Archive for March, 2011

ONE FOR THE MONEY Moved To Next Year

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

We’ll have to wait to see how Katherine Heigl does playing female bounty hunter Stephanie Plum in the film version of Janet Evanovich’s One For the Money. Originally scheduled for this summer, the release has been put off until January.

The film site The Playlist sees this as a smart move. Although often regarded as “the wasteland of winter programming,” the lack of competition in that period worked well for some 2011 films, notably for No Strings Attached, starring Natalie Portman.

It’s been a long road; the book was originally optioned back in 1994, before it was published. At one point, Reese Witherspoon was attached to play Plum.

The movie tie-in (St. Martins, 9780312600730) has been postponed until November.

The next Stephanie Plum novel, Smokin’ Seventeen, is scheduled for release this June.

Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Janet Evanovich
Retail Price: $28.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam – (2011-06-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0345527682 / 9780345527684

Swedish Noir Scorecard

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Holy Appeal Factors; USA Today offers a rundown of new and forthcoming books to read if your interest in Nordic noir has been “stoked by Stieg.” (Click on titles above for full biblio. info.)

Each annotation includes the “Stieg factor,” such as this one for Hennig Mankell’s latest (and final) in his Kurt Wallander series, The Troubled Man, “The brooding Wallander makes Salander’s black moods feel like a sunny day in Miami.”

In a companion story, Dierdre Donahue looks at this spring’s Scandinavian invasion of authors on book tour in the US.

Allen’s Memoir Making Waves

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Co-founder  of Microsoft, Paul Allen’s forthcoming memoir, Idea Man (Portfolio/Penguin, 4/19), is making news, based on the excerpt in the new issue of Vanity Fair. The headlines reflect each publication’s orientation.

Microsoft’s local paper, the Seattle Times, sees it as personal “Paul Allen goes public with hard feelings toward Gates

The Financial Times puts it in corporate terms, “Where Microsoft went wrong – by Paul Allen

The L.A. Times follows the money, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says Bill Gates schemed to dilute his share.

While the NY Times is more measured, Regrets and Resentment in Microsoft Partnership

Accolades for BENT ROAD

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Our “Book to Watch” this week is Lori Roy’s debut mystery Bent Road (Dutton/Penguin). It arrives with intense inhouse excitement, now being echoed by consumer reviews.

On the NPR Web site, Sarah Weinman warns,”Don’t be fooled by the novel’s apparent simplicity: What emerges from the surface is a tale of extraordinary emotional power, one of longstanding pain set against the pulsating drumbeat of social change…”

The 4/11 issue of People magazine (Elizabeth Taylor on the cover) bestows four stars on it (adding to the three it’s already received from the prepub reviewers), saying, “even the simplest scenes crackle with suspense.”

It’s Poetry Month!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Poetry month officially begins this Friday, April 1st — time to get ready!

Instant Programs

Pull out all those 811’s and face them out…stack ‘em on tables. Mark your  favorite poems with sticky notes so you can spontaneously read them aloud. Copy them and put them a bulletin board.

  • Pick a theme like haiku. Print and post instructions on how to create these short poems and ask staff to write a few to post. Leave markers hanging on a string with blank paper posted for instant inspiration.
  • Enlist those teens who have been hanging out and “causing trouble” to copy their favorite poems on paper.
  • Replace those falling apart copies of Jack Prelutsky’s Something Big Has Been Here (Greenwillow) and Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends (HarperCollins). Display the well-loved de-accessioned copies or (shoot me, I have done this) tear out the pages and post the poems. If you are still stamping books the long list of circ. dates are also fun to post.
  • Pick an author to highlight…Prelutsky, Joyce Sidman, Doug Florian, Charles Smith, Kristine O’Conner George, Nikki Grimes, Maryann Hoberman, Karla Kuskin, Naomi Shihab Nye

What I Am Doing

  1. Reading aloud my favorite short poems like “Florian’s Coyote” (Mammalabilia, Douglas Florian, HMH),  Kristine O’Connell George’s Little Dog Poems (Clarion), and Bank Street kid’s favorites from Patricia MacLachlan’s Once I Ate a Pie (Cotler/HarperCollins) and Jane Yolen’s Here’s a Little Poem, (Candlewick)
  2. Asking children 8 years and up to copy their favorites on a half sheet of heavy stock paper in various pastel colors. Grown ups are participating and younger students can dictate their favorite rhymes.They write the poem, the author, the title and the book it came from. They may draw a picture and decorate if they wish. (most do not)
  3. Collecting these poems. On Poem in Your Pocket Day, April 14th, I will will paper our school hallways with poems for people to grab and put in their pockets.

Don’t Miss These New Poetry Books

Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristin O’Connell George, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, Clarion, 2/22/11

Having a four-year-old little sister isn’t all fun-and-games for fourth grader, Jessica. There is a lot to put up with like Emma always tagging along, getting into her stuff and embarrassing her at a soccer game. These short poems give us the good, the bad and the frustrating of the complications of sibling relationships.

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raszka, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, HMH, 10/4/10

From last year, in case you missed it…Just what the title promises…haiku for guys.  Four seasons of short poems, funny, sweet and engaging. You will want to write your own.

Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets, ed. by Bruno Navasky and the Academy of American Poets; Library Edition (nonperforated pages ISBN 9780810998827); Amulet/Abrams; 4/1/11

I bought the edition with the rip-out pages at a local bookstore before I discovered there was a non-perforated, library edition. A wide-ranging collection of poems from mostly well-known poets that would be perfect for adults and young adults.

I Am the Book, ed. by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Yayo, Holiday House, 3/15/11.

Hopkins has collected poems from masters like Jane Yolen, Naomi Shihab Nye, Karla Kuskin, and Kristine O’Connell George for this exuberant read-loud treasure. As they say in the review media…”an essential purchase.”

Heavy Holds Alert; MOBY-DUCK

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

It’s an intriguing image; over 28,000 rubber ducks landing on beaches all over the world after being dumped from a ship in the North Pacific. Journalist Donovan Hohn was so taken with the story that he decided to follow the ducks. The resulting book hardly needs description; the incredibly long subtitle accomplishes that.

Featured on NPR’s Fresh Air last night, the book has also been widely reviewed. Libraries are showing heavy holds on modest orders.

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
Donovan Hohn
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2011-03-03)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022195 / 9780670022199


Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Yesterday on the Today Show, Meredith Vieira interviewed JFK Jr’s ex-girlfriend, Christina Haag about her memoir, Come to the Edge. The interview did not address the issues that have made tabloid headlines (pot smoking, tantric sex), but instead focused on the book as a “beautiful tribute to John.”

Excerpted in the March issue of Vanity Fair, the book was also featured in USA Today and reviewed in the NYT last week. Libraries are showing light holds on modest ordering.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UNBROKEN Closer to Screen

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Another step has been taken in the often winding road from book to film; screenwriter Richard LaGravenese has been hired to create a script based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller, Unbroken (Random House),  according to Deadline.

This story has had a particularly long history. Universal has been trying to produce a film about the book’s central figure, Louis Zamperini since the ’50′s, when the studio bought Zamperini’s “life rights” as a starring vehicle for Tony Curtis. More recently, Brad Pitt had plans to produce, with Nicolas Cage starring. No news on who may be chosen to star this time around.

Not-So-Fond Farewells

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Two popular and long-running book series come to an end with the latest volumes published today. Judging by some of the reviews, readers may be better off returning to earlier volumes.

The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Land of Painted Caves (Crown/Random House) is the final volume in Jean M. Auel’s series, which began in 1980. USA Today says, “Auel has been driven by her insistence on accuracy, which is why it took more than three decades to publish the series,” but says, “Alas, her dedication to detail is what makes this final book interesting but not compelling.”

The Kurt Wallander series — in the NYT, Janet Maslin objects to the way Henning Mankell finishes off the star of his 22-yeqr-old series. In the final volume, The Troubled Man (Knopf/Random House), Maslin says the author sounds “fed up and bored” with him (she may be right; Mankell himself tells the Guardian why he is happy to say goodbye to Wallander). Although Maslin judges this a “successful stand-alone book” because Wallander, now 60, brings readers up to speed on the series by his ruminations on the past, she finds the novel overly focused on the character’s worries about his own mental and physical deterioration.

On the other hand, Marilyn Stasio, in her crime column in the NYT BR, says that Wallander is at “his gloomy best” in this final book.

Cain Not Crawford

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

HBO’s (and director Todd Haynes’) five-part take on Mildred Pierce began on Sunday. In addition to much praise (Fresh Air‘s critic David Bianculli called it a “Masterpiece of Modern Film Noir“), it brought welcome attention to the original, James M. Cain’s fourth novel, published in 1941. The most in-depth is the New Yorker‘s fascinating piece on the Baltimore-born author, “ This Woman’s Work.”

Official Web site:

THE FEAR Gets Double Coverage on NPR

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A review on NPR’s All Things Considered last night called Peter Godwin’s book about Zimbabwe’s brutal dictator, Robert Mugabe, The Fear, “…a gut-wrenching portrait of Mugabe’s enormous political sadism — and the brave, heartbreaking, nearly superhuman resistance to it” and “…as important a book as we can read right now.”

The author was also interviewed on today’s Morning Edition.

The book is currently at #116 (up from #892 yesterday) on Amazon’s sales rankings.

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe
Peter Godwin
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2011-03-23)
ISBN / EAN: 031605173X / 9780316051736


Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The phrase “One for All and All for One” will be revived this fall with Paul Anderson’s remake of The Three Musketeers.

There’s been dozens of remakes of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas (Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland starred in the 1993 Disney version).

This version features Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) as d’Artagnan. The three musketeers are Matthew Macfadyen (Robin Hood), Ray Stevenson (The Book of Eli) and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans). Orlando Bloom plays one of the gang’s enemies and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) is Cardinal Richelieu.

The film opens on Oct. 14th. The trailer has just been released.

Director Anderson is known for video game adaptations (Mortal Kombat)  and science fiction horror films (Event Horizon and Resident Evil). He’s expected to bring a new level of excitement to this classic story (not to mention 3-D realism).

Official Web site:

Starbucks CEO Touts Success

Monday, March 28th, 2011

It’s not unusual for a book to be used as part of a PR campaign. Howard Schultz has been remaking Starbucks since he took back control as hands-on CEO in 2008 and is now working to make sure the world knows it. He was interviewed earlier this month in the NYT and the WSJ. His just-released book is bringing even more media attention, including NPR’s Morning Edition today and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric last night. In addition, the book is excerpted in Newsweek.

Of the book, Fortune magazine says,

There may be more detail here than most readers really want, as when Schultz describes the weather outside his kitchen window… or what he wore to an important meeting with employees (“blue jeans and a dark gray sweater”).

But for anyone looking for insights on how to turn around a troubled giant brought low by overconfidence in its own success, Onward is essential reading

In the three years since he took back control of the company, Schultz has turned Starbuck’s share price around, earning him a $3.5 million bonus this year.

The book is now at #1 Amazon, but holds in libraries we checked are in line with modest ordering.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordon
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books – (2011-03-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1605292885 / 9781605292885

RAWHIDE DOWN on CBS Sunday Morning

Monday, March 28th, 2011

This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of the attempted assassination of then President Ronald Reagan. CBS Sunday Morning looks at how close that call actually was.

Interviewed in the segment is Del Qentin Wilbur, author of a new book that discloses previously unknown details about the event. The book is titled Rawhide Down, after Reagan’s Secret Service code name.

The book rose to #79 on Amazon sales rankings as a result.


Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
Del Quentin Wilber
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. – (2011-03-15)
ISBN / EAN: 9780805093469 / 9780805093469

Audio; Macmillan; ISBN 9781427211835
Large Print; Center Point; 9781611730425; 4/1/11

Mr. POPPER’s Teaser Trailer

Monday, March 28th, 2011

If you’ve been dreading the movie version of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, the just-released teaser trailer may confirm your worst fears. Richard and Florence Atwater’s Mr. Popper has been updated to a contemporary businessman (Jim Carrey), with a high-end NYC apartment, rather than a poor small-town house painter.

The movie debuts June 17. Little, Brown will re-release the book in May (ISBN 9780316186469).

Official Web Site: