Archive for May, 2012


Monday, May 14th, 2012

The man who led the CIA’s anti-terrorism efforts, Henry Crumpton, said in an interview on CBS Sixty Minutes last night that there are “more foreign spies in the US than ever before.”

Crumpton writes about his experiences in The Art of Intelligence. The embargoed book is being released today.

An excerpt is on The Daily Beast.

The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service
Henry A. Crumpton
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press – (2012-05-14)
ISBN / EAN: 1594203342 / 9781594203343

Remembering Maurice Sendak

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Perhaps the best of all the tributes flowing in for beloved author Maurice Sendak, who died at 83 on Tuesday, is the fact that his books instantly soared up Amazon’s best seller list, with Where the Wild Things Are moving up to #14.

Sendak’s irreverent wit was on full display in an appearance on the Stephen Colbert Report in late February. During the interview, Colbert threatened to “cash in” on the children’s book game, writing one of his own. In an amazing piece of timing, the resulting book, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!), arrived on shelves the very day Sendak died, bearing the blurb, “The Sad Thing is, I Like It, Maurice Sendak.”

Colbert, who clearly developed a rapport with Sendak, ran a previously unaired portion of the interview on Tuesday’s show (see the original interview here).

New Title Radar: May 14 – 20

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Our list of eleven titles you need to know next week, includes Jai Pausch’s memoir about coming to terms with the loss of her husband, Randy, whose book, The Last Lecture, has been an enduring favorite. The author of Friday Night Lights writes a new book about traveling with his brain-damaged son. On our Watch List is a book libraries may have under bought and a Nancy Pearl pick for the summer.

Watch List

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri (HarperCollins) is the followup to the 2009 word-of-mouth hit, The Lacemakers of Glenmara. Library orders range widely, with Cuyahoga (OH) buying the most; over 150 copies for their 28 branches, even though there are few holds on it so far. Head of collection development, Wendy Bartlett took a stand on the book because the previous book was a long-running local hit, with people continuing to place holds over a year after it was published. Wake County (NC) has bought more conservatively, and has much higher holds than other libraries we checked. Recreation Reading Librarian, Janet Lockhart believes holds are based on the cover and description, featured on their catalog, which appeals to anyone looking forward to summer on the beach. The Lacemakers of Glenmara is still circulating in both libraries, creating a built-in audience. Note: The author lives in Seattle and the book is set in Maine. CRYSTAL BALL: Most libraries can use more copies of this; with that cover and author name recognition, it will turn over quickly.

The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel (Unbridled Books) explores the lives of the members of a suburban Florida high school jazz quartet as their paths cross ten years later, and they face the disappointments of adulthood, from lost jobs to unplanned progeny to addiction. This is a Nancy Pearl pick for the summer, as were the author’s previous two novels, both of which were critical successes.

Literary Favorites

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey (RH/Knopf) is a tale of love and loneliness by the two-time Booker winner focusing on a museum conservator in London who plunges into a project to restore an automaton as she silently grieves the death of her lover of 13 years, who was married to someone else. Booklist says, “Carey’s gripping, if at times overwrought, fable raises provocative questions about life, death, and memory and our power to create and destroy.” The Wall St. Journal has an interview with the author.

Usual Suspects

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry (RH/Ballantine; Random House Large Print; Random House Audio) is a standalone thriller in which a journalist works to decipher the artifacts left in his father’s coffin, leading to discoveries about Christopher Columbus. The author is usually compared to Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler, but here, he is working in the Dan Brown mode.

Stolen Prey by John Stanford (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audiobooks) is the 22nd novel featuring Lucas Davenport of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, as he investigates the murder of a family in their lakeside trophy house.


The Accused (Theodore Boone Series #3; Penguin/Dutton Children’s) by John Grisham finds 13 year-old Theo facing his biggest challenge yet, after having discovered key evidence in a murder trial and in his best friend’s abduction.

Gilt by Katherine Longshore (Penguin/Viking Children’s) follows the life of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, through the eyes of her close friend. Kirkus says, “the mounting terror as lusty, luxury-loving Cat’s fortunes fall is palpable, as is the sense that the queen is no innocent. The author’s adherence to historical detail is admirable, clashing with both title and cover, which imply far more froth than readers will find between the covers. A substantive, sobering historical read, with just a few heaving bodices.” This one is highly anticipated by librarians on our YA GalleyChat.

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (HarperCollins) is a space opera featuring a 19-year-old prince who is forced out of his protected bubble and must grapple with the weaknesses and strengths of his true self in order to take his rightful place as intergalactic Emperor. Kirkus says, “the rocket-powered pace and epic world building provide an ideal vehicle for what is, at heart, a sweet paean to what it means to be human.  75K copies.” This one has been heavily ordered by libraries and has holds.


Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son by Buzz Bissinger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Simon & Schuster Audio) finds the author of Friday Night Lights on a cross-country trip with his 24 year-old son, who has some significant disabilities related to brain damage at birth, and many admirable qualities. 100K copy first printing.

DNA USA by Bryan Sykes (Norton/Liveright) is part travelogue, part genealogical history of the U.S. as the author, an Oxford geneticist, writes about the DNA samples he has gathered. Kirkus says, “Sykes gives lucid, entertaining explanations of new genetic techniques and their startling success at tracing familial ties across continents and millennia.” An interview with the author is scheduled for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, in addition to coverage on local NPR stations. Libraries are showing some holds.

Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss by Jai Pausch (RH/Crown Archetype) is a meditation on marriage, grief and caregiving through illness by the wife of Randy Pausch, who wrote the bestseller The Last Lecture on the eve of his death from pancreatic cancer. Kirkus says, “Far from being a mere add-on to her late husband’s book, this work stands on its own as an eloquent testimony of a caregiver.”

One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard (Hyperion) is a Sports Illustrated writer’s fond look back at the 1971 Macon (Ill.) High School’s baseball team’s journey to the state finals. PW says, “Ballard holds the story of the team together with his conversational prose and boosts the story’s poignancy with a touching conclusion that demonstrates the importance of high school sports and hometown heroes while asking, if not answering, the question of how much one game, a win or lose, can change a life.” 100,000 copy first printing.


Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Clips are beginning to arrive online for films that will premiere at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. The one below is from The Paperboy (via Rope of Silcon), based on National Book Award winning author Pete Dexter’s novel (Random House, 1995). It stars Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack and is directed by Lee Daniels (Precious). No US release date has been set, but it may appear in the late fall of this year.

Chelsea Cain to TV

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Beautiful demonic serial killer Gretchen Lowell may materialize in a TV series. According to Deadline, FX has put Chelsea Cain’s books, Heartsick, Sweetheart and Evil At Heart, into development. No cast has been named.

On her blog, Cain says she is “over the moon” that the network responsible for Justified,  American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy has given the green light for the pilot, saying, “These people clearly buy fake blood in bulk and know how to use it.” If it succeeds, the network plans on doing three 13-episode seasons, each based on one of the titles.

After that, there’s more material to work with. The fifth book in the series is coming in August, following the fourth, Night Season, published last year.

Kill You Twice
Chelsea Cain
Retail Price:  $25.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Macmillan/Minotaur – (2012-08-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0312619782/9780312619787

Macmillan audio; Thorndike released Evil at Heart and The Night Season in large type.

More Libraries Withdraw FIFTY SHADES

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

An Associated Press story released late yesterday uncovers more libraries withdrawing a #1 NYT Best seller weeks after it first arrived in that spot, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Earlier in the week, the Palm Beach Post published a story about Brevard County withdrawing their copies. The AP reports that three other libraries have removed their copies — Gwinnett County in Georgia, Leon County, Florida and an unnamed library system in Wisconsin. The story is being picked up widely. A Google search on “Fifty Shades Libraries” returns over 300 hits, from to the UK’s Guardian.

The majority of the 345 comments on the AP story express opposition to the action, such as this one from “GolfingSusan”:

I am glad I have the freedom to buy a book if I want it because I sure as hell don’t want some librarian deciding what I should or shouldn’t read. It’s none of her business! Having been to the library often, I can safely say, I find a lot of the “selections” offensive. There are a lot crappy books in there no one wants to check out!

A Brevard County resident has begun an online petition to have the books reinstated. It has 327 signatures so far.

ON THE ROAD to Hit Theaters This Fall

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Walter Salles’s film of Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation classic On The Road is set to premiere at the upcoming Cannes film festival. Distribution rights have just been picked up, with plans to release it in the fall, which means it will be eligible for 2013 Oscar nominations.

The film includes so many marquee names that it will be difficult to fit them all on a single marquee, but the name dominating the headlines is Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart, who plays Mary Lou, Dean Moriarity’s 16-year-old bride. In addition to starring in the Twilight franchise, Stewart has starred in indie movies and was particularly powerful playing Joan Jett in The Runaways.

On The Road also stars

Garrett Hedlund … Dean Moriarty

Sam Riley — Sal Paradise

Kirsten Dunst … Camille

Amy Adams … Jane

Tom Sturridge … Carlo Marx

Danny Morgan … Ed Dunk

Alice Braga … Terry

Elisabeth Moss … Galatea Dunkel

Viggo Mortensen … Old Bull Lee

For information on various editions of the book, see our earlier post.

Brevard County Pulls FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The Palm Beach Post reported Friday that the Brevard County, Florida, public library system has pulled all but “a handful” of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey from their shelves (via E! Online). That handful must have been withdrawn since; the library catalog currently shows none of the titles in the trilogy.

Library Director Cathy Schweinsberg says the move was not a result of public pressure, telling the paper,

Nobody asked us to take it off the shelves. But we bought some copies before we realized what it was. We looked at it, because it’s been called ‘mommy porn’ and ‘soft porn.’ We don’t collect porn.

Many librarians tell us that the only public pressure they’ve received about the book has been in the form of long holds lists (in some cases, over 1,000 requests for the print version and an additional 550 for the eBook).

The paper notes, however, “While the naughty novel doesn’t check out with local library officials, a quick look at the Brevard system’s online catalogue reveals a solid stash of some of the most erotic and enduring literature,” such as The Complete Kama Sutra, Fanny Hill, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Fear of Flying, Tropic of Cancer and Lolita.

Buzz Building for New Bio of Obama

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair features a photo from a new book about Marilyn Monroe (Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories, RH/Doubleday/Nan A. Talese), but buzz is building about the magazine’s excerpt of another bio, David Maraniss’s Barack Obama: The Story.

It features “the untold story” of Obama’s post-grad romance with former girlfriend Genevieve Cook, including quotes from her diary. Does that sound like a bit of extraneous gossip aimed at selling books? US News responds with “Why Barack Obama’s Old Girlfriend Matters.”

Meanwhile, The Huffington Post is more interested in “Obama’s Thoughts On T.S. Eliot” and the NYT “City Room” blog sniffs, “Obama? Just the Forgettable 1980s Boyfriend of a Landlord’s Tenant.”

Barack Obama: The Story
David Maraniss
Retail Price: $32.50
Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-06-19)
ISBN / EAN: 1439160406 / 9781439160404


Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories
Lawrence Schiller
Retail Price: $20.00
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2012-05-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0385536674 / 9780385536677

Maurice Sendak Dies

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Beloved children’s author, Maurice Sendak, died today at 83.

In tribute, NPR’s web site is rerunning an interview from Fresh Air (audio to be available at 5 p.m. ET today).

His iconoclastic humor was on full display in a recent appearance on the Stephen Colbert Report:

Part One:

Part Two (in which Sendak calls Colbert an “idiot” — watch to the end to find out what he thinks of eBooks):

DR. SLEEP Coming in January (UPDATE: Biblio Info Added)

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

A press release on Stephen King’s Web site announces that Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, is tentatively scheduled for publication on January 15 of next year. Update:  S&S/Scribner; 9781451698848; $30; 544 pgs; on-sale date as 1/15/13.

In a recent interview with Neil Gaiman, King talks about Dr. Sleep and also says he is working on another new title, Joyland, about an amusement park serial killer.

King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole debuted at #1 on the NYT Fiction Hardcover Best Seller list this week.

Below, King reads from the first chapter of Dr. Sleep at the Savannah Book Fair in February (via Daily Dead). Last fall, he read from another segment at George Mason University.

Publisher description after the jump:


2012 James Beard Awards

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The big winner in this year’s James Beard Cookbook Awards is a big book; Modernist Cuisine was named the Cookbook of the Year, as well as winner in the  Cooking from a Professional Point of View category. Just before the announcement, several publications, including the Wall Street Journal‘s SpeakEasy blog, covered the news that, despite its size (five volumes, 47 lbs) and cost ($450), it’s sold over 45,000 copies (a check of WorldCat reveals that few of those sales were to public libraries).

Below is the list, with book trailers where available.

2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Cookbook of the Year
Modernist Cuisine, by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, (The Cooking Lab)

Cookbook Hall of Fame
Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (RH/Vintage) and More Home Cooking (Harper Perennial)

American Cooking 
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchenby Hugh Acheson
(RH/Clarkson Potter)

Baking and Dessert
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, by Jeni Britton Bauer, (Workman/Artisan)

Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas, by Brad Thomas Parsons, (RH/Ten Speed Press)

Cooking from a Professional Point of View 
Modernist Cuisine., by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, (The Cooking Lab)

General Cooking
Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman. (Chronicle Books)

Focus on Health
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchenby Heidi Swanson, (RH/Ten Speed Press)

The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert, (HarperCollins/Ecco)

Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession, Artist/Photographer: Jeff Scott, (Tatroux)

Reference and Scholarship
Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920, by Andrew P. Haley
(The University of North Carolina Press)

Single Subject 
All About Roasting, by Molly Stevens, (W.W. Norton & Company)

Writing and Literature
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chefby Gabrielle Hamilton, (Random House)

What Mom Really Wants

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Top Ten Graphic Memoirs

Friday, May 4th, 2012

To celebrate the release of Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?, Time magazine offers a slide show of ten other “unforgettable autobiographical comics,” beginning with Art Spiegelman’s Maus.

Several libraries are showing heavy holds on Bechdel’s title.

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama
Alison Bechdel
Retail Price: $22.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – (2012-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0618982507 / 9780618982509

Nonfiction Radar: May 7th – 13th

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Arriving next week are a father-son memoir from Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, biographies of Clarence Birdseye by the author of Cod and Salt and foodie Craig Claiborne by Thomas McNamee, plus a wacky self-help book from Augusten Burroughs.

Along the Way: The Journey of Father and Son by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (S&S/Free Press) is a joint memoir by father and son, both well-known actors. It’s partly set in Hollywood, but its through-line is the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage path across northern Spain, from which Sheen’s father emigrated to the U.S. and to which Estevez’s own son has returned to live. A Today Show interview is scheduled for May 8.

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky (RH/Doubleday) is a biography of Clarence Birdseye, the inventor of fast-freezing for food, written by the author of Cod and SaltKirkus says, “Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye’s adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and he also offers engaging snippets about Velveeta, dehydration and Grape-Nuts. The author notes that Birdseye knew that curiosity is ‘one essential ingredient’ in a fulfilling life; it is a quality that grateful readers also discover in each of Kurlansky’s books.”

The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance by Thomas McNamee (S&S/Free Press; Tantor Media) is an authorized biography of culinary tastemaker Craig Claiborne’s Parisian days, world travels, and influence on American chefs and food culture. Kirkus calls it “a highly readable, well-researched narrative.”

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More by Augusten Burroughs (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Thorndike Press; Macmillan Audio) is an unconventional self-help book by the bestselling author who chronicled how he overcame an abusive childhood. “Despite pages of platitudes, Burroughs provides plenty of worthy material on the absurdity of the human condition and the unpredictability of contemporary life,” says Kirkus.