‘American Wife’ in People

Since People does not put its reviews online and, since it reaches so many, well, people and is often a good source of RA material, we take a look at their lead book coverage each Wednesday, when the new issue hits the newsstands. We also include a full list of the titles reviewed in our Consumer Book Coverage.

This week (9/15, double issue; “Sarah Palin’s Family Drama” shares cover with “66 Celebrity Babies”) the book coverage includes:

Book Feature:

Fitting in with the issue’s baby theme, People features “vegan gurus” Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman on the newest in the Skinny Bitch series, Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven. The book was pubbed on Monday, but all libraries I checked are still showing it on order.

Lead Review:

Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife gets 3 1/2 out of a possible four stars. Unprophetically, People declares the book will “set tongues wagging” (they’ve been wagging for quite some time now). Library holds have nearly doubled since the last time we checked. It’s been in the teens on Amazon most of the week, which means it will appear on next week’s print bestseller lists.

Four-star titles:

Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Stacey O’Brien

  • Hardcover: $23; 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (August 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416551735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551737

Cal-Tech biologist adopts baby owl; “her portrait of the complex and unforgettable animal she grew to love is irresistible.” So is the accompanying photo of the author, cuddling Wesley. Libraries have ordered lightly and have comfortable holds to copy ratios.


Map of Home, Randa Jarrar

  • Hardcover: $24.95; 304 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press (September 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1590512723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590512722

Novel about a girl who escapes with her family from Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion, “Depictions of her hilarious family…are punchy and vibrant. Jarrar’s lack of sentimentality and her wry sense of humor make Home a treasure.”


Book tie-ins:

The new HBO series (debuting Sunday), True Blood gets 3 out of four stars, but the review reads more like a single star; Anna Paquin’s “refreshingly direct, simple performance lights up this nutty, boddy production…without her, it might seem like the hell spawn of Anne Rice and Dexter.” The series is based on Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark.

A new PBS series (begins Sept 20) features Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali (don’t roll your eyes; they’re “pals”, even though she doesn’t eat meat and he emphatically does; she clearly diets and he…), Spain…On the Road Again runs for 13 weeks.

Most libraries I checked have not ordered it.

Spain: A Culinary Road Trip

Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow

  • Hardcover: $34.95; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (October 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061560936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061560934

One Response to “‘American Wife’ in People”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I love your website. As a collection development librarian, I find it useful. When you check libraries to see how many have purchased a title or to see hold ratios, do you take a sampling from around the country or one area? Just curious. Thanks for all the info on your site!