Archive for May, 2012


Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Gillian Flynn, get ready to become THE breakout best selling author of the season.

Flynn’s third book, Gone Girl gets 4 of a possible 4 stars and the lead review in the new issue of People magazine (6/11; Jessica Simpson and offspring on cover), calling it “An irresistible summer thriller with a twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hithcock.” Janet Maslin in yesterday’s NYT says it’s the author’s “dazzling breakthrough.” She even recommends reading it twice. It’s on Time‘s list of top fiction for the year, is a June Indie Next pick and has been big on GalleyChat.

But the most telling predictor is the number of holds in libraries. Even Cuyahoga County, which ordered 86 copies, has holds on every one. Libraries that bought more conservatively are showing holds as high as 10:1. It doesn’t release until next week, but it’s already jumped up Amazon’s sales rankings, from #44 to #15.

Time to order more.

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 412 pages
Publisher: RH/Crown – (2012-06-05)
ISBN: 9780307588364

Audio, BOT; audio an ebook on OverDrive

Not Going to BEA? Enjoy the Virtual Show.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Even if you’re not attending BEA next week, there are ways to be part of it.

To find out about the big books of the show, check these guides:

— LJ’s Barbara Hoffert has again created an amazing “BEA Galley & Signing Guide.”  This year, she has outdone herself, by adding information on titles available for download from NetGalley as well as those available for request in print. Note: the guide does not show which titles are downloadable from Edelweiss. Some publishers, like Norton and HarperCollins are offering egalleys only through Edelweiss, so go to them to download Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior, 11/6 and  Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night, 10/2. Some publishers, e.g. Random House, offer their egalleys via both Edelweiss and NetGalley.

— Publishers Weekly also has its regular “Galleys to Grab” as well as “Children’s Galleys to Grab,”

Shelf Awareness is featuring the big books of the show today through Friday, beginning with a focus on “BEA Book Buzz: For Young Readers

And, during the show, BEA will live stream some of the events, including the Editors’ Buzz Panels and the Book and Author Breakfasts and Lunches (look for the feeds on EarlyWord).


Peter D. Sieruta Dies

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Is it possible to be so sad about the death of someone that you didn’t really know? Do we know someone through their writings? Their blogging?

Peter D. Sieruta has died. He was a kindred spirit. Even though I am not a book collector, I read his blog, Collecting Children’s Books. I didn’t read it for information about rare first editions or the probable market value of a volume. It was because I have had many an “Aha! moment” as I read with pleasure and reminiscenced  about books that I  loved.

Blogs like Fuse #8 and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast have commented on Peter’s wicked sense of humor. I particilarly appreciated his “inside baseball” children’s lit April Fools posting that claimed Neil Gaiman was under consideration to be stripped of his Newbery Prize. His Hornbook parody of Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (Harper, 2000) is flawless.

How sadly appropriate that his final posts were about Maurice Sendak.


Summer Reads from ALA’s Reading List Council

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The group that gives the annual “Reading List” awards to the best in genre fiction, shares their summer reading choices in Library Journal. The lists pairs 2012 picks with recommendations of an older read-alike in each of eight categories.


The choice in Women’s Fiction is a book we’ve highlighted as one to consider buying in quantity, The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri (HarperCollins; HarperLuxe; ebook OverDrive). It’s paired with Sarah Addison Allan’s Garden Spells (RH/Bantam, 1998; ebook, OverDrive).


The buzz debut novel of the season, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker(Random House, 6/26; BOT AudioThorndike Large Print; ebook and audio, OverDrive) is the Science Fiction choice (although, as the WSJ emphasized, it crosses genres). It is paired with Jean Heglan’s Into the Forest (RH/Dial Press; Brilliance Audio; ebook, OverDrive).


Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Libraries will soon have an alternative to the five-volume, $625 James Beard Cookbook of the YearModernist Cuisine. Yesterday, author Myhrvold announced that the team will release a new book this fall titled Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, $140, 10/8/12; like the first book, it comes with a separate “kitchen manual,” printed on washable, water-proof paper). The announcement describes the book as providing “less complex recipes that require less expensive equipment.” 400 of them are new to this edition.

On the news, the book entered Amazon’s sales rankings at #126.

Demonstrating that it is aimed at the home cook, the cover shows a hamburger (referred to as “The 30-hour cheeseburger” by the New York Times).

The new book will feature many of the amazing cutaway photos from the first book. Last year, Myhrvold spoke  at the TED conference about how those were made  (they’re not Photoshopped, they’re machine shopped).

Summer Reading Lists Arrive

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


Memorial Day is marked by parades, wreath laying, dreams of long days reading in the hammock, and summer reading lists. Several arrived as scheduled, and, as we’ve come to expect, there’s very little overlap among them. Only four titles were mentioned more than once in this round:

The Age of MiraclesKaren Thompson Walker(Random House, 6/26; BOT Audio; Thorndike Large Print; ebook and audio, OverDrive)

On NYT (Maslin), NPR (Schaub) and WSJ lists
Digital ARC on Edelweiss and NetGalley.

The Next Best Thing, Jennifer Weiner, (S&S/Atria, 7/3; S&S Audio)

On USA Today and Good Houskeeping lists
Downloadable from NetGalley

The Orphanmaster, Jean Zimmerman, (Penguin/Viking, 6/19; Penguin Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

On USA Today and Good Houskeeping lists
Digital ARC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 8/14; Hachette Audio)

On NPR (Schaub) and WSJ lists as well as on Time‘s list of the best ten novels of the year.

Below are the lists:

USA Today — Summer Books Preview”

Our favorite, because it’s most in tune with the titles we’ve been hearing about on GalleyChat and it is presented in an interactive format (flash cards for readers advisors), although, surprisingly, it misses the big buzz debut of the summer, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles(Random House, 6/26).

The Wall Street Journal — “Rewriting the Rules of Summer Fiction

The WSJ contends that several of the summer’s most anticipated novels “combine genres in unexpected ways and subvert long-held narrative conventions.”  It’s a good hook, but the phenomenon wasn’t invented this season. The prime examples are The Age of Miracles because it’s “a quiet family drama with science-fiction themes” and  Dare Me (Hachette/Regan Arthur, 8/31) by Megan Abbot, dubbed “High-School Noir” because it “turns the frothy world of high-school cheerleading into something truly menacing.”

NPR — 15 Summer Reads Recommended By Booksellers

Unsurprisingly, this is the least buzz-oriented of the lists. NPR has published several other summer reading lists, including Nancy Pearl’s and critic Michael Schaub’s (who is more clued in to buzz; The Age of Miracles is on his). The full roundup of the various NPR lists is here.

New York Times, Janet Maslin — “New Under the Sun: Books for Basking; Granddad, There’s a Head on the Beach and Other Summer Reads

Maslin lavishes the most attention on Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, already a best seller, and includes some quirky titles, (such as the one in the headline, Granddad, There’s a Head on the Beach, a “droll mystery” by Colin Cotterill, Macmillan/Minotaur, 6/18), and some buzz titles (The Age of Miracles). One surprising recommendation; reality-show-creator-cum-talk-show-host Andy Cohen’s Most Talkative (Macmillan/Holt), currently #5 on the NYT hardcover nonfiction best seller list after two weeks. She says he is “as funny as Augusten Burroughs used to be.”

Good Housekeeping — 11 Summer Beach Reads

This list is also in tune with titles we’ve been hearing about on GalleyChat, such as Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone (Penguin/Riverhead, 6/5) called a “fun romp” by GH. Also on the list, The Orphanmaster, a genre-bending title described as “A thriller, love story, and costume drama in one.” It’s also on USA Today‘s list, under mysteries. Many of you joined us in reading the book and chatting with the author as part of Penguin’s First Flights debut author program. The newly-released trailer features Jean talking about the historical background of the novel.

NPR On Ebooks in Libraries

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

NPR’s Morning Edition today looks at the “promise and problems” of ebooks in libraries, focusing on New York’s Queens Borough Public Library. The NPR reporter describes the major problem this way, “libraries are struggling to stock ebooks. Most major publishers impose heavy restrictions or refuse to lend their titles. They are afraid that could undercut digital sales.”

Michelle Obama Media Blitz for AMERICAN GROWN

Friday, May 25th, 2012

The First Lady’s book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, originally scheduled for earlier in this year, will be released on Tuesday (officially because of production delays, but cynics say the timing has more to do with the campaign season than with the growing season).

Obama is scheduled to appear Tuesday on Good Morning AmericaThe View, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Taped appearances will be aired later in the week on LIVE! with Kelly and the Rachael Ray Show.

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
Michelle Obama
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: RH/Crown – (2012-05-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0307956024 / 9780307956026

New Title Radar: May 28 – June 3

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Historian Douglas Brinkley‘s biography of Walter Cronkite – the TV reporter known for decades as “the most trusted man in America” – is already drawing early reviews and praise for its unexpected revelations about this private man. Emmy-winning Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer also sends up contemporary political designs on the U.S. Constitution in Me the People. In fiction, there’s a promising debut thriller by longtime TV cameraman John Steele, plus new titles from Jeff Shaara, Clive Cussler and Joseph Kanon.

Watch List

The Watchers by Jon Steele (Penguin/Blue Rider Press) is a debut thriller about a series of murders tied to a religious work about fallen angels, written by an award-winning news cameraman who has covered wars around the globe. It’s a June Indie Next pick, and Library Journal says, “although it takes a while for the story to gather steam, and the characters sometimes seem flat, the suspense builds to a satisfying climax as the author deftly sets the stage for book two in this planned trilogy.” 100,000 copy first printing.

Usual Suspects 

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara (Ballantine Books; Random House Large Print Publishing; Random House Audio)  begins a new Civil War trilogy. It starts in 1862, as the Confederate Army falters after the loss of Fort Donelson, and face what will become the Battle of Shiloh.

The Storm: A Novel from the NUMA Files by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown (Putnam; Penguin Audio Books) continues this popular series with the tale of researchers who uncover a plan to permanently alter the weather on a global scale. 500,000 copy first printing.

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon (S&S/Atria; Thorndike Large Print) is a thriller about an American businessman working for the Allies in Istanbul, and is a June Indie Next pick. Library Journal says, “some thrillers don’t just entertain but put us smack in the middle of tough moral questions, and it’s no surprise that the author of The Good German has done just that in his superbly crafted new work.”  Kanon will speak at the AAP/EarlyWord lunch at Book Expo on Tuesday, June 5.


Pinkalicious: Soccer Star by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins) is an adventure for beginning readers about Pinkalicious and her soccer team, the Pinksters. 175,000 copy first printing.


Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley (Harper; Harperluxe; HarperAudio; Thorndike Large Print) is a biography of the newsman who was an cultural icon for decades before his retirement in 1981, drawing on Cronkite’s just-opened private papers and interviews with more than 200 family and friends, including Morley Safer and Katie Couric. Reviewing it for Newsweek, media columnist Howard Kurtz calls it “sweeping and masterful,” and says it reveals that “the man who once dominated television journalism was more complicated—and occasionally more unethical—than the legend that surrounds him. Had Cronkite engaged in some of the same questionable conduct today—he secretly bugged a committee room at the 1952 GOP convention—he would have been bashed by the blogs, pilloried by the pundits, and quite possibly ousted by his employer.” LJ notes, “this one’s big; with a one-day laydown on 5/29, a 250,000-copy first printing, and a seven-city tour.” Brinkley will appear on CBS’s Face the Nation this Sunday.

Me the People: One Man’s Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America by Kevin Bleyer (Random House) is an irreverent look at the Constitution by an Emmy-winning Daily Show writer. Kirkus says, “Among the radical suggestions in Bleyer’s revision is to make every citizen a member of Congress, since, as it stands, “Con-gress is the opposite of pro-gress.” Funny stuff with both a point and a perspective.” Jon Stewart has already promoted it on The Daily Show and will undoubtedly do more.

A Dozen Summer Galleys for Memorial Day Weekend Reading

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Signaling the upcoming long weekend and the beginning of the summer reading season, NPR’s Morning Edition features 15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers.

So we thought we’d do one of our own; a dozen summer galleys for Memorial Day Weekend reading, handpicked by EarlyWord and friends. None of these overlap with NPR’s list, so you have plenty to choose from.

Heading Out to Wonderful, Robert Goolrick, Workman/Algonquin Books; Highbridge Audio; Thorndike Large Print — eGalley on NetGalley

Two years ago, at the urging of Workman’s Michael Rockliff, I read Goolrick’s debut novel, A Reliable Wife. I was so bowled over that I wrote, “However many copies you’ve ordered of A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick, it’s not enough.” It was satisfying to be proven right. I can easily say the same and then some for this, his second novel (he also wrote a haunting memoir, The End of the World As We Know It). I am beyond excited that I get to moderate ALTAFF’s “Book Trip” panel featuring Goolrick at BEA on June 6.

The After Wife, Gigi Levangie Grazer, RH/Ballantine, 7/10 — Digital ARC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga County PL, emails us to say, “The After Wife is hilarious,” so hilarious that she’s ordered extra copies. It’s her “choice for the funny-word-of-mouth chick lit book for the pool crowd this summer.” Wendy will be on the Librarians’ Shout ‘n’ Share panel at BEA this year (Wed, June 6, 3:30 to 5 pm, Rm 1E11, Javits Center).

The Bellwether Revivals, Benjamin Wood, Penguin/Viking, 6/14 — Digital ARC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

If you’re part of the Penguin First Flights program, you’ree reading this one to prep for our live online chat with the author on June 1, 4 to 5 p.m. ET (listen to my short audio interview with him here). Even if you’re not part of the program, you’re welcome to join — just come to at chat time (thanks to Penguin for sponsoring the program and proving galleys for the participants).

Yes, Chef, Marcus Samuelsson, 6/26 — eGalley on NetGalley

Robin Beerbower of Salem PL in Oregon says she loved this book by the renowned chef. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, he knows a thing or two about trying to find his way in the world. Says Robin, it’s a “Great combo of memoir w/heart & food.” Robin is also on the Librarians’ Shout ‘n’ Share panel at BEA this year (Wed, June 6, 3:30 to 5 pm, Rm 1E11, Javits Center).


Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt, RH/Dial, 6/19 — Digital ARC on both Edelweiss and NetGalley

Raves on GalleyChat for this literary debut, with some saying it’s their favorite of the year.



Seating Arrangements, RH/Knopf 6/12 — Digital ARC on both Edelweiss and NetGalley

“WASP wedding dysfunction at it’s most hilarious” says Darien Library’s Jennifer Dayton.

Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter, Harper, 6/12 — Digital ARC on Edelweiss

Wake County, NC, Recreation Reading Librarian, Janet Lockhart says it’s “One of my favs of the first half of the year. Great summer read. Can’t go wrong with it.” It’s also a favorite of the HarperCollins Library Marketing team. That cover screams everything one might want in a summer read, but we’ve heard others say they find it contrived. We’d love to hear what you think.

More titles, after the jump.


New Twilight Saga Tie-in

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog, ever on the search for hot YA “exclusives,” has the scoop on the upcoming Twilight tie-in.

The final Twilight movie is coming Nov. 16, of course. This means that Little, Brown YR can soon release (Oct. 9) The Twilight Saga: The Complete Film Archive: Memories, Mementos, and Other Treasures from the Creative Team Behind the Beloved Motion Picture by L.A. Weekly film critic Robert Abele. Says EW, based on their “first peek at the cover and the scoop on what you can find inside — from the looks of it, you’ll have a hard time prying this must-have from a true Twihard’s cold, dead hands.”

The book appeared on Amazon sales rankings, at #353.


Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The first trailer for Baz Lurhmann’s 3-D take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has just been released. The film debuts in theaters on Christmas Day.

Movie bloggers are generally ecstatic (MTV calls it “sizzling”), but Vanity Fair notes an online backlash coming from the peanut gallery.

As he did for Moulin Rouge, Luhrmann uses contemporary music in spite of the historical setting. The trailer opens with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s No Church in the Wild and ends with Jack White’s version of U2’s Love is Blindness.

See if you can spot a misspelling on one of the signs in Times Square (Entertainment Weekly‘s “PopWatch” blog already has).

Official Movie Site:

If you need a quick refresher on the story, this should do the trick:

If that makes you curious about the 1948 version with Shelley Winters in her first starring role (as Myrtle Wilson — Isla Fisher has that part in the new movie), you can view a clip here (she appears 5:11 minutes in to it).

Nancy Pearl’s Summer Picks

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it, lists of poolside reading recommendations.

Nancy Pearl presented hers on NPR’s Morning Edition earlier in the week. One of the titles is, of course, the first in her curated list of reprints, the Book Lust Rediscoveries series, the 1961 title, A Gay and Melancholy Sound, which she first discovered in the Annapolis Public Library when she was 18. She says it may be her “favorite novel ever” (amazing for someone who has read so many books).

Asked about the negative reaction from some independent booksellers over her decision to publish the series with Amazon, she replied, “I was not surprised, but sorry that happened. My loyalty has always been to…putting readers together with good books. When this idea was offered to many, many publishers, Amazon was the company that loved it and felt that it fit their mission.”

In addition to coming back in print, the title is available as an audiobook for the first time (Brilliance Audio).

Among her other picks is Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Nancy says her copy is so filled with markers for quotes she wants to remember that it is now twice its original size. A debut novel, it has been receiving a chorus of kudos,

The cover blurb from Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn, What It’s Like to Go to War) calls it “The Catch 22 of the Iraq War.”

The Washington Post — “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel.”

The NYT Book Review — “everything is brilliantly done”

The Huffington Post points out Fountain “was Malcolm Gladwell’s prime example in an essay about how it takes 10,000 hours to become great at anything” and claims that the book “has already established itself as the finest novel about the Iraq War.”

Hollywood Discovers Ebooks

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

It seems three instances are sufficient to declare a trend. Variety rounds up the news of three ebooks optioned for movies recentlyWool, On the Island and, of course, Fifty Shades of Grey. Says literary agent Jody Hotchkiss,”The effect is that [producers are] looking more closely than ever at the ebook [best seller] list for the original ebook bestsellers.”

Variety provides a list of  “currently high-charting ebooks” that have not yet been optioned, some of which are self-published. The list illustrates the range of publishing options these days, as well as the range of challenges for selectors.

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst — from Entangled Publishing, a non-traditional publisher that selects titles from submissions, and focuses on marketing and promotion, rather than editing (or, as they say, “we let writers do what they do best”). As profiled by Publishers Weekly in January, the company was launched in 2011 by a group of authors to expand publishing opportunities for genre writers, the selections focus on romance. The Marriage Bargain has been on the NYT Combined Print & E-Book best seller list for 6 weeks, as of the current list, reaching a high of #10. A sequel, The Marriage Trap, is coming in June.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire — from CreateSpace, the self-publishing company owned by Amazon. Available in both paperback and ebook, it is on the NYT eBook only list, at #25, after two weeks. The paperback is available through wholesalers and the ebook from B&T’s Axis 360.

Mongoliad by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and others — began life as an online subscription. Amazon Publishing’s science fiction imprint, 47North, released Book One in paperback, available through wholesalers. It’s not on the NYT lists but is at #89 on Amazon’s Science Fiction and Fantasy list. Brilliance (also now owned by Amazon) released the audio.

Beauty by Laurell K. Hamilton — is a 33-page ebook-only “Vampire Hunter outtake,” published by Penguin/Berkley. It landed at #14 on the NYT eBook only list this week and is not available for library lending.


THE NYT Gets the Number

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

In today’s NYT story, Libraries Debate Stocking ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trilogy, publishing reporter Julie Bosman was stonewalled on her attempt to get sales figures for the series; “Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Vintage Books, declined to provide a current sales figure for the trilogy, but said millions had sold so far.”

But Bosman eventually got her answer. The NYT “Arts Beat” blog just posted an update, quoting Knopf Doubleday President Anthony Chirico that “more than 10 million copies of the books have been sold in the United States in six weeks…putting the books among some of the best-selling series in modern publishing.”