Archive for the ‘2014 — Summer’ Category

“Unexpected” Best Seller Continues

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

9781476746586_95d5dThe Jan. 25 New York Times best seller lists are studded with new titles, but the real surprise is a book that has already been on the hardcover fiction list for 36 weeks. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), remarkable for its tenure on the list, but also for its gradual rise to number one.

In December, the New York Times examined the factors that went in to making this “unexpected breakout bestseller.” At that point, it had just climbed from #6 to #2. As S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy observed, “An awful lot of titles drop off the best-seller list after four months, and it’s a miracle if it lasts more than four months,” but even more surprising, this one, “not only kept going, but the longer it went, the bigger it got.”

The book emerged last February as a favorite among librarians on GalleyChat, and went on to become a May LibraryReads pick and a LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites.

Many libraries continue to show heavy holds (we issued a holds alert for it back in April last year). One large system expects interest to continue, having just entered a substantial reorder. The trade paperback is currently scheduled to release in June, but don’t count on that if the hardcover continues selling.

Next week, we’ll see if it continues at number one, or whether The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead) takes that spot.

FACTORY MAN Headed to HBO

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9780316231435_f1fc7Beth Macy’s nonfiction debut, Factory Man, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 7/15), which received media attention when it was published this summer, is being developed by Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, for an HBO mini-series, reports Deadline.

The book’s subtitle outlines the story, How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local–And Helped Save An American Town. It received strong support from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, who called it “in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down.”  The author was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air in July (read the first three chapters via OverDrive).

The book debuted at #10 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-fiction Best Sellers list during its first week on sale, remained on the main list for 3 weeks, and continued on the extended list for 4 more weeks.

Playtone is also producing the upcoming Olive Kitteridge miniseries for HBO, to debut Nov. 2, and is set to begin production on another mini series adaptation, based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s book about Lewis and Clark, Undaunted Courage, (S&S, 1997), with Casey Affleck in the role of  Meriwether Lewis.

KINGDOM OF ICE A Best Seller

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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We predicted it would be a best seller, but In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Outside magazine’s Hampton Sides, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; RH Large Print) exceeded our expectations, debuting on the 8/24 NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list at #3. Library holds are increasing, of course, and several have ordered more copies.

The book, which has already received wide coverage, was reviewed in Sunday’s NYT Book Review, saying, “In the Kingdom of Ice” is a harrowing story well told, but it is more than just that. Sides illuminates Gilded Age society, offering droll anecdotes of Bennett’s [owner of the New York Herald, who financed the trip] escapades in New York, Newport and Europe.”

The audio sample, below, offers one of those droll anecdotes about the “exceedingly wealthy and flamboyant” Bennett. You can also read a sample, via OverDrive:

8 Titles to Make You An R.A. Guru — Week of 8/18

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The watchword for next week is “family sagas” as  two heavily-promoted titles arrive, one a debut and the other by a veteran returning to the genre she abandoned for decades.  Also on their way are several more to recommend, including 3 LibraryReads picks.

NOTE: To make you even more knowledgable, now you can read samples of these books via our links to OverDrive’s new Readbox system

The titles listed here, plus several other notable books arriving next week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 8/18, with ordering information as well as alternative formats.

Family Sagas

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Bittersweet, Colleen McCullough, (S&S) — OverDrive Sample

Back in the late ’70’s, Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds, became a best seller, propelled to further success by a blockbuster TV series. A generational saga set in Australia, the author drew on her own family background for the story.

She has written over 20 books since, a series of historical novels set in classical Rome and another series of detective stories, but, as the 76-year-old author told an interviewer last year, she was uncomfortable returning to the genre that won her the most success. She’s overcome that for her new book, being promoted as her “first epic romantic novel since Thorn Birds” (you can almost hear the publisher cheering). McCullough, however, insists the two stories are not at all alike.  Prepub reviews are strong, and People magazine chooses it as their “Book of the Week.” Holds are relatively light.

We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas,  (S&S; S&S Audio)
— OverDrive Sample

A debut, this novel was heavily promoted at Book Expo. It’s the featured title in the book section of the new issue of  Entertainment Weekly, with the reviewer calling it an “absolutely devastating family saga … the best I’ve read since The Corrections.”  EW goes on to chart “25 First-Rate Family Sagas” beginning with War and Peace, through The Thorn Birds, and ending with Philipp Meyer’s The Son(HarperCollins/Ecco, 2013).

LibraryReads Picks

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One Kick, Chelsea Cain, (S&S) — OverDrive Sample

The #1 LibraryReads pick for August:

“Kick Lannigan survived being kidnapped as a child. Now, at twenty-one, determined never to be a victim again, she has reinvented herself. Martial arts and weapons handling are just a few of the skills she has learned over the years. Kick catches the attention of John Bishop, a mystery man with access to unlimited funds, and together they go after a cabal of child pornographers. A read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.” — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

The Story Hour, Thrity Umrigar, (Harper; Dreamscape audio) — OverDrive sample

“Another beautifully written novel by Thrity Umrigar. A relationship develops between Maggie, a psychologist, and Lakshmi, a troubled Indian woman. As their stories develop, it is hard to figure out which woman does more to impact the other’s life. Highly recommended.” Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe) — OverDrive sample

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’” — Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

This also gets an A-, in Entertainment Weekly.

Lisa Von Drasek’s Adult Pick

9780385538138_7ec07-2Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher, (RH Doubleday; BOT) — OverDrive sample

As we reported earlier, EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek is a big fan of this humorous novel told in the form of letters of recommendation written by one world-weary academic. NPR backs her up, calling it “hilarious.” Try the OverDrive sample; you’ll find yourself reading it aloud to anyone who will listen (and even to those who won’t).

In the Media

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Sticker from The Colbert Report web site

Colbert Bump

Sweetness #9 , Stephan Eirik Clark, (Hachette/Little, Brown) — OverDrive sample

After making a NYT best seller of Edan Lepucki’s California, Stephen Colbert urges readers to buy this debut published by Hachette, just not from Amazon.

Entertainment Weekly gives it just a B-, but the Huffington Post picks it as “The Book We’re Talking About” this week.

NYT Book Review cover

Kill My Mother : A Graphic Novel, Jules Feiffer, (Norton/Liveright)

Reviewed by Laura Lippman in Sunday’s NYT BR, this is also an NPR “Exclusive First Read

 

MAGIC BREAKS Into Hardcover

Monday, August 11th, 2014

9780425256220_f1dcdAuthor Ilona Andrews, who has been a best seller in paperback, released the 11th Kate Daniels novel in hardcover, Magic Breaks, in late July (Penguin/Ace; Recorded Books) and admits on her blog that she feared the shift would decrease sales.

Instead, it debuts on the NYT hardcover list at #13 and at #6 on ebooks only list.

Library journal calls it, “one of the best urban fantasy series around.”

Holds Alert: DEAR DAUGHTER

Friday, August 8th, 2014

dear-daughter-bcHolds are growing for the mystery that was listed at #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” last week, Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books).

Earlier, we suggested it as one to recommend for readers who can’t get their hands on Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies, but now both are difficult to come by.

People magazine makes it as one of three book picks of this week. They compare it to yet another title, “Quick-witted and fast-paced, this debut mystery should be a hit with Gone Girl fans,” as does the Associated Press reviewer, “The unlikable protagonist with a biting personality and outrageous actions, but who is fascinating at the same time, has never been more popular. Just think of Gone Girl. In her confident fiction debut, Elizabeth Little puts a fresh spin on this character.”

Nancy Pearl Interviews Sarah Bird

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

9780385350112_ccf64Author Sarah Bird escapes the Austin, Texas, heat to be interviewed in cooler Seattle by librarian Nancy Pearl.

She explains why her latest novel,  Above The China Sea,(RH/Knopf, 5/27/14; Recorded Books) is considered a “stunning departure” from her earlier books.

 

For more of Nancy’s favorites, listen to her on Seattle’s KUOW radio station.

Tonight’s Comedy Central Bumps

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

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On The Daily Show tonight, Jon Stewart will feature Helen Thorpe, the author of Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War,  (S&S/Scribner; Dreamscape audio), which follows three women soldiers’s deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and their struggles on returning home. Prepub reviews are strong, with stars from both PW and Kirkus.

The Colbert Report hosts John Dean, a key player in the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. In his new book, The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It, (Penguin/Viking), he reflects on what he learned by listening to Nixon’s recently-released secret tapes of White House conversations. The book has been widely covered, including in a review in the Washington Post by a person very familiar with the story, Bob Woodward. Along with Carl Bernstein, he broke the story about the Watergate coverup.

Libraries have ordered modest quantities of each.

Hot Picks: DEAR DAUGHTER and BIG LITTLE LIES

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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big little lies

At #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” in the new issue is Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books). a book we suggested as one to recommend to readers who can’t get their hands on Big Little Lies.

About a former celebrity, accused of killing her mother, a crime she does not remember committing,  Entertainment Weekly says ”The debut novel’s plot twists will easily hook you, but it’s the narrator’s dark wit and sharp obesrvations that make this a truly fun read.”

Meanwhile, People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is the title sure to follow the author’s previous title, The Husband’s Secret to a long run on best seller lists, Big Little Lies. It also gets an A from Entertainment Weekly in the review section

In the reviews, Entertainment Weekly also covers a debut:

life drawingLife Drawing, (Random House)

A GalleyChat discovery back in March, this novel is about a couple who follow their dreams and move to the country. The idyll is interrupted when a younger woman appears on the scene. In a review that gets an A-, Entertainment Weekly says, “Black — a prizewinning short-story writer — writes assuredly and gracefully, and her examination of a complicated relationship is as riveting as it is occasionally heartbreaking.”

The other two titles on People‘s “Best New Books’ list are:

The Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike) — “Downton Abbey fans will gallop like Thoroughbreds through this entertaining historical novel.”  This was one of Wendy Bartlett’s picks back in May.

Lucky Us, Amy Bloom, (Random House) — a “luminous 1940’s-era tale of families surviving hard knocks.” It also gets an A from Entertainment Weekly and is a LibraryReads pick.

Titles to Know, the Week of 7/28

Friday, July 25th, 2014

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Among the titles eagerly awaited next week, as evidenced by holds, is Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn; Penguin Audio; Recorded Books; Thorndike), the author’s next tile after last year’s The Husband’s Secret, which is still on best seller lists and still on hold in many libraries.

The NYT’s Janet Maslin included it in her summer reading roundup and reviewed it yesterday, saying it may have “even more staying power than The Husband’s Secret” and adds “‘a low-level bitchiness thrums throughout the narrative, becoming one of its indispensable pleasures.”

Hollywood has also discovered Moriarity. Both The Husband’s Secret and her 2011 title, What Alice Forgot are in development (The Devil Wears Prada’ director David Frankel, is attached to the latter). This is not to be confused with another adaptation of a book about an Alice with memory issues. Still Alice, adapted from the book by Lisa Genova, starring Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore and Kate Bosworth is completed and set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

For readers who can’t get their hands on Big Little Lies, you can recommend the debut domestic thriller, Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books). About a  former celebrity, accused of killing her mother, a crime she does not remember committing, LJ says “Fans of Tana French and Gillian Flynn are going to enjoy the smart narrator and the twists and turns in the case” and PW approves of the “entertainingly caustic first-person narrative.”

LibraryReads

9781400067244_c6788Lucky Us, Amy Bloom, (Random House)

LibraryReads recommendation:

“Is a family the people you are born to, or the people who you find along the way? That’s what Bloom explores in this novel set in pre- and post-WWII Ohio, Los Angeles, New York and Germany. The story follows resourceful Eva, who was abandoned by her mother at an early age, and her sister Iris, an aspiring actress who tries to find love at a time when her kind of love must be secretive. Every character is beautifully drawn, warm, and believable.” — Kathryn Hassert, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, Chester Springs, PA

In the Media

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The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It, John W. Dean, (Penguin/Viking)

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972   by Douglas Brinkley, Luke Nichter, (HMH)

President Richard Nixon is in the media again, 40 years after he resigned over the Watergate scandal. Two new books timed for the anniversary will receive media attention. John Dean, his White House Counsel and mastermind of the Watergate coverup, later became a key witness for the prosecution, He is publishing The Nixon Defense, in which he reflects on what he learned from the tapes of Watergate conversations that Nixon secretly recorded. Time magazine begins their interview with Dean with the provocative question, “You recruited G. Gordon Liddy to run President Nixon’s dirty-tricks campaign and were intimately involved in the cover-up. Why should a reader pay for your judgment on Watergate?” His convincing response is that he may be the one person most qualified to shed light on what motivated that perplexing person. Dean is scheduled for appearances on CBS Sunday Morning, MSNBC Morning Joe and the NPR Diane Rehm show.

For readers who want to experience the tapes first hand, historians Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter have transcribed them for The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972.

For more titles arriving next week, check our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 7:28:14

No Stopping Colbert

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Sweetness No. 9Now that Stephen Colbert has achieved his goal of making Edan Lepucki’s California a best seller, he is applying the Colbert Nation magic to another upcoming title by a debut author published by Hachette, Sweetness No. 9 by Stephan Eirik Clark, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 8/19/14)

Lepucki appeared on the show on Monday. Colbert asked her to pay it foreword by recommending a book. She replied, “I’m reading Stephan Eirik Clark’s Sweetness #9, (It’s) so good.”

The novel is a satire called by Library Journal, “a hilarious take down of an industry more interested in getting us to buy its products than in selling us good food. Essential for fans of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You for Smoking.”

CALIFORNIA Rising on Amazon

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

9780316250818_1a106-2Stephen Colbert’s call to make California by Edan Lepucki (Hachette/Little, Brown) a NYT best seller has worked. It debuted on the July 27 Hardcover Fiction list at #3.

Colbert urged his audience to buy the book through independent booksellers, rather than Amazon, as a protest against the company’s strong-arming publisher Hachette as part of their terms negotiations.

But now that the book is on best seller lists, it is also rising on Amazon, hitting #208 this morning. Before it was published, when Amazon was not making pre-orders available, it was at #1,610,422 (how it had any ranking a tall when it couldn’t be ordered is a puzzle). After publication on July 8, it rose to #686.

The novel, which was a LibraryReads pick before Colbert made it the centerpiece of his protest, has also been receiving strong reviews in the consumer press:

The New York Times Book ReviewEdan Lepucki’s California

San Francisco ChronicleCalifornia, by Edan Lepucki

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Secrets divide and destroy in Edan Lepucki’s dystopian novel, California

The Los Angeles TimesA grave new world awaits in Edan Lepucki’s California

Koryta Gains Fans

Monday, July 21st, 2014

9780316279963_05770Reviwer love is growing for Michael Koryta’s. latest thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 6/3/14).

Featured yesterday as one of of NPR.org’s “You Must Read This” picks, it gets this strong recommendation, “If you want an elegantly written, taut thriller with an amazing sense of place, then look no further.” It’s on the Amazon’s editors’ list of the Best Books of the Year So Far (even though it is published by Hachette, the company Amazon is famously feuding with), and  Janet Maslin praised it last week in the New York Times.

The NPR reviewer ends by saying, “Koryta, I might add, is only 31 years old. I mention this not to be ageist — but to delight in the fact that he’s got a lot of time to keep on telling us stories. That, dear readers, is great news for us.”

We can add that Koryta already has a considerable body of work, having published ten novels.

Several of Koryta’s books, including Those Who Wish Me Dead, are in development for films or television.

Four Titles to Know, The Week of July 21

Friday, July 18th, 2014

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The flow of  big titles slows down a bit next week. Two of the author’s names may make you feel like you’ve been listening to the 70’s soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy. Danielle Steel’s A Perfect Life (RH/Doubeday; RH large print; Brilliance Audio) leads in holds, although many fewer than one would have expected earlier in her career. Even Tom Clancy returns posthumously, in the third in the Campus series with co-author mark Greany, Tom Clancy Support and Defend, (Penguin/Putnam; RH Auido; Thorndike). Also drawing holds is Elizabeth Adler’s suspense novel, Last to Know (Macmillan/Minotaur).

9780316279963_05770As a result, reviewers have some breathing space to cover earlier releases.The New York Times gave Michael Kortya’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown), published early last month, a stellar review on Thursday (unlike sister publication, the NYT Book Review, the daily NYT generally covers new or forthcoming books).

Below are four other titles to be aware of next week.

NOTE: We’re experiencing technical difficulties in creating our usual downloadable spreadsheet of notable titles arriving next week. We’ll post it as soon as we can work them out.

In the Media

9780062311238_468dcClinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, Daniel Halper, (HarperCollins/Broadside Books)

By the online editor of The Weekly Standard, this is, unsurprisingly, deeply critical of the Clintons. Also unsurprisingly, the book was embargoed and was mysteriously leaked last weekend, which is only adding to the media attention.

 

Eye On

9780525954248_736ca-2Prototype, M. D. Waters. (Penguin/Dutton)

Librarians had an early peek at this first title in the two-part series, including a chat with the author, in our Penguin Debut Authors program, It came out in February, setting the stage for fans to eagerly anticipate the quick conclusion. A mashup of recently poplar genres, dystopian science fiction and domestic thriller, it’s received large amount of “much love” on Edelweiss, plus several peer reviews that indicate a passion these books (much stronger than the lackluster pre-pub reviews would indicate).

9781439146934_19c21Travels With Casey, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, (S&S; Thorndike)

Who can resist a dog memoir? Not the L.A. Times, which runs down a brief history of them in their revies this book about the author’s unusual attempt to bond with his dog by taking a road trip across the country with him (it seems his is an unusual dog. The book’s opening line is. “I don’t think my dog likes me very much.”)

9781250005472_bd78e-2Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name – One White, One Black, Chris Tomlinson, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Tantor Audio)

Tomlinson, an AP foreign correspondent, went back to his home town in Texas and discovered the truth about his slave-owning ancestors. Some PBS stations ran a filmed version of the story earlier this year and others are doing so now. Below is the book trailer.

Shocker: Harper Lee Doesn’t Like New Book About Her

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Mockingbird, NwsltrA bio cum memoir about Harper Lee and her sister,  Marja Mills’ The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee, (Penguin Press; Thorndike), published today, is piling up some great reviews. The Washington Post calls is “engrossing” and Maureen Corrigan on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, said it gives a “rich sense of the daily texture of the Lee sisters’ lives.” She goes on to say that, “Fortunately, in Mills, the sisters found a genteel family chronicler knocking at their door at the eleventh hour.”

But the famously reclusive and litigious 88-year-old Harper Lee is not a genteel subject. She has written a letter, reprinted in Entertainment Weekly‘s online column, “Shelf Life,” saying that the book was written on false pretenses, “Miss Mills befriended my elderly sister, Alice. It did not take long to discover Marja’s true mission; another book about Harper Lee. I was hurt, angry and saddened, but not surprised. I immediately cut off all contact with Miss Mills, leaving town whenever she headed this way.”