Archive for July, 2013

Booker Prize Longlist

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

9780812994346  9780316230810-1  9780316074315  978-0-385-52077-5    9780307265746  97814000695909780670026630  9781451688382

Announcing the longlist for the Man Booker Prize yesterday, the panel of judges declared it the most diverse in the prize’s history. The Booker has been accused of a British bias; seven countries are represented this year  (U.S. are not eligible). Past lists have also  under-repreresnted women (an impetus for the creation of the Women’s Prize for Fiction); 7 of the 13 authors this year are female.

Seven of the titles have been published in the U.S. with one more, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, (RH/Knopf) coming in September (covers above; download our spreadsheet Booker Longlist 2013 Titles Pubbed in US).

The Booker has made long-running U.S. best sellers of many books, including Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 10th and the winner in October.


Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Flowers in the AtticThe book that is seared into the minds of thousands of adolescents, V. C. Andrews’ 1979 novel, Flowers in the Attic (S&S) is being adapted into a Lifetime movie. Ellen Burstyn is set to play the evil grandmother who abuses her four grandchildren hidden in the attic of her mansion. Heather Graham will play the childrens’ mother.

The book’s themes of incest and child abuse may be difficult to translate into a Lifetime movie. In the L.A. Times, book critic Carolyn Kellogg begins her story, “Maybe there’s still time to stop this crazy thing.”

The book was already adapted as a movie in 1987 with Louise Fletcher as the grandmother. It was universally regarded as a flop. If the new version  is successful, there are plenty of opportunities for sequels; the Dollanganger Series continued with Petals on the WindIf There Be ThornsSeeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since her  death in 1986, Andrews’ estate has issued  more than seventy novels under her name, with new titles arriving each year.

David Gilbert on FRESH AIR

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

And Sons And Sons, (RH/Hogarth), is only David Gilbert’s second novel, but it arrives with great anticipation, from Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog, which calls it potentially “the literary novel of the summer” to the NPR reviewer who calls it “seductive and ripe with both comedy and heartbreak” and an instant classic because it “feels deeply familiar, as though it existed for decades and I was just slow to find it.”

In his interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air today, Gilbert gives a sense of what all the fuss is about.

Women’s Prize in Fiction Winner To Movies

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

May We Be ForgivenFilm rights have just been acquired for A.M. Homes’s novel, May We Be Forgiven, (Penguin/Viking) winner of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), reports Deadline.

About a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving and its aftermath, this darkly humorous story, said the L.A. Times critic, “is so fast-moving and pushes its characters to such extremes that it quickly moves into a zone that’s a farcical hyper-realism.”

A few of the earlier  prize winners have been made into movies, most notably Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, which starred Tilda Swinton. It was a sensation at the 2011 Cannes film festival but did not get the expected Oscar nominations. Filming for the 2007 Prize winner, Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been completed. Some footage has appeared online, but  no release date has been set.

Good Reads Summer Reading Picks

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

So far, despite many predictions, no book has emerged as THE hot summer read  (where are you, Dragon Tattoo?).

FrigidWe’ve checked Goodreads to try to divine titles bubbling under the surface, and the highly-rated titles tend to be dominated by erotic or “New Adult” series (is there really a new series from best selling J. Lynn called Frigid? Warning to that guy on the cover; going shirtless in the falling snow may not be a good idea, even if you’re embracing a hot woman).

A Hundred Summers

Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog reports that the number crunchers at GoodReads have come up with a list of seven titles that are taking off with their readers for summer reading. We’re dubious;  there’s not a six-pack on the cover of any of them.

Nonetheless, it’s an interesting group of titles, a mix of above- and below-the-radar titles, worth reviewing for reader’s advisory. The only one showing heavy holds in libraries at this time is A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, (Penguin/Putnam, May 30).

The Big Cheese

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The Telling RoomBack in May, USA Today called Michael Paterniti a “hot summer author” for a book on a subject that may not sound perfect for hot-weather reading; a legendary cheese handcrafted in a small village in Spain. Called The Telling Room, (RH/Dial; Brilliance Audio), it arrives next week on the heels of today’s intriguing, if somewhat mixed, review by Janet Maslin in the NYT.

Libraries are showing rising holds. If you want to read it, digital ARC’s are still listed on NetGalley and Edelweiss, but hurry, they will no longer be available after Tuesday’s pub. date.

We first heard about the title when Doug Lord,  LJ‘s Books for Dudes columnist, picked  it as a BEA Shout ‘n’ Share title.

TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME; Trade Pbk Best Seller

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Last year’s debut novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, (RH/Dial, 6/19). was a GalleyChat favorite. Now out in trade paperback, it makes its first appearance on the NYT best seller  list at #18, gaining momentum from COSTCO’S influential book buyer, Pennie Ianniciello, who featured it in the COSTCO Connection as the Book Pick for July.

Told from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl, who is not only dealing with the usual torments of becoming a teenager, but also with the death of her beloved uncle, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, says Ianniciello, “is packed with real emotion and characters that, if they don’t tap into someone you used to be, will at the very least make you think of someone you once knew. “

DIVERGENT Book and Movie News

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Divergent     Insurgwnt   Allegiant

Divergent author Veronica Roth and the stars of the upcoming film based on the first in her YA dystopian series, which opens March 14, appeared on a panel at Comic-Con yesterday. The audience got to see footage from the film, but it has not been released online (Entertainment Weekly offered a “first look,” with stills from the set last month).

Plot details have not been revealed for the final book of the trilogy, Allegiant (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen; HarperAudio; Dreamscape Audio, Oct 22), but CNN reports that Roth said it will be told from two points of view; that of Tris and her love interest Four.

The film of the second book in the series, Insurgent, is expected in 2015.


Divergent Movie Tie-in Edition
Veronica Roth
On Sale Date: February 11, 2014
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen
9780062289841, 0062289845
Hardback; $17.99 US / $23.99 Can.

9780062289858, 0062289853
Paperback; $9.99 US / $10.99 Can.

CATCHING FIRE Trailer Debuts at Comic-Con

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Following the teaser trailer for Catching Fire that was released in April, a new trailer debuted  at Comic-Con on Saturday. Reports MTV News, “While the first trailer for Catching Fire focused on Katniss’ pre-Games press tour, the new one introduces much more of the civil unrest rising throughout Panem after Katniss’ inspirational subversion of the Hunger Games rules.” Entertainment Weekly comments, the new trailer “offered up first looks at the Arena (Katniss dives right in!), the action (Johanna especially), and the fashion (looks like Cinna stepped up his game).”

The movie arrives Nov. 22


Catching Fire Tie-inCatching Fire: Movie Tie-in Edition: The Second Book of The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
On Sale Date: October 8, 2013
9780545603683, 0545603684
Paperback, $12.99


Catching Fire: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
Kate Egan
On Sale Date: November 22, 2013
9780545599337, 0545599334
Paperback, $18.99


Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Love, DishonorGood going, Sarah Vowell. She managed to make the American public fall in love with a debut novel, written entirely in rhyming couplets (you gotta love a writer who rhymes “bourgeois” with “Christian Lacroix“), during her appearance on Comedy Central’s Daily Show Thursday night. As an indicator of how well she did, the book is now at #9 on Amazon sales rankings and rising and holds are mounting quickly in libraries. The book was also reviewed the NPR book site last week.

Vowell was on the show to promote her friend, David Rakoff’s novel, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish(RH/Doubleday; RH Audio), which was published last week. The author died of cancer last year, just weeks after completing the book.

Libraries are showing 10:1 holds ratios on light ordering.

Below is the first part of the interview — part 2 is on the site.

New Title Radar, Week of July 22

Friday, July 19th, 2013

The White Princess   Light of the World   Unleashed

Among the new titles in series arriving next week, is the next in Philippa Gregory’s Cousins War series, The White Princess, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Thorndike) which was moved from its original pub. date to arrive closer to the start of the BBC/STARZ White Queen series, based on the first four books, debuting on Aug. 10.

The twentieth Dave Robicheaux novel, Light of the World by James Lee Burke (S&S; S&S Audio; Thorndike) also arrives, but despite the number of books in the series, it seems they  just keep improving. It’s starred by Booklist and  Kirkus adds, “Pruning away the florid subplots that often clutter his heaven-storming blood baths, Burke produces his most sharply focused, and perhaps his most harrowing, study of human evil, refracted through the conventions of the crime novel.”

David Rosenfelt rleases the eleventh in his Andy Carpenter series, Unleashed (Macmillan/Minotaur; Thorndike) as well as a second title, a memoir, about moving from California to Maine with his large crew of rescued golden retrievers, Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike ).

The titles highlighted here, and more coming next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 7/22

Watch List

Shot All to HellShot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape, Mark Lee Gardner, (HaperCollins/Morrow)

Cuyahoga PL’s Wendy Bartlett promoted this bio, which is also an IndieNext pck for August, on the local NPR station. Below is her annotation:

“If you or your customers are History Channel buffs, this one’s for you! Mark Lee Gardner, who is frequently featured on the History Channel’s shows about Western history, has written a terrific page turner about the James’ gang’s last raid. For years, loyal friends and neighbors the James gang provided them with alibis and Gardner explains why. When the gang headed north to Minnesota, they got a very different reception in a bank robbery that went very wrong. The book is the perfect summer read–relatively short,and totally entertaining. Fans of true crime and historical fiction of this period might also like this very readable account of one of the most recognizable names in the history of the Wild West.”

9781250006264-1The Secrets of Lost Cats: One Woman, Twenty Posters, and a New Understanding of Love, Dr. Nancy Davidson, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)

Who hasn’t wondered about the stories behind lost cat posters? Therapist Davidson decided to do more than wonder  and came up with the 20 true stories that are the core of this book. Says PW, “each of the brief glimpses into cat owners’ lives proves captivating.”

And SonsAnd Sons, David Gilbert, (Random House)
Considered a candidate for “the literary novel of the summer” by  Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog. which also ran  an “exclusive … star-studded trailer” fot this novel about a reclusive writer named A.N. Dyer, this title comes from RH’s tony new Hogarth imprint.  Proving its literary bona fides, a full review is scheduled to run in the New Yorker by the formidable critic James Wood. The author was also profiled in USA Today this week and is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air next week.

A Dangerous FictionA Dangerous Fiction: A Mystery, Barbara Rogan, (Penguin/Viking)

This thriller set in the NYC publishing world  offers insidery bits for book fans and gets high praise from Booklist, “Boasting an exciting pace, well-constructed scenes, and inside information about the publishing world, this engaging mystery will attract readers of P. D. James’ similar Original Sin (1995).”

PanopticonThe Panopticon, Jenni Fagan, (RH/Hogarth)

Also from RH’s Hogarth line (see And Sons, above) this debut gets the full treatment from the NYT; it is featured as the cover of this Sunday’s NYT Book Review. and got a mostly positive review in the daily NYT by Michiko Kakutani. The author is also scheduled for an appearance on NPR’s All Things Considered


Media Magnet

Shirley JonesShirley Jones: A Memoir, Shirley Jones and Wendy Leigh, (S&S/Gallery Books; Tantor Audio)

Before she became the mother of The Partridge Family, Shirley Jones had a fairly full  life, starring in Oklahoma!, Carousel, The Music Man, and winning an Oscar for  Elmer Gantry. The publisher promises that her memoir will reveal all — the infidelities, the costar crushes, the sexual experimentation” — but there are no prepub reviews, so we will have to wait to see how forthcoming she actually is. Publicity is lined up; People magazine, the moning shows, Katie Couric, FOX and Friends, and more.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22

Friday, July 19th, 2013

How time flies. Next week brings the fiftieth in the now classic series, Magic Tree House #50: Hurry Up, Houdini! (Random House BYR). Also cause for celebration is another new title in a series, My Weird School Special: It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green! (HarperCollins), the perfect early chapter books for newly fluent readers.

Below are some other titles to on our radar for next week. All the titles highlighted here, plus many more, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22.

Picture Books

The Case of the Missing DonutThe Case of the Missing Donut, Alison Mcghee, Isabel Roxas, (Penguin/Dial)

This one leapt instantly to the top of the must-read pile on the basis of Alison McGhee’s name alone. Love her picture books, A Very Brave Witch and Countdown to Kindergarten illustrated by Harry Bliss and her gently lyrical books with Peter Reynolds. We adore her partnership with Kate DiCamillo, in the award winning series, Bink and Golly. Her middle grade Julia Gillian trilogy is an under-the-radar gem.

She has broken out new illustrators like Taeeun Yoo who was perfectly matched in her Only a Witch Can Fly. Now we have this lovely picture book illustrated by Isabel Roxas in her U.S. Debut. McGhee’s dry humor is perfectly matched with these “pictures that tell more than the words.”

Kirkus concurs; “Roxas’ charming illustrations are drawn with graphite and colored digitally in subtle but appealing hues. A hint of sepia echoes the faux homespun language and Western theme. They showcase a clean, friendly small town of leafy streets and small shops, populated with perky cartoon-style characters.”

Planes Fly!Planes Fly!George Ella Lyon, Mick Wiggins, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

An exuberant celebration of nearly everything about flight, from the plane parts to the thrill of being in the air (of course, there’s nothing about long security lines or lost luggage). The bouncing verse mimics the exhilaration of flying and the retro illustrations do what early travel posters were designed to do; make you want to be a part of the fun (check out the spreads on Edelweiss).

Middle Grade

True Blue ScoutsThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

Kathi Appelt is a singular voice and got raves for The Underneath, but that story of darkness and betrayal cloaked in lyrical language was not my cup of tea. For those, who, like me turned the pages of The Underneath with trepidation, fear not. As librarians often say, every book is not for every child. This one is, as I write in my review  in last Sunday’s NYT BR.

Binny for ShortBinny for Short, Hilary McKay, (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry)

If you haven’t discovered Hilary McKay, her humor, her characters and her ability to express children’s “big feelings” within the context of family life, you are in for a treat. Do not miss Saffy’s Angelthe beginning of the Casson family series. Binny for Short introduces us a strong, sensitive and expressive little girl in the midst of big changes and developing friendships.

BlufftonBluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton, Matt Phelan, (Candlewick)

Matt Phelan takes us to places that we have never been and may never have experienced except through his exquisite visual storytelling. In this case, it’s a little-known artist’s colony on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1908.


Young Adult

The Counterfeit Family treeThe Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong, L. Tam  Holland, (S&S BYR)

Vee Crawford-Wong has been assigned to write his family history. Only as he tells it, in his family “We didn’t like to upset each other. That’s why we couldn’t talk about anything. That’s why I didn’t know anything. That’s why I couldn’t do my homework which is why I was going to flunk history. It was all my parents’ fault.” Debut author Holland has captured the authentic snarky voice of this high-schooler delving into his families secrets.

Living Philosophy

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

NYT Magazine July 21The cover story of the upcoming NYT Magazine, published online last night, already has 100 comments and is one of the most e-mailed articles from the site.

A Life-or-Death Situation is about Margaret Pabst Battin, professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, who has written many books about the ethics of dying, including Ending Life: Ethics and the Way We Die, (OUP, 2005), Ethical Issues in Suicide (1982; currently O.P.) and The Least Worst Death: Essays in Bioethics on the End of Life. (OUP, 1994).

These issues are now practical as well as philosophical for Battin. When her husband broke his neck in a bicycling accident, he survived because of the very interventions his living will stated he did not want. Now he is paraplegic and the two struggle with the question of when his life is no longer worth the pain.

Many libraries own Battin’s books.

Dystopia Rules Comic-Con

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

A new trailer for Catching Fire will debut at Comic-Con this weekend. Another teen dystopian adaptation, Divergent, will also be featured, with many of the stars, as well as the book’s author Veronica Roth, on had to talk with fans, setting off a round of publicity for the movie that doesn’t open until March.

USA Today has the best headline, “On set of Divergent, Kate Winslet is pregnant and mean” (she is actually pregnant but only plays mean as the intimidating Jeanine Matthews).

Shailene Woodley, who plays the lead, Tris, is also featured in the current issue of Interview magazine (the big news? She is topless for the photo shoot).

MTV is promoting their live-stream coverage of the Comic-Con event with a video of their visit to the Divergent set.

Summit Entertainment clearly expects this to be a success; they have signed up a screenwriter for the sequel,


WILD Closer to Screen

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


The movie based on Cheryl Strayed’s best selling memoir and Oprah 2.0 pick, Wild (RH/Knopf) took a step closer to reality yesterday when it was announced that Fox Searchlight had acquired distribution rights. Reese Witherspoon will produce and star. Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay.

Witherspoon, who has had good luck with book adaptations (Election, Water for Elephants), has several others in the works, including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (Random House). Witherspoon is producing and Ben Affleck was recently cast to star. Most sources say she is not planning to co-star.

She may join the all-star cast for Inherent Vice, based on the Thomas Pynchon detective novel (Penguin Press, 2009), with Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, Owen Wilson, Jena Malone, Benicio Del Toro, and Martin Short and is set to star in the adaptation of Three Little Words, based on Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s YA memoir (S&S/Atheneum) about growing up in the foster care system.

Also, prior to its publication last month, she optioned the rights to J. Courtney Sullivan’s The Engagements, (RH/Knopf) .