Archive for the ‘2013 — Fall’ Category

Welcome Back, Jeeves!

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells   Pigs Have Wings  Right Ho, Jeeves

Heralding the return of P.G. Wodehouses’s character Jeeves, via Sebastian Faulks’s “homage,” Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) arriving tomorrow, Charles Finch (author of the series of six Victorian mysteries featuring the “gentleman sleuth” Charles Lenox), writes in USA Today about the original, “One of the most astonishing miracles of modern literature is that the novels and stories of P.G. Wodehouse are still, 111 years after the publication of his first book, so incredibly funny. Not in a nostalgic, black-and-white way, either, but in a helpless, can’t-quite-breathe way.”

While Faulks’s “love and knowledge of Wodehouse shines through on every page,” says Finch, the result is “not in the same class as the originals it honors.” Prepub reviews are much stronger, however, with Booklist starring it, Library Journal offering this verdict: “Let word go forth, from Mayfair to Herald Square, from Piccadilly to Kansas City: Jeeves and Wooster are back and in fine fettle. After sampling this tasty bonbon, Wodehouse fans and new readers will want to go back to the original series” and PW goes so far as to declare that Faulks has managed to outdo the master (in his own country, Faulks endured scathing attacks for having the temerity to attempt to write in the Wodehouse’s vein, as he reports in an interview in The Telegraph).

There’s good news for readers who want to return to the originals, as Jonathan Yardley writes this weekend in the Washington Post. Overlook Press is publishing the Collector’s Wodehouse series, printed on acid-free paper, and, astonishingly, sewn and bound in full cloth, with a retail price of just $19.95.

It’s time to replace that copy of  Pigs Have Wings we borrowed from the Decatur, IN, Public Library many years ago and mislaid (we hasten to add that we paid  the fine).


Arriving Tomorrow: Amy Tan’s Latest

Monday, November 4th, 2013

9780062107312_0_Cover Amy Tan talks about her research into Chinese pornography from the 1700’s for her new novel, The Valley of Amazement, (HarperCollins/Ecco; Brilliance Audio; HarperLuxe), on today’s CBS This Morning. She is also scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s NPR Morning Edition. 

This is Tan’s first book with HarperCollins. As she explains to the Wall Street Journal, the change in publishers was the result of her search for “the perfect editor.” Tan’s previous book Saving Fish From Drowning, may have disappointed some of her readers, notes the WSJ, quoting her agent, “It’s a very different book for Amy. I think people feel she’s been away.”

The Valley of Amazement is both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick for November.

Below is the video from CBS This Morning.

Movie Tie-ins: Week of Nov. 4

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Ender's Game Tie-in  Big Sur  Diana: Her Last Love

The biggest opening for a film adaptation this weekend is Ender’s Game, starring Harrison ford and Asa Butterfield. Based on Orson Card Scott’s 1985 SF novel, it opened in some theaters last night. The E! Online news site reports that forecasters expect it to finish the weekend at #1, despite a threatened boycott. The mass market edition has been NYT best seller list for 54 weeks. UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly examines the question, “Is Ender’s Game the next big YA franchise? Or is it The Golden Compass?” (they come down on the side of the latter).

Opening in more limited runs are Big Sur based on Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel and Diana, the biopic featuring Naomi Watts, based on Diana; Her Last Love, by Kate Snell, released here for the fist time as a tie-in last month. The film got a sour reception in the U.K. where it opened last month (it has a positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes of only 9%).

To see trailers of these and other upcoming film adaptations, click on links at right, under Movies & TV Based on Books — Trailers.

Tie-ins Releasing Next Week

Many Oscar hopefuls begin debuts this month (as USA Today puts it, this is the time when “Hollywood trims the turkeys for awards season“). Three of the tie-ins releasing next week are for movies considered to be strong contenders.

August: Osage County tie-inAugust: Osage County, Tracy Letts, (Perseus/Theatre Communications Group)

Based on the Pulitzer-winning play, the movie opens Dec. 25 and stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and the actor-of-the-moment, Benedict Cumberbatch.


9780143124726_0830bPhilomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-in) , by Martin Sixsmith, intro. by Judi Dench, (Penguin; this is the book’s first release in the U.S.)

Judi Dench is considered a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination for her performance as a woman searching for the son she was forced to give up fifty years before. It’s directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and opens in an Oscar-qualifying limited run on Nov. 22.

9780143125273_3986f-2The Sting Man: Inside Abscam, Robert W. Greene,

Based on the true story of  the ABSCAM sting of the late 1970′s and ’80′s, the movie, titled American Hustle, stars Christian Bale as a con artist recruited for sting operation led by a federal agent (Bradley Cooper). It also stars Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. Directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook which also featured Cooper and Lawrence), it opens Dec. 18 (after a limited opening on Dec. 13). The book is a paperback re-release of a 1981 title. The cover blurb reads, “The true story behind the film American Hustle.


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The Hobbit: Movie Tie-in, Tolkien, J.R.R., (HMH/Mariner)

Probably the biggest release of the year, nonetheless, the second of the Hobbit movies is not on Oscar lists. It opens Dec. 12.

The Motel Life Movie Tie-in Edition, Willy Vlautin, (Harper Perennial)

Starring, Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, this is based on  Willy Vlautin’s debut novel.  Opens next week, Nov. 8.

Media Alerts; Week of Nov. 4

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Double DownWe were dubious that the authors of the 2010 best seller Game Change, about the first Obama election, could get a similar level of attention for their follow up Double Down, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio) on Obama’s second campaign, which was somewhat less game changing (and didn’t involved a race against a ticket that included Sarah Palin).

However, strategic leaks from the embargoed title, which releases next week, are making an impact; the book rose to #31 on Amazon sales rankings, from #1,731. Holds in libraries are not great yet, but the news is just beginning.

Brian Williams covered the story last night; “NY Times reveals ‘Double Down’ bombshell” (NYT story, “Book Details Obama Aides’ Talks About Replacing Biden on 2012 Ticket“).

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The NYT isn’t the only publication leaking news from the book; The Washington Post offers “The eight best tidbits from ‘Double Down’

As Williams notes, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will appear on The Today Show on Monday. The book is also scheduled to be featured on NPR Weekend Edition tomorrow and Fresh Air next week.

Also Scheduled

The Bully PulpitThe Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Goodwin will appear on this week’s CBS Sunday Morning, and next week on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Charlie Rose Show, Meet the Press, and even on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. A favorite of Jon Stewart’s, she will also appear on The Daily Show.

9780385535328-2The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay, Hooman Majd, (RH/Doubleday; Tantor Audio)

Iranian/American NBC News contributor and author of bestsellers The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollah’s Democracy, writes about what it was like to live as an unwelcome guest in Tehran with his blonde, blue-eyed wife and young son. He will be featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow and Fresh Air on Tuesday.

The Heart of Everything That IsThe Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend, Bob Drury, Tom Clavin, (S&S; S&S Audio)

To be featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, on Tuesday, this is an Indie Next pick for November:

The authors present the epic story of Red Cloud, the only Native American tribal leader to defeat the U.S. Army in the West. Red Cloud could be vicious and savage and he used those attributes to achieve power. But he could also show patience and restraint in his efforts to defeat the Army’s expansion into the Powder River country of present-day Wyoming. This book presents an important chapter in American history that needed to be told, using Red Cloud’s own autobiography as a major source. —George Rishel, The Sly Fox, Virden, IL.

9781476714325American Heroes: On The Homefront, Oliver North and Bob Hamer  (S&S/Threshold Editions, S&S Audio)

Based on the Fox TV series, War Stories with Oliver North, this will, of course be featured on the FOX shows Hannity and Fox & Friends.

J. J. Abrams on S.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

S. J.J. AbramsMedia attention is heating up for a book that many librarians are calling a “processing nightmare,” S., by Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams, (Hachette/Mulholland; Hachette Audio), a book within a book that includes loose pieces of ephemera (see more in our New Title Radar, under “Special Note”).

It may be a processing nightmare, but, as Abrams described on yesterday’s CBS This Morning, it is tribute to his love of the printed word.

It has also been featured by the L.A. Times, USA Today and the NYT Sunday Book Review, among others. The first review is from The Telegraph (the book was embargoed, so it wasn’t reviewed by the pre-pub sources). UPDATE: PW has just posted their review.

Holds Alert: LONGBOURN

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

LongbournLongbourn, by Jo Baker (RH/Knopf; RH Audio), the downstairs to Pride and Prejudice‘s upstairs, is connecting with Austen fans as well as Downton Abbey fans and is getting strong reviews (the Christian Science Monitor rounds them up today). It is also a LibraryReads pick for Oct.

Holds in libraries began building before publication and are continuing to grow. Several larger libraries are showing holds ratios of 6:1.

New Title Radar, Media Hits, Week of Oct. 28

Friday, October 25th, 2013

9780425259856   9780385343220   9781250027658

Leading in holds for the books arriving next week are the first in a new trilogy by Nora Roberts, Dark Witch  (Penguin/Berkley Trade pbk original; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike), Danielle Steel’s Winners, in which she takes a bit of a departure from glamorous lives, with the story of a young woman paralyzed in a freak skiing accident (she also releases a nonfiction title, Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love, both from RH/Delacorte) and Lisa Scottoline’s Accused (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Wheeler Large Print), which returns to her Rosato & Associates series after the release of three standalones.

Also coming this week are more titles in the flood of books on JFK, anticipating the 50th anniversary of his assassination, several titles that relate to Downton Abbey, and Christmas-themed additions to favorite series. For ordering information on all the titles highlighted here and many others, with alternate formats, download our spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 28.

Hot Memoir 


Pat Conroy’s beloved 1976 novel The Great Santini, based on the author’s troubled relationship with his abusive father, also became a beloved movie starring Robert Duvall.  Conroy updates the story in his memoir, The Death of Santini, (RH/Nan A. Talese; RH Audio, BOT; RH Large Print) which the Washington Post has already declared “luminous, unsparing.” The author would like to see a re-teaming of the actors from the previous movie and has offered them the film rights for free. The book is also a LibraryReads title for November.

Special Note

9780316201643S., Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams, (Hachette/Mulholland; Hachette Audio)

Librarians on the listserv Fiction_L expressed dismay this week about having taken a chance on ordering this new book based on online buzz. Unfortunately, they were rewarded for their efforts to stay ahead of the curve with a physical book that includes loose inserts, plus a slipcase that, when removed, reveals a different title and author, and is made to look like a stolen library book, with cataloging labels and circulation stamps, all of which spells a processing nightmare.

Dorst is the author of the novel Alive in Necropolis, a finalist for the 2008 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, but the buzz surrounds his collaborator, Lost creator, J.J. Abrams. A mysterious trailer set fan sites abuzz in August. Some digging lead to  a Huffington Post article revealing that it is actually a book trailer.

UPDATE: Abrams is profiled in the NYT Sunday Book Review. He says that he is inspired by  Chris Ware’s work (whose book Building Stories, also presented a challenge for library processing). He describes the many layers of the book; “there is the novel itself (Ship of Theseus), which stands alone as its own story, and then there are the notes in the margins: a conversation and investigation and mystery and love story between two people, which is both connected to and separate from the central text.”

On the movie fan site,, last month, he described it further;

It’s a book that, when you get it, comes out of this sleeve and looks like an old library book. When you open it, you see that not only is it an old library book, it’s a novel and that people have written in the margins. You realize that it’s two people writing to each other and that the book was used as a means of communication between these two. It’s an investigation into this mystery and also a love story. Kind of a play on top of a book. There are these pieces of ephemera. Postcards and photographs and maps and letters and things that are actually physical in the book and actually come out.

Library Reads Picks


The Cartographer of No Man’s Land, P.S. Duffy, (Norton/Liveright)

First novelist P.S, Duffy was so delighted that her book was picked for the LibraryReads November list, that she sent a special note to librarians (Norton’s Library Marketing Manager Golda Rademacher notes that there are no more print ARCs, but you can still request digital ARCs):

I’m so proud that The Cartographer of No Man’s Land was chosen for the November LibraryReads program and so very grateful for the early support it’s received from librarians around the country.  On a local level, were it not for the Canadian source materials I received through international interlibrary loan at the Rochester Pubic Library here in Minnesota, it would have been difficult to conduct the research needed to write Cartographer.  But my gratitude extends back further—to childhood and the countless times I heard these words from a librarian: “Well, if you liked that book, you might like this one …” What power those recommendations had, matched only by the heady thump-thump as my books were stamped and I marched off with newfound treasure. Upon entering the massive Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore for the first time when I was eight, my father leaned down and repeated Mr. Pratt’s decree that the library would be for “rich and poor without distinction of race or color.” It was 1956, and those words meant a great deal. They still do. The stamps and card catalogues are gone. Keeping up with the times, there are computers, online services, the new “e-library,” and books in multiple formats. But librarians have not changed. They’re still there generating new and vibrant programs, encouraging readers, creating new ones—and recommending books. I’m not only proud, I am honored to be on their list.

9780316218955Parasite, Mira Grant, (Hachette/Orbit

With this clever cover, Orbit proves once again that science fiction can be packaged in a whole new way. The LibraryRead annotation — “Mira Grant’s first outing after the completion of the Newsflesh Trilogy lives up to the standard entirely. What a creepily plausible look at the medical industry and scientific experimentation. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel to this one.” — Emily Hartman, Spring Lake District Library, Spring Lake, MI


9781451666175Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, Allie Brosh, S&S/Touchstone

The #1 Indie Next pick for November:

“Brosh has been an Internet sensation for years with literally thousands of fans following her scribbled illustrations on her blog. She has won over readers and stalkers alike with her honest and stark humor and her fun stories and rants. This book takes readers into not just the fun and fuzzy world of candied cakes and dumb dogs, but also into the brutally honest self-evaluation and exploration of its unique author. Always balancing the serious with the silly, the dark with the ridiculous, Brosh says the things we wish we could, admits the things we’re ashamed of, and explores what we’re afraid of, always with color and humor and, ultimately, with hope. And don’t forget the scribbles!” —Jocelyn Shratter, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Media Magnets

9780312609337  9781476726502  9781476751139

Coreyography: A Memoir, Corey Feldman, Macmillan/St. Martin’s

Actor Feldman, who, along with best friend Corey Helm (who died from a drug overdose), were teen stars in the ’80’s, writes about sexual predators in Hollywood. It is, of course, making headlines. He is scheduled to appear Monday on Good Morning America, Piers Morgan Live and The View. In a starred review Publishers Weekly said, “[Feldman] narrates in a straightforward, conversational style that spares no details when it comes to darker subject material….The book doesn’t sugarcoat, exposing the dark sides of Hollywood and child stardom.”

What’s So Funny?: My Hilarious Life, Tim Conway, Jane Scovell, Carol Burnett, (S&S/Howard Books; Brilliance Audio; Throndike)

Unsurprisingly, the Carol Burnett Show‘s funnyman will be getting lots of media attention ~Parade Magazine, October 27; Today Show, October 28; NBC-TV, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, October 29; FOX TV – Fox & Friends October 29;  Huckabee, November 1st.

Book trailer below,

The Embassy House, Morgan Jones with Damien Lewis, (S&S/Threshold; S&S Audio)

An embargoed eyewitness account of the Libyan siege, it will be featured on CBS-TV, 60 Minutes, October 27; CBS-TV, CBS This Morning, October 28; FOX-TV, Hannity, October 29; FOX-TV, Fox & Friends, October 31; CNN-TV, Erin Burnett Outfront, October 31

Twain, Part Deux

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The release of the second volume of a book that was an unexpected best seller in 2010, the autobiography of Mark Twain, was celebrated on the PBS Newshour.

Mark Twain
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2  The Complete and Authoritative Edition
Mark Twain, ed. by Benjamin Griffin, and The Mark Twain Project
U. of California Press
October 5, 2013
9780520272781, 0520272781; $45.00 US
Simultaneous Audio: Blackstone

First Chapter of ALLEGIANT

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Read at midnight last night by Veronica Roth:

Kids New Title Radar: Week of Oct. 21

Monday, October 21st, 2013

AllegiantAs you undoubtedly already know from the eager lines of kids waiting for it, tomorrow is  Allegiant Day, with the release of the final volume in Veronica Roth’s YA dystopian series (HarperCollins/Tegen; Dreamscape Audio). Amazon reports that it is selling 5:1 more copies than did Mockingjay (Hunger Games Book 4)  in the month prior to its release (an encouraging comparison for Summit, which is producing both as movie franchises).

Midnight release parties are being abetted by an online reading by Roth of a chapter on the Divergent Web Site, beginning just before midnight tonight. Entertainment Weekly is the first with a review, giving it just a B+, revealing that, “Barely six chapters in, Roth brutally offs a character who’s been around since the first book. The message: In this dystopian universe, nobody is safe” and that the novel has a “shocking ending.” The reviewer rightly adds “None of this will matter to Roth’s fans, who thrill to the heart-pounding immediacy of her writing and swoon over Tobias, the damaged dreamboat who co-narrates Allegiant with his true love, Tris.”

BattleBunny1Tomorrow is also Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka Day, with the release of Battle Bunny (S&S/Atheneum). The creators, joining forces for the first time, have  gone all meta-cognition on us, first producing one of the most insipid picture books in recent history (Birthday Bunny— a faux Golden Book illustrated by Mathew Myers), then transforming it via the magic marker of a fictional boy reader into the far less saccharine Battle Bunny.

This creates some cogintive dissonance for me as a librarian. I believe that defacing books is wrong, even though there is a long tradition of creating art from old books. Should I buy  a book for my library that celebrates such defacement?

Definitely. I need multiple copies AND will want to print out the original for programing.

[See our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Oct 21, for other titles coming out this week]



New Title Radar: Big Names, Media Hits, Week of Oct. 21

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Sycamore Row   We Are Water   Goldfinch

The top three most anticipated books for next week, based on library holds are John Grisham’s  Sycamore Row, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT; RH Large Print), Wally Lamb’s We are Water (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print).

All titles highlighted here and more are listed, with full ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 21.

Grisham will have his usual publication-day sit-down with Matt Lauer on the Today Show on Tuesday. The new novel brings back Jake Brigance from the author’s very first novel, A Time To Kill. In addition to the Today Show, Grisham is also scheduled to appear on publication day on PBS’s Charlie Rose show, NPR’s Morning Edition and NPR’s Diane Rehm show.

Wally Lamb’s We are Water is both an IndieNext and a LibraryReads pick:

Annie Oh, a newly famous artist, sends her family into a tailspin when she announces her intention to marry her powerful gallerist, Viveca. While Annie’s husband Orion is devastated by the loss of his wife of 27 years, her children’s responses range from delight to denial. Good writing and distinct characters, personalities and voices.” — Katie Karkheck, Valley Cottage Library, Valley Cottage, NY

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, only her third in 20 years, is being reviewed widely. The NYT‘s Michiko Kakatani gave it a rare rave a full two weeks before publication as did Stephen King in his cover review of the NYT Book Review. The kudos continue to roll in, with “Dickensian” the favored description. It gets four stars and is designated a “Pick” by Peoplr. Entertainment Weekly is a holdout, giving it just a B-, marking it down for being, ” long on well-drawn incident but short on engaging plot.”

Media Magnets

9780385525183 9781476725390_0ee54 9780679644057

Barring  major breaking news that plays havoc with schedules, the media will be filled with books next week (see spreadsheet for full list). Dick Cheney gets double attention, as the subject of one book Days of Fire,(RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT)  and the author of another, Heart, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio;Thorndike) which book reveals that he nearly died in 2010, giving pundits the opportunity to wonder what might have happened if he had. Speaking of alternate histories, Jeff Greenfield speculates on how history would have been different If Kennedy Lived (Penguin/Putnam). Warren Buffet’s son, Howard, will be getting attention for his book on solving world hunger, 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World. Rounding it all out, incongruously, a poet will appear on The Colbert Report; Billy Collins, for his new collection, Aimless Love, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT).


The big movies based on books arriving next week are 12 Years A Slave, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup and Carrie., based, of course, on the Stephen King horror novel (links to the trailers on the right).

Several tie-ins to upcoming movies are being released next week:

9780316240055-1   9780449819609   9780143126454_42b6d-1

The Monuments Men, Robert M. Edsel, (trade pbk; Back Bay Books; premium mass mkt ed., Little, Brown; audio, Macmillan Audio)

Widely expected to be an Oscar shoe-in, this movie, opening Dec. 18, features a marquee full of major stars;  George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. In addition to The Monuments Men, Edsel published another book in May on the rescue of art works in WW II, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, (Norton). Several other books and a documentary have also been released about the story (see our earlier post). Trailer here.

How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff, (RH/ Ember)

Based on a Meg Rosoff’s debut novel, a Printz Award winner published in 2004, before the term “YA dystopian novel” was common, this film is directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Of Scotland) and stars Soairse Ronan as Daisy, an American teenager who is sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside just before World War III breaks out. The movie opens in selected theaters on Nov. 8. Trailer here.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, (Penguin Books)

At 46, Helena Bonham Carter is one of the youngest actresses to play the part of Miss Havisham (she is edged out slightly by Gillian Anderson, who was 43 when she starred in the BBC TV miniseries). The film’s director, says, however, “if you read the book she’s actually in her 40′s.” The movie opens on 11/9. Trailer here.

First U.S. Consumer Review of the Booker Winner

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Luminaries

The first consumer review of the Man Booker Prize winner, The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, published here yesterday (Hachette/Little, Brown), coincidentally the day the award was announced, is by novelist Chris Bohjalian in The Washington PostUPDATE: We’re wrong — it’s a close tie for which publication had the first U.S. consumer review. The Barnes and Noble Review released one on Oct. 15. It is also an excellent guide to appreciating the novel.

Not only is Catton the youngest person to ever win the Booker, but at over 800 pages, her book is the longest in the award’s history. Bojalian notes that he had to create his own “Cliff Notes” to keep the characters straight and that the book is “astoundingly complicated and almost defies explanation. Moreover, I can’t recall the last time I read a novel that left me so baffled. In the end, however, I was awed…”

He goes on to offer readers a handle on this Byzantine story about a group of characters in an 1860’s  New Zealand gold-rush town; “the key to following the story is to try to follow the money.”

The book, which had a modest announced first print run of 15,000 copies, jumped to #10 on Amazon sales rankings on the news of the award. If it follows in the footsteps of previous award winners, it will continue on to other best seller lists and enjoy healthy sales here.

Many libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering. It was only reviewed prepub after the longlist was announced by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Both publications starred it. It also appeared in the Millions preview of the  “Most Anticipated” books of the fall.

9780316074322The author’s debut, The Rehearsal (Hachette/Back Bay) received praise from author Adam Ross (“a wildly brilliant and precocious first novel”) in the NYT Sunday Book Review when it was published in 2010. It is still in print in trade paperback.

Embargoed Memoir About Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The Bite in the Apple Jacket-14.aspxExaminations of the lives of rock star entrepreneurs are in the news this week.

On the heels of  stories about a bio of Jeff Bezos, The New York Post runs an excerpt today of an embargoed  book about another legendary leader, The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life With Steve Jobs by Chrisann Brennan, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Tantor Audio), to be published on Oct. 29 (front covers on the left; back on the right).

The author first met Jobs in 1972. They split up after  Brennan became pregnant with Jobs’ daughter in 1977.


Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The Everything StoreMedia attention is focused on Brad Stone’s embargoed title, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone, (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), which arrives today.

The business press, including The Wall Street Journal, is focused on what the book says about Bezos’s management style, while more general magazines are fascinated by the fact that Stone managed to track down Bezos’s biological father.

Stone, senior editor at Bloomsberg Businessweek appeared on NPR yesterday and on CBS This Morning. Opinions of Bezos are divided, and Stone is one of his fans. As a review in The Seattle Times notes, “There clearly are Amazon critics who would love the definitive chronicle of Bezos and the company he built to knock both down a few pegs. This isn’t that book,” and goes on to say, “It’s a deeply reported and deftly written book revealing how Amazon is a reflection of the drive of its founder.”

Reuters headline, portrays it differently, “Why It Pays to Be a Jerk Like Jeff Bezos.”

Below is the video from CBS This Morning:

New Title Radar: Week of Oct. 14

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Among the big-name authors with titles arriving next week is legal thriller favorite, Scott Turow with Identical. Helen Fielding has already been receiving attention for her third Bridget Jones title, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, which is the Today Show‘s next book club pick.

Titles highlighted here and many more arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, with ordering information and alternate formats, New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 14.

Watch List

9781616202538Guests on Earth, Lee Smith, (Algonquin)

The fascination with Zelda Fitzgerald continues. This summer two novels,  Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) and Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck (Penguin/NAL), brought renewed attention to her struggle with mental illness. In this novel, Lee Smith presents the story from the point of view of a young girl Zelda takes under her wing while in a mental ward. Librarians on GalleyChat predict this one will be a winner.

Media Magnets


The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone, (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

A book about the most-talked about company in the country by a senior editor at Bloomsberg Businessweek; of course it will get attention. USA Today has already covered one of the revelations from the book; Bezos’ biological father only learned that Bezos is his son through Stone. In the understatement of the year, he says, “I wasn’t a good father or a good husband.”


Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget  (S&S/Gallery Books)

The co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear and ABC’s The Chew will be making the rounds of ABC shows next week, including Good Morning America, The ViewRachael Ray Show, and, of course, The Chew.


The Book Thief, Movie Tin-in   9780345803597  9780306822162-1

The Book Thief,  Markus Zusak, (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; Listening Library)

Starring  Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson with Sophie Nélisse in the lead, this is now scheduled to open on Nov. 8th.

Official Movie Site:

The Counselor: A Screenplay, Cormac McCarthy, (RH/Vintage)

The Wall Street Journal features a story this week about McCarthy’s first foray into writing an original script, after seeing many of his books adapted (No Country for Old Men, The Road, All the Pretty Horses). The movie, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Brad Pitt, opens Oct. 25.

Official Movie Site:

The Mayor of MacDougal Street [2013 edition], Dave Van Ronk, Elijah Wald, Da Capo Press

The Coen brothers’ latest movie,  Inside Llewyn Davis, is inspired by this memoir by Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002), one of the founders of the 1960s folk music revival. Opening Dec. 20, it stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake.

Official Movie Site: