News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Holds Alert: FAMILY LIFE

Family LifeAfter a glowing cover review in the New York Times Book Review, Family Life by Akhil Sharma (W.W. Norton) is getting even more attention. It is called the “year’s first great novel” by Salon. In a review on NPR’s All Things Considered on Thursday, Meg Waltzer says the author, “takes a simple, emotionally difficult story and makes the reader brave the ongoing pain and become fully absorbed,” and the Huffington Post designates it as the week’s “Book We’re Talking About.”

Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds ratios.

Shocker: ALLEGIANT Movie To Be in Two Parts

The film of Divergent is an official success, so much so that, like other popular teen franchises (Twilight, Hunger Games), the final book in the series will be split into two movies.

The stars revealed on yesterday’s MTV Movie Awards red carpet that they knew that was a possibility from the beginning:

Trailer For GONE GIRL

No, we don’t have the first trailer, but what we do have is the teaser for the first trailer (calling M.C. Escher).

The actual trailer will debut on Entertainment Tonight on Monday, April 14.

Get Ready: Titles To Know, The Week of April 14

The CollectorNext week is light in terms of releases from big-name repeat authors, but Nora Roberts is guaranteed a #1 spot on best seller list with The Collector, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Large Print; Brilliance Audio), a standalone hardcover. Booklist stars it, saying, “Roberts is performing at the top of her literary game, and the novel’s opening nod toward Rear Window should clue readers in to the fact they are in for an addictive blend of sleek suspense and sophisticated romance that would make Hitchcock proud.”

Below are a few other titles to have on the tip of your tongue (download our spreadsheet for ordering information on these and more titles arriving next week):

AxeFactor-199x300The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Mystery, Colin Cotterill, (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Highbridge Audio)

If the title alone doesn’t sell you, this LibraryReads annotation may do the trick:

“I love this sharply-written and quirky cozy mystery. Jimm Juree is a wonderful character, slyly funny and insightful, with an oddball cast of family and friends to back her up. Set in coastal Thailand, this is a laugh-out-loud funny mystery with plenty of great twists and turns that will keep readers guessing.” – Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Until You're Mine Until You’re Mine, Samantha Hayes, RH/Crown

Word of mouth is building for this thriller.  It gets “much love” from ten  readers on Edelweiss, plus this passionate review from a bookseller, “When it comes to mysteries, I really treasure the authors who keep me guessing every time: Sophie Hannah, Mo Hayder, Michael Robotham, Tana French, Gillian Flynn – and now Samantha Hayes. I thought I had the book all figured out, but kept reading anyway because the story sucked me in. I’m glad I did, because the ending blew me away: I honestly had no idea what was coming. ” All four prepub reviews were strong and Entertainment Weekly features it this week with a B+, saying  ”Hayes plants the seeds of suspense early, and they gestate until a truly spectacular ending bursts forth.”

The Kind Mama

The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, Alicia Silverstone, Rodale Books

Back in 2010, the Oprah Show launched Alicia Silverstone’s book on the vegan lifestyle, The Kind Diet, into public consciousness and onto best seller lists. Expect Silverstone to make the talk show rounds for her new book on motherhood (she’s camera-ready, proving it with book trailer released back in November) which addressed the hot-button question, “When did making babies get to be so hard?”

Not Rocky; Rocket Raccoon

Ent. Wkly Summer Movie PreviewWe’re on the verge of the summer movie season, as the new issue of Entertainment Weekly reminds us with a cover featuring Jennifer Lawrence, looking ready to join Blue Men Group in makeup for her role in X-Men Days of Future Past.

Coming in August is a more tongue-in-cheek comic adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy. It seems the world is poised to fall in love witRocket Raccon and Grooth one of the characters, Rocket Raccoon and his side kick/body guard, a large plant named Groot.

Marvel, sensing the growing interest, has announced the launch of their “first original prose novel,” Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett (Marvel; ages 9 and up), which led one comics observer to moan, “a prose novel … set to capitalize on the presumed success of the upcoming major, big-budget Guardians of the Galaxy feature film. This is the world we live in now.”

Several other “prose novels” will be published to tie-in, which is presumably less surprising since they come from publishers who are generally in the prose novel business (downloadable spreadsheet here; for all the tie-ins to the summer’s movies, check our listings of Upcoming movies).

Time to get hooked on a feeling:

But Is It Good For Books?

ColbertStephen Colbert, as we’ve often noted here, has been very good for books. Many authors have enjoyed the benefit of the “Colbert Bump” even as the host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report makes mock fun of them on his show.

It’s just been announced that Colbert will leave that show to take the place of retiring David Letterman on CBS Late Night, beginning some time in 2015.

Entertainment Weekly raises the question on many minds. Who is the real Colbert once he sheds his mock-conservative persona?

We just hope the real Colbert continues to be interested in books.

Closer to Screen: ROOM Movie

RoomIt’s difficult to imagine a film based on Emma Donoghue claustrophobic best seller, Room  (Hachette/Little,Brown), but the project, announced in September appears to be moving along.

Director Lenny Abrahamson has hired Brie Larson for the lead role of Ma, a woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and lives in a tiny room with her 5-year-old son. The story is told through Jack’s eyes, as his mother works to maintain the illusion that their life is normal.

Donaghue’s latest novel, Frog Music, (Hachette/Little, Brown), was released last week.

FLASH BOYS, And Now The Movie

Flash BoysJust when you thought you couldn’t read one more story about the  Michael Lewis phenomenon, Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio), comes the news that Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin are wrapping up negotiations to buy the movie rights.

Brace yourselves; in the upcoming NYT Book Review‘s “money issue,” Lewis talks about the books he’s reading (currently at the top of his “want to read” pile are Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Christine Sneed’s Little Known Facts). Speaking of little known facts; did you know Lewis majored in art history at Princeton before getting a master’s in finance?


With her book, Lean In still  on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list after 53 weeks, Sheryl Sandberg has geared her message to a younger generation with Lean In: For Graduates (RH/Knopf; RH Audio). She appeared on the Today Show this morning.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Boston Marathon Bombing; First Anniversary

StrongerAs the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, the Boston Public Library unveils an exhibit, “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” which includes items from the a spontaneous memorial that developed in Copley Square

One of the people who was injured in that tragedy, Jeff Bauman, appeared on the Today Show this morning, to talk about his remarkable recovery from losing both his legs and his book, released today, Stronger, (Hachette/Grand Central).

Bauman, will also be featured in a special report on Friday’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, “108 Hours: Inside the Hunt for the Boston Marathon Bomber.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


The DivideIf you’re going to commit a crime in the U.S., go for the big bucks, says Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi on The Daily Show. If you are caught, the consequences are likely to be less severe. Our jails are filled with people doing time for smaller crimes, while bankers who steal billions go free.

His new book, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, (RH/Spiegel & Grau) released today, rose to #39 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of his appearance.

LIFE OF CRIME To Be Released Aug 29

9780062206138The movie Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow)has been set for release on August 29.

In The Rolling Stone last year, director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel and expressed hopes that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome.  With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The film, featured at the Toronto Film Festival was called by Variety‘s critic, a “fitting memorial” to the author.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, it was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie starring Aniston, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is  also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).

THE LEFTOVERS: Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for HBO’s The Leftovers, based on Tom Perotta’s novel, gives away very little:

The 10-episode series is co-created by Perotta and Damon Lindeloff, co-creator of the tv series Lost, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that the book first came to his attention via Stephen King’s review in the New York Times Book Review.

The series, starring Justin Thoreau, Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, premieres on June 15 at 10 p.m. EST, following the season finale of Game of Thrones.

The Leftovers (TV tie-in edition)
Tom Perrotta
St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan
On Sale Date: June 3, 2014
Trade paperback; 9781250054227, 1250054222

Peter Matthiessen Dies

In ParadiseWith a new novel, In Paradise, (Penguin/Riverhead), set for release on Tuesday, Peter Matthiessen died at 86 on Saturday.

Both NPR and the New York Times magazine released profiles of Matthiessen just before the news broke.

Ron Charles, reviewing the new novel in the Washington Post writes, “Like the rest of Matthiessen’s vast body of work, In Paradise leads us into questions that define our most profound mysteries.”

The Los Angeles Times Book Critic, David Ulin, offers his picks of Matthiessen’s over 30 books, ”five essential reads and why they matter.”


A feature movie based on the classic WWI memoir, Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, began filming last week at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire, England, according to local news stories.

Just last year, 80 years after publication, the book was called “one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time,” by The Guardian. When it was published in 1933, it was “an instant hit,” and Virginia Woolf wrote in her diaries that she had to stay up all night to finish it. It’s pacifist message fell out of favor during WWII, but in 1978 the feminist Virago Press brought it back into print to great success. Today, notes The Guardian, “the book seems to strike a chord with contemporary readers who have themselves lived through an era of renewed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The title role is being played by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (whose breakout was in the supporting role of Kitty in Anna Karenina; she also starred in the Oscar-nomated Danish movie, A Royal Affair), replacing Saoirse Ronan, who was originally cast for the role.

The book is currently available in the U.S. in trade paperback from Penguin Books:

Testament of YouthTestament of Youth
Vera Brittain
Penguin Classics, 2005
9780143039235, 0143039237
Trade paperback $20.00 USD