Archive for February, 2012

New Junot Diaz in September

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Yesterday, Penguin announced that Junot Diaz’s next book, a collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her, will be published by the Riverhead imprint in Sept. The story was picked up by several news sources, including the NYT and Entertainment Weekly

This will be the authors first book since his debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Entertainment Weekly notes that it “was a literary sensation upon its release in 2007, topping several year-end best lists and racking up major prizes, including the Pulitzer.” It is his second short story collection (Drown was released in 1996 and was an ALA Notable Book).

It will also be released in audio.

This Is How You Lose Her
Junot Diaz
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2012-09-11)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487367 / 9781594487361

One More Book-Based Oscar

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

In our story about Oscars based on books, we overlooked one — the Best Animated Short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, based on the book by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.

The trouble is, there is no book yet. Ironically, the story, which celebrates the joys of the printed page, is currently only available as a storybook app (it was was the top-grossing book app last year and received admiring reviews from both SLJ and Kirkus) and as the animated short.

The print book won’t be released until July by S&S/Atheneum. Joyce who was a formerly a Pixar designer as well as a children’s book author, is the film’s co-director, so he doesn’t have to follow the traditional sequence of book, followed by film adaptation, and then a tie-in edition. As Joyce told Variety last week, his two-year-old company Moonbot Studios sees things differently,

Our properties … our stories — we don’t see them as just one thing in one medium. We sort of sit there and go: “Is this a great movie? Is this a great book?” And if the answers are “yes,” then we think of them in whatever different (form is applicable).

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
William Joyce
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers – (2012-07-24)
ISBN / EAN: 1442457023 / 9781442457027

Joyce and Oldenburg have just released a second app, The Numberlys, which they describe in an Oscar’s backstage interview as “a remake of Metropolis but for kids.” The Variety story says it will also become a printed book, but no news yet on publication date.

Joyce is the executive producer for the Dreamworks feature film, Rise of the Guardians, coming Nov. 21, which involves a complex book publishing program, including picture books and chapter books.

The second title in the chapter book series was published last week:

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core! (Guardians of Childhood Chapter Books)
William Joyce
Retail Price: $14.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers – (2012-02-21)
ISBN / EAN: 1442430508 / 9781442430501

The poster for the movie was just arrived online.

HARRY POTTER eBooks Will Be Available to Libraries

Monday, February 27th, 2012

UPDATE: OverDrive just announced that the Harry Potter titles are available now for pre-order through Content Reserve.

At this point, none of the Harry Potter books are available digitally, but when they are, libraries will be able to buy them to circulate.

When J.K. Rowling announced plans for the web site, she also announced that it would be the exclusive seller of Harry Potter eBooks. Today, OverDrive announced that they have entered into a deal for both eBook and digitial audio distribution of the titles to schools and libraries.

In the press release, Charlie Redmayne, Pottermore’s CEO, underlined the company’s belief in the important role of libraries;

We are keen to support public and school libraries, and OverDrive, as one of the leading suppliers in this market, provides us with a global network that helps us achieve this, as well as encouraging the discovery of these amazing books across the world.

In addition, the books will be offered in several languages, beginning with English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

The only hitch is that this won’t begin until, which is still in Beta, is launched. However, this announcement may be a signal that it is coming soon.

The Oscars; Not a Great Year for Books

Monday, February 27th, 2012

A large number of this year’s Academy Award nominees were based on books, thirteen in all, but only four went home with statues last night. In fact, the big winner this year was a movie that rejected words, The Artist.

The second biggest winner, in terms of number of Oscars, was Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.

The HelpThe Descendants, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo each won a single Oscar

The film business could use the box office boost that the Awards bring; as CBS Sunday Morning reported, theater attendance in 2011 was the lowest in 15 years.


New Title Radar: Feb. 27- March 4

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Next week, St. Martin’s republishes Torn, the second title in Amanda Hocking’s previously self-published ebook series, barely two months after the first one, Switched. They will be arriving quickly; the third title, Ascend, is scheduled for April.  The second title in another YA series, Pandemonium, by Lauren Oliver, also arrives this week. Both series, of course, have been optioned for film adaptations. Among the big names, Jodi Picoult’s new book features real (not supernatural) wolves and Lisa Lutz’s sly humor is on display in the fifth in her Spellman series.

Watch List

Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung (Penguin/Riverhead) is the story of two sisters with very different reactions to their Korean parents and heritage, by one of Granta magazine’s “New Voices.” Kirkus says, “despite some missteps into cliches about abuse, Chung delves with aching honesty and beauty into large, difficult questions–the strength and limits of family, the definition of home, the boundaries (or lack thereof) between duty and love–within the context of a Korean experience. Chung’s limpid prose matches her emotional intelligence.” A syndicated  Reuters Q&A with the author appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Blue Monday by Nicci French (Penguin/Pamela Dorman) is the first in a series of psychological thrillers by the  husband-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard, and involves the solitary psychotherapist Frieda Klein in modern London. PW says, “with its brooding atmosphere, sustained suspense, last-minute plot twist, and memorable cast of characters, this series debut will leave readers eager to discover what color Tuesday will be.”

Usual Suspects

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (S&S/ Atria/Emily Bestler Books; Center Point Large Print) focuses on prodigal son Edward Warren, who has been living for five years after an irreparable fight with his father, a wolf expert. But he must return to New Hampshire, where his dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara. Kirkus says, “the thoroughly researched wolf lore is fascinating; the rest of the story is a more conventional soap opera of hospital, and later courtroom histrionics. Readers will care less about Luke’s prospects for survival than they will about the outcome for his wild companions.” Attention ALA Annual attendees; Picoult and her daughter will speak during the ALA President’s Program.

Victims by Jonathan Kellerman (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; Thorndike Large Print) finds L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware stymied by a string of seemingly random slayings with only one clue left behind — a blank page bearing a question mark. PW says, “Too many plot contrivances make this one of Kellerman’s weaker efforts, but the usual effective interplay between Alex and [his pal Lt. Milo Sturgis] should satisfy series fans.”

Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Large Print) is the fifth installment in the popular Edgar- and Macavity-nominated series about San Francisco PI Isabel Izzy Spellman and her eccentric sleuthing family. PW says “Lutz’s dry, biting humor is in full force, yet theres more than a hint of melancholy to be found in Izzys increasingly solitary pursuits.”

Young Adult

Torn by Amanda Hocking (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Brilliance Corporation) is the second paranormal romance in the paperback Trylle Trilogy, after Switched. Kirkus says, “while the writing certainly lacks the depth and polish it takes to win major literary awards, there is no denying that Hocking knows how to tell a good story and keep readers coming back for more.” Hocking was picked up by St. Martin’s after she hit the Amazon bestseller list as a self-published author.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins) is the sequel to the YALSA Best Teen title, Delirium, with heroine Lena now living the Wilds, having evaded the required government procedure that eliminates amor deliria nervosa (a.k.a love). Kirkus says, “the novel’s success can be attributed to its near pitch-perfect combination of action and suspense, coupled with the subtler but equally gripping evolution of Lena’s character.”

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha (Penguin/Philomel) is the story of orphan Carver Young, adopted by a detective who investigates a vicious serial killer in New York City, with what appear to be uncanny ties to Young. PW: “Petrucha’s story hits the ground running and doesnt let up, the brisk pace making the inevitable twists effective; he also incorporates some fun steampunk-style gadgetry. Appearances by the Pinkertons, Jack the Ripper, and then New York City police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt add flair to the historical setting.”

Movie Tie-in

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (Hachette/Grand Central) is the mass market edition that ties in to the film releasing on April 20, 2012, starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner.

Stephen King Reads from DR. SLEEP

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The book hasn’t been officially announced yet, but Stephen King keeps teasing his fans by reading from Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.

He first mentioned the book back in 2009 and even asked fans to vote on which they wanted him to write next; Dr. Sleep, or another Dark Tower novel. The vote marginally favored the latter and The Wind Through the Keyhole (S&S/Scribner) is coming April 24th.

So, now it’s back to Dr. Sleep.

Below, King reads from the first chapter at the Savannah Book Fair (via Daily Dead). This is a different segment than the one he read last fall at George Mason University.

J.K. Rowling to Explore New Territory in Book for Adults

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Image From The Blair Partnership, Rowling’s Agent

Harry Potter’s author is abandoning Hogwarts, childrens books and her UK publisher Bloomsbury for her next book. Earlier today, Little, Brown announced it will publish J.K. Rowling’s next title, a book for adults (via the NYT Arts Beat blog). According to the release, “The title, the date for the worldwide publication and further details about the novel will be announced later in the year.”

Characteristically, Rowling’s statement was vague,

Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.

In addition, sister company, Hachette Audio, announced it will release an audio edition.

Another Rowling project,, which was supposed to launch in October, is still in beta.

What Does GCB Stand For?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

If you haven’t already, you will soon begin seeing the ad on the left in magazines and on billboards.

What does GCB stand for? Originally, it was Good Christian Bitches, from the book this new tv series is based on. ABC got cold feet, however, and changed it to Good Christian Belles and, then, in a burst of creativity, reduced it to textese.

The network says the plot “Centers on Amanda Vaughn, a recently divorced mother of two who, to get a fresh start, moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew to find herself in the whirling midst of salacious gossip, Botox, and fraud.”

Starring Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts, it premieres Sun., March 4, 10 p.m. EST on ABC. It is the network’s attempt to replace the lucrative Desperate Housewives, which ends in May.

The book, originally published by Brown Books in Dallas, was reissued last month by Hyperion. Booklist, reviewed it, saying,  “Chick lit tackles the Christian Right, with amusingly predictable results in Gatlin’s solid freshman effort,” but LJ Express said, “The characters are obsessed with labels and bank balances, and the book is a tiresome exercise in unfettered consumption. Of possible interest to Texans who may enjoy identifying the thinly veiled Dallas environs. Other than that, there’s nothing to like here.”

Some libraries are showing holds on light ordering.

Good Christian Bitches
Kim Gatlin
Retail Price: $14.99
Trade Pbk: 306 pages
Publisher: Hyperion – (2012-01-17)
ISBN / EAN: 9781401310707/1401310702

98-year-old Debut Author Featured in PEOPLE

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Retired lobsterman, Jim Henry, now 98, was illiterate until two years ago. Not only did he learn to read and write, he became a published author. In a Fisherman’s Language: An autobiography was released late last year by the local Fowler Road Press, and became a best seller in Henry’s home town of Mystic, CT, outselling Steve Jobs’ book. Sales are about to get a boost; the book is featured in new issue of People (March 5).

Henry is getting used to media attention; his story was covered late last year by the local CBS News station, USA Today, CNN and even The Daily Mail in the UK.

Amazon has republished the book in a Kindle edition. In hardcover, it is still available through In a Fisherman’s Language web site. The first printings sold out, but a new shipment has arrived yesterday, just in time for this new round of publicity.

Henry says he was insipred by George Dawson, who learned to read at 98 and wrote a book called Life Is So Good at the age of 101.

Life Is So Good: One Man’s Extraordinary Journey through the 20th Century and How he Learned to Read at Age 98
George Dawson, Richard Glaubman
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2001-06-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0141001682 / 9780141001685

Julie Otsuka a Pen/Faulkner Award Nominee

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Most of the five nominees for the 2012 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction, announced yesterday, are veteran writers with strings of awards attached to their names. The relative newcomer is Julie Otsuka, nominated for The Buddha in the Attic (RH/Knopf; Thorndike large print; Books on Tape; OverDrive ebook and audio), her second book after When the Emperor Was Divine (Knopf, 2002). It was also a National Book Award finalist.

The other nominees are:

Don DeLillo, The Angel Esmeralda, (S&S/Scribner; Recorded Books; S&S Audio) — the author’s first volume of short stories. He won the Pen/Faulkner in 1992 for Mao II.

Russell Banks for Lost Memory of Skin (HarperCollins/Ecco; Recorded Books; HarperLuxe; OverDrive ebook) the author’s earlier novelsAffliction and Cloudsplitter were both Pen/Faulkner Nominees.

Steven Millhauser, We Others: New and Selected Stories (RH/Knopf; OverDrive ebook) — Millhauser won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel Martin Dressler.

Anita Desai, The Artist of Disappearance (HMH; Dreamscape Audio; OverDrive ebook and audio) —  the author has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.

The winner, to be announced March 26, receives $15,000.

Colbert Calls Jeff Bezos Vindictive

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Author Ann Patchett appeared on The Colbert Report on Monday night to talk about her new bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN, and why independent bookstores are superior to online stores.

Colbert worried that she might suffer repercussions from Amazon head, Jeff Bezos, calling him a “vindictive man,” and saying he slashed  Barnes and Noble’s tires.

Ironically, Patchett’s most recent book, State of Wonder, which has been on the NYT best seller list since its publication, received a bump on Amazon as a result of the mention (from #367 to #197).


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012


More good news for teen fans of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Hachette/LBYR, 2009). Not only have the two leads been cast for the film adaptation (rising star Jack O’Connell, from the British TV series, Skins and newcomer Alice Englert, join Viola Davis, already cast as Amma), but the authors just announced that the fourth and final volume in the book series, Beautiful Redemption, is coming October 23rd.

The publisher is planning a “cover reveal” in March (oooh, let’s guess; red lettering this time?), but we have the exclusive on the ISBN — 9780316123532.

Inspired by Sendak

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

During a recent interview with Maurice Sendak, Stephen Colbert threatened to publish a children’s book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the video of that interview became a “viral sensation.”

So, naturally, Colbert is now making good on his threat; the book is scheduled to be published on May 8th (Hachette/Grand Central; ISBN: 1455523429).

Colbert is releasing another book in October, America Again, Hachette/Grand Central; 0446583979).

Part One of the viral video, below (skip to Part Two to preview I Am a Pole):

Part Two, in which Colbert reveals his brilliant idea (beginning at 3:10) and Sendak gives him a blurb, “The sad thing is, I like it”:


Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Today is publication day for former Senator Russ Feingold’s book, While America Sleeps. After his appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition today, he is headed to the Daily Show for an interview with Jon Stewart. The New York Times blog, “The Caucus” today says that in the book, Feingold, who was the only one to vote against the Patriot Act, offers an “insider’s viws of the Senate Post-Sept. 11,” one that was “off kilter.”

While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era
Russ Feingold
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: RH/Crown – (2012-02-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0307952525 / 9780307952523

BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS Debuts on NYT Best Seller List

Monday, February 20th, 2012

According to the recent NYT profile, Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), a look at life in a Mumbai slum, hates publicity.

She’s had to endure a great deal of it in the last few weeks, from NPR to the Charlie Rose show.

It’s been worth the effort; the book arrived at #9 on Sunday’s NYT Nonfiction Best Seller list, right behind two other books that have received media attention; Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford at #7 and Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting  by Pamela Druckerman at #8.

It is also #1 on the Indie Nonfiction Bestseller list.