Archive for the ‘2013/14 – Winter/Spring’ Category

Nancy Pearl Recommends: SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.07.41 AMNancy Pearl featured Katherine Heiny’s debut short story collection Single, Carefree, Mellow (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio, OverDrive Sample) on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW yesterday.

Offering tips on how to read short stories, she suggests they are closer to poetry than fiction and advises readers to start with the first story and then put the book down for a day or two before picking it up again. “They repay you more,” she says, “if you give them space.”

Suggested as read-likes are Laurie Colwin’s The Lone Pilgrim and Melissa Bank’s The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing.

Nancy is not alone in appreciating Heiny. She has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, The Millions, and in The New York Times. Her book has been reviewed in Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times and was highlighted in O, the Oprah Magazine as one of the “17 Books You Should Be Reading This Spring.”

Circulation is strong in libraries we checked with holds at or exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Nancy discusses a book each Tuesday on KUOW. An archive is available of past titles.


Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Party's OverThe former Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist,  is running for that office again, but with a twist. He’s now running as a Democrat.

He made news last week by calling for the end of the embargo against Cuba.

He appears tomorrow night on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to talk about his book, released last week, The Party’s Over : How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat, (Penguin/Dutton).


Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Second Machine AgeLibraries show growing holds on light ordering for The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (Norton; Brilliance Audio).

The book has been getting attention in the print media, including Thomas Friendman’s column in The New York Times, an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, a piece by the book’s authors in the Financial Times, and a story in the UK’s Telegraph.

The authors appeared on Fareed Zakaria’a CNN show on Sunday.


Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The Orphan TrainThe Orphan Train, a novel by Christina Baker Kline (author of The Way We Should Be, among others) rises to #5 on the USA Today Best Seller list this week, its highest spot to date. A paperback original, it is based on historical events, the rounding up of orphans from New York streets, between 1854 and 1929, to ship them via train to the midwest, in hopes families there would adopt them.

Programs commemorating that history are being held this month on the both ends of the orphan train route; New York’s Grand Central Station, where a musical based on the story opens next week, and in Minnesota’s Union Depot. posted a slideshow of photos from a nonfiction title, Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New Yorkby Minnesota historian Renee Wendinger, whose mother was one of the Orphan Train children.

Christina Baker Kline’s novel, The Orphan Train  (Harper/Morrow; 4/2/13) was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday in April. Holds are heavy in most libraries.

LIFE AFTER LIFE To Get Another Life

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Life After LifeLife After Life, British author Kate Atkinson’s eighth title was published to critical acclaim in the spring and became the author’s biggest seller, debuting at #3 on the  NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller. It remained on the main list for 8 weeks.

Lionsgate has just acquired the film rights according to Deadline.

The book’s involved plot about woman who is reborn multiple times will represent an interesting challenge for screenwriters Semi Chellas, who has written for Mad Men, and Esta Spalding, (The Bridge).

Don’t Weed Yet: THE GOOD HOUSE

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The Good HouseAnn Leary’s novel The Good House, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) is told through the eyes of a woman who is pretending to be sober, although her life is clearly unraveling. Despite the somber material, it still manages to be “wickedly funny” according to People magazine, which made it one of their Picks in January. It is being adapted as a movie,  starring Meryl Streep and  Robert De Niro, according to Deadline.

The Good House was on the extended NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list for 5 weeks.

Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling

Monday, July 15th, 2013

The Cuckoo's CallingThe Sunday Times of London revealed this weekend that the true author of the supposed “debut” detective novel by “Robert Galbraith,” The Cuckoo’s Calling is actually J. K Rowling.

The Telegraph followed up by quoting a brave U.K. editor who admitted to rejecting the book, “I thought it was perfectly good – it was certainly well written – but it didn’t stand out. Strange as it might seem, that’s not quite enough. Editors have to fall in love with debuts. It’s very hard to launch new authors and crime is a very crowded market.”

Proving that comment, the Telegraph reports that before the true author’s name was revealed, the book may have sold fewer than 500 copies through British retailers.

Released in the U.S. on April 30 by Hachette’s mystery imprint, Mulholland Books, it received strong reviews from prepub sources; Publishers Weekly said, “In a rare feat, the pseudonymous Galbraith combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime in his stellar debut.”

Holds are now skyrocketing in libraries; one large system now shows 450 holds on 6 copies. Another has already increased their order of 12 copies by 90 more. Those copies are likely to carry J.K. Rowling’s name; the NYT reports that the publisher has a reprint in the works with a revised author bio, “Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling” and that a second book is coming next summer.

Real Nurse Jackies

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I wasn't that strongCurrently at #19 on Amazon sales rankings and rising is an anthology of essays by nurses, I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, published by the small press, In Fact Books, which also publishes the quarterly magazine, Creative Nonfiction.

It is reviewed in the NYT today by Jane Gross who admits that, as the daughter of a nurse, she is “hardly a disinterested reviewer,” which is a good thing, giving her the ability to connect readers with the stories.

Many libraries own this anthology in modest quantities; Booklist reviewed it, saying, “It’s easy to love these empathetic people, and their beautifully written stories.”


Thursday, May 9th, 2013

World's Strongest LibrarianSalt Lake City librarian Josh Hanagarne is interviewed in today’s issue of USA Today for his book, The World’s Strongest Librarian,  (Penguin/Gotham. 5/2/13). Both weight lifting and books have helped him deal with his Tourette’s. About being a librarian, he says, “As a breed, we’re the ultimate generalists. I’ll never know everything about anything, but I’ll know something about almost everything and that’s how I like to live.”

Hanagarne announces on his blog that the book has sold out of its first printing.

Below, he describes what libraries mean to him.

GOLEM AND THE JINNI: Off to a Strong Start

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The Golem and the JinniHelene Wecker was already off to a good start with her first novel, The Golem and the Jinniwith a 3.5 star review in USA Today that invites readers to “dive in and happily immerse yourself, forgetting the troubles of daily life for a while.” The Huffington Post calls it “The Book We’re Talking About,” and similar to The Night Circus, “a stirring, magical debut. Its intertwining of mythology and historical fiction is very engagingly written.”

The New York Times puts the icing on the cake in a review that will appear in print tomorrow,

… this impressive first novel manages to combine the narrative magic of The Arabian Nights with the kind of emotional depth, philosophical seriousness and good, old-fashioned storytelling found in the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer.

The book debuted on the May 12 NYT Hardcover Fiction extended list at #30 during its first week on sale.

Eve Ensler on The Today Show

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

In the Body of the WorldEve Ensler, whose memoir, In the Body of the World, (Macmillan/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio) is being published today, was profiled on the Today Show this morning by Maria Shriver.

Shriver, who left NBC in 2004, also announced that she is returning as a “special anchor,” and will be profiling people like Ensler whom she calls “architects of change” and “reporting on women’s evolving experiences.”

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

Sixty Minutes: ANGEL OF DEATH

Monday, April 29th, 2013

The Good NurseOne of the most prolific serial killers in history, Charlie Cullen, killed an estimated 40 people in sixteen years while working as a nurse in seven different hospitals. He was tried, convicted and is currently in prison.

He broke a long-standing silence for an interview on CBS Sixty Minutes last night. To try to understand why he committed these crimes, the show featured, Charles Graeber, author of The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder (Hachette/Twelve, $26.99, 9780446505291. 4/15/13). The chilling answer was, “Because he could.”

Kids New Title Radar — Week of 4/29

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Several charming picture books are on their way next week (gotta love that pug in Everyone Sleeps), Lauren Myracle is set to reach a younger audience and screenwriter Paul Rudnick publishes his first YA novel with a cover that lives up to the title, Gorgeous.

All the titles highlighted here, and more (including a roundup of several new board books and several middle grade series that shouldn’t be overlooked, plus roundup of graphic novels and superhero comics), are on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 4.29.13.

Picture Books

9780399257933  9780805093124 9780399257636

My Lucky Birthday, Keiko Kasza, (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile)
From the creator of the storytime favorite My Lucky Day, another animal trickster romp.

Everyone Sleeps, Marcellus Hall, (Penguin/Paulsen)
Illustrator Hall (City I Love, Cow Loves Cookies) strikes out on his own, writing as well as illustrating his first picture book, featuring and adorable pug.

When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story, Margarita Engle, illus by Mary Morgan, (Macmillan/Holt BYR)
A gentle portrayal of the work of search and rescue dogs. Don’t worry about getting lost, they will find you.

Early Chapter Book

The Life of TyThe Life of Ty: Penguin Problems, Lauren Myracle, illus by Jed Henry, (Dutton)

Myracle is known by YA readers for several titles including Shine. To 9- and 10-year-olds, she is known for the Winnie Years series. She’ll soon to be known to a younger crowd with Ty, Winnie’s younger brother, appealing to fans of Judy Moody’s brother Stink. What are his “penguin problems”? Ty smuggles one out of the local zoo.

Young Adult


Gorgeous, Paul Rudnick, (Scholastic; Scholastic Audio)

The first YA novel by the stage and screen writer and frequent contributor to the New Yorker, a fantasy princess romance with a snarky voice and social commentary (PW says the writing is “hilarious, profane and profound — often in the same sentence”), likely to find an audience with the Princess Diary crowd.

Graphic Novels

Note:  superhero comics arriving next week are rounded up in the spreadsheet.

9780805096095 9780316217187 9780785164043

My Life as a Cartoonist, Janet Tashjian, Jake Tashjian, (Macmillan/Holt BYR)
In this sequel to My Life as a Book and My Life as a Stuntboy, Derek is being bullied by a tough kid who, upending the stereotype, is in a wheelchair. A Wimpy Kid look alike.

New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 , Stephenie Meyer, Young Kim, (Hachette/Yen Press)
Continues the graphic version of  the Twilight series.

Oz: Road to Oz, Skottie Young, Eric Shanower, (Marvel)
The graphic retellings of the Oz series are collected in this bind-up. Eric Shanower is the Eisner Award-winning and New York Times best selling cartoonist of Age of Bronze series, a graphic novel rendition of the Trojan War.

New Title Radar, Week of 4/29

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Next week brings the fourth James Patterson hardcover of the year, putting him on track to match his record output last year. Joe Hill, once known as the offspring of two best selling authors, Stephen and Tabitha King, and now an established best selling author in his own right, publishes a new novel with a title based on a clever vanity plate, NOS4A2. Our watch list begins with a memoir that librarians have been looking forward to for months.

All these and more titles arriving next week, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, 4.29.13. Be sure to take a close look at the Media Magnets list — among the many authors battling for attention next week are Glenn Beck, Amanda Knox and Mark Bittman.

Watch List

World's Strongest LibrarianThe World’s Strongest Librarian, Josh Hanagarne, (Penguin/Gotham)

You don’t have to be a librarian to love this memoir. Booksellers appreciate it, too, and picked is as an IndieNext title for May: “Resplendent with the intelligence that comes from accumulated experience, seasoned with sudden and delightful humor, and written with great sensitivity, Hanagarne’s memoir is one of this spring’s best surprises. It is not simply a love letter to anyone who has built a life around books, but also a moving autobiographical work of a gentle giant who refuses to let his sense of wonder about the world be displaced by his challenges and an insightful and informative exposition of what it is like to wake every morning and navigate life with Tourette Syndrome. Highly recommended!” —Aaron Cance, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

If you are a librarian, you’ll naturally be drawn to it. Robin Beerbower of Salem P.L, OR, calls it her favorite book of the year and is confident it will remain so.

Hanagarne’s web site,, manages to combine the seemingly disparate worlds of strength-training and books. The author will be interviewed on BookTalkNation on Monday (sign up here).

In the book trailer he characterizes being a librarian as a “state of mind.”

In the Body of the World

In the Body of the World: A Memoir, Eve Ensler, (Macmillan/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio)

Remember when certain publications wouldn’t print the title of Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues? Seventeen years after its debut, it’s often performed by local theater groups, and the local newspapers have no trouble calling it by its real name. Even the Catholic Education Daily writes out the full titles (as part of an effort to get it banned). In Ensler’s memoir, she writes about more issues that some would prefer not to hear about; her work with Congolese women who suffered torture and rape and her own torture undergoing treatment for uterine cancer.

The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT)

Attention has already begun for Claire Messud’s first book since her celebrated and best selling The Emperor’s Children, (RH/Knopf, 2006). The Washington Post’s Ron Charles gives it this memorable assessment:

“Messud’s previous novel, the wonderful Emperor’s Children, sprawled out over more than 400 witty pages to skewer Manhattan’s young cultural elite. Her new book is an entirely different creature: a tightly wound monologue with the intensity of a novella that reads more like a curse.”

It’s a theme carried through in other reviews; NPR, “Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside,”  and The Wall street Journal, “Claire Messud’s Furious Follow-Up.”

The book even manages to coax the Totally Hip Reviewer off his cozy Amazon perch.

Expect many more reviews.

The Civil War in 50 Objects

The Civil War in 50 Objects, Harold Holzer, (Penguin/Viking)

Combine the interest in the Civil War, with the approach to history in the best-selling A History of the World in 100 Objects and you have the makings of a hit with Lincoln scholar Holzer’s new book.

Media Tie-in

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew (Movie Tie-In), Henry James, (Penguin Books)

Henry James’s 1897 classic is called “the inspiration” for a new film starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard as Maisie’s battling parents, beginning a limited run next week. The Wall Street Journal writes today about this and other attempts to bring James’s novels to the screen.


Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Reconstructing AmeliaGood news for author Kimberly McCreight, appearing at the Texas Library Assoc. Annual Conference this weekend (on the YA Crossover Panel on Saturday), holds are rising on her debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia (Harper, released 4/2/13) and are heavy in several libraries.

Librarians have been enthusiastic about it on EarlyWord‘s GalleyChat, saying they couldn’t stop reading it and that it is a great choice  for book clubs as well as a readalike for Jodi Picoult fans.  Booksellers made it an IndieNext Pick for April — “Throw out all the cliched superlatives! McCreight’s remarkable debut novel is about Kate Baron, a high-powered lawyer who believes that her daughter Amelia has committed suicide — until she receives the anonymous text — ‘She didn’t jump.’”

It hasn’t been widely  reviewed in the consumer press, but Entertainment Weekly gave it an “A,” saying, “Like Gone GirlReconstructing Amelia seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year.”