Archive for March, 2014

Get Ready: Four Titles You Need to Know The Week of March 24

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In addition to the several titles by known quantities arriving next week (e.g., Tempting Fate by Jane Green, which gets 3.5 stars in this week’s People magazine and the author is called, “one of the first ladies of chick lit”) below are four titles you need to know.

These and other notable titles arriving next week are listed, with alternative formats and full ordering information, on our downloadable spreadsheet

A Call to Action   Thrive, Huffington

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, Jimmy Carter, (S&S; S&S Audio)

The former president has what publicists call a “platform,” meaning easy access to the media. For this book, on violence against women and girls around the world, he is scheduled to appear this weekend on the Sunday’s Meet the Press and NPR’s Weekend Edtion. Next week, he will be on a wide range of shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman and the Colbert Report.

Thrive, Arianna Huffington, (RH/Harmony; RH Audio)

Huffington has already been on the stump for this book; appearing on Ellen this week. DeGeneres passionately recommended it, saying she’s been telling everyone to read it. Huffington’s revolutionary advice? More sleep! It’s currently at #18 on Amazon’s sales rankings and lbraries are showing holds

Every Day is for the Thief Every Day Is for the Thief, Teju Cole, (Random House)

Expect many reviews for this book by PEN Faulkner Award-winning author of Open City, published in 2011 (and the March Read for The Atlantic‘s Twitter Book Club). There’s already advance attention; the author is profiled in the NYT and the L.A. Times, in an early review, calls it a “wonderful meditation on modern life in Nigeria.” It arrives on the heels of another Nigerian author winning the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Americanah.

Washington's SpiesWashington’s Spies, Alexander Rose, (RH/Bantam)

The tie-in version of the basis for a heavily-promoted AMC series Turn, which begins 4/6/14.

DIVERGENT; Review Proof?

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Divergent   Divergent MTI

The early trade reviews of the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent have not offered a warm welcome. The consumer reviews began pouring in yesterday and the story is the same. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film now has just a 38% positive rating (and even some of those “positive” reviews damn with faint praise; “Hey, we gotta kill time between Hunger Games installments somehow. Why not Divergent?” The Dallas Morning Herald).

Box office predictors, like Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo, tell USA Today, “Divergent won’t be the next Hunger Games, but it could be the next Twilight.”

If it succeeds at the box office, the secret will not only lie in the movie’s heavy marketing, but in an element acknowledged in even the most rotten reviews; the chemistry between the two leads. As People magazine (which gives it 3 of 4 stars) puts it, while Divergent “isn’t as emotionally engaging as Games, its leads could give Katniss and Peeta serious chemistry lessons … The slow burn between these two is the best thing about the film.”

Reminder: the male lead, Theo James, played the Turkish ambassador on Downton Abbey, the man who successfully melted Lady Mary’s frosty exterior (and paid dearly for it).

There is one straight out rave review, however. The Washington Post‘s Michael O’Sullivan says “director Neil Burger (Limitless) has crafted a popcorn flick that’s leaner, more propulsive and more satisfying than the bestseller that inspired it …  [The] Screenwriters … have even come up with an ending that more cleverly utilizes the story’s teenage heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) without changing the outcome.”

The film is already a raging success by one indicator. All three of the books in the trilogy occupy the top spots on USA Today‘s best seller list.

Beyond FLOWERS, An Entire Bouquet

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

petalsonthewindcover doll_thorns_1 200px-SeedsofYesterday MySweetAudrina

The Lifetime cable channel is going “V.C. Andrews crazy,” according to BuzzFeed, as a result of the ratings success of their adaptation of what BuzzFeed characterizes as “the incest classic,” Flowers in the Attic.

Flowers in the Attic

In the midst of filming the sequel, Petals on the Wind, the network, according to an unnamed source, has signed the other two books in the original Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, (but not the prequel, Garden of Shadows), as well as the standalone, My Sweet Audrina.

Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn will return in the sequel to Flowers, but, since Petals picks up the story ten years later, the Dollanganger kids have been recast with older actors.

No release date has been set for the sequel, but new editions of the books have been announced (no covers yet)

Petals on the Wind
V.C. Andrews
S&S/Gallery June 17, 2014
Trade paperback, $14.00
9781476789552, 147678955X

S&S/Pocket Books
Mass market, $7.99
9781476789569, 1476789568

THE GIVER, The Trailer

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Dystopia is everywhere! On the eve of Friday’s release of Divergent, we’ve seen the trailer for The Maze Runner and now comes a trailer for a movie based on the godmother of the genre, Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

Entertainment Weekly offers a “deep dive” into the 1.5 minute trailer, saying it is not a faithful adaptation of the book.

It seems a significant number of people want to read the book in advance; it rose to #20, from #212, on Amazon’s sale rankings.

The movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 15, just one month before The Maze Runner. Then it’s back to Hunger Games, with Mockingjay, Part 1 on Nov. 21.

Tie-ins (no covers yet):

The Giver Movie Tie-In Edition
Lois Lowry
HMH; July 1, 2014
Hardback, $17.99
9780544430785, 0544430786
Trade paperback, $9.99
9780544340688, 054434068X

Audio tie-in
The Giver Movie Tie-In Edition
Lois Lowry, Ron Rifkin
Listening Library, July 8, 2014
CD-Audio; $29.95
9780553397109, 0553397109


Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Just as Divergent is about to hit theaters, the trailer for the adaptation of another first title in a dystopian series, The Maze Runner, appears.

Based on the novel by James Dashner, the movie, directed by Wes Ball, opens on Sept 19.

Entertainment Weekly says the  two-minute trailer offers fans a “treasure trove of clues to dissect.” and gives author Dashner himself the opportunity to do a “deep dive” into it.

The tie-in has been announced (no cover yet)

The Maze Runner
James Dashner
RH/Delacorte On Sale Date: August 5, 2014
Trade paperback;  9780385385206, 038538520X
$9.99 USD / $10.99 CAD

GAME OF THRONES Has A “Massive Problem”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Vanity Fair Games of Thrones HBO’s Game of Thrones cast and crew get the Annie Liebovitz treatment in the April issue of Vanity Fair.

The cover story has been setting the internet afire by declaring that, with season four  beginning on April 6, the show has a “massive problem on the horizon,” in that it is catching up to the books.

This is not a new concern, however. It was anticipated, even before the HBO series began. As Time magazine’s TV critic says, the “answer generally was, Martin will hurry up with the last two books, or HBO will take a while with the series or–look, a raven!”  That appears to still be the answer.

The executive producers tell Vanity Fair that they’d like to wrap up the show after “seven or eight seasons.” To that end, they have met with Martin (who is also a producer on the show), to find out how the various plot lines will end, so they have a road map (for more details on the books, a longer version of VF‘s conversation with Martin is available online. Sorry, he doesn’t reveal what he told the executive producers).

The pressure from the show is nothing compared to what Martin, who is five volumes in to the planned seven-book series, has already endured from fans to get on with it (as the New Yorker wrote  on the eve of the 2011 publication of Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, they can be pretty unforgiving).

HBO’s Season 4 covers roughly the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third in the book series. To add a little confusion for casual observers, Book Four, A Feast for Crows, will be released as a tie-in edition.

As Time‘s critic advises, it’s best just to relax and enjoy each series for their unique pleasures.

A Feast For Crows, Tie-inA Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
George R.R. Martin
RH/Bantam, 4/1/14
Trade paperback; 9780553390575, 0553390570
$18.00 USD / $21.00 CAD
Mass market paperback; 9780553390568, 0553390562
$9.99 USD / $11.99 CAD


Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Dancing Fish And Ammonites   Savage Harvest

Penelope Lively was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air (listen here) about her new book, Dancing Fish And Ammonites, (Penguin/Viking), which the 81-year-old author says is “not quite a memoir,” but rather “the view from old age.”

Today, the show features journalist Carl Hoffman on his new book Savage Harvest (HarperCollins/Morrow), with the long subtitle/annotation,  A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. The author was also interviewed this past weekend on another NPR show, Weekend Edition Saturday. An excerpt of the book appears in the March Smithsonian Magazine.

Harlan Coben Movie Deals

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Missing You   Six Years   Tell No One

So far, only one film has been made of  Harlan Coben’s best selling novels, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à personne, and it was not released to U.S. theaters (several libraries own the DVD). [UPDATE: We stand corrected. As one of the comments points out, the film was shown in 112 U.S. theaters].That seems odd, since, as the Washington Post characterizes  the writer, he is the “master” of a film-worthy type of story, “a life suddenly unraveling, the past summoned back into a swiftly shifting present, secrets peeling back to reveal more secrets.”

Hollywood seems to have caught on. Three of Coban’s books now in various stages of development.

His latest thriller, one of his many standalones, Missing You, (RH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike) releasing today, was just picked up for adaptation by Warner Bros., according to Deadline.

The plot involves an internet dating site. Booklist says, “Coben never met a technological device he couldn’t turn into a riveting plot element … Coben’s meticulous plotting and his incorporation of the technology are first-rate. His characterization and dialogue? Not so much.”

In the pipeline are two other standalones. One is an English-language version of Tell No One, currently being scripted at Universal. The second, Six Years, published last year, is being produced at Paramount, with Hugh Jackman set to star.

DIVERGENT: Early Reviews Not Promising

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Divergent Movie CompanionMuch speculation has gone in to whether the film adaptation of Divergent, which opens on Friday, will be the next Hunger Games, or will fizzle like The Mortal Instruments.

The trade reviews have just arrived and  they’re not promising.

The Hollywood Reporter — “… director Neil Burger struggles to fuse philosophy, awkward romance and brutal action. Even with star Shailene Woodley delivering the requisite toughness and magnetism, the clunky result is almost unrelentingly grim.”

Thompson on Hollywood — “… feels like a set-up for [the sequels], with an unconscionable amount of exposition and introduction. This is part of Divergent’s major problem: It’s not really a high-concept movie, and is trying to be one, hence its fuzzy impulses and skewed logic.”

The Wrap — the headline says it all — “A Little Hunger Games, a Little Harry Potter, a Lot of Dull.”

Variety — “Even though it stretches to nearly two-and-a-half hours and concludes with an extended gun battle, by the time Divergent ends, it still seems to be in the process of clearing its throat … Fans of the books will turn out for what should be a very profitable opening weekend, but with future installments already on the release calendar, the film’s B.O. tea leaves will surely be read with care.”

As to those tea leaves, Forbes says the message is clear and none of the above matters:

Forbes — “Divergent is, barring fan revolt, critic proof. And thanks to its reasonable budget, it’s almost word-of-mouth proof … The work was done in the marketing department, with Lionsgate securing the hype and mainstream attention that guaranteed that Divergent didn’t suffer the same fate as Beautiful Creatures or The Mortal Instruments … we’ve got the next big young-adult literary adaptation franchise on our hands.”

Lestat Returns for Halloween

Monday, March 17th, 2014

BK_InterviewAnne Rice announced on Facebook last week that her next book will revive The Vampire Chronicles series, which began in 1976 with Interview With The Vampire. The new book, titled Prince Lestat, will be published on Oct. 28 by Knopf. News sources from Variety to the New York Times and The Guardian covered the story. As a result, when the preorder links went up on Amazon yesterday, it landed at #48 on the site’s sales rankings.

BK_QueenDamnedIn a podcast interview on The Dinner Party with Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn, co-hosted by her son, Rice said Prince Lestat will be a sequel to The Queen of the Damned because, “after that The Vampire Chronicles are kind of memoir books and backstory and other experiments.” She gives more details (including how Lestat deals with the iPhone) during the full interview — listen to it on iTunes, Episode #64, beginning at time stamp 7:00.

It’s been over a decade since the 11th volume, Blood Canticle, was published. In a 2009 statement currently still featured on the official site for the series, Rice claimed this would be the final volume; “the eleven novels of the Vampire Chronicles are best enjoyed as a complete and finished work.” On The Dinner Party she says she really didn’t think she could write a new one, but going back and reading all the books again made her feel she had more to say, so much so that she “feels this is novel one of a new incarnation” and in fact, has signed the contract for a second book. She even has casting ideas for a new film version of Lestat.

9780307962522_a85caPrince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles
Anne Rice
October 28, 2014
9780307962522, 0307962520
Hardback $27.95 USD / $33.00 CAD

Nancy Pearl Interviews: Laurie Halse Anderson

Monday, March 17th, 2014

9780670012091Speaking with YA author Laurie Halse Anderson, librarian Nancy Pearl asks about the term, “problem novels,” often applied to books about teens dealing with real-life situations. Anderson responds that she thinks of the genre as “Resilience Literature” because the goal of the books is to helps strengthen kids facing difficult situations.

As to the people who try to censor her books because they don’t want kids exposed to such realities, she says,”They need to sit down and have a cup of coffee with me.”

Anderson’s latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, (Penguin/Viking; Brilliance Audio; January), is about a teenager trying to deal with her beloved father, a former soldier struggling with PTSD. She tells Nancy how her own experiences influenced the book which is currently on both the NYT and the Indie best seller lists.

The interview is part of the series, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl on Seattle Channel 21.

TFIOS, The Paperback

Friday, March 14th, 2014

After more than two years on best seller lists, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is coming out in paperback.

You can thank the movie. A tie-in trade paperback is being published in early April, as well as one with a version of the original hardcover art.

Any bets on whether, as with The Great Gatsby, consumers will prefer the original cover over the tie-in?

The movie arrives in theaters on June 6. The two stars, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, will first be seen together in the movie adaptation of Divergent, debuting in theaters next Friday.

Fault in Our Stars, MTI

The Fault in Our Stars (Movie Tie-in)
John Green
April 8, 2014
9780147513731, 0147513731
Trade paperback
$12.99 USD / $14.99 CAD




The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
April 8, 2014
9780142424179, 014242417X
Trade paperback
$12.99 USD / $14.99 CAD

Get Ready: 5 Titles to Know Next Week

Friday, March 14th, 2014

In addition to new titles from best selling authors Harlan Coben, Terry Pratchett, and series regular Loren Estelman, below are several titles to pay special attention to next week.

Ordering information for these titles and more is on our downloadable spreadsheet.


You Should Have Known  The Cairo Affair

You Should Have Known, Jean Hanff Korelitz, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio)

This book been called a “significantly superior addition” to the “chick noir” genre. Entertainment Weekly featured it in their spring preview, calling it, “The thriller we’re already obsessed with.”  Korelitz is the author of the well-received Admission. It’s the lead review in the new issue of  People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars; “a consuming, expertly plotted thriller [that] moves along at a slow burn, building up to shocking revelations…”‘ Oddly, the new issue of the magazine that first hearalded the book, Entertainment Weekly, is not so high on it, complaining that “the plot moves slowly, weighed down by superfluous detail”

A weird fact — if the author’s middle name reminds you of a favorite memoir about books, you have a great memory. Korelitz’a cousin was Helen Hanff, the author of 84 Charing Cross Road (made in to a movie starring Anne Bancroft), as she writes in an essay  in The Telegraph .

The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio)

If, like the NYT’s Janet Maslin, some of your readers have found that Olen Steinhauer’s Milo Weaver series has become overly complex, you can encourage them to try this stand-alone by the author. Like his previous books, it is an “elaborate, sophisticated spy tale, a long, twisty road full of cleverly placed potholes and unexpected turns,” says Maslin that will reward readers  who “stay on your toes and enjoy the guessing game.”

LibraryReads Picks

Divorce Papers   Kill Fee
The Divorce Papers, Susan Rieger, (RH/ Crown)

“When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read.” — Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

Kill Fee, Owen Laukkanen, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books)

“In the third book in this series, Carla Windermere and Kirk Stevens find themselves reunited when people around the country seem to be dying from contract hits. Young war veterans, under the influence of a mysterious man, are turning into emotionless killers. Stevens and Windermere try piecing together who’s behind the crimes, but keep falling one step behind. Reminiscent of Thomas Perry’s novels, and fast-paced.” — Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL


Promise of a PencilThe Promise of a Pencil, Adam Braum

PW calls this an “exuberant testimony to the power of idealism.” The author, who founded Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that has built over 250 schools around the world, is scheduled for CBS This Morning and Morning Joe next week.

The book will be a Parade “Pick” this Sunday.

March Kids Book To Love

Friday, March 14th, 2014


Among the new offerings for young readers are some enchanting picture books as well as new reasons to fall in love with sloths and poetry.

Picture Books

Jasper & Joop

Jasper & Joop (Gossie & Friends series), by Olivier Dunrea; picture book, also a board book edition, (HMH)

When Gossie first appeared on the scene, I wept for joy. Dunrea has a way of paring down language to the essentials and cueing the reader with his now classic avian creatures on a stark white background.

Grown ups will recall Felix and Oscar, the original odd couple, as we get to know the tidy Jasper and not-so-tidy Joop. A delight.


Toot   Tickle
Toot and Tickle, by Leslie Patricelli, Candlewick

I adore Leslie Patricelli’s board books. Babies love to look at babies and hers are having a lovely time. Silly age appropriate fun.

The Scraps BookThe Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, Lois Ehlert (S&S/Beach Lane Books)

Full disclosure: To me, Lois Ehlert is the unsung hero of picture books. Her careful collages and straightforward language, her sharp eye for design and subtle humor often gets lost among the piles of picture books produced every year. Her range is astounding from the marching, dancing graphic letters of her timeless read aloud classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the pitch perfect poetic language of her informational book about metamorphosis Waiting for Wings, we are used to being astounded by her art. With this new book, count me astounded again.

The Scraps Book holds all the joy of an archival collection (like the one where I work, the Kerlan); being able to look at  manuscript pages and sketches to see how the artist is thinking and creating , but with the major advantage that you don’t have to get on a plane to experience it, it’s all in her book.

Reasons every library must have multiple copies of this book.

  1. The hard to fill reference question from the beginning-to-read and beginning-to-write 1st or 2nd grader, “I need an autobiography.“ For this reading level, they are few and far between. Give this book
  2. Ehlert lets us in on  her creative process. We witness the scraps and pieces of leaves, berries, and photocopies and watercolor paper arrange on the page to become birds and cats, a leafman and snowman, fish floating and a squirrel leaping. We see the growth of an artist and her process.
  3. Intertextual connections. We see how a book, a story, a picture is made and we can go to that book and have many an ah-ha moment.
  4. Anyone, adult or child would be inspired by this book to create their own art and tell their own story.

The Geisel Award, please.

Middle Grade

Princess Labelmaker

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book, Tom Angleberger (Abrams; Recorded Books)

Obviously, you don’t need me to tell you about this series (in fact, this book just hit the USA Today best seller list), but I can’t pass it by. All the books offer a core truth about life in Middle Quarry Middle School as the Origami Yoda Gang fight the menace of standardized tests.



Swing, Sloth!   Sparky!

National Geographic Readers: Swing Sloth!, Susan B. Neuman, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

Sparky!, Jenny Offill, illus. by Chris Appelhans, (RH/Schwartz & Wade)

A Little Book of Sloth

Is it me or are we being buried under sloth books? A quick check gives us 42 children’s books featuring sloths over the last year (you may recall my favorite from last year, Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke, S&S/McElderry Books).

These two contenders arriving this week do not disappoint on the official sloth-o-meter. Cute, sweetly faced sleeping mammal? Check. Sly almost silly humor? Check. Child reader appeal? You have to ask? Did you know that there is an International Sloth Day? Start planning your programming now.


Firefly July

Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illus. by Melissa Sweet (Candlewick)

Just in time for Poetry Month, these are the perfect pocket poems. What, you never heard of Poem in Your Pocket Day? This is the day when people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them. Poems from pockets are unfolded throughout the day during events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Save the date: Thursday, April 24.

From Kirkus: “Choosing from works spanning three centuries, Janeczko artfully arranges 36 elegant poems among the four seasons…Scintillating!”

I agree.

ORANGE Is Back June 6th

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Orange is the New Black   Orange is the New Black tie-in

People magazine presents an exclusive sneak peek, in the form of four photos from the second season of the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, which made Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2011; tie-in, 2013) a best seller. It premieres on Friday, June 6.

They do their best to try to turn into a story. It’s almost as fun as watching Glamour magazine try to glean news from the 17-second teaser trailer that was released last month.