Archive for the ‘2012 — Summer’ Category

Stedman Holds Steady

Thursday, August 16th, 2012


The publisher’s prediction that word-of-mouth best seller, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner,; Large type coming in November from Thorndike) will do as well as  Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, may not be far off the mark. It arrived on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list last week at #7 and on the USA Today list at #21. It holds steady this week on USA Today, so expect it to do the same when the NYT  list arrives.

Last week’s other word of mouth debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Random House; RH AudioBOT) slides a bit, from #107 on the USA Today list to #127.

It’s been quite a summer for word of mouth successes, beginning with Gillian Glynn’s Gone Girl, (RH/Crown; RH AudioBOT) which, after 10 weeks, appears on the USA Today list immediately after that other word of mouth phenomenon, Fifty Shades of Grey, (RH/Doubleday). Interest in Gone Girl is continuing; holds are continue to rise. One library shows over 2,000 holds on 250 copies.

Thorns Have Roses

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

If your reading clubs are looking for a book “with all the heart-tugging appeal of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” Entertainment Weekly suggests Margaret Dilloway’s The Care and Handling of Roses With Thorns, an “exquisite little novel, about a biology teacher who breeds roses so she won’t have to think about her kidney disease.”

The public hasn’t caught on yet; libraries are showing few holds, so you might actually be able to find copies on your new book shelves to recommend.

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns
Margaret Dilloway
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin/Putnam – (2012-08-02)

Thorndike Large Print, Nov


Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Author Peter Heller knows what it’s like to jump into a kayak and wonder if he’ll live to do it again. No surprise, then, that he writes adventure pieces for magazines like OutsideNational Geographic Adventure and Men’s Journal and that his nonfiction sports titles like Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave and Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet’s Tsangpo River. 

He captured listener’s imaginations when he appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday to talk about The Dog Stars, his first work of fiction, a tale of two men struggling to survive after a pandemic wipes out over half the population, including those dearest to them. For the adventure scenes, Heller draws on many of his own experiences.
Today, the book rose to #23 on Amazon’s sales rankings. Several libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.
The Dog Stars
Peter Heller
Retail Price:
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: RH/Knopf – (2012-08-07)
ISBN / EAN: 9780307959942, 0307959945

RH Audio


Monday, August 13th, 2012

Book Expo Editor’s Buzz Panel pick, In the Shadow of the Banyan (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Large Print), Vaddey Ratner’s debut novel, is getting attention from a wide range of sources, from the New York Post, which calls it “required reading,” to a profile in USA Today, admiring reviews in the NYT Book Review, on NPR’s web site and in People magazine (which designated it a “People Pick”).

The novel is based on the author’s own experiences as a child in Cambodia, struggling to survive under the Khmer Rouge. Given its subject, the NYT Book Review marvels,

How is it that so much of this bleak novel is full of beauty, even joy? Deposited in a strange hamlet, Raami observes “flame trees in full bloom” and rice paddies with “knee-high stalks as supple as baby’s hair.” A sunrise registers as the sky’s “pinkish veil, borrowing the hue of the lotuses unfolding below.”

Celebrating Julia Child

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Julia Child would have been 100 on Wednesday. Celebrations of her legacy abound, including the just-released biography, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (RH/Knopf;Random House Audio).

In addition to uncovering dozens of fascinating anecdotes to add the Child canon, Spitz reveals how hard she worked to make her performances look natural and the lengths she would go to ensure that recipes would work for Americans, even contacting the US Department of Fisheries to find out what the equivalents were of those she was cooking in France.

You’ll find yourself reading sections aloud to anyone who will listen and running to the computer to find videos of Child in action. Luckily, WGBH has put together a Child mashup video (great for posting on the library Web page) as well as some longer segments on their “Celebrating Julia” page.

Watch Julia Child’s 100th birthday on PBS. See more from WGBH Specials.

Her keen sense of humor and fine timing is exhibited in this David Letterman segment (also available online is the Dan Akryod SNL skit. Don’t worry; it’s not irreverent to watch it during the Centenary. Spitz says Child loved it),

New Title Radar: August 13 – 19

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

It’s probably no surprise that, of the titles arriving next week, the one with the heaviest holds is Rick Riordan’s next middle-grade title, The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries. It may be surprising that the number two title is actually an older book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the tie-in to the movie which arrives in theaters next month starring Emma Watson in her first post-Harry Potter role. Our Watch List includes a title librarians have buzzed as well as several that have received advance media attention.

Watch List

The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields (Penguin/Pamela Dorman)

Fields’s fourth novel was picked by most of the librarians on BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share panel. Kansas City’s Kaite Stover book talks it this way,

Every summer there’s a juicy historical novel filled with passion, meticulous research and period detail, layered characters and a you-are-there tone. This year it’s The Age of Desire and unlike recent faves, The Paris Wife or Loving Frank, this novel focuses on the love and friendship of two women, Edith Wharton and her literary secretary Anna Bahlman.

During a few tumultuous years, Edith pens some of her most famous works as her lifeless marriage turns sour and she begins an affair with a younger man. Ann becomes Edith’s husband’s comfort, even as Anna begins to cultivate a relationship with a wealthy German shipping magnate and considers leaving Edith’s employ.

Anyone who recognizes the gilded webs Wharton weaves for society women in her own classics will spot the same in this book of two very real women trying to be independent individuals from society, family, and each other.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Type in Dec.)

The NYT jumped the pub date to get in an early review, indicating that there is buzz (it was on nearly every summer reading list) and causing the book to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings. Entertainment Weekly follows with anther strong review; “a comic, often frustrating, but ultimately engrossing and whip-smart modern epistolary novel.” Will appeal to those who appreciate the cult TV series, Arrested Development, which Semple wrote for.

Motherland by Amy Sohn (Simon & Schuster)

There are those in what is called “Brownstone Brooklyn” who can’t wait to read the salacious details of life among what Sohn has dubbed “The Regressives,” 40-something moms who can’t figure out what to do with their lives, so regress to the bad behavior of their twenties. Entertainment Weekly makes this devastating comment, “If Motherland had a subtitle, it might be The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Bourgeois Brooklynite.” For a taste, read Sohn’s recent essay in The Awl. Unsurprisingly, holds are heaviest in NYC area libraries. Sohn is a media insider (she’s written columns for numerous magazines as well as TV and film), so expect media coverage.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Perseus/Weinstein Books; original trade paperback; Ship Date, 8/14. Pub Date, 9/4)

The Malaysian author’s second title is also his second to be long-listed for the Booker. The Independent said of this book, “Tan’s story here is just as elegantly planted as his Man Booker-long listed debut The Gift of Rain, and even more tantalisingly evocative” and made a swipe at UK publishing by adding, “Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace. That a novel of this linguistic refinement and searching intelligence should come from a tiny Newcastle imprint tells us a lot about the vulgarity of corporate publishing today.” In the US, it’s on a larger publisher’s list.

Usual Suspects


And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins; HarperAudio)
A standalone featuring Heloise Lewis, who runs a prostitution ring. The NYT‘s Janet Maslin jumped the pub datewith her review, praising Lipmann for focusing on Heloise’s “impressive acumen and the levelheaded thinking that has gone into her entrepreneurial model.”

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

The author of The Other Boleyn Girl moves to the court of Edward IV.

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber (RH/Ballantine; Random House AudioThorndike Large Print)

Macomber switches publishers for the first book in the Cedar Cove series.

Middle Grade & Young Adult

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One by Ellis Weiner (Chronicle Books)

This first title in a new series is already a hit with prepub reviewers. Publishers Weekly writes, “The most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone.”  The Horn Book adds that the”Illustrations play up the story’s humor as well as highlighting the twins’ ingenuity.”

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, Listening Library)

Features four original stories in which the heroes meet.

Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans (Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink, Simon & Schuster Audio/Mercury Ink)

The second in the YA mystery series by the author of many best selling adult titles including The Christmas Box.


Movie Tie-in

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books, trade pbk; Recorded Books)

Emma Watson stars in the movie version of the 1999 coming-of-age tale that has been embraced by teens. The original hardcover is also being re-released. The movie opens on 9/21. Official movie site:


The New New Deal
by Michael Grunwald (S&S)

Time magazine’s senior correspondent argues that the Obama stimulus bill is a “New Deal, larger than FDR’s and just as transformative.” It will be getting media attention, including a feature in the Washington Post on Sunday, coverage on NPR’s Marketplace and The Takeaway as well as on several MSNBC talk shows and on CNN.

Obama’s America by Dinesh D’Souza (Regnery)

The author’s followup to the best selling The Roots of Obama’s Rage. He claims a second Obama term will turn the US from the “shining city on a hill” to  “a shantytown in a rather dangerous global village.” No prepub reviews on this one, indicating it’s embargoed.

HAROLD FRY Word of Mouth

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The new Indie Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list confirms the growing word of mouth for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by British author Rachel Joyce, which arrives at #7. It seems to be doing better with indies than with other sellers; it debuts in lower spot, at #107, on USA Today‘s list. Expect it to arrive on the lower rungs of the upcoming NYT main list, or on the Fiction Extended List.

Reviews have been generally stellar, with the marked exception of the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, who couldn’t get into the spirit of it, calling the simple premise — a retired Englishman learns that an old friend is dying and decides to walk 627 miles to see her — “twee.” More typical is Ron Charles in the Washington Post, who counters that the plot summary,

…sounds twee, but it’s surprisingly steely, even inspiring, the kind of quirky book you want to shepherd into just the right hands. If your friends don’t like it, you may have to stop returning their calls for a little while until you can bring yourself to forgive them.”

You might suspect that Charles wrote that as a direct rebuttal, but his review came out several days before hers.

People magazine gave it four stars last week and named it a People Pick, comparing it to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time; Joyces’ beguiling debut is another modest seeming story of ‘ordinary’ English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds.”

Librarians on this week’s GalleyChat said that they enjoy recommending it; “Everyone I give Harold to falls in love with him.” One librarian plans to use it with her book club, pairing it with a nonfiction title about a journey of self-discovery, Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Harold Fry is on the UK’s Man Book prize longlist and currently shows odds of 6:1 at William Hill bookmakers, putting it just behind books by two already established authors, Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies and Will Self’s Umbrella.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2012-07-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0812993292 / 9780812993295


Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The most-cited title on summer 2012 book previews, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple comes out next week and gets an early plug from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin. It’s done the trick; the book rose to #113 on Amazon’s sales rankings, its highest point so far.

Maslin often jumps the pub date to be the first to review a book that is likely to be talked about. In this case, however, Glenn Young of Michigan’s Petosky News beat her to it, with a review that is the polar opposite of Maslin’s. It seems you need to be a fan of the cult TV show Arrested Development (which Semple wrote for) to get the book’s humor. Young acknowledges that he is not.

Maslin, however, says that Semple’s writing for TV was a great background for this “divinely funny, many-faceted novel.”

Expect to see many more reviews next week. Libraries are showing holds ratios ranging from 3:1 up to 12:1 on light ordering.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Maria Semple
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2012-08-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0316204277 / 9780316204279

Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Type in Dec.

Sept Indie Next Picks

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Click on cover to see larger version

The number one Indie Next Pick for September is a title that hasn’t been on radar screens; The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen (Norton, 9.17). Publishers Weekly hails this debut by the Danish-born Australian author as “refreshingly pared-down story of one girl’s tiny world and the life lessons available in the smallest of existences.” Libraries have placed modest orders on the book.

The digital ARC is available on Edelweiss.

It was blurbed by Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus; “The best stories change you. I am not the same after The Vanishing Act as I was before.”

Valerie Arroyo of Brewster Book Store on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, revuews it for Indie Next;

 Minou is a 12-year-old girl who lives on a tiny, snow-covered island with her philosopher father, Boxman the magician, and a dog called No-Name. When a dead boy washes up on the island, Minou makes a connection between the boy’s arrival and her mother’s disappearance a year earlier. Using philosophy along with the power of her imagination, Minou tries to uncover the truth behind her mother’s absence. What she discovers is haunting and unforgettable. The Vanishing Act is a charming, fable-like story, beautifully told, and filled with magic!

The majority of the other titles on the Sept. Indie Next list were hot at BEA.



Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Jim Holt’s intriguingly titled new book, Why Does the World Exist? comes with an equally intriguing subtitle, An Existential Detective Story. It’s already received wide attention (Slate, the L. A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, among others), with more to come. The author appeared last night on the Charlie Rose Show, the book is reviewed in today’s NYT by Dwight Garner (who points out that it got a blurb from Christopher Hitchens days before he died) and will be featured on the cover of Sunday’s NYT BR. 

Several libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering.

Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story
Jim Holt
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Norton/Liveright – (2012-07-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0871404095 / 9780871404091

New Title Radar: August 6 – 12

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Next week’s debuts to watch include Outside magazine contributing editor Peter Heller‘s post-apocalyptic literary debut, and Cambodian refugee Vaddey Ratner‘s autobiographical novel. Usual suspects include Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julie Garwood, Chelsea Cain, Lisa Jackson and W.E.B. Griffin, and Michael Koryta – plus new childrens and YA novels from James Patterson, Amanda Hocking and Rebecca Stead. In nonfiction, there’s a new bio of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.

Watch List

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (Knopf; Random House Audio) is a literary debut about a pilot who survives a flu pandemic that wipes out 99% of the population, and then sets out to find the distant voice he hears on his radio. Booklist‘s starred review calls it a “surprising and irresistible blend of suspense, romance, social insight, and humor… [a novel] of spiky pleasure and signal resonance.” It is an Indie Next pick for August.

City of Women by David R Gillham (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn; Penguin Audiobooks) is the third in the Penguin Debut Author program. Set in Berlin during World War II, it effectively presents the lives of ordinary Germans living in extraordinary times, forcing readers to wonder what they would have done. It is an Indie Next pick for August. Read our online chat with the author here and our brief audio interview.

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Large Print) is a debut told through the eyes of a seven-year-old survivor of Cambodia’s genocide under the Khmer Rouge, written by a woman who escaped the country as a refugee in 1981. It was a Book Expo Editor’s Buzz Panel pick, and also a People pick in last week’s issue: “Ratner’s lyrical first novel finds love and surprising humanity in a horrifying setting …Raami, the book’s 7-year-old heroine, is lame from polio (as is the author) yet she remains a tenacious dreamer.” An Indie Next pick for August, it is scheduled for media attention next week on NPR in USA Today, the NYT Book Review and several monthly magazines.

Usual Suspects

Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio) is the latest installment in the popular Dark Hunter series, in which warrior Ren Waya, must kill Kateri Avani, the one person he has always cherished, to ward off an ancient evil.

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is a romantic thriller about an IRS attorney determined to bring down her father’s shady scheme, and the FBI agent who rescues her from an assault. Kirkus says, “The evil characters lack any semblance of humanity, and the good characters, including the Fed-crossed lovers, are perfect and unbecomingly smug about it. A standard melodrama with occasional flashes of originality.”

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) marks the return of Gretchen Lowell, otherwise known as “The Beauty Killer,” who appeared in Cain’s first three novels – along with police detective Archie Sheridan. Kirkus says, “Cain’s abiding determination to outdo the suspense, plot twists and gore of each previous outing is both perverse and awe-inspiring.”

You Don’t Want to Know by Lisa Jackson (Kensington; Brilliance Audio) is a standalone thriller about a woman who loses her grip on reality after her child disappears, and becomes the prime suspect in a string of murders. PW says, “Multiple red herrings and a host of sinister characters help keep the pages turning.”

The Spymasters: A Men at War Novel by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth, IV (Putnam Adult; Brilliance AudioThorndike Large Print) is the seventh in this thriller series and the third the author has written with his son. The plot centers on threats to the Manhattan Project during WWII, Kirkus says the authors “are completely at ease mixing fact and fiction, skillfully piecing together pieces of their narrative puzzle. Their writing is straightforward to a fault, sometimes reminding you of a scholastic You Are There novel, but the book never sags, and the characters never lose our interest.”

The Prophet by Michael Koryta (Hachette/Little Brown; Little Brown Large Print) is the author’s ninth novel, about two brothers in a small Midwestern town who were divided as teenagers by the death of their sister, and clash again years later when another local teen dies. PW says, “Koryta has a gift for melding a suspenseful, twisty plot with a probing, unflinching look at his protagonistsa weaknesses.” His So Cold the River and Cypress House are being developed for movies. Adaptation rights were also sold for this new title at the end of May (Deadline).

Childrens & Young Adult

Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure by James Patterson (Hachette/LBYR; Hachette AudioThorndike Large Print) is the final installment in the Maximum Ride series.

Wake by Amanda Hocking (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, Macmillan Audio) is the first installment in the new Watersong series about three contemporary sirens. It follows Hocking’s successful self-published Trylle Trilogy (later republished by St. Martin’s). Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog features an “exclusive” trailer this week  and an interview with Hocking. PW says, “While Hocking’s writing isn’t always polished (the foreshadowing can be painfully heavy), the well-structured story and strong characters carry readers over the rough spots. A cliffhanger ending sets up the next book, Lullaby, due [in] six months.”

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead (RH/Wendy Lamb Books; Listening Library) is the story of two boys who become friends when one moves into the other’s Brooklyn neighborhood. PW says “chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come.” Stead’s When You Reach Me won the 2010 Newbery Medal.

Movie Tie-in

Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; also trade pbk and mass market; Macmillan Audio) is the tie-in to the movie starring Sean Penn, famously rescheduled to next year because of a scene uncomfortably close to reality (a shooting in a movie theater). That scene was created for the movie and is not in the book, which is shipping as originally planned. This will be the book’s first publication (which is the reason it arrives in hardcover, audio, as well as two tie-in editions). Both the book and the movie are based on the LA Times writer Lieberman’s research into the LAPD’s eight-man “Gangster Squad” and their efforts to trap gang leader Mickey Cohen.


Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio) raises the question, do we need another book about Julia Child? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” from librarians at BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share panel. PW says, “Released to coincide with Child’s centenary [August 13], Spitz’s delightful biography succeeds in being as big as its subject.” Why did Spitz, the author of major works about the Beatles and Bob Dylan turn his attention to a celebrity cook? He answers that question in an interview on the RH Library Marketing blog.


Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books, 6/12/12), a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and cartoonist Joe Sacco debuts on the Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller list at #4. It was recently featured on Bill Moyers and Company

Libraries are showing a wide range of holds, from just a few to over 100.

Kirkus reviewed it, saying that the authors are each known for covering international wars, but “the war they document here is in America, where ‘[c]orporate capitalism will, quite literally, kill us, as it has killed Native Americans, African Americans trapped in our internal colonies in the inner cities, those left behind in the devastated coalfields, and those who live as serfs in our nation’s produce fields.’ Through immersion reportage and graphic narrative, the duo illuminate the human and environmental devastation in those communities, with the warning that no one is immune.”

Tana French on the Rise

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Tana French’s fourth novel in her Dublin mystery series, Broken Harbor, (Penguin/Viking; Recorded BooksThorndike Large Print), debuts at #2 on the new Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list, the highest spot yet for the author.

The author is a reviewers’ darling. NPR lauds French’s “ability to … easily sow doubt, all the while building to a truly gut-wrenching conclusion.” Entertainment Weekly says she “has that procedural pro’s knack for making mundane police work seem fascinating. And she’s drawn not just to the who but also to the why — those bigger mysteries about the human weaknesses that drive somebody to such inhuman brutality.”

In the NYT, Janet Maslin says, “Ms. French’s books all give the same first impression. They start slowly and seem to need tighter editing. But as in Faithful Place, she patiently lays her groundwork, then moves into full page-turner mode … like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, this summer’s other dagger-sharp display of mind games, Broken Harbor is something more [than it appears].”


Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

We’ve been tracking the debut title The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), which has growing holds in libraries. After its release yesterday, it rose into Amazon’s Top 100 (to #58 from #1,035). Holds have tripled since our first alert last week.

It’s the lead title on the O Summer Reading list. The description begins,

There’s something irresistible about a morally complex story that makes you root for all its flawed characters, even when they’re at odds with one another. The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman’s seductive debut, is just that sort of book. And it comes with a bonus: a high-concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page.

Those qualities are undoubtedly the reason Cuyahoga PL apotted it for their Book Discussion Sets.

This week’s People magazine declares, “Stedman’s debut signals a career certain to deliver future treasures.” The New York Times warns that it “does occasionally dip into the melodrama pot; Isabel at one point screams, ‘Don’t take my baby away!’ It’s a moving tale, regardless. Prepare to weep.”

Best Selling Chapter Book Debuts

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Glee star Chris Colfer was so excited to hear that his debut book lands at #1 on the 8/4  NYT Children’s Chapter Books Best Seller list that he  leaked the news yesterday afternoon, via a tweet. The leak was picked up by the Hollywood Reporter, which noted that “Colfer first came up with the idea when he was in grade school but wrote the book between scenes on Glee.

Prepub reviews for The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Hachette/LBYR; Hachette Audio) were not particularly strong, but most acknowledge, as Booklist puts it,  that the many Glee fans “will not be disappointed by the giddy earnestness of the writing.”

Last week’s debut, Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, (Random House YR), arrived on the list at #8 with much better prepub attention; four starred reviews. Booklist says, “Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy.” The Washington Post agreed, “Nothing strikes dread in a reviewer’s heart like a dragon on a book cover. Can the author infuse this tired trope with fresh blood, or is it doomed to flame out in blatant cliche? Happily, Rachel Hartman, with her richly imagined reptile and human characters, proves more than equal to the task.” The book continues on the new list at #9. The debut began bullding librarian buzz on YA GalleyChat back in March.