Stephen Colbert’s call to make California by Edan Lepucki (Hachette/Little, Brown) a NYT best seller has worked. It debuted on the July 27 Hardcover Fiction list at #3.
Colbert urged his audience to buy the book through independent booksellers, rather than Amazon, as a protest against the company’s strong-arming publisher Hachette as part of their terms negotiations.
But now that the book is on best seller lists, it is also rising on Amazon, hitting #208 this morning. Before it was published, when Amazon was not making pre-orders available, it was at #1,610,422 (how it had any ranking a tall when it couldn’t be ordered is a puzzle). After publication on July 8, it rose to #686.
The novel, which was a LibraryReads pick before Colbert made it the centerpiece of his protest, has also been receiving strong reviews in the consumer press:
Reviwer love is growing for Michael Koryta’s. latest thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 6/3/14).
Featured yesterday as one of of NPR.org’s “You Must Read This” picks, it gets this strong recommendation, “If you want an elegantly written, taut thriller with an amazing sense of place, then look no further.” It’s on the Amazon’s editors’ list of the Best Books of the Year So Far (even though it is published by Hachette, the company Amazon is famously feuding with), and Janet Maslin praised it last week in the New York Times.
The NPR reviewer ends by saying, “Koryta, I might add, is only 31 years old. I mention this not to be ageist — but to delight in the fact that he’s got a lot of time to keep on telling us stories. That, dear readers, is great news for us.”
We can add that Koryta already has a considerable body of work, having published ten novels.
The flow of big titles slows down a bit next week. Two of the author’s names may make you feel like you’ve been listening to the 70′s soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy. Danielle Steel’s A Perfect Life (RH/Doubeday; RH large print; Brilliance Audio) leads in holds, although many fewer than one would have expected earlier in her career. Even Tom Clancy returns posthumously, in the third in the Campus series with co-author mark Greany, Tom Clancy Support and Defend, (Penguin/Putnam; RH Auido; Thorndike). Also drawing holds is Elizabeth Adler’s suspense novel, Last to Know (Macmillan/Minotaur).
As a result, reviewers have some breathing space to cover earlier releases.The New York Times gave Michael Kortya’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown), published early last month, a stellar review on Thursday (unlike sister publication, the NYT Book Review, the daily NYT generally covers new or forthcoming books).
Below are four other titles to be aware of next week.
NOTE: We’re experiencing technical difficulties in creating our usual downloadable spreadsheet of notable titles arriving next week. We’ll post it as soon as we can work them out.
In the Media
Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, Daniel Halper, (HarperCollins/Broadside Books)
By the online editor of The Weekly Standard, this is, unsurprisingly, deeply critical of the Clintons. Also unsurprisingly, the book was embargoed and was mysteriously leaked last weekend, which is only adding to the media attention.
Librarians had an early peek at this first title in the two-part series, including a chat with the author, in our Penguin Debut Authors program, It came out in February, setting the stage for fans to eagerly anticipate the quick conclusion. A mashup of recently poplar genres, dystopian science fiction and domestic thriller, it’s received large amount of “much love” on Edelweiss, plus several peer reviews that indicate a passion these books (much stronger than the lackluster pre-pub reviews would indicate).
Who can resist a dog memoir? Not theL.A. Times, which runs down a brief history of them in their revies this book about the author’s unusual attempt to bond with his dog by taking a road trip across the country with him (it seems his is an unusual dog. The book’s opening line is. “I don’t think my dog likes me very much.”)
Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name – One White, One Black, Chris Tomlinson, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)
Tomlinson, an AP foreign correspondent, went back to his home town in Texas and discovered the truth about his slave-owning ancestors. Some PBS stations ran a filmed version of the story earlier this year and others are doing so now. Below is the book trailer.
A bio cum memoir about Harper Lee and her sister, Marja Mills’ The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee, (Penguin Press; Thorndike), published today, is piling up some great reviews. The Washington Post calls is “engrossing” and Maureen Corrigan on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, said it gives a “rich sense of the daily texture of the Lee sisters’ lives.” She goes on to say that, “Fortunately, in Mills, the sisters found a genteel family chronicler knocking at their door at the eleventh hour.”
But the famously reclusive and litigious 88-year-old Harper Lee is not a genteel subject. She has written a letter, reprinted in Entertainment Weekly‘s online column, “Shelf Life,” saying that the book was written on false pretenses, “Miss Mills befriended my elderly sister, Alice. It did not take long to discover Marja’s true mission; another book about Harper Lee. I was hurt, angry and saddened, but not surprised. I immediately cut off all contact with Miss Mills, leaving town whenever she headed this way.”
Leading in holds of the books that arrive next week is the return of Daniel Silva’s art restorer and occasional spy for Israel, Gabriel Allon in The Heist, (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) in which he searches for a stolen Caravaggio. Close behind is Stone Barrington’s newest outing, Cut and Thrustby Stuart Woods, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books; Thorndike). Publishers Weekly gives it a fitting summary, “This installment goes down as smoothly as a glass of Knob Creek.”
Holds are also heavy for relative newcomer, Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life, (Penguin/Viking; Recorded Books; Penguin Audio; Thorndike), the final book in her All Souls trilogy, which began in 2011 with A Discovery of Witches, (a book we predicted would be a hit, but then, what librarian could resist a novel set in the Bodleian?)
All the books mentioned here, as well as several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, with ordering information and alternate formats – New Title Radar, Week of July 14, 2014
Holds are growing on modest orders for this memoir/literary biography about the author’s relationship with Harper Lee. The Washington Post gave it a gotta-read review yesterday and notes a library connection, “As a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Mills was assigned to write about Monroeville [the town where Harper Lee lived] when To Kill a Mockingbird was chosen to launch Chicago’s One Book, One Chicago program on the 41st anniversary of its publication.”
“A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful!” — Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT
Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town, Beth Macy, (Hachette/Little, Brown)
Since the NYT’s Janet Maslin declared earlier this week that this book is, “in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down,” holds have grown on light ordering.
EarlyWord’s GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower has been urging librarians to read this debut novel ever since the first of the year, calling it “a gorgeously written suspenseful study of marriage and betrayal. Not exactly a Gone Girl readalike but just as compelling.” It was also singled out as one of a dozen Great Summer Reads by People magazine.
The PW review has so many quotable lines, it’s difficult to excerpt, “ A middle-aged married couple, their new friend, and her daughter interact, sometimes stormily, in this emotionally complex novel …Beginning with the information that one of these characters is now dead, the book draws the reader in from the first page and builds narrative tension almost ceaselessly to the bitter end …An astute inquiry into relationships and betrayal, this novel is nerve-wracking yet irresistibly readable.”
“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
When interviewed on the Colbert Report, about his new book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio; May 13), Glenn Greenwald said he was working on a story he believed would have even more impact than his previous reporting as it would reveal who the NSA has been spying on.
Already having declared her love for Beth Macy’s nonfiction debut, Factory Man, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 7/15), in her summer preview, NYT‘s daily reviewer, Janet Maslin, gave it a full review just before the holiday.
Her opinion is not dimmed. Saying this book, subtitled, How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — And Helped Save An American Town, is “in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down.”
She also notes that, since the book is published by Hachette, it is another victim of the Amazon/Hachette battle and will not be available for purchase on Amazon until pub date or on Kindle, but ” it’s worth the trouble to read what will be one of the best, and surely most talked about, books of 2014.”
Bestselling veteran Catherine Coulter is number one in total holds for book arriving next week, with the 18th title in her FBI series, Power Play, (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike). A distant second is Brad Thor with the 13th in his Scot Harvath series, Act of War: A Thriller, (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler; S&S Audio; Thorndike).
YA author Veronica Roth feeds the interest in her Divergent series with a companion title, Four: A Divergent Collection (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen; HarperAudio). These stories were originally released as ebooks beginning in 2012, and are now collected in a hardback volume. Since the success of the Divergent movie, the 25-year-old author is interviewed by The Hollywood Reporterabout the new title. The original Divergent trilogy is told from Tris’s perspective (played by Shailene Woodley). These stories are from the point of view of the male lead, Four (played by Theo James). THR reports, it “includes three pre-Divergent stories, one story that runs parallel with the events in Divergent, and three additional scenes from Divergent.” Holds are outstripping orders in most libraries.
Librarians are fans of Chris Bohjalian, and he returns the favor, helping library fund raisers, such as the one for Howard County [MD] P.L earlier this year. His new book, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, (RH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio) arrives next week and is a LibraryReads pick. As the recommendation makes clear, Bohjalian again takes on many issues:
“Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past.” — Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA
All the titles mentioned here and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, with full ordering information and alternate formats – New Title Radar, Week of 7/7/14
Copies of the above titles will all be going out to holds. Below are a few that you may actually be able to put in readers hands:
Here’s a great R.A. handle. None other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recommended this book in Esquire as a way to understand women. The story of two women whose childhood friendship endures through the very different paths they take in adulthood, Abdul-Jabbar says he “was blown away by the poetic prose and depth of characterization. The blunt honesty of the women’s perspective will be a revelation for many men.”
One of our Pegnuin First Flighs authors (read our online chat with the author here), Sweterlitsch’s novel is about an archivist who investigates insurance claims for people killed in a massive explosion in Pittsburgh via a virtual reality recreation of the city. It was picked by LJ as a SF/Fantasy Debut of the Month and as one of Summer’s Best Debuts
More Library Reads Picks
In addition to Chris Bohjalian’s Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, here are more LibraryReads picks arriving next week, with recommendations you can crib from fellow librarians.
“Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.” — Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL It was also picked by People as one of a dozen Great Summer Reads
“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.” — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH
A movie of this fantasy is the works starring Emma Watson, so, of course, some have called it “The next Harry Potter.” It’s also been called “a female Game of Thrones.” Watson herself has talked about her love for this debut novel, but we’ll go with the LibraryReads recommendation:
“The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read!” — Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK
“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority, Patrick Buchanan, (RH/Crown; RH Audio)
Conservative Buchanan advised Nixon on how to rally the Republican party behind Nixon to win the 1968 election. You can bet his new book will be featured Fox News and The McLaughlin Group, shows where he is a regular.
If I Stay Movie Tie-In, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Speak)
The 2010 trade paperback reprint has been rising on the NYT YA best seller list ever since the August 22 release date was announced, and it is at #2 as of the 6/6/14 list. The movie stars Chole Moretz as Mia, a 17 year-old who, while in a coma after a car accident, must choose whether to live or die; Jamie Blackley (Snow White And The Huntsman, The Fifth Estate) as her boyfriend Adam; Mirella Enos and Denny Hall, as her parents and Stacy Keach as Gramps. Director R. J Cutler is known for his documentaries, including the Emmy-award-winning American High. In addition to the first trailer, Warner Bros. recently released the “Prologue”:
The lead title next week, in terms of holds and library orders is One Plus Oneby Jojo Moyes, (Viking/Pamela Dorman; Recorded Books; Thorndike). British author Moyes published 12 novels in the same number of years, recently breaking onto best seller lists in 2012 with Me Before You, a novel about the relationship between a quadriplegic and his caregiver that also looked at the issue of assisted suicide. It was such a departure for the author that she worried it would be a tough sell, but it was quite the opposite.
To signal that this book was not a traditional romance, it was given a distinctive all-type cover. The book turned out to be so successful that the format is now being applied to all of Moyes’s novels (see above; a before and after of one of her earlier romances and its just-released paperback reincarnation). Me Before You was followed the next year by The Girl You Left Behind (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike), a historical romance, which was more familiar territory for Moyes.
One Plus One is a contemporary romance and a LibraryReads pick:
“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.” — Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH
Also showing heavy holds are two very different romances, as indicated by their covers, the second book in Jude Deveraux Nantucket Brides trilogy, For all Time (RH/Ballantine; Thorndike) and Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Fury (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio)
Dollbaby. Laura Lane McNeal, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman)
“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
The HarperCollins Library Marketing team are big fans of this debut and buzzed it at ALA Midwinter (listen to the Book Buzz here). About a jazz singer and her young daughter in 1960′s Chicago, it has inspired raptures among the prepub reviewerss. LJ — “Rotert’s musical background informs Naomi’s passion for performance, but it is her heartbreaking portrait of Sophie [her daughter], so wise yet so vulnerable, that readers will remember long after the final page.” It was starred by Booklist and Kirkus left behind the snark to call it a “tale that’s poignant, poetic and heart-wrenching throughout.”
Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty, Elizabeth Mitchell, Atlantic Monthly Press
This patriotic holiday, recommend a book that debunks many of our notions about our most famous monumental sculpture. Originally planned for a spot overlooking the newly constructed Suez Canal, by a French sculptor trying to make a name for himself, it was finally, and reluctantly, accepted by the U.S. There’s even a weird Real Housewives of New York connection. One of the “housewives,” Countess LuAnn de Lesseps gets her title from her marriage to one of the descendants of the builder of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps.
Featured in the New York Times “Fashion & Style” section last week, former Gawker editor Gould has made a living by talking about herself. Her 8,000 word confessional was featured on the cover of the NYT Magazinein 2008. The NYT says, “a case could be made that Ms. Gould’s warts-and-all brand of self-exposure anticipated a wave of confessional writing that paved the way for Girls, Lena Dunham’s quasi-autobiographical hit on HBO.”
Her novel is about young women in New York who are very much like herself (of course). Booklist calls it “a savvy first novel that, in piercing prose, zeroes in on modern ennui and the catalysts that force even the most apathetic out of their complacency.”
Speakng of oversharing — as the publisher’s promo says about this author, “You know what she says out loud. Can you imagine what she writes in her diary?” and goes on to say:
Anais Nin, Anne Frank and Sylvia Plath wrote the world’s most famous diaries. And where are they today? Dead. But the world’s OTHER great diarist, Joan Rivers, is alive and kicking. And complaining.
In the extraordinary tradition of The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor and George Orwell’s Diaries, comes an intimate and enriching glimpse into the mind of the most illuminating woman-of-letters of her generation—the provocative exploration of an age in which she has lived on and on and on and on.
Entertainment Weekly gives a pitch for it being THE 204 Summer Must-Read:
It’s kind of like a Jonathan Tropper novel in that it’s super-readable and funny and a total page-turner, but it also has a lot of smart things to say about relationships and love and big messy families. It’s light but not just empty calories — ideal for the beach!
Several libraries have ordered more copies, but holds continue to outstrip ordering.
The watchword for next week is “stand-alones” as many brand-name authors publish books that are not part of their well-known series.
Leading in terms of holds is James Patterson’s Invisible, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio), a standalone and his third collaboration with David Ellis, following Guilty Wives and Mistress.
Coming in second, averaging half as many holds, is Karin Slaughter’s stand-alone, Cop Town, (RH/Delacorte).
The prolific Dean Koontz makes his latest appearance in the standalone The City (RH/Bantam; Recorded Books; Thorndike), hard on the heels of Innocence, which came out in December. He has yet another coming this December, the next in his Odd Thomas series, Saint Odd, (RH/Bantam). If you’re wondering what happened to the Odd Thomas movie, after some legal struggles, it was released on demand and DVD in February.
Readers Advisory Tips
Jacqueline Winspear is known for her Maisie Dobbs series, mysteries featuring WWI nurse turned private investigator in London between the wars. The books have arrived in quick succession since the first was published in 2003, and have grown in popularity, hitting best seller lists. Her new book is her first stand-alone, with an intriguing title, The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War (Harper; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio). The “lies” are the half-truths people tell each other to help them through difficult times. In this case, a woman tries to keep her husband’s spirits up at the front during WWI, through letters that recount sumptuous meals she imagines preparing for him.
This is a stand-alone that may prove to bring new readers to the author, enticing those who came late to the party and may not have been willing to tackle the entire Maisie series. Fans of Maisie need not worry, however, the author is under contract for two more, with the next one, The White Lady, scheduled for some time in 2015
Debuts don’t often get featured on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List,” so it’s significant that reading this one is on their list of ten necessary things to do in the upcoming week. The book is described as “a propulsive mystery … an explosive debut.”
Many librarians were introduced to the author through our Penguin Debut Authors program; read our online chat with the author here. It’s about a young girl who goes missing, but don’t let readers be put off by the subject; it’s much more than a “ripped from the headlines” novel, using that event as a way to reveal the family dynamics.
The peer reviews on Edelweiss give clues on how to recommend it; “the reader uncovers the truth one person at a time … as each person moves through the tragedy that has befallen them,” and “The first line draws you in, and the multiple perspectives make it compelling reading, which is well worth the journey.” The author is scheduled to appear on NPR/Weekend All Things Considered on 6/28.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer review clearly made believers, causing holds to rise in local libraries on this second book in a series, after Loyalty, “a craftily plotted page-turner. Identity … is even better … sexy modern noir – and readers [will be] cheering on a new-generation, kick-ass heroine. Grade: A”
A book by a youg media-savvy author (an MTV VJ and contestant on America’s Next Top Model) about how her generation needs to follow her lead and quit social media, which she says has become an “addiction.” Sounds like catnip for the media and in fact, she is scheduled for an appearance on CBS This Morning, June 24 and for coverage in People magazine, among others.
After all those creepy teasers and trailers, the FX series, The Strain, will finally debut on July 17. Harper is releasing Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s entire vampire trilogy as tie-ins:
The opening line is not promising, “Neither its plot nor its provenance do much to recommend Terry Hayes’s I Am Pilgrim,” (S&S/Atria/ Emily Bestler; S&S Audio; Thorndike), but Janet Maslin’s review in today’s New York Timesquickly becomes a rave, describing the book as “the most exciting desert island read of the season … a big, breathless tale of nonstop suspense,”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer spotted it two weeks ago, and called it “one of the strongest thrillers in years, and certainly the best so far of this year.” Published in the U.K. last year (although set in New York City), it also won over British reviewers. The Guardian went so far as to agree with the publisher’s hype that it is “the only thriller you need to read this year.”
The book is expected to be the first in a series (in fact, Maslin’s only grumble is that “This book doesn’t exactly end; it just stops … At the price of credibility, [Hayes] paves the way for a sequel. It’s not a fair trade.”)
Stephen Colbert continued his public fight against Amazon on Friday, saying the company’s “scorched-earth tactics” against publisher Hachette, have resulted in “more people getting screwed than in Fifty Shades of Grey.”
In an earlier show, he noted that Amazon’s disabling of the pre-order functions for Hachette titles is particularly hard on first-time authors, so he enlisted viewers to buy Edan Lepucki’s debut novel California (Hachette/Little,Brown), which is also a LibraryReads pick, via Powells. As of Friday, over 6,400 copies had been pre-ordered. Now he is urging viewers to make it a New York Times best-seller by continuing to pre-order copies through Powell’s and other independent booksellers.
Other Titles Getting The Bump
Fellow Comedy Central host, Jon Stewart, who is also published by Hachette/Grand Central, has not formally joined the fight, but he will give a bump to another Hachette title tonight on The Daily Show, by interviewing Daniel Schulman, author of Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty (Hachette/Grand Central).
Also tonight, Colbert will feature a title from Penguin Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality David Boies, Theodore B. Olson, (Penguin/Viking).
And on Wednesday, Colbert will interview Katty Kay and Claire Shipman co-authors of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, (HarperBusiness).