Archive for September, 2013

David Mitchell Coming to THE DAILY SHOW

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Reason I JumpHolds are already heavy relative to light ordering by libraries for The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida (Random House) and likely to rise after David Mitchell, who translated the book from the original Japanese with his wife, KA Yoshida, appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tomorrow night.

Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas (2004) and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010), and his wife say this book helped them to better understand their own autistic child’s daily life. Stewart has a personal interest in the subject; he organizes an annual benefit for autism education, Night of Too Many Stars,

The NYT Book Review last month stated that, on its own, the book “makes for odd reading — a book about disordered sensorineural processing by a person with disordered sensorineural processing, written one letter at a time in adolescent Japanese prose and then translated into colloquial English.”

New Title Radar, Week of 9/30

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Among the big names releasing new titles next week are Iris Johansen, Malcolm Gladwell and, leading in holds, James Patterson, with his tenth book of the year, Gone.

Titles highlighted here, and more arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Sept 30

Signature of All ThingsAlso arriving to waiting holds is Elizabeth Gilbert’s sixth book and second novel, The Signature of All Things, (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio), a historical novelfeaturing a 19th C. female biologist who specializes in mosses. Gilbert’s first three books, a collection of short stories, a novel and and a biography, received critical praise and decent sales. Then lightning struck in the form of her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, resulting in the double-edged sword that comes with such a phenomenon. Each new book receives lavish advance attention (this one was on the majority of the lists of the most-anticipated titles for the fall, and the author was profiled in the 9/22 NYT Magazine), but none are likely to reach Eat, Pray, Love‘s level of success. Acknowledging this in her upcoming review on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, Barbara Kingsolver politely calls The Signature of All Things “a winning next act.”

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James isn’t the only best-selling Patterson arriving next week. Richard North Patterson’s latest is Loss of Innocence, (Quercus). Known for best selling thrillers (Degree of Guilt and Silent Witness), he recently stepped out of that genre with the family-drama tinged mystery, Fall From Grace (S&S/Scribner), about a CIA agent investigating his estranged father’s death near his home on Martha’s Vineyard. This new title is a prequel, set in the 1960’s and focusing on the family dynamics of the previous generation. Kirkus makes a compelling comparison, “Think The Thorn Birds or Rich Man, Poor Man among the Martha’s Vineyard moneyed set.”

Watch List

9781476729084-1The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion, (S&S; S&S Audio)

We’ve been writing about this book for months; it’s been a favorite on GalleyChat and is now #1 on both the IndieNext and the LibraryReads lists (annotation below):

“Don Tillman, a brilliant geneticist, thinks that having women fill out a six-page, double-sided questionnaire before a date is logical and reasonable. Rosie Jarman, an impetuous barmaid, thinks Don should loosen up and learn to live a little. Follow the unlikely pair in this laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of unexpected joys, discovery and love.” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Entertainment Weekly joins the bandwagon this week, saying, “Move over, Sheldon Cooper. There’s a new brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman, in The Rosie Project.”

The Tilted WorldThe Tilted World, Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly, (HarperCollins/Morrow)

This title is also a LibraryReads pick for October:

“The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 is the backdrop for one of my favorite historical novels of the last few years. Bootleggers, revenuers, an orphaned child, extreme weather, a disintegrating marriage and romance. There are no dull characters or moments in this beautifully-written story.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Coincidentally, Bill Bryson writes about that flood in One Summer: America, 1927, (RH/Doubleday), which is also out this week.

Thursdays in the ParkThursdays in the Park, Hilary Boyd, (Quercus; Pbk original)

Several librarians on GalleyChat enjoyed this book, but objected to its being called “Gran Lit” (the character is turning 60) in Britain where it was a self-published word-of-mouth hit. The tabloid, The Daily Mail, compared it to Fifty Shades of Grey, even though the sex is mild (maybe confused by the word grey in the title). It’s an IndieNext pick for October.

Media Magnets

9781451695991Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, Chris Matthews, (S&S; S&S Audio)

The host of The Chris Matthews Show writes about the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill (Matthews was O’Neill’s chief of staff for six years). Appealing to Democrats as well as Republicans, it will get media coverage, of course. The author is scheduled for NBC’s Meet the Press, The Today Show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NPR’s Fresh Air; and Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, among others.

I Am MalalaI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Christina Lamb, Malala Yousafzai, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio)

Last year, when she was just 15, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban and became an international symbol of the fight for women’s rights. Although she had to leave her home in Pakistan, she has not been silenced and continues to argue for education for girls and women, as she does is this book, co-written with journalist Christina Lamb, who has covered Pakistan for many years.

Diane Sawyer landed the first U.S. television interview with Malala, to air on all ABC News broadcasts including World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, and Nightline. The following week, she is scheduled to appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

In July, on her 16th birthday, she brought the U.N. Youth Assembly to their feet with a powerful and articulate speech (video here).

The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life , Robin Quivers, (Penguin/Avery)

Howard Stern’s longtime sidekick, Robin Quivers revealed earlier this month that she has been doing the show from home while receiving chemotherapy for endometrial cancer and now is cancer-free. She has also embraced veganism, which she says has helped her overcome the aches and pains she endured for many years.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 9/30

Friday, September 27th, 2013

New books from award winners are big next week, from Caldecott medalists Jerry Pinkney and David Wiesner to the longlisted National Book Awards title from Meg Rosoff … Your next favorite read aloud, Snatchabook, focuses on the love of reading … In tie-ins, releases of Ender’s Game and Frozen signal two big fall movies arriving in November.

Titles mentioned here, and more arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kid’s New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 30.

Picture Books

Tortoise and the Hare  2390915e2a6bfd2f41d837592fd66bb7

The Tortoise & the Hare, Jerry Pinkney, (Hachette/LBYR)

Caldecott-winning artist Pinkney, (The Lion And The Mouse) retells Aesop’s fable, set in the American Southwest. The illustrations are rich in detail, accurately displaying the flora and fauna of the region’s landscape. These animals are more anthropomorphic than his previous retelling, with the turtle sporting a train engineer’s cap (perhaps a nod to John Henry) and the rabbit in a checkered vest. Another winner.


Snatchabook, Thomas Docherty, Helen Docherty, (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky)

Looking for a new read aloud picture book so delightful that it sings? Look no further, it’s here.

Click on the title link to see some of the charming interior spreads.


9780618756612Mr. Wuffles!, David Wiesner, (HMH/Clarion Books)

The world has gone cat crazy, from French video star, Henri, Le Chat Noir, who paces to an interior monologue of ennui, to  Grumpy Cat, who has his own bestselling book from Chronicle (and the longest lines at Book Expo).

Now there is Mr. Wuffles! Inventive, surprising, with sly humor and visual jokes, three-time Caldecott-winner David Weisner gives new life to the alien invasion trope.

Young Adult

Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone, Meg Rosoff, (Penguin/Putnam)

Longlisted for the National Book Awards, this is a story that sneaks up on you. Written from the point of view of a very smart, very aware (think Sherlock Holmes) twelve-year-old, it is about a girl accompanying her father on a trip to the United States to search for his missing best friend.

Movie Tie-ins

Ender's Game Tie-in

Ender’s Game (Movie Tie-In), Orson Scott Card, (Macmillan/Tor Teen; also in trade pbk)

Whatever you think of Orson Scott Card’s politics or point of view, when Enders Game was published in 1985, it brought a new vision to speculative fiction with its intergalactic power plays and the fate of the human race resting on the gaming skills of children. The book has reappeared on best seller lists as attention is gearing up for the movie, which open Nov. 1, starring Harrison Ford as Col. Hyrum Graff and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.

New TV spot below:

Frozen Tie-ins

Frozen Jr. Novelization Disney’s big animated feature for the winter, opening Nov. 27, is appropriately titled Frozen, which is oosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen,

In addition to the novelization (pictured), several tie-ins are being published.

See our downloadable spreadsheet, Kid’s New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 30, for the full list.

Kerouac At The Movies

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Big SurHollywood’s recent fascination with beat writer Jack Kerouac, which began with last year’s adaptation of On the Road, continues this year with two movies that portray the artist before and after he became famous.

Kerouac’s Big Sur is about his mental breakdown after the success of On the Road and his retreat to a cabin in the woods, to try to recuperate.  It is getting a big Hollywood film adaptation, starring Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac. Kate Bosworth also stars in the film which is directed by her husband, Michael Polish.

Kill Your DarlingsA younger Kerouac is portrayed in Kill Your Darlings, subtitled A True Story of Obsession and Murder, which stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg when he was a student at Columbia University. One of his classmates died mysteriously and Ginsberg, Kerouac (played by Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire) and fellow beat writer, William Burroughs were all arrested as part of the investigation. The story inspired Burroughs and Kerouac to collaborate on a hard-boiled crime novel, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks(Grove, 2009), which was not published in their lifetimes. That doozy of a title is based on a horrible story — it seems the authors were fixated on a news report about a fire in a circus (or perhaps a zoo) that included that phrase.

The best thing that the NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani could say about the book when it was finally released, was that it gives “the reader a sense of the seedy, artsy world Kerouac and Burroughs inhabited in New York during the war years … semi-autobiographical glimpses … of the two writers before they found their voices and became bohemian brand names”

The movie is faring better, with The Telegraph stating, “Unlike Walter Salles’s recent adaptation of On The Road, which embraced the Beat philosophy with a wide and credulous grin, Kill Your Darlings is inquisitive about the movement’s worth, and the genius of its characters is never assumed.”

Big Sur — Opens wide, Nov. 1

Big Sur: (Movie Tie-In), Jack Kerouac, (Penguin, 10/9/13)


Kill Your Darlings — Limited Release, Oct. 16



Thursday, September 26th, 2013

East of Eden OprahHere’s an incentive to get kids to read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, (an Oprah Book Club selection). It is set for a film adaptation by The Hunger Games team, director Gary Ross and star Jennifer Lawrence. Evidently Ross has learned how well series can work; according to Deadline, he plans to divide the story into two films.

Lawrence will play the manipulative mother of feuding twin sons, Caleb and Aron. Jo Van Fleet won an Oscar for that role in Elia Kazan’s 1955 classic adaptation. It was a supporting role, since Kazan’s version focuses on the last section of the book, in which her character is in the background. With Lawrence as star, that character will undoubtedly have a larger role.

Also in the works is a new adaptation  of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath headed by Steven Spielberg.


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

9780062225795_0_CoverScientist and “celebrity atheist,” Richard Dawkins, appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, to discuss his book, An Appetite for Wonder, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio), which is part one of his memoir. The second part is due out in two years, if, says the author, he is “not carried off by the unpredictable equivalent of a sneeze.”

The book is reviewed twice on the NPR web site, one calls it a “delightful memoir… funny and modest, absorbing and playful … a marvelous love letter to science.” The other complains that the first half of the book suffers from “little drama, humor, or any other redeeming factor,” but that the “the pace of the book moves up a notch” after Dawkins discovers science.

Several libraries are showing increased holds on light ordering for the book.

Below is the extended interview, part one (link to the site for parts two and three)

Miss Havisham The Younger

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

A new trailer for the BBC Film adaptation of Great Expectations whets appetites for Helen Bonham Carter’s and director Mike Newell’s (Four Weddings and a Funeral and the fourth Harry Potter) take on the iconic spinster, Miss Havisham. Unfortunately, the movie is planned for just a limited run in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on November 8.

At 46, Helena Bonham Carter is one of the youngest actresses to play the part (she is edged out slightly by Gillian Anderson, who was 43 when she starred in the BBC TV miniseries). The film’s director, says, however, “if you read the book she’s actually in her 40′s.”

HavishamFor the backstory on Miss Havisham’s early life, novelist Ronald Frame’s Havisham, (Macmillan/Picador) arrives here on Nov. 5.  It received admiring reviews when it was published in the U.K., with The Times of London saying, “this re-imagining will delight readers … Frame has a talent for thrilling Victorian melodrama.”  Canada’s National Post said that Frame not only illuminates Dickens’ Miss Havisham, but makes the character his own.

Judge for yourself; print galleys have been released here and it is available on NetGalley.

Great Expectations has inspired other spin-offs, most notably, Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs and Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip (which was also made into a movie), but this is the first to be based on Havisham.


Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Five Days At MemorialLess than a month after The Today Show relaunched their book club, sending the first title, The Bone Season onto best seller lists, MSNBC’s Morning Joe begins a club of its own, with a LibraryReads pick for September, Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, (RH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT).

Below is the video of the introduction of the club and a discussion with the author:

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Kids New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 23

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Two titles on just-announced longlist for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature arrive tomorrow; The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press) and Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses (Candlewick). On our Watch List is the next title in one of my favorite new middle grade series and a title that’s been buzzed on YA GalleyChat. With all the ads out there for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, we probably don’t need to remind you that it opens this weekend. For those who want to read ahead, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3 : Planet of the Pies came out last month.

See our downloadable spreadsheet with the movie tie-ins, the titles highlighted here, and many more  coming this week, Kids New Title Radar — Wk. of Sept 23.

Flora and UlyssesFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K.G. Campbell, (Candlewick)

It’s no surprise that the latest by award winning author Kate DiCamillo is a delight to hold. Those who read it digitally will miss the beautiful bookmaking, the heft, the delicious paper stock and the shiny embossed red detail that dances across the cover, even landing on the tiny letters on the comic that Flora is hugging. DiCamillo and her partners-in-crime the creative team at Candlewick, fearlessly experiment with a hybrid graphic format telling the quiet, funny and sometimes sad tale of self-proclaimed cynic Flora and her superhero squirrel companion Ulysses.

The review in the New York Times Book Review  is particularly insightful. Christine Scheper, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library, NYC gives the ultimate librarian recommendation “As a children’s librarian I am always thinking ‘who is this book for?’ I would give this book to everyone! It’s hysterically funny.”

As a special gift from the publisher and School Library Journal, you are invited to join a Livestream Event featuring Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka live from Bank Street College of Education on Monday October 21st. Set up an assembly so all of your students, parents, and teachers can share the belly laughs with these two hilarious authors. It’s the school visit to end all school visits!

Watch List

Good night, zombie

Good Night, Zombie, James Preller, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (S&S/Feiwell & Friends, simultaneous paper and hardcover)

AsI said about the earlier titles in this series, I am thrilled with these early chapter books that are just scary enough for newly fluent third graders. Lots of dark scratchboard illustrations, and a flip animation spider that crawls down the margin, adds visual interest. Happily, at least three more titles are planned in the series.

9780385743563-1Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson, (Delacorte Press; Brilliance Audio)

As proclaimed on the cover, Sanderson is a NYT best selling author, but for adult titles (he completed Robert Jordan’s fantasy series The Wheel of Time). He has also published a series of YA novels (beginning with the marvelously-titled Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians) and the standalone YA/middle grade novel, The Rithmatist, which came out in May. This beginning of a new series is called by SLJ a “fun, fast-paced, futuristic science-fiction superhero story.” Librarians on YA GalleyChat report that kids are eagerly awaiting this one.

DINNER And A Movie

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The DinnerCate Blanchett is set to direct her first movie, an adaptation of  The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch (RH/Hogarth), according to Deadline. It is unclear whether she also plans to star.

The novel, a hit in Europe, arrived in the U.S. earlier this year with a great deal of fanfare and speculation that it would be the next Gone Girl. Although it didn’t achieved that level, it sold well and was on  NYT hardcover fiction list for seven weeks, reaching a high of #7, and is likely to hit the paperback list, when the trade paperback edition is published at the end of October. Some libraries still show significant holds

A Dutch-language film adaptation, Het Diner, directed by Menno Meyjes, premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. It  opens in the Netherlands in November; no news yet on whether it will be distributed in the U.S.

Another novel by Koch, originally published in Dutch in 2011, Summerhouse with Swimming Pool, (RH/Hogarth) will be published here in June.

New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 23

Friday, September 20th, 2013

9780345806789   Doctor Sleep  Carrie -- Movie Tie-in

This is the week, or perhaps, the entire season of Stephen King. Arriving on Tuesday is Doctor Sleep, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike), the sequel to his nearly 40-year old horror classic, The Shining, Featured on the cover of this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, it gets literary cred from Margaret Atwood, who asserts, “Some may look skeptically at ‘horror’ as a genre, but it’s one of the most literary of all forms.” With all this attention to The Shining, it’s no surprise that holds are building on it (Penguin/Anchor released a new trade paperback edition last month).

An adaptation of another King classic from the 1970’s, Carrie, arrives in theaters on Oct. 18. Tie-ins to that film are being released this week (see below, under Movie Tie-ins).

978-0-307-26574-6-1Also arriving is the title that rivals Doctor Sleep for appearing on the most “fall picks” lists, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print). It has TWO major awards nominations; the UK’s Booker and the US National Book Awards and is reviewed in today’s NYT by the redoubtable Michiko Kakutani.

The books highlighted here, and more arriving next week, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Sept 23.

Watch List

CartwheelCartwheel, Jennifer duBois, (Random House; RH Audio)

Also on several fall previews, this novel which echoes a high-profile murder case, is a departure for the author, whose debut, A Partial History of Lost Causes was a literary phenomenon, drawing award nominations and gaining the author a spot on the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list. This, her second novel, is a LibraryReads pick for October:

“College student Lily Hayes is an accident waiting to happen. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires, she becomes the prime suspect in her roommate Katy’s murder. DuBois’s haunting story captures a family shattered by their young daughter’s imprisonment. A well-written novel highly recommended for book clubs.” — Karen Kilbride, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN

9780811221665Hawthorn & Child, Keith Ridgway, (New Directions)

This trade paperback original is also a LibraryReads pick for October:

“Ridgway has taken the ‘partner cops’ and ‘troubled cops’ sub-genres to new levels. Hawthorn is a haunted man with a callous worldview. Child is his apt foil: humane, funny and insightful. Set in contemporary London, the story draws readers quickly and completely into a complex, seedy world of crime, madness and despair.”  — Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA


The Dead Run, Adam Mansbach, (HarperVoyager)

Mansbach, best known for his inspired faux children’s book, Go the F**k to Sleep, is also the author of several adult novels. A scary, if a bit opaque book trailer for this one  is featured as one of Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog’s “exclusives” today. Prepub reviews are strong, with Kirkus judging it,  “certifiably some Weird Stuff … A head-spinning mashup of genres, with a cast that includes bikers, hookers, demons and corrupt cops. It works.”

9780670025992Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris, Ann Mah, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books)

We’ve been told that the French raise their children better, that French women don’t get fat and the French just generally do everything better. Now it’s time to stop flagellating ourselves and just enjoy all things French. In this memoir of her time in France, American  Ann Mah explores the signature dish of each region, resulting in a “honest, funny, and eloquent memoir is sure to delight lovers of France, food, or travel,” (Library Journal), Learn more about it, and the other books that Pamela Dorman is publishing this season, on Penguin’s Editor’s Buzz.


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That’s right,  Martha Stweart’s Cakes (RH/Clarkson Potter) and Skinny Bitch Bakery (HarperCollins/HarperOne) are coming out on the very same day.

Media Magnets

9780062225795_0_CoverAn Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio)

NPR’s Web site calls this memoir by lightning rod Dawkins, “funny and modest, absorbing and playful … a marvelous love letter to science.”

Movie Tie-ins 

9780393347333Parkland (Movie Tie-In Edition)Vincent Bugliosi, Trade paperback: $16.95, (Norton)

The 50th anniversary of  JFK’s assassination is bringing a raft of books and a movie based on a book, Parkland, about the chaos that ensued at Parkland Hospital in Dallas when the staff discovered that their incoming patient was the president. Just a few days later, they had to treat Oswald. Based on Vincent Bugliosi’s exhaustive 1,612 page book on the assasination, Reclaiming History, (Norton, 2007; it was released the following year in a shorter, 688 page trade paperback, Four Days in November; the tie-in is the shorter version).

Produced by Tom Hanks’ Playtone Partners and starring Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Paul Giamatti (as Abraham Zapruder, the man in the crowd who captured the assassination on his home movie camera), it is considered an Oscar contender.Vanity Fair recently interviewed the filmmaker, Peter Landesman. It arrives in theaters on Oct. 4.

Below is the trailer:

Carrie -- Movie Tie-in

Carrie, Stephen King, Movie Tie-in Edition:

Trade pbk, (RH/Anchor)
Mass Mkt. pbk.  (RH/Anchor)
Books on Tape and RH Audio (read by Sissy Spacek)
Spanish Movie Tie-in Edition,(RH/ Vintage)

This, the second adaptation of the Stephen King classic, is directed by Kimberly Peirce, (Boys Don’t Cry), who has said her Carrie is not  a remake of De Palma’s version, but a return to King’s original (see MovieWeb‘s on-set interview with the director for more insight on Peirce’s approach to the novel,). Link here for the trailer: It opens on Oct. 18.

Aftershock (Inequality for All—Movie Tie-in Edition), Robert B Reich, (Vintage paper original)

Reich appeared on the Daily Show on Monday to promote this movie, which was an unexpected hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is being rolled out in a limited number of theaters beginning next week.

DOCTOR SLEEP Reviewed by Margaret Atwood

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Doctor SleepFeatured on the cover of the upcoming NYT Book Review is Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike). Not only is it a surprise to find the Book Review covering a book by a best-selling author close to publication date (likely the doing of the new editor, Pamela Paul, who began that position in May), but the name of the reviewer is also a surprise, Margaret Atwood.

Perhaps to justify that choice, a callout quotes Atwood’s review, “Some may look skeptically at ‘horror’ as a genre, but it’s one of the most literary of all forms.”

TMaddAddamhis may be the only review of Doctor Sleep that mentions Vladimir Nabokov and Salvador Dali in the first paragraph. Atwood calls it,

… a very good specimen of the quintessential King blend. According to Vladimir Nabokov, Salvador Dali was ‘really Norman Rockwell’s twin brother kidnapped by gypsies in babyhood.’ But actually there were triplets: the third one is Stephen King.”

The review is peppered with literary references. Atwood gives King respect as a  writer, noting that he “loves wordplay and puns and mirror language … The names of King’s characters are frequently appropriate: Daniel ‘Lion’s Den’ Anthony the (the tempted saint) Torrance (it never rains but it pours) is a case in point.” She also gives him respect as entertainer, “by the end of this book, your fingers will be mere stubs of their former selves.”

This may be the only review of Doctor Sleep you need to read (currently, it’s only available in print; it will be online Friday afternoon).

Atwood’s latest book is Maddaddam (RH/Doubleday/Talese), which was reviewed earlier in the NYT Book Review.

Lahiri Nominated for Both Booker and N.B.A.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Proving the fluidity of nationality these days, Jhumpa Lahiri is now a contender for two national fiction awards for her novel, The Lowland, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print). She is on the Booker shortlist, limited to authors from the British Commonwealth and Ireland (she was born in London to parents who had immigrated from India). She is also on the longlist for the National Book Awards, announced today, which are limited to authors from the U.S. (her family moved to the U.S. when she was two).

The list also includes George Saunders’ collection of short stories, The Tenth of December(Random House; BOT), which was propelled onto best sellers lists earlier this year by the  NYT Magazine cover story, “George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You’ll Read This Year.”

The entire list, with annotations and links to selected reviews and author interviews is on the Book Beast web site. Full bibliographic information for all the titles is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Natl-Book-Awards-Fiction-Longlist.

This is the final of the four longlists; those for Young People’s Literature, Poetry and Nonfiction were announced earlier this week. Finalists will be announce on Oct. 16 and the winners on Nov. 20. 

Strong Showing for Norton on the NBA Longlist

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

NBA Longlist

As publisher of 3 of the 10 titles on the National Book Awards longlist announced today, W.W. Norton is tied with the much larger Random House for number of titles. They are also one of two independent publishers represented on the list; the other is Atlantic Monthly Press, with one title. (Full bibliographic information for all the titles is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Nat’l Book Awards – Nonfiction Longlist).

As NPR’s All Things Considered noted on Monday, the National Book Awards “have been criticized for nominating obscure authors whose books don’t sell as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize or the Man Booker Prize.” None of the titles on this  year’s nonfiction longlist would be considered esoteric, but few of them have received much attention to date. The most well-known is probably Lawrence Wright’s investigation into Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, (RH/Knopf).

In an attempt to steer away from “obscure authors,” notes NPR, the judging panels have added “nonwriters, including librarians and book sellers.”  However, only one bookseller is on a panel; Rick Simonson of Seattle’s Elliott Bay bookstore on the fiction panel. The sole librarian is Lisa Von Drasek, curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University of Minnesota (and EarlyWord Kids Contributor).

The full longlist, with annotations and links to reviews, is on the Book Beast web site. The fiction longlist will be announced tomorrow morning.


MOCKINGJAY Film Gearing Up

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

9781416972242The box office results for City of Bones were so poor that plans to film the sequel City of Ashes have turned into, well, ashes.

MockingjayMeanwhile, expectations for the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire are outpacing the original. Wall Street analysts project that the film, which opens Nov. 22, will bring in $400 million in profits  vs. $325 million from the original.

It’s no surprise, then, that  announcements of new cast members for the adaptation of the third and final book in the series, Mockingjay (Scholastic), have been coming fast and furious.

For those having trouble keeping up, Entertainment Weekly offers a quick rundown of the new, as well as returning, cast members (beginning with newcomer Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin). Mockingjay will be released in two parts. The first is scheduled to arrive in theaters in Nov., 2014, followed by the second the following year.