Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

FLASH BOYS Make Big Splash

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Flash BoysKicking off a media blitz for his latest take down of Wall Street,  Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio), Michael Lewis appeared on Sixty Minutes last night. Following that story, headlines in today’s print media scream that Lewis reveals the stock market is rigged.

Tomorrow, Lewis appears on the Today Show, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as many other shows throughout the week.

The book is currently at #1 on Amazon sales rankings and libraries are showing holds.

Get Ready: Seven Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles, Week of March 31

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Finally arriving next week, as we turn the corner to the spring book season, is a novel that both librarians and booksellers can’t wait to get in to readers’ hands, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.

Among the big names arriving are new books by Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Brian Freemantle (download our spreadsheet for ordering information on these and more).

Below are seven to have on the tip of your tongue:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio; Thorndike)

After an extraordinary amount of  advance buzz, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, finally arrives on shelves next week. It is the #1 pick for April for BOTH LibraryReads and IndieNext. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a galley, scroll through the reviews on Edelweiss to get a sense of how much excitement this novel is generating among your colleagues.

Here’s the response from someone who has read the book in depth, the audio narrator Scott Brick:

I’ve been blessed to narrate over 600 audiobooks thus far, and this book instantly pushed its way to the top of my list of absolute favorites. I told someone recently that I wish I could redo the book, and they asked, ‘Why, did you not like the way it turned out?’ I said ‘No, I just wish I could have that experience of reading every word again over and over again.’

Wendy Bartlett from Cuyahoga P.L. suggests, “Read this one before the customers find it.”

A.J. Fikry is a lonely and grumpy young widower whose life is transformed by the power of story. The wonderful Gabrielle Zevin (and if you don’t already have a favorite Gabrielle Zevin title, honey, where have you been??) begins each chapter in Fikry’s life with a page about a great book or short story whose theme is explored as you turn pages—like Eudora Welty’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” for instance. [NOTE: Thanks to the commenter who pointed that we confused the attribution -- the author of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is actually Flannery O'Connor. Our apologies -- Zevin has the proper attribution in her book].

But you (or your customers) don’t have to know the stories or books to enjoy this paean to booksellers, book people, and readers. Okay, sure, it’s set on a gorgeous island in the bookstore we’ve all wanted to own, with the townspeople we’ve all wanted to live next to. It’s a universal story with a bookstore setting, and I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling it except know this: you’ll be utterly and completely charmed.

Flash BoysMichael Lewis, Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio)

Every new title by Lewis is an event and like his other books, this one is embargoed, so there hasn’t been much  information to go on, other than the author’s stunning track record as someone the media hotly pursues (the media blitz begins on Sunday with 60 Minutes and includes the Today Show on Tuesday, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Daily Show with Jon Steward. Download full Michael Lewis Media Roundup). More information emerged yesterday when the International Business Times broke the embargo, saying the book  ”Shines Light On High-Frequency Trading,” a practice that enables banks to “Screw Their Customers.” The promotion for the 60 Minutes segment, released today, is headlined, “Stock Market Rigged, Says Michael Lewis in New Book.”

Frog MusicEmma Donoghue, Frog Music,  (Hachette/Little, Brown)

Most libraries have bought this one conservatively, but early consumer reviews indicate that, although quite different from Donoghue’s best selling Room, it will find its own large audience. In addition to Ron Charles’s rave in the Washington Post, it’s the lead book review in this week’s People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars and the author is profiled in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review.

Under MagnoliaFrances Mayes, Under Magnolia, (RH/Crown; BOT; Thorndike)

Mayes is known, of course, for her books that made everyone dream of restoring a falling-down ruin in Tuscany. In this one, she examines her troubled childhood in Georgia. The prepub reviews are extraordinarily enthusiastic, indicating this one bears watching.

Off CourseMichelle Huneven, Off Course, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton Books)

Expect reviewers to be jumping on this one, based on the critical success of the author’s previous title, Blame, a National Book Critics Circle finalist. The L.A. Times review is the first one. It includes this intriguing line, “What Huneven so skillfully points out here is that love triangles, torrid affairs and the like are not just reserved for protagonists in Jackie Collins airplane novels.” Plus, we’re taken with that cover, which looks like something from Ransom Riggs’ collection.

The Harlem HellfightersMax Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters, (RH/Broadway)

The book we most often see people reading on the subway is Brooks’s World War Z (before Brad Pitt turned it into something unrecognizable). Brooks’s new one is graphic novel about an actual war and an actual group of soldier; the black World War I regiment nicknamed, “The Harlem Hellfighters.” Sony has picked it for a big screen adaptation.

The Goblin Emperor

Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor, (Macmillan/Tor Books)

As we head in to the new season of Games of Thrones, readers may be interested in other fantasy books that explore politics and power. This one has extraordinary pre pub reviews, such as LJ‘s; “Court intrigue and politics are popular fodder for fantasy novels, but rarely have they been done better than in this fantastic new novel from Sarah Monette (writing as Addison). The writing is lovely, with characters who live and breathe.” It is also a GalleyChat favorite.

Karen Russell’s Lastest: e-Book Only

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Sleep DonationIf you heard the promo for Karen Russell’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, and thought, “I didn’t know she had a new book out,” you are not alone.

Her new book is actually an eBook-only novella titled Sleep Donation. Dozens of writers have released eBook-only short fiction, many of them “bridge” stories between titles in a series, to tide fans over between books, (such as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novella, High Heat, RH/Delacorte). But when an author with Russell’s literary cred does it, it gets attention.

Adding further to the media allure, this is the first release from Atavist Books, a joint venture between media mogul Barry Diller and movie producer Scott Rudin, run by former Picador USA publisher Frances Coady (more on the company here, but fair warning, this story buys the Kool Aid that it is “revolutionary,” even though there are many others in this business). Adding even more media-worthy names, it comes with an audio read by indie actress Greta Gerwig, and even has an interactive cover designed by that oxymoron, a famous book designer, Chip Kidd. Plus, it has its own website.

Unfortunately, however, it does not seem to be available to libraries.

Appropriately, the novella is about an insomnia epidemic ravaging America, the result of people paying too much attention to electronic devices (take note, Arianna Huffington; this could be a cross-promotional opportunity for your book).

Gone McCann   New Year's

In addition to the attention from Fresh Air, the novella was also the lead title in Entertainment Weekly’s book section last week, in a story titled “Let’s Get Digital” that includes Joe Hill’s short story Wolverton Station (from HarperCollins/Morrow and available to libraries), Greg Iles’s novella, The Death Factory (also HarperCollins/Morrow and available to libraries) plus upcoming titles by two other literary darlings, Column McCann’s Gone (released March 18 by another ebook-only publisher Byliner and apparently not available to libraries) and Adelle Waldman’s New Year’s, a companion story to her The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., coming in May, from the old world publisher where Francis Coady used to work, Macmillan/Picador (presumably one of those places she refers to as “print originators [who] tend to see digital as a slightly embarrassing offshoot of print.”)

Early Attention for FROG MUSIC

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Frog MusicAfter the huge success of Room, it’s no surprise that critics are vying to be the first to review author Emma Donoghue’s next book, Frog Music, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio and Large Print), which arrives this coming Tuesday (although some libraries are showing that it is in process).

The Washington Post‘s is among the first of the consumer reviews, with Ron Charles noting, “The millions of readers who know Donoghue only from the harrowing tale of that little boy [in Room] will discover in Frog Music just how expansive and boisterous this Irish Canadian author can be … Donoghue has created a full-throated murder mystery, spiced with song and forbidden love.”

The Wall Street Journal profiles the author’s background research, in which she came up with a solution to a real-life murder that took place in San Francisco in 1876.

The film rights for Room were acquired in 2013. It is still in development as of January, according to a story in Deadline.

Jane Green on TODAY

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Tempting FateGetting a strong boost for the launch of her new novel from Kathie Lee & Hoda on The Today Show, author Jane Green says Tempting Fate (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Wheeler Large Print) is based on observing women in her Connecticut neighborhood (in this case, her actual town of Westport), “suddenly getting gorgeous and glamorous,” a signal that they are unhappy in their marriages and like the main character, are seeking attention elsewhere.

Video below, or link here.

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

MARS Ascending

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The Kickstarter-funded movie, Veronica Mars, may not have done well at the box office (or with the NYT critic, or with some of the funders), but the related book (which picks up the story after the movie) The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, released yesterday (RH/Vintage) is currently at #8 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

In addition, the audio book (BOT download), read by Veronica Mars herself (that is, Kirsten Bell as Veronica) is getting attention. New York magazine’s “Vulture” says Bell’s “mellifluous yet extremely sardonic delivery will really cure what ails you, if what ails you is a disease brought on by a Veronica Mars deficiency” and The Week magazine adds, “Bell voices all the characters in the audiobook version, giving fans the chance to hear her version of characters like Weevil Navarro and Cliff McCormack.”

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is the first of two planned Veronica Mars novels.

He’s Back!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

No-Slam-Cover-smaller-198x300Jon Stewart is back from spring break, with a full roster of shows this week, two of them featuring authors.

Last night he interviewed media maven Arianna Huffington about her new book, Thrive, (RH/Harmony; RH Audio) which has already been moving up Amazon’s sales rankings following her appearance on Ellen. Degeneres exhibited none of Stewart’s skepticism about some of Huffington’s pronouncements, (it’s worth watching the Daily Show segment just for Stewart’s facial expressions. Huffington remained unfazed). The book is now at #20 and rising.

Tomorrow night brings the authors of a book on a subject closer to Stewart’s heart, No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, an oral history of a NJ dive bar where he once work. The book is self-published by the authors and is currently only available in paperback.


Monday, March 24th, 2014

How About Never?“If you love New Yorker cartoons, you’ll probably love the view from Bob Mankoff’s desk,” says Terry Gross, introducing her interview on NPR’s Fresh Air today with the magazine’s cartoon editor about his memoir, the title of which comes from his most famous cartoons, How About Never, Is Never Good for You? (Macmillan/Holt, publishing tomorrow).

That line is so famous, it’s been appropriated in many ways (Mankoff’s favorite; it’s been printed on panties). He says, however, it will NOT appear on his tombstone.

Get Ready: Four Titles You Need to Know The Week of March 24

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In addition to the several titles by known quantities arriving next week (e.g., Tempting Fate by Jane Green, which gets 3.5 stars in this week’s People magazine and the author is called, “one of the first ladies of chick lit”) below are four titles you need to know.

These and other notable titles arriving next week are listed, with alternative formats and full ordering information, on our downloadable spreadsheet

A Call to Action   Thrive, Huffington

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, Jimmy Carter, (S&S; S&S Audio)

The former president has what publicists call a “platform,” meaning easy access to the media. For this book, on violence against women and girls around the world, he is scheduled to appear this weekend on the Sunday’s Meet the Press and NPR’s Weekend Edtion. Next week, he will be on a wide range of shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman and the Colbert Report.

Thrive, Arianna Huffington, (RH/Harmony; RH Audio)

Huffington has already been on the stump for this book; appearing on Ellen this week. DeGeneres passionately recommended it, saying she’s been telling everyone to read it. Huffington’s revolutionary advice? More sleep! It’s currently at #18 on Amazon’s sales rankings and lbraries are showing holds

Every Day is for the Thief Every Day Is for the Thief, Teju Cole, (Random House)

Expect many reviews for this book by PEN Faulkner Award-winning author of Open City, published in 2011 (and the March Read for The Atlantic‘s Twitter Book Club). There’s already advance attention; the author is profiled in the NYT and the L.A. Times, in an early review, calls it a “wonderful meditation on modern life in Nigeria.” It arrives on the heels of another Nigerian author winning the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Americanah.

Washington's SpiesWashington’s Spies, Alexander Rose, (RH/Bantam)

The tie-in version of the basis for a heavily-promoted AMC series Turn, which begins 4/6/14.


Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Dancing Fish And Ammonites   Savage Harvest

Penelope Lively was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air (listen here) about her new book, Dancing Fish And Ammonites, (Penguin/Viking), which the 81-year-old author says is “not quite a memoir,” but rather “the view from old age.”

Today, the show features journalist Carl Hoffman on his new book Savage Harvest (HarperCollins/Morrow), with the long subtitle/annotation,  A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. The author was also interviewed this past weekend on another NPR show, Weekend Edition Saturday. An excerpt of the book appears in the March Smithsonian Magazine.

Harlan Coben Movie Deals

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Missing You   Six Years   Tell No One

So far, only one film has been made of  Harlan Coben’s best selling novels, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à personne, and it was not released to U.S. theaters (several libraries own the DVD). [UPDATE: We stand corrected. As one of the comments points out, the film was shown in 112 U.S. theaters].That seems odd, since, as the Washington Post characterizes  the writer, he is the “master” of a film-worthy type of story, “a life suddenly unraveling, the past summoned back into a swiftly shifting present, secrets peeling back to reveal more secrets.”

Hollywood seems to have caught on. Three of Coban’s books now in various stages of development.

His latest thriller, one of his many standalones, Missing You, (RH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike) releasing today, was just picked up for adaptation by Warner Bros., according to Deadline.

The plot involves an internet dating site. Booklist says, “Coben never met a technological device he couldn’t turn into a riveting plot element … Coben’s meticulous plotting and his incorporation of the technology are first-rate. His characterization and dialogue? Not so much.”

In the pipeline are two other standalones. One is an English-language version of Tell No One, currently being scripted at Universal. The second, Six Years, published last year, is being produced at Paramount, with Hugh Jackman set to star.

Lestat Returns for Halloween

Monday, March 17th, 2014

BK_InterviewAnne Rice announced on Facebook last week that her next book will revive The Vampire Chronicles series, which began in 1976 with Interview With The Vampire. The new book, titled Prince Lestat, will be published on Oct. 28 by Knopf. News sources from Variety to the New York Times and The Guardian covered the story. As a result, when the preorder links went up on Amazon yesterday, it landed at #48 on the site’s sales rankings.

BK_QueenDamnedIn a podcast interview on The Dinner Party with Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn, co-hosted by her son, Rice said Prince Lestat will be a sequel to The Queen of the Damned because, “after that The Vampire Chronicles are kind of memoir books and backstory and other experiments.” She gives more details (including how Lestat deals with the iPhone) during the full interview — listen to it on iTunes, Episode #64, beginning at time stamp 7:00.

It’s been over a decade since the 11th volume, Blood Canticle, was published. In a 2009 statement currently still featured on the official site for the series, Rice claimed this would be the final volume; “the eleven novels of the Vampire Chronicles are best enjoyed as a complete and finished work.” On The Dinner Party she says she really didn’t think she could write a new one, but going back and reading all the books again made her feel she had more to say, so much so that she “feels this is novel one of a new incarnation” and in fact, has signed the contract for a second book. She even has casting ideas for a new film version of Lestat.

9780307962522_a85caPrince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles
Anne Rice
October 28, 2014
9780307962522, 0307962520
Hardback $27.95 USD / $33.00 CAD

Nancy Pearl Interviews: Laurie Halse Anderson

Monday, March 17th, 2014

9780670012091Speaking with YA author Laurie Halse Anderson, librarian Nancy Pearl asks about the term, “problem novels,” often applied to books about teens dealing with real-life situations. Anderson responds that she thinks of the genre as “Resilience Literature” because the goal of the books is to helps strengthen kids facing difficult situations.

As to the people who try to censor her books because they don’t want kids exposed to such realities, she says,”They need to sit down and have a cup of coffee with me.”

Anderson’s latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, (Penguin/Viking; Brilliance Audio; January), is about a teenager trying to deal with her beloved father, a former soldier struggling with PTSD. She tells Nancy how her own experiences influenced the book which is currently on both the NYT and the Indie best seller lists.

The interview is part of the series, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl on Seattle Channel 21.

Get Ready: 5 Titles to Know Next Week

Friday, March 14th, 2014

In addition to new titles from best selling authors Harlan Coben, Terry Pratchett, and series regular Loren Estelman, below are several titles to pay special attention to next week.

Ordering information for these titles and more is on our downloadable spreadsheet.


You Should Have Known  The Cairo Affair

You Should Have Known, Jean Hanff Korelitz, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio)

This book been called a “significantly superior addition” to the “chick noir” genre. Entertainment Weekly featured it in their spring preview, calling it, “The thriller we’re already obsessed with.”  Korelitz is the author of the well-received Admission. It’s the lead review in the new issue of  People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars; “a consuming, expertly plotted thriller [that] moves along at a slow burn, building up to shocking revelations…”‘ Oddly, the new issue of the magazine that first hearalded the book, Entertainment Weekly, is not so high on it, complaining that “the plot moves slowly, weighed down by superfluous detail”

A weird fact — if the author’s middle name reminds you of a favorite memoir about books, you have a great memory. Korelitz’a cousin was Helen Hanff, the author of 84 Charing Cross Road (made in to a movie starring Anne Bancroft), as she writes in an essay  in The Telegraph .

The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio)

If, like the NYT’s Janet Maslin, some of your readers have found that Olen Steinhauer’s Milo Weaver series has become overly complex, you can encourage them to try this stand-alone by the author. Like his previous books, it is an “elaborate, sophisticated spy tale, a long, twisty road full of cleverly placed potholes and unexpected turns,” says Maslin that will reward readers  who “stay on your toes and enjoy the guessing game.”

LibraryReads Picks

Divorce Papers   Kill Fee
The Divorce Papers, Susan Rieger, (RH/ Crown)

“When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read.” – Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

Kill Fee, Owen Laukkanen, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books)

“In the third book in this series, Carla Windermere and Kirk Stevens find themselves reunited when people around the country seem to be dying from contract hits. Young war veterans, under the influence of a mysterious man, are turning into emotionless killers. Stevens and Windermere try piecing together who’s behind the crimes, but keep falling one step behind. Reminiscent of Thomas Perry’s novels, and fast-paced.” – Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL


Promise of a PencilThe Promise of a Pencil, Adam Braum

PW calls this an “exuberant testimony to the power of idealism.” The author, who founded Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that has built over 250 schools around the world, is scheduled for CBS This Morning and Morning Joe next week.

The book will be a Parade ”Pick” this Sunday.

March Kids Book To Love

Friday, March 14th, 2014


Among the new offerings for young readers are some enchanting picture books as well as new reasons to fall in love with sloths and poetry.

Picture Books

Jasper & Joop

Jasper & Joop (Gossie & Friends series), by Olivier Dunrea; picture book, also a board book edition, (HMH)

When Gossie first appeared on the scene, I wept for joy. Dunrea has a way of paring down language to the essentials and cueing the reader with his now classic avian creatures on a stark white background.

Grown ups will recall Felix and Oscar, the original odd couple, as we get to know the tidy Jasper and not-so-tidy Joop. A delight.


Toot   Tickle
Toot and Tickle, by Leslie Patricelli, Candlewick

I adore Leslie Patricelli’s board books. Babies love to look at babies and hers are having a lovely time. Silly age appropriate fun.

The Scraps BookThe Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, Lois Ehlert (S&S/Beach Lane Books)

Full disclosure: To me, Lois Ehlert is the unsung hero of picture books. Her careful collages and straightforward language, her sharp eye for design and subtle humor often gets lost among the piles of picture books produced every year. Her range is astounding from the marching, dancing graphic letters of her timeless read aloud classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the pitch perfect poetic language of her informational book about metamorphosis Waiting for Wings, we are used to being astounded by her art. With this new book, count me astounded again.

The Scraps Book holds all the joy of an archival collection (like the one where I work, the Kerlan); being able to look at  manuscript pages and sketches to see how the artist is thinking and creating , but with the major advantage that you don’t have to get on a plane to experience it, it’s all in her book.

Reasons every library must have multiple copies of this book.

  1. The hard to fill reference question from the beginning-to-read and beginning-to-write 1st or 2nd grader, “I need an autobiography.“ For this reading level, they are few and far between. Give this book
  2. Ehlert lets us in on  her creative process. We witness the scraps and pieces of leaves, berries, and photocopies and watercolor paper arrange on the page to become birds and cats, a leafman and snowman, fish floating and a squirrel leaping. We see the growth of an artist and her process.
  3. Intertextual connections. We see how a book, a story, a picture is made and we can go to that book and have many an ah-ha moment.
  4. Anyone, adult or child would be inspired by this book to create their own art and tell their own story.

The Geisel Award, please.

Middle Grade

Princess Labelmaker

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book, Tom Angleberger (Abrams; Recorded Books)

Obviously, you don’t need me to tell you about this series (in fact, this book just hit the USA Today best seller list), but I can’t pass it by. All the books offer a core truth about life in Middle Quarry Middle School as the Origami Yoda Gang fight the menace of standardized tests.



Swing, Sloth!   Sparky!

National Geographic Readers: Swing Sloth!, Susan B. Neuman, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

Sparky!, Jenny Offill, illus. by Chris Appelhans, (RH/Schwartz & Wade)

A Little Book of Sloth

Is it me or are we being buried under sloth books? A quick check gives us 42 children’s books featuring sloths over the last year (you may recall my favorite from last year, Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke, S&S/McElderry Books).

These two contenders arriving this week do not disappoint on the official sloth-o-meter. Cute, sweetly faced sleeping mammal? Check. Sly almost silly humor? Check. Child reader appeal? You have to ask? Did you know that there is an International Sloth Day? Start planning your programming now.


Firefly July

Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illus. by Melissa Sweet (Candlewick)

Just in time for Poetry Month, these are the perfect pocket poems. What, you never heard of Poem in Your Pocket Day? This is the day when people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them. Poems from pockets are unfolded throughout the day during events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Save the date: Thursday, April 24.

From Kirkus: “Choosing from works spanning three centuries, Janeczko artfully arranges 36 elegant poems among the four seasons…Scintillating!”

I agree.