Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Panetta Tells Former Boss What
He’s Doing Wrong

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

9781594205965_aced1Former defense Secretary Leon Panetta criticizes President Obama in his new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio). He explains why in an interview with Charlie Rose on today’s CBS This Morning. He was also interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Morning Edition and is scheduled for the Daily Show tonight.

On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly worked hard to get him to criticize Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi. Panetta responded that, as head of the Defense Department, he was not familiar with the inner workings of the State Department, but could say, “If I know Hillary Clinton, if she knew there was a problem at Benghazi, she would have done something about it.’

The book is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently at #14. Libraries are showing holds on light ordering.

Handicapping The Fall TV Adaptations

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Outlander  Outlander

The NYT today looks at the halo effect of the success of the Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander on the books. After the TV series debuted, the first in the book series went to #1 on best seller lists for the first time since its publication twenty years ago, two others in the series also hit the lists (in addition, the most recent in the series, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, which came out in June, hit the list at #1).

The final eight episodes of season one are set for release on April 4 of next year. Starz has also ordered a second season, to be based on the next book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, (RH/Delacorte, 1992). Like Game of Thrones, to which it is compared, there are plenty more books to draw on, eleven novels plus several novellas and shorter pieces (see Gabaldon’s own chronology here).

While Game of Thrones and other TV series have brought readers to the original books, the article does not mention that this is not always the case. The just-concluded HBO series The Leftovers, for instance, had only a small effect on Perrotta’s book and it seems most people didn’t even get that NBC’s About A Boy is based on Nick Hornby’s novel.

Predicting which adaptations, whether film or TV, will have a halo effect can drive selectors (and de-selectors) nuts. Over a dozen more adaptations are on TV schedules through 2015, with many more in the works (see our downloadable Books to TV listing; our full list, including film adaptations is here).

Play along with us as we try handicapping the adaptations coming up through the end of the year:

Big Driver — Lifetime TV movie, 10/18/14 — A one-off movie, based on a lesser-known Stephen King title (a novella published in Full Dark, No Stars,, S&S/Scribner, 2010), won’t inspire many to seek out the original.

Death Comes to Pemberley  9780804173575_28b4c

Death Comes to Pemberley — PBS, 2 episodes, begins 10/16 — P.D. James riffed on Pride and Prejudice in her 2011 book. Matthew Rhys plays Darcy in the adaptation, but sorry, we don’t think he’ll have the impact that Colin Firth did when he played the role in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. As a two-part series, it won’d have time to build an audience, so we are not expecting a big resurgence of interest in the book. Tie-in, RH/Vintage.

Olive Kitteridge  9780812987638_6fc70

Olive Kitteridge, HBO, four parts, begins 11/2/14 — Winning the Pulitzer Prize shortly after it was released in trade paperback sent Elizabeth Strout’s novel on to the NYT list where it stayed for nearly two years, rising to #5. HBO publicity will remind people who always meant to read it to pick it up and it will go on to lists again, but won’t reach previous heights. Tie-in, Random House Trade

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The Red Tent, Lifetime, 12/7 & 12/8/14 — Just two nights long, this won’t have much time to build a following. However, as a reading club favorite, the title has remained in the public consciousness, so the series promotion may remind people to look for the book. That beautiful new cover, displayed in the front of book stores won’t do it any harm, either. Tie-in, Picador

9780553391152_d38b2Mr. Miracle, Hallmark, Holidays — This is the fourth holiday-themed movie based on a Debbie Macomber book. This time, both Mr. Miracle, the book, RH/Ballantine and the movie are being released in the same season. Hallmark has already burnished Macomber’s brand, so there’s little room for growth. Watch next year, however,  when Hallmark plans to do the same for Karen Kingsbury and Sherryl Woods.

Coming to THE DAILY SHOW

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Checklist   9780805095159_1b909

Surgeon Atul Gawande shook up the medical profession a few years ago when he told doctors in his book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that they could improve their results by borrowing a simple idea from the airlines, going through a checklist to make sure that important items aren’t overlooked during medial procedures.

In his new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio), he has something to tell the medical profession that may be even more difficult to swallow. Doctors don’t listen to their patients, and that if they did, he says, they would discover that at the end of life, living longer is often not a person’s top  priority.

His opinion piece in this week’s NYT Book Review, “The Best Possible Day,” based on the book, is now the most emailed story on the NYT site.

Arrving tomorrow, the book is rising rapidly on Amazon’s sales rankings (at #38 this morning from #108, it’s now at #17).

Libraries have ordered it conservatively and holds are rising. They are likely to increase even more after Gawande’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight.

UPDATE: Below is the appearance. As a result, the book rose to #7 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Better Than The Book, or Just Different?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Gone Girl  9780553418361_ecb60-2

David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’ Gone Girl was a hit at the box office, beating out, but just barely, the original horror flick, Annabelle, the sequel to The Conjuring.

Most critics have also been fans (a notable exception is Joan Smith in The Guardian, Gone Girl’s recycling of rape myths is a disgusting distortion“). NPR’s David Edelstein went so far as to declare it “more fun than the book” on Fresh Air.

Not declaring either better, the Independent grabs attention with a headline asking the crucial question, “Gone Girl: How was the book’s ending different from the film?”

Their answer, however, is “not that much.”

The book-to-movie site, Word & Film does an an analysis of “Gone Girl’s 5 Big Book-to-Film Differences.” The site is owned by Random House, publisher of the book, so they should know.

The Fall Rock Memoirs

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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Based on upcoming rocker memoirs, it seems black, white and a touch of sepia are jacket requirements.

USA Today notes that seven new rock memoirs are coming out this fall.

Two arrive tomorrow:

Dancing with Myself, Billy Idol, (S&S/Touchstone)

Featured yesterday on  CBS Sunday Morning.Tomorrow, Idol is scheduled to appear tomorrow on NBC’s ‘Today Show.

 Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith, Joe Perry, David Ritz

Scheduled appearances include Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, October 6 and CBS This Morning,” October 7

OLIVE KITTERIDGE, New Trailer

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Following the release last month of a brief teaser and a few clips, the first full length trailer has arrived for the adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge Random House, 2008).

The 4-hour series was a hit with critics at the Venice Film Festival, It will air on HBO on Sunday, Nov. 2 and Monday, Nov. 3

9780812987638_6fc70Tie-in:

Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout

Random House Trade Paperbacks, 10/28/14

OverDrive Sample

Five Titles to Recommend and
More to Know, The Week of 10/6

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

We’re in to October already, so it’s high time to begin thinking about the holidays. To the rescue, the first of the Christmas-themed novels arrives next week, this one by Debbie Macomber. It’s also the basis for a Hallmark movie … a children’s book is one of the three leaders in holds … and you will have a record number of LibraryReads picks to recommend, five in total.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 10/6

Holds Leaders

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Deadline, John Sandford, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike); OverDrive Sample

Audio sample:

Paris Match, Stuart Woods, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike); OverDrive Sample

The Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan, (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion; Listening Library)

Audio sample:

LibraryReads Picks

9780062225061_1ed49Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir, Alan Cumming, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books; HarperAudio, read by the author); OverDrive Sample

“This memoir focuses on Cumming’s reaction to being told that his father was not, in fact, his father. An appearance on the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are was meant to reveal the mystery behind what happened to Cumming’s maternal grandfather. Instead, his father’s admission leads Cumming to resolve long-held memories of verbal abuse. Cumming is extremely open, allowing readers to share in his pain and understand his relationships.” — Tracy Babiasz, Alachua County Library District, Newberry, FL

9780307700315_7c071Some Luck, Jane Smiley, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike, Nov. 20); OverDrive Sample

Audio sample:

“Smiley’s latest is a love song to American farms and the people who keep them. This glorious and heartfelt novel chronicles the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years, beginning in 1920. Family members are born, grow, change, and die. Readers follow their triumphs and crushing losses and, along the way, learn about the evolution of farming and society in the United States. Definitely one of the best novels of 2014.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO

Media attention: NPR Weekend Edition Sunday – 10/5; New York Times – interview with Chip McGrath – 10/7. It is also on the National Book Awards longlist (finalists TBA on Oct. 15).

9781250057150_b5ebcThe Boy Who Drew MonstersKeith Donohue, (Macmillan/Picador)

“Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. While Jack’s parents chalk his drawings up to the imagination, Nick, Jack’s only friend, notices mysterious things happen whenever Jack picks up a pencil. This detailed coming-of-age tale with a twist offers unique insights into boyhood friendships and the complexities of adult relationships.” — Courtney Block, Charlestown Clark County Public Library, Charlestown, IN

9781455553617_73c29Reunion, Hannah Pittard, (Hachette/Grand Central; Thorndike, Jan. 7); OverDrive Sample

“When Kate learns that her estranged father has committed suicide, she and her siblings travel to Atlanta to bury him and work out years of resentment. Life seems overwhelming to Kate as she battles with infidelity, divorce, and a massive debt. It’s only when she takes a good look at herself that she begins to heal the rift in her family. Unfolding like a saga, this short book packs a punch.” — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

9781250035608_0fd97Malice: A Mystery, Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O. Smith, (Macmillan/Minotaur); OverDrive Sample

“Detective Kaga is investigating the murder of best-selling author Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s wife and best friend both have rock-solid alibis, but Kaga discovers that the friendship might not have been what it seemed. A classic cat-and-mouse game with twists that keep the pages turning.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Advance Attention

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Lila: A Novel, Marilynne Robinson, (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio); OverDrive Sample

NYT Magazine profile, 10/5/14. It is also on the National Book Awards longlist (finalists TBA on Oct. 15).

The Innovators : How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Walter Isaacson, (S&S; S&S Audio); OverDrive Sample

It was the basis of a New York Times column about women in the tech industry (although the BusinessWeek review says that most of the women in the book are just “offstage wives”).

Media attention will be heavy, led by NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday, Oct. 6 and Fresh Air the next day.

It is also longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Book trailer, below.

Endgame: The Calling, James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton, (HarperCollins)

A YA title that is, according to the publisher, “designed to play out over multiple media platforms, including mobile games,” this one also arrives with an attention-getting gimmick, a global scavenger hunt for  $500,000 worth of gold coins. It’s working, at least for drawing media coverage. USA Today has covered the contest as well as the New York Post‘s “Page Six.” The first in a planned trilogy, each new book will up the ante by an additional $500,000. Of the prepub reviewers, only Booklist recommended it and library ordering is modest

9781623363581_41ff4Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck, Thug Kitchen, (Rodale)

The first book from the popular Vegan web site (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan). A certain word may be obscured on the cover, but it’s on full display multiple times in the text. In fact, if the swear words were removed, this cookbook would be half the size.

 

Upcoming Media Attention

Dancing with Myself, Bil9781451628500_b58bd-2ly Idol, (S&S/Touchstone)

To be featured on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend (argh! Rebel Yell on CBS Sunday Morning? Nearly as jarring as when we first heard Bob Dylan on Muzak).

In addition to advance excerpts in RollingStone.com and Time.com, Idol’s memoir will also be featured in USA Weekend this Sunday, on  NBC-TV/‘Today Show (interview and performance) on release day, Tuesday and on The Howard Stern Show, on Wednesday.

TV Connections

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Death Comes to Pemberley (Movie Tie-in Edition), P. D. James, (RH/Vintage); OverDrive Sample

Audio sample:

Starring Matthew Rhys as Fitzwilliam Darcy; Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Darcy, the two-part series airs on PBS 10/26/14 and 11/2/14.

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part Two, Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin); OverDrive Sample

While not a tie-in, this is related to the premiere of AMC’s 5th season of The Walking Dead. The TV series is based on the original comic books (which have been gathered into various book compendia). This prose novel is set in the same world and includes characters from both the comic and television series. It is he fourth and final in the series, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, and continued in The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury and The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One. Another new Walking Dead series begins next week, with The Walking Dead Descent.

Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel, Debbie Macomber, (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; RH Large Print); OverDrive Sample

Audio sample:

Not only is this a Christmas-themed novel, but, come the actual holiday, it will also be a Hallmark movie. the fourth following three previous Macomber holiday adaptations,  Mrs. MiracleCall Me Mrs. Miracle and Trading Christmas. Rob Morrow and Michelle Harrison star. Premiere date has not yet been announced.

Predicting the Future:
Eleven Books to Watch

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Editor’s Note: Robin Beerbower is EarlyWord‘s regular “GalleyChatter” columnist. In her day job, Robin is the readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. Enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication, she tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her an authority on what to read next. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). Below is her latest:

Three titles that garnered rave reviews during past GalleyChats also recently received top accolades from People (Laird’s Neverhome, Hachette/Little, Brown and St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, RH/Knopf) and Entertainment Weekly (Station Eleven and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests, Penguin/Riverhead). Also, Station Eleven made the National Book Award Longlist! Are there a few crystal balls in library offices? No, we’re just a group of librarians with discerning eyes as to what will popular with readers.

What will the critics and the public be raving about in a few months? To find out, check out the following top titles from the September 9 chat. For a complete Edelweiss list of what was discussed, check here. Many are available in as egalleys; read them and remember to nominate your favorites on LibraryReads.

Storytelling at Its Best

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There’s nothing like a good story to keep us reading and three titles stood out for their gripping plots.

A couple of us were so excited to chat about Greer Macallister’s The Magician’s Lie (Sourcebooks Landmark, January), we could hardly wait until the official chat time began. The story of a female illusionist in the early 1900s who flees her show after her husband is found hacked to death and is caught by the local constable kept us enthralled. Sharron Smith said the tale was hypnotic and the eerie dark tone reminded me of Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife.

Judging from the excited responses when I mentioned Fiercombe Manor, Kate Riordan (Harper, February), the gothic novel is alive and well. With its English manor setting, threads of madness, and hints of hauntings, it’s an obvious homage to Kate Morton, Victoria Holt, Sarah Waters, and Daphne du Maurier. Before reading, Google “Owlpen Manor” to see the house that inspired the setting.

Maria Dueñas’s first book, The Time In Between was a beautifully told epic story, and her follow-up, The Heart Has Its Reasons (S&S/Atria, November) is another clear winner. Beth Mills (New Rochelle Public Library) said this story of a female professor moving from Madrid to San Francisco and becoming obsessed with an exiled writer who died years before is “an absorbing read—it ties in academic politics, 20th century Spanish history and early California history.”

Character Studies

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It’s unanimous that GalleyChatters love Stewart O’Nan’s ability to build sympathetic characters and his next book, West of Sunset (Penguin/Viking, January) with its focus on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood doesn’t disappoint. In her Edelweiss review Darien Library’s Collection Development manager Jennifer Dayton said “This is a portrait of a man drowning in longing for lost chances, lost loves and lost worlds. I loved it.”

Appearing on the Booker Man 2014 longlist (but alas, not the shortlist), Us, David Nicholls (Harper, October), the witty story of a man trying to save his marriage of 30 years after his wife announces she wants a divorce, was very popular with readers. According to Janet Lockhart (Wake County Libraries, NC), Nicholls “blends humor and sadness with great dialog and engaging characters.”

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Virginia Woolf is hot again — in the publishing world anyway. She’s featured in two new novels. Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) is anticipating Vanessa and her Sister, (RH/Ballantine,December), a “biofic” about Virginia Woolf and her sister, saying “I’m very much looking forward to this as I’m addicted to Virginia Woolf & all things Bloomsbury.” Then Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf, Norah Vincent (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April), the imagined story of the events prior to Woolf’s suicide was posted on Edelweiss after our GalleyChat .

The Rest of What We Loved

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Back in May Jill LePore impressed the audience with her spirited presentation at the BEA librarians’ breakfast and since then anticipation has been building for The Secret History of Wonder Woman (RH/Knopf, October), the amazing account of how Wonder Woman came into existence along with a crucial bit of feminism history.

I haven’t read many graphic novels but I am now addicted to Lucy Knisley’s series of personal experiences that started with Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and continued with An Age of License. Her latest, Displacement (WW Norton/Fantagraphics, February), received high praise from collection development librarian Janet Lockhart who said “Knisley is single handedly turning me into a graphic novel reader.”

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I loved Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair (2012) and was sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved, so I’m keeping fingers crossed his newest, Before He Finds Her  (Grove Atlantic, Mysterious Press) will find a bigger audience of thriller lovers in February. This fast moving plot about a man who murdered his wife and may be looking for his missing daughter is told from multiple viewpoints and is perfect for Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay readers.

Comparisons to Jacqueline Mitchard’s Deep End of the Ocean is enough to make most of us want to read Tim Johnston’s Descent (Workman/Algonquin, January) but Kaite Stover goes further, saying it is “moving, absorbing, and lyrical in telling the story of a family’s anguish at the disappearance of a child.” And nine other Edelweiss users agree giving it “much love.” Oprah, are you paying attention?

So what is destined to become hits with both the critics and the public? We shall see. In the meantime, if you want to test your psychic skills, join our next GalleyChat on October 7 from 4:00-5:00, Eastern, (more details here), and if you want to keep up on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, “friend me.”

WOLF HALL Coming to Broadway

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780312429980   Bring Up the Bodies (Booker Winner)

Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s Tudor trilogy, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, has been a has been a hit in London and is now set to make its American debut on Broadway April 9 next year. The production is over 5 1/2 hours long, which can be viewed in two consecutive parts (with a dinner break), or on separate days.

Perhaps feeling some competition,  the executive producer of the upcoming BBC TV adaptation of Wolf Hall, commented in a recent essay in The Guardian, “I would like to clarify that the BBC commissioned the six-hour mini-series long before it was produced for the stage.” Starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis (Homeland) as Henry VIII, filming was under way in various historic British locations this summer. No release dates have been announced.

The author is at work on third book in the series, The Mirror and The Light, (she and the stage play’s producer both say they hope it will also be adapted). No publication date has been announced, but some sources say it is due next year.

The stage adaptation will be released in book form this coming February. According to the publisher, it  also”contains a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any reader looking for an even deeper understanding of Mantel’s historical creations.”

9781250064172_e247aWolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies: The Stage Adaptation,  (Macmillan/Picador)
Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton (adapted by)
Macmillan/Picador: February 24, 2015
9781250064172, 1250064171
Trade Paperback
$16.00 USD

Another Reason to Read Galleys

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780062377180_f631cCurious about how authors respond to copy edits?

The advance readers copy of Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty (Harper, 12/9/14) accidentally includes some testy exchanges. The New York Times details a few of them in yesterday’s Arts Beat blog, adding, that, although amusing, “It is no big deal: Mr. Horowitz did not use unsavory language, abuse the copy editors, or expose some fantastic dispute between himself and his publishers. At most, there is firm authorial pushback. ”

The book, the followup to the author’s popular The House of Silk,(Hachette/Mulholland, 2011) has not yet been reviewed in library review sources (it is noted in LJ‘s “Prepub Alert“).

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, got her hands on a galley. She also found the copy editing comments hilarious, but, as she says in a readers advisory to the branch staff, there are many more reasons to read it:

Anthony Horowitz has held young thriller fans in thrall with his popular Alex Rider series for a long time. He’s also turned his considerable talents to adult books and to one of my favorites — the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes canon. If you missed it, 2011’s The House of Silk was his first effort at a Holmesian mystery, and it was first rate. It would still be a superb recommend for your traditional mystery fans.

This year, he’s back with Moriarity. I was very much hoping he’d assume Watson’s voice again, but he’s done things very differently in this book. First of all, it opens at Reichenbach Falls, and we all know what happened there. I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated by the denouement, which he seems to spring on the reader, with few clues leading up to it.  It is, nonetheless, a terrific read.

Rising Holds: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

Monday, September 29th, 2014

9780812994995_3dc2d-2Lena Dunham was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air today about her book, Not That Kind of GirlA Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” (Random House; RH Audio). Listen to the interview here.

Tomorrow, she will appear on  ABC’s Good Morning America, followed by the Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday.

Holds are rising rapidly in libraries on modest ordering. Holds are also rising on the audio, which Dunham narrates.

Ahead of the Game:
Titles to Know, The Week of 9/29

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Books have been doing plenty of crossover into TV, but this week sees the reverse. B.J. Novak, of The Office, is publishing a book for kids and Lena Dunham, of Girls, is Not That Kind of Girl  … the #1 LibraryReads pick for October arrives, Garth Stein’s next novel after his long-time best seller, The Art of Racing in the Rain (no dogs this time) … and Hilary Mantel has already stirred up attention for her new book, a collection of short stories.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord, New Title Radar, Week of 9/29.

Holds Leaders

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Burn, James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, (Hachette/Little,Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio) — The newest Detective Bennet thriller (Patterson’s next Alex Cross book, Hope to Die, is right around the corner — coming Nov 24).

The Lost Key, Catherine Coulter, J. T. Ellison, (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio)

The Perfect Witness, Iris Johansen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Brilliance Audio)

Advance Attention

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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories, Hilary Mantel, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio)

Short stories rarely cause controversy, but the title story of this collection is making waves in Great Britain. As is clear from that title, this has little to do with the world of the  author’s famous Wolf Hall series. It was reviewed by Janet Maslin in the New York Times this week.

The Wonder of All Things, Jason Mott, (Harlequin/Mira; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print); OverDrive Sample

Mott’s previous book, his debut, The Returned, is the basis for the ABC series Resurrection. which begins its second season on 9/28/14. This new novel has already been optioned by Lionsgate. Mott is profiled this week in USA Today.

LibraryReads Pick

9781439187036_61f0d-2A Sudden Light, Garth Stein, (Simon and Schuster);  OverDrive Sample

The #1 pick for October., with this recommendation:

“Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses.” — Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

Media

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All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid, Matt Bai, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

About the scandal that ended Gary Hart’s run for the Presidency. It was excerpted as the NYT Magazine 9/21 cover story, “How Gary Hart’s Downfall Forever Changed American Politics.”

Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, (S&S/Scribner)

The former Congresswoman, who was shot in 2011 and nearly died, writes about her efforts, along with her husband Mark Kelly, to promote responsible gun ownership. It will be getting media coverage:

• Parade “Picks,” September 28 issue
• USA Today feature, September 29
• MSNBC-TV/”Morning Joe,” Sept 30
• CNN-TV/”The Lead with Jake Tapper,” September 30
• MSNBC-TV/”Andrea Mitchell Reports,” October 1

Celebs

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Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, Lena Dunham, (Random House; RH Audio)

Now that Michiko Kakutani has given the thumbs up on Dunham’s first book, she can relax and enjoy her upcoming interviews (she was already on the cover of the 9/14 NYT Magazine):

NPR Fresh Air – interview – 9/29
ABC Good Morning America – interview – 9/30
Comedy Central Daily Show – 10/1

The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak, (Penguin/Dial)

The actor and writer for The Office, writes his first kids book (his first was for adults, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories). He is profiled in The Atlantic.

Tie-ins

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Horns Movie Tie-In Edition, Joe Hill, (HarperCollins/Morrow paperback, Harper mass market)

Movie opens on Halloween

Mockingjay: Movie Tie-In Edition, Suzanne Collins, (Scholastic)

Mockingjay, Part 1, the movie, opens 11/21/14

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson, (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio)

The companion to Johnson’s PBS series premiering Oct. 15. The author appeared on the Daily Show on Thursday.

Young Adult

9780525423058_093edBelzhar, Meg Wolitzer, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile; RH/Listening Library); OverDrive Sample

The author’s first Y.A. title.

Audio sample:

Readers Advisory: Historical Fiction and the “Ick” Factor

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

9780062335944_2516fKaty Simpson Smith has received enviable attention for her first novel, The Story of Land and Sea, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio, 8/26/14 ). Vogue magazine profiled the author, under the headline, “Katy Simpson Smith’s Luminous Novel Is Set to Be the Debut of the Year.”

The Washington Post saw in the novel echoes of Hilary Mantel‘s Wolf Hall series, in that it “works to breathe life into history using the immediacy of the present tense. Its finely wrought (sometimes overwrought) language blends startling details of the everyday with a dreamy, aphoristic quality. The effect is to root the novel in its historical moment but to reach toward the universal in its exploration of love and grief.”

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, agrees that those details of daily life are “startling,” but not necessarily in a good way. She opened a discussion with branch staff about the book, via the following comments on the staff intranet.

Have you noticed the trend toward Realism with a capital “R” that has been hitting historical fiction? I get that living in 1793 was no picnic, but seriously, leave the ick factor to my imagination, okay?

I first noticed this with last year’s Longbourn by Jo Baker, a book I loved, but if there had been one more paragraph about chamber pots, I swear I’d have pitched it across the room. And Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Great book as a long as you aren’t depressed when you start it, because trust me, you will be when you finish it. Did I really need to know how grungy Iceland was in 1829? I have been blessed with a great imagination. Oh, Writer. Trust your readers. We could have figured it out.

And now along comes The Story of Land and Sea, an excellent historical novel with lots of good historical detail woven in, lots of examination of how people in 1793 North Carolina thought and believed and therefore behaved differently than we do, which is superbly done, but ugh—when you get to the part about yellow fever. Again, Oh, Writer, I can color in those details myself.

I wonder if this is part of a larger cultural change. Are people so accustomed to visual entertainment that writers have to literally give us the gory details to make it real for people used to getting their mental pictures drawn for them on Xbox and HBO?

If your customers like extremely well written historical novels with carefully crafted character development, they’ll love The Story of Land and Sea, but if they are more to the Gentle Reader side of the scale, they’d be happier with Light Between the Oceans or The Invention of Wings.

Several of Cuyahoga staff members responded that they like those details, including Susan Levinsohn, who wrote,

I think we are more tolerant than we were even 10 yrs. ago for the reasons you mentioned above. Senior ladies are not asking for cozies like they used to and don’t mind reading the more graphic fiction. I also think many people that read historical fiction (including myself) like to read background information that does represent the times. I like to get a “feel” for the times and the people of the era as well as the story woven around it. I think if part of the appeal for the reader is the history then the details, however “icky” are more likely taken in as just true to the times. I like Miss Marple but I’ll take Burial Rites too.

As Wendy says, it’s important to understand your customers preferences when making recommendations.

Read the first chapter here.

After Sleep, You Gotta Eat

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

First there was:

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This fall there’s:

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Like the first book, this one will be published by Brooklyn indie press, Akashic Books, 978-1617753787, 11/27/14 (ship date, 10/27/14).

The official announcement is being covered widely by the press, including Entertainment Weekly, ABC News, and the L.A. Times

Michiko Likes It: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

9780812994995_3dc2dGiven how famously insecure Lena Dunham is, we can’t help but think she was nervous when she learned that her forthcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl, (Random House; RH/BOT Audio; 9/30) was going to be reviewed in advance of publication, by the daily NYT‘s famously stringent Pulitzer Prize winning reviewer, Michiko Kakutani.

She may have even made the following video, one of a series, to address such reviewers.

She need not have worried. Michiko likes it, a LOT.

Dunham, of course, narrates the audiobook (RH/BOT). A short sample here.