Archive for January, 2012


Friday, January 27th, 2012


Long in the works (it was first signed in 2009), a movie version of the YA series Sweet Valley High will be musical. Diablo Cody, who wrote the screenplay for Young Adult (now in theaters, starring Charlize Theron) and Juno, is at work on the adaptation. She recently told MTV that original music is being written for it and it “may be” a musical. Last week, she confirmed that it will be in an interview in The Guardian. No casting yet, but with so many adult fans in the media, speculation is rife.

The first Sweet Valley High book came out in 1983. The series ran for 20 years spawning over 150 titles plus multiple spin-offs as well as a TV series, and last year’s Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later (St. Martin’s; released in paperback this month) which takes the characters into adulthood.


Thursday, January 26th, 2012

A GalleyChat favorite Heft by Liz Moore (Norton), gets a strong lead review in this week’s issue of  People (Feb 6).

Told through the eyes of two lonely misfits, who eventually connect, the novel, says the reviewer , “… is often deeply sad, [but] it is never maudlin. [Moore] writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality, briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy.”

Moore, who is a musician as well as a writer, was recently profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Entertainment Weekly boldly predicts, “Beautiful Forevers will be one of the year’s big books — a conversation starter, an award winner” and calls it “a riveting, fearlessly reported portrait of a poverty so obliterating that it amounts to a slow-motion genocide.”

Sound tough to take? Read the author’s Letter form Mumbai: Opening Night, The scene from the airport slum, and you’ll understand Entertainment Weekly‘s enthusiasm.

Most libraries have ordered the book lightly and a few are beginning to show holds. We have a strong feeling every library could double their current orders and still need more. It may be this year’s Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The enhanced ebook includes videos of daily life shot by some of the slum children using the author’s camera.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity
Katherine Boo
Retail Price: $28.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2012-02-07)
ISBN 97814000-67558

BOT Audio; Thorndike Large Print; OverDrive

Sendak Shocks Colbert

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Stephen Colbert bravely sat down with Maurice Sendak, who repaid him by calling him a “man of little imagination” (and Newt Gingrich an “idiot”).

Part One:

Part Two (in which Sendak calls Colbert an “idiot” — watch to the end to find out what he thinks of eBooks):

ALA Awards Titles Continue Sales Increases

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Following up on our previous story about the sales impact of the major ALA Youth Media Awards, we tracked Amazon sales rankings from the day of the award through today, using Publishers Marketplace‘s Book Tracker tool.

For each title, we’ve shown the lowest and highest rankings the day of the award announcements, followed by the highest rankings for each day since (Amazon updates its rankings daily); several titles have reached new highs.

This is our first tracking of the honor books; every one of those titles has also risen in the rankings.

Newbery Awards


Dead End in Norvelt, Jack Gantos (Macmillan/FSG, 9/13/11)

Lowest — #27,842
Highest — #18

1/24/12 — #11
1/25/12 — #10
1/26/12 — #13




Inside Out and Back Again, Thanhha Lai, (HarperCollins, 2/22/11) — also won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Lowest — #3,859
Highest — #108

1/24/12 — #55
1/25/12 — #92
1/26/12 — #131



Breaking Stalin’s Nose, Eugene Yelchin (Macmillan/Holt, 9/27/11)

Lowest — #294,522
Highest — #67

1/24/12 — #76
1/25/12 — #107
1/26/12 — #183


Caldecott Awards


A Ball for Daisy, Chris Raschka (RH/ Schwartz & Wade, 5/10/11) — also a NYT Best Illus. Book

Lowest — #22,059
Highest — #16

1/24/12 — #9
1/25/12 — #9
1/26/12 — #17



Tracking for the Caldecott Honor Books, the Printz and  Coretta Scott King Awards after the jump:


Whitney Otto’s Next

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Scribner announces that they have acquired Eight Girls Taking Pictures, Whitney Otto’s next novel (via Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog). Otto’s first book, How to Make an American Quilt, was a best seller in 1991. The new book, based on the lives of the 20th century’s most important female photographers, is scheduled for release this fall. No ordering information is available yet.

Reading the Oscars

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


The number of Oscar Best Picture nominees adapted from books (6 of 9) has piqued the interest of Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog. As a result, through the upcoming weeks, they will compare the books to the movies in a series called, “Reading the Oscars.”

First up is a look at The Descendants, a debut novel that had limited success before the release of the movie. In this case, says EW, the movie follows the book closely, and manages to improve upon it.


Heavy Holds Alert; QUIET

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Rising to #10 on Amazon’s sales rankings after the author’s appearance at ALA Midwinter is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (RH/Crown; Random House Audio; OverDrive ebook and audio; Center Point Large Print). Many of the libraries we checked are showing heavy holds, as many as 9 to 1.

The Midwinter appearance may not be the only factor. The book, which released yesterday, was featured in yesterday’s USA Today, along with an introvert/extrovert quiz and Fast Company‘s “Expert Blog” offers “3 Reasons Every Extrovert Should Read The New Book Quiet.

Booked for the Oscars

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Six of the nine Academy Awards Best Picture nominations were adapted from books. In all, thirteen movies based on books received nominations. Two of those titles, Hugo and The Descendants, also received nominations for Best Director [NOTE: Thanks to those that pointed out that we overlooked the Best Picture nomination for Hugo in the earlier version of this story. We have now corrected that oversight].

Hugo is regarded as the film that stands to gain the most from winning. Worldwide box office so far is about half the movie’s $170-million production cost. The L.A. Times quotes Scorsese,  “I think this could help the audience understand that it’s an enjoyable and very moving experience — that it has some depth to it.”

Below are the thirteen movies based on books that received major nominations, with links to an EarlyWord story about each. Full tie-in information is in our 2011 Books-to-Movies Archive (plenty of titles there for a book display, whether actual or online).

The Adventures of Tintin — Best Music (John Williams) — Tintin Teaser

Albert Nobbs — Best Actress (Glenn Close), Best Supporting Actress (Janet McTeer), Best Makeup — ALBERT NOBBS, The Book

The Descendants — Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Editing (Kevin Tent), Best Adapted Screenplay — What Makes George Clooney Run?

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow) — INCREDIBLY CLOSE This Christmas

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  — Best Actress (Rooney Mara), Best Cinematography (Jeff Cronenweth), Best Editing (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall), Best Sound Editing — Still Talking about DRAGON TATTOO

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 — Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects

The Help — Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) — Alternate Ending to THE HELP

Hugo — Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson), Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker), Best Music (Howard Shore), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay — Behind the Scenes with Hugo and Martin

Jane Eyre — Best Costume — JANE EYRE At the Box Office

Moneyball — Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Best Editing (Christopher Tellefsen), Best Adapted Screenplay — MONEYBALL Is Rolling

My Week With Marilyn — Best Actress (Michelle Williams), Best Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh) — THE MARILYN OBSESSION

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Music (Alberto Iglesias), Best Adapted Screenplay — The Anti-Bond

War Horse  — Best Picture, Best Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Best Music (John Williams, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing — Spielberg’s WAR HORSE

NBC Launches EBook Division

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

NBC News announced yesterday that it has created a new publishing division, NBC Publishing, to produce ebooks based on information from NBC’s news shows (including The Today Show and Nightline), archives and other divisions (NBC  Sports, Universal Pictures and Telemundo).

The head of the new division, NBC v-p Michael Fabiano, told Publishers Weekly that their first original e-book is coming next month, followed by about 30 titles over the  year. He also noted that NBC has the capability of distributing titles on their own.

He did not address whether titles will be available to libraries via OverDrive, but indications are hopeful. NBC has hired two people from publishing houses, both of which sell titles via OverDrive to libraries; Peter Costanzo from Perseus Book Group has been named as creative director and Brian Perrin, most recently with Rodale, is director of digital development. Also, an earlier enhanced ebook that NBC published with Running Press, From Yesterday to Today: Six Decades of America’s Favorite Morning Show (Dec., 2011), is available to libraries on OverDrive.

Reporting the story, the online movie news site, Deadline points out that ebooks are likely to evolve into a format separate from print books, with this quote from Cheryl Gould, NBC News SVP who is heading up the New York-based part of the new division,

As the tablet and e-reader markets continue to expand exponentially, and as the definition of “what is a ‘book?’” evolves, we see opportunities to bring readers a unique and immersive content experience. This business enables NBC to use video, audio, and current programming in creative new ways.

Newbery/Caldecott/Printz Winners Equal Sales UPDATED

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

It’s well-known that ALA’s Youth Media Awards have an impact on sales. To track how much of an impact, we checked the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz winners on Amazon sales rankings before and two hours after they were announced (UPDATE: we checked again the day after; see updated figures below). As expected, each experienced a swift rise. The Newbery winner rose to the highest level, while the dark horse of the group, the Printz showed the most dramatic rise.

Newbery Medal

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. The response to this win was a pleasant surprise. Gantos is no stranger to awards; he has won two Newbery Honors, a Printz Honor, and a Silbert Honor, but this is his first Medal. The book was on three major best books lists we tracked this year. By contrast, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic), also considered a contender, was on seven. Before the award, Dead End in Norvelt, was at #27,051 on Amazon sales rankings. Two hours later, it rose to #192. UPDATE: The day after the announcements, it rose to #11.

Four large library systems own a total of 96 copies (those same libraries own 536 copies of Wonderstruck).

Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos
Retail Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Macmillan/FSG (BYR) – (2011-09-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0374379939 / 9780374379933

Macmillan Audio, 9781427213563

The cover of the book bears some resemblance to another title that was considered a strong candidate for the award:

Okay for Now
Gary D. Schmidt
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books – (2011-04-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0547152604 / 9780547152608

Caldecott Medal

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, appeared on two best books lists (SLJ and NYT Best Illustrated Books). It was at #22,059 on Amazon sales rankings before the award, rising to #304 two hours later. UPDATE: The day after the announcements, it rose to #9.

The four major libraries we checked own a total of 86 copies.

A Ball for Daisy
Chris Raschka
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: RH/Schwartz & Wade – (2011-05-10)
ISBN / EAN: 037585861X / 9780375858611

Printz Medal

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. The dark horse of the awards, this title appeared only on the PW Best Books list. At the time of the pick, it was at #97,910 on Amazon sales rankings and rose to #328 two hours later. UPDATE: Later in the day, it rose to #76, settling back down to #117 the day after the announcements.

The four libraries we checked own 43 copies.

Where Things Come Back
John Corey Whaley
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: S&S/Atheneum BYR – (2011-05-03)
ISBN 9781442413337

Trade Paperback, S&S/Atheneum, 9781442413344


New Title Radar – Week of Jan 23

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Given the librarian stereotype, it seems appropriate that a book which praises introverts, Quiet, will be featured at the raucous ALA MidWinter meeting, on Saturday. The book releases this week, along with several novels deserving an RA push and titles by returning favorites, Robert Crais, Walter Mosley, Hilma Wolitzer, Margot Livesey and Tim Dorsey.

Watch List

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy (HarperCollins/Morrow) is the tale of a business school graduate in four-inch heels, set in the financial world, leading up to the tumultuous year of 2008 – it’s billed by the publisher as The Devil Wears Prada meets Wall Street. Library Journal says, “despite financial details that may make your head spin and a workplace that will make your stomach churn, Duffy’s fresh take on the single-in-the-city tale does a terrific job of reviving chick lit.”

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (Hachette/ Grand Central; Hachette Large Print) is a Southern famiy saga by the author of Gods in Alabama, and follows a young woman’s search for the truth about who her mother really is.  In a starred review, Booklist calls it “Jackson’s most absorbing book yet, a lush, rich read with three very different but equally compelling characters at its core.”

Heft by Liz Moore (Norton) is the author’s second novel, featuring a 600-pound former academic and a teenager in crisis who become unlikely allies. PW says, “the writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original, but the diptych structure is less successful, as the respective first-person narrators are sometimes indistinct. Regardless, Moore’s second novel wears its few kinks well.”


Usual Suspects

Taken by Robert Crais (Penguin/Putnam; Wheeler Publishing; Brilliance Corporation) is the 15th Elvis Cole novel, involving a wealthy industrialist whose missing son appears to have faked his own kidnapping. “Cole and sidekicks Joe Pike and Jon Stone all get a chance to shine, ,” says PW. “Told from multiple points of view, this installment would make a fine action-packed film with three strong male leads.”

All I Did Was Shoot My Man: A Leonid McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley (Riverhead; Penguin Audiobooks) finds Leonid McGill in his fourth outing, investigating a complex case that involves adultery and murder as his own life unravels. “General readers and Mosley fans will appreciate his characteristically fine writing as well as the internal struggles Mosley inflicts on his protagonists,” says Library Journal.

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer (RH/Ballantine; Center Point Large Print; Audiogo)  is about a widowed 62-year-old science teacher who finds himself ambushed by female attention after his stepchildren place a personal ad in the newspaper. Library Journal says, “Wolitzer is surprisingly good at portraying a man’s perspective. Although her writing is not as crisp as in some of her previous novels, this is a breezier tale with a lighter edge.”

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (Harper; Harperluxe) is a modern take on Charlotte Brontë’s classic, Jane Eyre, set in early 1960s Scotland. PW says, “although guardian angels and kind strangers turn up like an army of deus ex machinas, these plot missteps dont detract from Gemmas self-possessed determination. Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Liveseys body of work.”

Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio) marks the return of Florida serial killer Serge Storms. He’s finagled his way into becoming a secret agent in Miami for the president of a Banana Republic, and now Homeland Security wants to bring him down. PW says, “though the books formula will be familiar to series fans, neither Dorseys fast-paced prose nor his delight in skewering human foolishness has lost its mischievous sparkle.”

Movie tie-in

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (Random House Trade) is a comic drama about a group of British retirees in a home for the elderly in India. It’s being published in the U.S for the first time as a tie-in to the British film version – starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Billy Nighy, and Dev Patel – which will be released here in May 2012. The original UK novel title was These Foolish Things.

Young Adult

Fallen in Love (Lauren Kate’s Fallen Series #4) by Lauren Kate (RH/Delacorte YR; Listening Library) includes four new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Crown Publishing Group; Random House Audio) argues that introverts get a bum rap and extroverts should not be held up as the ideal – it even charges, as People says in its lead review this week, that “risk-loving extroverts in the financial industry helped cause the global crisis.” The author wrote the lead essay in the New York Times Sunday Review last week, which attracted many comments. She also appears at ALA Midwinter tomorrow.

Fairy Tale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio (S&S/Gallery Books; Tantor Media) as we noted earlier, this memoir by John F. Kennedy Jr’s personal assistant, publicist, and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life is already grabbing headlines. PW says, “Terenzios captivating story, told with style and grace, chronicles her time with Kennedy within the glorious but often brutal bubble that encircled his world, and what he taught her about living.”

City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Sea by Roger Crowley (Random House) traces the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the first time. It is framed around two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade in 1202 and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503. Kirkus says, “an action-packed political and military history that will remind readers of the Italian sea power that prevailed for centuries before Western European nations arrived on the scene.”

The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography by John Matteson (Norton) explores the life of writer and social critic Margaret Fuller (1810–1850), who was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation, but also plagued by self-doubt. LJ says, “the work is well written, easily accessible, and entertaining. Prior knowledge of Fuller is not necessary to enjoy it. A great read for anyone interested in extraordinary women in our literary and women’s history.”

JFK Jr. in Headlines Again

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Fairy Tale Interrupted, a memoir by RoseMarie Terenzio (S&S/Gallery; Audio, Tantor), JFK Jr’s former assistant, hits the shelves next week, but it’s already making headlines and rising on Amazon’s sales rankings (now at #64). It was featured yesterday on The Today Show and is excerpted in the new issue of People. Tonight, it will be on ABC’s 20/20. Next week brings appearances on The View, Good Morning America and  Piers Morgan Tonight, among others.

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

Is There Life after TWILIGHT?

Thursday, January 19th, 2012


The news that the studio behind the Hunger GamesLions Gate  has bought Summit, the studio behind Twilight, has raised speculation that Meyer’s series will not go gentle into that good night after Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits theaters in November. An L.A. Times headline procliams “Twilight saga may continue after fifth film, Lions Gate CEO says.”

The actual comment is not so definitive. Asked whether Twilight will continue, Lions Gate CEO Jon Feltheimer basically said,  “Boy I hope so.”

Meanwhile, Meyer is part of the production team working on the adaptation of her non-Twilight title, The Host. It begins shooting February 13 in Baton Rouge and stars Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) William Hurt and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) and is scheduled to release on March 12, 2013.

Stewart Interviews Kantor

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas,(Hachette/Little Brown; Thorndike large print) has received unrelenting press attention for its portrayal of Michelle Obama.

Kantor’s most recent appearance was on Daily Show Monday night. The book however, did not receive the expected “Stewart bump” on Amazon sales rankings (it actually went down after the show, from #48 to #66; it’s now at #82).

Stewart said that press attention, like the “lady on CNN yelling at you” (referring to Soledad O’Brien interview with her on “Starting Point,” which followed her earlier criticism of the book on a “Get Real” segment) got him interested, but that he was surprised at how little controversy the book actually contains. Instead, he said, it portrays the First Lady as “a complex yet human individual struggling with this unbelievable situation, yet remaining the moral compass and center of an administration trying to find its footing.”

Guess that doesn’t play as well as an “angry black woman” who doesn’t enjoy her position.