Archive for May, 2010

A Warning About Celebrity Memoirs

Monday, May 24th, 2010

It was heavily reported last week that Demi Moore is shopping a memoir.

The following should be required viewing for all potential buyers (short ad in the beginning):

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Marilyn Johnson at BEA

Friday, May 21st, 2010

There will be hundreds of authors in the BEA booths next week, but one has a special appeal for librarians. Tantor Audio will be hosting the Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All at booth #3976  next Thursday from 11 am to noon.

In the process of promoting her book, Marilyn has become even more passionate about the need for library support, as she exhibits in this video from MidWinter:

This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
Read by Hillary Huber
Running Time: 7 hrs 30 min – Unabridged
Trade 9781400116348 6 Audio CD $34.99
Library 9781400146345 6 Audio CD $69.99
MP3 9781400166343 1 MP3-CD $24.99

HORNET’S NEST Gets All the Buzz

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Clearly, publishers have stayed away from releasing big adult titles next week, since all the air will be sucked up by the release of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third and final entry in Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium trilogy. It’s true that a John Grisham title is coming this week, but it is for kids. There is also a Stephen King title, but it was already released earlier in a limited small press edition.

And, indeed, the review media is all over Girl.

In today’s New York Times, Michiko Kakutani, the least populist of the NYT reviewers, tries to explain why the series is so popular, and decides it’s not the gore, but the tatooed main character, Lisbeth Salander,

…a heroine who takes on a legal system and evil, cartoony villains with equal ferocity and resourcefulness; a damaged sprite of a girl who becomes a goth-attired avenging angel who can hack into any computer in the world and seemingly defeat any foe in hand-to-hand combat.

Sarah Weinman in The Barnes and Noble Review has a more interesting theory, the appeal is about information,

…Larsson’s enthusiasm for the information he spills out, be it on the annals of his country’s darkest political crimes or the specs of the computer Salander works with, is infectious. Did you know how cool this is? he asks. We did not, but now we do—and yeah, it is pretty cool.

Entertainment Weekly gives it at B+, saying:

Fans of the first two books might miss the Hollywood-blockbuster action sequences and wish Salander — the series’ most compelling character — were more of a presence, but Hornet’s Nest is still a satisfying finale to Larsson’s entertainingly suspenseful trilogy.

USA Today is less impressed:

Hornet’s Nest lacks the narrative drive, energy and originality of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire. Those books, you inhaled. Reading this one feels like work. It’s more like a first draft than a polished novel.

Meanwhile, Time magazine delves into the intrigue surrounding Larsson’s estate, following his death in 2004.

The publisher is holding a Lisbeth Salander look-a-like contest.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-05-25)
ISBN / EAN: 030726999X / 9780307269997
  • UNABR CD from Random House Audio available May 25: $40; ISBN 9780739384190
  • Large Print from Random House: $28; ISBN 9780739377710
  • WMA Audiobook available from OverDrive

Other Major Titles On Sale Next Week

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton) is the first in a series of books targeted at 8- to 12-year-olds, and focuses on a 13-year-old who becomes interwined in a murder trial. Dutton is offering a sneak peek of first chapter. Unsurprisingly, reserves are as high as 3:1 or more at libraries we checked.

Blockade Billy by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster) was released in the Spring in a limited edition from small press Cemetary Dance Publications, which most libraries own. The book is set in the spring of 1957, as an offbeat baseball player achieves stardom. The Los Angeles Times was less than impressed: “Like all King’s work, it has momentum, but reading it, ultimately, is like watching a big leaguer sit in with a farm team: interesting, perhaps, but without the giddy excitement, the sheer, explosive sense of possibility, that marks the highest levels of the game.”

Sidney Sheldon’s After the Darkness by Sidney Sheldon and Tilly Bagshawe (Morrow) is a tale of a New York socialite who marries an elderly hedge fund manager.

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin’s) is the author’s first novel for teens to feature the immortal vampire slayers of her bestselling Dark Hunter series.

The Necromancer by Michael Scott (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) is the fourth installment in the popular series about The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Hail to the Wimp

Friday, May 21st, 2010

It gives you hope for the book industry that the media is breathlessly reporting that a new Wimpy Kid book is coming in Nov. They don’t have much to go on — no title yet (that will be an opportunity for another media event in July), but the jacket will be …


(via Entertainment Weekly and the publisher’s press release)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5
Jeff Kinney
Retail Price: $13.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books – (2010-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0810984911 / 9780810984912

The Procrastinator’s Guide to BEA

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

You may notice that “procrastinator” in the headline is singular — the procrastinator is actually me. I know none of my fellow librarians would have waited until now put together their schedules.

Identifying all the BEA programs you might want to attend can be frustrating, since, unlike ALA, programming is created by many different groups, from the AAP to FOLUSA and are announced in various places.

Happily, for this procrastinator, Publishers Marketplace has put together a handy app. Under schedules, it gives you quick information on Main Events, Author Signings and even has a special section for Librarian Events (note that the LJ and SLJ events on Tuesday are part of each magazine’s Day of Dialog, which are sold out now).

I’m also checking LJ‘s guide, which selects all programs that are of interest to librarians, not just those that have “library” in the title.

NOT included on the Publishers Marketplace app, is the AAP’s great author dinner for librarians; we hear there are still a few spots open, but you need to RSVP (dinner is FREE) by tomorrow:

The Association of American Publishers Cordially Invites you to:

Dinner on Tuesday, May 25th

Holiday Inn West 57th Street. Embassy Ballroom 7 pm

With authors:
Cory Doctorow
, author of For The Win (Tor/Forge)

Rachel Vincent, author of My Soul To Keep (Harlequin Teen)

Anne Fortier, author of Juliet (Ballantine)

Jane Green, author of Promises To Keep (Viking)

Ann Brashares, author of My Name Is Memory (Riverhead)

Co-Hosted with Library Journal

Please email Marlene Scheuermann, AAP by Friday, May 21st. Be sure to  indicate you want to attend the Librarians Dinner.

New Memoirs

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

USA Today rounds up new memoirs, giving the nod to the following three:

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness
Dominique Browning
Retail Price: $23.00
Hardcover: 250 pages
Publisher: Atlas – (2010-05-09)
ISBN / EAN: 1934633313 / 9781934633311

Sample chapter here, which opens with a great bit about what it was like to work at the famed Conde Nast.


One More Theory About Happiness: A Memoir
Paul Guest
Retail Price: $21.99
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2010-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061685178 / 9780061685170

Adobe EPUB eBook downloadable from OverDrive


Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture
Thomas Chatterton Williams
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2010-04-29)
ISBN / EAN: 159420263X / 9781594202636

Finally Exhaling

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale was an enormous hit in 1992. McMillan, who has written several other successful books, will revisit the characters 15 years later in a sequel, Getting to Happy, which comes out in the fall.

As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, Essence magazine is running a four-short excerpts, beginning with the June issue and running through September, when the book will be released.

The AP reports that McMillan is an old friend of the magazine’s; she won an Essence writing contest back in the ’70’s.

Getting to Happy
Terry McMillan
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022047 / 9780670022045

Roth Continues to Rise

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Women, Food and God hit number 1 on several major best seller lists after Oprah’s endorsements, beginning in O, The Oprah Magazine and continuing with a full hour show last week. Now, it adds another one as it hits #1 on the USA Today list (which, unlike lists in other newspapers, is not divided by category).

It will get a further boost on July 12th, when Oprah again features the author, as USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” column notes.

Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
Geneen Roth
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2010-03-02)
ISBN / EAN: 1416543074 / 9781416543077

S&S Audio; UNABR; 9781442336605; $29.99

A Bookless Library

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Stanford University’s Physics and Engineering Libraries are undergoing some very heavy weeding. The two libraries are being turned into a smaller electronic library, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The new facility “saves its space for people, not things. It features soft seating, ‘brainstorm islands,’ a digital bulletin board and group event space,” as well as access to online databases and scientific journals.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Seeking Manna

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

When William Alexander first tasted a really good loaf of bread, he describes the experience as an eye-opener,

…the first bite into the crust, which managed to be both crispy and chewy at the same time and had a natural sweetness from the sugars that had developed during baking. And the crumb, which is the word that bakeries use to describe the interior of the bread, the crumb had some bite back when you bit into it.

Most of us would just make a note to return to the restaurant that served such heavenly bread. But the author of The $64 Tomato, subtitled, “How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden,” decided he had to learn to reproduce that achievement at home.

He documents his quest in the book 52 Loaves. Today’s Boston Globe says, “Alexander’s breathless, witty memoir is a joy to read.” The author appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday earlier this month (listen here).

Several libraries are showing more than ten holds per copy, on light ordering.

52 Loaves: One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust
William Alexander
Retail Price: $23.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2010-05-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1565125835 / 9781565125834

Stuff Dad Says

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

What’s that about the words you can’t say on television?

Sh*t My Dad Says, which debuted at #8 on the 5/23 NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list (where it’s slyly presented as “-— My Dad Says” ), is headed to TV. This Fall, CBS will air a series based on the book, starring William Shatner as the opinionated dad in the title and Ryan Devlin (Cougar Town) as his son. According to the New York Times, it’s tentatively titled Bleep My Dad Says.

The book originated as a Twitter page, which is based on exactly what the title indicates, the musings of the author’s 74-year-old father. It’s just hard to imagine how the actual sh*t dad says can be said on TV.

Sh*t My Dad Says
Justin Halpern
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: It Books – (2010-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061992704 / 9780061992704

Adobe EPUB eBook and Unabridged WMA Audiobook available from OverDrive.


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

For me, “must-see tv” is Nine by Design, Bravo’s reality show about a couple who design and remodel homes while raising seven kids. The couple’s amazing good looks, exciting designs and “improbably poised children” (The New York Times) have inspired envy (the Times calls them “annoyingly perfect, oddly sane”).

On last night’s show, the entire family travels to London to promote the parents’ book, Downtown Chic, published by Rizzoli. This morning, the book, which came out last year, rose to #54 on Amazon.

Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing
Robert Novogratz, Cortney Novogratz
Retail Price: $45.00
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Rizzoli – (2009-05-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0847831736 / 9780847831739

The NYT Discovers Manga in Libraries

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Manga is extremely popular in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Bayside, Queens, where young adults crowd the library to read and discuss their favorite series, reports the NYT, also noting “the genre has colonized young-adult rooms in libraries around the country.”

Beware what this can lead; “One young woman discovered a love of languages and now studies Russian in college,” says the Christian Zabriskie, Assistant Coordinator for Youth Services.

The article also notes the harsh reality that the collection is threatened by budget cuts.

On OPRAH Today

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Lisa Ling, who is a contributor to the Oprah Show, appears today with a very personal story; the rescue of her sister from a Korean prison.

The sisters will also appear  tomorrow on the Today Show and NPR’s Fresh Air.

Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home
Laura Ling, Lisa Ling
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2010-05-18)
ISBN / EAN: 0062000675 / 9780062000675

Adobe EPUB eBook available from OverDrive.

Ling was imprisoned with fellow journalist Euna Lee, who has also written a memoir, which releases this fall.

The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Rescue from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness
Euna Lee, Lisa Dickey
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Broadway – (2010-09-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0307716139 / 9780307716132

Random House Audio; UNABR; 9780307749932; $35