Archive for the ‘2017/18 — Winter/Spring’ Category

Technically a Best Seller

Monday, May 15th, 2017

9780735211322_f4e1cPresidential aide Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, (PRH/Portfolio; Penguin Audio/BOT) is technically a #1 best seller, having hit that number on the Wall Street Journal‘s Business Book list. Other numbers are not so sunny. It debuts on the USA Today general list at #53.

The Huffington Post reveals just how bad the sales are, reporting “In the book’s first five days on the market, Trump sold 10,445 print copies,” comparing that to Sheryl Sandberg’s book on female empowerment, Lean In(PRH/Knopf) which sold 74,176 print copies in its first week, going on to sell many more and become a recognized catch phrase as well as a movement.

Reviews have been universally scathing. In this case, negative press may not be better than no press at all.

Moth Power

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

9781101904404_c9867The wildly popular storytelling site,The Moth, distributed through a podcast, YouTube, and the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Houris also available in print form, The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown, Catherine Burns (PRH/Crown; OverDrive Sample).

Attesting to The Moth’s power in the literary world, Neil Gaiman provides a forward for the book and Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer contribute stories. It also has pop culture cred, having been featured on an episode of HBO’s The Girls.

The site’s fan are propelling this 20th anniversary collection of 45 stories up Amazon’s sales rankings, where it is currently in the top 100, at #75.

The NYT‘s chief critic Michiko Kakutani, is a fan, calling it a collection of “remarkable emotional depth and sincerity … by turns, raw, wry, rueful, comic, elliptical and confiding.” The Moth is playing that up on social media, highlighting it on both Twitter and Facebook for their 100,000+ followers.

This is the second collection, following The Moth, ed. by Catherine Burns (Hachette, 2013).

Partisan Politics

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

9780812993523_c1502Rising to #75 on Amazon’s sales rankings today is the book We Do Our Part: Toward a Fairer and More Equal America by Charles Peters (PRH/RH; OverDrive Sample),

On the PBS News Hour last night Peters, a life-long democrat, a founder of the Peace Corps, and the founding editor of the nonprofit political magazine, The Washington Monthly, tells Judy Woodruff the book grew out of his worry that snobbery and greed have split the country. He blames his own party for becoming too involved in making money and too interested in status.

The book has also gotten coverage in the NYT, which calls it “a desperate plea to his country and party to resist the temptations of greed, materialism and elitism — vices he believes have corroded the civic culture and led to the Democrats’ failure last year.” The Atlantic says “it fills in a missing part in our current political discussion.”

Finding THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9781101875681_5fe86When he was in his 20s Christopher Thomas Knight became a hermit, living in self-imposed isolation in the Maine woods for close to 30 years. His story, and that of his arrest for a string of robberies, is the subject of the new book The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

It debuts on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list at #11 this week, having been both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick and is receiving some belated critical attention.

The NYT reviews it, saying it will have “mass appeal … It’s campfire-friendly and thermos-ready, easily drained in one warm, rummy slug. It also raises a variety of profound questions — about the role of solitude, about the value of suffering, about the diversity of human needs.”

The Atlantic says that Knight “avoided humanity with the guile of a samurai … He entered the woods like a suicide, leaving his keys inside the car. He had no destination, nor a map; he carried a tent but had never spent a night in one before. Most of his family members and friends assumed he had died. In one sense they were right.”

USA Today gives it three out of four stars and writes it is an “intriguing account of Knight’s capture and confessions, and while it amasses the inventive details of Knight’s solitary life, it can’t quite explain the man himself. Knight is opaque — more than a loner, hardly a lunatic.”

The 2014 GQ story that launched the book is the magazine’s most-read story ever. They now offer an interview with Finkel.

The Guardian runs an illustrated extract.

Holds vary widely across the systems we checked, with a high of 8:1 and a low below 1:1. However, if the GQ article is any guide, this is the kind of book that grows an audience over time.

Game Changer

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Donald Trump’s election is sure to fuel many political “what happened” books but one of the most anticipated is by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the authors who wrote the 2010 title, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (Harper).

Entertainment Weekly reports Halperin and Heilemann’s take on the 2016 election, as yet untitled, will be published by Penguin in early 2018.

HBO has already bought the film rights for a mini series adaptation to air shortly after the book hits shelves.

Heilemann tells the NYT in an interview that in the book, “We’ll be looking at all the big unanswered questions of the race, some of them are obvious, some of them are less obvious, but of course we’re interested in breaking news.”

9780061733642_9a340Game Change was turned into a popular HBO movie of the same name, starring Julianne Moore (as Sarah Palin), Woody Harrelson (as campaign strategist Steve Schmidt), and Ed Harris (as John McCain).

The pair also created the Showtime series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth which ran during 2016 and will return on March 19 for a second series focused on Trump’s first 100 days in office. Stephen Colbert interviewed Halperin and Heilemann on his show last night.

Halperin and Heilemann followed Game Change with Double Down (PRH/Penguin), about the 2012 election.

The NYT lists some of the other titles forthcoming about the 2016 election, including “Katy Tur of NBC News, who is writing a book about covering the Trump campaign, and Amy Chozick of The New York Times, who is working on a memoir of her years covering Hillary Clinton.” In addition, Melville House is publishing The Destruction of Hillary Clinton by Susan Bordo in April.

Disappointing many, Halperin and Heilemann tell the NYT that Alec Baldwin is not in the running to play Trump in the HBO adaptation. No mention was made about the possibility of Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton.

Louisa Clark Returns

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9780143130154_50bd2Jojo Moyes is writing a third novel starring her beloved character Louisa Clark, reports USA Today. Lou first charmed readers in the international bestseller Me Before You as she cared for and eventually fell in love with the paralyzed and bitter Will Traynor. That book became the successful film with the same title, earning over $200 million worldwide.

In the sequel After You, Lou tries to move on after Will’s death, finds new love, and a job in New York City. In the yet-to-be-titled third novel, according to USA Today, “Lou must decide if her personal Brexit should be permanent.” It will be published sometime in spring 2018.

In a statement, Moyes said:

“I always knew that once I committed to write the sequel to Me Before You, I would also write a third book; I saw it quite clearly as a trilogy. Revisiting Lou has been a joy, as I push her into a completely new country, a brand new world, and a house full of secrets. With her usual blend of humor and emotion she has to ask herself some pretty fundamental questions — not least, which side of the Atlantic does she really belong?”

9780143130628_63a15Meanwhile Moyes is publishing a new paperback original on April 11, The Horse Dancer (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT).

According to the publisher, it is “A quintessential Jojo Moyes novel about a lost girl and her horse, the enduring strength of friendship, and how even the smallest choices can change everything.”