Archive for March, 2010

Talk to Marilyn Johnson!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The author of This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All has been on tour, talking up her book and the need to support library funding.

Now, you have a chance to ask her questions. She’ll be interviewed by Virginia Stanley of HarperCollins’ Library Marketing on Virginia’s Blogtalk Radio show, Library Love Fest. You are invited to send in questions or to call in (info on how to do so is on the show site).

The interview will be live tomorrow, Thursday March 18th at 2 pm EST (you can listen to the recorded version at any time after that). Anyone who calls or writes in will get a free book — the only catch is that you need to register beforehand here.


This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
Marilyn Johnson
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-02-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061431605 / 9780061431609

Audio: Tantor; 2/22/10
Trade: 9781400116348; 7 CD’s; $34.99
Library: 9781400146345; 7 CD’s; $69.99
MP3: 9781400166343; 1 MP3-CD; $24.99

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The 3/29 issue of People features three of the members of the 70’s girl group The Runaways. Joan Jett, still a touring musician, was part of that group. The biopic  The Runaways, opens in a limited number of theaters on Friday and for it’s full run on April 9th. It is based on Cherie Curry’s 1989 memoir, Neon Angel, recently updated as a tie-in.

The movie is also reviewed in that issue, saying “the script lacks substance, but the actresses deliver on style.” Kristin Stewart, (she plays Bella in the Twilight movies) plays Jett and Dakota Fanning, who is also in the Twilight movies, plays singer Cherie Currie.

Official Web site:


Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway
Cherie Currie, Tony O’neill
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: It Books – (2010-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061961353 / 9780061961359

Elmore Leonard is JUSTIFIED

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Premiering last night on FX was the new series, Justified, based on Elmore Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” (which is also the title of the first episode). The main character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens also appears in two Leonard novels, Pronto and Riding the Rap. Both are being released in mass market paperback this month, with bursts on the covers that read “Featuring RAYLAN GIVENS, from the new FX Series, JUSTIFIED.”

The story “Fire in the Hole” is in the collection, When the Women Come Out to Dance.

When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories
Elmore Leonard
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks – (2004-01-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0060586168 / 9780060586164

Leonard was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered last night (listen here) and the new series was reviewed on Fresh Air. It is also reviewed in the New York Times.

Leonard’s next book, Djibouti, (listen to the interview for the pronunciation), scheduled for a one-day laydown on 10/12/10 (not in November, as the interview indicates), is about “terrorism, piracy, and al-Qaida.” (see publisher’s description in the Morrow catalog).

Elmore Leonard
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061735175 / 9780061735172

Skloot on CBS Sunday Morning

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The video from CBS Sunday Morning‘s feature on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is now available online:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

THE SURRENDERED — Reviewers’ Fav

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Of the reviewers’ recent favorites, the leader, as judged by sheer numbers as well as enthusiasm, is Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered.

USA Today‘s review brings the total from consumer publications to at least 15 by our count (we may have missed some), including People magazine, The Portland Oregonian and the NYT BR.

The novel traces the lives of three people who meet in a South Korean orphanage just after the war, through several decades, shifting back and forth in time and place.

The Washington Post feels that the main character, June, is portrayed so well that she  seems “more real than some people we know. But her power is somewhat dimmed by the two less compelling figures…” The review ends on a note echoed by many others,

Serious readers these days are not so unsophisticated as to expect a novel like The Surrendered to provide any sort of uplift — which it certainly does not — or to teach them Very Important Lessons about war and its catastrophic effects. They will read this book to share the life that’s in it, and they have every right to expect that it will offer life in return. With one full-hearted portrait out of three, Lee has only partially but rather magnificently succeeded.

The Boston Globe expresses it this way,

The Surrendered is a dream you can’t quite wake up from. You close the book, shut your eyes, and there’s little June still running for a train, trying to save her fractured life. Again, you feel a keen anguish. Lee understands that in art and in stories what is perhaps most valuable is not what can be explained but what can be felt.

Anne Morris of the Dallas Morning News isn’t so sure,

The Surrendered propels readers through shocking scenes of torture, rape, murder, starvation and mutilation in its 480 beautifully written pages. It’s up to readers to decide whether the enlightenment is worth the cost.

I go back and forth on that. This novel gave me nightmares.

These comments haven’t put off library readers; holds are heavy in some areas.

Below are links to the reviews;

The Surrendered
Chang-rae Lee
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-03-09)
ISBN / EAN: 1594489769 / 9781594489761

ebook available from OverDrive

Rappin’ to the Classics

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Zooming up to #8 on Amazon is a book that’s inspired an NBA player, the rapper 50 Cent and the CEO of American Apparel.

The book, The 48 Laws of Power, originally published in 1998 and released in paperback in 2000, was covered on CNN yesterday. Author Robert Greene learned about many of his sources when he was a classicial studies student, but got his real lessons in power as a writer in Hollywood.

The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Retail Price: $20.00
Paperback: 452 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2000-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0140280197 / 9780140280197

HighBridge Audio; 9781598870923; $29.66 — Excerpt
ebook and audio available from OverDrive

Facing the End

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Jane Brody, the NYT‘s health columnist writes movingly today about her husband’s death.

Brody notes that this “Personal Health” column is very personal,

When I wrote Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond, I had no idea that I’d be putting its precepts into practice in my immediate family within a year of publication. But as I said in the book, “You never know.” You never know when your time will be up, and so it is best to prepare for the end sooner rather than later.

Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life
Jane Brody
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2009-02-17)
ISBN / EAN: 1400066549 / 9781400066544

She also mentions Francine Russo’s “excellent new book,” They’re Your Parents, Too!

They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy
Francine Russo
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Bantam – (2010-01-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0553806998 / 9780553806991

ebook available from OverDrive


Monday, March 15th, 2010

The first of what will be many reviews of Michael Lewis’ The Big Short are in. The Washington Post says,

If you read only one book about the causes of the recent financial crisis, let it be Michael Lewis’s, The Big Short.

That’s not because Lewis has put together the most comprehensive or authoritative analysis of all the misdeeds and misjudgments and missed signals that led to the biggest credit bubble the world has known. What makes his account so accessible is that he tells it through the eyes of the managers of three small hedge funds and a Deutsche Bank bond salesman, none of whom you’ve ever heard of. All, however, were among the first to see the folly and fraud behind the subprime fiasco, and to find ways to bet against it when everyone else thought them crazy.

In today’s NYT, Michiko Kakutani says that, “No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis, the author of Liar’s Poker, that now classic portrait of 1980s Wall Street,” but, she feels, by focusing on individuals who made millions by betting against the bubble, “the reader is put in the position of rooting for [them].”

Business Week also criticizes the Lewis for “glamorizing” these people, but “For those who enjoy a knife cutting through the obfuscation and arrogance of Wall Street, Lewis is king.”

Lewis appeared on Sixty Minutes on Sunday; he will appear on many other shows this week — the Today Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Jon Stewart, among others today, followed by Fresh Air and Charlie Rose tomorrow.

On Friday, we noted that library holds were surprisingly light; they began increasing rapidly over the weekend. The book is now at #1 on Amazon. Lewis’s earlier books are also rising — Liar’s Poker, Panic, Moneyball and Blind Side.


Watch CBS News Videos Online


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Monday, March 15th, 2010


Monday, March 15th, 2010

Last night’s airing of the first episode of HBO’s ten-part series (stray question — why do they insist on calling something this long a mini-series?), The Pacific, propelled 3 titles into Amazon’s Top 100. Two of the main characters are introduced in this first episode, aspiring journalist Robert Leckie who experiences combat at Guadalcanal and Eugene Sledge, who is unable to enlist because of a heart murmur (a rundown of each episode is available here). The series is partially based on memoirs by both men.

For more titles related to the series, see our roundup under Now Playing — With Tie-ins.

#34 Helmet for My Pillow
See our earlier post for more about Leckie and his other memoirs of the war that have been rereleased to tie in with the series.

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
Robert Leckie
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam – (2010-02-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0553593315 / 9780553593310
Tantor Audio:
Trade; 9781400110506; 9 Audio CD; $34.99
Library; 9781400140503; 9 Audio CD; $69.99
MP3; 9781400160501; 1 MP3-CD; $24.99

eBook available from OverDrive

#37 The Pacific

The official companion to the series

The Pacific
Hugh Ambrose
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover – (2010-03-02)
ISBN / EAN: 045123023X / 9780451230232

#40 With The Old Breed

With the Old Breed
E.B. Sledge
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Presidio Press – (2007-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0891419063 / 9780891419068

eBook available from OverDrive

An earlier paperback edition notes in a burst on the cover that it was “used by Ken Burns for The War on PBS.”

Books CBS Sunday Morning

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Cotinuing at #5 on the 3/21 NYT Nonfiction best seller list after five weeks, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks got feature treatment on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday.

Author Rebecca Skloot will also appear on the Colbert Report on Tuesday.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Crown – (2010-02-02)
ISBN / EAN: 1400052173 / 9781400052172

Random House Audio; UNABR; 9780307712509; $35
Audio and e-book available from OverDrive


The program also aired a shorter version of this segment on Letters to Jackie that originally appeared on CBS Evening News on Monday, March 8th.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation
Ellen Fitzpatrick
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2010-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061969842 / 9780061969843

ebook available from OverDrive.

A. Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Seth Grahame-Smith set off the monster mashup craze last year with his Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Published as a $12.95 paperback by independent press Quirk Book in Philadelphia, it continues to be a huge success.

One wondered when Grand Central picked up the rights to the author’s next book, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, whether fans would accept the turn away from the classics to a historical figure and if they would be willing to spring for the more expensive hardcover.

Evidently, neither is a problem. The book landed at #4 on the 3/21 NYT Fiction bestseller list.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seth Grahame-Smith
Retail Price: $21.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – (2010-03-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0446563080 / 9780446563086

Hachette Audio; UNABR; 9781607881735; $26.98
BBC Audio: UNABR; 9781607883548; $69.99
ebook and audio available from OverDrive

Superheroes KICK ASS

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This week Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass rocketed to the top of the NYT Graphic Books Hardcover Best Seller list. Heralded as one of the very few comics to treat superhero traditions realistically while also taking place in our world, Kick-Ass is a darkly humorous look at what might actually happen if a disgruntled teenager decided to don a costume and take to the streets to fight crime. Namely, he’d suffer horrifying injuries and have little, if any, success. The key is not giving up. The film adaptation (see trailer here) is due out in theaters April 16th, so the buzz on this first collection is high and gaining ground. Worldcat shows that only 19 public libraries own it, and in my system the reserves have been going steadily up.

Mark Millar
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Marvel Books
ISBN / EAN: 0785134352 / 9780785134350


Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie
Mark Millar, John Romita Jr, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Retail Price: $19.95
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Titan Books – (2010-02-23)
ISBN / EAN: 1848564090 / 9781848564091

While only a handful of comics present superheroes in our own world, there are a number of series that should appeal to the readers of Kick-Ass.

Millar is famous for pushing boundaries in terms of violence, and he has a blast defying the conventions of superhero stories. The Authority, which Millar took on after the equally acerbic series creator Warren Ellis departed, takes the trope of a superhero team and mucks up their missions with fascist agendas, reckless destruction, and bitter infighting. The world at large begins to question just why these people are in charge, and realizes perhaps too late that The Authority dictates behavior precisely because they have the power and no one is capable of stopping them.

The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless
Warren Ellis
Retail Price: $17.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Wildstorm – (2000-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1563896613 / 9781563896613

Warren Ellis has created numerous series over the years that share that glee for flying in the face of expectations and reveling in dirtying up the perception of what people do with their superpowers. The most irreverent of these is the out-to-shock humor of Nextwave, a series that pulls a number of forgotten heroes from Marvel pages and unleashes them as one of the most dysfunctional teams yet portrayed on the page. The key to this series is humor rather than grit, but the series includes wonderfully rendered action sequences and a strong attitude.

Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection TPB
Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen
Retail Price: $34.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Marvel Comics – (2010-03-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0785144617 / 9780785144618

Akin to Ellis’s lighter side, Adam Warren’s manga-style superheroine comic Empowered has gained fans with every issue. Empowered follows the struggles of one young woman to be the best superhero she can be despite crippling self-esteem issues, a power-giving suit that barely holds together, and a less than stellar record of heroic saves. Her buxom form is frequently on display in her skin-tight, constantly ripping suit, so the sexy imagery is high and may keep readers from realizing how engagingly critical the series is. Empowered is a laugh-out-loud satire of female superheroes and Warren knows very well how to skewer the genre.

Empowered Volume 1
Adam Warren
Retail Price: $15.95
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse – (2007-04-04)
ISBN / EAN: 159307672X / 9781593076726

Brian Michael Bendis’s epic superhero police procedural, Powers, mixes superheroes with noir and constructs true-to-life policies that would fall into place if superheroes existed. In the world of Powers, if have to have actual super-abilities to don a costume. If you don’t, masked heroism is illegal. The second collected edition in the series, Roleplay, takes a hard look at fans and what happens when ordinary folks get mixed up in trying to be superheroes without any true power or skill.

Powers Vol. 2: Roleplay (v. 2)
Brian Michael Bendis
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 0 pages
Publisher: Image Comics – (2002-01-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1582406952 / 9781582406954

If it’s teenage superheroes readers want, one of the best recent continuing series is Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, which covers Mark Grayson’s coming of age as both an ordinary teenager and as the super-powered son of Omni-Man. He’s inherited many of his father’s strengths, but he must also contend with his father’s secrets. Kirkman and artist Cory Walker display impeccable senses of comic timing and family dynamics.

Invincible (Book 1): Family Matters (v. 1)
Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker
Retail Price: $12.99
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Image Comics – (2007-01-18)
ISBN / EAN: 1582407118 / 9781582407111

Special thanks to James Sime, of Isotope, the coolest comic book lounge I know, for help in brainstorming titles.


Monday, March 15th, 2010

First-time novelist Lauren Oliver arrives on the 3/21 NYT Children’s Chapter Books best seller list at #8 with Before I Fall. The book is told by a girl who dies in a car accident, but gets to relive the last day of her life seven times.

The book was launched with a 100,000-copy first printing. PW featured the author’s unique “ARC tour;” she sent out 2 copies, asking readers to pass the book on and insert comments. One copy actually made it back to her, after traveling throughout Europe, loaded with comments and drawings.

It received stellar prepub reviews and is the #1 Indie Next Spring 2010 Children’s Pick.

The Guardian sees it as part of a trend of novels by dead or dying YA’s, which is led, of course, by The Lovely Bones and includes:

The author has a four-book contract; her second novel, Delirium, is planned for publication in winter 2011.

Before I Fall
Lauren Oliver
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins – (2010-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 006172680X / 9780061726804

ebook and audio available from OverDrive.