Big Titles: Week of 1/11

The heaviest holds for fiction going on sale next week are on Robert Crais‘s thriller, The First Rule: A Joe Pike Novel, an IndieBound pick for January and a popular Amazon preorder.

The First Rule (Joe Pike Novels)
Robert Crais
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult – (2010-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0399156135 / 9780399156137

Audio available from Brilliance Corporation:

  • CD: $87.97; ISBN 9781423375494
  • CD, MP-3: $24.99; ISBN 9781423375500

Large Print from Wheeler Publishing:

  • $35.99; ISBN 9781410421418


Elizabeth Kostova‘s The Swan Thieves – her second novel after her blockbuster 2005 debut, The Historian – has hold ratios of about four to one in libraries we checked.

Entertainment Weekly grades it a “C,” with the criticism that this literary thriller about a mentally ill painter obsessed with a dead woman doesn’t maintain a sense of urgency – “a desperate flaw for a story of passion and obsession.”

The Swan Thieves
Elizabeth Kostova
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2010-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0316065781 / 9780316065788

Read an Excerpt

Audio from Hachette:

  • CD: $39.98; ISBN 9781600247453

Large Print:

  • Little Brown: $28.99; ISBN 9780316043663


  • $104.99; ISBN 9781607884828


Beth Hoffman’s debut novel Saving Ceecee Honeycutt, which was acquired by the same editor as Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees, is getting a push from the publisher and many enthusiastic quotes from booksellers. It’s also the first pick in the new Sam’s Club Book Club, according to GalleyCat, and will be featured in all 600 of the chain’s big box stores.

Prepub reviews included a starred Library Journal review:

“Southern storytelling at its best, this coming-of-age novel is sure to be a hit with the book clubs that adopted Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees.”

Libraries we checked are showing modest holds.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Beth Hoffman
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2010-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021393 / 9780670021390

Penguin Audio

  • CD: $39.95; ISBN 9780143145547

Large Print from Thorndike

  • $34.95; ISBN 9781410422750


Melanie Benjamin‘s portrait of Alice Liddel, Lewis Carroll’s muse in Alice I Have Been, is a big favorite of Random House’s library marketing team, who compare it to Nancy Horan’s reading-club favorite Loving Frank. In fact, the author invites reading groups to contact her and possibly arrange a phone-in.

Prepub reviews bear out the inhouse enthusiasm; Booklist says, “First-novelist Benjamin tells … a story that is a mixture of historically accurate fact and liberally imagined fiction, including her solution to the mystery of what actually happened to estrange Carroll … from his muse’s family.”

Most large libraries have ordered modestly, with 2:1 holds. However, one library clearly expects strong demand, ordering 80 copies.

Alice I Have Been
Melanie Benjamin
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press – (2010-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0385344139 / 9780385344135


Elena Gorokhova‘s memoir of  growing up in 1960s Leningrad, A Mountain of Crumbs, has already received positive reviews in Elle and More magazines. Libraries are showing holds of three to one on modest orders.

A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir
Elena Gorokhova
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2010-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 1439125678 / 9781439125670


Also on sale next week:

  • John Lescroart’s new mystery, Treasure Hunt
  • Amy Bloom’s new story collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out. Her novel, Away, was a bestseller. People gives the new collection 3.5 stars and makes it a People Pick. Bloom’s subject is love. Several of the stories are interlinked and People says they “hit harder than the stand-alones: mapping passion’s fallout takes time.”

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