Archive for July, 2012

Hilary Mantel on the Booker Longlist

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The longlist for the Booker Awards was just announced in London. Hilary Mantel is one of the 12 authors, for Bring up the Bodies, her followup to the 2009 Booker winner, Wolf Hall. The second in a planned trilogy, Bring up the Bodies is already a best seller in the US. It hit the NYT bestseller list at #3, a direct result of the boost the Booker gave to the author’s visibility.

For reasons we’ve never been able to pinpoint, the Booker has more effect on sales in the U.S. than our own National Book Awards. Most of the winners of the British prize have ended up on the New York Times best seller list.

The award is open to citizens of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. Of the twelve writers just announced, nine are British, one Indian, one South African and one Malaysian.

The titles, with American publication information, are below:

Currently available in the US


Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis, Penguin Press, 4/12/12; Reviews, PWstarred;  The Millions

Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies, Macmillan/Holt, 5/8/12; Review links

Michael Frayn, Skios, Macmillan/Holt, 6/19/12; Reviews, Washington Post, by Michael Dirda; New York Times, by Michiko Kakutani; New York Times Book Review, by Alex Witchel; Seattle Times, by Michael Upchurch

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Random House, 7/24/12; Review links

Upcoming US Publications


Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists, Perseus/ Weinstein Books, 8/14/12; Booklist review; LJ review by Barbara Hoffert

Will Self, Umbrella, Grove Press, 12/10/12

Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident, Bloomsbury US, 2/26/13; Review, The Independent; Profile of the author, The Guardian

Not Yet Scheduled

(publishers listed are British)

Nicola Barker, The Yips, HarperCollins/Fourth Estate; Review, The Guardian; Review, The Independent

André Brink, Philida, Random House/Harvill Secker

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home, And Other Stories, Publishing; Review, The Guardian

Alison Moore, The Lighthouse, Salt Publishing

Sam Thompson, Communion Town, HarperCollins/Fourth Estate; Review, The Telegraph

The shortlist of six authors will be announced on  September 11th, and the winner on October 16h.


Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Below, director Joe Wright introduces a new, six-minute clip of his film of Anna Karenina (try to get past the surprisingly stilted into). Opening in theaters on November 9th, it stars Keira Knightly and Jude Law with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard.

Get those Russian-themed book displays ready.

Official Site:

Vintage is releasing a tie-in edition in October. The translation is by Tolstoy’s close American friends Louise and Aylmer Maude, originally published in 1918.

Anna Karenina (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Leo Tolstoy
Retail Price: $12.95
Paperback: 976 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2012-10-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0345803922 / 9780345803924

A 2004 Oprah book club pick, it is still available in that edition. Two of the beneficiaries of that pick were the husband-and-wife translators, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who, according to a story in the New York Timeshad never heard of Oprah or her club when they got the news that their translation was getting a new print run of 800,000 copies.

In reviewing this translation in the New Yorker, James Wood said the couple are “at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy’s ‘characters, acts, situations.'”

New Yorker editor David Remnick explored translations of Russian classics in depth in “The Translation Wars: How the race to translate Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky continues to spark feuds, end friendships, and create small fortunes.”

Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Retail Price: $17.00
Paperback: 862 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics – (2004-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0143035002 / 9780143035008

Bank Street’s First One School Pick

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

One Book, One Community

One Book, One School

I have always been skeptical of these programs, wondering “Can one book really fit all?” But then, along comes one that does — Wonder by R.J. Palacio RH/Knopf, 2/14/12).

Wonder is the first book that I have read in years that deserves to be a One Book, One School read, so Bank Street will be using it for our very first One Book, One Bank Street program. We are urging students, teachers, faculty, parents, and alumni to read this moving book about a 5th grade class who must examine how they treat Auggie, a bright, boy with a frightening facial deformity who is going to school for the first time.

It is an un-put-down-able, gender-neutral story that gives an authentic voice to the relationships between sibling, friends, and parents. I can’t think of a book to compare it to and, given the number of books I’ve read during my career, that’s saying a lot right there.

Choosing a new hardcover seems like an expensive proposition for such a program, but this is a book that will stand the test of time. Our school will begin reading it aloud to 3rd and 4th grades in September. I am buying classroom sets for 5th and 6th grades to read in September/October. They will then be passed up to 7th and 8th grade in November. We will be blogging about the successes and pitfalls of the program and the reading/literacy/social curriculum that arises from the experience.

The publisher is supporting the book with various materials, including a readers guide, and terrific choose kindness campaign.

Word of mouth is spreading like wildfire. The book has been on the NYT Children’s Hardcover list since mid-March. For a taste of the kind of excitement kids are expressing for Wonder, below is a review from Bank Street Children’s Book Committee young reviewer, Foster, who is 12-years-old:

I loved Wonder. It is a wonderful novel about kindness and not judging people by their looks. The reader forms an incredibly strong bond with the main character, August Pullman. August is not an ordinary ten-year old. As he says, “ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds.” August was born without a jaw, with eyes too far down his face and missing external ears. Sheltered his entire life by his parents, he did not attend public school to avoid the shock and disgust on other children’s faces. However, his parents force him to enter fifth grade because they cannot homeschool him well enough for him to take advantage of his superior intellectual capabilities.

The plot so captivates the reader that Wonder must be read in one sitting. Wonder is inspiring because it shows that regardless of a person’s looks, a person should be treated the same as everyone else.

Wonder explains life through the eyes of a person whom society casts as an outsider and the book reveals that, even today, looks are given far too much importance. Also, Wonder describes how people interact with people with disabilities and how they overcome their prejudices.

Chris Hedges on Sacrifice Zones

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Bill Moyers dedicates his most recent show to a book of “graphic journalism,” Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books, 6/12/12), a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and cartoonist Joe Sacco. It covers what the authors call ” sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement.”

The book is now at #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings.



Tuesday, July 24th, 2012


Sam Kean managed to make the periodic table sexy in his book, The Disappearing Spoon. In his new book, The Violinist’s Thumb, (Hachette/Little,Brown), he takes on an already sexy subject, DNA.

After he appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Thumb rose from #248 to #43 and Spoon from #886 to #228 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Holds Alert; Hot in Cuyahoga

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Cleveland isn’t the only place where things are hot; Wendy Bartlett, from Cuyahoga County reports that several titles are taking off there. Holds for he forthcoming debut The Light Between Oceans by Australian writer, M.L. Stedman (S&S, 7/31) have risen so quickly that she just placed an order for six times the original number. So far, it hasn’t received much review attention, other than the lead in O Magazine’s Summer Reading List. It’s been mentioned on GalleyChat and Wendy herself featured it during the BEA librarian’s Shout and Share panel. Several other libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

Also heating up is Mark Haddon’s The Red House(RH/Doubleday; Random House Audio). Reviews have ranged from admiring (Ron Charles, The Washington Post) to perplexed (The New York Times Book Review). Similarly, libraries are showing a range of holds from heavy to very light.

The Playdate by Louise Millar (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler) is a local phenomenon in Cuyahoga, where the influential Cleveland Plain Dealer gives it an irresistible review. A paperback original, it’s worth buying additional copies for browsing and readers advisory, even where holds are not building. Like this summer’s breakout, Gone Girl, it is a psychological thriller told in alternating first-person chapters. According to the Plain Dealer, it “starts out as one of those readable domestic novels — all friendship, social climbing and marriage trouble” but slowly becomes “taut, page-turning and surprising.”


Monday, July 23rd, 2012

You would have thought that Gwyneth Paltrow, the face of Australian company Spar Veggie, would have run screaming at the very mention of the words “Blood, Bones and Butter,” but it’s being reported that she is in negotiatons to star in a film based on the best-selling memoir by Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones and Butter, Random House, 2011).

Like Hamilton, Paltrow wrote a book about food that was published last year, My Father’s Daughter (Hachette/Grand Central, 2011).

BAILOUT Media Attention

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

As we reported in “New Title Radar,” Bailout; An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street by Neil Barofsky (S&S/Free Press; 7/24) is due for major media attention this week. The New York Times, in yesterday’s Business Section, calls it a “must read.” Below, the author is interviewed on CBS This Morning today. Dozens of other appearances are scheduled on media outlets from NPR to Fox News.

Barofsky was scheduled to appear on Face the Nation yesterday, but that appears to have been bumped by coverage of the Aurora shooting.

More Catnip for DOWNTON ABBEY Fans

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

At a press conference for TV critics in Beverly Hills, the cast and creators of the multiple Emmy-nominated Downton Abbey series offered many tidbits, but little real information on season three, which returns on January 6.

Several clips and a brief trailer were shown. Unfortunately, they have not been released on the Web, so we have to make do with written reports, such as the L.A. Times story.

Fans are expecting sparks between new cast member Shirley MacLaine and the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith. It seems those hopes were not dashed.

Several new Downton Abbey related titles are coming this fall. The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, the “official inside story of the history, characters, and behind-the-scenes drama of Season 3, when Downton Abbey enters the 1920s” is sure to feed the frenzy when it arrives in November, two months before the series airs in the U.S. (it begins in the U.K. in September). It is co-written by Jessica Fellowes, author of The World of Downton Abbey and niece of the series creator, Julian Fellowes. Expect it to be a popular holiday gift.

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era
Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis
Retail Price: $29.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press – (2012-11-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1250027624 / 9781250027627

The script book for season one arrives in October, followed by season two in February.

Downton Abbey Script Book Season 1
Julian Fellowes
Retail Price: $19.99
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins/Morrow – (2012-10-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0062238310 / 9780062238313


Downton Abbey Script Book Season 2
Julian Fellowes
Retail Price: $19.99
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins/Morrow – (2013-02-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0062241354 / 9780062241351

Adding to the growing number of books about real life of the time, is a title that makes sly reference to an earlier popular series, Upstairs & Downstairs, According to the publisher, it “takes readers on a guided tour of a single day in an upper-crust English home of the Edwardian era.”

Upstairs & Downstairs: The Illustrated Guide to the Real World of Downton Abbey
Sarah Warwick
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Carlton Books – (2012-09-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1847327907 / 9781847327901

For those who want to play along at home, cookbooks are on their way, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, (Adams Media, 9/18/12) and Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals (Skyhorse Publishing, 11/1/12).

Filming Begins on Finder’s PARANOIA

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

When Joseph Finder’s thriller, Paranoia (Macmillan/St. Martin’s), was released in 2004, it had already been sold to Hollywood. Nearly ten years later, filming has just begun, on location in Philadelphia, moving on to New York, with a planned release date of September 27, 2013.

Described as a “high-tech corporate espionage thriller,” the movie features an impressive cast, lead by Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, Amber Heard (The Rum Diary), and Richard Dreyfuss.

The plot concerns an ambitious young technologist, Adam (Hemsworth), who, after making a major misstep is blackmailed by his ruthless CEO (Gary Oldman) into spying on the company’s top rival, run by a character played by Harrison Ford. Adam finds himself living the life of his dreams, as a rich, successful young Manhattan bachelor but eventually has to find a way out from under his boss, “who will stop at nothing, even murder, to gain a multi-billion dollar advantage.”

After four spy thrillers, (including High Crimes, which was made into a movie in 2002, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman), Joseph Finder began specializing in corporate espionage with the release of Paranoia, which was his breakout book. His most recent novels are the first two in a series, featuring Nick Heller; Vanished (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2009) and Buried Secrets (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2011).

The author notes on his blog that he doesn’t plan to write a sequel to Paranoia, but tells readers (take note, Hollywood) that if they like that book’s main character, they will like his new series character.

Spielberg’s LINCOLN Finally Gets a Release Date

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Seen a shoe-in to win several Oscars and a strong contender for Best Picture, Stenen Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic has finally been scheduled for a Nov. 9 limited release, expanding to more theaters on Nov. 16. The timing puts it after the Presidential election; Spielberg earlier voiced concerns that, if it was released earlier, it would “become political fodder,” presumably because Obama often compares himself to Lincoln. The film, which focuses on the last four months of Lincoln’s life, is based on portions of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (S&S, 2005)a book that experienced renewed popularity after the last election, when Obama repeatedly referred to it as the blueprint for selecting his cabinet.

So far, the only images from the film are some set photos. It stars and Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as his wife, Mary and David Strathairn as Secretary of State William H. Seward, who, of his three former rivals for the presidency, became Lincoln’s closest friend.

Below, Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about why there can never be too many books about Lincoln.

Simon and Scuster is publishing tie-ins editions of both the book and the audio.

Spielberg’s next movie is also based on a book, Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson  (RH/Doubleday, 2011). Deadline reports that Chris Hemsworth is in talks to star. It is scheduled for release on April 25, 2014.

New Title Radar: July 23 – 29

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The last summer reading picks are trickling in. Next week brings two buzz titles from Book Expo and ALA:  British author Rachel Joyce‘s quirky tale of friendship and loyalty, and John Verdon‘s third NYPD detective mystery, plus the latest Dublin mystery from Tana French. Usual suspects include Danielle Steel, J.A. Jance, Brad Thor and Emily Griffin.

Watch List

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Random House; RH Audio; BOT) is a debut novel by an acclaimed BBC scriptwriter, about a man who decides to walk 600 miles to visit a terminally ill old friend who has written him out of the blue. Booklist says, “a gentle and genteel charmer, brimming with British quirkiness yet quietly haunting in its poignant and wise examination of love and devotion. Sure to become a book-club favorite.” This one was featured on the Editor’s Buzz Panel at Book Expo, a Wall St. Journal Hot Title for July and is on O Magazine‘s Summer Reading List.

Let the Devil Sleep by John Verdon (RH/Crown; Dreamscape Audio; Overdrive ebook and audio) is the third mystery featuring retired NYPD Detective Dave Gurney, who is seeking some R&R in upstate New York when there’s a break in a 10-year old serial killer case. PW says, “the tension is palpable on virtually every page of a story that perfectly balances the protagonistas complex inner life with an elaborately constructed puzzle.” This was a librarians Shout ‘n’ Share title at ALA. 70,000-copy printing.

Returning Favorites

Broken Harbor by Tana French (Penguin/Viking; Thorndike Large Print) is the author’s fourth Dublin mystery featuring Detective Mick ‘Scorcher’ Kennedy, this time about an attack on a family that only the mother survives. It’s on most of the summer reading lists, including FlavoreWire’s “Must Reads” for July, which offers this recommendation: “If you’re going to read this book, you probably already know it — if not, we recommend starting with In the Woods and thanking us later. [Broken Harbor] is as fierce and eloquently pulse-intensifying as the others.” 200,000-copy printing.

Usual Suspects

Friends Forever by Danielle Steel (RH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is about a group of friends at a private high school who part ways for college and are torn apart by tragedy.

Judgment Call by J.A. Jance (HarperCollins/ Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio) is the 15th novel featuring Cochise County, Ariz., sheriff Joanna Brady, whose daughter discovers the body of her school principal.  PW says, “Jance smoothly intertwines the threads of multiple subplots, complete with a red herring or two. The solution to a 25-year-old mystery surrounding the death of Joanna’s father is a bonus.”

Black List by Brad Thor (S&S/Emily Bestler; S&SAudio; Thorndike Large Print) features Scot Harvath, a former Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned covert counterterrorism operative, who must evade a stream of assassins until he can figure out why he’s on the president’s black list.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin (Macmillan/ St. Martin; Thorndike Large PrintMacmillan Audio) is the author’s fifth novel, about a 36-year-old New York City TV producer whose stable life is unsettled by the daughter she gave up 18 years before. Entertainment Weekly picked it as a “Hot Read” of summer 2012. It follows Heart of the Matter, which hit the NYT list at #2. The author’s first book, Something Borrowed, was made into a movie in 2011.

Major Media Attention

Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street by Neil Barofsky (S&S/Free Press) is, according to the publisher, is “An irrefutable indictment, from an insider of both the Bush and Obama administrations, of the mishandling of the $700 billion TARP bailouts and the extreme degree to which our government officials from both parties served the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the public.” It will be featured in dozens of media outlets, including CBS Face the Nation this Sunday, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and NPR’s Marketplace.

WILD Book Club Wraps

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Image Credit: George Burns/Harpo, Inc.

The first installment of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 concludes this Sunday, capped by Oprah’s two-hour interview with the author of Wild, Cheryl Strayed on OWN’s Super Soul Sunday (11 a.m. ET/PT; also on Oprah Radio on Sirius and the club’s Facebook page).

Will she announce a new title? Winfrey is not saying, but publishers hope she will continue the club. Even though, as USA Today writesWild did not get as large a boost from Book Club 2.0 as titles did from the old club, sales still rose significantly. Prior to the announcement, Wild had sold 85,000 copies. After it was chosen, sales jumped by approximately 185,000 copies. In the days of Book Club 1.0,  publishers would print an additional 500,000 copes of an Oprah pick.

Curiously, however, a reduced Oprah book club may be a good thing. USA Today quotes a study that shows overall sales of fiction declined when the old club was in session. Why? The audience may have stopped buying other, “easier” titles because they were spending more time concentrating on Tolstoy or Toni Morrison. The author of the study, Northwestern University economist, Craig Garthwaite, told the NYT,

The results suggest there’s a fixed market of readers. Oprah isn’t bringing new readers into publishing; she’s just shifting around people who were already participating in the market. And in that situation, there are always going to be winners and losers.


Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The quirky debut, Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) is the tenth People magazine pick of the year. Several librarians on GalleyChat have noted it as a favorite.

The only other review at this point is from Janet Maslin in the New York Times. She calls it “chick lit a metaphysical spin.” Why? It’s  a portrait of a marriage (a subject Netzer is clearly interested in; she’s written essays on the subject for The Huffington Post) with the complication that the husband is an astronaut now living on the moon, the wife, a seemingly perfect blonde, has suddenly removed her wig and is totally bald, and their son is autistic, with the unfortunate name of Bubber. People acknowledges, “The set-up sounds comical, but the story that unfolds is not only entertaining but nuanced and wise.”

Library ordering is light, despite mostly enthusiastic prepub reviews. Holds at this point are also light.


Thursday, July 19th, 2012


An eager audience was clearly awaiting Deborah Harkness’s second book in her All Souls trilogy. Shadow of Night (Penguin/Viking; Thorndike Large PrintPenguin Audiobooks) arrives at #4 (immediately after the Fifty Shades of Grey titles) on the new USA Today best selling books list, making it the top-selling hardcover fiction title. It also arrives at #1 on the Indie Best Seller list.

The new James Patterson title, I Michael Bennett (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large PrintHachette Audio) arrives at #5. As a result, the breakout novel of the summer Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl moves down to #6, from #4 last week.

That doesn’t indicate interest is slipping, however, but rather the strength of the first-week sales for both Patterson and Harkness. Library holds are higher for Gone Girl (RH/Crown; Audio, BOT; audio and ebook on OverDrive; Thorndike Large Print, Sept.) than the other two titles and they continue to mount, with some libraries showing a total of 1,600. We expect Gone Girl to continue to attract readers throughout the summer; it’s not too late to buy additional copies.

USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” column notes that the rise of Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike Large Print; Blackstone Audio; Penguin Audio) to #21 from #155 last week is a result of Amazon’s special single-day sale of the Kindle version for $2.99. The column also notes, perhaps unwittingly breaking news, that Downton Abbey‘s Elizabeth McGovern “will star in the film adaptation.” She also reads the audio version.