EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Lessons of Scarcity

pioneer-girl-ciA headline from yesterday’s SlateA Tiny Press Printed Only 15,000 Copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Autobiography. Big Mistake, has sent Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, (South Dakota Historical Society Press) flying back up Amazon’s sales rankings.

Part of the appeal may be the comment that, now that the book is out of stock, “’Used’ copies on Amazon (in this case meaning ‘existing’) started at $399 as of this writing,” (see our earlier stories on the book, from August and December).

Holds are also climbing in many libraries. Cross your fingers that circulating copies will be returned.

Making Headlines:
GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Guantanamo DiaryBook news is currently dominated by Guantánamo Diary  (Hachette/Little, Brown), a memoir by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Larry Siems. The author, who is still being held at the prison, details the tortures he has endured there. Featured on yesterday’s Morning Edition, the host noted, “The Pentagon confirmed to NPR that for a brief period at Guantanamo in 2003, a ‘special interrogation plan’ was designed for Slahi, and it was outside the military’s own standard interrogation procedures.”

Excerpts are published in People magazine, it will be on the cover of the Feb. 15 NYT Book Review (online now, three weeks ahead of the print version, presumably to coincide with the publication), is featured in the L.A. Times, reviewed by The Washington Post. and the basis for a NYT Op-Ed piece.

The Guardian. which is serializing the book, features a documentary about it on their Web site:

In the U.K., celebrities, including Colin Firth, Jude Law, Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Cave are supporting the “Free Slahi” campaign.

Check your orders. Most libraries have ordered conservatively and holds are light so far, but we expect them to surge as the story creates even more headlines.

UPDATE: coverage is expected on Friday’s PBS Newshour. ABC This Week is planning coverage, TBA, and the daily NYT is also planning a review. The book was embargoed, so no advance reviews. LJ noted it in Prepub Alert in July and  Kirkus  just posted their review online.

Guantánamo Diary
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, edited by Larry Siems,
Hachette/Little, Brown,  January 20, 2015
Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio,  9781478986942
E-Book, 9780316328609

YA GalleyChat, Tuesday, Jan. 20

It’s the first YA GalleyChat of the new year!

Join us today, 5 to 6 p.m. (4:30 for virtual cocktails), EST — #ewyagc


NPR Book Club Wraps

9780374280604_abe23The new NPR Morning Edition book club wrapped up today with a discussion of the first selection, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct), picked in December by bookstore owner and author Ann Patchett.

The book, which has hit the lower rungs of the NYT best seller list as a result of the section, is also one of five finalists for the NBCC Nonfiction Award, announced yesterday and  has been made into a movie, titled The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Gabriel Byrne. Currently in post-production, the release date has not yet been announced.

The next title in the club will be announced soon; we will let you know when it is.

Buy Alert: MARCH, BOOK TWO

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The second book of the award-winning graphic memoir by Congressman John Lewis, the next in a planned trilogy, arrives today.

Featured today in Entertainment Weekly ‘s “Shelf Life” column, the story notes that Book One, “took the world by surprise. Acclaimed by the comics press and social justice activists alike, it was an engaging and accessible work of nonfiction about one of the most important moments in American history.” It also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, one of YALSA’s Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens and was on multiple best books list for the year.

Book Two may have taken the library world by surprise. Reviewed last week in Kirkus and yesterday in SLJ‘s “Good Comics for Kids” column, it does not appear on library catalogs we checked.

March: Book Two
Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Top Shelf; January 20, 2015

m00eIn a  feature about the books on CNN in July, Lewis said he used the comic format because many in his generation in the ’60s were deeply inspired by a comic book called Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story (watch the video to the end, for a story about libraries).

Top Shelf Comics has republished that comic book in print as well as in a digital bundle with Book One.

Amazon Turns to Books

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming al the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up by doing the same with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

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Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story in the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternate reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

RA Alert: Scott McCloud’s
THE SCULPTOR

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The book on many a comics readers’ mind in the next few weeks (and maybe all year) will be Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor (Macmillan/First Second, Feb. 3), a massive 496 page graphic novel that Cory Doctorow called McCloud’s “magnum opus” back in April. Due out on February 3rd, it is the story of a washed up young artist who makes a deal with Death to create art that will be remembered – but he only gets to live 200 days to do so.

The comic book scene is buzzing with anticipation and Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015.” For advisors who need a bit of backstory, McCloud is a writer/artist that readers treasure for his nonfiction books (drawn, of course) explaining how comics work (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics - all published by William Morrow). The Sculptor is his first graphic novel in over a decade and follows in the wake of his cult favorite title Zot! (which HarperCollins reprinted in 2008). McCloud discussed creating the book, which took five years, in USA Today last June, sharing that he wanted to make a book that was “an engrossing read — a page-turner from beginning to end.”

Macmillan offers a look at McCloud’s innovative page design, use of perspective, and his color palette of pale blues and deep blacks. First Second provides more images as well as a glimpse of the cover and the spine – showing just how big a book The Sculptor is.

Many libraries have yet to order it, in spite of glowing reviews and stars from library trade journals and the long-simmering publicity.

THE SLAP Is “Not About the Slap”

The SlapThe first full-length trailer for the 8-episode TV series based on the controversial award-winning Australian novel, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, (Penguin, 2010) was released on Friday.

TV critics asked the cast questions about the act that sets off a series of events, a man slapping someone else’s child at a neighborhood barbecue. At one point, during panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Zachary Quinto, the actor who administers the act of corporal punishment told the critics, “It’s not really about the slap. All of these characters come to the table with a tremendous amount of internal conflict and struggle about different aspects of their lives. The great thing about it is it’s a launching point for very little black and white and a lot of gray.”

Also starring Uma Thurman, the series is directed by Lisa Cholodenko, (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge and the movie The Kids are All Right). It premieres Thursday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. NBC.

The book became a reading group staple in both Australia and the U.K. and was made into a popular Australian TV series in 2011 (as a result, some reports cite the new adaptation as a remake of that series, without noting the original source material).

Released in the U.S. as an original trade paperback, it received a strong endorsement from the Washington Post. The reviewer praised it for giving American readers a sense of life in Australia, while exploring subjects that resonate here,

In The Slap we live for a few short weeks in suburban Australia, learning the language, becoming intimate with the characters and experiencing their customs. But finally the novel transcends both suburban Melbourne and the Australian continent, leaving us exhausted but gasping with admiration.

The setting for the American version is Park Slope, Brooklyn.

STILL ALICE, Oscar Bump

Behind American Sniper, a second, quieter film did well at the box office this weekend. Also the recipient of good timing  Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, expanded nationwide this weekend and was able to capitalize on the movie’s star, Julianne Moore, becoming the front-runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar.

It’s a Cinderella story for both the book and the movie. Unable to get an agent for the book, Genova self-published it. Her guerrilla marketing was so successful that she then landed an agent and a mainstream publisher, Simon & Schuster. Released as an original trade paperback in 2009, it went on to become a best seller. Appropriately, as the author recently told the Boston Globe, for the film rights, the she took a chance on a “very small new production company,” because she felt, “they really understood the intent of the story.”

In libraries we checked, Still Alice is neck-and-neck in holds with American Sniper.

Genova, a neuroscientist, has published two novels since, both dealing with brain disorders. Left Neglected is about the results of a brain injury and Love Anthony, about autism. In her next novel, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; 4/7/14), she writes about a family dealing with Huntington’s Disease.

Tie-ins:

9781501107733_6d66bStill AliceLisa Genova
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
Trade Paperback

Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Books

Audio CD, &S Audio

 

AMERICAN SNIPER
Storms Box Office

The Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, was a big winner at the box office this weekend, giving the movie industry much-needed hope.The timing of the film’s wide release, immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, is considered a big factor in its success.

Another is the film’s patriotic appeal, although that is being question by several who object to the movie making a hero of a man who said in his book, “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

The movie’s subject, the late Chris Kyle is getting renewed attention, including this story on NBC’s Nightly News:

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As a result, his book, which has been a long-running best seller, now occupies three spots on the Amazon top 10, with another editions is at #64:

#1 —   Mass market ed. with original cover, (Harper, 2013)
#5 —   Trade pbk tie-in (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2014)
#8 —   Hardcover memorial edition (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2013)
#64 — Mass market. tie-in, (Harper, 2014)

The Next STAR TREK

The debut on Friday of the Syfy Channel’s new series 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, is part of the cable network’s plan to lure back its audience by returning to its roots in scripted, hard-core science fiction.

9780316129084Other upcoming series are based on books. Just released is a trailer for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey‘s series of the same title that begins with Leviathan Wakes, (Hachette/Orbit, 2011). The 10-episodes series, aims, says Entertainment Weekly to be “the next great Star Trek/Firefly/Farscape space drama” or “Game of Thrones in space.”

 

The date for the series has not yet been announced, but the release of the trailer indicates it is not far off.

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Also on tap are adaptations of  two Arthur C. Clarke novels, 3001 The Final Odyssey, (RH/Del Rey, 1997) in development with Ridley Scott as the executive producer and Childhood’s End, (RH/Ballantine, 1953), currently being cast, as well as  Hunters, based on Whitley Strieber’s novel Alien Hunter, (Macmillan/Tor, 2013) and the just-announced adaptation of Robert Charles Wilson’s 2005 novel Spin. (Macmillan/Tor, 2005).

The Zuckerberg Bump

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The second title in Mark Zuckerberg’s new Facebook book club, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our NatureWhy Violence Has Declined, (Penguin/Viking, 2011; trade pbk, 2012; Brilliance Audio  OverDrive Sample), announced on Saturday, immediately moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, and is now at #307 from a lowly #7,514.

The selection may seem at odds with the times, but Zuckerberg insists, “Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.” He adds, “A few people I trust have told me this is the best book they’ve ever read.”

As to the length, it is 800 pages. Zuckerberg admits he will need a month to finish it, so he promises to pick a shorter book in two weeks so club members can read both at the same time.

One of those people is Bill Gates, who has called The Better Angels of Our Nature his “favorite book of the last decade” and “a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time.”

The rise in sales was not quite as great as for the first selection, Moisés Naím’s The End of Power, which climbed to #10 on Amazon’s rankings and also just debuted at #14 on the Jan. 25 New York Times combined nonfiction best seller list. Ironically, as The Washington Post reported, Facebook proved to not be a conducive platform for the book discussion.

The attention also generated holds in libraries. Given the brief two-week window for these selections, however, it will be a losing proposition for libraries to try to meet the demand. We can just hope Zuckerberg’s discovery that books can be “very intellectually fulfilling … in a deeper way than most media today” has resonance.

 

Pierce Brown, Best Seller

Red Rising  golden-sun

Debuting on the Jan. 25 NYT hardcover fiction best seller list at #6 is the second in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), surpassing the first book, which spent three weeks on the extended list.

Librarians have been big supporters of the series, making the first title the #1 LibraryRead pick last February. Golden Son is on the current list, with the following recommendation:

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”

Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD

Entertainment Weekly calls it the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut.”

It is the lead in this week’s NYT BR “Inside the List” column.

“Unexpected” Best Seller Continues

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

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

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

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

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

A Dozen Titles for Readers Advisors, Week of Jan. 19

With no blockbuster names arriving next week, readers advisors can concentrate on the many picks by colleagues.

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 Jan. 26, 2015

Advance Attention

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Leaving Before the Rains Come, Alexandra Fuller, (Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Fans of Fuller’s previous autobiographies, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, will want to know whether this new one is as good. Entertainment Weekly‘s top book critic Tina Jordan, clearly a Fuller fan, says in the new issue’s lead review it is even better than the others and gives it a resounding A. It also received an early review in last week’s NYT BR, and the author is profiled in Home & Garden section.

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Fans of Fuller’s African adventures will be thrilled to find she is back with another engaging memoir, and new readers will want to read her previous works. In Leaving Before the Rains Come, Fuller tells of her unraveling marriage and her realization that she is a person truly between countries, living in the U.S. with her husband and children while her heart and soul remain in Africa. Her experiences in the States change her, and when she returns to Africa she discovers that she no longer fits in as she previously had. Fuller must face some tough questions about who she is and where she belongs, and she does so with her usual intelligence and wit.” —Liz Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, AK

Fear the Darkness: A Thriller, Becky Masterman, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample);

Janet Maslin gives Fear the Darkness early attention in the daily NYT this week. Clearly expecting a winner, based on the authors previous title, Rage Against the Dying, she calls this one “another strong display of the author’s ingenuity” but seems let down by the book’s “involving, if not electrifying, first half.”  In the end, however, she says the “book’s later stages are easily its best and well worth waiting for.”

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner, (Norton)

The NYT covers this book by the Pulitzer Prize winner in a story that should fascinate anyone interested in research.

People Picks 

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper, (S&S; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick of the Week, 1/26/15;  ” … a lovely book you’ll want to linger over.”

Also an Indie Next pick:

“Eighty-three-year-old Etta Vogel quietly sets out one day to walk 3,200 kilometers to the coast of Canada for her first view of the ocean. As Etta travels, author Hooper gently and poignantly reveals a lifetime of morally charged events that shaped Etta as well as her husband, Otto, and her lifelong friend, Russell. This is a beautiful and sometimes hauntingly stark portrait of three WWII-generation lives, sprinkled with the wise counsel of a loyal coyote named James. I loved it!” — Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

See How Small, Scott Blackwood, (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

‘This strange and mesmerizing novel begins with the murder of three teenage girls in an Austin ice-cream shop, then traces the crime’s impact on survivors, including a mother, a witness and an accomplice to the crime. In lyrical, often dream-like prose, Blackwood illuminates the nature of grief and the connections among the living and the dead.”

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adam, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

”One day David Adam was a regular guy; the next he scraped himself on a screw and panicked that he’d contracted AIDS. For more than a decade that thought dominated his life. Part memoir, part exploration of the science behind OCD, The Man Who Couldn’t stop is an obsessive read and one with heart.’

LibraryReads Pick

First 9781250019837_9abf8Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample)

Both a LibraryReads and Indie Next pick

LibraryReads recommendation:

First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.” — Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ

GalleyChat Pick

9780802123190_da341Before He Finds Her, Michael Kardos, (Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press)

GalleyChat Fave, Sept:

“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 that his newest will find a bigger audience. 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.” — Robin Beerbower, EarlyWord

Indie Next Picks

9780871407900_0d56aSweetland, Michael Crummey, (Norton/Liveright)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Crummey takes readers into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland. Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland’s family founded the town, and he is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate to the mainland that is effective only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.” —Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

9780062346032_d56d4Migratory Animals, Mary Helen Specht, (Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Specht’s novel weaves together stories of science and art, friends faraway and family returned. Migratory Animals is a coming-of-age tale for grown-ups, a reminder that growing pains don’t stop as we age and change and become who we’re supposed to be — or who we hope to be. Flannery and her friends will grab hold of you and not let go until the last page has been turned.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780525427506_43541Unbecoming, Rebecca Scherm, (Penguin/Viking, BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Julie rents a room in a dilapidated house outside of Paris. She repairs antiques, mostly things no one else wants, and is a loner with no friends or social life. In her room at night, she reads the news from Garland, Tennessee, her hometown, where two men are about to be let out on parole for a crime for which she was the mastermind. Julie is terrified of being found and is just trying to survive. This is an exhilarating page-turner with multi-layered characters and several good twists. Once you hit the halfway point, it’s a race to the finish to find out what’s going to happen.” —Amanda Skelton, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN – See also, our chat with the author, Rebecca Scherm. 

9781616954277_51a87Morte, Robert Repino, (Penguin/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Ants conquer the world and pets overthrow their masters in this smart, gripping novel. House cat Sebastian becomes Mort(e), a fearsome warrior for the animal cause. Battling across a dystopian landscape, flushing out the few human survivors, Mort(e) can never quite forget his domesticated past and lost friend, the dog Sheba. A crisis of conscience ensues. What is good? Who is evil? Are the dictatorial ants truly better than the humans with their germ warfare? Laced with humor, this action-packed thriller is thought-provoking.” — Mariga Temple-West, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA