Archive for May, 2014

One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time

Monday, May 19th, 2014

I Remember YouCalling a new book “One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time” is high praise. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s influential reviewer Laura DeMarco applies it to a novel by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir, saying, “I have read a lot of horror fiction, and a lot of psychological suspense books, and I Remember You, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, also in trade pbk, both, March 25), ranks among the scariest, right up there with the best of Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s that good. And that scary. And, ultimately, that moving.”

Sigurdardottir, known for her mysteries, makes a departure in this standalone, which, says DeMarco, “chills with sounds and smells and shadows, not blood.”

DeMarco mentions that the covers of the American and U.K. editions were changed from the original, which Icelanic fans complained was too terrifying. Link here to see it on the Candian version (Icelanders must be sensitive).


Monday, May 19th, 2014

Another Great DayWe’re always on the look out for reviews that make our mouths water. Laura Miller did it for us yesterday in Salon with her review of Geoff Dyer’s Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, (RH/Pantheon), a book we neglected to include in our highlights for the week. Not only did she make us want to read that book, but every other book Dyer has written.

As she says, the very concept is brilliant,

The notion of installing a writer of Dyer’s baroquely sensitive and self-conscious temperament aboard an American aircraft carrier stationed in the Persian Gulf is obviously a stroke of genius. In fact, Dyer’s two-week writer-in-residency stint on the USS George H.W. Bush was his own idea…

She wanders off for a paragraph about the book not being what she had expected, a failing of many reviewers, but quickly gets it back on track and offers great stuff for readers advisors to steal.


Monday, May 19th, 2014

NewImage.pngMedia focus has been heavy on Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio), propelling it up Amazon sales rankings (it’s currently at #14).

More attention may be coming, in the form of a movie. Sony has optioned rights. Many have noted the book reads like a spy novel. Appropriately, Sony is planning to produce the movie with the team behind the recent James Bond movies.

In addition to earlier appearances on the Today Show, The Colbert Report (where he said he is working on an even more explosive story on the NSA), and NPR’s Fresh Air, Greenwald appeared on Fox News today.

Authors on Stewart & Colbert

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Stress Text.png  Innovative State  A Fighting Chance

This week, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert dive into politics with two authors that have been at odds with each other. Elizabeth Warren appears on Colbert on Monday. Her book, A Fighting Chance (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan: Macmillan Audio) is already a best seller (#5 on the NYT list after 2 weeks at #2). She appeared on Stewart’s show last month.

Her nemesis, former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, author of Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (RH/Crown; Random House Audio; Random House Large Print), appears on Stewart’s show on Wednesday. His book is now #34 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

On Tuesday, Stewart turns his attention to the tech world, featuring the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (2009 to 2012), Aneesh Chopra. His new book is Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government, (Atlantic Monthly Press, May 6).

8 Titles to Know, Week of May 19

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The One & Only  NewImage

Of the books arriving next week, the leader in number of copies headed for library shelves, is Emily Griffin’s The One & Only (RH/Ballantine;  RH/Audio), followed by Steve Berry’s newest Cotton Malone thriller, The Lincoln Myth (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; RH Large Print). The media will be busy with books, two by potential presidential candidates and readers advisors can recommend a new mystery that is a LibraryReads pick of the month.

Titles listed here, and highlights of others coming next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of May 19, 2014


Sixth Grave

Sixth Grave on the Edge, Darynda Jones, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio)

“The continuing adventures of P.I. Charley Davidson and Grim Reaper (not as mutually exclusive as one would think) are just as delightful as in previous books, with new characters including a wonderfully snarky new demon. Jones expands on Charley’s existing relationships and supernatural powers. It’s the perfect paranormal-romance-mystery blend that you never knew you always wanted.” — Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH



JFK Jr., George, & Me: A Memoir, Matt Berman, (S&S/Gallery Books; Audio, MidWest Tape)

Berman was the creative director at George, the political magazine that JFK Jr. co-founded.


  • Vanity Fair excerpt (on newsstands now, with cover line, “How J.F.K. Jr. Tamed Barbara Streisand”);
  • NBC-TV/TODAY – May 20
  • EXTRA feature – May 20
  • MSNBC-TV/Morning Joe – May 21
  • video interview, week of May 22
  • MSNBC-TV/Hardball with Chris Matthews, May 23

Media — Fathers Day

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Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees…and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have, Bill Geist and Willie Geist, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio)

CBS Sunday Morning regular, Bill Geist, and his son, Willie, co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and and the third hour of NBC’s Today show, collaborate on a book that is prime material media attention leading up to Father’s Day.

ManhoodHow to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One, Terry Crews, (RH/Zinc Ink)

It seems this book is also timed for Father’s Day (it will be in People Magazine’s Father’s Day Gift Guide). We worry recipients might not appreciate the implication that they need improvement. What gives Terry Crews, former NFL player and TV star, his expertise? Perhaps his experience doing Old Spice commercials.

This is one of the books in David Zinczenko’s (Eat This, Not Thatnew Random House imprintMedia: ABC Good Morning America – 5/19; NBC Tonight Show – 5/19; PBS Tavis Smiley – 6/2.

Media — Possible Presidential Candidates

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One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, Ben Carson, Candy Carson, (Penguin/Sentinel)

Carson became the “New Conservative Folk Hero,” (Atlantic magazine) when he disparaged some of President Obama’s policies during his remarks at a National Prayer Breakfast. Shortly after that, his 2012 title, America the Beautiful,, (HarperCollins/Zondervan) became a best seller. According to the conservative publication, The Weekly Standard, he is “warming to the idea of running for president.”

I Heard My Country Calling : A Memoir, James Webb, (Simon & Schuster)

This memoir may signal that the former U.S. Senator from Virginia is heeding the calls to run for president in 2016.


  • NPR/Diane Rehm – May 19
  • CBS Sunday Morning- May 25
  • CNN-TV/The Lead with Jake Tapper – May 26
  • MSNBC Morning Joe – May 27

Jon Stewart’s Movie Closer to Screen

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater, has been acquired for release in the U.S. by Open Road Films.

The film is based on one of the many books Stewart has featured on the Daily Show, Maziar Bahari’s memoir, Then They Came for Me, (Random House, 2011), about the author’s imprisonment in Iran.

The title comes form the nickname of one of Bahari’s captors. It stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, whose previous credits include the role of Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries.

The release date has not yet been announced.

Below, Bahari appears on The Daily Show in 2009, after his release:

WILD Debuts In December

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Witherspoon WildWild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike; 2012), an Oprah 2.0 pick, about the author’s efforts to resolve some deep personal issues by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, is now scheduled for release on Dec. 5. As the L.A. Times notes, that date puts it squarely in to awards season.

Director Jean-Marc Vallée’s last film Dallas Buyers Club received multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (it won for Best Actor and Supporting Actor). Reese Witherspoon is both star and producer.

Five Things We Learned From WSJ’s John Green Profile

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

John Green is now officially famous, proclaims a Wall Street Journal profile.


Librarians already know Green pretty well, from his books, online videos, and appearances at library shows and that he once worked at Booklist.

Here’s a few bits we gleaned from the profile:

1) He needs grooming (he always looked fine to us, but the WSJ photo, NOT the one above, lists a credit for “Grooming by Nickee David”)

2) He’s a hypochondriac who avoids physical contact with strangers (from his ease at sold-out appearances, we assumed he loved strangers)

3) His seemingly down-home videos are created with five writers, editors, directors, and producers, and are shot on a set, using a SCRIPT

4) He has 25 employees in total

5) His merchandise company (T-shirts and fan art) grossed $2.3 million last year

In case we need to remind you, the movie of Green’s book, The Fault in Our Stars, debuts on June 6. According to the WSJ, Hollywood is convinced it will be a hit and already sees it “as a new model for low-risk, high-reward teen blockbusters.”

Lisa’s “Can’t Wait” List for May

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Lisa Badge

Kids lots of great books to look forward to this month. Below are titles I can’t wait to recommend:

Young Adult

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We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (Delacorte, $17.99, ages 12-up, May 13)

National Book Award winner Lockhart is not an unknown, yet reading this novel shatters preconceptions that I “knew” her work. I was stunned on the first read and enthralled on the second. I’m delighted that it is the #1 LibraryRead pick for May, so adults will get to know this incredible book as well. Below, the LibraryReads annotation:

“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction, and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read. — Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Torn Away, Jennifer Brown, (Hachette/Little Brown, May 6)

If you missed Jennifer Brown’s The Hate List, stop what you are doing and read it right now. Ever since that book, I have eagerly anticipated each new title by this author who gets inside the heads of teens and relives their emotional lives. In this one, a tornado has ripped a destructive path through 17-year-old Jersey’s life. Her entire world has been turned upside down, literally and figuratively. If you have kids looking for a weeper, this is the one.

One Man Guy, Michael Barakiva (Macmillan YR/ FSG; Macmillan Young Listeners; May 27)

This title is taken from the Rufus Wainright song (here performed at Central Park’s Summer stage). We follow the “coming of age” of Alek Khederian who finds himself sentenced to summer school to maintain entrance in honor track classes in his sophomore year. Barakiva captures the awkwardness and apartness Alek is feeling as he begins to get to know the cool guy Ethan, an openly gay skateboarder dude. This nuanced summer romance novel leads readers to the unexpected as we feel the heat of NYC summer and the pressures of family expectations.

Picture Books


The Baby Tree, Sophie Blackall, (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, 4 and up, May 1)

When a child is told a sibling is on the way, the typically expected question is “Where do babies come from?” With a dry humor reminiscent of Bob Graham (”Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate and Queenie, One of the Family) the preschooler in this story is given various replies. Babies grow from seeds, come from hospitals and are dropped on your doorstep (see what real kids have been told in the book’s trailer). Blackall skillfully depicts the child imaging newborns growing on trees like apples and swaddled infants displayed at the hospital as if they were vases for sale in a Pottery Barn window.

The preschooler finally does receive accurate answers from his mom and dad and Blackall adds a round-up of additional questions for parents who are navigating children’s curiosity about human reproduction.

Author Robie Harris, (Its Perfectly Normal) is my go-to for the informational book on age relevant sex-ed. She has this territory in What’s in There? All About Before You Were Born(Candlewick Press, 2013).

The Baby Tree holds its own with Robie Harris’s book and the two would be great companion volumes. When this topic comes up there are never too many good books on the subject.

ElizabethElizabeth, Queen of the Seas, Lynne Cox, illus., by Brian Floca, (RH/Schwartz and Wade, May 13)

In the small town of Christ Church, New Zealand, Elizabeth, an elephant seal who weighed as much as 15 Labrador retrievers, lay sunning herself in the middle of the road. People knew that this was not a good idea and made plans to remove Elizabeth to a home far away among her own kind. No matter how far she was relocated, miles and miles away, despite days of swimming through huge waves and against strong currents, she returned to her two-lane highway again and again.

World-renowned swimmer and bestselling author Lynne Cox and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Brian Floca tell this incredible animal story without anthropomorphizing Elizabeth.


Count on the Subway, Paul Dubois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender, illus. by Dan Yaccarino, (RH/Knopf)

The writing team of Jacobs and Swender is a known quantity to early childhood educators.Their Children’s Songbag (Gibbs Smith) is a perennial favorite. The text’s jazzy beats capture the rhythms of the subway wheels on the track as Yaccarino’s pictures present a parade of diversity of New York City’s commuting public. Count to ten and back again, I guarantee this is the one to read over and over again.


How To Train Your Dragon, Again and Again

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The clips and featurettes for How to Train Your Dragon 2 are arriving at fast pace. You can keep up with them on the Official Web site, The movie, which is based on the series by Cressida Crowell, opens June 13th.

Below, the featurette (or link here):

There will be a full complement of tie-ins, of course:

9781481419284_90559Toothless: A Dragon Hero’s Story, Erica David, Lane Garrison
Simon & Schuster, May 6, 2014
9781481419284, 1481419285
Hardback / Picture book
$16.99 USD / $19.99 CAD




Dragon Race!, Cordelia Evans
Simon & Schuster, May 6, 2014
Ages 3 to 7, Grades P to 2
9781481404747, 1481404741
Trade paperback (US) $6.99 USD / $7.99

A Tale of Dragons Natalie Shaw, Fabio Laguna, Katrina Mae Hao
Simon & Schuster, May 6, 2014
Ages 3 to 7, Grades P to 2
9781481404341, 1481404342
Trade paperback (US) $3.99 USD / $4.99

How to Train Your Dragon, Ready-to-Read 9781481404853_54333
Dragon Mountain Adventure: Ready-to-Read, Level 2, Judy Katschke, Charles Grosvenor, Justin Gerard
Simon & Schuster, May 6, 2014
Ages 5 to 7, Grades K to 2
9781481404402, 1481404407,
Trade paperback (US) $3.99 USD / $4.99 CAD

All About the Dragons Judy Katschke
Simon & Schuster, May 6, 2014
Grades K to 2
9781481404853, 1481404857
Trade paperback (US) $3.99 USD / $4.99 CAD

More Coming from Greenwald

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Glenn Greenwald, author of No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, is having quite a week. On Monday, he went toe to toe with Matt Lauer on the Today Show. Last night, he explained the importance of privacy (and of journalists revealing uncomfortable information) to Stephen Colbert. He’s clearly had plenty of practice, he debated former NSA Director Michael Hayden last week.

He also revealed that more is coming. In part 2, he tells Colbert that he is working on a story, to be released in 4 to 8 weeks, which he believes will have even more impact than his previous reporting. It will reveal who the NSA is spying on.

Kakutani Reviews The Week’s Top Media Obsessions

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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The two titles sucking up media attention this week are reviewed in quick succession by Michiko Kakutani in the NYT.

Yesterday, she reviewed former Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner’s Stress Test:  Reflections on Financial Crises (RH/Crown), saying it “provides an intimate take on the financial crisis, and in this respect stands as a gripping, if subjective bookend to already published accounts, like journalist David Wessel’s riveting chronicle In Fed We Trust [RH/Crown, 2009) and the economist Alan S. Blinder’s lucid After the Music Stopped[Penguin Press, 2013]” But, she says it does not provide new revelations.The Daily Beast, however, manages to unearth 13 juicy bits (that is, if you consider Geithner’s daughter’s not knowing the acronymn “POTUS,” juicy).

Today, Kakutani turn her attention to the other hot media title, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, by Glenn Greenwald (Macmillan/Metropolitan). Again, she finds much of the material familiar, from news stories last year (many of them by Greenwald himself, who won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story at The Guardian), as well as from an earlier book The Snowden Files (RH/Vingate, Feb, 2014), but says Greenwald’s book is “enlivened by reproductions of dozens of fascinating documents from the Snowden archive that help illustrate the N.S.A.’s methodology” and she applauds his “fierce argument in defense of the right of privacy,”

Both books are rising on Amazon’s sales rankings (Geithner’s is at #8, while Greenwald’s is at #13). Holds in libraries, however, are relatively light at this point.


Monday, May 12th, 2014

9780062311078_1be7f.jpgThe book we called “THE Title You Need to Know” for the last week of April, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio), debuts at #2 on this week’s New York Times Fiction best seller list and at #5 on the USA Today list, where is is just below Veronica Roth’s Divergent.

It’s been five years since Iles’s most recent book, The Devil’s Punchbowl. He published 13 thrillers in rapid succession and was on track to release Natchez Burning in 2011, when twin tragedies changed that plan. He nearly died in a car accident, losing part of his right leg, and then his father died, making him realize, as he tells the Greenville S.C. newspaper, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in this book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”

He ultimately decided to make Natchez Burning the first in a trilogy. On his Web site, Iles says, “I’m working like a madman to finish The Bone Tree, volume 2 of the trilogy.”

Amazon vs. Hachette

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Amazon logohachette-320x134

Hachette and Amazon are involved in a fight over sales terms, to the detriment of writers, says the NYT’s tech reporter David Streitfeld in not just one, but two articles published at the end of last week (Streitfeld doesn’t appear to have a personal interest in this; he is one of the few NYT reporters that hasn’t published a book).

Streitfeld says Amazon is in a “secret campaign to discourage customers from buying books by Hachette,” by cutting discounts on some of the publisher’s titles, increasing delivery times, as well as “suggesting that readers might enjoy instead a book from another author” (we’re not sure what that means; Amazon routinely lists titles that “customers who bought this also bought”). This is presumably in retaliation for Hachette balking at new demands as part of their contract renewal (neither side admits to that), which is nothing new. As Publishers Weekly says, this seems to have become “a rite of spring.”

Unfortunately, as Forbes Magazine points out squeezing suppliers is business as usual in all areas of retailing  (WalMart has turned it into a fine art). In fact, Forbes views Amazon’s moves as “small-ball tactics” that are actually a show of weakness, because “both Hachette and Amazon know that Amazon can’t afford to pull Hachette from its shelves.”

As of today, although the NYT has published two stories on the dispute, The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, however, has not  (although they did one on Amazon expanding Sunday deliveries to 15 more cities). UPDATE:  The Washington Post covers the story on Wednesday, May 14, noting that Hachette may be forced to “relent on the price at which it sells books to Amazon, squeezing its slim profit margins even further” and that, as Amazon’s market share increases, “if there’s no real choice of where to buy things, maybe there should be some other way to retain pricing power for those who produce goods in the first place.”

Media Attention: NO PLACE TO HIDE

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Kicking off the media campaign for his book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books), Glenn Greenwald appeared on the Today Show this morning.

The amiable conversation turned contentious towards the end.

Greenwald also appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition.

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