Archive for March, 2012


Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Today Show site offers “The Draper Papers,” a list of six titles that give a sense of that era, including two by ad execs. The contrast between the period covers and the updated versions demonstrates how much the show has stylized the past. (See also our earlier roundup of new titles by some other real mad men, and one woman.)

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front Line Dispatches from the Advertising War, Jerry Della Femina (S&S)

“For a nonfiction take on Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s three-martini lunches, office dalliances, and innovative ad campaigns, Della Femina’s frank and funny book is just the ticket. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner even cites the memoir as an inspiration for the series.”


Confessions of an Advertising ManDavid Ogilvy, (current edition, Southbank Publishing)

“Unlike Della Femina’s book, Confessions of an Advertising Man is more of an advertising handbook, dispensing advice and wisdom from Madison Avenue wunderkind David Ogilvy. Regarded as the father of modern advertising, Ogilvy lays down some mind-blowing concepts that can benefit many industries and business professionals.”


Monday, March 26th, 2012

CBS Sunday Morning‘s profile of Bell Labs, draws on Jon Gertner’s book, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation (Penguin, 3/15). After the show aired, the book rose to #36 on Amazon’s sales rankings (as of this post, it’s moved down a bit to #63). Several libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

Reviewing it in the NYT last week, Michiko Kakutani said,

Mr. Gertner’s portraits of … the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries and inventions utterly comprehensible — indeed, thrilling — to the lay reader. And they showcase, too, his novelistic sense of character and intuitive understanding of the odd ways in which clashing or compatible personalities can combine to foster intensely creative collaborations.

Hunger Games At the Box Office

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Hollywood enjoys playing with numbers.

Deadline reports that, as of Friday night, Hunger Games brought in $68.25 million at North American box offices.

That puts the film on track for a $140 million opening weekend. While many thought it would have the highest opening weekend ever, that number puts it behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2The Dark KnightSpider-Man 3 and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. [UPDATE: The movie actually took in $155 million, putting it behind just the first two movies]

However, it is set to achieve several other milestones:

  • Highest non-sequel opening weekend ever
  • Highest debut single day for a non-sequel ever
  • Highest March opening ever
  • 5th highest opening day ever

Deadline also reports that, “Between the release of the first Hunger Games trailer in November 2011 and January 2012, the number of Collins’ books sold nearly doubled”

Jennifer Lawrence, once considered an imperfect fit for the role of Katniss (so much so that author Suzanne Collins felt the need to publicly defend the choice), is now being hailed for carrying the movie.

Lawrence is scheduled to appear in two more movies this year, including the horror movie, The House as the End of the Street, in September. She switches to an older role for a film based on The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (Macmillan/FSG/SarahCrichton, 2008), playing a widow in her 30s’s, obsessed by the character played by Bradley Cooper. It is scheduled for release on Nov. 21 of this year.The book is a favorite of Nancy Pearl’s.

She has also signed to play the title role in the movie Serena, based on the acclaimed novel by Ron Rash (HarperCollins/Ecco; 2009). It is currently in pre-production.

New Title Radar: March 26 – April 1

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

British author Grace McCleen gets major early reviews, but a mixed reaction to her much-anticipated fiction debut with The Land of Decoration, while Nobel-winner Nadine Gordimer probes the lives of a biracial couple in post-Apartheid South Africa and National Book Award finalist Lioner Shriver delivers a satire about terrorism. Usual suspects include James Patterson & David Ellis, and Danielle Steel. Plus there’s a memoir by New York Mets starting pitcher and former English major R.A. Dickey.


The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Macmillan/Holt) focuses on a 10 year-old daughter of Armageddon-fearing Christian fundamentalists, who starts to believe in her own omnipotence and becomes bolder as her efforts seem to work. In a New York Times review that ran this week, slightly ahead of the book’s publication on 3/27, Janet Maslin says that young Judith’s “voice of God evolves into a slangy, wise cracking, child’s-eye version of divinity, and that the book’s tensions mount in a simple and schematic way.” Ron Charles, reviewing it in the Washington Post on Tuesday, saying, “alas, The Land of Decoration is not in the same room as Donoghue’s great novel [Room]. ” The book is getting a better reception in the UK, where the Times of London picked it as one of four “must-read titles of 2012” and the Waterstones bookstore chain tagged it as one of 11 debuts expected to win awards.

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. by Carole DeSanti (HMH) is a historical novel by a Penguin Group USA vice president and editor at large, about a woman who follows her love to Paris, only to find herself marooned, pregnant, penniless and trying to survive in France’s Second Empire. PW says, “though its hard to care for such a self-centered heroine, the sweeping, fascinating epic is full of drama and beauty.”


No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer (Macmillan/FSG) focuses on Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Gordimer dramatizes with acute specificity, wit, and sympathy the mix of guilt and conviction her freedom-fighter characters experience as they admit, The Struggle is not over. Still, isn’t it time to simply live their lives and give up the fight? Literary warrior Gordimer writes, There is only one time, all time, for principles you live by.”

The New Republic by Lionel Shriver (HarperCollins; HarperLuxe; Dreamscape Media) is the National Book Award finalist’s fictional exploration of the intimate relationship between terrorism and cults of personality. People magazine says, “dramatically different from her chilling 2003 bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin…Shriver’s new novel is a blowsy, cynical romp about journalists sent to cover a mysterious terrorist movement…While Shriver’s urge to entertain can be exhausting, her whip-smart observations… are funny and on the mark.”  LJ was more sanguine: “While the characters are forgettable and the satire doesn’t go quite far enough, this is still an interesting read that might appeal to fans of Tom Perrotta.”


Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) is a thriller in which the family vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime–for survival.

Betrayal by Danielle Steel (RH/Delacorte Press; RH Large Print; Brilliance Audio) focuses on an eccentric movie director who falls prey to a sociopath sidekick and a feckless producer/lover. Kirkus call it “a methodical Hollywood morality tale.”

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins) is the ninth novel featuring London investigator and psychologist Maisie Dobbs, who investigates the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London’s highest circles of power. Kirkus says, “Certainly not Winspear’s strongest mystery. But newcomers will enjoy the exploration of class-bound Britain between the wars, and fans will relish the continued development of Maisie’s complicated character.”


Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball by R.A. Dickey (Penguin/Blue Rider Press) is a memoir by the starting pitcher for the New York Mets – and a former English major. PW says, “The author emerges as one of baseball’s good guys, and someone who can write as well as he pitches. Dickey has set a new standard for athlete autobiographies.” The publisher offers this hook; “The Glass Castle meets Ball Four as Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey weaves searing honesty and baseball insight in this memoir about his unlikely journey to the big leagues.”


Chomp by Carl Hiassen (RH/Knopf Young Readers; Listening Library; Audio on OverDrive); Hiasson’s fourth book for kids is a guaranteed best seller. In a starred review, Booklist says its the author’s “best for a young audience since Newbery Honor Hoot (2002)” and Hornbook couldn’t resist saying,  “Chomp is a story for readers to sink their teeth into.”

Let The GAMES Begin

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

With the launch of The Hunger Games movie this week, Hollywood is in full publicity mode to remind viewers that more dystopian sci-fi is coming their way. The production blog for the film adaptation of  Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game launched this week. It hits screens next year, on March 15, starring Hailee Steinfeld, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. The publicity is already giving a sales boost to the book, which moved up the Amazon’s rankings, from #351 to #199.

Also released this week, the teaser trailer for Stephenie Meyer’s adult sci-fi title, The Host (with Meyer in the production role); it will be shown before screenings of The Hunger Games this weekend. Audiences may be baffled by it. In terms of how little it gives away about the movie, it rivals the first John Carter trailers.

It’s scheduled to open two weeks after Ender’s Game, on March 29, 2013. Stills of the movie, starring Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood), are featured in the new issue of People.

Tom Wolfe Gets a New Jacket

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Featuring appropriately bright colors (the book is set in Miami), the cover of Tom Wolfe’s next, Back to Blood, was unveiled this week. With this title, Wolfe leaves  his long-time publisher, FSG to move to Little, Brown. He returns, however to editor Pat Strachan, who worked with Wolfe at FSG on several books, including Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff and is now at Little, Brown.

Below is the publisher’s description of the book scheduled for release is October.

As a police launch speeds across Miami’s Biscayne Bay-with officer Nestor Camacho on board-Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night-until lately, the love of Nestor’s life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin’ little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the ‘hoods, “de-skilled” conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, “spectators” at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night’s orgy, yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an “Active Adult” condo, and a nest of shady Russians. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe’s previous bestselling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

Back to Blood: A Novel
Tom Wolfe
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2012-10-23)
ISBN / EAN: 0316036315 / 9780316036313

Hachette Audio

Librarians, Publishers and eBooks

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

In the following video, librarians present the case for  ebooks in libraries to major publishers at last week’s Association of American Publishers annual meeting (via Publishers Marketplace). The speakers are ALA President Molly Raphael; Jim Neal, Columbia University libraries; and Tony Marx, NYPL. In the audience  are the heads of most of the largest houses in publishing, including many that do not sell ebooks to libraries.

Video streaming by Ustream


Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Hunger Games is already expected to be a huge success when it opens tomorrow.The Hollywood Reporter says it “has the potential to score one of the top debuts of all time at the domestic box office.”  Rotten Tomatoes shows a 90% approval rating from critics — holdouts include Time magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 Slate jumps ahead to the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, warning it will “force filmmakers to turn massacre and despair into blockbuster entertainment.”

That trouble could be double; the third book in the series may be split in to two films. No release dates have been announced, but the second in the series, Catching Fire, is scheduled for Nov. 23, 2013.


Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Jeff Kinney and Abrams’ Amulet Book announced at  the Bologna Children’s Book Fair yesterday that the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid is coming on Nov. 13. It’s listed simply as Book 7, with the tagline “Love is in the Air.”

Love may be in the air, but, based on the cover (click on it to see a larger version), it seems Rodrick isn’t having much luck with it.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 7
Jeff Kinney
Retail Price: $13.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Abrams/Amulet- (2012-11-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1419705849 / 9781419705847


Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

On NPR’s Fresh Air, reviewer Maureen Corrigan says she is often asked to recommend a suspense story like Caleb Carr’s The Alienist. Nearly twenty years after that book was a best seller, she has finally discovered “one of the worthiest successors yet,” Lyndsay Faye’s The Gods of Gotham.

The NYT review notes, this is the “riveting first installment of a planned series of crime thrillers.”

It is also available on audio from Dreamscape, which is downloadable from OverDrive.

The Gods of Gotham
Lyndsay Faye
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn Books – (2012-03-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0399158375 / 9780399158377


Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Washington Post journalist Liza Mundy’s new book, The Richer Sex, asserts that women will soon inherit that title.

PW‘s prediction that the book “is sure to create a stir”  is coming true; it’s received major media attention; the cover of the new issue of Time magazine, a feature on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and an appearance on CBS This Morning last week.

Holds in libraries are modest, but all copies are circulating.

The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family
Liza Mundy
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-03-20)
ISBN / EAN: 1439197717 / 9781439197714

Tantor Audio

MAD MEN Rising

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

One of the titles in our roundup of books by a few of the real Mad Men (and one woman) rose to #100 on Amazon after the author was interviewed on NPR’s Morning EditionDamn Good Advice (For People With Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential By America’s Master Communicator (Phaidon) by George Lois appears to be owned in just a handful of libraries.

Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America’s Master Communicator, George Lois
George Lois
Retail Price: $9.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Phaidon Press – (2012-03-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0714863483 / 9780714863481

You Are What You Read

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The new issue of Newsweek goes retro-modern, to celebrate the new season of Mad Men. Included is a comparison of what people were reading in 1966 vs. today (the #1 NYT Fiction best sellers, above). The earlier era is deemed superior, but several of those titles warrant spots on

Meet the Real MAD MEN

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The AMC series, Mad Men, returns for its 5th season on Sunday, after 17 long months. How accurate is the show? Former copy writer Jane Maas, often called “the real-life Peggy Olson,” writes about the era in Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Tantor Audio).

On Saturday’s CBS This Morning, the 80-year-old says, “Whatever they did on the show, we did more…The only thing they got wrong is that women copy writers wore hats all the time, even in the ladies’ room.”

Andrew Cracknell also has first-hand knowledge of that world. He focuses less on tales of drinking and debauchery and more on the creativity that fueled a revolution in the formerly humdrum business in The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising (Perseus/Running Press).  PW is a fan; “Advertising geeks will gobble this up, but even those completely unaware of Don Draper and Sterling Cooper will appreciate this lively and spirited account” and Adweek calls it “a thoughtful paean about the creative people who pioneered modern advertising and the dynamic cultural environment that influenced them.” Get a taste of it here.

Today, NPR’s Morning Edition interviewed one of the men behind that revolution, George Lois. His new book is Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential By America’s Master Communicator (Phaidon). The book’s trailer demonstrates Lois’s belief that any problem can be solved through creativity.

The AMC site includes a list of other Mad Men inspired books and the New York Public Library’s Billy Parrott is keeping a list of the books mentioned on the show.

New Title Radar: March 19 – 25

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Next week’s notable titles include Noah Hawley‘s The Good Father, a novel of parental remorse and love that’s been an EarlyWord Galley Chat favorite, and Joyce Carol Oates‘ latest masterpiece. There are also two much-anticipated memoirs: Cheryl Strayed‘s Wild, about her journey of self-discovery while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and new grandmother Anne Lamott‘s Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son.

Usual suspects include Harlan Coben, Richard North Patterson and Suzanne Brockman.

Watch List

The Good Father by Noah Hawley (RH/Doubleday; Thorndike Press; Random House Audio; OverDrive) is a favorite on our own Galley Chat, in which the father of a man who assassinates a presidential candidate tries to make sense of his son’s crime. Publishers Weekly says, “Hawley’s complicated protagonist is a fully fathomed and beautifully realized character whose emotional growth never slows a narrative that races toward a satisfying and touching conclusion.”

Literary Favorite

Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; BOT Audio; OverDrive) explores the price of repression in the life of a respected university president struggling against a nervous breakdown as she confronts her brutal past in an area of epic poverty in the shadow of the Adirondacks. In a starred review, Booklist calls it “an extraordinarily intense, racking, and resonant novel, a giant among Oates’ big books, including The Gravedigger’s Daughter (2007).” Oates speaks at PLA today.

Usual Suspects

Stay Close by Harlan Coben (Penguin/Dutton Adult; Thorndike Press; Brilliance Audio) is a stand-alone thriller, where three people are haunted by the disappearance of Stewart Green 17 years earlier in Atlantic City, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect. Booklist gives it a starred review, “Coben excels in descriptions of his characters’ tortured, ruminative inner lives. He also can pull out of their psychological nosedives to deliver some of the most shocking action scenes in current crime fiction… Satisfying on every level.”

Fall from Grace by Richard North Patterson (S&S/Scribner; Simon & Schuster Audio) is a family mystery, in which covert CIA operative Ben Blaine seeks the truth surrounding his father’s violent death, even if it means exposing one of his own family members as the killer. PW says, “readers will enjoy unraveling the tangled mystery right up until the last revelation.”

Force of Nature (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C. J. Box (Penguin/Putnam; Center Point Large Print) is the Edgar-winning author’s 12th Joe Pickett novel, in which Pickett’s friend Nate Romanowski’s hidden past ain a secret Special Forces unit finally catches up with him. Booklist’s starred review calls it “a very different Pickett novel, more a pure thriller and much more violent. Fans who love the books for their thoughtfulness may find this one a bit bloody, but those who love Box’s stunning set pieces will be in heaven.”

Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann (RH/Ballantine; Brilliance Audio) launches a new series featuring former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin, and involving a highly addictive longevity drug, human trafficking, and torture. PW says, “While a departure from Brockmann’s romantic military suspense novels, this story does contain some of her trademark elements a military hero, a same-sex romance between secondary characters, and sizzling connections to explore in future titles but never feels formulaic or stale, and the drama pulls readers in from page one.”

Young Adult

The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide by Rick Riordan (Disney/Hyperion) is a primer on the people, places, gods, and creatures found in Rick Riordan’s series.

Movie Tie-In

The World of the Hunger Games by Kate Egan (Scholastic) is a full-color guide to all the districts of Panem and all the participants in the Hunger Games, with photographs from the movie, a glossary and new quotes from Suzanne Collins. Releasing on the day the movie opens (making you suspect that it contains spoilers), the cover has already been teased by Entertainment Weekly. It follows The Hunger Games Tribute Guide by Emily Seife  (Scholastic, $7.99.), which continues at #2 on the upcoming NYT Paperback Advice & Miscellaneous list after five weeks, and The Hunger Games, the official illustrated movie companion by Kate Egan (Scholastic, $18.99), at #4 on the same list.


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio; OverDrive) is a memoir of a 26 year-old young woman’s emotional devastation after the death of her mother and the weeks she spent hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as her family, marriage, and sanity unravel. Kirkus calls it “a candid, inspiring narrative of the author’s brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair to a renewed sense of self.” Reese Witherspoon just purchased the film rights and will star as Strayed, who also wrote the novel Torched. It’s People magazine’s lead review this week, with 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.”

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son by Anne Lamott (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike Press; Penguin Audiobooks) is a new memoir, in which the author of the parenting classic Operating Instructions learns that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, and writes a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life. Booklist says, “Funny, frantic, and frustrating, Lamott enthusiastically embraces this new chapter in her life, learning that she is a wiser grandparent than parent who, nevertheless, managed to produce one pretty remarkable son.” It receives 3.5 stars in the new issue of People magazine.