Archive for July, 2008

USA Today Bestsellers, 7/31

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

As USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” column notes, Moscow Rules, by Daniel Silva, landed on this week’s list #10, which is Silva’s highest USA Today debut to date. Silva is currently on tour, making several library appearances (New Canaan, CT; St. Louis County, MO; Cocoa Beach, FL; West Palm Beach, FL and Broward County, FL). He appeared on The Today Show last week with David Gregory, who is obviously a fan.

Most libraries have received their copies; some have heavy reserves (10:1 ratios in some areas).

#10 Moscow Rules, by Daniel Silva

  • Hardcover: $26.95
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0399155015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155017
  • [ewbooks id=”101″]
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $36.95
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; (July 22, 2008)
  • Reader: Phil Gigante
  • ISBN-10: 1423327977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423327974
  • [ewbooks id=”511″]
  • Audio Cassette: Unabridged, $92.25
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; (July 22, 2008)
  • Reader: Phil Gigante
  • ISBN-10: 1423327969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423327967
  • [ewbooks id=”512″]
  • Large Print, Hardcover: $34.95
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 159722703X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597227032
  • [ewbooks id=”513″]
James Patterson’s new “PageTurner; for readers from ten to 110,” The Dangerous Days of Daniel X appears at #7. Back in February, the New York Times wrote about Patterson’s efforts to make his Y.A.-themed books accessible to both adults and teens (“An Author Looks Beyond Age Limits“). It will be interesting to see how Times Book Review deals with the often fraught question of which of their lists the book will appear on; it’s pubbed by Little Brown’s adult imprint, but has a teen protagonist and clear teen appeal.
Libraries seem to be clear on the question; all I checked have classified it as YA.

#7 The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, James Patterson

  • Hardcover: $19.99
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316002925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316002929
  • [ewbooks id=”503″]
  • Audio CD: $22.98
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (July 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1600242006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600242007
  • [ewbooks id=”499″]
  • Paperback Large Print; $19.99
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316030252
  • ISBN-13: 9780316030250
  • [ewbooks id=”500″]

Suzanne Brockmann also debuts at her highest position on the list to date, with Into The Fire at #19. Her Force of Nature went onto the list at #22 last year.

#19 Into The Fire, Suzanne Brockmann

  • Hardcover: $25.00
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0345501535
  • ISBN-13: 978-034550153
  • [ewbooks id=”151″]
  • Audio Cassette: Unabridged, $112.25
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1423342569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423342564
  • [ewbooks id=”501″]
  • Hardcover Large Print: $34.95
  • Publisher: Center Point Large Print (August 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 160285257X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602852570
  • [ewbooks id=”502″]


Movies are having an affect on several titles:

#29 The Watchmen, up from #83 last week
[ewbooks id=”152″]

#114 Batman: The Killing Joke debut
[ewbooks id=”153″]

#141 The Dark Knight – debut
[ewbooks id=”154″]

#118 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

[ewbooks id=”155″]

#139 Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
[ewbooks id=”156″]

As we noted in the Upcoming Movies — with Tie-ins listing, the new Traveling Pants movie is based on the fourth, rather than the second, title in the best-selling young adult series. It’s been three years since the first movie, so the actresses need to play older characters. It seems both the movie tie-in edition and the regular edition are receiving a boost from the movie, which opens next week.

Movie Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 2

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (previously Forever in Blue)
Ann Brashares

  • Paperback: $9.99
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 24, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385736479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736473
  • [ewbooks id=”155″]


A title that went on the list last week and is not owned by libraries I checked, rose from #99 to #30

#30 Six Disciplines Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier

Gary Harpst
  • Hardcover: $12.95
  • Publisher: Six Disciplines Publishing (July 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0981641105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981641102
  • [ewbooks id=”102″]


Other new fiction debuts:

#95 Damage Control, J.A. Jance

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0060746769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060746766
  • [ewbooks id=”103″]
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, 39.95
  • Publisher: HarperAudio;  (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 006168435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061684357
  • [ewbooks id=”104″]

#100 By Schism Rent Asunder, Daivid Weber, Tor

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Tor Books (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0765315017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315014
  • [ewbooks id=”105″]

  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $69.95
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; (July 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1427204292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427204295
  • [ewbooks id=”514″]


As we noted earlier, Havana Nocturne received a bump in sales after the author appeared on the Jon Stewart Show and now hits the list:

#140 Havana Nocturne, T.J. English

  • Hardcover: $27.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (June 3, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061147710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147715
  • [ewbooks id=”106″]
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $37.95
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2008)
  • Reader: Mel Foster
  • ISBN-10: 1400107695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400107698
  • [ewbooks id=”504″]

New J.K. Rowling Book

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

The A.P and dozens of other news sources report that J.K. Rowling’s charity, the Childrens High Level Group will publish The Tales of Beedle the Bard on Dec. 4, in an arrangement with Rowling’s UK publisher Bloomsbury and US publisher, Scholastic as well as Amazon.

You may remember that Rowling produced 7 handwritten copies of the book last year. She gave six of them to friends and auctioned off the other one for her charity. Amazon bought it for $3.86 million.

Some of the stories can give the impression that Amazon is selling the title exclusively, which is only true for the special 100,000-copy $100 collectors edition. Barnes and, for instance, has the regular edition listed on their site.

The collectors edition is already at #9 on Amazon with the regular edition somewhat behind at #16. Unsurprisingly, no libraries I checked have it on order yet.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

J.K. Rowling

  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.; $12.99
  • Pub. Date: December 04, 2008
  • ISBN-139780545128285
  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • [ewbooks id=”100″]

Missing ‘The Last Theorem’?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

USA Today’s “Book Buzz” column discusses The Last Theorem, Arthur C. Clarke’s last sci-fi novel, to be pubbed on Tuesday. Clarke began the novel in 2003, but then “woke up one morning and didn’t know how to write anymore.” He asked his friend, Frederick Pohl to finish it for him.

A few of the libraries I checked do not have it on order (it seems it was only reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which called it a “a can’t-put-down adventure that focuses on [the authors’] mutual strengths”).

The Last Theorem, Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl

  • Hardcover: $27.00
  • Publisher: Del Rey (August 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0345470214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345470218
  • [ewbooks id=”18″]

‘The Gargoyle’ reviewed in the NYT

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today have ruminated on whether The Gargoyle will be the next hit by an unknown writer (Doubleday reportedly paid $1.25 million for the book). Several of you weighed in with your thoughts, as well (all positive).

Today, Janet Maslin reviews it in the Times. She’s clearly fallen under the Gargoyle’s spell and has no problem with the gruesome burn descriptions in the early chapters (in fact, she seems to enjoy detailing them herself).

The Gargoyle

Andrew Davidson

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Doubleday (August 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385524943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524940
  • [ewbooks id=”19″]

Books to Movies Update

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

If you haven’t seen it already, stop whatever you’re doing and take a look at the Marley and Me trailer. Like me, you may find yourself playing it repeatedly. It gives you real hope for the film (as does the fact that it is directed by David Frankel who also directed The Devil Wears Prada). The movie is scheduled for 12/25.

Brideshead Revisited did well in the box office last weekend despite it’s limited release and will open in more theaters this Friday.

The Time Travelers Wife, which looked like it was lost in production for a while (it was originally scheduled for June and then dropped out of sight), has resurfaced with a 12/25 opening date. Still no word on what’s happened to The Friday Night Knitting Club.

The teen movie Angus,Thongs and Perfect Snogging has opened to good reviews in the UK. Someone must have gotten cold feet about the title. As the Telegraph notes, 

Bad title? It could have been worse. At one point, the posters for Gurinder Chadha’s adaptation of two Louise Rennison books read as Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: not just lame [Ed. note; hey, wait a minute — it didn’t hurt the book any!], but – given the rating – a violation of the Trade Descriptions Act.

The review goes on to say the movie is “premium-grade candyfloss, sugared by some of the director’s best choices to date.” That director is Gurinder Chadha, known for Bride and Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham and Bhaji on the Beach. According to Variety, a US release date has not been set yet.

Below are the new additions, by release date, to our listing of Upcoming Movies, with tie-ins. Links to trailers, when available, appear at the right, under “Books to Movies.”

Director: Matthieu Kassovitz

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Melanie Thierry, Mark Strong, Gerard Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling, Radek Bruna, Lambert Wilson

Based on: Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec

[ewbooks id=”65″]

  • Mass Market Paperback: $6.99
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0345505972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505972


9/19 (limited release) – The Duchess

Director:  Saul Dibb

Starring: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell, Aiden McArdle, Emily Jewell

Based on: Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman

No tie-in, but the 2001 edition now has the sticker, “Soon to Be the Major Motion Picture, The Duchess” currently available:

[ewbooks id=”66″]

  • Paperback: $15.95
  • Publisher: Modern Library (January 16, 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 0375753834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375753831


10/03 — Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (no trailer yet)

Director: Peter Sollett

Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings

Based on: Nick and Norah’s Infinte Playlist by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

  • Paperback – Movie Tie-In: $7.99
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Pub. Date: August 26, 2008
  • ISBN-13: 9780375846144


NOV 21 — The Soloist (no trailer yet)

Director: Joe Wright

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., Catherine Keener

Based on: The Soloist by Steve Lopez

[No cover for the tie-in edition yet]

  • Paperback: $15.00
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (September 30, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 042522600X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425226001


NOV 26 — The Road (link to NYT article)

Director: John Hillcoat (The Proposition)

Starring: Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall

Based on: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

No tie-in edition announced yet


Dec 25 — DEC 25 — The Tale of Despereaux

Director: Sam Fell, Rob Stevenhagen
Animated, with the voices of: 
Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy, James Nesbitt, Stanley Tucci, Tracey Ullman, Emma Watson, Sigourney Weaver
No tie-in edition listed yet

HP and the HBP Trailer

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The first trailer for the movie of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince just appeared on the Web and has fans atwitter. It will appear in theaters this Friday. The movie is scheduled to release 11/21.

MTV has already done an “exhaustive” shot-by-shot analysis. and the site Rotten Tomatoes thinks it contains a spoiler. The big news is that the trailer shows Voldemort as a childEntertainment Weekly’s PopWatch Blog says the “gray, bleak dread here is unrelenting,” which is odd, since star Danial Radcliffe told the L.A. Times in March that the movie is “the funniest of the films so far.”

The last book in the series, HP and the Deathly Hallows, is being filmed as two movies, to be released Nov, 2010 and May, 2011.

Steal This Quote!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

In today’s NYT review of The Creator’s Map, Emilio Calderón, translated by Katherine Silver, Penguin Press. $24.95;

It takes real skill…to write a successful bad novel

Well said, Richard Eder.

‘Grammar Girl’ to the Rescue

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I seem to be behind the Grammar Girl curve. I recently discovered GG’s straight-forward advice on correct construction when I googled my bête noir, “affect vs. effect.” Turns out GG is one of iTunes’s 100 most popular podcasters (she’s at #8 today, right up there with This American Life, Dilbert Annimated Cartoons and Shark Week).

As a podcaster, she was covered by the New York Times (a fascinating story about her releasing a quickie audiobook to take advantage of an appearance on Oprah}.

She recently made the move to old media and her book just moved up to #40 on Amazon. I can see why, her tone is perfect for those who wish to be grammatically correct; she has high standards but is forgiving of us lesser mortals.

Unfortunately, some of you have not been listening to GG; several libraries own neither the book nor the audio, which would make Grammar Girl sad. For those that do have GG on order, reserves are reaching a level that would make her smile.

Fogarty’s book tour has been generating press coverage, including The Arizona Repulic (her home town is Gilbert, AZ), and The Atlanta Journal Constitution (she appeared at the Decatur GA Public Library).

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Mignon Fogarty

  • Paperback: $14.00
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (July 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0805088318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805088311
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, 6 CD’s, 6 hrs, $69.95
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
  • ISBN-13: 9780792754800

The White Mary

Monday, July 28th, 2008

With all the talk about “staycations” (ugh! If we can’t travel, can’t we at least have a better term?), you’ve got to wonder how the phenomenon affects books. We hear that local travel books are now selling well.

But for the least expensive staycation, many advocate staying home to read. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently recommended a list of books for just this purpose. As good as the titles are on the list (including Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side), they don’t exactly offer what a vacation is supposed to — relaxation and getting away from it all.

Here’s my suggestion; how about a display of books about the horrors of travel? After all, if you can’t travel, what’s more invigorating than reading about the terrible experiences of others?

On one side, there’s the humorous horrible travel tales, like Dave Berry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need and my personal favorite (based on my own similar, personal experience) is Bill Bryson’s riotous description of his attempt at the Appalacian Trail in A Walk in the Woods. For those who were watching the Tour de France on TV last week, there’s French Revolutions, Tim Moore’s description of trying to cycle the route with absolutely no prior training.

And then there’s the truly scary experiences. Kira Salak, whose forthcoming novel White Mary is already beginning to build buzz, has written about being the first woman to cross Papua New Guinea in 2001 in Four Corners (which was the New York Times Notable Travel Book of the Year). In 2004, she wrote The Cruelest Journey, about her 600-mile solo journey on West Africa’s Niger River. National Geographic describes her as the ideal writer for the staycationer;

You probably wouldn’t want to take a trip with Kira Salak…It’s far better to follow Salak vicariously, through her books and articles… Her prose is luminous, often deeply personal, and transporting in the pan-sensory way that only the best travel writing can be.

Her new book, a work of fiction based closely on her own life, continues the tradition;

harrowing, minutely observed, and utterly mesmerizing, all rendered in Salak’s artfully unadorned, fast-paced prose

The Wall Street Journal interviewed her on Friday. Bloggers are already enthusing about White Mary, including librarian “Boston Bibliphile

The White Mary is absolutely gripping. From page one I was drawn right into Marika’s world. Whether she was in Congo, Papua New Guinea (PNG) or Boston, I felt like I was right there with her, watching her close-up, totally absorbed. 

Her 10-city book tour begins August 11. Check to see if she will be in your area.


The White Mary

Kira Salak

On order in most libraries I checked, with holds building in some areas. Only a few libraries have the audio on order.

  • Hardcover: $26.00
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (August 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0805088474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805088472
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $102.25
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio, (August 8, 2008)
  • Reader: Joyce Bean
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423370468

‘Breaking Dawn’ Proms, Bridal Showers, Grad. Parties, etc.

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Last week, Comicon went nuts for a glimpse of the movie Twilight and its stars. All those screaming “Twihards” made the press a little nervous not to mention everyone involved in the film (“terrifying” was the most-used adjective).

More Twilight madness ensues this weekend, as the fourth title in the series, Breaking Dawn, becomes available on Saturday, August 2nd. Hundreds of midnight release parties will be held around the country (to get a sense of how many events are being held, check the Breaking Dawn Event Locator). The most sought-after event will undoubtedly be the one featuring the author herself, Stephenie Meyer at a sold-out concert in New York City on August 1st. It will be repeated around the country, in Chicago (Aug 5), L.A. (Aug 7) and Seattle (Aug. 12). The New York and L.A. concerts will be available live on the iClips Network.

Libraries are feeding the frenzy with a range of events;

The most common theme is a Twilight Prom, like this one in Roanoke County, VA

Fanwood, NJ has a different twist, with a Breaking Dawn bridal shower (Meyer recently revealed that Bella and Edward get married in Book Four)

Marshall County, KY, is holding a Twilight Carnival

Howard County, MD, enacts a Forks High Graduation party (the Twilight series is set in Forks, WA)

Rather than a midnight party, Ypsilanti, MI cleverly invites fans to “Roll out of bed and celebrate the release of Stephenie Meyer’s latest book in the Twilight series,” at a program that begins at 10 a.m.

What will fans do, once they’ve read book four the requisite six or seven times? There is the movie to look forward to (release date, Dec 12). Meyer recently told Entertainment Weekly that she is part-way through writing Midnight Sun, which retells the Twilight story from Edward’s perspective. She also says she will take a year off to write, but has not revealed what she has in mind. As she’s proved with The Host, which reached #1 on the NYT bestseller list and is now tied for #3 after 11 weeks, Meyer doesn’t necessairly need vampires to succeed.

NYT Bestsellers, 8/03

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

As expected, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle continues to rise on the NYT bestseller list; it is now at #2, up from #4 last week. Will it get to #1 next week? Hard to say, it’s got tough competition; Daniel Silva’s Moscow Rules came out on Tuesday and is currently higher than Sawtelle on Amazon’s list.

All but one of the fiction and nonfiction titles that debuted on Thursday’s USA Today bestseller list also make their first appearances on the Times lists. The exception is Six Disciplines Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier by Gary Harpst. It appeared on the Wall Street Journal Nonfiction list at #7, however.

Below are the titles that debuted on both the USA Today and the New York Times bestseller lists:


#3 Rules of DeceptionChristopher Reich, Doubleday (July 15, 2008)

#8 Just Too Good to Be True, E. Lynn Harris, Doubleday; (July 15, 2008)

#12 Say GoodbyeLisa Gardner, Bantam (July 15, 2008)

#15 Killer ViewRidley Pearson, Putnam (July 15, 2008)

#26 Last Kiss. Luanne Rice, Bantam (July 15, 2008)


#2  Life with My Sister Madonna, Christopher Ciccone and Wendy Leigh, Simon Spotlight Entertainment (July 14, 2008)

#4 (tied with #3) The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, Jane Mayer, Doubleday (July 15, 2008)

Hardcover Advice

#3 The Winners Manual: For the Game of LifeJim TresselTyndale House Publishers (July 15, 2008)

Below are the titles that debuted on the Times lists but not on the USA Today list.


#14 (tied with #13) Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripesby Bobby Murcer, Glen Waggoner

Owned in small quantities in the libraries I checked, with comfortable holds to copy ratios.

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Harper (May 20, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061473413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061473418

#17 My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face, by Michael Ian Black

Owned in modest quantities in some, but not all libraries I checked, with holds to copy ratios  5:1 in some area.

  • Hardcover:  $23.95
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (July 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416964053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416964056

#23 Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001), by Don Felder

On order, with 5:1 holds to copy ratios in some libraries.

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Wiley (April 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0470289066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470289068

Hardcover Advice

#8  The Smartest 401k Book You’ll Ever Read: Maximize Your Retirement Savings… the Smart Way!, by Daniel R. Solin

Owned by all libraries I checked; comfortable holds to copy ratios.

  • Hardcover: $19.95
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade (June 24, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0399534520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399534522


#33 Sleeping Arrangements, by Madeleine Wickham

Owned in most areas (some still have on order) with heavy holds to copy ratios (6:1 in some areas)

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (July 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0312383428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383428
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $29.95
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; (July 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 142720439X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427204394
  • Large Print, Hardcover: $32.95
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage (July 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1410408043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410408044

Jon Stewart, Readers Advisor

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Havana Nocturne climbed on to the Amazon Top Ten for several days last week (it’s now at #11) after having been on the NYT Extended Nonfiction list two weeks ago.

Sharp-eyed Raine Sedore at Timberland Regional Library explains the renewed interest; author T.J. English appeared on the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday (the segment appears 13:34 minutes into the show). Stewart began the interview by declaring, “I love this book” and said the real Cuba as portrayed in the book is more colorful than the Cuba in Godfather II. Stewart described the books appeal,

Here’s how you know this is a fascinating book; JFK being set up for a three-girl orgy by a mobster is a throw-away line…you could have an entire book about that night. And there’s a two-way mirror and the two mobsters are watching and later on, they think, “Hey, we should have filmed that.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is recognized by publishers as being effective at promoting books. Not only is it clear that Stewart has read the books he talks about, but In the brief time that he can give to an author (in this case, over seven minutes, which is actually an eternity in television time), he manages to convey his own enthusiasm. And, although it may sound silly but it is nearly as important, he shows the book’s cover and repeatedly mentions its title.

By contrast, have you noticed how different he is with actors? With all the kibitzing around, they hardly get a chance to mention their new movies.

Thanks for the tip, Raine.


Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution

T. J. English

  • Hardcover: $27.95
  • Publisher: William Morrow (June 3, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061147710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147715
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $37.95
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2008)
  • Reader: Mel Foster
  • ISBN-10: 1400107695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400107698

Heavy Reserve Alert!

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Accepted wisdom in publishing is that it’s best if publicity hits at once, ideally, right at pub date. After all, you can’t count on the public to be able to remember a title unless they hear it repeatedly in a short time frame.

But, occasionally, a long slow build is equally effective.

This seems to be the case for The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, a true crime story published in April, which just recently shot to #47 on Amazon’s bestseller list, nearly three months after publication.

Libraries are showing heavy reserves, as high as 10 to 1 in some places.

The book is the story of a historic Victorian murder that was the sensation of its time. It became the model for detective novels, including Wilkie Collins’s Moonstone and Charles Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

So, for mystery fans, the book appeals on many levels. In addition, it reveals a great deal about the sociology of the time. This confluence of a mystery illuminating the issues of the day caused Library Journal to compare it to Devil in the White City.

As George Gibson, CEO of the book’s American publisher, Walker & Company, told Early Word, “mystery bloggers got onto this early and they’re a transatlantic group.” As buzz built in the U.K. where author Kate Summerscale is well-known, momentum began to grow here as well. In mid-April, Entertainment Weekly did a full-page review, (“A nonfiction history that moves with all the twists of a mystery novel,”), followed a couple of weeks later by a rave in Time magazine (“not just a dark, vicious true-crime story; it is the story of the birth of forensic science, founded on the new and disturbing idea that innocent, insignificant domestic details can reveal unspeakable horrors to those who know how to read them”). In early May, it was reviewed on NPR’s “Fresh Air“.

The book went onto the New York Times extended besteller list for one week at #34 in mid-May.

And then, last week, the book won the UK’s respected Samuel Johnson Prize which “celebrates diverse and thought-provoking writing in non-fiction.” Last week, Marilyn Stasio devoted her Crime column to it in the New York Times Book Review. It rose to  #47 on Amazon, which means it could very well reappear on print bestseller lists.

Walker says there are currently 40,000 copies in print.



A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective.

By Kate Summerscale.

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Walker & Company (April 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0802715354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802715357

Randy Pausch Dies

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Many news organizations announced today that Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, died in his home in Virginia earlier today. 

Stephen King, Animated

Friday, July 25th, 2008

If you can use downloadable video to promote a movie, why not use it for a book?

This is what Stephen King and his publisher Scribner are doing for his forthcoming short-story collection, Just After Sunset (pub date, Nov 11). Marvel Comics is turning one of the stories, titled N, into a 25-episode downloadable video, reports the Wall Street Journal. Downloads will be available through iTunes and Amazon beginning Monday. A pass for all 25 episodes will cost $3.99 (episodes will also be free on Monday to some cellphone users and on CBS is Scribner’s parent company).


Scribner will sell a special edition of the book that includes a DVD of the entire video series. The ISBN for that edition is not yet available.

Just After Sunset

Stephen King

  • Hardcover: $28.00
  • Publisher: Scribner (November 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416584080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416584087
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $49.99
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; (November 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743575318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743575317