Archive for the ‘2012/13 – Winter/Spring’ Category

NYT Breaks Embargo on Amanda Knox Book

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Waiting to Be HeardDiane Sawyer was supposed to have the first word on Amanda Knox’s memoir, Waiting to Be Heard,(Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio) in an interview with the author on April 30, the book’s publication date. Instead, the NYT‘s publishing reporter, Julie Bosman got it first, breaking the embargo with a story on Friday.

Knox, an American attending college in Perugia, Italy, was accused, along with her boyfriend, of killing her roommate. She was tried, convicted and imprisoned, but released after the the decision was was overturned. In March, the Italian courts again changed their minds and ordered a new trial, which is to be held some time next year.

Holds are heavy in many libraries.

More Fans of ME BEFORE YOU

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Me Before YouAn author couldn’t ask for much better than this. Liesl Schillinger’s NYT BR review of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books, Thorndike Large Print), begins “When I finished this novel, I didn’t want to review it; I wanted to reread it.”

People magazine designates it their first “People Pick” of the year, calling this story of a quadriplegic’s relationship with his caregiver,  “funny, surprising and heartbreaking, populated with characters who are affecting and amusing in equal measure. Written in a deceptively breezy style… [it] captures the complexity of love.”

This adds to an equally strong review in USA Today and endorsements from independent booksellers, who made it an Indie Next pick and librarians on GalleyChat.

Moyes, a best seller in the UK and winner of  two  of the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards (for Last Letter from Your Lover in 2011 and Foreign Fruit, in 2004) appears poised for her breakout here.

THE Best Book You’ll Read This Year

Friday, January 4th, 2013

NYT Magazine Cover

It’s a bold prediction to make so early in the new year, but the NYT Magazine’s deputy editor, stepping on the territory of his colleagues at the Book Review as well as those on the daily NYT, predicts that the best book you will read this year is George Saunders’s fourth book of short stories, The Tenth of December (Random House; BOT), which arrives next week. The article calls him a “writer’s writer,” quoting literary fans such as Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, Junot Diaz and Mary Karr.

It’s also reviewed in the L.A. Times,  the Chicago Tribune and Entertainment Weekly.

Early Attention for THE LAST RUNAWAY

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

The Last RunawayTracy Chavalier’s next novel, The Last Runaway, (Penguin/Dutton, Penguin Audio; Wheeler Large Print) coming a week from today, becomes the first book of the new season to receive attention on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Chavalier, who is known for her historical settings, here turns to Ohio’s Underground Railroad in the 1850’s. Reviewing it, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (whose novel Wench, HarperCollins/Amisted, is about an Ohio resort for slaveholders and their enslaved mistresses) says,

You have probably read stories like this before…But what makes this particular story interesting is [main character] Honor’s perspective. She’s English. And in some ways, coming from far away helps her see American slavery in simpler terms.

New Title Radar: Dec. 10 to 15

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The number of big releases slows to a trickle next week. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child bring back their enigmatic hero, Aloysius Xingú Leng Pendergast in a new thriller; James Patterson continues to work the popular middle-school territory and, in Young Adult, Jessica Day George wraps up her Twelve Dancing Princesses trilogy.

Reviewer Favorite

Sebastian Faulks, A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts (Macmillan/Holt; Dreamscape Audio and OverDrive)

British reviewers quibbled with the author’s assertion in both the book’s subtitle and trailer, that this is a novel, not a set of long short stories. It appears the question hasn’t been settled; Vanity Fair‘s online interview opens with it. The book received strong reviews in the UK, with the Independent concluding that it is “probably Faulks’s most intriguing fictional offering.” Published in September there, it hit the top ten on the Times of London’s best seller list.

Usual Suspects

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Two Graves
(Hachette/Grand Central: Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

This completes a trilogy within the larger series. Referred to as the “Helen Trilogy,” beginning with Fever Dream and continuing last year with Cold Vengeance, it follows the erudite detective Pendergast search for his long-missing wife, Helen. Reviewers warn that reading the previous titles is a requirement.

Michael Palmer, Political Suicide (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

The 18th thriller by Palmer is his second featuring Dr. Lou Welcome, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict (introduced last year in Oath of Office). Prepub reviews are less than admiring, but libraries are showing holds and it gets high marks on GoodReads.


James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
I Funny: A Middle School Story (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; Hachette Audio)

This is the third in Patterson’s series aimed at a once overlooked age group, which is clearly called out in the titles, beginning with Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, and followed by Middle School: Get Me out of Here! This one features Jamie Grimm, a wheelchair bound middle schooler whose goal is to become the world’s greatest standup comedian.

Young Adult

Jessica Day George, Princess of the Silver Woods (Bloomsbury USA)

The final title in the series that reworks classic fairy tales, beginning with Princess of the Midnight Ball, (based on the Grim tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses), and  followed by Princess of Glass (based, of course, on Cinderella). This one is based on the tales of two hoods —  Red Riding and Robin.

Movie Tie-in

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art & Design (Harper Design)

This is the last of the tie-ins leading up to the Dec. 14 debut of the first in the series  of movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (you may have noticed promos nearly, well, everywhere). It is produced by the Weta Workshop, which designed the movie’s special effects and ends with a sneak peek at the second film in the series. Another behind-the-scenes book came out last month, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide.

Patraeus and His Biographer

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Last December, a biography of General David Petraeus, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, by Paula Broadwell (Penguin, Jan. 23) made headlines because the author was regarded as implying that Petraeus nearly quit as the commander of troops in Afghanistan over Obama’s plans for a drawdown.

That inference was quickly denied. Several reports, including Fox News’, noted how adulatory the author was about her subject; “The book unapologetically casts Petraeus in the hero’s role” and Broadwell says “his critics fault him for ambition and self-promotion,” but “his energy, optimism and will to win stand out more for me.”

Jon Stewart speaks for many when he upbraids himself on last night’s show for missing the real story.

Forget What GCB Stands For — Show Is Cancelled

Friday, May 18th, 2012

ABC announced last week that they are canceling the series, GCB.

We will miss it. Back in February, we posted a story titled, What Does GCB Stand For? It seems those were just the right words for a Google search. We received close to 89,000 hits on it.

We’re rooting for the online campaign to bring the show back.

The series was based on a book, originally published by Brown Books in Dallas, reissued by Hyperion in January.

Booklist, reviewed it, saying, “Chick lit tackles the Christian Right, with amusingly predictable results in Gatlin’s solid freshman effort,” but LJ Express said, “The characters are obsessed with labels and bank balances, and the book is a tiresome exercise in unfettered consumption. Of possible interest to Texans who may enjoy identifying the thinly veiled Dallas environs. Other than that, there’s nothing to like here.”

Good Christian Bitches
Kim Gatlin
Retail Price: $14.99
Trade Pbk: 306 pages
Publisher: Hyperion – (2012-01-17)
ISBN / EAN: 9781401310707/1401310702

New Title Radar: May 21 – 27

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Richard Ford and Paul Theroux return next week – with Ford exploring a boy’s coming of age and Theroux probing a mid-life crisis – while Elizabeth Lowell delivers her latest romantic thriller. There are also three novels that librarians have been buzzing about on our Galley Chat: Suzanne Joinson‘s tale of two women connected across time, Melanie Gideon‘s comic novel about a bored wife, and a mystery set amid the early days of Scotland Yard by Alex Grecian. Plus YA novels from Alyson Noël and Michael Scott.  And in nonfiction, Colin Powell shares his leadership lessons.

Literary Favorites

Canada by Richard Ford (Harper/Ecco; HarperLuxe) is a story of abandonment and self-discovery, told by a boy transplanted to an obscure town in Canada after his parents are arrested for a bank robbery and his sister flees. It’s the #1 IndieNext Pick for June. LJ says, “the narrative slowly builds into a gripping commentary on life’s biggest question: Why are we here? Ford’s latest work successfully expands our understanding of and sympathy for humankind.” At libraries, holds are light on moderate ordering, but it’s on nearly every list of upcoming titles. 200,000 copy first printing.

The Lower River byPaul Theroux (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) follows a man journeying back to an area in Malawi he hasn’t returned to since his years with the Peace Corps after his wife and child leave him, only to discover a village wracked by poverty. PW says, “A somewhat slow exposition and occasional repetition aside, Theroux successfully grafts keen observations about the efficacy of international aid and the nature of nostalgia to a swift-moving narrative through a beautifully described landscape.” Also an IndieNext pick for June.


Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell (Harper/Morrow; HarperLuxe) finds archeologist Lina Taylor and former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Hunter Johnson joining forces to track down missing Mayan artifacts in this romantic thriller.  150,000 copy-first-print. One-day laydown.



GalleyChat Favorites

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson (Bloomsbury) is a historical novel with two parallel stories about women struggling to define themselves, which moves between 1920s Turkestan and present-day England. The publisher compares it to Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s been getting buzz on GalleyChat, with librarians saying it’s a ” good historical fiction novel, with a great cover.” LJ is also positive: “this atmospheric first novel immediately engages… Highly recommended” and it is an IndieNext pick for June. However, libraries have bought it relatively lightly. Cuyahoga buyer Wendy Bartlett cautions that the book does not deliver the light-hearted story signaled by the cover and title and that the parallel stories may put off casual readers. 75,000 copy first printing. The Web site provides background on Kashgar and the origins of the story.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio) is about a bored San Francisco Bay Area wife and mother of teenagers, who in the course of taking a survey about her marriage (she is Wife #22) realizes that the researcher who’s interviewing her may understand her better than her husband. It’s the first adult novel from YA novelist Gideon, who is also the author of the popular adult memoir The Slippery Year.  Here are a few comments from our Galley Chat: “Add me to the list enjoying Wife 22. Would definitely be a great book for discussion.” — “Hard to put down! People will either love or hate main character.” CRYSTAL BALL: Most libraries could use more copies.

The Yard by Alex Grecian (Putnam) is a mystery set in Victorian London, featuring a detective new to Scotland Yard as the organization tries to recover from its failure to catch Jack the Ripper, and written by the author of the graphic novel series Proof. Booklist says, “Grecian’s infusion of actual history adds to this thriller’s credibility and punch.” One of our Galley Chatters had this to say: “mystery set at the end of the 19th C is excellent. Early Scotland Yard, beginning of forensics.” Also an IndieNext pick for June

Young Adult

Fated by Alyson Noël (St. Martin’s/Griffin) marks the beginning of the new Soul Seekers series, about a girl who discovers that she’s descended from Native American shamans, from the author of popular The Immortals series. PW says, “Though weakened by genre cliches and off-screen character development, [the] story is nicely paced and well-written.” It launches with its own Web site.

The Enchantress (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series #6) by Michael Scott (RH/Delacorte Young Readers; Listening Library) is the latest installment in the series that mixes fantasy (the main character is a fabulously wealthy book seller), science fiction and horror. Trailers and games available on the series site.



It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell (HarperCollins) is a series of anecdotes that illustrate leadership lessons, by the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and author of the two-million-copy bestseller My American Journey. PW says, “There’s much inspirational sense drawn from Powell’s matchless range of managerial and political experiences, but also a frustrating reticence on the great leadership crisis of his time [the war in Iraq].” Print Run: 750,000 copies.

New Title Radar: May 14 – 20

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Our list of eleven titles you need to know next week, includes Jai Pausch’s memoir about coming to terms with the loss of her husband, Randy, whose book, The Last Lecture, has been an enduring favorite. The author of Friday Night Lights writes a new book about traveling with his brain-damaged son. On our Watch List is a book libraries may have under bought and a Nancy Pearl pick for the summer.

Watch List

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri (HarperCollins) is the followup to the 2009 word-of-mouth hit, The Lacemakers of Glenmara. Library orders range widely, with Cuyahoga (OH) buying the most; over 150 copies for their 28 branches, even though there are few holds on it so far. Head of collection development, Wendy Bartlett took a stand on the book because the previous book was a long-running local hit, with people continuing to place holds over a year after it was published. Wake County (NC) has bought more conservatively, and has much higher holds than other libraries we checked. Recreation Reading Librarian, Janet Lockhart believes holds are based on the cover and description, featured on their catalog, which appeals to anyone looking forward to summer on the beach. The Lacemakers of Glenmara is still circulating in both libraries, creating a built-in audience. Note: The author lives in Seattle and the book is set in Maine. CRYSTAL BALL: Most libraries can use more copies of this; with that cover and author name recognition, it will turn over quickly.

The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel (Unbridled Books) explores the lives of the members of a suburban Florida high school jazz quartet as their paths cross ten years later, and they face the disappointments of adulthood, from lost jobs to unplanned progeny to addiction. This is a Nancy Pearl pick for the summer, as were the author’s previous two novels, both of which were critical successes.

Literary Favorites

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey (RH/Knopf) is a tale of love and loneliness by the two-time Booker winner focusing on a museum conservator in London who plunges into a project to restore an automaton as she silently grieves the death of her lover of 13 years, who was married to someone else. Booklist says, “Carey’s gripping, if at times overwrought, fable raises provocative questions about life, death, and memory and our power to create and destroy.” The Wall St. Journal has an interview with the author.

Usual Suspects

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry (RH/Ballantine; Random House Large Print; Random House Audio) is a standalone thriller in which a journalist works to decipher the artifacts left in his father’s coffin, leading to discoveries about Christopher Columbus. The author is usually compared to Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler, but here, he is working in the Dan Brown mode.

Stolen Prey by John Stanford (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audiobooks) is the 22nd novel featuring Lucas Davenport of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, as he investigates the murder of a family in their lakeside trophy house.


The Accused (Theodore Boone Series #3; Penguin/Dutton Children’s) by John Grisham finds 13 year-old Theo facing his biggest challenge yet, after having discovered key evidence in a murder trial and in his best friend’s abduction.

Gilt by Katherine Longshore (Penguin/Viking Children’s) follows the life of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, through the eyes of her close friend. Kirkus says, “the mounting terror as lusty, luxury-loving Cat’s fortunes fall is palpable, as is the sense that the queen is no innocent. The author’s adherence to historical detail is admirable, clashing with both title and cover, which imply far more froth than readers will find between the covers. A substantive, sobering historical read, with just a few heaving bodices.” This one is highly anticipated by librarians on our YA GalleyChat.

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (HarperCollins) is a space opera featuring a 19-year-old prince who is forced out of his protected bubble and must grapple with the weaknesses and strengths of his true self in order to take his rightful place as intergalactic Emperor. Kirkus says, “the rocket-powered pace and epic world building provide an ideal vehicle for what is, at heart, a sweet paean to what it means to be human.  75K copies.” This one has been heavily ordered by libraries and has holds.


Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son by Buzz Bissinger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Simon & Schuster Audio) finds the author of Friday Night Lights on a cross-country trip with his 24 year-old son, who has some significant disabilities related to brain damage at birth, and many admirable qualities. 100K copy first printing.

DNA USA by Bryan Sykes (Norton/Liveright) is part travelogue, part genealogical history of the U.S. as the author, an Oxford geneticist, writes about the DNA samples he has gathered. Kirkus says, “Sykes gives lucid, entertaining explanations of new genetic techniques and their startling success at tracing familial ties across continents and millennia.” An interview with the author is scheduled for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, in addition to coverage on local NPR stations. Libraries are showing some holds.

Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss by Jai Pausch (RH/Crown Archetype) is a meditation on marriage, grief and caregiving through illness by the wife of Randy Pausch, who wrote the bestseller The Last Lecture on the eve of his death from pancreatic cancer. Kirkus says, “Far from being a mere add-on to her late husband’s book, this work stands on its own as an eloquent testimony of a caregiver.”

One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard (Hyperion) is a Sports Illustrated writer’s fond look back at the 1971 Macon (Ill.) High School’s baseball team’s journey to the state finals. PW says, “Ballard holds the story of the team together with his conversational prose and boosts the story’s poignancy with a touching conclusion that demonstrates the importance of high school sports and hometown heroes while asking, if not answering, the question of how much one game, a win or lose, can change a life.” 100,000 copy first printing.

Fiction Radar: May 7th – 13th

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Media attention is focusing on next week’s titles from long-time literary stars Toni Morrison, and John Irving as well as Hilary Mantel’s sequel to Wolf Hall. There’s also a hot debut romance with a touch of time travel from newcomer Beatriz Williams, another doggy bestseller from Bruce Cameron, and a prequel to The GodfatherReturning favorites include James Patterson and Maxine Paetro and Richard Paul Evans.


Overseas by Beatriz Williams (Penguin/Putnam) is a debut novel about a contemporary Wall Street analyst, who falls in love with a mystifying billionaire, and then discovers they met in another life, in WWI. PW says, “at heart this is a delicious story about the ultimate romantic fantasy: love that not only triumphs over time and common sense, but, once Kate overcomes Julian’s WWI-era ideas about honor, includes mind-blowing sex.” The author begins her book tour with her home town library in Greenwich, CT.

A Dog’s Journey: Another Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron (Macmillan/Forge; Macmillan Audio; Wheeler Large Print) is the sequel to the bestseller A Dog’s Purpose that asks: Do we really take care of our pets, or do they take care of us? Booklist says, “Cameron explores the concept of canine karma with acute sensitivity and exhibits cunning insight into life from a dog’s perspective.”

The Family Corleone by Ed Falco (Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print) is a prequel to The Godfather. We wrote about the book trailer‘s clever twist last week.


Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Macmillan/Holt) continues the story of intrigue in the Tudor court that began in the Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall. There have already been several advance reviews, including Janet Maslin’s in the New York Times (which says that Wolf Hall is “a hard act to follow. But the follow-up is equally sublime”), and in Entertainment Weekly (it gets an “A”), as well as an article in the Wall St. Journal about whether you need to read Wolf Hall first (you don’t according to her publisher, but a Washington D.C. bookseller says you do).

In the British book trailer, Mantel talks about the enduring fascination with her subject, Anne Boleyn, who had “huge sexual magnetism.”

Home by Toni Morrison (RH/Knopf; Random House Large Print; Random House Audio) is the Nobel winner’s exploration of the inner life of Korean War veteran, who endured front line trauma and returns to racist America with more than just physical scars. People magazine says, “At half the length of most of her previous works, Home is as much prose poem as long-form fiction — a triumph for a beloved literary icon who, at 81, proves that her talents remain in full flower.”

In One Person by John Irving (Simon & Schuster; Simon & Schuster Audio) is a portrait of a bisexual man described by the publisher as “a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences.” It’s well known that Irving repeats themes; Wikipedia even has a chart of which recurring subjects appear in which books. Some find that tiresome;  Entertainment Weekly asks, “What is it with John Irving and transsexuals?” but still gives it a B+. Earlier, in an interview in the same publication, Irving explained that he continues to explore issues he began writing about in Garp back in 1978 because, “There’s still a problem. People hate each other for their sexual differences, even today.”  People, also comments on Irving revisiting old themes, but says in this book, he manages to expresses a “fresh, heartfelt urgency.”

Expect major media coverage, including a profile in Time magazine (which asserts that  In One Person marks the author’s return to being “a literary heavyweight”), an appearance on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow and CBS This Morning on Tuesday. NOTE: Irving will be featured speaker at ALA on Saturday, June 23.

A person who got to know the book intimately, the audio narrator, gives a passionate promo for the book and talks about the difference between narrating a book and acting:


11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio) finds Lindsay Boxer pregnant and on the case of the murder of a millionaire with a weapon that’s linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals, and was taken from her own department’s evidence locker.

The Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster; Center Point Large Print; Simon & Schuster Audio) continues The Walk series, with Alan setting out to cover nearly 1,000 miles between South Dakota and St. Louis on foot, where he encounters a mysterious woman, a ghost hunter and an elderly Polish man.


Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Author Kiera Cash gushes on her blog today (time-stamped 12:02 a.m. — did she have to sit on the news until it was official?),

You guys! I’m totally a New York Times bestselling author! The Selection made it to #9 on the children’s list [the 5/13 NYT Chapter Books list]. My whole world is upside down! Thank you all so much for going out and buying my book. I hope you’re having as much fun reading it as I had writing it. THANK YOU!

It also just makes it on to the USA Today list at #150.

The first in a trilogy, The Selection is a dystopian novel with a difference. As made clear by the cover, this one is heavy on romance with no bloodsport. Of the pre-pub reviews, only Publishers Weekly gave it a thumbs-up. Kirkus called it a “probably harmless, entirely forgettable series opener,” and VOYA said, “readers who enjoy commonplace romances will gravitate to this novel while dystopian lovers who revel in series such as Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games and Uglies will be disappointed.”

That doesn’t seem to matter to readers; most libraries are showing holds, heavy in some areas.

The Selection (Selection – Trilogy)
Kiera Cass
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (2012-04-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0062059939/9780062059932

It comes comes with a trailer:

New Indie Best Sellers

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012


There are no surprises on the new Indie Fiction Best Seller list. Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole arrives at #1, moving Grisham’s baseball novel, Calico Joe to #2. The Paris Wife is enjoying the most longevity, at #8 after 62 weeks, (it was on our Crystal Ball back in March, 2011, but we had no idea it would last this long).

Popping back on to the list, at #15, after having moved to the extended list for a couple of weeks is The Night Circus. Meanwhile, another of the Big First Novels of last fall, Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, is out in trade paperback and hits that list at #4.

On the Nonfiction list, Rachel Maddow’s book on how the US has outsourced war, Drift, continues at #1 after five weeks. Anna Quindlen’s memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, debuts at #2 and Madeleine Albright’s, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 arrives at #5.

Debuting at #14, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel, questions our current obsession with marketplace solutions (such as schools paying kids to read books or companies making money from life insurance on their employees). It has gotten attention in the business press, with an admiring review from an unexpected source, The Wall Street Journal (noting, for readers who may be put off, that the author is “not a socialist, and his critique of markets is measured”). Several libraries are showing heavy holds on moderate ordering. It is also available in audio (Macmillan Audio).

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
Michael J. Sandel
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: MacmillanFSG – (2012-04-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0374203032 / 9780374203030


Getting to Know Wiley Cash

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

It’s always fun to see a book by a new author begin to take off, but even more so when you’ve had a chance to meet that author. Many of you joined us for a chat last week with Wiley Cash about his debut, A Land More Kind Than Home, (Harper). Several great things have happened for the book since then. It landed on the NYT Hardcover Fiction extended list at #33 in it’s first week on sale and Barnes and Noble just announced that it is one of their Discover Great New Writers Summer picks.

In conjunction, the Barnes & Noble Review ran an interview with the author. He was, of course, thoughtful and charming, but we’re partial to how well he used just 140 characters during our TwitterChat.

The author describes his book:

The novel tells the story of the bond between two young brothers and the evil they face in a small town in the mountains of N.C.

 …which brought this response from a librarian:

That description just put it on my TBR list!

On the two brothers:

Kids do know and intuit a lot of things we don’t realize; Only diff is kids don’t know how to respond to that knowledge.

On the title (which comes from the last line in Thomas Wolfe’s You Can’t Go Home Again):

The title hints at something beyond the present that awaits us, some kind of place that is more suited to who we are or want to be.

On the importance of North Carolina as the setting:

I’m a writer of place & a reader of place. It’s the most important thing in my life. I wrote LAND to recreate the place I love.

I love works w/setting as character: Winesburg OH, Their Eyes, Look Homeward Angel. Characters coming from a PLACE are fascinating.

I really wanted to take the reader there & have all the senses touched. W. NC is such a visceral place.

The thrill of seeing your book in a library:

My mom just sent me a text pic of my book in the library in Oak Island NC. God bless writers’ moms.

Seeing it all wrapped up in the library with a call number: that’s real.

Thanks to the library marketing team at HarperCollins for sponsoring the chat and for making Advance Readers copies available to many EarlyWord readers.

New Title Radar: April 30th – May 6

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Next week is a big one for memoir and biography, with the much-anticipated fourth installment in Robert Caro‘s biography of Lyndon Johnson, plus memoirs by Dan Rather and Ryan O’Neal, and an oral history of NBC-TV’s triumphant turnaround in the 1990s by former executive Warren Littlefield. It also brings a debut novel by Brandon Jones about human trafficking in North Korea and Nell Freudenberger‘s sophomore novel of cross-cultural marriage. And, new titles are soming from usual suspects Charlayne Harris and Ace Atkins filling in for Robert Spenser, and the latest installments in popular YA series by Kristin Cashore and Rick Riordan.

Watch List

All Woman and Springtime by Brandon Jones (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio) is a debut novel about two North Korean girls who form an immutable bond when they meet in an orphanage, but are betrayed and sold into prostitution at age 17, taking them on a damaging journey to South Korea and ultimately a brothel in Seattle. LJ calls it “impossible to put down,” adding “this work is important reading for anyone who cares about the power of literature to engage the world and speak its often frightening truths.”

Critical Success

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio) is the author’s second novel of cultural confrontation, this time featuring Amina, a 24 year old Bangladeshi woman who becomes the e-mail bride of George, an electrical engineer in Rochester, NY. It’s heavily anticipated by the critics, as indicated by the number of early reviews in the consumer press. It gets the cover of the NYT Book Review this coming Sunday, Ron Charles reviewed it earlier this week in the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly gives it a solid A.

Usual Suspects

Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood #12) by Charlaine Harris (Penguin/Ace Books; Recorded Books; Wheeler Large Print) is the penultimate title in this popular supernatural series, as Sookie Stackhouse and her friends struggle with the consequences of the death of the powerful vampire Victora. PW says, “as loyalties realign and betrayals are unmasked, Harris ably sets the stage for the ensembleas last hurrah.”

Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby: A Spenser Novel by Ace Atkins (Penguin/Putnam; Random House Audio) finds Parker’s PI invesigating a women’s death at the request of her 14 year old daughter. PW says that “Atkins hits all the familiar marks – bantering scenes with Spenseras girlfriend, fisticuffs, heavy-duty backup from the dangerous Hawk – as he offers familiar pleasures. At the same time, he breaks no new ground, avoiding the risk of offending purists and the potential rewards of doing something a bit different with the characters.”

Young Adult

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Penguin/Dial Books; Penguin Audiobooks) arrives to the sound of YA librarians and their readers screams of “at last!”  Kirkus says of this followup to Graceling (2008) and Fire (2009), “devastating and heartbreaking, this will be a disappointment for readers looking for a conventional happy ending. But those willing to take the risk will — like Bitterblue — achieve something even more precious: a hopeful beginning.”

The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles Series #3) by Rick Riordan (Disney/Hyperion; Thorndike Large Print; Brilliance Audio) is the conclusion to this bestselling YA fantasy series, in which Carter and Sade Kane risk death and the fate of the world to tame the chaos snake with an ancient spell.


Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News by Dan Rather (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio) reveals that the TV news anchor felt “his lawsuit against his former network was worth it, even though the $70 million breach-of-conduct case was rejected by New York courts,” according to the Associated Press, which broke the embargo on this book, on sale May 1. Kirkus calls it “an engaging grab-bag: part folksy homage to roots, part expose of institutional wrongdoing and part manifesto for a truly free press.”


The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro (RH/Knopf; Brilliance Audio) is the fourth volume in Caro’s series on Lyndon Johnson, focusing on the years between his senatorship and presidency, when he battled Robert Kennedy for the 1960 Democratic nomination for president, and undertook his unhappy vice presidency. Caro is the subject of a New York Times Magazine profile, and will doubtless get an avalanche of coverage, starting with Entertainment Weekly‘s review (it gets an A-). Kirkus notes, “the fifth volume is in the works, and it is expected to cover Johnson’s election to the White House and his full term, with the conduct of the Vietnam War ceaselessly dogging him.”

Both of Us: My Life with Farrah by Ryan O’Neal (RH/Crown Archtype; Center Point Large Print; Random House Audio) is the story of film actor O’Neal’s enduring love for TV actress Fawcell – from the love that flared when she was married to Lee Major, to their marriage that ended in 1997, and their eventual reunion for three years before Fawcell died from cancer in 2009. The book is excerpted in the new issue of People magazine (5/7).

Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield and T.R. Pearson (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is an oral history by NBC’s former president of entertainment, with a chorus of voices including Jerry Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammar and Sean Hayes, as they discuss the ups and downs of turning NBC into a multi-billion dollar broadcasting company in the 1990’s. PW says, “these revelatory glimpses of those glory days make this one of the more entertaining books published about the television industry.”

New Best Seller; LET’S PRETEND

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Popular internet personality “The Bloggess,” is now an old-media hit.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (Penguin/Einhorn; Penguin Audio), arrives on the Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller list at #4 (and #17 on the USA Today list).

You can expect to see it in a high spot on the upcoming NYT list (the author spills the beans on her own site, so why shouldn’t we? It arrives at #1 on the Combined Print & E-Book list and at #2 on the Print Nonfiction list).

Over  to you, taxidermied mouse: