Fall Book Previews Mashup

We’ve been tracking the Fall book previews (see links to the right, below; “Books of Fall ’08 — Previews”) and have just posted spreadsheets of all the titles:

Fall Fiction Previews — Mashup

Fall Nonfiction Previews — Mashup

Each list is currently sorted by pub date, but of course, since they are on spreadsheets, you can sort them any way that works best for your purposes.

In fiction, we’ve noted which titles are first novels (they’re listed as “Debut” under the Genre category). As Marin Younker noted in a recent post on Sno-Isle’s blog “Collection Developments” (clever title, and a great way to communicate to branch staff as well as the public) it’s not easy to spot which first novels will take off.

The fiction mashup shows which debut authors book review editors are excited about. Whether that translates to the public is another story. Some of the big debuts of the summer were noted in the summer previewsThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society — but others were not — The Lace Reader and Gargoyle. On the other hand, some titles that were picked by several sources ended up not resonating with the public. So, as always, the previews can give you clues to what might be big, but it still comes down to trusting your own gut instincts.

We’ve also included ISBN’s for titles available in audio and large type editions. We often hear librarians say how difficult it is to track down all the formats for a title. This will allow you to check to see if you’ve ordered the other formats.

This time around, we’ve included B&N.com and Amazon’s listings. Amazon was the only one to list Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta, coming in December and it didn’t seem right to do a seasonal mashup without it.

B&N.com also has some unique titles, like Rodale’sThe Flat Belly Diet, which is obviously going to be big (so to speak). Mysteriously, they also include Rizzoli’s All the World’s Birds, (number three in their “Top Five Fall Favorites”), which is less obvious. It costs $350 list; did some bird lover at B&N sneak it in, or is it the next Parrots of the World?

All the World’s Birds: Buffon’s Illustrated Natural History General and Particular of Birds

Georges-Louis Leclerc

  • Hardcover: $350
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0847830918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847830916

One way to use the mashups is to look at the titles that receive the most listings. Since these titles are picked by the people who assign reviews, you can predict these books will get review and media attention. This is already borne out by the fact that Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded is on four of the nine lists and Bob Woodward’s The War Within is on eight of them.

Technical services staff may find it handy to use the list sorted by date, to help decide which titles should get priority processing when they arrive.

The mashups offer a way to get an overview of the lists in one place, but the individual listings offer more insight into individual titles. Each has its individual character; the San Francisco Chronicle list, for instance, is strong on local authors and publishers, making it great for Bay Area libraries, but some of the titles may not have as strong appeal in other areas of the country.

And, yet, the Chronicle was the only one to choose Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause by Tom Gjelten (Viking), which just jumped to #236 on Amazon, because of its coverage on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday.


Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

Tom Gjelten

  • Hardcover: $27.95
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (September 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 067001978X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670019786

The Los Angeles Times looks at patterns in what is being published, saying “If 2008 hasn’t already been the year of the spy, the fall list is going to make it so.” They also see it as a strong season for titles in translation, books on presidents, and books about reading.

So, enjoy making your own discoveries among the listings and let us know how you use the mashups.

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