Archive for November, 2012

New Title Radar; Dec 3 to 8

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Publishers know (or, fervently hope) that bookstore staff will be devoting their time to selling, rather than unpacking new books in the next few weeks, so new releases are slowing down. Next week, fiction is dominated by veteran authors such as Tom Clancy and Robin Cook. In nonfiction, Elie Wiesel publishes a memoir about his recent heart surgery and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings will anger parents with a new book that debunks the myths they tell their kids.

Usual Suspects

Clancy, Tom and Mark Greaney, Threat Vector (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike large print)

The man who invented the techno thriller follows up last year’s Locked On (also with co-writer Greaney) with a new title about President Jack Ryan Sr. now facing a new threat from China. His son, Jack Ryan Jr.’s secret secret intelligence group could be an asset, but it’s being threatened with exposure.

Cook, Robin, Nano, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike large print)

The man who invented the medical thriller with Coma in 1977 has published a new book nearly every year since. This one features a company called Nano, which is developing microbivores, tiny (nano) robots that attack and destroy viruses and bacteria. But the company may not be all that it seems.

Robards, Karen Shiver, (S&S/Gallery Books; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

Romantic suspense veteran Robards (her first title in the genre, To Love A Man, was published in 1984) returns with a book that caused Kirkus to nearly come undone, saying it’s “Packed with fast-paced action, nail-biting suspense and blazing sexual tension.”

Vine, Barbara The Child’s Child (S&S/Scribner; Brilliance Audio; Center Point Large Print)

Barbara Vine is the pseudonym Ruth Rendell adopts for her darker books. This one is about a woman who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with her brother’s gay lover. She finds her life eerily echoing a novel titled The Child’s Child, set in the ’30’s and ’40’s. Both Booklist and Publishers Weekly both said it not as strong as her acclaimed previous novel, The Birthday Present, but still found it absorbing.


Park, Linda Sue The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 5: Trust No One, (Scholastic; Scholastic Audio)

The original 39 Clues was is an 11 volume series about two orphans’ efforts to find the clues to a magic serum that will create the most powerful person on earth. Written by different authors, the first, The Maze of Bones (2008) is by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jones and the Kane Chronicles series. This new book is the penultimate in a second  39 Clues series, the Cahills vs. Vespers. The author, Linda Sue Park, won the Newbery Medal in 2002 for A Single Shard. She also wrote an earlier 39 Clues novel,  Storm Warning (2010). This series stops with the next volume, Day of Doom, coming in Marchby David Baldacci. But, don’t despair, a third, four-volume series, Unstoppable, is on its way.


Jennings, Ken Because I Said So! (S&S/Scribner; Tantor Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

Jeopardy! champion and Brainiac author Ken Jennings explores the myths that parents perpetrate on their kids (the book is subtitled, The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids). USA Today already featured a chat with the author.

Giunta, Sal Living with Honor (S&S/Threshold Editions

This memoir by an Afghanistan veteran, the first living person to received the Medal of Honor since Vietnam, is published by Simon and Schuster’s conservative imprint. It will be featured on various shows in the upcoming days, including NBC’s Weekend Today, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, FOX-TV’s Fox & Friends, and MSNBC-TV’s Morning Joe.


Wiesel, Elie, Open Heart (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

Wiesel, who has written over 50 books, recently made news with the announcement that has said he is working on a book with President Obama. In Open Heart, the 84-year-old writes about his emotions, including worry about what might be left undone, on the eve of his  open heart surgery two years ago.




Thursday, November 29th, 2012

A librarian’s BEA Shout ‘n’ Share pick, B.A. Shapiro’s debut novel, The Art Forger(Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio; Thorndike Large Print), has been picking up fans since its release in October.

It hit the Indie Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list at #11 last week, moves up to #9 this week and is showing heavy holds in several libraries.

Consumer reviewers found weaknesses in the plot, but all agreed with Entertainment Weekly‘s conclusion that the author “has such interesting things to say about authenticity — in both art and love — that her novel … becomes not just emotionally involving but addictive.”

Booksellers were unequivocal in their endorsement, making it the #1 Indie Next Pick for November.

RA Flow Chart for Hipsters

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

We love the idea of reading flow charts, like the Summer Reading Flow Chart from

GoodReads has just published a tongue-in-cheek Hipster Lit Flowchart that works as a visual representation of a readers advisory interview.

Several commenters complained that there is nowhere to go if you answer “No” to the first question.

Come on guys, that’s the point.

It’s Based on a Book?

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

You might not guess it from the trailer, but the new Brad Pitt movie, Killing Them Softly, opening this Friday, is based on George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade, published in 1974.

Several of the reviews, however, note the connection. Reviewer David Edelstein comments in New York magazine, “Everything in Killing Them Softly that springs from George V. Higgins’s 1974 crime novel Cogan’s Trade is very fine: grimly amusing then shockingly brutal.”

In the New Yorker, Anthony Lane devotes half his review to Higgins, wondering why there aren’t more movies based on his books, calling them “a trove, begging to be raided for linguistic loot. If you want to grade postwar novelists on the strength of their ears alone—how fast they prick up at the crackle and blare of American speech—then Higgins and Elmore Leonard, you could argue, lead the pack, ahead of more distinguished names.”

If the reviewers have their say, the movie would bring a renaissance of interest in Higgins, which makes it fortunate that Random House’s Vintage/Lizard imprint recently re-released several of the author’s 25 novels (in print and ebooks, available on OverDrive), including Cogan’s Trade.

Cogan’s Trade (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
George V. Higgins
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2011-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 030794722X / 9780307947222

The tie-in uses the movie title.

Killing Them Softly (Cogan’s Trade Movie Tie-in Edition)
George V. Higgins
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2012-09-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0307950794 / 9780307950796


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


USA Today calls Matched, Ally Condie’s YA dystopian trilogy, “the most popular series of books for teens since The Hunger Games,” noting that Matched has “less violence and more poetry.”

The final title in the series, Reached (Penguin/Dutton) debuted at #6 on last week’s USA Today best seller list, a series high.

Condie tells USA Today that the idea for the series, which began with Matched (2010) and was followed by Crossed (2011), came from a discussion with her husband about what would happen if the government decreed who you would marry.

To what does Condie attribute the series’ growing populatiry? To “teachers and librarians who embraced it.”

And, no surprise, film rights have been sold to Disney. David Slade has signed as director. He has had some experience with teen movies; he directed Eclipsed, the third film in the Twilight Saga.

Nancy Pearl, RA Guru

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

When Nancy Pearl talks books, buyers listen. On NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, she presented four of her “Under the Radar” picks (the full list of seven, along with a link to the audio, are on the NPR site). Two of the titles received dramatic bumps  on Amazon’s sales rankings.

America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation, David Goldfield, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury). Rose to #189 from #102,066)

Nancy says this book that claims the Civil War could have been avoided, made her “look back and reassess my knowledge and beliefs” about the war and its aftermath.

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein, (Hyperion). Rose to #216 from #5,238)

This one is not “below the radar” among YA readers. It’s on both the Publishers Weekly and Amazon’s Best Books lists. However, it may be lesser known to adults, who, as Nancy says, will also enjoy this “story of deep friendship, incredible bravery and the difficult choices that life sometimes forces on us.”

Warren Buffet Tap Dances to Work

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A new book about the “boring” Warren Buffet, Tap Dancing to Work by Carol J. Loomis, (Penguin/Viking/Portfolio), rose to #26 on Amazon’s sales rankings after the author and the subject appeared together on the Today Show yesterday and in a much more in-depth interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.

New York Times Notable Books of 2012

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Selections of the year’s best books are rolling in. The latest; the New York Times Book Review‘s 100 Notable Books of 2012, which will be available in print this Sunday.

We’re particularly happy to see Wiley Cash’s debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, (Harper), as well as several other GalleyChat favorites, among the 50 fiction selections.

Kirkus has also posted their top 25 fiction picks.

Below are links to our Excel files of the major best books picks (you can also find them to the right, under the Best Books links),

2012 Adult Fiction

2012 Adult Nonfiction (includes poetry)

2012 Childrens and Young Adult

Children’s Best Books Spreadsheet Is Here!

Monday, November 26th, 2012


Several of the annual best books lists have appeared recently (see the links to the right). Again this year, we will collate the titles from various lists into one Excel file, with ISBNs, for your use in spending any left-over book funds.

First up is the 2012 — Childrens Best Books Collated, Excel File, with a total of 175 titles selected by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post as well as the New York Times Book Review’s selection of the Best Illustrated Books [UPDATE: The list is up to 275 titles, now that we’ve added the Horn Book and SLJ picks].

As we’ve learned to expect, there’s very little concensus. Just two titles were picked by all four sources:

Wonder, R. J. Palacio, (RH/ Knopf BYR)

Son, Lois Lowry, (HMH)

Even the National Book Award finalists aren’t shoe-ins; the only one selected as a Best Book is Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Macmillan/ Flash Point), a Washington Post pick. Even the winner, Goblin Secrets by William Alexander (S&S/ Margaret K. McElderry) wasn’t picked by any other source.

More best books lists are coming. As they appear, we will add the titles to the file.

Look for the collated spreadsheet for adult titles later this week.

Thanks to Edelweiss Tags and Custom Exports features, compiling the lists was much easier this year. Also, for the first time, we were able to include links to publisher descriptions of each title, which often include valuable selection information, such as views of interior pages (for instance the recently-release, This Moose Belongs to Me).

Finishing THE HOBBIT

Monday, November 26th, 2012

In the video below, Peter Jackson describes the final stages of post production on The Hobbit, which premieres in New Zealand on Wednesday and opens in the U.S. on Dec. 14.


Monday, November 26th, 2012

The second trailer for Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful, arrived last week (see video, below).

James Franco stars as the Wizard with Rachel Weisz as the Wicked Witch of the East, Mila Kunis as the Wicked Witch of the West, and Michelle Williams as the Good Witch, Glinda.

The movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 8, 2013.

The Disney Book Group will, of course, publish several tie-ins, including a junior novelization, an early reader, a storybook and a behind-the-scenes book. They are also republishing the first two titles in L. Frank Baum’s series, The Wonderful World of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz.

MARBLES On Morning Edition

Monday, November 26th, 2012

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, cartoonist Ellen Forney talks about her memoir of her own mental illness in the graphic novel Marbles. Several libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

The book is also on the Washington Post‘s list of the ten best comics of 2012.

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir
Ellen Forney
Retail Price: $20.00
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Gotham – (2012-11-06)
ISBN / EAN: 1592407323 / 9781592407323


Monday, November 26th, 2012

Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham’s new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, (Random House, RH Audio and BOT, RH Large Print)  is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings, where it is now at #2, and in the number of holds in libraries.

It has been reviewed widely (in both the daily NYT and the Sunday Book Review, as well as the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly) and debuted on the 12/2 NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list at #2.

The author appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

DOWNTON ABBEY Gets Fourth Season

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

As Americans look forward to the third season of the UK’s Downton Abbey, news arrives that there will be yet another season to anticipate. ITV says they will begin filming in Februray, to air on British television in the fall of 2013.

The third season begins on Jan. 6 in the U.S. on PBS.

(Yes, the music is Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” sung by a choir.)

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail offrers photos from the upcoming Downton Abbey Christmas special and warns fans to get their tissues ready.

The companion volume to the third season was released here earlier this month.

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

Heavy Holds Alert: FAR FROM THE TREE

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Andrew Solomon wrote the National Book Award Winner and  best seller The Noonday Demon, about his own debilitating depression. His new book, Far From the Tree (S&S/Scribner) examines how parents deal with children who are different from them.

The book is showing heavy holds in libraries where ordering was light. The author was profiled by Chip McGrath in the New York Times in Tuesday’s issue. The NYT also reviewed the 1,000 page book last week.

Solomon appeared two weeks ago on Rock Center with Brian Williams.

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