‘People’ Book Reviews, 9/01/08

Our Consumer Book Coverage links keeps you up to date with the reviews your customers are reading. Unfortunately, People‘s reviews are not online, so here is a rundown of the book coverage in this week’s issue (Sept. 1, Cover: “Ellen & Portia’s Wedding!”):

People Pick; Four (out of four) stars, Nonfiction

After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival 

Robin Gaby Fisher

  • Hardcover: $24.00
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 25, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316066214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316066211
  • Audio CD: Unabridged Library edition; $19.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.; (August 25, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433244373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433244377
  • Audio Cassette: Unabridged Library edition; $19.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.;  (August 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433244349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433244346

The true story of two friends who friends supported each other during agonizing recoveries from severe burns suffered during a fire at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.  People calls it “Unimaginably moving — readers will want to kep a box of tissues at hand — an deeply compassionate.”

Oprah, anyone?


Three (out of four) stars, Fiction:

A Stopover in Venice

Kathryn Walker

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Knopf; (August 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0307267067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307267061

Now that the NYT has spilled the beans on the author’s past, she is identified in the review’s first line as “an actress divorced from folk singer James Taylor.” The story is about an unhappy musician’s wife who escapes to Venice while her husband is on tour. People likes the book’s “racy, voyeuistic quality,” but finds the plot “labored.”

It’s also been reviewed in The New York Daily News and the Boston Globe (in a review so much more positive, that you have to wonder if they read the same book).


Three (out of four) stars, Fiction:

Confessions of a Contractor

Richard Murphy

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (August 14, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0399155074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155079

I’ve been enjoying the book’s ads on Shelf Awareness (“The First Thing a Woman needs to know about home renovation is simple: Do not…under any circumstances…sleep with your contractor.”) and the book’s elaborate Web site (even though it’s difficult to see how the “video testimonials” relate to the book).

About a contractor’s interactions with wealthy Angelenos, People finds it “sexy and filled with enough decor details to keep any HGTV addict happy.” USA Today recently intereviewed the author, an LA contractor himself.


The One Hundred

Nina Garcia

  • Hardcover: $21.95
  • Publisher: Collins Living (August 26, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061664618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061664618

People quotes from the Project Runway judge’s selection of 100 fashion classics, with such practical hints as “You’re going to see a lot of [tuxedos on women] since Yves Saint Laurent has passed away. It’s a bold woman who can wear a tuxedo rather than a cocktail dress.”

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