Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

How to Smell a Painting

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

What does a painting smell like? Not the canvas or frame but if you were inside the painting, what would it smell like?

9780544381056_86a57That is a question Amy Herman asks when she trains police officers to be better observers. She shares her lessons on optic acuity and awareness in Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life (HMH/Eamon Dolan).

It is the front page story of this Sunday’s NYT Art & Design section and has broken into the Amazon top 100. It is getting attention from NPR’s All Things ConsideredThe Atlantic‘s CityLab, and TED as well.

NPR host Ari Shaprio asks Herman about the uses of learning to see more precisely:

“If you remember a small detail about a patient’s life, you remember a small detail about a suspect’s family where they said they go. If you remember small details about your clients, it can really bring the big picture together.”

She goes on to point out that learning how to see more fully helps in every day life, from being able to notice what is happening with your children to observing the details of a job process.

The NYT offers an example of how Herman uses paintings in her work, using “Vermeer’s exquisitely ambiguous “Mistress and Maid,” a 1666-7 portrait of a lady seated at a table, handing over (or being handed) a mysterious piece of paper”:

“There are so many different narratives … The analysts come away asking more questions than answers — ‘Who’s asking the question? Who’s doing the talking? Who’s listening?’ The cops will say, ‘It’s a servant asking for the day off.’”

Herman’s TED talk and the full NPR interview are below:

Live Chat with Author Paul Griffin

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

The chat has now ended. Read it below.

Be among the first to learn about the upcoming Penguin Young Reader titles. Join the program here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Paul Griffin : WHEN FRIENDSHIP FOLLOWED ME HOME
 

YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues. May 17

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

This edition of GalleyChat has now ended. Please join us for the next one on June 21, 5 to 6 p.m. ET (4:30 for virtual cocktails).

Proving Einstein Right

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

9780307958198_f1384On Feb. 11 of this year scientists proved Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves. It was an idea many thought could never be tested, much less proven, but an intrepid group of scientists worked for decades to do just that.

Nonfiction author and novelist Janna Levin, a physicist and astronomer herself, has written a book about the quest: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Yesterday, on the PBS NewsHour Bookshelf conversation, Levin explains that scientists were actually able to hear gravitational waves and “like mallets on the drum. They rang space-time itself.”

In what is a science adventure book, Levin details how a small number of determined and insightful researchers bet their careers on the concept that the waves not only existed but could actually be heard. She witnessed the process of building detector machines, the rivalries and jealousies of those involved in the project and “realized that this could actually read like a novel. And if you followed these characters, you could understand not only the process of science, but the internal ambitions and the drives.”

No one thought the project would work as well or as early as it did, she continues, “and then it struck. It came from 1.3 billion years ago. It struck Louisiana. About 10 milliseconds later, it crosses the continent and hits Washington state and rings that machine. It is a spectacular detection.”

Summing up the meaning of the discovery Levin says,

“You know, Galileo was just looking at the moon and Saturn. He didn’t foresee that there were hundreds of billions of stars in collections called galaxies, or that there were quasars powered by black holes … what a lot of us hope is that the future will be so vast, beyond what we have even imagined, that there are dark sources out there that will ring these detectors, they will record the sounds of space, and there will be things we have never even predicted before.”

Reception to the book is mixed. A front page NYT “Sunday Book Review” states, “Taking on the simultaneous roles of expert scientist, journalist, historian and storyteller of uncommon enchantment, Levin delivers pure signal from cover to cover. … what makes the book most rewarding is Levin’s exquisite prose, which bears the mark of a first-rate writer: an acute critical mind haloed with a generosity of spirit.”

The daily NYT nonfiction reviewer, Jennifer Senior, however, is far less generous, writing “Awkwardness is everywhere … Editors. Where are they.”

But readers are not bothered. The book is currently ranked just outside of Amazon’s Top 100 and libraries are showing strong holds on light orders with several locations we checked tipping over a 3:1 ratio.

A succinct explanation of gravitation waves below:

Dunham Drops New Title

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

lenabook2_largeFollowing her best seller, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham is releasing a surprise new title, in a move characterized by BuzzFeed as “Beyoncé-style,” referring to the singer’s surprise release of the album Lemonade.

Is It Evil Not To Be Sure?, a 56-page “chapbook” of excepts from Dunham’s college diaries, was released early this morning as an eBook, published under Dunham’s imprint Lenny. So far, it is not available from library vendors. A $25  limited hardcover edition of just 2,000 copies will be available for sale beginning at noon today, with profits going to the organization, Girls Write Now.

Ripert Charms

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

9780812992984_72d44Three-star Michelin chef, author of four cookbooks, familiar to many from his appearances on various cooking shows, including his own, Avec Ripertwas feted on yesterday’s CBS This Morning for his new book, a memoir, 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio).

Libraries are showing heavy holds on very light ordering.

The New York Times profiled Ripert, an this book,  earlier this month. During the interview, Ripert eats a prodigious meal. saying, “When I eat, I eat. I do not understand the idea of guilty pleasure. It’s all about pleasure.”

Publishers Weekly reflects the universal praise from trade reviewers, “With his exacting prose and eye for detail, Ripert has created a wonderful memoir about his early days as a chef.”

NERVE Trailer

Monday, May 16th, 2016

When it was published in 2012, Jeanne Ryan’s debut YA novel Nerve, about a teen girl who is seduced into joining a dangerous online game, was compared to The Hunger Games, but with a near-future setting. Lionsgate, in the midst of the success of the Hunger Games adaptations,  scooped up the rights.

Starring Julia Roberts niece, Emma Roberts, the trailer for the movie, set to debut on July 27, has just been released.

9780142422830_28226Unlike many other dystopian YA novels, this one is billed as a stand-alone, but a review on the A.V Club site notes, “the ending openly invites a sequel or series.” At the time of publication, trade reviews were mixed, praising the ingenuity of the plot, but unimpressed by its characterizations (for example, the Kirkus review).

Tie-in:

Nerve Movie Tie-In by Jeanne Ryan
Penguin/Speak; Trade Paperback.

LAB GIRL Blooms

Monday, May 16th, 2016

9781101874936_d2c41The most recent audio book club pick by Slate [UPDATE: sorry, the audio is no longer on the Slate site. It is available free on iTunes]  Lab Girl, Hope Jahren (PRH/Knopf; BOT; OverDrive Sample), currently #18 on the extended NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list and a GalleyChat favorite.

Slate critics Susan Matthews, Laura Miller, and Katy Waldman offer glowing praise, calling it “wonderful” “beautiful” and “endearing” and saying it is already one of the 10 best books of the year, comparable to H is for Hawk and to the work of Oliver Sacks.

Beyond the style of the memoir and its tone, the Slate critics centrally appreciate the detailed insider look at what it is like to “do science.” They also appreciate the way Jahren approaches science as not about getting the world to tell you what you want it to, but listening to what is really happening.

They conclude the conversation by saying the book should be required reading.

Readers seem to agree, holds are strong at libraries we checked with spikes well above a 3:1 ratio at some locales.

TED, New NYT Best Seller

Monday, May 16th, 2016

9780544634497_4fc66Books on public speaking rarely hit best seller lists, but TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson (HMH; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is not your usual how-to, drawing on lessons from the popular series of dynamic speeches. It debuts on the NYT‘s Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous, landing at #3.

Written by the organization’s president, the book details how to give a talk worth listening to. It got a push from Forbes which called it “extraordinary reading.”

Anderson, who knows how to promote his work, features the title on the TED site and has published a summary piece in The Wall Street Journal [subscription might be required]. He recently appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and has a new post up on YouTube:

Holds are strong but not yet topping a 3:1 ratio. The title, however, is bound to become a go-to choice for anyone who has to give a speech, an activity that remains our #1 fear.

9781501129087_cc48c9781401947538_90f2cTwo other titles hit the list for the first time this week, Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice, Baron Baptiste (Hay House; OverDrive Sample) at #9 and Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing, Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp (North Star Way; OverDrive Sample) at #10.

The three titles that got knocked off the the main list were Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, which fell to #11 on the extended list after 17 weeks in the top 10; Fascinate: Revised and Updated by Sally Hogshead; and The Startup Checklist, David S. Rose,  both of which fell out of the top 15 completely.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 16, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

9781250064691_04ace 9781250065940_153fa

Women lead in holds this week. Nevada Barr is in first place with Boar Island (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio), the 19th in her Anna Pigeon mystery series, That is followed by Mary Kay Andrews’s The Weekenders, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) with an appropriate cover to welcome in the summer. It is also an Indie Next pick (see below).

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 17, 2916

Media Attention

The Gene The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

As we wrote earlier, in anticipation of an onslaught of coverage, the daily NYT published an early review of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s second book. The coverage ranges from the expected, an excerpt in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, to the less expected, Vogue features a piece about the author and his wife titled, “Meet the Most Brilliant Couple in Town.”  Also scheduled are:

• NPR Fresh Air, May 16
CBS This Morning, May 17
• PRI-Radio, Science Friday, May 20
New York Times Book Review, May 22

9780062457042_619f7-2The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice, and the Road to Reinvention, Holly Madison, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books)

Former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner and one of the stars of the 2005 to 2010 E! reality show, The Girls Next Door, already spilled the beans on life in the Playboy Mansion in her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole. The followup is excerpted in the current issue of People magazine and featured on the cover.

Peer Picks

Four Peer Picks hit shelves this week. One is a big name from the May LibraryReads list (which also made the June Indie Next List). The other three, all Indie Next selections, include the return of a reader and librarian favorite.

9780062200631_20c73Both a LibraryReads(and Indie Next title is The Fireman, Joe Hill (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

Heralded by daily NYT‘s reviewer Janet Maslin a week ahead of publication, it is also in development as a film.

Mary Vernau, of Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX offers an introduction:

The Fireman is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others. This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.”

9781594633164_53221The following are Indie Next picks:

Anton DiSclafani returns with The After Party (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The Indie Next pick is DiSclafani’s sophomore outing after 2013’s The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. That novel was one of our Penguin First Flights titles.

“The real star of The After Party is the novel’s setting: 1950s Texas, where wealthy housewives and Junior League debutantes rule the social landscape. At the center is Joan Fortier, an unconventional bachelorette who is not content to sit on the sidelines — or to stay in Houston. Joan’s attitude causes conflict with her childhood best friend, CeCe Buchanan, and their relationship falters, exposing insecurities in both women. Fans of DiSclafani’s first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, will not be disappointed by this well-written, engaging new work.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9781250065940_153faThe Weekenders, Mary Kay Andrews (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) .

“This book is perfectly named. The title describes the characters in the story and also recommends it be read during a relaxing weekend on the beach, by the pool, or curled up on the couch at home. True to her roots, Andrews serves up a mystery complete with a dead body and lots of secrets, many of which don’t get revealed until the very end. And to add a touch of urgency, there’s a hurricane. What could be better?” —Rona Brinlee, The BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL

9781594748622_17678My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Grady Hendrix (RH/Quirk Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Abby and Gretchen are the best of friends. They have navigated through all the adolescent pros and cons that came with growing up in the late ’80s: zits, big hair, getting the nod from senior class heartthrob Tommy Cox, and — demonic possession? Written in Hendrix’s unique, darkly comedic, and slightly twisted voice, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is that quirky and satiating page-turner that fans of Horrorstör, have been salivating for.” —Angelo Santini, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

Tie-ins

There are no tie-ins arriving this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins).

Hitting Screens, Week of
May 16, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

MV5BMjQ0MTgyNjAxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzMDkyODE@._V1_SX214_AL_As expected, Captain America: Civil War opened big last week, earning more than $200 million in domestic receipts alone in its first week. Forbes reports it is the 5th fastest movie to ever do so. In the process it knocked The Jungle Book off its top perch.

One film with book connections (a flock of tie-ins) opens Friday, May 20.

Angry Birds is a 3D animated comedy based on the popular video game of the same name. It explores why the birds in that game are so angry and features an all-star cast, including Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage.

Early reviews range from mixed to lackluster. The Guardian gave it 3 out of 5 stars, saying: “This movie is driven by a naked commercial imperative … Yet there is a kind of pleasure and fascination, mixed with exasperation, in seeing how the game has been mangled and bent into the shape of the conventional animation narrative.”

Calling it “a fast, fizzy and frenetically entertaining” film, Variety largely agrees, continuing: “While not quite as inspired or subversive as The Lego Movie, it’s a comparably cheering standout in the generally cynical gallery of product-inspired product.”

9780062453365_60ff3There are plenty of tie-ins including The Angry Birds Movie: The Junior Novel, Chris Cerasi (HC/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample).

For a full listing, check our Edelweiss catalog of tie-ins to current and upcoming movies.

Political Pop

Friday, May 13th, 2016

51xx5wmHJTL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_A self-published vanity press book claiming to give insider details of congress, The Confessions of Congressman X, by Congressman X (Mill City Press; ISBN 9781634139731; 5/24), is soaring on Amazon, currently at #8 on the sales charts.

The slim book of 84 pages offers observations such as:

“Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them … My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”

“Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works. It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”

The conservative Washington Times says “It’s a rant, but one that appears to tap into public uneasiness with elected officials and their insular culture.” It got mention on The Blaze (Glenn Beck’s outlet), Fox, Daily Mail, and the New York Post as well.

Fox begins their coverage with “A steamy new novel about to hit bookstores is – if true – threatening to blow the lid off Congress and the dirty deeds some D.C. lawmakers allegedly engage in to stay in power.”

It is listed on Amazon but has yet to appear on online wholesaler catalogs.

For The Dogs,
And Dog Lovers

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

9780307961761_ef6aaPit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon, Bronwen Dickey (PRH/Knopf; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon due to featured coverage on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Breaking into the top 100, Dickey’s exploration of the cultural life and history of the breed details how it went from a symbol of American can-do spirit and beloved mascot (it was the iconic dog of RCA records, side-kick in the Buster Brown comics, and starred in the Our Gang films) to a racially charged symbol of the urban poor and “super predator.”

OriginalNipperUsing science to dispel myths surrounding the breed’s inclination towards violence, strength of bite, and “instinctive” fighting behavior, Dickey turns the conversation about these dogs towards a reasoned, enlightened, rational one, making the case that the dogs were never “willing participants in their own torture.”

The compelling conversation with Terry Gross is not just about pit bulls. Dickey also tells the story of dachshunds and how, after WWI, they were discriminated against because they were thought to be German allies. So violent was the association, breeders in America sought to change their names to Liberty pups.

Dickey, who is the daughter of author and poet James Dickey (Deliverance) and sister to journalist Christopher Dickey, sells the book well, coming across as lucid, careful, precise, generous, thoughtful, and inviting.

Holds are not yet taking off but this is just the kind of book that will circulate well from new book shelves and displays. It is also likely to become a standard work on the breed for years to come.

TODAY Show Double

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

9781455567065_d1864Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, Ally Hilfiger (Hachette/Center Street; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon due to a double appearance on the Today show.

Hilfiger, daughter of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and star of MTV’s 2003 show Rich Girls, talks with Jenna Bush Hager in one feature and in another with Hoda and Kathie Lee. Both interviews address her physical and mental struggles with Lyme Disease.

Timed to coincide with Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Hilfiger memoir details how she was misdiagnosed for 14 years, suffered a mental breakdown, and was hospitalized before finally getting treatment.

Ordering is low thus far at libraries we checked.

INFERNO, Trailer

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Tom Hanks returns as symbolist Robert Langdon in the film based on the Dan Brown novel, Inferno, arriving in theaters on Oct. 28th.

Below is the first trailer, released yesterday.

Like the previous two in the series, the new film stars Hanks and is directed by Ron Howard. Several years ago, Howard announced that he had reached his limit on directing Langdon movies, but clearly something drew him back in (Deadline objected at the time Howard made that statement, that the director “could use a surefire hit”).

The movies do not follow the sequence of the books:

Angels & Demons first book (2000); second movie

The Da Vinci Code, second book (2003); first movie

The Lost Symbol, third book (2009); movie in limbo

Inferno fourth book (2013); third movie

Will there be more Langdon books? Brown has said his next novel will feature the character but that it may take a while to complete. He also added that he has dozens of ideas for more titles.

Several tie-ins arrive in September (see our listing of tie-ins to current and upcoming movies)

Inferno (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Dan Brown
Trade Paperback, (PRH/Anchor)
Mass Market, (PRH/Anchor)
Audio CD (PRH/Random House Audio)
Inferno (Movie Tie-in edition en Espanyol), (PRH/ Vintage Espanyol)