Archive for February, 2008

At BEA, Mornings Are Eclectic

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Imagine Philippa Gregory on a dais with Magic Johnson, Alec Baldwin and Andre Dubus III. That’s the unlikely, but intriguing combination for the Saturday (May 31) BEA Book & Author Breakfast.

BEA has just announced the full lineup of speakers for the major events. Tickets will be available beginning March 5, on the BEA site.


Continuing its successful effort to increase librarian attendance, BEA is again “librarian friendly” (gone are the days of skulking around wearing an “other” badge).

Even if you don’t plan to attend the show, the speaker lineup offers a glimpse of some of the major books on tap for Summer and Fall ’08:


Lewis Black
Me of Little Faith

  • Hardcover:$23.95
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (June 3, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1594489947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594489945

Black will be the main attraction at the Saturday night benefit for American Booksellers Foundation For FreeExpression (ABFFE)


Thomas L. Friedman
Green Is the New Red, White, and Blue:

American’s Mission in a World That Is Hot, Flat, and Crowded

  • Hardcover: $24.00
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, (August 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0374166854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374166854

Friedman is Conference Keynote Speaker on Friday


Below are forthcoming titles by breakfast and lunch speakers, arranged by publication date:


Andre Dubus III

The Garden of Last Days

  • Hardcover:$24.95
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton (June 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0393041654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393041651


Richard Engel

War Journal

  • Hardcover:$28.00
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416563040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416563044


Robert Crais

Untitled Elvis Cole Novel

  • Hardcover:$25.95
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743281640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743281645


Markos Moulitsas Zuniga,
Taking on the System:

Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era

  • Hardcover:$23.95
  • Publisher: Penguin/Celebra (September 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0451225198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451225191

Zuniga is the owner and major blogger for The Daily Kos


John Hodgman

More Information Than You Require

  • Hardcover: $24.00
  • Publisher: Penguin/Riverhead (October, 2008)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-525-95034-9

Publisher description: The bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise — also known as The Daily Show’s “resident Expert” and the PC in the iconic Mac ads–picks up exactly where his first book left off. Exactly.


Dennis Lehane
The Given Day

  • Hardcover:$26.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (September 23, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0688163181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688163181

Jon Krakauer

The Hero

  • Hardcover:$26.00
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 14, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385522266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385522267


Azar Nafisi

Things I’ve Been Silent About:

A Memoir of Family

  • Hardcover: $26.00
  • Publisher: Random House (November 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400063612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400063611


Magic Johnson

Magic Moves:

32 Lessons on How to Be an All-Star in Business

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Crown Business, (projected date 12/30/08)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-609-60828-0


Alec Baldwin

A Promise to Ourselves:

A Journey Through Divorce and Fatherhood

  • Publisher: St. Martin’s (January, 2009)


The following authors have also been announced, but we do not have bibliographic information on their titles yet:

Michael Moore, author of an as yet untitled work (Grand Central)
Christopher Buckley, Supreme Courtship: A Novel (Twelve)
Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict (Little, Brown)
Ted Turner, Call Me Ted (Grand Central) (more…)

News Flash: Memoirs are Big

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

USA Today confirms what we’ve know for quite some time — memoirs are big and we’ll be seeing even more of them (which the story documents in an interesting way).

The story also says that Jeannette Walls, author of the still-bestselling The Glass Castle, is at work on another book about her family. James Frey, however, has abandoned the memoir form and is writing a novel.

Two other big-selling memoirists have books coming out very soon:


A Wolf at the Table:

A Memoir of My Father

Augusten Burroughs

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (April 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0312342020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312342029

This has not been reviewed in the pre-pub sources (although LJ listed it in “Pre-pub Alert”), which may be the reason it’s not yet on some library catalogs.
[No Cover Image Available]


A Bipolar Life

Marya Hornbacher

  • Hardcover: $25.00
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (April 9, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0618754458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618754458

On order by all the libraries I checked.

Who’s the Real Boleyn?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl‘s a ripping yarn: not real history,” writes historian Antonia Fraser in The Guardian, commenting on the movie that opens on Friday. In addition to pointing out the movie’s historical inaccuracies, she notes some howlers from earlier films (apparently, Genevieve Bujold playing Anne in Anne of a Thousand Days exclaims, “Oh Henry, you great big royal booby!”) and talks about what makes a film rise “to the heights of the Great Historical Movie.”

As to source material for the film, she says “Obviously you can’t expect a film taken from an historical novel [Philippa Gregory’s book of the same title] to be accurate since historical novelists, by definition, are using their imagination. ” And, indeed, the book itself has been challenged for inaccuracies (Wikipedia’s entry outlines the variations from historical fact).

She also mentions George MacDonald Fraser’s (author of the Flashman series) 1988 book (now out of print), The Hollywood History of the World, in which he contrasts history as shown in films with what actually happened.


The Hollywood History of the World:

From One Million Years B.C. to Apocalypse Now

  • Paperback Reprint
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 2, 1989)
  • ISBN-10: 0449904385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449904381

All of this is good fodder for book clubs and RA discussions.

Sony Pictures and Simon and Schuster are running a book club contest. The ultimate prize is a trip to London and an event with The Other Boleyn Girl author, Philippa Gregory.

Vampires Are Forever

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

According to Time magazine, Anne Rice has another vampire novel coming. Rice, whose recent return to religion made her swear off the blood suckers, says she just couldn’t quit Lestat. The book, her last in the series, will be a vampire story with a twist. She tells Time that it will have Christian framework.

The second novel in her series on the life of Jesus, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, starred by PW, will be pubbed this coming Tuesday. She will publish one more in that series, before returning to the Vampire Chronicles. Based on her history of publishing a book every 15 months, Time estimates it will be at least 3 years before the final Vampire Chronicle title.


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (March 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400043522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043521

Boleyn Scorecard

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The Boleyn family is in danger of overexposure. The Other Boleyn Girl (reviewed in the 2/22 issue of New York magazine) featuring the sisters Anne and Mary, opens in movie theaters on Friday.

Then, Anne takes center stage in the second season of The Tudors which begins on Showtime on March 30th.

But, wait, there yet another Boleyn girl — Jane, wife of Anne and Mary’s brother George. She is featured in a new biography, Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford. On Sunday, Liane Hansen interviewed the author, Julia Fox on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” LJ‘s 12/15 review said the book “would make an exceptional reading group selection.”


  • Hardcover:$26.95
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 26, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0345485416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345485410

So, it’s a good time to pull out and display your Tudor era titles. And, be sure you have the DVD of the first season of The Tudors, which was released last month:

The Tudors – The Complete First Season (2007)


S&S has “novelized” both seasons:


The Tudors: It’s Good to Be King

  • Paperback:$14.95
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (April 24, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1416948848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416948841


The Tudors: The King, the Queen, and the Mistress

Michael Hurst and Annie Gracie

  • Paperback:$12.95
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (November 6, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1416947787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416947783

Phew! Libraries Will NOT Become Extinct

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Because of their “mutating role,” libraries will not become extinct by 2019, as predicted by the Extinction Timetable, says Witold Rybczynski in Slate today. His essay/slideshow looks at several central libraries (including Seattle, Chicago and Salt Lake City) and wonders “What sort of public library does the ‘digital world’ of Google, Wikipedia and Kindle require?” There are no revelations, but Rybczynski offers some interesting analyses of each building (Chicago is a “slightly forbidding Fortress of Knowledge.” I’ve always found it quite a bit more than slightly forbidding).

Rybczynski, Slate‘s architecture critic, has written several books, including Home: A History of an Idea and A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and North America in the Nineteenth Century.

RH Audio Says “No Moes” to DRM

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Can libraries look forward to offering downloadable audiobooks for iPods now that Random House will no longer encrypt their audios with digital rights management software? In a word, no.

In the Wall Street Journal on Monday [full article available only to WSJ subscribers], RH Audio publisher Madeline McIntosh explained why they’ve decided to abandon DRM, “If we insist on using DRM, our audiobooks can’t be sold to consumers who have iPods, unless they buy them from Audible or iTunes.”

The Journal article did not address the situation for libraries, but in a letter (posted on Corey Doctorow’s site, sent to agents on Thursday, RH Audio publisher McIntosh emphatically states (bold-faced items are in the original) that nothing will change in that area:

We are not making any changes at all to our library digital download program. That marketplace operates under very different conditions than retail. In the library environment, DRM is used not just to prevent copying, but also to control the limited borrowing privileges attached to the digital library edition. To be clear: all titles distributed in download form from our Books on Tape and Listening Library lists through our two existing library distribution partners, OverDrive and NetLibrary, will continue to have DRM.

Nebula Award Nominees Final Ballot Announced

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Talk about crossover. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is on the short list for best novel for the Nebula Award. It’s also among the nominees for best novel for the Edgars.

Below is the full list of  nominees in the best novel category. For the nominees in all categories, go to the SOFA site. The awards will be announced on April 26th at the Nebula Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas. The Edgars will be announced at a banquet on May 1, in New York City.


Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell (Tor, June 2007)


The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins, May 2007)


The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman (Ace, August 2007)


The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner Books, February 2007)


Odyssey by Jack McDevitt (Ace, November 06)

Worth Stealing

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

“What books are you afraid to re-read?” is the question on today’s “Short Stack,” a blog from the staff of the Washington Post Book World. Evelyn Small kicks off the discussion with her list of five titles, including Wuthering Heights. One commenter encourages her to stay away from it — “Heathcliff was basically an abusive husband, father, and father-in-law, and not a single character was appealing.” I suspect this is exactly why Evelyn was afraid of it.

It’s a fun question that obviously got people thinking — worth stealing if you’re looking for survey questions for your library Web site.

Cuban Questions

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Now that Fidel Castro has stepped down, many are wondering about Cuba’s future under his brother Raul. The Wall Street Journal today reviews a book on just that subject first published in 2005 and updated last year.

The older edition is owned by the majority of the libraries I checked. It’s a good time to pull it out for display.


  • Paperback:$14.95
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (February 6, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1403975078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403975072

USA Today Bestsellers 2/21

Thursday, February 21st, 2008


USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” column notes that Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope is now at #11, the highest it’s been on its 35 weeks on the list (it was at #25 last week). Meanwhile, Amazon shows the book even higher, currently at #3. His previous title, Dreams from My Father is also on the rise, at #26, up from #61, on the USA Today list. The column also notes that “Obama has a contract with Random House for two more books, one for children.” Hmm, wonder what the delivery dates are?

“Book Buzz” says Susan Jacoby may be the “Intellectual ‘It’ Girl,” of the moment because her book, The Age of American Unreason (Pantheon, $26) is one of those rare books by “a serious thinker … that grabs the popular culture’s imagination.” Rare, indeed. The column is only able to give two other examples, both from many years ago; The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch (1979) and The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom (1987). Jacoby appeared on the Today Show on Tuesday. Holds are building in libraries and several still have the title listed as “on order.” The book is not yet on the USA Today list (the list shows sales through the 17th, so it doesn’t take into account results from recent publicity). The publisher says there are now 56,000 in print. It rose to #2 on the Amazon list this week and is currently at #14.

The following titles are rising because of movie tie-ins:

Now at #16 The Other Boleyn Girl is up from #26. the movie releases at the end of the month.

Landing at #134 is Jumper by Steven Gould. The movie brought in $33.9 million since its opening on 2/14 (which included the President’s Day holiday weekend), putting it slightly ahead of The Spiderwick Chronicles. The following titles in the series moved up the list:

The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide at #34, up from #67 after 7 weeks.

Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: The Nixie’s Song at #80, up from#132 after 9 weeks.

Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone at #85, up from #145 after 2 weeks.


Take That, Steve Jobs!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

It’s tough to say what’s the best line from today’s NY Times Op/Ed piece by Timothy Egan, “Book Lust.” In it, Egan challenges Steve Jobs’s recent comment that people don’t read any more.

I vote for this one as the most inspiring line:

Reading is… an engagement of the imagination with life experience. It’s fad-resistant, precisely because human beings are hard-wired for story, and intrinsically curious. Reading is not about product.

But the “Oh, snap!” moment is this one:

The latest Harry Potter book sold 9 million copies in its first 24 hours – in English. “The DaVinci Code,” a story of ideas even with its wooden characters and absurd plotting, has sold more than 60 million copies.

By contrast, Apple reported selling a piddling 3.7 million of the much-hyped iPhones through 2007. Is the iPhone dead? Of course not. But what should be dead are foolish statements about how human nature itself has changed because of some new diversion for our thumbs.

Second Canseco Book About to Release

Thursday, February 21st, 2008



Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (March 31, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416591877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591870

Speculation is building about who will be named in Canseco’s second book (after Juiced, 2005) for using steriods. The book is set for release on March 31st, following a change in publisher and allegations that Canseco offered to not name a player in exchange for investment in a movie project.

Of the ten libraries I track, only one has it on order. All of them own the earlier title.

Marley & Owen

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008



The AP and many other news agencies, report today that Owen Wilson and co-star Jennifer Aniston are set to begin work on the movie Marley & Me, which is due out at Christmas.

After a reported suicide attempt, Wilson had dropped out of shooting another movie, Tropic Thunder and was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

Rising on Amazon

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

The following titles have been rising on Amazon during the last week:


  • Hardcover:$26.00
  • Publisher: Pantheon (February 12, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0375423745
  • ISBN-13: 978-037542374

Several reviews, a feature by Laura Miller in Salon, an appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, plus several op/ed pieces by Jacoby herself, sent The Age of American Unreason to #2 on Amazon’s list where it stayed for several days. It’s now at #6 (and at #1 in Nonfiction). Her 2004 title, Freethinkers: a History of American Secularism also received a bump. It is now at #72.


The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

  • Paperback:$14.00
  • Publisher: New World Library (September 29, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1577314808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577314806

Tolle’s Oprah Pick New Earth has been at #1 since shortly after it was announced. His earlier title, The Power of Now, is also on the list at #14.

Manic: A Memoir

  • Hardcover:$24.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061430234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061430237

Currently at #37, this title is listed as on order at most libraries — time to get it out on the shelves!

As tax time approaches, many may be wondering just where the money does go. Currently #45, this book has been in the high 20’s. It was not reviewed in the pre-pub media, so most libraries do not have it. The link above allows you to “browse inside” to find out more about the book.


The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

  • Hardcover:$24.95
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (February 14, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0525950494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525950493

Currently at #40, this title is still listed as on order in many libraries.

Baseball Prospectus 2008: The Essential Guide to the 2008 Baseball Season

  • Paperback: $21.95
  • Publisher: Plume (February 25, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0452289033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452289031

This is the new edition. Many libraries have the 2007 edition, but not this one.
The Outlaw Demon Wails (Rachel Morgan, Book 6)

  • Hardcover:$24.95
  • Publisher: Eos (February 26, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0060788704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060788704

Due for release next week, this is already at #49 and #12 in “Literature and Fiction.” Most libraries have it on order.


Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

  • Hardcover:$27.95
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (February 14, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1594201528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594201523

Currently at #59, this has had quite a bit of media attention, including Newsweek, and the NYT Book Review. It is listed as “on order” or “in process” in most libraries


Change of Heart

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (March 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743496744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743496742

Already at #73 (and #18 in fiction), this one won’t be released until March 4.

Not Quite What I Was Planning:

Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061374059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061374050

This wasn’t reviewed in the pre-pub sources and therefore is not available in the libraries I checked. It has been getting a lot of attention in the press, including The New Yorker and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” It reached a high of #73 yesterday and is now at #127. The book started as a contest in the online magazine SMITH; “Your life story in six words.”