Archive for February, 2011

What The Indies Are Buying

Monday, February 28th, 2011

We’re  always on the lookout for insight on which forthcoming titles will become hits, so we’re excited to find a new tool; Edelweiss, the company that produces online catalogs for publishers, has released lists of titles most-ordered titles through their system. Since most of the orders come from independent booksellers, the lists offer a interesting look at the upcoming months.

We’ve posted the Fiction and Nonfiction lists, which represent the top 30 titles ordered during the previous two months (only the publishers that use the Edelweiss system are included, representing the majority of the larger publishers, with a few exceptions, most notably, Simon and Schuster). You’ll notice that few of the repeat blockbuster authors appear on the lists; most independent booksellers find they don’t do as well in their stores (which is clearly reflected on the Indie Best Seller lists).

A few highlights:


At #1 is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, coming from Harper in June. Libraries, of course, have already placed their orders.

Surprisingly few libraries are showing orders for #12 title, The Kid by Sapphire (Penguin Press, Jul 5). It’s the sequel to Push, which was the basis for the last year’s surprise box office hit, Precious.

At #16 is The Last Werewolf by Duncan, Glen (Knopf, Jul 12); a new entry in the paranormal category that few libraries have ordered yet.

On GalleyChat, librarians have been talking about the thriller Before I Go To Sleep by Watson, S. J. (Harper, Jun 1) which appears at #17.


Tina Fey has already been getting kudos for her New Yorker essay, “Confessions of a Juggler,” which offers a preview of her forthcoming book Bossypants (Reagan Arthur/Hachette, Apr 5), at #1.

Few libraries seem to have ordered the #2 title, Boomerang by Lewis, Michael (Norton, Jun 13).

We’re not surprised to see the new book by Eric Larson, author of the beloved Devil in the White City (fingers crossed that the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio sees the light of day and does it justice) at #3 with his upcoming book about an American family in Berlin in 1933,  In the Garden of Beasts (Crown/ Random House, May 10).

On our special edition of GalleyChat, the #7 title,  Lost in Shangri-La by Zuckoff, Mitchell (Harper; May 1), emerged as a favorite with librarians as well.

On Comedy Central This Week

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Mon, Feb 28 — The Colbert Report

Michael Scheuer

Osama Bin Laden
Michael Scheuer
Retail Price: $19.95
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA – (2011-02-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0199738661 / 9780199738663


Tue, March 1 — Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Ayman Safadi, Adviser, King Abdullah II of Jordan

Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril
King Abdullah II of Jordan
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2011-02-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021717 / 9780670021710

Wed, March 2– Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Allison Stanger

One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy
Allison Stanger
Retail Price: $18.00
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press – (2011-01-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0300168322 / 9780300168327

Oscar Bump for Tie-ins

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The King’s Speech won four Oscars last night, including Best Picture. The tie-in basked in the glow, moving to #40 (from #62) on Amazon sales rankings.

The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy
Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Sterling – (2010-11-26)
ISBN / EAN: 140278676X / 9781402786761

The audio (Tantor) includes the actual speech that the King worked so hard to perfect.
OverDrive; Adobe EPUB eBook


Although it was nominated for 10 Oscars and was an early front-runner, True Grit came away with no wins, but the tie-in rose to #63 (from #79) on Amazon.

True Grit
Charles Portis
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Overlook TP – (2007-08-28)
ISBN / EAN: 1585679380 / 9781585679386

OverDrive; Adobe EPUB eBook


However, the highest-ranking movie-related title is for the forthcoming (April 22) Water for Elephants, curently at #8. The tie-in releases tomorrow.

Water for Elephants (movie tie-in)
Sara Gruen
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1616200707 / 9781616200701

OverDrive; WMA Audiobook and Adobe EPUB eBook


Towards a New Model of Ebook Circ in Libraries

Monday, February 28th, 2011

On Friday, news broke that, as of March, new HarperCollins ebook titles licensed though library vendors, will have a cap of 26 circulations.

Librarians, concerned about the limits this puts on their ability to serve their communities, immediately began protesting on blogs, listservs and Twitter (#hcod). The protests caught the attention of The New York Times, which published a story last night on the “Media Decoder” blog.

Some librarians are now urging their colleagues to boycott all HarperCollins’ titles, in print and well as eBooks.

Both parties are nervous right now, which makes this discussion particularly heated. Libraries are struggling for their existence, and publishers fear they are, too. The Borders bankruptcy puts a particularly strong light on the shrinking number of bookstores. Further, publishers worry that ebooks will send them the way of the music business.

Two other Big Six publishers have their own ebooks-in-libraries solution; they aren’t making them available at all. John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, explained  last year that he doesn’t see the current model of licensing ebooks to libraries as good for his business. He later met with a group of librarians at BEA, but that did not seem to change his mind; Macmillan (which includes FSG, St. Martin’s, Holt, among others) still does not make their ebooks available to libraries. One of  the concerns Sargent articulated is that an ebook can circulate forever without replacement. The HarperCollins’ circulation cap is one alternative to that objection.

Now is the time to offer other ideas that allow you to serve your users. Creating new models is not easy, but librarians, who have dealt with electronic licensing for decades, are more expert than trade publishers in this area.

On Twitter on Friday (#hcod), HarperCollins tweeted —

We’re reading your posts – and listening to our authors. If you want to share longer thoughts with us, email

Take advantage of that; get a real discussion going.

Next Week’s Fiction

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The debut to watch this week is Cleaning Nabokov’s House by Leslie Daniels (Touchstone). It follows a woman rebuilding her life after losing her children to her ex-husband. It’s an in-house favorite at S&S because it “hits the sweet spot of being both literary and commercial.” PW agrees, “Despite the curiosities of the grief-to-gumption plot, Daniels’s writing is slick and her characters richly detailed, and even when it dips into sheer goofiness, it’s still a pleasure to read.” Blackstone publishes the unabridged audio and a large print version is coming from Thorndike in July (9781410438478; $30.99). The author lives in Ithaca, NY.

Usual Suspects

Sing You Home by Jody Picoult (Atria) follows a custody battle for fertilized embryos between a lesbian couple and one of their newly religious ex-husbands. Booklist says  “Picoult’s gripping novel explores all sides of the hot-button issue.” It has a 150,000 copy first printing, and includes a CD of songs that correspond to each chapter.

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy (Knopf) takes place in a closely knit Irish neighborhood where a young alcoholic struggles with unexpected fatherhood. Library Journal calls it “an enjoyable novel about life, love, and second chances.”

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain (Minotaur/Macmillan) is, amazingly, the fourth novel featuring Portland detective Archie Sheridan. The Wall Street Journal features the author today, calling the new book Cain’s “tamest to date” and says her “bid to reach a broad, mainstream audience without disappointing Gretchen fans may prove tricky.”

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (DAW)  is a continuation of the 2007 fantasy novel The Name of the Wind, in which an innkeeper recalls a life of heroic deeds. Library Journal declares it “reminiscent in scope of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and similar in feel to the narrative tour de force of The Arabian Nights, this masterpiece of storytelling will appeal to lovers of fantasy on a grand scale.”

Rodin’s Debutante by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin) follows a boy’s adolescence and early adulthood in Chicago during the mid-20th century. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-, “Don’t be misled by the title; this engaging coming-of-age tale has little to do with either Auguste Rodin or a debutante.”

River Marked by Patricia Briggs (Ace) is book six in the supernatural Mercy Thompson series.

Children’s Books

Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins) is a children’s book about the artistic aspirations of a little girl with glitter markers.

Big Week for Memoirs

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The memoir category continues to grow, as proved by the large selection coming next week.

Already making headlines is Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso (FSG), the memoir of the author’s seduction and molestation, beginning at age 7, by a serial child rapist in his 50s, it follows their 15-year relationship. New York magazine reviewed it this week, calling  it “an unstable mixture of bildungsroman, dirty realism, and child pornography” and calls it “beautiful and appalling.”

Andre Dubus‘smemoir of his childhood, Townie (Norton), an EarlyWord favorite since his appearance at ALA Midwinter, has already garnered admiring reviews.

A natural outgrowth of the public fascination with celebrity chefs and their cookbooks is the celebrity chef memoir. Next week brings two with strong backing from their publishers:

Gabrielle Hamilton recently confirmed her chops as a writer with an excerpt in the New Yorker from Blood, Bones and Butter, which recounts her trajectory from a 1970s Pennsylvania childhood that disintegrated in divorce to opening her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune.

The memoir has also wrested rare praise from New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani, who says,

…the book is hardly just for foodies. Ms. Hamilton, who has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking, and her memoir does as dazzling a job of summoning her lost childhood as Mary Karr’s “Liars’ Club” and Andre Aciman’s “Out of Egypt” did with theirs.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 140006872X / 9781400068722

Grant Achatz, whose Chicago restaurant Alinea was crowned the best in America by Gourmet magazine, also delivers Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat. Co-written by Nick Kokonas, the book has a 75,000 copy first printing. An excerpt in the new issue of People (March 7) chronicles Achatz’s struggle with tongue cancer.

Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas
Retail Price: $27.50
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Gotham/Penguin – (2011-03-03)
ISBN / EAN: 1592406017 / 9781592406012

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Getting to Heaven: Departing Instructions for Your Life Now by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey (Berkley) is an “instruction book” regarding the Christian idea of the afterlife by the author of the multimillion-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven.

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America by Les Standiford and Joe Matthews (Ecco) is the story of the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh—son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America’s Most Wanted—which went unsolved for a quarter of a century. It will get a major round of publicity, including a March 1 Q&A with the authors in USA Today, a March 2 appearance by Joe Matthews and the Walshes on the Today show; and a March 3 segment on Nightline.

Revolt!: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann (Broadside Books) advocates no tax increases, weakening federal regulations and cutting social programs in the name of deficit reduction.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (Penguin Press) chronicles the training process of a once forgetful U.S. Memory Champion. The author was interviewed on All Things Considered on Wednesday.

Stockett on HELP Lawsuit

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Kathryn Stockett gave a statement to USA Today on the lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the author used her name and image, without permission, as the basis for Aibileen Clark, one of the characters in her book.

The movie based on the book is scheduled for release on August 12th. Pictured below are Emma Stone as Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan and Viola Davis as Aibilene. The L.A. Times featured an interview with the film’s director, Stocktett’s childhood friend, Tate Taylor, last month.

Iyanla Vanzant on OPRAH

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

This last season of the Oprah Show is heavy on reunions and reconciliations. In a two-part show, former Oprah relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant, sat down with Oprah to talk about what lead to their split eleven years ago (click here for a video excerpt).

Her most recent book, Peace from Broken Pieces, is published by Smiley Books, founded by PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley. It is an imprint of Hay House.

The book is now #1 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through
Iyanla Vanzant
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Smiley Books/ Hay House – (2010-11-15)
ISBN / EAN: 1401928226 / 9781401928223


NYT BR Expands Picture Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The New York Times Book Review will post an additional, online-only picture book review each week. The first one is for Il Sung Na’s book about the change of seasons,  Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit.

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons
Il Sung Na
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers – (2011-01-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0375867864 / 9780375867866

Also available in library binding

THE KING’S SPEECH on 60 Minutes

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Once again, a come-from-behind movie is poised to sweep the Oscars on Sunday. The King’s Speech has been nominated in twelve categories, making it one of the most-nominated films in history.

The movie and the tie-in book are both based on material that came to light as screenwriter David Seidler was working on the movie. That background is explored on Sixty Minutes


The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy
Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Sterling – (2010-11-26)
ISBN / EAN: 140278676X / 9781402786761

The audio includes the actual speech that the King worked so hard to perfect:

The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy
Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
Audio: Read by Simon Vance
Publisher: Tantor
6 Audio CDs; $23.99


Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Library holds are rising rapidly for The Paris Wife by Paul McClain. More will be coming; it’s a People Pick in the 3/7 issue and has risen to #37 on Amazon sales rankings. A fictionalized version of the love story between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife and their lives in Paris in the 20’s (which Hemingway paid tribute to in A Moveable Feast, published after his death), People says it is “impossible to resist.”

The Paris Wife Web site provides historical background material as well as a photo gallery.

The Paris Wife: A Novel
Paula McLain
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2011-02-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0345521307 / 9780345521309

Audio; Random House and Books On Tape

OverDrive; WMA Audio and Adobe EPUB eBook

You Can Download eBooks from the Library!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The media has discovered that libraries offer eBook downloads (note to journalists: a million new library users signed on to OverDrive last year and the company experienced 200% growth in library eBook checkouts).

“All Things Digital,” the popular Wall Street Journal technology blog, writes you can now get eBooks from your local library and that OverDrive has introduced an eReader app for the  iPad; below is the video version of the abridged story (love that opening assumption that the tech savvy readers of “All Things Digital” consider public libraries passé):

TOWNIE Winning Fans

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

In today’s New York Times, Dwight Garner offers a review of Andre Dubus’s memoir, Townie, that is nearly a love letter,

Townie is a better, harder book than anything the younger Mr. Dubus has yet written; it pays off on every bet that’s been placed on him. It’s a sleek muscle car of a memoir that — until it loses traction in clichés about redemption at its very end — growls like an amalgam of the best work by Richard Price, Stephen King, Ron Kovic, Breece D’J Pancake and Dennis Lehane, set to the desolate thumping of Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”

Laura Miller gives it an equally strong review, but for different reasons, in Salon, underscoring that there are many things readers will take away from this book.

Since the book offers an insightful look at the male perspective on growing up (Dubus makes you understand why some boys are drawn to brawling and weight lifting), it would be a great choice for a male/female and father/son book clubs.

Dubus will appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on 2/28, the book’s official publication date.

Libraries we checked are showing heavy holds on modest orders.

Townie: A Memoir
Andre Dubus III
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2011-02-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0393064662 / 9780393064667

Audio: Blackstone; UNABR, simultaneous; read by the author


Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Just released on the web is the trailer for Something Borrowed, based on the novel by Emily Griffin, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield. The movie opens on May 6.

Official Movie Site:


Something Borrowed (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Emily Giffin
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin – (2011-03-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0312600720 / 9780312600723


Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Focus Films is beginning its push for the new adaptation of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, which arrives in theaters on March 11. A new clip appeared on the Web this week.

Let the smouldering begin.


Based on: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Official Web Site:

Jane Eyre (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage Classics)
Charlotte Bronte
Retail Price: $9.95
Paperback: 624 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2011-02-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0307744221 / 9780307744227