Archive for June, 2011


Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The UK’s Guardian just released the “world exclusive international teaser trailer” for the film adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy.

We can’t post it here, since it is a world exclusive and all, so link here to view it.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, it stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds. It is scheduled to open in the US on Nov. 18 of this year (it releases earlier in the UK).

Penguin recently re-released the paperback, featuring the words “Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture” on the cover.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
John le Carre
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2011-06-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0143119788 / 9780143119784

Top Fall DIY Title

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

DIY/interior design books rarely make it in to the Amazon Top 100 sales rankings, especially in advance of publication.

Grace Booney’s Design Sponge at Home, (Artisan, 9/6), is an exception. It just appeared at #73 and #1 on the Home & Garden list.

Booney’s Design Sponge blog attracts 75,000 unique visitors each day. She announced the book on the site yesterday, with a look at the contents and this upbeat trailer:

Design Sponge at Home (Official Book Trailer) from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

Most libraries have not yet ordered it.

Design*Sponge at Home
Grace Bonney
Retail Price: $35.00
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Artisan – (2011-09-06)
ISBN / EAN: 1579654312 / 9781579654313

John Green Is #1

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Almost a year in advance of publication, immediately after he announced the title, YA author John Green’s next book, The Fault in Our Stars, zoomed to #1 on Amazon sales rankings and #2 on

The only additional information Green gives about the book is that,

The title is inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Green notes that  the May 1, 2012 publication date is wrong, but that he doesn’t know what it actually is.

There is no cover yet. Green invites fans to try their hand at designing one.

The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile – (2012-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0525478817 / 9780525478812



Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

War Horse, the play based on the book by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic, 2007), is currently a hit on Broadway. Coming Dec. 28th is the movie version, directed by Steven Spielberg.

As the schedule stands now, Spielberg will be going up against another Spielberg movie, the 3-D animated film, The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which opens Dec. 23 (see our story, with tie-ins).

The first teaser trailer has just arrived:

The tie-in is coming in November:

War Horse (Movie Cover)
Michael Morpurgo
Retail Price: $12.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press – (2011-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0545403359 / 9780545403351

Official Movie Site:


Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

A childhood favorite that lives up to rereading in adulthood is E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

How did White create this masterpiece, which is also the best-selling children’s book in U.S. history?

Michael Sims addresses that question in a slim but fascinating book, The Story of Charlotte’s Web. (Walker, 6/7). Several reviews have appeared recently, but the one that addresses the book’s appeal most clearly is Heather McAlpins’s in both Salon and The Barnes and Noble Review; “…Sims brings visceral attention to this beloved classic, highlighting its many joys.”

Diana Ever After

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

This week, we get two versions of Diana’s life if she were still living.

In Newsweek, editor Tina Brown imagines Diana without the car crash. Botox? Of course. Continued interest in causes? No doubt. Twitter followers? Ten million.

In her novel, Untold Story, (Scribner), published today, Monica Ali imagines that Diana faked her death so she could live away from the public eye. Just like its subject, the book has been receiving more than its fair share of press attention. It’s on the cover of the NYT Book Review, the author is interviewed on today’s Morning Edition on NPR, and the book is reviewed on the NPR site (“…a thriller that’s well-structured and engaging — if not much deeper than the swimming pool in which Lydia [Diana] obsessively works out her troubles.”)

Holds are heavy in a few libraries; in most, they are slightly over 1:1.

Heavy Hold’s Alert: MISS PEREGRINE’S…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Wendy Bartlett, Collection Development Manager, Cuyahoga P.L. emailed us about a YA title that is taking off,

I think the word is out among teens about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books). We’d ordered enough for a single copy for most of our branches and then I doubled it. I just checked holds and was amazed to find 91 waiting. I’m buying enough to cover the holds, plus additional copies so the book will be available for browsing.

Cuyahoga isn’t the only one; other large libraries we checked are showing holds as high as 200, with ratios ranging from 10:1 to 20:1.

USA Today covered the book recently on their PopCandy blog, which mentions that film rights were recently sold to 20th Century Fox.

The book, true to the spirit of its publisher, Quirk Books (the folks responsible for starting the monster mashup craze with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), is based on a series of eerie vintage photos collected by the author (more on how the book came to be in this AP story).

Published as a YA title, it debuted on the NYT Children’s Chapter Books Best Seller list at #7 last week, moving up to #5 on the 7/3/11 list.

Author Riggs, who is a filmmaker, created this atmospheric book trailer for it:

There’s even a “making of” the trailer video:

Ten Best Books of 2011 (So Far)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Midway into the year, Amazon gets a jump on best books lists, by issuing their  Top Ten Editors Picks, plus top tens in a dozen specific categories.

The main list is already affecting sales. The number one pick, Lost in Shangri-La, Mitchell Zuckoff (Harper, 4/26) rose to #20 (from #40 the day before; following a boost from the author’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last week). We held a special GalleyChat about the book back in February.

The second selection, and the first fiction title on the list, Tea Obreht’s award-winning Tiger’s Wife, (Random, 3/8) received just a slight boost — it’s currently at #163 in sales rankings (back in March, it was in the top ten).

The most recent title on the list is the debut psychological thriller, Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (Harper, 6/14), at #8 (and #34 in sales).


Monday, June 27th, 2011

Strange animal friendships have already been documented in several children’s books. In a new book for adults, National Geographic senior writer, Jennifer Holland examines 50 such stories, several that are already well known and many that have not been covered before, in Unlikely Friendships (Workman, 6/30). Coming out this week, it was featured in Parade magazine over the weekend and rose  to #14 on Amazon’s sales rankings from #314.

Unlikely Friendships: 50 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom
Jennifer Holland
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company – (2011-06-30)
ISBN / EAN: 0761159134 / 9780761159131

Children’s books on the topic include:

Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships, Catherine Thimmesh, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; (May 23, 2011;) 9780547390109

Suryia and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship,
Dr. Bhagavan Antle, Henry Holt and Co. BYR. (April 26, 2011); 9780805093162

Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends, Carol Buckley Putnam Juvenile (September 8, 2009); 9780399254437

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, Isabella Hatkoff , Scholastic Press (February 1, 2006);  9780439829731


Monday, June 27th, 2011

The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler (FSG, 6/21), heavily promoted as the next big Swedish noir novel, rose to #29, from #118 on Amazon sales rankings over the weekend. It was selected by Salon‘s Laura Miller on NPR Weekend Edition‘s “Three Critics Pick The Best Books For Summer.” She calls it “Stieg Larsson without the rough edges.”

Miller expands on that in her “Crime Fiction for Summer” story on Salon, suggesting that “Those who find Larsson’s colorless, methodical style intolerable may even prefer The Hypnotist.”

Libraries show growing holds.

Audio from Blackstone Audio. Downloadable audio on OverDrive.

THE HELP, Behind the Scenes

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Coming to theaters on August 12 is the adaptation of the mega-best seller, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (Einhorn/Penguin). Below are a behind-the-scenes video, the trailer and the tie-in, which releases tomorrow.

Behind the scenes:

The trailer:

The tie-in:

The Help (Movie Tie-In)
Kathryn Stockett
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade – (2011-06-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0425245136 / 9780425245132


New Title Radar – Week of June 27

Friday, June 24th, 2011

On tap next week, a controversial UK novel that has received early attention here, the first novel by singer/songwriter Josh Ritter, plus several titles from repeat authors, poised for best seller lists.

Watch List

Untold Story by Monica Ali (Scribner) finds Princess Diana alive and well, living incognito in an ordinary American town, in this fourth novel from the British author who was named by Granta as one of Britain’s 20 best young novelists in 2003. Her first novel, “Brick Lane,” was on the shortlist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Its big rollout in the UK, just before the William/Kate Royal wedding, brought accusations that the timing was poor and the subject beneath a literary writer. Perhaps because of this attention, it got an early review from Michiko Kakutani the 6/13 NYT. She points out that this book seems “quite a departure from the subject matter of Ms. Ali’s earlier work; both Brick Lane and her second novel, In the Kitchen, drew portraits of a gritty, multicultural London,” yet it allows Ali to “address some of the same questions of identity and exile that animated her earlier work.” In the end, however, she finds it “preposterously gimmicky.”

Ali defends the book in an interview in the Wall Street Journal today. In the 6/25 NYT Book Review, Curtis Settenfeld, who reimagined Laura Bush’s life in the novel American Wife, also finds Untold Story falls short. Entertainment Weekly gives it a solid B, saying the story is told with “empathetic energy that puts a literary gloss on a beachread subject.” It is on O magazine’s Summer Reading List. Holds are building in some libraries.

The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbi Ann Mason (Random House) is the story of an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe, inspired by the wartime experiences of the novelist’s late father-in-law. LJ says, “the rich setting, detail, and intimate character nuances ring true. Great crossover appeal for fans of the award-winning author, World War II fiction, and novels with French settings.”

Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter (Dial Press) is the story of a soldier who returns to West Virginia to take care of his infant son after his wife’s death, by a singer and songwriter Entertainment Weekly declared one of the “Ten Most Exciting Artists Now.” Library Journal says, “This expressive and darkly humorous tale of a man desperately attempting to salvage his future while coping with his past will attract Ritter’s fans and readers who enjoy a bit of magical realism in their fiction.”

Usual Suspects

Flashback by Dan Simmons (Regan Arthur Books) is set in an America in near-total collapse, where the citizens are addicted to a drug that allows them to rexperience the best moments of their lives. LJ finds it “believable in a grim sort of way. As always, Simmons keeps the reader’s attention from start to finish. Midway between science ficion and detective fiction, this will appeal to aficionados of both genres.”

Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown) is a thriller about a lawyer and mother, who must finally tell the truth about her past when an innocent man is framed for murder.

Thunder of Heaven: A Joshua Jordan Novel by Tim LeHaye and Craig Parshall (Zondervan) Library Journal says, “this fast-paced novel is in its own right a strong one with a multidimensional hero. Ripped right from today’s headlines, it will attract fans of the “Left Behind” series and other apocalyptic fiction.”

Young Adult

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson with Chris Tebbetts (Little, Brown) is about a middle schooler who decides to break every one of his school’s rules. Publishers Weekly says, “the book’s ultrashort chapters, dynamic artwork, and message that “normal is boring” should go a long way toward assuring kids who don’t fit the mold that there’s a place for them, too.”

GalleyChat Picks of ALA Fall ARC’s

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

In our post-BEA GalleyChat, librarians shared tips about fall debuts and potential breakouts to look for at ALA. Below are their eleven top picks, plus two of my own (if you are not going, this list offers a look at what may be the next Help or Cutting for Stone).

Be sure to join us for the next GalleyChat — Tuesday, July 12, 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern

For a more exhaustive rundown of ARC’s at ALA, check out Barbara Hoffert’s Galley & Signing Guide.

Note: It is difficult for publishers to bring enough for everyone, so please be understanding if a title you want is no longer available.

Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, 9/13 (RH Audio)

We’ve heard so much about this debut, that it seems like it’s already been published, but it’s not coming until mid-September. It was all over BEA, recommended by several at the Shout ‘n’ Share panel and Multnomah County’s Stephanie Chase picked it for the Great Read Alike panel (listen to the podcast here), comparing it to Kate Morton’s Distant Hours and Dan Simmons Drood, among others.

Cuyahoga has taken a strong stand on it, based on enthusiasm from the staff, such as this from Joe Jones,

This is one that I will be suggesting to a lot of patrons. It’s one of the literary genre novels that are so hot now. It has the genre flavor but also the literary meandering where it is in no hurry to get to the resolution. Definite crossover appeal….it should hit a wide variety of interests, even with the magic element. It may appeal slightly more to women, but I think it will have male fans as well.

Further evidence that RH is big on this one — Doubleday Editor-in-Chief Bill Thomas will be presenting it at the AAP’s Fall Books Preview hosted by Nancy Pearl.

Where to look for it — Your best bet is to go to RH’s Fall Preview; RSVP requested), leftovers will be at the Random House booth #1216 afterwards. It is also on NetGalley.


The Lantern, by Deborah Lawrenson, Harper, 8/9
Larger Type, HarperLuxe
Audio; Dreamscape Media

You may have already received an ARE of this big debut from Harper; specially wrapped copies went out just before BEA. Think Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier set in Provence. GalleyChatters agree with the publisher that it will be BIG.

Evidence that Harper is big on this one — those specially wrapped ARE’s are not cheap!

Where to look for it Harper’s Fall Preview (RSVP requested). You can also try the HarperCollins booth, #1316


THE ATLANTIC Draws Lessons from NYPL

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

In a feature of the new issue of The Atlantic magazine, Alexis Madrigal lauds the NYPL’s digital efforts, because,

The library’s employees give a shit about the digital aspects of their institution, and they are supported in that shit giving. I mean this in the most fundamental way possible and as a damning critique for media companies…The logic of protecting offline revenue pushed most media companies away from aggressively reevaluating their role in the information ecosystem. Something you hear a lot in the magazine business, for example, is that you “can’t trade print dollars for digital pennies.”

Nancy Pearl on Summer Reading

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, Nancy Pearl presents “10 Terrific Summer Reads” (audio will be available around 9 a.m., Eastern). The list is eclectic, ranging from a graphic novel series (Castle Waiting & Castle Waiting II, Linda Medley, Fantagraphic Books) to Y.A. (Matched, Ally Condie, Dutton) and  to a mass market paperback original (Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch, Del Rey).

If you are going to ALA, you can catch Nancy as she hosts the 2nd annual AAP Editor Buzz program at ALA this Sunday, 10:30 to noon, Room 392, the New Orleans Convention Center.