Archive for October, 2009

Lessons from a WIMPY KID

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

For a second, I was worried. After last night’s interview with Jeff Kinney, Michelle Norris of NPR‘s All Things Considered, introduced the next segment by saying, “Not everybody is enthusiastic about the Wimpy Kid series. Some parents feel uneasy about their children identifying with a main character who is at times selfish, lazy and whose high jinks often land him in trouble.”

I prepared for an attack on the series, but instead, bookseller Tanya Turek, who blogs about children’s books at Book 4 Your, explained how parents can use the books as jumping-off points for discussion of issues like lying to adults and being mean to other kids.

Listen to the interview here.

Why We Disagree About Climate Change

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

As evidenced by the uproar over the climate change chapter in SuperFreakonomics, the topic can raise passions.

Today, the NYT blog, Green Inc., interviews the author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change. As the NYT points out, a global summit on climate change will take place two months from now.

It appears that only Choice reviewed the book (11/1/09), calling it, “…exceptionally well written and informative…Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; general readers.”

According to WorldCat, the book is owned in 200 university libraries and just one public library.

Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity
Mike Hulme
Retail Price: $28.99
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press – (2009-05-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0521727324 / 9780521727327

JUSTICE a Bestseller

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

It doesn’t have the production values of a Ken Burns series. In fact, it looks like a 12-week Harvard course, which is, in fact, what it’s based on.

Nevertheless, the PBS series, Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do has turned the companion book into a bestseller. It hits the NYT hardcover nonfiction bestseller list at #16 (tied with #15) this week, one spot below the tie-in to the Ken Burns series, The National Parks.

Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Michael J. Sandel
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2009-09-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0374180652 / 9780374180652

Big Titles; Week of 10/26

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Below are the major releases for next week; several have already been received by the libraries we checked.

Young Adult

10/27  Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast, Tempted (House of Night Series #6); most libraries have received their copies.

On the heels of Untamed being voted #8 on the YALSA Teen Top Ten list, the latest in the series which has been on the NYT Childrens Series list for 59 weeks. With that track record, the books are impervious to reviews, but nonetheless, the current issue of Entertainment Weekly tackles it and gives it a B, noting that the  “philosophizing goes on a bit too long.”

The next book in the series, according to PC Casts’ blog, will be Burned. No release date is given.

Tempted (House of Night Novels)
P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0312567480 / 9780312567484

BBC Audio; 9780792764564; $89.95
Audio downloadable from OverDrive


10/27 Auster, Paul,  Invisible — Some libraries have received their copies.

10/27 Irving, John,  Last Night in Twisted River — Reviewed in the current Entertainment Weekly, A-

10/27 Harris, Charlaine, Grave Secret — This is a Harper Connelly mystery. The next original Sookie Stackhouse novel is coming May 2010.

Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)
Charlaine Harris
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover – (2010-05-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0441018645 / 9780441018642

10/27 Maguire, Gregory,  Matchless: A Christmas Story

10/27 Rice, Anne,  Angel TimePeople, 11/2, gives it  3.5 of 4 stars — “first in a planned series of metaphysical thrillers…[a] thrilling, richly researched tale..[Rice’s] Christian message is sometimes heavy-handed, but the story zips along…”

Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim
Anne Rice
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 1400043530 / 9781400043538

Random House Audio, 9780739316085, $35
Random House Large Print, 9780739377352, Pbk, $26
Audio Downloadable from OverDrive


10/27 Roberts, Nora, Bed of Roses; most libraries have received their copies.


10/27 Baldacci, David, True Blue; most libraries have received their copies.

True Blue
David Baldacci
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0446195510 / 9780446195515

BBC Audio, 9781600249730, $44.98
Grand Central Large Print, 9780446546973, $94.99
Audio and eBook downloadable from OverDrive

Science Fiction

10/27 Jordan, Robert, Gathering Storm; most libraries have received their copies.


10/27 Burroughs, Augusten, You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

10/27 Epstein, Jason, Eating: A Memoir

An 80’s Flashback

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I just opened a box of review books from Simon and Schuster. In my hands is a the fat  bind-up of the first two books in the Flowers In The Attic series. For those who were not held in V.C Andrews’ thrall in the early ’80s, let me summarize. The four Dollanganger children are being held in their evil grandmother’s attic.  I ate these up like candy in the day and dread rereading with my adult critical mind. I probably won’t but that won’t stop me from recommending that librarians stock up.
Check out that creepy cover!

Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind
V.C. Andrews
Retail Price: $10.99
Paperback: 848 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse – (2009-11-10)
ISBN / EAN: 1442403012 / 9781442403017


Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

We never tire of books about rescued shelter animals. This week’s People gives 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars to Come Back, Como by Steve Winn, calling it “a sweetly written, poignant tale of puppy love.” (For a look at all the books reviewed in People this week and in the past month, go to our Weekly Magazines listing).

But, poor Como was not reviewed prepub, so few libraries own it. If you need more than the People review to convince you, the introduction and first chapter are available on Harper’s Web site.

Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog
Steven Winn
Retail Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 006180259X / 9780061802591

Downloadable from OverDrive

John Green and the WWE Divas

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

We’re delighted that John Green’s Paper Towns was voted the #1 title on the 2009 YALSA Teens Top Ten. We were dying to see how John reacted to the WWE Divas’ announcement, but the link on the YALSA Web site just didn’t work, no matter how many times we clicked it (we did see some rather alarming SmackDown videos and Snoop Dogg kicking it; hard to take first thing in the morning).

So, we tried that trusty standby, YouTube and, voilà, there it is.

It appears the Divas have John locked, alone, in a hotel room. Hope he gets out soon.

Below is the full list of winners:

  1. Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin/Dutton)
  2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
  4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
  5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
  6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
  7. Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)
  8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Disney-Hyperion)
  10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Announcing…The Nook

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

After all the rumors, the actual announcement of B&N’s eReader seems a bit anticlimactic.

But there is some drama — PC World is already calling the Nook the “Kindle Killer,” naming five ways it’s better than its competitor.

Reason Five — B&N has actual stores, where people can look at and try out the Nook.

Bricks and mortar finally has its day!


Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

We saw a hint of controversy about the global warming chapter in SuperFreakonomics emerging last week. The book launches today and accusations are flying on the Web, including dueling NYT blogs.

Paul Krugman attacks the book in his NYT blog — SuperFreakonomics on Climate, Part 1

…the first five pages, by themselves, are enough to discredit the whole thing. Why? Because they grossly misrepresent other peoples’ research, in both climate science and economics.

Steven Levitt responds on his NYT blog — The Rumors of Our Global-Warming Denial Are Greatly Exaggerated

The critics are implying that we dismiss any threats from global warming; but the entire point of our chapter is to discuss global-warming solutions, so obviously that’s not the case.

Krugman expands on his points — Weitzman in context

Levitt now says that the chapter wasn’t meant to lend credibility to global warming denial — but when you open your chapter by giving major play to the false claim that scientists used to predict global cooling, you have in effect taken the denier side.

Co-author Stephen Dubner steps in — Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear

If everything they said was actually true, it would indeed be a damning indictment. But it’s not.

The global warming section is just one of five chapters. Some media outlets have focused on others:

A writer for Harvard Business Publishing feels there’s a problem with the premise of the entire book, saying the authors,

…are to economics what Friends is to culture: pop. And ultimately, though Levitt’s academic work is stellar, the Freakonomics genre represents the trivialization of a great system of thought. Instead of improving that system of thought, it applies already questionable assumptions to what are socially the lowest-value uses.

The book is currently at #8 on Amazon.

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Retail Price: $29.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2009-10-20)
ISBN / EAN: 0060889578 / 9780060889579

HarperAudio: 9780060889357; $34.99
HarperLuxe: 9780061927577; $29.99
Audio and eBook downloadable from OverDrive

ATHENA Becomes the NOOK

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

News sometimes comes from strange sources. The Wall Street Journal reports today that B&N is running an ad in the 10/25 NYT BR for their new eBook called the Nook (photos leaked last week showed the name “Athena” on the device).

As the WSJ points out, one of the Nook’s benefits touted in the ad is the ability to “Lend eBooks to friends.”

The price shown is $20 less than the newly-lowered price for Amazon’s Kindle.

Nook ad

B&N did not comment to WSJ, but they have a press event scheduled for  later today.

Library Marketing Works for You

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

There’s a book giveaway hidden in our top banner ad this week; if you click on it, you can enter to win five titles that fit in to YALSA Teen Read Week’s “Beyond Reality” theme. It’s part of Random House’s library marketing department’s “Shelf Help;” collection development “cheat sheets” aimed at helping librarians make sure they own essential titles in popular subject categories.

Many of you are already savvy to publisher’s library marketing departments. If not, you can think of them as your entry-way to publishing houses. They are happy to answer questions from when Nevada Barr’s next book is coming to how to get an author to speak at your One Community program (by the way, Random House has just created a new One Book guide with tips from the mother of all one-book programs, Nancy Pearl).

On EarlyWord, we maintain an up-to-date directory of library contacts for adult books at the various publishing house,s as well as links to their librarian newsletters, blogs, and even, in HarperCollins case, an online radio show for librarians.

Through the AAP, library marketing staff also organize various events for librarians at the BEA, ALA and PLA. This week, they are presenting their first “Librarians’ Spring 2010 Sneak Preview” here in New York.

Get to know these people; they are a key component in the publisher/librarian connection.

WOLF HALL Defeats the Nay-sayers

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Many predicted that Americans would balk at a 560-page novel that requires some knowledge of British history and a 98-person character list just to keep all the players straight. But, since its release here shortly after winning the Booker, Wolf Hall has been in the top ten on Amazon. Holds have doubled in many libraries, with commensurate increases in orders.

In contrast, the National Book Award fiction finalists are not doing nearly as well. Below are current Amazon sales rankings and total holds and copies in four large libraries for the Booker winner and the NBA titles:

#9 Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
929 holds on 132 copies

#259 Let The Great World Spin, Colum McCann
382 holds on 82 copies

#1,481 American Salvage, Bonnie Jo Campbell
22 holds on 23 copies

#1,807 In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Daniyal Mueenuddin
13 holds on 61 copies

#2,019 Far North, Marcel Theroux,
27 holds on 46 copies

#5,179 Lark and Termite, Jayne Anne Phillips
7 holds on 65 copies

Wolf Hall has also enjoyed a wide range of reviews, from People (four out of a possible four stars and selected as a “People Pick”) to The New York Review of Books,. Most of them have been generous with praisel Only Entertainment Weekly held back, rating it a “B”.

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

Downloadable eBook from OverDrive.

Books to Movies Updates

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Books continue to rule at the box office this weekend; Where the Wild Things Are was #1. Does this mean Warner Brothers was wrong to worry that the movie wouldn’t appeal to kids? Not exactly; according to Variety, 43% of the audiences were over 18 and only 27% were families.

Unfortunately, if filmgoers feel as lukewarm about what they saw as the critics did, strong ticket sales may not continue.

Schedule Changes

Youth in Revolt has been moved from an October release date to January 8th.

The movie of the superhero comic, The Green Lantern was going to be shot in Australia, but has been pulled because of the weakening of the US dollar against the Australian dollar. Production may be moved to Louisiana. It is now scheduled for a 2011 release.

However, the third in the Chronicles of Narnia series, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will continue shooting down under, with a release date of Dec., 2010.

New Trailers

FEB 5, 2010

Dear John, based on the book by Nicholas Sparks

The official web site is now up.

FEB 12, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Official web site now up.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

Here at EarlyWord, we’re suckers for cat stories, but we’re not impervious to the charms of canines, so when we saw this book about rescue dogs rising on Amazon over the weekend, we just had to take a look. It won our hearts.

It appears that most libraries have not ordered it.

To the Rescue: Found Dogs with a Mission
Elise Lufkin
Retail Price: $19.95
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing – (2009-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1602397724 / 9781602397729


To the Rescue is the third in a series; the other titles appear on just a few catalogs.

Found Dogs: Tales of Strays Who Landed on Their Feet
Elise Lufkin
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: The Lyons Press – (2005-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1592286151 / 9781592286157


Second Chances: More Tales of Found Dogs
Elise Lufkin
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: The Lyons Press – (2005-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1592287476 / 9781592287475

Coming on OPRAH

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Just as some libraries are beginning to get out from under their holds lists on the new-widow-confronts-dead-husband’s-mistresses memoir, Perfection by Julie Metz, the author will be featured on Oprah on Thursday.

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal
Julie Metz
Retail Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Voice – (2009-06-09)
ISBN / EAN: 1401322557 / 9781401322557

Downloadable eBook from OverDrive