and it seems most people didn’t even get that NBC’s About A Boy is based on Nick Hornby’s novel.
Predicting which adaptations, whether film or TV, will have a halo effect can drive selectors (and de-selectors) nuts. Over a dozen more adaptations are on TV schedules through 2015, with many more in the works (see our downloadable Books to TV listing; our full list, including film adaptations is here).
Play along with us as we try handicapping the adaptations coming up through the end of the year:
Big Driver — Lifetime TV movie, 10/18/14 — A one-off movie, based on a lesser-known Stephen King title (a novella published in Full Dark, No Stars,, S&S/Scribner, 2010), won’t inspire many to seek out the original.
Death Comes to Pemberley — PBS, 2 episodes, begins 10/16 — P.D. James riffed on Pride and Prejudice in her 2011 book. Matthew Rhys plays Darcy in the adaptation, but sorry, we don’t think he’ll have the impact that Colin Firth did when he played the role in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. As a two-part series, it won’d have time to build an audience, so we are not expecting a big resurgence of interest in the book. Tie-in, RH/Vintage.
Olive Kitteridge, HBO, four parts, begins 11/2/14 — Winning the Pulitzer Prize shortly after it was released in trade paperback sent Elizabeth Strout’s novel on to the NYT list where it stayed for nearly two years, rising to #5. HBO publicity will remind people who always meant to read it to pick it up and it will go on to lists again, but won’t reach previous heights. Tie-in, Random House Trade
The Red Tent, Lifetime, 12/7 & 12/8/14 — Just two nights long, this won’t have much time to build a following. However, as a reading club favorite, the title has remained in the public consciousness, so the series promotion may remind people to look for the book. That beautiful new cover, displayed in the front of book stores won’t do it any harm, either. Tie-in, Picador
Mr. Miracle, Hallmark, Holidays — This is the fourth holiday-themed movie based on a Debbie Macomber book. This time, both Mr. Miracle, the book, RH/Ballantine and the movie are being released in the same season. Hallmark has already burnished Macomber’s brand, so there’s little room for growth. Watch next year, however, when Hallmark plans to do the same for Karen Kingsbury and Sherryl Woods.
Surgeon Atul Gawande shook up the medical profession a few years ago when he told doctors in his book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that they could improve their results by borrowing a simple idea from the airlines, going through a checklist to make sure that important items aren’t overlooked during medial procedures.
In his new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio), he has something to tell the medical profession that may be even more difficult to swallow. Doctors don’t listen to their patients, and that if they did, he says, they would discover that at the end of life, living longer is often not a person’s top priority.
Following the release last month of a brief teaser and a few clips, the first full length trailer has arrived for the adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge Random House, 2008).
We’re in to October already, so it’s high time to begin thinking about the holidays. To the rescue, the first of the Christmas-themed novels arrives next week, this one by Debbie Macomber. It’s also the basis for a Hallmark movie … a children’s book is one of the three leaders in holds … and you will have a record number of LibraryReads picks to recommend, five in total.
All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 10/6
“This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.” — Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL
“Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO
Media attention: NPR Weekend Edition Sunday – 10/5; New York Times – interview with Chip McGrath – 10/7. It is also on the National Book Awards longlist (finalists TBA on Oct. 15).
“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.” — Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN
“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.” — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
Media attention will be heavy, led by NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday, Oct. 6 and Fresh Air the next day.
It is also longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Book trailer, below.
Endgame: The Calling, James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton, (HarperCollins)
A YA title that is, according to the publisher, “designed to play out over multiple media platforms, including mobile games,” this one also arrives with an attention-getting gimmick, a global scavenger hunt for $500,000 worth of gold coins. It’s working, at least for drawing media coverage. USA Today has covered the contest as well as the New York Post‘s “Page Six.” The first in a planned trilogy, each new book will up the ante by an additional $500,000. Of the prepub reviewers, only Booklist recommended it and library ordering is modest
The first book from the popular Vegan web site (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan). A certain word may be obscured on the cover, but it’s on full display multiple times in the text. In fact, if the swear words were removed, this cookbook would be half the size.
To be featured on CBS Sunday Morningthis weekend (argh! Rebel Yell on CBS Sunday Morning? Nearly as jarring as when we first heard Bob Dylan on Muzak).
In addition to advance excerpts in RollingStone.com and Time.com, Idol’s memoir will also be featured in USA Weekend this Sunday, on NBC-TV/‘Today Show (interview and performance) on release day, Tuesday and on The Howard Stern Show, on Wednesday.
While not a tie-in, this is related to the premiere of AMC’s 5th season of The Walking Dead. The TV series is based on the original comic books (which have been gathered into various book compendia). This prose novel is set in the same world and includes characters from both the comic and television series. It is he fourth and final in the series, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, and continued in The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury and The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One. Another new Walking Dead series begins next week, with The Walking Dead Descent.