Archive for March, 2012


Friday, March 30th, 2012

William Joyce won an Oscar this year for his animated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Next up is a Dreamworks holiday feature, Rise of the Guardians, opening November 21. The trailer has just been released:

Official Movie Site:

The project also involves an extensive book publishing program, including picture books and chapter books about the characters.

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

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

Featured n the movie’s Facebook page is this image of Santa’s tattooed forearms.












Anne Tyler Speaks

Friday, March 30th, 2012

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, Anne Tyler gives her first interview in years — “I figure [doing one] every 35 years will do it…”

Listen here.

Her next book comes out on Tuesday.

The Beginner’s Goodbye
Anne Tyler
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2012-04-03)
ISBN / EAN: 0739378546/9780739378540,

RH Large Print; RH Audio

New Title Radar: April 2 – 8

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Next week, another historical novel arrives that’s well-timed for the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic; Charlotte Rogan’s debut, The Lifeboat. Usual suspects include Christopher Moore, Adriana Trigiani, Anne Tyler, Mary Higgins Clark and Lisa Scottoline. And there’s a TV tie-in to the BBC film adaptation of Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks that will air on PBS in April. In nonfiction, there’s a warm reminiscence of Yogi Berra‘s friendship with Yankees pitcher Ron Guildry by Harvey Araton, plus new memoirs from Eloisa James on living in Paris and journalist A.J. Jacobs on living healthy.

Watch List 

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio) begins on an elegant ocean liner carrying a woman and her new husband across the Atlantic at the start of WWI, when there is a mysterious explosion. Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. PW calls it “a complex and engrossing psychological drama.” This one was picked by Waterstones as one of 11 debuts expected to win awards and have strong sales in the UK.

Usual Suspects

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore (Harper/Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio) mixes humor and mystery in a romp through the 19th century French countryside when Vincent van Gogh famously shot himself in a French wheat field. Library Journal says, “Don’t let Moore’s quirky characters and bawdy language fool you. His writing has depth, and his peculiar take on the Impressionists will reel you in. One part art history (with images of masterpieces interspersed with the narrative), one part paranormal mystery, and one part love story, this is a worthy read.” Moore will be interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani (HarperCollins) begins in the Italian Alps, where two teenagers, Enza and Ciro, share a kiss that will linger across continents and time. Both land in New York City, where Enza makes a name for herself as a seamstress, eventually sewing for the great Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera, while Ciro develops into a skilled shoemaker and rake of Little Italy. Booklist calls it “an irresistible love story.”

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler (RH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio) explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances — in their house, on the roadway, in the market. PW calls it “an uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you’ve lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way.”

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Press; S&S Audio) follows Mariah Lyons’s investigation of the brutal murder of her father, a well-respected academic, who comes into the possession of an ancient and highly valuable parchment stolen from the Vatican in the 15th century. Mary and her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, will both appear on the Today Show on Wednesday. Carol’s book Gypped: A Regan Reilly Mystery, also published by S&S, is coming out on the same day.

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike Press; MacMillan Audio) is the Edgar-winning author’s second character-driven standalone thriller with a family saga at its core. LJ says it “deftly speeds readers through a dizzying labyrinth of intrigue with more hairpin turns and heart-pounding drops than a theme-park ride.”

Sidney Sheldon’s Angel of the Dark, Tilly Bagshawe, (Harper/Morrow; Dreamscape Audio) is the third in the series written by Bagshawe in Sheldon’s style. Says Booklist, “Although clearly aimed at Sheldon’s legion of fans, the book should appeal equally to the broader range of thriller readers.”

TV & Movie Tie-Ins

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (RH/Vintage) ties in to the BBC version starring Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy and Matthew Goode, which will air on PBS on April 22 and April 29, 2012. When it was shown in the UK, the British tabloid, The Daily Star, referred to it as a “raunchy adaptation” and an “X-rated hit.” Critics applauded the first episode, but were divided over the second. Audiences, while strong, was not a large as those for Downton AbbeyCheck out the trailer here.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits by Gideon Defoe (RH/Vintage) ties into the animated feature by those wonderful folks who gave us Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, with voiceovers by Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven. The first stop-motion clay animated feature film to be shot in Digital 3D, it’s based the first two books in a series by British author Dafoe (collected in this tie-in edition), which has had a stronger following in the UK than here.  Treat yourself; watch the trailer. The movie opens on April 27th.


Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift by Harvey Araton (Houghton Mifflin) is the story of a unique friendship between a pitcher and catcher, starting in 1999, when Berra was reunited with the Yankees after a long self-exile after being fired by George Steinbrenner 14 years before. It’s already picking up buzz from the Wall St. Journal, which mentions Houghton’s television ads for the book within the VIP areas of Yankee Stadium, as well as ads during the live game feed, and in the New York Times. The authors will appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday as well as on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

Paris in Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James (Random House; Books on Tape) finds the bestselling author of 24 historical romances (who is actually Mary Bly, daughter of poet Robert Bly and associate professor and head of the creative writing department at Fordham University) living in Paris with her family after she survived both cancer and the death of her mother. LJ says, “Not just for Francophiles or even James’s legion of fans, this delectable confection, which includes recipes, is more than a visit to a glorious city: it is also a tour of a family, a marriage, and a love that has no borders. Tres magnifique!”

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Press; Simon & Schuster Audio) is the fourth book in the One Man’s Humble Quest series, and finds the experieintial journalist trying to become the healthiest man in the world by following a web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. LJ says it’s “engrossing and will have readers chuckling.”

Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America by Michael Savage (Harper/Morrow; Thorndike Press Large Press; Brilliance Audio) is a rant against “Barack Lenin” by the host of the No. 3 radio program in the nation, heard by nearly eight million listeners a week and syndicated across the United States in over 300 markets. “Not a book to make everyone happy,” says LJ, “but the 250,000-copy first printing and one-day laydown on April 3 indicates that the audience will be large.”

Maddow on the Military

Friday, March 30th, 2012

MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow has been appearing on other shows to promote her first book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Crown; BOT Audio; ebook and audio on OverDrive). On The Daily Show last night, she told Jon Stewart that, as much as she hates to write, she needed the long form of a book to lay out her argument that we have become a nation that wages perpetual war.

Janet Maslin reviews the result in the New York TimesDrift by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC Traces American Militarism.

Drift is currently at #8 on Amazon’s sales rankings.


Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Just look at this cover; is it any wonder the book is rising on Amazon sales rankings (currently at #16)?

Soldier Dogs
Maria Goodavage
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 293 pages
Publisher: Penguin/Dutton – (2012-03-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0525952780 / 9780525952787

Blackstone Audio

People magazine gives it 3.5 of 4 stars in the 4/9 issue;

Journalist Goodavage gives in-the-trenches access to the training for both pups and handlers, exploring the dogs’ highly developed sense of smell, the tender devotion between handlers and their charges and the desperate need for dogs of war to be able to retire to loving homes when their work for our country is done.

It also got a little help from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

IMAGINE Is Number One

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Jonah Lehrer’s third book, Imagine: How Creativity Works debuts at #1 on both the Indie and the NYT nonfiction best seller lists.

His previous book, How We Decide (HMH, 2009), was on both the NYT hardcover and paperback extended lists.

Media attention, including two interviews on NPR helped raise the book’s profile;

NPR’s All Things Considered, 3/19, Interview

NPR’s Fresh Air, 3/21, Interview

Review in the Washington Post, 3/23

Library holds are very heavy where ordering is light (one large system shows 215 holds on 9 copies).

Imagine: How Creativity Works
Jonah Lehrer
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – (2012-03-19)
ISBN / EAN: 0547386079 / 9780547386072

Brilliance Audio

WILD a Best Seller

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Cheryl Strayed’s grief /hiking memoir, Wild, may not have needed the media attention it’s begun receiving this week. The book debuts at # 7 on the 4/8 NYT Nonfiction best seller. Libraries across the country are showing heavy holds on moderate ordering (one large library has 173 holds on 10 copies).

NYT review, Dwight Garner, 3/27; The Tracks of an Author’s, and a Reader’s, Tears

Wall Street Journal review, Michael J. Ybarra, 3/26;  A Long Walk Unspoiled

People magazine, 3/25 lead review; 4 of a possible 4 stars; “with grace, wild humor and transcendent insights..Strayed’s language is so vivid, sharp and compelling that you feel the heat of the desert, the frigid ice of the High Sierra and the breathtaking power of one remarkable woman finding her way — and herself — one brave step at a time.”

Reese Witherspoon is probably happy about the news; she recently bought the film rights.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Cheryl Strayed
Retail Price: $12.99
Hardcover: 338 pages
Publisher: RH/Knopf – (2012-03-20)
ISBN: 9780307592736

S&M Goes Mainstream

Thursday, March 29th, 2012


The word-of-mouth hit Fifty Shades of Gray is featured on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly (subscribers will get the version on the right; the newsstand version features The Hunger Games).

What more could signal that “mommy porn” is now mainstream? Perhaps the $5 million Universal is rumored to have paid for the film rights (bringing speculation on whether the studio will risk an NC-17 rating) and the fact that all three books in the trilogy are in the top ten on USA Today’s bestseller list for the second week in a row.

Guess which books are in the top four spots (hint: they have to do with Entertainment Weekly‘s other cover).

Sadly, Barney Rosset did not live to see this.


Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

NPR’s Back Seat Book Club’s March pick, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis (Hachette/LBYR) was featured on Monday’s  All Things Considered. The book, the first in a series, is described as “filled with twists and turns and constant conundrums. It’s not just mysterious. It’s also fantastic and heart thumping and just plain fun.”

The Club’s April title is appropriate for spring, Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman

Paul Fleischman
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 70 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen – (1997-04-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0060274719/9780060274719;

Cat Knit

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

When we saw this book, we could hardly contain ourselves:

What better combo than librarians + knitting + cats?

Fortunately, our friends at Workman/Black Dog & Leventhal agreed and prevailed upon author Sally Muir to offer an opportunity for a librarian to win a knitted version of his or her very own cat.

To enter, email the publisher with a photo of your beautiful feline (be sure to note if the cat works in a library). The cut-off date is Thursday, 4/12/12 at midnight, ET.

Five runners-up will win a copy of the book.


Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

When James Cameron’s The Titanic came out in 1997, publishers experienced a sudden windfall as the sales of over 30 backlist and new titles from a range of different publishers jumped onto best seller lists (resulting in the joke that it “floated all boats”).

Publishers are hoping that magic hits again, when the movie is rereleased in 3-D on April 4th, days before the 100th anniversary of the disaster. This time around, audiences will be offered another reenactment of the events in Julian Fellowes’ (Downton Abbey) two-part, four-hour series, Titanic, running April 14 and 15 on ABC. Fellowes has been on the offensive about the big-screen version, calling it inaccurate.

One of the books that experienced renewed sales the first time around was Walter Lord’s 1955 classic A Night to Remember (reissued in a 50th anniversary edition in 1996, with an intro. by Nathaniel Philbrick). It’s included in USA Today‘s extensive roundup of 25 available titles, as is the update of the movie tie-in (new forward by Cameron):

James Cameron’s Titanic
James Cameron
Retail Price: $24.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harper Design – (2012-03-06)
ISBN / EAN: 0062119389 / 9780062119384

Just one adult fiction title is featured in that list, The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. The author was profiled in the NYT prior to the book’s release in February. The approaching anniversary is bringing renewed attention; the book was reviewed by Carolyn See in The Washington Post on Friday and was recently featured as an adult book for teens in SLJ. The public is picking up on the connection; several libraries are showing heavy holds, as high as 8:1.

The Dressmaker: A Novel
Kate Alcott
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 322 pages
Publisher: RH/Doubleday – (2012-02-21)
ISBN : 978-0385535588

Harry Potter eBooks Now for Sale (and Library Loaning)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

As of today, Harry Potter ebooks are available for consumer purchase exclusively via the shop.

As of tomorrow at 9 a.m., ET, the entire series will be available for checkout from OverDrive, according to an email sent by the company earlier today. Pre-orders, which had been temporarily halted, have now been restored (and the 10% discount extended through 4/30). The company also says that all holds place on earlier ordering will be honored.  The HP books are available in EPUB, Kindle and MP3 audio formats.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Washington Post book critic Ron Charles finds the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka, “a disappointing choice from a list of finalists that gave strong preference to short fiction… [with the one exception of] Russell Banks’s grim Lost Memory of Skin.” He blames the oversight on the makeup of the jury, “As writers and teachers of writing, the judges have a professional interest in the craft of storytelling, which attracts them, I suspect, to perfectly cut miniatures as opposed to the rock and flow of a great novel.”

He wishes the jury had been more sympathetic to “long, fully developed stories we can sink into for days,” and lists the following as the year’s prime examples (none of which were on the PEN/Faulkner short list):

Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, (Harper)

Mary Doria Russell’s Doc (Random House) 

Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Once Upon a River,  (Norton)

David Vann’s “devastating” Caribou Island, (Harper)

Alex Shakar’s “demanding” Luminarium, (Soho Press)

The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka
Retail Price: $22.00
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: RH/Knopf – (2011-08-23)
ISBN: 9780307700001

RH Audio/BOT; Thorndike; Overdrive, audiobook and ebook

Previous honors:

National Book Awards Finalist
Library Journal Top Ten of 2011
New York Times Book Review Notables, 2011
Women’s National Book Assn. Great Group Reads

The Hunt is Already on for The Next HUNGER GAMES

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Now that it’s a bona fide hit, speculation is rife on what will be the “next Hunger Games.”

The Playlist examines fifteen properties that could fill the bill, with pros and cons for each. Three are scheduled for release next spring:

Beautiful Creatures (based on the first in a series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, published by Hachette/LBYR, 2009) — Feb. 1

The Seventh Son (based on the middle-grade title, Revenge of the Witch, the first in The Last Apprentice series, Joseph Delaney, published by HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2005. In the UK, the book is titled The Spook’s Apprentice and the series is called The Wardstone Chronicles) — Feb 15

Ender’s Game (based on the sci fi novel by Orson Scott Card, Macmillan/Tor, 1991) — March 15

A Satiric Take on Terrorism

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Lionel Shriver first tried to get publishers interested in her book, The New Republic, in 1998, but her “lousy sales record” was going against her. The subject matter, terrorism, was also a problem. At that point, it wasn’t much on Americans minds. The events of 9/11 changed that, but The New Republic is darkly humorous and Americans were not ready for terrorism humor (Kurt Anderson famously said 9/11 marked “the death of irony.”)

Meanwhile, Shriver’s seventh book, We Need to Talk about Kevin became a best seller in 2003 and a high-profile movie. With the passing of time, as Shriver tells Susan Stamberg on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, “maybe we finally got a bit of a sense of humor. And I think that, generally, humor is a nefariously effective weapon against terrorism, because it is the one thing that terrorists can’t stand, and that’s to be laughed at.”

The book finally releases tomorrow. Both the LA Times and Entertainment Weekly praise the satire, but not so much the plot. As the latter puts it,

The story is baggy and idling, with an ending that thuds.  The dialogue zings, though, and the writing is jazzy…The author can toss off a sharp sketch of a passing character in a phrase, and she’s got a gimlet eye for what’s phony, or affected, or even touchingly vain in human behavior.

By the way, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, tells O magazine that We Need to Talk about Kevin is one of the “books that made a difference” in her life. Her range is broad; she also includes The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.

The New Republic
Lionel Shriver
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover 400 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2012-03-27)
ISBN 9780062103321

Thorndike Large Type; Dreamscape Audio