Archive for the ‘2012 — Fall’ Category

MARBLES On Morning Edition

Monday, November 26th, 2012

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, cartoonist Ellen Forney talks about her memoir of her own mental illness in the graphic novel Marbles. Several libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

The book is also on the Washington Post‘s list of the ten best comics of 2012.

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir
Ellen Forney
Retail Price: $20.00
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Gotham – (2012-11-06)
ISBN / EAN: 1592407323 / 9781592407323


Monday, November 26th, 2012

Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham’s new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, (Random House, RH Audio and BOT, RH Large Print)  is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings, where it is now at #2, and in the number of holds in libraries.

It has been reviewed widely (in both the daily NYT and the Sunday Book Review, as well as the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly) and debuted on the 12/2 NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list at #2.

The author appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Heavy Holds Alert: FAR FROM THE TREE

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Andrew Solomon wrote the National Book Award Winner and  best seller The Noonday Demon, about his own debilitating depression. His new book, Far From the Tree (S&S/Scribner) examines how parents deal with children who are different from them.

The book is showing heavy holds in libraries where ordering was light. The author was profiled by Chip McGrath in the New York Times in Tuesday’s issue. The NYT also reviewed the 1,000 page book last week.

Solomon appeared two weeks ago on Rock Center with Brian Williams.

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Heavy Holds Alert: HELP, THANKS, WOW

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Anne Lamott appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition today, to talk about her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. After the show aired, the book rose to #8 on Amazon sales ranking. Many libraries are showing heaving holds on modest orders.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
Anne Lamott
Retail Price: $17.95
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2012-11-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1594631298 / 9781594631290

Thorndike Large Print, Dec.

New Title Radar — Nov 19 thru 24

Friday, November 16th, 2012

As we head into the all make-or-break gift-giving season, publishers are focusing on sure-bet hits, so we have only one title on our Watch List, a hotel business expose that reminds us of a certain bad-boy restaurant expose. Among the usual suspects are new novels from David Baldacci, Janet Evanovich and Glenn Beck. In Young Adult, Glee star Chris Colfer releases his second novel, Struck By Lightning, which arrives with the words “Now a Major Motion Picture” already emblazoned on the cover.

Watch List

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality, Jacob Tomsky, (RH/Doubleday) has gotten quite a bit of advance publicity, including a NYT review by Janet Maslin (who is often the bellwether of books with high expectations). An expose of hotel practices, it’s reminiscent of an expose of restaurant practices, Anthony Bourdain’s Restaurant Confidential. Maslin’s description makes it sound like it lives up to the comparison; “Mr. Tomsky turns out to be an effervescent writer, with enough snark to make his stories sharp-edged but without the self-promoting smugness that sinks so many memoirs.” The NY Daily News adds to the author’s bad boy credentials, “Jacob Tomsky was once a resentful front-desk clerk at a luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan, forced to attend anger management classes.” Is a Travel Channel show in the offing?

Fan Favorites

The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron, (Hachette/Little,Brown; Thorndike Large Print) is the 18th title in the Judge Deborah Knott mystery series. One fan on GalleyChat called it “One of my favorites in the series.” Her paperbacks have been NYT best sellers; we’re hoping this will be her  hardcover breakout.

Young Adult

Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, Chris Colfer, (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; Hachette Audio). Is this a novel that’s been adapted as a movie, or is it a novelization of a movie? The movie Struck by Lightning, starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer and written by Chris Colfer is scheduled for release on January 11. The novel, the second by Glee‘s Chris Colfer, arrives this week, with the words “Now a Major Motion Picture” on the cover. Kirkus comments, “This sophomoric sophomore effort reads like a rough draft for a screenplay.” But as the book’s cover notes, Colfer is a “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author.”

Usual Suspects

The Forgotten by David Baldacci, (Hachette/ Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print) is the second in the author’s new series of thrillers featuring Army Special Agent John Puller which began last year with Zero Day.

Notorious Nineteen, by Janet Evanovich, (Random House’ RH Audio; RH Large Print). Anyone want to guess which number this one is in the Stephanie Plum series?

Agenda 21, by Glenn Beck, with Harriet Parke, (S&S/Threshold; S&S Audio) is Beck’s fictional take on where America is headed, “There is no president. No congress. No Supreme Court.” But, hold on, doesn’t Beck want smaller government?  In this vision, the U.S. is now run by an even larger government, “the Authorities” who have been imposed by a UN-lead program called Agenda 21 and “Citizens have two primary goals in the new Republic: to create clean energy and to create new human life.” Beck’s fans have made it #2 on Amazon’s sales rankings. Libraries are showing 1:1 holds.


Encyclopedia Paranoiaca by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf, (S&S) is described by Kirkus as ““A whimsical collection of the sometimes-scary, sometimes-silly things that threaten our modern-day lives.”  With the name Christopher Cerf attached, who can resist?

Grace: A Memoir, Grace Coddington, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT Audio).  We jumped the gun by listing this memoir by the creative director of Vogue in last week’s “Radar.” It actually arrives next week. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-, noting that many more people now know who Coddington is because of the 2009 documentary, The September Issue, in which, “the Welsh-born Coddington delightfully stole the show” and says “she’s the bohemian big-haired yang to her boss’ [Anna Wintour’s] impeccably tailored bangs-and-bob yin.”


Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America: A Companion Book for Young Readers to the Steven Spielberg Film by Harold Holzer, (HarperCollins/Newmarket for It Books) is the official young readers tie-in to the movie by a Lincoln scholar and includes photos from the film.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, (Penguin Classics Hardcover) is a new translation by Christine Donougher and Denny, Norman released for the 150th anniversary of classic. The Broadway musical adaptation is coming to movie theaters on Christmas in a new version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Eddie Redmayne. Penguin is also publishing the official tie-in, translated by Norman Denny.

Lay the Favorite by Beth Raymer (RH/Spiegel & Grau) is the tie-in to the adaptation of the 2010 gambling memoir which arrives in theaters on Dec. 7 but is now available on demand. Directed by Stephen Frears (The QueenHigh Fidelity), it stars Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which makes it sound promising, but it gets just a 26% positive rating from critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, (RH/Modern Library) is the first hardcover edition of the book that was published as an original trade paperback in the U.S. The movie, which released Oct. 26, is considered a major flop, but it’s brought renewed attention to the book, returning it to best seller lists.

Holds Alert: BRAIN ON FIRE

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Susannah Cahalan was a rising young NY Post reporter when she began to exhibit signs of schizophrenia. She was admitted to a hospital where a doctor finally diagnosed her as suffering from a rare brain disease that would have killed her if left untreated.

She talked about her experience two years ago on the Today Show, saying she hoped her story would help others. Indeed it did; the family of another young woman with similar symptoms was watching.

Susannah Cahalan published a memoir this weekBrain on Fire  (S&S/Free Press; Highbridge Audio), and appeared on the Today Show again this morning, this time with the young woman whose life was saved by her earlier appearance.

Additional interviews are scheduled this week for NPR’s Fresh Air and ABC’s Katie. The book is reviewed on the NPR web site.

Holds are heavy on light ordering in most libraries.

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Sweeter Response to SWEET TOOTH

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

After  Michiko Kakutani’s sour response  in the NYT to Ian McEwan’s new novel, Sweet Tooth (RH/Nan A. Talese; Thorndike large print; Recorded Books), the book is enjoying much better reactions from other quarters. In the Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley calls it a “delicious new novel [that] provides all the pleasures one has come to expect of [McEwan]: pervasive intelligence, broad and deep knowledge, elegant prose, subtle wit and, by no means least, a singularly agreeable element of surprise.” The Minneapolis Star predicts it will be “his biggest success since 2001’s Atonement, and deservedly so.”  NPR’s web site calls it a “Tootsie Roll Pop of a literary confection — hard-boiled candy enrobing a chewy surprise at its core.”

In another form of appreciation, the book has been optioned by Working Title Films (the company that adapted Atonement in 2007).

Also, holds are growing in libraries and are heavy in many.

New Title Radar: Nov 12 to 18

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Next week, James Patterson contributes to the ongoing deluge of Christmas-themed novels, with Merry Christmas, Alex Cross. Also arriving is the book we predict will be THE gift book of the season, The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, which gives Americans a foretaste of season three, debuting here in January. On our Watch List is a madness memoir that’s poised to take off.

Watch List

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (S&S/Free Press; S&S Audio) is a memoir by a young journalist. At the height of her career, her behavior suddenly becomes erratic, turning into full-blown paranoia and seizures. She recounts,”It flipped my universe upside down and very nearly sent me to an asylum for life.” She doesn’t remember the month she was hospitalized, so she pieces it together through interviews with family and friends and by reviewing videos from the surveillance camera that was in her hospital room. Librarians on October GalleyChat raved about it. People magazine calls it “fascinating” and gives it  3.5 of 4 stars in the new issue. A Nov Indie Next Pick, the author is scheduled to appear on NBC’s The Today Show on Monday, NPR’s Fresh Air and ABC’s Katie on Wednesday.

Usual Suspects

Merry Christmas Alex Cross, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown; Hachette Audio). As Alex tracks down the robber of the church’s poor box and intervenes in a dangerous hostage situation, the Cross family Christmas is different from most.

The Last Man by Vince Flynn (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio). Series hero Mitch Rapp goes to Afghanistan to find an old friend, a CIA agent who may have been kidnapped in this 13th outing. In real life, Rapp is getting ready for his Hollywood debut. CBS Films has optioned the rights to the character and plans to begin with an adaptation of American Assassin. The lead was recently offered to Chris Hemsworth (Snow White and the HuntsmanThorThe Cabin in the Woods). Production is set to begin in 2013.

Literary Favorites

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, (Doubleday/Talese) has already received a number of reviews, including a sour one from the NYT‘s famously hard-to-please Michiko Kakutani (see our earlier story). People follows up with 3 of 4 stars. Many more reviews are in the pipeline. McEwan is scheduled to appear on the upcoming NPR show, Weekend Edition Saturday.

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín, (S&S/Scribner) is a  a novella that began life as a stage play called just Testament. In it, the author imagines the mother of Jesus tells two visitors about his life and death. Tóibín will be interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, Nov. 13.

Dear Life: Stories by Alice  Munro, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio) is designated a People pick in the new issue; “A new Munro collection is always a treat, but there’s special cause for celebration here: Along with 11 stories…the 81-year-old has included three autobiographical pieces.”

Childrens and Young Adult

The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 7) by Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet) has been in the Top 100 on Amazon sales rankings since release was announced.

Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3) by Ally Condie is the final in the popular YA dystopian romance series It foliows Matched (2010) and Crossed (2011).


Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham (Random House; RH Audio) is Meacham’s next book after winning a Pulitzer Prize for biography of Andrew Jackson, American Lion. The #1 Indie Next Pick for Dec, it is scheduled for a great deal of media attention. Meacham appears on NBC’s Today Show this morning, 11/9 and as well as several more shows in the next week, including the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and PBS’s Charlie Rose Show.

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman (HarperCollins) is subtitled, “Musings from the Road.” The Boston Globe says it “collects Nelson’s observations, memories, anecdotes, lyrics, and assorted bits of philosophical this and biographical that, ranging in length from a few sentences to a few pages.”

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (S&S/Scribner). A segment from this book published in the NYT Magazine last Sunday as “How Do You Raise a Prodigy?” was the second most-emailed NYT story over the weekend (admittedly, the title is a sure bet for the magazine’s readership). The author appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday  and is scheduled for Fresh Air next week.

Grace: A Memoir, Grace Coddington, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT Audio) is by the creative director of Vogue. Her work was memorably described by Time magazine, “If Wintour is the Pope…Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.”

Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Scottoline Serritella (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) is the third book by the mother/daughter team who write the “Chick Wit” column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Capturing Camelot by Kitty Kelley, (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne). Known for her in-depth take downs of celebrated figures, Kelley takes a new tack in this collection of JFK photos that were left to her by her good friend, Stanley Tretick.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott (Penguin/Riverhead). The novelist writes about her faith.


The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era, by Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis,(Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press) gives insights into the much-anticipated third season of the popular series, which begins airing on PBS in January. We expect it to be THE gift book of the season.

Kakutani Sour On SWEET TOOTH

Monday, November 5th, 2012


“For readers who liked Ian McEwan’s Atonement,” has become shorthand for novels that blend psychological suspense with a strong sense of the atmosphere of a particular time, deft writing and romance.

McEwan himself has to undergo that comparison. Atonement has become a modern classic (Time magazine included in its list of 100 all Time greatest novels), with every book he’s published since compared to it.

In today’s NYT the hard-to-please Michiko Kakutani, asks whether McEwan’s latest, Sweet Tooth (RH/Nan A. Talese), arriving next week, lives up to the “author’s dazzling 2001 masterpiece.” In a word, she says, “No.”

The book was released in the UK in August and British reviewers also made comparisons, with The Independent saying, “though this is his best book since AtonementSweet Tooth has none of the disquieting tragedy and dazzling technique of that novel, which remains perhaps the greatest in contemporary British literature.”

On the other hand, The Economist compares it to several other McEwan’s titles; “Sweet Tooth is not Mr McEwan’s finest book. It has neither the darkness of The Comfort of Strangers nor the passion of Enduring Love, nor even the forensic observation that made On Chesil Beach such an uncomfortable and memorable read. It is a clever book—ostensibly about spying, yet really about writers and the alchemy of fiction. But it is also curiously forgettable. What it lacks is not so much an animating spirit, as a heart.”

The Guardian, however, appraises Sweet Tooth on its own merits; “This is a great big beautiful Russian doll of a novel, and its construction – deft, tight, exhilaratingly immaculate – is a huge part of its pleasure.”

Nate Silver — Comedy Central Double Whammy

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Statistician Nate Silver has become the media’s go-to guy for election predictions, based on his NYT blog, “FiveThirty­Eight.”

His book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t (Penguin Press) rose to #5 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list this week. He is scheduled to appear on the Colbert Show tonight  and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday.

Will interest continue in the book after tomorrow’s election? Sunday’s NYT Book Review says it will, and that it “could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade” because Silver previously “took aim mostly at sports pundits and political handicappers. But the book hints at his ambitions to take on weightier questions. There’s no better example of this than his chapter on climate change…That Silver is taking this on is, by and large, a welcome development. Few journalists have the statistical chops; most scientists and social scientists are too abstruse.”

YELLOW BIRDS; PARADE Cover and a NYT Best Seller

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

This week’s Parade Magazine‘s cover story features National Book Awards Finalist Kevin Powers, “A Soldier’s Story: Returning Home From Iraq.”

Powers’s novel, The Yellow Birds (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike Press; Hachette Audio), debuts at #13 on the new NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list. It was on the cover of the NYT Book Review last month.

This issue of Parade also includes a list of “10 Books by the Latest Generation of War Veterans.”

THE MIDDLESTEINS Makes Best Seller Debut

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

On our Crystal Ball as the potential surprise hit of the season, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg (Hachette/Grand Central) arrives at #133 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list and at #25 on the NYT Extended Hardcover Fiction list, after its first week on sale.

The book is often compared to The Corrections and author Jonathan Franzen himself gave it a rare blurb, “The Middlesteins had me from its very first pages, but it wasn’t until is final pages that I fully appreciated the range of Attenberg’s sympathy and the artistry of her storytelling.”

The two books may also compare in best seller history. The Corrections made its debut on the USA Today list in a similarly low position, at #150, but rose to #1 after five weeks.

Consumer reviews, while strong, have not been as widespread as would be expected from the advance attention (the NYT relegated it to a mention in their “Newly Released Books” column). In the Washington Post, Ron Charles  says, “The nimble structure of this novel is just one of the elements that keep it engaging.”

The Chicago Tribune review was also very strong, saying that it “stun[s] with its blunt, unsparing and unflinching depictions of family dysfunction among the Jewish-American middle class in Chicago and its suburbs.”

Holds are heavy in libraries where ordering was light.


Friday, November 2nd, 2012


The new season of AMC’s zombie apocalypse series, The Walking Dead, beat out all other programming, including broadcast shows, to become the #1 entertainment series on TV. The first three episodes drew at least 6.5 million viewers each, stunning industry observers.

The Walking Dead began life as a comic series, written by Robert Kirkman (see our earlier story). Compilations of those series have dominated the NYT Graphic Books Best Seller list for months (Book 1, published by Image Comics, is at #3 on the o hardcover list after 67 weeks; the most recent, Book 8, at #2, took up residence 3 weeks ago).

Last year, Kirkman wrote the first in a projected series of prose novels, The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor, which hit the extended list last year at #18 and stayed on for one week.

Volume two, The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books; Macmillan Audio), outdid its predecessor last week, arriving on the main list at #11 (it slips to #31 on the extended list this week). Several libraries are showing heavy holds.

Ronson Rising

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Called an “Investigative Satirist,” by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, Jon Ronson talked about his new book, Lost at Sea (Penguin/Riverhead) on Wednesday night’s show. Stewart uttered the magic words, “You’ve gotta go get Lost at Sea.” It rose to #9 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Ronson was on the show in 2011 for his earlier book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, which went on to become a NYT best seller, reaching a high of #10. He also wrote The Men Who Stare at Goats (S&S, 2004), which was the basis for the 2010 movie starring George Clooney.

New Title Radar: November 5 – 11

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Big names in fiction returning next week include Barbara Kingsolver, Ellen Hopkins and Caleb Carr, along with notable novels by Lydia Millet, Whitney Otto and James Kimmel. The final volume of William Manchester‘s Churchill bio also arrives, written posthumously by Paul Reid, while Larry McMurtry weighs in on General Custer, Sean Carroll explores a new landmark in physics, and Oliver Sacks explores hallucinations.

Watch List

Magnificence by Lydia Millet (Norton; Dreamscape Audio; Center Point Large Print) concludes the trilogy that began with How the Dead Dream (2008) and Ghost Lights (2011). This one is the story of a woman who comes to terms with her life and adulterous affairs when she suddenly becomes a widow. Kirkus says, “The deeply honest, beautiful meditations on love, grief and guilt give way to a curlicued comic-romantic mystery complete with a secret basement and assorted eccentrics.”  The response on GalleyChat was unmitigated; “Magnificence was magnificent. What an amazing writer. Love her unsentimental style.”

Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike Large Print) fictionalizes the lives of eight women photographers as they intersect – including icons like Imogen Cunningham, Lee Miller and Sally Mann, as well as lesser known figures. By the author of How to Make an American Quilt, it was a BEA librarians’ Shout ‘n’ Share Pick. Kirkus says, “although overly schematic, Otto makes these eight women and the differing lenses through which they view the 20th century hard to forget.”

The Trial of Fallen Angels by James Kimmel, Jr. (Penguin/Amy Einhorn; Dreamscape Audio) is a debut novel about an ace lawyer who dies and becomes a defender of the souls of the dead on Judgement Day. Early reviews are mixed: Kirkus says it’s heavy on the spiritualism side, but still intriguing. PW says it fails as a page-turner, but Booklist gives it a starred review, calling it fascinating.

Returning Favorites

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) may be the first novel about the effects of climate change. It arrives with uncanny timing, the week after Hurricane Sandy. In this instance, the evidence is dramatic but not devastating. A vast flock of monarch butterflies descends on a Bible Belt community in what seems like a religious miracle, but turns out to be a more disquieting displacement. It’s a People Pick in the magazine this week, with 4 of 4 stars. Says the reviewer, Kingsolver, “brings the complexities of climate change to her characters’ doorstep, illustrating with rich compassion how they … must find their new place on shifting ground.”  The author’s previous, The Lacuna, was a best seller and won the Orange Prize.

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins (S&S; Atria) is the second adult novel by this YA author, about two best friends and the military men they love, and are separated from, written in the author’s signature poetic verse style. PW says, ” clear narrative that is uplifting and heartbreaking, but also familiar and a little too easy, featuring characters grappling with the serious issues of our time.”

The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr (Random House; S&S Audio) finds the author of the Alienist turning his sights on the medieval era, where invaders and internal tensions roil a fortress. LJ has a wait-and-see attitude toward this one’s commercial prospects.


Infinity Ring Book 2: Divide and Conquer by Carrie Ryan (Scholastic) is the second in a middle grade series about two fifth-grader geniuses who live in an alternate universe and travel back in time to fix various “breaks” in history. Like the 39-Clues, this planned seven-volume series, with six authors, was devised in-house at Scholastic and comes with links to an interactive Web Site. The titles will be released in quick succession, with this one arriving just three months after the first, Infinity Ring Book 1: A Mutiny in Time, by the Maze Runner’s James Dashner. Rick Riordan, who wrote the prototype, 39-Clues, was given the unenviable task of reviewing Book 1 for the the NYT Book Review. His reaction was mixed, concluding that it is, “vivid, intriguing, not fully realized but hinting at a larger story that feels right.” This second volume is by the author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Kirkus, the only source to review it so far, doesn’t buy it, saying, “It’s hard to go wrong with Vikings. But if you asked a classroom full of students to write about a Viking and a time machine, most of them would come up with something more inventive.”


The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965 by William Manchester and Paul Reid (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio) is the final volume in this biographical trilogy. The New York Times Magazine heralds it this Sunday by calling its release, “one of the longest waits in publishing history” and explains how the little-known Paul Reid, who had never written a book before, ended up tackling this project, based on Manchester’s sketchy and often illegible notes. It ended up taking so long that Reid was forced to sell his house, use up his savings and live on credit cards. It may have been worth it. Says the NYT Magazine, it is “more of a stand-alone book than a continuation of the first and second volumes.” PW says it “matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris.” 200,000 copies.

Custer by Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster) is not quite a biography, more of an “informed commentary” on one of American history’s great military blunderers by this respected novelist, according to Kirkus, which also calls it “distilled perceptions of a lifetime of study, beautifully illustrated.” USA Today puts it simply, “This ‘Custer’ cuts through all the Bull.”

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World by Sean Carroll (RH/Dutton) is the story of how science history was made with the search for the Higgs Boson, part of the Higgs field that gives atomic particles their mass – finally discovered earlier this year. PW says, “whether explaining complex physics like field theory and symmetry or the workings of particle accelerators, Carrollas clarity and unbridled enthusiasm reveal the pure excitement of discovery as much as they illuminate the facts.” UPDATE: We jumped the gun; this title is actually coming out on Nov. 13.

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT Audio) finds this bestselling neurologist revealing that hallucinations are actually normal aspects of human experience during illness or injury, intoxication or sensory deprivation, or simply falling asleep. Kirkus says, “A riveting look inside the human brain and its quirks.”


Movie Tie-Ins

The Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) by J.R.R. Tolkien (HMH/Mariner trade pbk; RH/Del Rey mass market) are the tie-in editions of the novel. Also coming are various behind-the scenes books for both adults and children. For the full list, check our Upcoming Movies with Tie-ins).

Jack Reacher’s Rules, with introduction by Lee Child (RH/Delacorte) is a 160-page hardcover compilation of Reacher wisdom and lore; a single quote printed on each page. It arrives, as the publisher puts it, “just in time for [Reacher’s] first movie,” starring Tom Cruise, which lands in theaters on 12/21. It was a drop-in title that hasn’t been reviewed and thus, most libraries have not ordered it. Those that have it are showing holds (Hennepin County has 50 on 9 copies). The tie-in of One Shot, which the movie is based on, also arrives next week, in both mass market and large print.