Archive for April, 2009

Predicting the ‘PPrize’

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners will be announced on Monday. Thanks to the L.A. Times book blog, Jacket Copy, we learned that a “Pulitzer Prize Final Prediction List,” was put together over a month ago by (a site for Pulitzer Prize first edition collectors; now there’s a specialty). Last year, they identified the winner and a finalist.

If you’re reading this on Monday, after 3 p.m. EST, you already know the winners.

Too bad we didn’t know about this earlier; the list could be used book displays. We’ve signed up to be notified when publishes the 2010 Pulitzer Prize Prediction List.

The predictions are only for the Fiction category. You’re on your own for the categories of Biography or Autobiography, Drama, General Nonfiction, History or Poetry.

The predictions are based on books that appeared on best books lists, won other awards, and are by authors that have won in the past. As a result, only one first-time novelist is among the predictions, Rachel Kushner for Telex From Cuba, which was a finalist for the National Book Award (the winner in that category was Peter Mathiessen’s Shadow Country, which doesn’t appear on this list. There was some controversy about whether it was actually a new book)

1. Home, Marilynne Robinson, (FSG, 9/08)

2. The Widows of Eastwick, John Updike, (Knopf, 10/08)

3. Indignation, Philip Roth, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9/08)

4. The Lazarus Project, Aleksander Hemon, (Riverhead, 5/08)

5. Fine Just the Way It Is, Annie Proulx, (Scribner, 9/08)

6. The Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich, (Harper, 5/08)

7. A Mercy, Toni Morrison, (Knopf, 11/08)

8. Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri, (Knopf, 4/08)

9. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout, (Random House, 3/ 08)

10. Dangerous Laughter, Steven Millhauser, (Knopf, 2/08)

11. Telex from Cuba, Rachel Kushner, (Scribner, 7/08)

12. Netherland, Joseph O’Neil, (Pantheon, 5/08)

13. My Sister, My Love, Joyce Carol Oates, (Ecco, 6/08)

14. Lush Life, Richard Price, (FSG, 3/08)

15. Our Story Begins,  Tobias Wolff, (Knopf, 3/08)

Overnight Sensation After Just 36 Years

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Obama continues to make bestsellers. In the latest incident, he did so simply by accepting a book as a gift.

As reported in the Guardian, during the Summit of the Americas, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez presented Obama with a copy of Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano, a book that “contends that Latin America has been abused as industrialised nations plundered its natural resources, ranging from gold and silver to cocoa and cotton” and a “classic work in left-wing circles.”

Not only did the English edition rise to #2 in the US Amazon sales rankings, the Spanish edition rose to #288.

Libraries are showing reserve lists.


Open Veins of Latin America:
Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Eduardo Galeano
Price: $18.00
Paperback: 317 pages
Publisher: Monthly Review Press – (1997)
ISBN-10: 0853459916
ISBN-13: 9780853459910


Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina
Eduardo H. Galeano
Price: $36.00
Paperback: 500 pages
Publisher: Siglo XXI Ediciones – (1994-06)
ISBN-10: 9682319005
ISBN-13: 9789682319006

‘Wetlands’ in the NYT BR

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Get ready for the next in what seems to be an increasing number of European bestsellers with content offensive to squeamish Americans.

Just out is Wetlands (or, Feuchtgebiete in the original German). The title does not refer to damp areas of land; in this context, it refers to damp areas of the human, specifically female, body.

The book receives its first US consumer review in the NYT Book Review this Sunday (the NYT covered it last year, when it wrote about how the book was being received in its native country, Germany Abuzz at Racy Novel of Sex and Hygiene). The review, cleverly titled, Graphic Novel is far from positive.

Some libraries are showing heavy reserves on very light ordering.

Charlotte Roche
Price: $17.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Grove Press – (2009-04-08)
ISBN-10: 0802118925
ISBN-13: 9780802118929

Who Can You Bank On?

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Appearing at #101 on this week’s USA Today best seller list and at #5 on the Wall Street Journal Business list is Bank On Yourself. It appears that few libraries own it. 

Bank on Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future
Pamela Yellen
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press – (2009-03-24)
ISBN-10: 1593154968
ISBN-13: 9781593154967

NYT Nonfiction Bestsellers, 4/26

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The only title new to the main NYT nonfiction list is Dave Cullen’s Columbine.

On the extended list, at #27, is a title owned by very few libraries

The House of Dimon: How JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Rose to the Top of the Financial World
Patricia Crisafulli
Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 242 pages
Publisher: Wiley – (2009-04-06)
ISBN-10: 0470412968
ISBN-13: 9780470412961


Other titles new to the extended Nonfiction list:


Stories from Candyland
Candy Spelling
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – (2009-03-31)
ISBN-10: 0312570708
ISBN-13: 9780312570705

If you confuse this with Candy’s daughter’s book, Mommywood, also out now and featured in the current issue of People magazine, you’ll be forgiven (but perhaps not by Tori).


Priceless Memories
Bob Barker, Digby Diehl
Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Center Street – (2009-04-06)
ISBN-10: 1599951355
ISBN-13: 9781599951355

New to the Advice, How-To List


Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Jillian Michaels, Mariska van Aalst
Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Crown – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 0307450732
ISBN-13: 9780307450739


In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2009-04-01)
ISBN-10: 0061690295
ISBN-13: 9780061690297


Paula Deen’s The Deen Family Cookbook
Paula Deen
Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 0743278135
ISBN-13: 9780743278133

NYT Bestsellers, 4/26

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The major bestseller news this week is that Columbine, a book we’ve been tracking, debuts on the NYT nonfiction list at #7.

Dave Cullen
Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Twelve – (2009-04-06)
ISBN-10: 0446546933
ISBN-13: 9780446546935

In fiction, we’re surprised to see A Reliable Wife move down from #25 last week to #31 this week; this may be a function of the fact that several new titles from repeat authors appeared on the list. Based on the size of library reserve lists, it’s got great word of mouth.

A Reliable Wife
Robert Goolrick
Price: $23.95
Hardcover: 291 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2009-03-31)
ISBN-10: 1565125967
ISBN-13: 9781565125964

On the other hand, a book that has not been on our radar at all, Once A Runner by John L Parker debuts on the main fiction list at #14. Curiously, this is actually a reprint of a title published in 1978. According to Scribners Spring catalog, (p19) it is the “#1 most sought-after out-of-print book in the U.S., a cult classic hailed as ‘the best novel about running ever written,’ (Runner’s World) now in hardcover for the first time.” 

It was reviewed in the Kansas City Star this week. 

Once a Runner: A Novel
John L Parker
Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 1416597883
ISBN-13: 9781416597889

Other titles new to the fiction list:


Butcher’s series hits #1 in hardcover for the first time.

Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11)
Jim Butcher
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Roc Hardcover – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 0451462564
ISBN-13: 9780451462565


Just Take My Heart
Mary Higgins Clark
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 1416570861
ISBN-13: 9781416570868


Fatally Flaky: (Goldy Schulz Culinary Mysteries, No. 15)
Diane Mott Davidson
Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2009-04-01)
ISBN-10: 0061348139
ISBN-13: 9780061348136


Borderline (Anna Pigeon)
Nevada Barr
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 399 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 0399155694
ISBN-13: 9780399155697


Cursed (Reagan Reilly Mysteries, No. 12)
Carol Higgins Clark
Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 1416562176
ISBN-13: 9781416562177

Extended Fiction List


The Forgotten Garden:
Kate Morton
Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Atria – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 1416550542
ISBN-13: 9781416550549


The Winner Stands Alone
Paulo Coelho
Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2009-04-01)
ISBN-10: 0061750441
ISBN-13: 9780061750441


Leon’s series, bestsellers in paperback for many years, debuts as a hardcover bestseller.

About Face (A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery)
Donna Leon
Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press – (2009-04)
ISBN-10: 0802118968
ISBN-13: 9780802118967


Wormwood: China Bayles #17 (China Bayles Mystery)
Susan Wittig Albert
Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 0425226093
ISBN-13: 9780425226094

Heavy Reserve and RA Alert: ‘Admission’

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The reviewers’ darling this week is Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. About a woman who is a Princeton admissions officer, several of the reviews say that, in addition to being “compulsively readable,” it could be used as a tip sheet for over-anxious parents, trying to get their kids into the Ivy League.

Some libraries are showing heavy reserve lists. 

Entertainment Weekly, Admission reviewed by Leah Greenblatt, A-

…compulsively readable…At 449 pages, it’s a doorstop-worthy tome. … But…[it] seldom drags…Each chapter begins with a neat device: short excerpts from (fictional, we presume) application essays that range from wrenching to utterly inane…Admission is that rare thing in a novel: both juicy and literary, a genuinely smart read with a human, beating heart.

USA Today, Bob Minzesheimer,  Admission unseals hushed secrets behind ivied walls

Korelitz, who has been a part-time reader in Princeton’s admission office, weaves in larger questions about privilege, entitlement and diversity and the problems of having 25% of all college applications going to 1% of the schools…At heart it’s a love story — love lost, lost again, then found.

LA Times, Wendy Smith, Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

An old-fashioned novelist in the best sense, Korelitz takes a subject of consuming contemporary interest and uses it to frame a portrait of a wonderfully complex character confronting the choices she’s made and the damage she’s done, mostly to herself.

Chicago Tribune, Elizabeth Taylor, Editor’s Choice: Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

An engaging read, not yet another stereotypical look at crazed applicants

Jean Hanff Korelitz
Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – (2009-04-13)
ISBN-10: 0446540706
ISBN-13: 9780446540704

Just Two More Weeks!

Friday, April 17th, 2009


A reminder to fill out the  Book Group Questionnaire at

For more information on the survey, click here.

Getting Smarter

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Yesterday, in his twice-weekly NYT Op Ed column, Nicholas Kristoff wrote about a “superb new book,” Intelligence and How to Get It, which disproves the notion that IQ is fixed in our genes and “also offers terrific advice for addressing poverty and inequality in America.” 

As a result of this ringing endorsement, the book rose from #496 to #39 on Amazon and is showing heavy reserves on light ordering in many libraries.

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count
Richard E. Nisbett
Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 282 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2009-02-02)
ISBN-10: 0393065057
ISBN-13: 9780393065053

Which First Puppy Book?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

As soon as the newly-elected President Obama uttered the phrase “new puppy,” several enterprising publishers began work on books to feed first puppy mania.

Jules Feiffer and his daughter Kate teamed up for Which Puppy?, a crash title from Paula Wiseman Books (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers), that tells the story of the various animals who yearn to live at the White House.

As he proved in his beloved read-aloud Bark George!, Jules Feifer can do dogs (also see below for more confirmation). The wonderful surprise is that, although it is “ripped from the headlines,” this is a timeless tale of the animals who yearn to be chosen and find that they need only be themselves and that is enough.

Which Puppy?
Kate Feiffer
Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 1416991476
ISBN-13: 9781416991472

Today, both the NY Times and USA Today wrote about another instant puppy book, published by a company that specializes in books on team mascots. It is written by the company’s founder.

BO America’s Commander in Leash
Naren Aryal
Price: $14.95
Hardcover: 0 pages
Publisher: Mascot Books – (2009-04-20)
ISBN-10: 1934878707
ISBN-13: 9781934878705

Sleeping Bear Press is publishing a book about a Portie looking for the perfect home.

Can he find it?


First Dog
J. Patrick Lewis, Beth Zappitello
Price: $15.95
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press – (2009-04-15)
ISBN-10: 1585364673
ISBN-13: 9781585364671

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ Official Trailer

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The official trailer (as opposed to the faux “official” trailer, cobbled together from stills three months ago) of the movie based on Jodi Picoult’s book is now available on the Web.

It’scurrently scheduled to release June 26th, according to IMDB.

JUNE 26, 2009

Movie Title: My Sister’s Keeper

Director: Nick Cassavetes


Abigail Breslin — Andromeda ‘Anna’ Fitzgerald

Alec Baldwin — Campbell Alexander (lawyer)

Cameron Diaz — Mother

Jason Patrick — Father

Sofia Vassilieva — Sister

The movie tie-in will be available in mid-May:

My Sister’s Keeper – Movie Tie-In: A Novel
Jodi Picoult
Price: $16.00
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press – (2009-05-19)
ISBN-10: 1439157383
ISBN-13: 9781439157381

Happy Fiftieth!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

We all know by now that Barbie turned fifty this year, but did you know that Strunk and White’s The Element of Style turns fifty today?

In celebration, Bob Minzesheimer put together some facts about the book for USA Today, giving the fiftieth-anniversary edition a nice boost in Amazon rankings (from #1,006 to #36).

The “deluxe” fiftieth-anniversary edition is a casebound version of the revised Fourth Edition, published in 1999.

Display your copies next to your Barbie collection.

The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition
William Strunk, E. B. White
Price: $19.95
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Longman – (2008-10-25)
ISBN-10: 0205632645
ISBN-13: 9780205632640


The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
William Strunk Jr., E. B. White
Price: $9.95
Paperback: 105 pages
Publisher: Longman – (1999-08-02)
ISBN-10: 020530902X
ISBN-13: 9780205309023

HP 6 Releasing Two Days Earlier

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The new release date is Wed., July 15th.

The Next ‘Shack’?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The Book Beast covers a book that they say has hovered aroung the top ten on Amazon (actually, it’s average ranking has been 21 and it’s now at #38; still, amazingly high for a book from “tiny Berkeley-based Ulysses Press”), Patriots by John Wesley Rawles.

It may soon follow the path of other suddenly popular titles by small publishers, by moving to a  larger publisher. In this case, HarperCollins is negotiating to publish the novel cum “survival guide,” as well as a sequel. Also, according to the author’s Web site, Plume/Penguin is publishing his nonfiction manual in August, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, (it will be an “instant book;” there is no listing currently).

The Book Beast interviews the author at his (of course!) undisclosed location.

Several libraries own Patriots in its earlier edition, from Huntington House Publishers.

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse
James Wesley Rawles
Price: $14.95
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Ulysses Press – (2009-04-07)
ISBN-10: 156975599X
ISBN-13: 9781569755990

Jane Hamilton Has A Funny Side

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Jane Hamilton’s Laura Rider’s Masterpiece gets 3.5 of a possible 4 stars in this week’s People; “in this witty, loopy story of doomed love, Hamilton, the author of A Map of the World, gives us a beguiling little gem.”

In the Washington Post today, Ron Charles praises Hamilton for her ” foray into comedy” and says, “Hamilton’s sharp eye for the private quirks of married life has always been a little unnerving, and now it seems odd that she didn’t drop more wit into her previous novels.”

Libraries have ordered it in modest quantities, with comfortable reserve to copy ratios at this point.

Laura Rider’s Masterpiece
Jane Hamilton
Price: $22.99
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – (2009-04-09)
ISBN-10: 0446538957
ISBN-13: 9780446538954

It is also available in unabridged audio from Blackstone (1433278006 / 978-1433278006) and as an audio download from OverDrive.