Archive for February, 2011

On OPRAH on Thursday

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Motivational speaker  and business coach Dani Johnson will be on Oprah on Thursday to promote the premiere of ABC’s Secret Millionaire on March 6. Johnson is one of the show’s millionaires who give up their luxury lives to spend a week living in poverty.

Official Web site: Secret-Millionaire

Johnson has published two books with Christian publisher Desitny Image. It is not clear if they will be featured on Oprah.

Grooming the Next Generation for Success
Dani Johnson
Retail Price: $16.99
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: Destiny Image – (2009-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0768431557 / 9780768431551


Spirit Driven Success
Dani Johnson
Retail Price: $15.99
Paperback: 263 pages
Publisher: Destiny Image – (2009-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0768431190 / 9780768431193


Monday, February 14th, 2011

Just released to breathless hosannahs on the Web is a new poster for the movie adaptation of Water for Elephants. Featuring heart throb Robert Pattinson (Twilight), it’s being called “HOT!” (co-stars, Reese Witherspoon and Christopher Weitz are in the background).

Thanks to excitement about the movie, the book jumped back on the 2/20 NYT Trade Paperback Best Seller list at #1, after being off for a few weeks.

The movie premiers New York on 4/17 and opens around the country on 4/22.

The original poster, which gives Witherspoon more attention, is the cover of the tie-in edition, releasing a a couple of weeks.

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

This Week On Comedy Central

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Monday, 2/14
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Glaeser, Edward
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 353 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press – (2011-02-10)
ISBN 9781594202773

Wednesday, 2/15
The Colbert Report

Kurt Andersen, Co-author, Spark: How creativity Works

Spark: How Creativity Works
Burstein, Julie and Andersen, Kurt
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-03-01)

Thursday, 2/15
The Colbert Report

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
Eric Foner
Retail Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton – (2011-10-04)
ISBN 9780393066180

On Oprah

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Roseanne Barr appears on the Oprah Show today. Her latest book came out in January.

Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm
Retail Price: $26.00
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Gallery Press/S&S – (2011 -01-04)
ISBN 9781439154823

GalleyChat, Special Edition

Monday, February 14th, 2011

On Friday, we tried an experiment with GalleyChat. Our “regular” GalleyChats are free-for-alls, featuring librarians talking about their recent finds. This time, we focused on just two forthcoming titles, which were presented at the HarperCollins Buzz session at Midwinter.

The GallyChat group particularly loved the WWII survival story Lost in Shangri-La. One of the participants, Lesa Holstine, gives it this shorthand Twitter description, “One of the unknown episodes of WWII. Plane crash with military, survivors encounter with tribe & rescue attempts,” (read her review on Lesa’s Book Critiques). Readers said it’s for fans of other survival tales, like Into Thin Air, Unbroken and Endurance (about the Shakleton Expedition).

It was also considered a good teen crossover title, especially for girls interested in WWII, since one of the survivors was a member of the Women’s Army Corps.

The book already has starred reviews by Kirkus and Library Journal and several librarians said that after reading it, they plan to order more for their libraries.

Lost in Shangri-La
Mitchell Zuckoff
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061988340 / 9780061988349

Larger Print; HarperLuxe; 9780062065049; $26.99
Audio; Books on Tape; UNABR; 9780307917256; $40

The second book, Family Fang, is the first novel by an author well known for his short stories. This one is a tale of a family of performance artists who create events in shopping malls that result in chaos, as a protest against superficiality. The parents call this art, their two children, who are unwilling participants, call it “making a mess.”

Most admitted that the book was outside their reading comfort zone, but were glad they read it. They found the relationship between the siblings touching and an evolving mystery kept them reading. Jennifer Dayton of Darien (CT) Library summarizes it well,

Family Fang will be a critical success, but it is also that rare breed that is also very readable. I went into it reluctantly and got sucked in immediately.  I found the characters of the siblings to be not only endearing but very real. You just had to feel for those poor kids being born into that wacky insanity. It offers lots of good discussion points (e.g., art vs. real life, what constitutes child abuse), making it book-group-worthy.

Family Fang
Kevin Wilson
Retail Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2011-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061579033 / 9780061579035

Keep your eyes open; we plan to do more special editions of GalleyChat, focusing on specific titles. Meanwhile, the next GalleyChat, Regular Edition, will be on Tuesday, March 1, 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern.


Friday, February 11th, 2011

Appropriately, there are a torrent of leaks from Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website by former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg, which goes on sale today (Friday, February 11).

Among the revelations: Wired magazine reports that “when Domscheit-Berg left WikiLeaks, he took the organization’s encrypted submissions system with him, and Assange’s site has been unable to accept new material since.”

And Gawker says the book claims that Assange has fathered at least four “love children” around the world.

Libraries we checked had modest holds on modest orders.

Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website
Daniel Domscheit-Berg
Retail Price: $23.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown – (2011-02-15)
ISBN / EAN: 030795191X / 9780307951915

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco) gets an “A” from Entertainment Weekly: “In a narrative as searing as the best of her fiction, Oates describes the aftermath of her husband Ray’s unexpected death from pneumonia.” Oates has already appeared on NewsHour, and a raft of features are due next week everywhere from the USA Today to Newsweek. It will also be featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review on February 20.

True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself by Janet Jackson and David Ritz (Pocket Books/Karen Hunter) reveals that Jackson’s brothers verbally abused her and her father beat her, according to a Los Angeles Times report on Meredith Viera’s interview with the singer, which will air on NBC’s Today on Friday, February 11 and Monday, February 14, and on “Dateline” on Sunday February 13.

33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners by Jonathan Franklin (Putnam) is an inside (though above-ground) account of the Chilean mine collapse and rescue operation last year, based on more than 110 interviews with the miners, their families, and the rescue team.

Worth Watching:

History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life by Jill Bialosky (Simon & Schuster) is the poet, novelist and Norton editor’s account of her sister’s early death at age 21, in 1990. PW calls it “a beautifully composed, deeply reflective work, [drawing] from literary and psychological examples to honor her sister through a thoroughly examined life.”

Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn’t Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift by Carolyn Savage and Sean Savage (HarperOne) chronicles a couple’s spiritual struggle after learning a fertility clinic implanted the wrong embryo. Booklist says, “The story is compelling and well told, although the Savages come across as martyrs more than saints.”

WEST OF HERE is Reader Fave

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The #1 Indie Pick for February, West of Here by Jonathan Evison, arrives next week. Also a popular choice on EarlyWord‘s Galley Chat, the novel follows the past and present residents of a fictional town on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Reader ratings are also high on

Entertainment Weekly gives it a “B+”: “Characters occasionally blur together, and some of the more interesting ones don’t get the attention they warrant, as the large scope hinders any close-ups. Still, if you take a step back, the big picture is pretty impressive.”

More media is bound to pay attention, since the book was highlighted on the BEA Editor’s Buzz Panel. And as we’ve mentioned before, this titles earned a rare triumvirate of starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. LJ sums up, “Fans of Jess Walter and Jim Lynch will be thrilled to find another author whose love for the Pacific Northwest and its people shines through with humor and clarity.”

At libraries we checked, there are modest holds on modest orders.

West of Here
Jonathan Evison
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2011-02-15)
ISBN / EAN: 1565129520 / 9781565129528

Audio: Highbridge; 9781615731169; $39.95

Usual Suspects On Sale Next Week

A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer (St. Martin’s) is medical thriller with a 200,000 copy printing, in which terrorists release a virus in the Capitol during the State of the Union address. Booklist says, “Palmer’s track record (15 medical thrillers, 15 international best-sellers) assures a full-court press on the promotional front, and his latest, though disappointing, will get it, from national print and radio ads to an electronic avalanche.”

The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision by James Redfield (Grand Central) is the fourth entry in the Celestine series.

Red Wolf by Liza Marklund (Atria) is the fifth novel featuring journalist Annika Bengtzon by the co-author of The Postcard Killers with James Patterson. Library Journal says, “Marklund blends the sociology and politics of contemporary Sweden with a taut mystery, capturing the Scandinavian chill as she builds suspense to an eminently satisfying conclusion.”

Dirtier Than Ever by Vickie Stringer (Atria) takes readers on another bumpy ride in this urban fiction outing with Red, Bacon, and Q–the love-hate triangle from Dirty Red and Still Dirty.

Lucky Stiff by Deborah Coonts (Forge) is the sequel to the chick-lit-gone-wild debut Wanna Get Lucky?, featuring Las Vegas casino troubleshooter Lucky O’Toole. Library Journal says, “watching Lucky navigate the dangerous shoals of the male-dominated world of gambling is a delight. Las Vegas is the perfect setting for this witty tale of misdirection and larger-than-life characters. Fans of J.A. Konrath’s Jack Daniels series will love this.”

Young Adult

Angel by James Patterson (Little Brown) is the seventh Maximum Ride novel, in which evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution.

Worth Watching

Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson (Pamela Dorman/Viking) was an October Sneak Peak on, which compared this historical novel about a British commander’s wife who trades life at sea for the English countryside to Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith.

In Love with Sentences

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

We’re struck that two reviews this week expressed their love for sentences.

The lead review in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly singles out several favorite phrases from the memoir, House of Prayer No. 2 by Mark Richard, who, says the reviewer, writes “effortlessly killer prose.”

Earlier this week, Dwight Garner, threatened to fill his review of another memoir, Day of Honey, with the author’s “sensual, smart, wired-up” sentences.

Maybe Stanley Fish has made reviewers more attuned to sentences, with his book How to Write a Sentence and his contest for readers favorites.

It seems to work; both reviews make you want to get your hands on the books as soon as possible.

House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home
Mark Richard
Retail Price: $23.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2011-02-15)
ISBN / EAN: 038551302X / 9780385513029


Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
Annia Ciezadlo
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Free Press – (2011-02-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1416583939 / 9781416583936


Thursday, February 10th, 2011

An EarlyWord debut favorite,Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, will arrive on the lower rungs of the 2/20 NYT Fiction Best Seller list. Quite a feat; the only other debut on that list is The Help, now on the list for an astounding 97 weeks (both titles are from the Amy Einhorn imprint at Putnam, which is also responsible for The Postmistress, underscoring that it is one to watch. Check out what is coming this summer from Einhorn in the Putnam catalog).

Back in November, we covered Weird Sisters on GalleyChat and are pleased to see that most of those titles are hitting big now (join us for the next GalleyChat ,Tuesday, March 1, 4 to 5 pm Eastern).

Remember the sisters’ motto; “There is no problem a library card can’t solve.”

The Weird Sisters
Eleanor Brown
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam – (2011-02-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0399157220 / 9780399157226

Penguin Audio; UNABR; 9780142428948; $39.95
Books on Tape; UNABR; 9780307881724; $39.95
Large Type; Thorndike; May, ISBN 13: 9781410437051, $30.99
OverDrive WMA and MP3 Audiobook coming soon

THE SECRET CIRCLE Pilot to Air on CW Network

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Vampire Diaries, now in its 2nd season, and based on the books by L.J. Smith is the CW Network’s biggest hit. Unsurprisingly, then, they have just given the greenlight to a pilot based on another series by Smith, The Secret Circle (departing from vampires, this one is about witches).

The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I
L. J. Smith
Retail Price: $8.99
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (2008-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061670855 / 9780061670855

It seems Smith will no longer write The Vampire Diaries books (which are produced by Alloy Entertainment). According to the author’s blog, the next title, Midnight, coming in March, is by her but the following one, Phantom will involve a ghostwriter.

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight
L. J. Smith
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061720852 / 9780061720857

13 REASONS WHY to Movies

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

One of the YALSA Best Books of 2008, Jay Asher’s novel 13 Reasons Why has been acquired by Universal as a starring vehicle for Selena Gomez, who made her big screen debut in Ramona and Beezus last year (she is also know as Justin Bieber’s girlfriend).

MTV jumped in with casting suggestions for the other roles.

After a successful run in hardcover (two years on the NYT Childrens Chapter Books Best Seller list), the book will finally be released in paperback in June.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Retail Price: $9.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill – (2011 -06-14)
ISBN / EAN: 159514188X / 9781595141880


Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Debuting this Sunday on PBS Masterpiece is a four-part big-budget adaptation of Any Human Heart, by William Boyd.

In the UK, where it played in November, reviewers (The Telegraph and The Guardian) preferred the book to the series, despite a strong cast.

Below is the British trailer:


Any Human Heart
William Boyd
Retail Price: $15.95
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2004-01-06)
ISBN / EAN: 1400031001 / 9781400031009


Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Add People to the long list of fans of the debut A Discovery of Witches. Naming it a People Pick in the 2/21 issue, the review gives the ultimate accolade, “[author Deborah] Harkness has created a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight…An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love.”

As we noted earlier, now is the time to consider ordering more copies, as well as buying the large type and audio formats.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel
Deborah Harkness
Retail Price: $28.95
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2011-02-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022411 / 9780670022410

Large type; Thorndike; March (9781410436337)


Penguin, UNABR CD; 9780142429112, Feb. 8; $49.95

Recorded Books; UNABR; CD, Cassette & MP3


Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The New York Times critic Dwight Garner is so smitten with Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo that he ends up quoting several of the “sensual, smart, wired-up” sentences from the book and says he “could fill the rest of this space with the [book’s] resonant lines.”

Libraries have ordered modest quantities of this memoir about living in the Middle East and particularly about the region’s food.

Garner says to not be put off by the book’s “feeble cover…[that] looks like the cover of some mediocre nonprofit group’s annual report, or of Guideposts magazine.”

Not everyone would agree.

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
Annia Ciezadlo
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Free Press – (2011-02-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1416583939 / 9781416583936


Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

NPR’s Morning Edition today continues the media attention on a book that is sharply critical of the quality of undergraduate education in the US (listen here).

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
Richard Arum, Josipa Roksa
Retail Price: $25.00
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press – (2011-01-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0226028569 / 9780226028569