Archive for July, 2009


Friday, July 31st, 2009

The trailer for the movie based on Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr.Fox, scheduled for Nov. 13th, has just debuted on the Web.

To view the full-screen version, go to the movie’s Web site.

@ Yahoo! Video


Fantastic Mr. Fox: Movie Tie-in Edition
Roald Dahl
Retail Price: $6.99
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Puffin – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0142414557 / 9780142414552


Fantastic Mr. Fox: Movie Picture Book
Roald Dahl
Retail Price: $7.99
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0142414549 / 9780142414545

Fantastic Mr. Fox: The Making of the Motion Picture, Twentieth Century Fox

Retail Price: $35.00
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Rizzoli – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0847833542 / 9780847833542

They’ll Think It’s Take Out

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Many Americans are questioning their fast food diets. At the same time, it appears that many others want to make dishes from KFC, Red Lobster and other chains at home: a book that enables them to do just that, America’s Most Wanted Recipes,  lands at #6 on the  8/9 NYT Paperback Advice and How-To best seller list.

Few libraries own it; those that do are showing holds (40 on 3 copies in one large library system).

The book is currently out of stock, but is being reprinted.

America’s Most Wanted Recipes: Delicious Recipes from Your Family’s Favorite Restaurants
Ron Douglas
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Atria – (2009-07-07)
ISBN / EAN: 143914706X / 9781439147061

Library Rules Nailed by Colbert

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Oh, Lord; another example of over-zealous application of library rules, caught on Colbert.

But Leslie Burger (Director of Princeton Public Library and former President of ALA) handles it well. Love that Colbert calls her “Princess Leia.”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nailed ‘Em – Library Crime
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Tasers

Sleeper Alert: Victor LaValle’s BIG MACHINE

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

A consensus is building that Big Machine, Victor LaValle’s third novel, could be his breakout. The Wall St. Journal explores the expectations around the literary novel, which has a first printing of 10,000 copies, and its author, who some are calling a “Junot Diaz in trainng.”

Most libraries we checked had two copies, some with modest reserves. Both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus gave the novel starred reviews.

Big Machine: A Novel
Victor LaValle
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau – (2009-08-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0385527985 / 9780385527989

Stockett’s Sleeper Success

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

We’ve been writing here since February about  a classic word-of-mouth sleeper, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.

It’s now been crowned by the consumer media; the current issue of USA Today proclaims it “the hot book this summer.”  After publication in February, it went on the May 28 USA Today list at #149  and has risen every week since. It is now at #31, making it the #7 fiction hardcover on the list. On the NYT Fiction list, it rose to #5 spot last week. We hear it continues in that spoton the upcoming list, after a total of 17 weeks in the top 15.

That’s no news to independent booksellers; it’s been #1 on the Indie Fiction Best Seller list for three weeks and in the top five for thirteen weeks.

Stockett appeared at the ALTAFF Gala Author Tea during ALA and signed copies of her book at the Penguin booth.

As USA Today notes, this may be just the beginning; the trade paperback is coming in February and is likely to follow other Penguin successes in that format, such as Eat, Pray, Love, The Kite Runner and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Help
Kathryn Stockett
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books – (2009-02-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0399155341 / 9780399155345

Also on audio:

  • Audio CD: $39.95, Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio;  (February 10, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0143144189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143144182

Large Type:

  • Hardcover: $32.95; 721 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press (May 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1410415538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410415530

NPR Listeners Pick Best Beach Reads

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

NPR ‘s audience are  book lovers, so they were asked to name their favorite beach reads. Almost 16,000 people answered the call and cast 136,000 votes. From the votes, NPR picked the top 100.

Top of the list?
The Harry Potter series.

Did Twilight make it?
Yes, at #20

How about James Patterson?

The Fountainhead?
Sigh, yes; at #67

Am I wrong to roll my eyes when a publisher compares a new book to the 1977 blockbuster, Thorn Birds?
Despite what you may think, it seems people still remember it. It’s on the list at #39.

How many classics made the cut?
Defining what’s a “classic” is always dangerous territory, but these sixteen titles are fixtures on school reading lists:

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (see also, Oprah Pick)

42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (see also, Oprah Pick)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

57. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck

100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

How did Oprah’s picks do?
Of the 64 titles that Oprah has picked for her Book Club, ten are on the list:

10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb

53. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb

81. The Pilot’s Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie]

86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

James Frey didn’t make the list?
No. Neither did Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

Are there any recent titles?

55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Barrows

84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

Making Book on the Booker

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

If you did a double-take when you saw Me Cheeta, the fake bio of a famous Hollywood chimp, on the Booker long list, you are not alone. Several newspapers have tried to figure out the unusual choice; the Guardian thinks it’s an attempt to not seem predictable, while the Times of London says the judges “always like to let you know that really they do have a sense of humour.”

Judging by Amazon sales rankings, the only title on the list to get a bump in US sales is Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, which moved from #455 to #299. The book has been as high as #59 in the rankings and appeared on the NYT extended bestseller list for four weeks. It’s also been the most reviewed of the Booker titles published in the US and shows heavy holds in many libraries.

In the UK, J.M. Coetzee’s Summertime had the biggest sales increase, rising to #227 from #41,969 on rankings. It is also the favorite among British bettors, running 3 to 1, even though few have had the chance to read it, since it won’t be published until September in the UK and December in the US.

Booker Longlist Announced

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The longlist for the Booker Prize, a major UK literary prize, was announced today. As the New York Times points out, it includes several authors who have previously won the Booker, including J.M. Coetzee and A.S. Byatt, and who have been nominated before, including William Trevor, Colm Toibin and Sarah Waters. The Guardian handicaps the nominees in more detail. The winner, who will receive $82,500, will be announced October 6.

Four of the 13 titles on the list are available in the U.S., while six more are currently scheduled to arrive later this year or spring of 2010.

Me Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2009-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 006164742X / 9780061647420

The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey

The Wilderness: A Novel
Samantha Harvey
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2009-02-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0385527632 / 9780385527637

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn: A Novel
Colm Toibin
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-05-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1439138311 / 9781439138311

Also available on Playaway:

  • $59.99; ISBN 9781433291944

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger
Sarah Waters
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Riverhead hardcover (2009-03-31)
ISBN / EAN: 1594488800/978-1594488801

How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall, coming September 9, 2009

How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel (P.S.)
Sarah Hall
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial – (2009-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061430455 / 9780061430459

Love and Summer by William Trevor, coming September 17, 2009

Love and Summer: A Novel
William Trevor
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2009-09-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021237 / 9780670021239

The Children’s Book, A.S. Byatt, coming October 6, 2009

The Children’s Book
A.S. Byatt
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 688 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-10-06)
ISBN / EAN: 0307272095 / 9780307272096

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, coming October 13, 2009

Wolf Hall: A Novel
Hilary Mantel
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. – (2009-10-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0805080686 / 9780805080681

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee, coming December 24, 2009

Summertime: Fiction
J. M. Coetzee
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2009-12-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021385 / 9780670021383

Not Untrue and Not Unkind, by Ed O’Loughlin, scheduled for April 2010

Not Untrue and Not Unkind: A Novel
Ed O’Loughlin
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Overlook Hardcover – (2010-04-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1590202953 / 9781590202951

Titles not yet scheduled for US publication:

Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze

Simon Mawer, The Glass Room

James Scudamore, Heliopolis


Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering for Rafael Yglesias’s A Happy Marriage, reviewed by Dinitia Smith in the NYT yesterday. Smith says the author,

has transformed the story of his life and that of his wife, Margaret Joskow, who died in 2004, into a profound deliberation on the nature of love, marriage and the process of dying.

A Happy Marriage
Rafael Yglesias
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-07-07)
ISBN / EAN: 1439102309 / 9781439102305


Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The inevitable has happened: there will be a graphic novel version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, to be published by Del Rey in 2010, according to Publishers Weekly.

Veteran comics writer Tony Lee, who has worked on X-Men, Spider-Man and other series, will team with artist Cliff Richards, of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics series.

B&N Upgrades to Free Wi-Fi

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Barnes & Noble announced today that it will offer wireless internet access to all customers who enter its 777 stores in 50 states via the AT&T network, to enhance access to its new e-bookstore and free e-book applications. Paid internet service has been available at B&N stores since 2005.

Library systems are also expanding their study areas with internet access, to accommodate an influx of job-seekers, freelancers and others seeking the free service. The New York Public Library, for example, recently added a second large room with wireless access, and 46 new laptops for patrons.

Katherine Howe Phone-In

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The author of library favorite, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, will be available for book group  discussions by phone. Click here to request a date and time.

The book has heavy holds in many libraries.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katherine Howe
Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Voice – (2009-06-09)
ISBN-10: 1401340903
ISBN-13: 9781401340902

An unabridged audio version is available from HarperAudio:

  • Audio CD: $39.99 (June 9, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1401393055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401393052

Sooner Rather Than Later for Madoff Books

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal notes that three books about Bernie Madoff have been moved to mid-Aug, ahead of their original fall pub. dates.

Moving from Sept. 8 to Aug. 11;

Too Good to Be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff
Erin Arvedlund
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover – (2009-08-11)
ISBN / EAN: 1591842875 / 9781591842873

Also moving to Aug. 11, from October;

Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff
Andrew Kirtzman
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2009-08-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0061870765 / 9780061870767

Moving from Sept. 15 to Aug 11;

Madoff with the Money
Jerry Oppenheimer
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Wiley – (2009-08-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0470504986 / 9780470504987

Explaining the moves, Adrian Zackheim, publisher of the Penguin business imprint Portfolio, said,

Nobody wants to be second, third or fourth…You are either first or you get lost in the pack, or you have to come after all the other titles and have a different take.

However, two Madoff books have already been published,

Catastrophe: The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, The Man Who Swindled the World by Gerald Strober and Deborah Strober (Paperback – Mar 2, 2009)
Madoff: Corruption, Deceit, and the Making of the World’s Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme (Paperback)
by Peter Sander (Author) The Lyons Press; First Paperback Edition edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Catastrophe: The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, The Man Who Swindled the World by Gerald Strober and Deborah Strober (Phoenix Books, Paperback – Mar 2, 2009)
  • Madoff: Corruption, Deceit, and the Making of the World’s Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme by Peter Sander (The Lyons Press; Paperback, March 24, 2009)

Neither one is turning over rapidly in libraries.

Most Fascinating Book of the Year

Monday, July 27th, 2009

In the 8/3 issue of Time magazine, Lev Grossman calls Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes, the “most flat-out fascinating book so far this year” and,

You wouldn’t get that from its title, which sounds like a tender coming-of-age novel, nor from its subtitle —How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science — which sounds like a course you napped through in college. But Holmes’ account of experimental science at the end of the 1700s — when amateurs could still make major discoveries, when one new data point could overthrow a worldview — is beyond riveting. Science was like punk rock: if you had a basement, some free time and some hubris, you could do it.

Large libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering (27 on 2 copies in one instance).

It’s also been admiringly reviewed in the NY Times, the NYT Book Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
Richard Holmes
Retail Price: $40.00
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2009-07-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0375422226 / 9780375422225

Which GIRL Do You Like Better? UPDATED

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Which is better? The debut, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or the second in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire?

In the NYT, Michiko Kakutani, goes with Fire, because “it boasts an intricate, puzzlelike story line that attests to Mr. Larsson’s improved plotting abilities,”

UPDATE: Dierdre Donahue, in USA Today, 7/28, also prefers Fire:

Fire is a more coherently plotted tale than Tattoo. Although a terrific read, Tattoo‘s ending hurriedly jumbled together serial killers and secret Nazis. But to fully enjoy Fire, you must read Tattoo first.

This week’s People reviewer was not a fan of Tattoo (“On the Swedish achievements scale, it ranked closer to meatballs than to Ingmar Bergman.”) but feels that Fire is “gripping stuff…this time, believe the hype.”

The only dissenter, Entertainment Weekly, found it not as good as the first one, but said, “those who found themselves mystified and intrigued by [Lisbeth] in the first book will tear through this exploration of her long-shrouded past.”

The LA Times doesn’t offer a judgment, but tries to show how the two books differ,

While The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo read like a Nordic Silence of the Lambs, its dynamic, brawny sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, reanimates the tropes of the political thriller.”

On Amazon, Fire is now at #5,  just a few spots ahead of  the trade paperback of Tattoo, currently at #8. Libraries are showing heavy reserves on both books; with the trade paperback available of Tattoo, it’s a good opportunity to buy some additional copies.

The third volume in the series. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is being published in the UK in October, to coincide with the release of a Swedish film of the entire trilogy. In the U.S., Knopf has scheduled Hornet’s Nest for May, 2010 (978-0-307-26999-7; projected print run of 300,000).

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-07-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0307269981 / 9780307269980

Audio available from Random House:

  • Compact Disc; 39.95; IBSN 978073938417

The audio is also downloadable from OverDrive.

Large Print available from Random House Large Print Publishing

  • $25.95; ISBN 978073938416


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2009-06-23)
ISBN / EAN: 0307454541 / 9780307454546

Audio and eBook versions available from OverDrive.