Archive for September, 2010

Lies and Statistics

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The numerical cousin of truthiness is proofiness: “the art of using bogus mathematical arguments to prove something that you know in your heart is true — even when it’s not” and it is the title of a new book on the phenomenon, Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife.

Reviewed in the NYT Book Review and featured on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, it rose to #60 on Amazon sales rankings from #261 the day before.

Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception
Charles Seife
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2010-09-23)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022160 / 9780670022168

Boardwalk Empire

Monday, September 20th, 2010

HBO’s heavily-promoted addition to the New Jersey canon, Boardwalk Empire, began last night, sending the tie-in to #166 on Amazon sales rankings, from #366 the day before. The series continues for 12 more episodes, ending Dec. 12.

The book is an academic history, written by a NJ judge; the movie is “inspired by the book,” but is definitely fiction, even changing the name of the main character. Those who turn to the book, expecting the blood fest of the TV series will be disappointed.

Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City
Nelson Johnson
Retail Price: $16.95
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Plexus Publishing, Inc. – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0966674863 / 9780966674866

Brilliance Audio; Read by Joe Mantegna; audio sample


Monday, September 20th, 2010

The tie-in for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro hit the NY Times Trade Paperback best seller list this week at #17 (tied with #16), in advance of the movie which debuted in theaters on Friday.

Libraries are showing holds, up to 8:1 in some instances, on the hard cover.

Below is a behind the scenes video of the movie’s stars, director and the author discussing the book.

Below is the movie trailer.


Never Let Me Go (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Kazuo Ishiguro
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2010-08-31)
ISBN / EAN: 0307740994 / 9780307740991


Friday, September 17th, 2010

One of the books we’ve been keeping our eye on is Room by Emma Donoghue. In Sunday’s NYT Book Review, Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake) calls it,

…a truly memorable novel, one that can be read through myriad lenses — psychological, sociological, political. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live.

Libraries are beginning to show heavy reserves (ratios of 10:1 in some cases).

Room: A Novel
Emma Donoghue
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2010-09-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0316098337 / 9780316098335

Hachette Audio; UNABR; 9781607886273; $29.98
Hachette Large Print; 9780316120579; Trade Pbk; $24.99

Looks Like It Really Is FREEDOM

Friday, September 17th, 2010

According to tweets from people who watched the live Oprah Show in Chicago, the next Book Club pick is the heavily-rumored Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. According to one tweet, Oprah said that she checked it out with Franzen first (good move).

UPDATE: A tweet from Franzen’s publisher, FSG (FSG_Books), confirms the selection. It is also posted on the Oprah Web site. But the really big news, according to PW Daily is that Oprah said this is not her final book club pick. She plans to pick books throughout the final season of her show AND it will “go with me to the Oprah Network.”


Friday, September 17th, 2010

Barack Obama has often propelled books onto best seller lists. Can Michelle Obama do the same?  The ABC News blog reports that she’s reading The Grace of Silence: On Matters of Race and the Consequence of Silence, a memoir by NPR’s All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris, which goes on sale next week.  Libraries we checked have modest holds on modest orders.

In the book, Norris explores her family’s silence about her father’s shooting by a white policeman in Alabama in 1946, following his return from service in WWII, and rejects the reassuring myth that we live in a “post-racial” America.

Booklist gave it a starred review, calling Norris “a remarkably warm, witty, and spellbinding storyteller, enriching her illuminating family chronicle with profound understanding of the protective grace of silence and the powers unchained when, at last, all that has been unsaid is finally spoken.” PW found the book “eloquent and affecting,” and Kirkus found it “outstanding.”

The Grace of Silence: A Memoir
Michele Norris
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2010-09-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0307378764 / 9780307378767

Other Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race (Grand Central) satirizes the history and achievements of humanity. Stewart rocked the house at the Book & Author Breakfast at BEA, and his book has been mentioned in many fall previews. His promotional appearances include Bill O’Reilly’s Fox news channel show on Wednesday. You may remember that sparks flew when Stewart appeared on that show for his prevous book.

White House Diary by Jimmy Carter (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) contains sections of the actual diary Carter kept while in office. He will appear on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday, contending that Americans could have had comprehensive health care coverage decades ago if Sen. Edward M. Kennedy hadn’t blocked a plan Carter had proposed during his presidency. The embargoed book was also briefly available on Google Books yesterday morning, before the publisher requested it be taken down, according to the Politico blog.

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt (Penguin Press) is the French Colombian political leader’s account of her harrowing abduction by the opposition during her presidential campaign. As we reported earlier, the Daily Beast says to “forget Blair or Bush, [Even Silence Has an End] is the memoir of the season.”

Debut Story Collection Gets Buzz

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Plenty of fiction will be competing for readers’ attention next week, including a debut story collection from Riverhead Books that’s getting some buzz: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans.

Entertainment Weekly gives the book a B+, saying that it “offers rich slices of African-American life . . . and carries a strong scent of freshness and promise.” But trade reviews are more mixed: while Booklist hails author Danielle Evans an “important new voice in literary fiction,”PW observes, “Evans has some great chops that would really shine with a little more narrative breadth.”

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
Danielle Evans
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-09-23)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487693 / 9781594487699

Other Notable Fiction On Sale Next Week

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press) is “chock-full of the kind of sitcom shenanigans Kinsella’s fans expect,” says Kirkus.” This latest in the series (Shopaholic & Baby, 2007, etc.) keeps the silly plot moving along. A little more growth from her iconic heroine, though, might have won over new readers as well.”

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen (Del Rey) recasts Gabaldon’s bestselling time-travel romance from her 18th-century Scottish hero’s point of view. PW wasn’t impressed: “Scenes that ought to be exciting, such as sword fights and escapes from the law are breezed over in a page or two. Approximately four out of five panels are simply talking heads, and despite Nguyen’s most valiant efforts, it simply isn’t visually interesting.”

Don’t Blink by James Patterson and James Roughan (Little, Brown) finds reporter Nick Daniels interviewing one of baseball’s legendary bad-boys when he accidentally captures a piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of a mafia war.

Sante Fe Edge by Stuart Woods (Putnam) gets a decent review from Booklist: “while some plotlines are a bit repetitive, particularly regarding Teddy, who has been on the run for many novels, and [his ex-wife] Barbara, who is also always one step ahead of her pursuers, theres plenty of fun here for those who enjoy losing themselves in Woods entertaining escapist fare.”

Bad Blood by John Sandford (Putnam) is the fourth novel featuring Virgil Flowers, agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Kirkus calls it “lurid and overscaled. . . The mystery, which is resolved early on, leads to an extended series of cat-and-mouse games between Virgil and the people he knows are guilty of some truly heinous crimes.”

Heaven’s Fury by Stephen W. Frey (Atria) follows a sheriff trying to solve a murder before a blizzard isolates his town. PW was not impressed: “The plot of this stand-alone crime thriller from Frey (Hell’s Gate) fails to generate much excitement, despite a gruesome murder that may be the work of a satanic cult and scenes set during a crippling snowstorm.”

And, One We Had to Mention..

Presenting…Tallulah by Tori Spelling and Vanessa Brantley Newton (Aladdin) is a picture book for very young readers by reality show star and bestselling author Spelling. PW and Kirkus both panned it, finding the poor little rich girl unbelievable and unsympathetic. Several libraries we checked haven’t ordered it – but given the success of Spelling’s previous books, you’re likely to be hearing about it.

Franzen? Really, Oprah?

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In just a few hours, we’ll learn which title will get the magic book club sticker, when Oprah’s live show debuts on Chicago’s WLS at 10 am. EDT (it runs on other stations at 4 p.m. local times). Many news outlets are already claiming that it is the wild card, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, based on a story, released mid-afternoon yesterday, by the AP, quoting three anonymous booksellers who have seen early copies of the stickered book.

The Melville House Publishing blog posted a story way back on Monday, based on “reliable sources” and followed with post featuring the cover with an Oprah sticker. The L.A. Times is suspicious that the rather blurry photo may be a result of photoshopping. Below is the cover, next to the Melville House image. We leave it to you to judge — is this a poor photo shop job, a bad scan, or just a terrible photo?

New David Foster Wallace Title

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

A new book by David Foster Wallace, unfinished at the time committed suicide, will be released on April 15th, 2011, according to a Little, Brown press release picked up by several sources, including the Associated Press and the New York Times Arts Beat blog.

We will update the story with ordering information when it is available.


Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Featured in the new issue of USA Today is Doubleday’s heavily-promoted nonfiction title, The Wave.

On the web site, the story includes this video:


The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
Susan Casey
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Doubleday – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0767928849 / 9780767928847


Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

After many stellar reviews, Knopf’s major nonfiction title of the season, Tiger by John Vaillant, was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday. The book is about a rare  tiger in remote Siberia who stalked the poacher that had wounded him and stolen his kill. Says the interviewer, “what has fascinated all of us is that the tiger is capable of vengeance. He waited and came back for [the man who shot him] later. “

The book rose to #27 on Amazon sales rankings, its highest rank to date. Several libraries are showing heavy holds on moderate ordering.

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
John Vaillant
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-08-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0307268934 / 9780307268938

Random House Audio; 9780307715074; $40.00

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Featuring: Laurie Halse Anderson, Jon Scieszka & Leonard Marcus
Link here for more information and to register

Direct from the Publishers Mouth

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

A few posts ago, I mentioned that S&S is doing a publisher preview for their adult imprints. Unfortunately, I got the date wrong — it’s Friday, September 24th  from 9 to 12:30 at the S&S offices in NYC (email Michelle Fadlalla to RSVP or for more information).

Such a deal; you get breakfast, a chance to hear S&S editors talk about the books they are passionate about, and to hear from National Book Award winner Carlos Eire about his new book, Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy (Free Press, Nov. 2, 2010), not to mention the opportunity to mingle with area colleagues.

Also, save the date for the AAP Fall Buzz Event for Tri-State area on Wednesday, October 20th (don’t worry; I double-checked that date!); more details later.

And, if you’re not in the tri-state area, remember that you can get the HarperCollins Buzz — Fall 2010 right on your desktop.

THE BELLS Are Ringing

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The Bells, Richard Harvell’s first novel rose to #213 (from #83,196) on Amazon sales rankings after an interview on the Diane Rehm Show

About a castrato in the 1700’s, the book garnered generally strong prepub reviews, with the exception of PW‘s, which calls it “overwrought.” LJ‘s Barbara Hoffert showed the most enthusiasm, calling it “wrenching and painfully triumphant.”

The Bells: A Novel
Richard Harvell
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Crown – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0307590526 / 9780307590527

Blackstone Audio; simultaneous release

OF THEE I SING Rises on Amazon

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

When we wrote about President Obama’s new book yesterday, we did not have the cover or ordering information; it’s now available

Quickly after the title appeared on Amazon, it rose to #24 in sales rankings.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Barack Obama
Retail Price: $17.99
Publisher: – (2010-11-16)
ISBN / EAN: 037583527X / 9780375835278