Archive for May, 2012

Say Goodbye to Sookie

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

On the eve of the launch of the fifth season of the HBO series, True Blood, Charlaine Harris announces that her next Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After, coming next May, will be the last in the series. Appropriately, it’s the 13th installment. The twelfth book in the series, Deadlocked (Penguin/Ace) came out last week.

Harris first mentioned that the series is ending in an interview in the Houston Press and then confirmed it on her Facebook page (May 14).

Earlier this year, Alan Ball, creator of the tv series, announced that he will not return for a sixth season of True Blood. A replacement has not yet been named.

The tie-in to the new season, Dead as a Doornail  (Penguin/Ace) releases next week. The trailer is below.

The NYT on FIFTY SHADES In Libraries

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Two weeks after stories emerged about libraries removing copies of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy from their shelves, the paper of record takes a look at the controversy.

The story also reports that the National Coalition Against Censorship has organized several groups to oppose the decision to ban the books in Brevard County Public Library.  Last week, they sent a letter to the library’s board. The groups who signed the letter are:

American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression

Association of American Publishers

PEN American Center

American Society of Journalists and Authors

The Independent Book Publishers Association

National Coalition Against Censorship

Mantel Does It Again

Monday, May 21st, 2012

It wasn’t so long ago that many said Americans wouldn’t sit still for a 560-page novel which requires some knowledge of British history and a 98-person character list just to keep all the players straight. Well, we did, putting Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall on the NYT list for 6 weeks (and on the extended list for 12 more). Not only has the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies (Macmillan/Holt), landed on the NYT list during its first week on sale, but it landed at #3, besting Wolf Hall, which peaked at #7  (it came out during the fall season, however, which it a more competitive period).

The new book has also given the earlier one a boost; the paperback of Wolf Hall is back on to that list at #20.

Reviewers, however, say the second book even more appealing than the first. The Washington Post explains,

One key difference between Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is that the latter mostly lacks the poetic reveries that Cromwell allows himself in the former. This is largely a product of the sequel’s compressed timeline of barely nine months, in particular the three weeks leading up to Anne’s execution.

Or, as Time magazine’s Lev Grossman puts it,

The rush of Bring Up the Bodies comes on even faster than that of Wolf Hall ­­— there’s none of what Holden Caulfield would have called the ‘David Copperfield crap.’ no childhood traumas and formative life lessons.

Mantel is at work on the third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. She tells the Washington Post , “I want to combine aspects of both books: the fast turn of events that you have in Bring Up the Bodies, but also the interior voice of Cromwell, the spiritual aspect that you saw more of in Wolf Hall.”

Libraries that ordered the sequel conservatively now face long hold lists.

For those interested in a biography of Anne Boleyn, Hilary Mantel herself recommended Alison Weir’s The Lady in the Tower (2010), in a review in the New York Times.

Forget What GCB Stands For — Show Is Cancelled

Friday, May 18th, 2012

ABC announced last week that they are canceling the series, GCB.

We will miss it. Back in February, we posted a story titled, What Does GCB Stand For? It seems those were just the right words for a Google search. We received close to 89,000 hits on it.

We’re rooting for the online campaign to bring the show back.

The series was based on a book, originally published by Brown Books in Dallas, reissued by Hyperion in January.

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.”

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

New Title Radar: May 21 – 27

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Richard Ford and Paul Theroux return next week – with Ford exploring a boy’s coming of age and Theroux probing a mid-life crisis – while Elizabeth Lowell delivers her latest romantic thriller. There are also three novels that librarians have been buzzing about on our Galley Chat: Suzanne Joinson‘s tale of two women connected across time, Melanie Gideon‘s comic novel about a bored wife, and a mystery set amid the early days of Scotland Yard by Alex Grecian. Plus YA novels from Alyson Noël and Michael Scott.  And in nonfiction, Colin Powell shares his leadership lessons.

Literary Favorites

Canada by Richard Ford (Harper/Ecco; HarperLuxe) is a story of abandonment and self-discovery, told by a boy transplanted to an obscure town in Canada after his parents are arrested for a bank robbery and his sister flees. It’s the #1 IndieNext Pick for June. LJ says, “the narrative slowly builds into a gripping commentary on life’s biggest question: Why are we here? Ford’s latest work successfully expands our understanding of and sympathy for humankind.” At libraries, holds are light on moderate ordering, but it’s on nearly every list of upcoming titles. 200,000 copy first printing.

The Lower River byPaul Theroux (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) follows a man journeying back to an area in Malawi he hasn’t returned to since his years with the Peace Corps after his wife and child leave him, only to discover a village wracked by poverty. PW says, “A somewhat slow exposition and occasional repetition aside, Theroux successfully grafts keen observations about the efficacy of international aid and the nature of nostalgia to a swift-moving narrative through a beautifully described landscape.” Also an IndieNext pick for June.


Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell (Harper/Morrow; HarperLuxe) finds archeologist Lina Taylor and former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Hunter Johnson joining forces to track down missing Mayan artifacts in this romantic thriller.  150,000 copy-first-print. One-day laydown.



GalleyChat Favorites

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson (Bloomsbury) is a historical novel with two parallel stories about women struggling to define themselves, which moves between 1920s Turkestan and present-day England. The publisher compares it to Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s been getting buzz on GalleyChat, with librarians saying it’s a ” good historical fiction novel, with a great cover.” LJ is also positive: “this atmospheric first novel immediately engages… Highly recommended” and it is an IndieNext pick for June. However, libraries have bought it relatively lightly. Cuyahoga buyer Wendy Bartlett cautions that the book does not deliver the light-hearted story signaled by the cover and title and that the parallel stories may put off casual readers. 75,000 copy first printing. The Web site provides background on Kashgar and the origins of the story.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio) is about a bored San Francisco Bay Area wife and mother of teenagers, who in the course of taking a survey about her marriage (she is Wife #22) realizes that the researcher who’s interviewing her may understand her better than her husband. It’s the first adult novel from YA novelist Gideon, who is also the author of the popular adult memoir The Slippery Year.  Here are a few comments from our Galley Chat: “Add me to the list enjoying Wife 22. Would definitely be a great book for discussion.” — “Hard to put down! People will either love or hate main character.” CRYSTAL BALL: Most libraries could use more copies.

The Yard by Alex Grecian (Putnam) is a mystery set in Victorian London, featuring a detective new to Scotland Yard as the organization tries to recover from its failure to catch Jack the Ripper, and written by the author of the graphic novel series Proof. Booklist says, “Grecian’s infusion of actual history adds to this thriller’s credibility and punch.” One of our Galley Chatters had this to say: “mystery set at the end of the 19th C is excellent. Early Scotland Yard, beginning of forensics.” Also an IndieNext pick for June

Young Adult

Fated by Alyson Noël (St. Martin’s/Griffin) marks the beginning of the new Soul Seekers series, about a girl who discovers that she’s descended from Native American shamans, from the author of popular The Immortals series. PW says, “Though weakened by genre cliches and off-screen character development, [the] story is nicely paced and well-written.” It launches with its own Web site.

The Enchantress (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series #6) by Michael Scott (RH/Delacorte Young Readers; Listening Library) is the latest installment in the series that mixes fantasy (the main character is a fabulously wealthy book seller), science fiction and horror. Trailers and games available on the series site.



It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell (HarperCollins) is a series of anecdotes that illustrate leadership lessons, by the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and author of the two-million-copy bestseller My American Journey. PW says, “There’s much inspirational sense drawn from Powell’s matchless range of managerial and political experiences, but also a frustrating reticence on the great leadership crisis of his time [the war in Iraq].” Print Run: 750,000 copies.

BEA Session Not to Miss

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

We just got a heads-up that there are a few spaces remaining in a special BEA session aimed at book group leaders (click on the image below to REGISTER). Run by the energetic Carol Fitzgerald of the Book Reporter Network (which includes, it’s sure to be a great program and a chance to pick up some hot galleys.

FATHER’S DAY Endorsement

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The author of Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, was interviewed on the Today Show Tuesday, for his new book about a road trip he took in an effort to bond with his brain-damaged son, Father’s Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; S&S Audio). It received this ringing endorsement from interviewer Jamie Gangel, ” I LOVED this book. It is funny, it is painful, it will resonate with every parent.”

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

A Scientific Look at Breasts

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

A fascinating look at the fascinating topic of breasts was aired on Fresh Air yesterday, propelling Breasts by Florence Williams to #85 (from # 1,144). Science reporter Williams, after reading that toxins has been discovered in breast milk, had her own tested and discovered that it contained flame retardants (from the foam in her couch) and an ingredient in jet fuel.

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History
Florence Williams
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2012-05-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0393063186 / 9780393063189

Steve Jobs BioPics

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Two movies about Steve Jobs are in the works. Ashton Kutcher is currently filming Jobs: Get Inspired, in which he plays Apple’s co-founder. It is expected to hit theaters later this year.

Rumors that Aaron Sorkin will create a film script from Walter Isaacson’s bio, Steve Jobs (S&S) have been confirmed by Sony Pictures. Sorkin explored the career of another complicated tech mogul, Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010) adapted from Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires (RH/Doubleday, 2009).

Jean Craighead George Dies at 92

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

I know we are still reeling from the loss of Maurice Sendak, but now we have to report the sad news that another children’s book icon, Jean Craighead George has died (as reported on Twitter last night by her agent, via Publishers Lunch).

JeanGeorge was THE author for reluctant readers. She invented the adventure/survival genre for middle grade readers with My Side of the Mountain(Penguin/Dutton). There would be no Gary Paulson if there hadn’t been Jean George.

I remember first meeting her at an ABA (now Book Expo America) years ago. I waited in line to talk to her and couldn’t believe she was real.

I told her, “I have a twin brother who only read one book through grade school and middle school, My Side of the Mountain. Every year the only book report he turned in was for that one book.”

“Did he run away? ” she asked with interest.

“Oh yes, he ran away to live off the land in Florida, he got caught and sent home two days later.”

“I get in a lot of trouble for that” she said.

The full list of her many books is here.


Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Cannes film festival opens today. With all those Hollywood types hanging out on the Croisette, there’s bound to be a lot of deal making. The Hollywood Reporter has the story on one of the first. Amy Adams is in talks to star in an adaptation of Edgar-finalist Gillian Flynn’s 2009 novel, Dark Places. If negotiations go well, she will play Libby Day who was seven when her family was murdered. She escaped and accused her 15-year old brother Ben of being the killer.  Twenty-five years later a group questions Libby in an effort to get him out of jail. The movie is to be directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who directed the adaptation of Tatiana De Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key.

Dark Places is Gillian Flynn’s second novel and was on many of the year’s best books lists. Her third book, Gone Girl, is a psychological thriller about a marriage (author Adam Ross’s blurb says “it’s like Scenes from a Marriage remade by Alfred Hitchcock”). It will be published June 5th and has received enthusiasm on GalleyChatAudio and print excerpts are available on the NPR Web site. Digital ARC’s on Edelweiss and NetGalley.

Author Web site:

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: RH/Crown – (2012-06-05)
ISBN: 9780307588364

New CW Teen Series

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012


The CW network, well-known for its teen series, several of which are adapted from books (Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle) is adding a record five new teen series to their upcoming schedule, according to Deadline. Among them is a series based on The Carrie Diaries and Summer in the City (both HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray), Candace Bushnell’s YA prequels to Sex and the City. It stars AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie the Younger and Austin Butler as her love interest.

Deadline notes that, while it didn’t make the first cut, the network may still approve another adaptation, The Selection, from the recently published book of the same title by Kiera Cass (also HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray). Set 300 years in the future, it’s about a poor girl chosen by lottery to compete to win the heart of a prince and is being billed as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. The book appeared on the NYT Chapter Book Best Seller list last week, but dropped off the current one. UPDATE: 5/17, CW president tells the Hollywood Reporter that he is very high on the project and may redevelop it.


Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Following the bidding wars for Fifty Shades of Grey (which began its life as Master of the Universe on a Twilight fan fiction site) and the sci-fi Wool, Hollywood continues its fascination with self-pubbed titles.

Film rights to Tracey Garvis-Graves’ On the Island, a NYT E-Book Fiction Best Seller (currently at #9 after 4 weeks; down from a high of #7), were just won at auction by Warner Brothers, reports Variety. In addition to the ebook format (available on B&T’s Axis 360), it is available in paperback (Amazon/CreateSpace, 9781466363212, 3/14/12). WorldCat indicates that few libraries own it.


Monday, May 14th, 2012

Deadline reports that there has been “something of a stampede of bidders” for the film rights to a self-pubbed science fiction title, Wool, which, because it’s “an internet sensation” that attracted the interest of Hollywood, is being called “the sci-fi version of Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Publishers Weekly reported on the book early last month, pointing out that there has been little press about it, except for and a review on BoingBoing.

Wool began life as short story, followed by four more titles, which are collected in Wool – Omnibus Edition (Amazon/CreateSpace; 9781469984209). The five individual titles and the omnibus edition are available through wholesalers as print on demand. According to WorldCat, just a few libraries own any of them.

Despite strong interest from traditional American publishers, Howey has not yet made a deal with any of them, because, he told PW, he doesn’t find their terms attractive. On his blog today, he announces that he struck a deal with Random House in the UK for publication in January. From the sound of it, though, he hasn’t changed his mind about American publishers,

I now have a native-language (mostly) publisher while remaining indie here at home. With feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence, I’ll get a taste of the traditional route without signing over my life. I can still write what I want over here. I won’t lose the sales that allow me to write full-time. And foreign book contracts, let me tell you, are much more progressive and author-friendly than domestic ones.


Monday, May 14th, 2012

When asked what she thought of some libraries removing Fifty Shades of Grey from their shelves on The View on Friday, the book’s author, E.L. James responded, “I think people should read what they like, providing it is age appropriate,” bringing applause from the audience.

The studio audience went away with a copy of the book (as well as $100 Marshall’s gift certificate and a copy of Weeknights with Giada — how mainstream can you get?).

Earlier in the week, the co-hosts discussed the “Hot Topic” of whether it’s appropriate for libraries to remove the book. All agreed that it’s not (even though, in another segment, they expressed strong reservations about the book’s theme of female submission). Whoopie Goldberg said, “If people want to see the book for themselves, the library is obligated to provide it.”