Archive for February, 2013


Thursday, February 21st, 2013


“How long before Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters?” asks a weary world.

Not before summer of 2014, says Universal chairman Adam Fogelson in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Is he worried about the danger of missing the buzz?

He’s more concerned that rushing it into production would not be a good strategy for the “second or third film” in the series. They haven’t chosen a director yet and, no, they didn’t ask Angelina Jolie to fill that chair (she’s heading up Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand).

He also notes, in an understatement, that “there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie.”

After Lincoln and Kennedy

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Killing JesusBill O’Reilly announced at the end of last night’s OReilly Factor that his next book will be Killing Jesus (Macmillan/Holt; 9780805098549), to be published on Sept. 24th (via USA Today).

O’Reilly said, “My co-author, Martin Dugard [also the co-author of Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy] and I have uncovered some amazing things about the execution of Jesus of Nazareth and how it all tied into Roman power.”

THE DINNER Is Now a Best Seller

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Dinner  Gone Girl

We can cease speculating; Americans have embraced the European best seller, The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch (RH/Hogarth; AudioGo; Thorndike Large Print). It arrives at #36 on the new USA Today Best Seller list.

In terms of popularity, it’s not another Gone Girl, (RH/Crown), which entered the same list at #7 during its first week on sale, topped only by the Fifty Shades of Grey and the Hunger Games trilogies. That same week, it hit the NYT list at #1.

Even if it doesn’t live up to the comparison to Gone Girl (and what can?), it’s still doing very well and is likely to hit the NYT list in the top ten.

People magazine catches up with it in the latest issue (March 4th), giving it 3 of 4 stars, but the review reads more like a 5; “Koch’s skewering of elitism and self-serving morality is a wickedly delicious feast.” The many other reviews have also been positive. The only holdout has been Janet Maslin in the NYT, who dismissed it as “an extended stunt.”

And, Now, The Jacket

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The title of the next Dan Brown book, Inferno, (RH/Doubleday; Vintage Espanol; RH Audio) was revealed on the Today Show in January. Today, they revealed the cover.

Does the art include codes and clues to the book’s contents (beyond the fact that it has to do with Dante, his most famous book, and his home town)?

The Wall Street Journal tried asking the source, the jacket designer, but got little more than a “yes.”

It will be published on May 14.

Dan Brown Inferon


Mantel’s Book Sales Rise Due to Controversy

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Bring Up the BodiesThey say news travels fast and bad news even faster, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in the UK, where it took the press nearly a week to respond to comments made by Hilary Mantel about Kate Middleton as part of her London Review of Books lecture.

The British tabloid, the Daily Mail accused Mantel yesterday of using the lecture to make a “venomous attack on Kate Middleton.” Since then, controversy has been raging, with some saying that the response to Mantel’s comments simply proves her point that royal women are unfairly treated by the public. She even urged the public to “lay off” the royal couple, saying “Cheerful curiosity can easily become cruelty. It can easily become fatal. We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them, and we did memorably drive one to destruction a scant generation ago.”

But what won the headlines were her comments that the Duchess fills her role so well that she seems to have been “designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile … without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.”

The actual lecture is wickedly funny and much more interesting than the controversy it’s engendered.

Who will have the last laugh? The Telegraph reports today that sales of Mantel’s books have “rocketed” since her name is back in the news.

Inaugural Poet on FRESH AIR

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Looking for the gulf motel

Richard Blanco, whose inaugural poem “One Today” rivaled the First Lady’s bangs as the talk of the President’s second swearing-in ceremony, told Terry Gross on Fresh Air yesterday that he still doesn’t know who put his name into consideration for the honor and really doesn’t want to know. It let’s him imagine the President “sitting in the Oval Office with my book and saying, ‘Get this guy in here!’ ”

Blanco’s latest collection is Looking for The Gulf Motel (Pitt Poetry Series).

Davis Memoir Makes Headlines

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The Soundtrack of My LifeThe 80-yer-old record exec., Clive Davis, is making headlines by coming out about his bisexuality in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio).

The headline-making clip from Nightline is below; watch the full interview here. He is scheduled to appear on many other shows this week.


Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Unbreakable   Inquebrantable

Jenni Rivera, an American singer who became popular in Mexico for developing an “urban ranchera” style of music, was killed in a plane crash in December. Today, the Atria imprint of S&S announced that her memoir will be released in July, in both Spanish and English.

Both editions immediately moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, with the Spanish-language title, Inquebrantable, (S&S/Atria) rising higher, currently at #79, well above the English-language Unbreakable at #230.

This is just the second time we’ve seen a Spanish-language edition outstrip the English; the first was La Reina Del Sur, (Alfaguara), the tie-in to Telemundo’s popular 2011 telenovela. It did not break into Amazon’s Top 100, however.

THE HOST: It’s All About Love

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Close on the heels of a new trailer for The Host, comes a “featurette” with a cameo by Stephenie Meyer, attesting that, although the movie is set in the future, it is actually  a love story. Looks like they feared that previous trailers overlooked an important segment of the potential audience.

The film opens March 29.

Official Movie Site:

Holds Alert: THE DINNER

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The DinnerThe literary water cooler question of the moment is whether Americans will respond to the European best seller, The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch (RH/Hogarth; AudioGo; Thorndike Large Print). Looks like they are at least curious; holds are rising quickly and outstripping the number of copies by 10:1 in several libraries.

Laura Miller is dubious that readers will embrace it, writing in Salon yesterday, that Americans  may be easily confused by  the “brilliantly engineered and (for the thoughtful reader) chastening” novel, also noting that Americans are less self-critical than Europeans.

Steve Inskeep, interviewing the author on NPR’s Morning Edition today, makes no bones about his reaction. He tells the Koch that the book made him sick (in “the best possible way”), because it raises scary issues about how well parents know their own children.

To get a sense of the tone of the book, listen to a sample of the audio from AudioGo (holds are growing on it as well).

Maggie Smith on 60 MINUTES

Friday, February 15th, 2013

In which she reveals that she doesn’t watch Downton Abbey.

The interview airs this Sunday.

THE HOST Gets a New Trailer

Friday, February 15th, 2013

The adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s adult stand-alone, The Host, arrives in theaters on March 29. In anticipation, a new trailer has just arrived online. The trade paperback, mass market and audio tie-ins were released in January. Also available is an official movie companion.

Official Movie Site:

New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 18

Friday, February 15th, 2013

We’re well into the second month of the year, so readers must be impatient for another book by James Patterson. Not to fear, Alex Cross, Run (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) arrives on Tuesday. Among this week’s media magnets is Clive Davis’s autobiography and Po Bronson’s look at competition (with the headline-making revelation that teamwork is overrated). Below are the highlights of the week. More forthcoming titles are on our download spreadsheet, New Title Radar 2/18/13.

Watch List

After Visiting FriendsAfter Visiting Friends, Michael Hainey, (S&S/Scribner)

When the author was six years old, his father died unexpectedly. Reports said simply that he had died “after visiting friends.” This is the story of Hainey’s quest to find out what really happened. An IndieNext pick for March, it is described by bookseller Linda Bubon of Chicago’s Women & Children First, as “one of the most compelling memoirs” she’s read which is also “an insider’s tribute to the hard-working and hard-drinking big city newsmen of the 1950s and ’60s.” The author is the editor of GQ Magazine, so he will be getting publicity; features are scheduled in the upcoming week in Entertainment Weekly, on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Farewell, Dorothy ParkerFarewell, Dorothy Parker, Ellen Meister, (Penguin/Putnam; AudioGo)

Meister’s previous novel The Other Life employed magical realism in the story of a woman who discovered a portal to another life; the one she might have lived if she had made different choices. In this new book, the portagonist has an unusual life coach; her heroine, Dorothy Parker, who comes back to life and moves in with her, complete with drinking habits and sardonic bon mots.

Pure  Fuse

FuseJulianna Baggott, (Hachette/Grand Central)

The second in a planned trilogy of dystopian novels folows the Alex Award winner, PureA movie deal was announced last year.

Media Magnets

The Soundtrack of My LifeThe Soundtrack of My Life, Clive Davis, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio)

Record producer and former head of Columbia Records, Davis has been in the media eye this week for his annual hot-ticket pre-Grammy party. The 80-year-old will appear on  range of shows next week, including The View and Charlie Rose.

The Secrets of Happy FamiliesThe Secrets of Happy Families, Bruce Feiler, (Harper/Morrow; Dreamscape Audio)

Say it isn’t so. Bruce Feiler claims that  the best way to create family harmony is to adopt some of various  business techniques, like creating a family mission plan and instituting weekly family planning meetings. We hope annual performance evaluations are not part of the approach.

Top DogTop Dog, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Audio)

This is not a book about the Westminister Dog Show, but about the nature of competition. Bronson and Merryman. whose first collaboration, Nurture Shock, made waves in the parenting world, are already making news with this new book by declaring that teamwork is overrated.

Noble SavagesNoble Savages, Napoleon Chagnon, (Simon & Schuster; BOT)

The NYT Mag features the author in the upcoming issue, calling him “our most controversial anthropoligist.”

A Green Valentine

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Guess How Much I Love You in IrishYou may have missed this for St.Valentine’s Day, but St. Patrick will give you another chance.

Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney’s oohh-inspiring book is available in over ten formats (including one packaged with a stuffed rabbit). To this jaded reviewer additional product lines based on a popular title don’t warrant much attention. Yet this edition translated into Irish stole my heart. Tomhais Meid Mo Ghra Duit (published by Candlewick in the U.S.) is one of four titles now translated into Irish under the Walker Eireann initiative that celebrates the publisher’s prestigious list of Irish writers and illustrators.

The Real Housewives of Historical Fiction

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The Aviator's WifeHolds are heavy in most libraries for Melanie Benjamin’s novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, The Aviator’s Wife, (RH/Delacorte; BOT; Center Point Large Print). It enters USA Today‘s best seller list at #149  this week and is featured in USA Today’s roundup of  a “bonanza of new titles in the vein of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank.

Above All ThingsAmong the titles in that list is Above All Things by Tanis Rideout (Penguin/Putnam Amy Einhorn; Thorndike Large Print), about George Mallory’s final attempt to climb Mt. Everest, told partly from the point of view of his wife. It is reviewed separately as a “debut novel that gingerly walks the precipice between women’s book-club fiction (think The Paris Wife) … and riveting Everest adventure tale (think Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction account of the deadly 1996 debacle on the mountain).”

See also our interview and online chat with the author.