Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Bird Song

Monday, April 24th, 2017

9780316370899_08d68Mozart owned a pet starling bird, one he bought in 1784 just after finishing his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. It could sing part of his new composition.

The story of that bird and Mozart’s relation to it is one of the subjects of Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Haupt tells NPR that in researching the book she followed suit and adopted her own pet starling, rescuing a five-day-old from a nest about to be destroyed.

Haupt tells NPR that her bird Carmen, like Mozart is smart,  mischievous and an amazing mimic, anticipating the household routine,  “I wake up in the morning … and she looks at me and says, ‘Hi Carmen,’ which is the first thing I would say to her. And then the cat comes downstairs and she says ‘Meow.’ And then I go to make the coffee, and before I grind the beans she goes, ‘Rrrrr.'”

Mozart wrote an elegy for it upon its death and more than one musical critic believes at least one of his compositions is is based on the starling’s song.

In a starred review Booklist calls the book a “hard-to-put-down, charming blend of science, biography, and memoir.”

Some libraries we checked are running 5:1 hold ratios on light orders. Several others have not ordered it.

She Writes The Songs

Monday, October 17th, 2016

9781501153266_2f05aCBS Sunday Morning featured lyricist Carole Bayer Sager on her memoir, They’re Playing Our Song (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Sager wrote such famous song as Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better,” Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For.”

She has been writing hits for more than 50 years and thinks a good lyric “is one that touches me, and therefore I feel it’ll touch you.” Most recently she co-wrote the song “Stronger Together” which closed the Democratic National Convention.

For all her success, which includes a hit Broadway musical, an Oscar, and a Grammy, Sager lived a rocky life, raised by “a domineering mother” and married multiple times, including to the distant Burt Bacharach.

She tells CBS’s Rita Braver that she has finally settled in to a loving marriage and has an appreciative outlook, saying “I do feel so extraordinarily grateful that I got to do what I love to do in this life, and I was rewarded for it … I would have done it for nothing.”

CBS Sunday Morning posts some web exclusives to accompany the profile, including an excerpt from the memoir describing creating the hit theme from the movie Arthur, more on her marriage to Bacharach, and her views on aging.

Separately, New York magazine posts an excerpt from the book that describes writing a son with Bob Dylan.

The Fall Rock Memoirs

Monday, October 6th, 2014

9781476714547_456b4  9781451628500_b58bd-2  9780316244923_95722 9780399172083_0b890

Based on upcoming rocker memoirs, it seems black, white and a touch of sepia are jacket requirements.

USA Today notes that seven new rock memoirs are coming out this fall.

Two arrive tomorrow:

Dancing with Myself, Billy Idol, (S&S/Touchstone)

Featured yesterday on  CBS Sunday Morning.Tomorrow, Idol is scheduled to appear tomorrow on NBC’s ‘Today Show.

 Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith, Joe Perry, David Ritz

Scheduled appearances include Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, October 6 and CBS This Morning,” October 7

On the Rise: METAL CATS

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

metal-cats-alexandra-crockett-1 Metal Cats

Never underestimate the power of an arresting image.

Metal Cats, to be released by indie Brooklyn publisher powerHouse Books in May, is proving irresistible to music sitesdesign sites, as well as Facebook and Pinterest postings. As a result the book is now rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

For more, check  the powerhouse Spring 2014 catalog.

He’s Back!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

No-Slam-Cover-smaller-198x300Jon Stewart is back from spring break, with a full roster of shows this week, two of them featuring authors.

Last night he interviewed media maven Arianna Huffington about her new book, Thrive, (RH/Harmony; RH Audio) which has already been moving up Amazon’s sales rankings following her appearance on Ellen. Degeneres exhibited none of Stewart’s skepticism about some of Huffington’s pronouncements, (it’s worth watching the Daily Show segment just for Stewart’s facial expressions. Huffington remained unfazed). The book is now at #20 and rising.

Tomorrow night brings the authors of a book on a subject closer to Stewart’s heart, No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, an oral history of a NJ dive bar where he once work. The book is self-published by the authors and is currently only available in paperback.

Backup Singers in the Spotlight

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

My Name Is LoveA new documentary about rock ‘n’ roll backup singers, 20 Feet From Stardom features previously “unsung heroes.” One of them, Darlene Love, ended up so far from stardom that she had to clean houses for a living (she eventually won a law suit against Phil Spector for unpaid royalties and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011).

Love is scheduled to appear on several shows this week to promote the film, including The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America and The Today Show. Her 1998 memoir, My Name Is Love, was released last week in trade paperback (HarperCollins/Morrow). Booklist called it “wonderfully informative, with a scintillating soupcon of salaciousnes” and PW said Love’s “sardonic observations border on the hilarious.”

Love appears in the documentary’s trailer.

Spielberg’s Next, AMERICAN SNIPER

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

American SniperSteven Spielberg announced in January that he had abandoned plans to adapt Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse (RH/Doubleday; BOT), which had been set for release next year, starring Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw.

American GunYesterday, he cleared up speculation about what he will turn to next and announced plans to direct an adaptation of American Sniper (HarperCollins/Morrow), the best selling memoir by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was killed on a Texas shooting range in February.

Bradley Cooper, who bought the rights to the book a year ago, will star.

Before he died, Kyle had a second book int the works, Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio). It is being released, as planned, in early June.

Davis Memoir Makes Headlines

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

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

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

Media Spotlight: HITMAKER

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

HitmakerIn the midst of a media blitz for his book, Hitmaker, (Hachette/Grand Central), music mogul Tommy Mottola appeared on the Today Show with Matt Lauer yesterday. Gossip columnists (and Lauer) are fascinated with the section of the book in which he apologizes to ex-wife Mariah Carey, but his career is as legendary as his personal life (check the Huffington Post interview and the New York Observer story).

The book is rising on Amazon Sales Rankings (currently at #143), but libraries are not showing holds.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

New Title Radar: October 15 – 21

Friday, October 12th, 2012

As media attention on the election heats up, publishers are playing it safe with no-brainers, like the Rolling Stones 50, a tribute to the decades-old British rock band, and a home design book by talk show host Nate Berkus, or review-driven titles like historian Henry Wiencek’s new look at Thomas Jefferson and his slaves.  In fiction, Justin Cronin‘s followup to his blockbuster post-apocalyptic vampire novel is eagerly awaited, but is already disappointing a few reviewers. A title to watch is a cozy English novel about the Queen playing hooky. Usual suspects include Nelson DeMille, Iris Johansen, Patricia Cornwell and YA author P.C. Cast. Plus movie tie-ins to Twilight, Silver Linings and Spielberg’s Lincoln.

Watch List

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (HarperCollins; Dreamscape Audio) finds the bored Queen of England leaving the palace on a walkabout, in search of fun. It has been popular among librarians on our GalleyChat on Twitter, one of whom said, “It’s jam packed full with great Palace insider gossip and details. In the year of the Diamond Jubilee, royal watchers will eat this up! It’s fun and light.”

The Twelve by Justin Cronin (RH/Ballantine; BOT Audio;  Wheeler Large Print) is the second installment in the trilogy that began with the hit The Passage, a post-apocalyptic vampire novel by an author previously known for his quiet literary novels. This one is getting early press attention, including a profile in last week’s NYT Magazine. The L.A. Times warns, however, “even the most devoted fans may notice a bit of a sophomore slump.” The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles, says the previous title was “the scariest, most entertaining novel I’d read in a long time…Now, finally, comes the long-awaited second volume, and as much as it pains me to say it, The Twelve bites.” Entertainment Weekly is more generous, giving it a B+, even though it “doesn’t always match The Passage‘s dexterous storytelling and almost-plausible world creation…it’s still an unnerving and mostly satisfying tale of existential-threat disaster and its harrowing aftermath.”

Usual Suspects

The Panther by Nelson DeMille (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print) finds Former NYPD detective John Corey and his FBI agent wife, Kate Mayfield, hunting a mastermind of the Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Kirkus calls it, “quintessential DeMille: action-adventure flavored with double-dealing and covert conspiracy.”

Sleep No More by Iris Johansen (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike Large Print) is the 14th Eve Duncan novel. This time the forensic sculptor, who has spent many novels investigating the disappearance of her daughter, discovers that she has a half-sister. PW says, “Series fans will be pleased to discover that Beth, like Eve, is a strong woman who has endured many trials in her past.”

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike Large Print) finds forensic expert Kay Scarpetta digging into a case involving a missing paleontologist. LJ says, “Cornwell has been struggling lately; see what happens, and buy for her fans.”

Angel’s Ink: The Asylum Tales (Harper Voyager trade pbk original) marks the launch of The Asylum Tales, a new series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Dark Days novels. This one features a magical tattoo artist. An ebook-only short story (available on OverDrive), The Asylum Interviews: Trixie came out in September to whet appetites.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (S&S/Atria) has been big on GalleyChat. Some think it’s her best; “Family secrets, suspense. Another winner.” This week’s People magazine concurs, giving it 4 of 4 stars and saying,”Morton weaves an intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present and among fully realized characters harboring deep secrets.”

Young Adult

Hidden by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast (St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is the 10th installment in the House of Night series by this mother-daughter writing team.



The Rolling Stones 50 by The Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood (Hyperion) commemorates the band’s long history and survival in photos. Kirkus says it’s a “soulless corporate birthday party that sheds no new light on its well-traveled subjects.”

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek (Macmillan/FSG ; HighBridge Audio) is the latest from the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award winner for The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. Here, Wiencek “deftly explores the economic calculus behind Jefferson’s gradual cooling toward emancipation and eventual acceptance of human capital as a great ‘investment opportunity,” according to LJ.

The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus (Speigel & Grau) is an illustrated guide to creating a home full of meaningful things, by the designer who got a push from Oprah and now has his own talk show.

Movie Tie-Ins

The Twilight Saga: The Complete Film Archive: Memories, Mementos, and Other Treasures from the Creative Team Behind the Beloved Motion Pictures ties into the November 16 release of (can you believe it?) the the last installment in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, Part 2.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton Books) ties in to the movie to be released on November 21, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. It won the top prize at the Toronto Interntional Film Festival.

Team of RivalsLincoln Film Tie-in Edition by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S trade paperback; S&S audio tie-in) ties in to Stephen Spielberg’s Lincolnstarring Daniel Day Lewis. It opens in a limited run on November 9, releasing nationwide on November 16, and is based on the later sections of  Team of Rivals.

It’s Based on a Book?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Pitch Perfect, the movie about a college a capella group, opening today, sounds like it has the makings of a hit. People analyzes its appeal, “Though Pitch is wallpaperd with cliches and aimed at folks who worship Glee, it’s funny enough … to amuse even those of us who like our music less earnest and back by a band.” The critics, as rounded up by Rotten Tomatoes, generally agree. Just a few (including the New York Times) were not amused.

Many may be surprised to hear that the movie is based on the 2008 nonfiction book by GQ editor, Mickey Rapkin, now re-released as a tie-in. Most libraries own just a few copies of the original, with some holds.

Pitch Perfect (movie tie-in): The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory
Mickey Rapkin
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Penguin/Gotham – (2012-09-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1592408214 / 9781592408214


Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Taylor Swift has signed on to play Joni Mitchell in Sony Pictures’ adaptation of Sheila Weller’s Girls Like Us (S&S; Atria, 2008), which chronicles the lives of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon.

Up for the part of Carly Simon are Allison Williams (Marnie in Girls)Jessica Pare (Megan Draper in Mad Men), and Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love).

Reportedly under consideration for Carole King are Alison Pill (Newsroom‘s Maggie Jordan), Olivia Thirlby (Juno),  Ari Graynor (For a Good Time Call…), and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks).

Girls Like Us was praised by the NYT BR for “Weller’s skills as a storyteller and her understanding of the musical traditions that inspired each of her subjects.”

New Title Radar: Sept 24 – 30

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Believe it or not, J.K. Rowling‘s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, is not the only book going on sale next week, though it will surely get a lion’s share of media attention. The other lion of the week is rocker Neil Young, who delivers his first memoir. Other noteworthy nonfiction includes a compilation of President John F. Kennedy’s audio tapes and transcripts, put together by the John F. Kennedy Library and historian Ted Widmer. In adult fiction, there’s a debut novel from popular memoirist J.R. Moehringer, and a BEA Buzz panel pick by Antoine Wilson. Usual suspects include Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall and Deepak Chopra – and in YA fiction, there’s a mystery from adult author Francine Prose.

Major Comeback

EMBARGOED: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little Brown; Hachette Audio) comes with a big question: does J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults have a fair chance at success, given the wildly outsized expectations that come with being the author of the Harry Potter series? Her first and only U.S. interview about the book will be on September 26, on ABC’s Good Morning America (7:00-9:00 AM), World News with Diane Sawyer (6:30 PM), and Nightline (11:35 PM-12:00 AM), and will re-air on Good Morning America on September 27.

Watch List

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion; Hyperion Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is a debut novel about the bank robber and folk hero Willie “The Actor” Sutton, by the author of the popular memoir The Tender Bar. It begins in 1969, after Sutton’s release from Attica prison at age 68, as he looks back on stealing more than $2 million over 40 years (often in costume) and his three impressive prison breaks. Entertainment Weekly‘s review begins, “There’s a quality to J.R. Moehringer’s writing that makes you feel you aren’t stepping into a book so much as a dimly lit but welcoming bar…He brings a raconteur’s grace and rhythm to his first novel.” The reviewer admits that the ending is unsatisfying, “But isn’t closing time always a bit of a letdown when you don’t want an entertaining night to end?”

Panorama City by Antoine Wilson (HMH; Blackstone Audio) was a BEA Editors Buzz Panel pick about a self-described “slow-learner” recovering from a traumatic accident, who composes a letter about what it takes to be “a man of the world” to his unborn son and pregnant wife. Booklist says, “Readers who enjoy Mark Haddon and Greg Olear will appreciate Wilson’s authorial voice, which blends Oppen’s good-natured naiveté and humorous asides with incisive cynicism.”

The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck (S&S/Atria) is a fictional biography of the beloved Mexican painter’s life, chronic illness and many loves, based on Kahlo’s unpublished notebooks, including actual recipes tied to her most important moments and relationships. Kirkus says, “despite the repetitiousness and pretentious hyperbola that drags on this novel, Kahlo remains a rich character and inevitably irresistible.”

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print) follows two grieving mothers who meet by chance in Nantucket, and help each other heal and move on. Kirkus says, “There’s a point in the narrative where one of the characters becomes so engrossed in reading a book that she loses track of time. Readers of Genova’s latest excellent offering might very well find the same happening to them.”

Usual Suspects

Brink of Chaos by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall (Zondervan; Zondervan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is the third installment in The End series of political apocalyptic thrillers.

God: A Story of Revelation by Deepak Chopra (HarperOne) is a “teaching novel” by the popular author of Jesus and Buddha, that aims for a better understanding of God by profiling 10 historical figures: Job, Socrates, St. Paul, Shankara, Rumi, Julian of Norwich, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Baal Shem Tov and Rabindranath Tagore. Kirkus says, “Of particular interest are the humorous, humble Baal Shem, the brilliant, witty Shankara and the visionary Julian, a man Chopra calls ‘the most touching figure in this book’.”

Young Adult

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by Maxine Paetro  and James Patterson (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) begins a new teen mystery series from the team behind the Women’s Murder Club series for adults. PW is not impressed: “The intriguing setup loses cohesion… For writers with their crime-writing experience, Patterson and Paetro show little interest in common sense, motivation, or believable storytelling.”

The Turning by Francine Prose (Harper Teen) is the story of a teen who takes on a spooky summer job caring for two orphans on a remote island, inspired by Henry James’s Turn of the Screw. PW says, “Remaining true to the ambiguous nature of the original, Prose (Touch) masterfully builds suspense. Like Adele Griffin’s Tighter (2011), this spin on the classic tale is an enticing blend of gothic elements and psychological complexities.”

The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) is the story of a 15 year-old whose parents take away his role-playing game guides and send him to camp to get socialized by the author of It’s a Funny Story. Kirkus says, ” Though the world building is thin at times, there are some moments of genuine pathos and terror, with the final climactic fight scene leaving plenty of room for sequels. Great geeky fun.”


Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, selected and with introduction by Ted Widmer, foreword by Caroline Kennedy (Hyperion) makes available for the first time selections from the 256 hours of JFK’s presidential conversations that were taped on hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room. It includes two 75-minute CDs and covers decisions related to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, Vietnam, and the arms race, compiled by John F. Kennedy Library and historian Widmer.

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (Penguin/Blue Rider; Penguin Audiobooks) is  a memoir by the iconic rocker, whose career spans 50 years, from playing with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, & Nash to Crazy Horse and becoming the “godfather of grunge.”

One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa (Harper/ Morrow; HarperLuxe) is the story of the St. Louis Cardinals unusual end-of-season run and victory in the 2011 World Series, by their manager.

The Chew: Food. Life. Fun. by The Chew with contributions from Mario Batali, Gordon Elliott, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz and Michael Symon (Hyperion) is a companion cookbook to The Chew, a daytime show on ABC-TV.

Safari: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen, text by Carol Kaufmann (Workman) recreates a Kenyan safari featuring eight animals portrayed with a new technology that resembles a 3-D movie on the page, in the next leap after the publisher’s best selling Gallop.

Movie Tie-in

Killing Them Softly (Cogan’s Trade Movie Tie-In Edition) by George V. Higgins (RH/Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) ties in to the movie starring Brad Pitt from the Weinstein Company, which was recently rescheduled to the end of November, to move it into consideration for an Oscar. (Deadline, 9/11/12)

Pastor’s Book Trailer Gets Buzz

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Thanks to a controversial video trailer for Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell, the book’s publication date has been pushed up by a week. In the video, the Grand Rapids, Michigan mega-church pastor and bestselling author of Velvet Elvis leans toward “universalism ─ a dirty word in Christian circles that suggests everyone goes to heaven and there is no hell,” as’s “Belief Blog” puts it.

On March 14, Bell will be the subject of a New York Times profile, and will appear on Good Morning America and Nightline.

Several libaries we checked did not have copies on order. Others showed holds of up to 10:1 on light ordering.

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
Rob Bell
Retail Price: $22.99
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: HarperOne – (2011-04-01)
ISBN / EAN: 006204964X / 9780062049643

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week…


Richards’ Memoir Sticks it to Mick

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is setting the tabloid press abuzz over excerpts from his new memoir, Lifein the Times of London, where (big surprise) he says that Mick Jagger has been “unbearable” since the 1980s.

In the New York Times, Janet Maslin calls Richards’ memoir “a big, fierce, game-changing account of the Stones’ nearly half-century-long adventure. . . . some of its most surprisingly revelatory material appears in what Mr. Richards jokingly calls ‘Keef’s Guitar Workshop.’ Here are the secrets of some of the world’s most famous rock riffs and the almost toy-level equipment on which they were recorded.”

Keith Richards
Retail Price: $29.99
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2010-10-26)
ISBN / EAN: 031603438X / 9780316034388
  • CD: Hachette Audio; $34.98; ISBN 9781600242403
  • Large Print: Little Brown and Co., $31.99; ISBN 9780316120364

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks (Knopf) explores how people with impaired senses handle, and even excel at, everyday life, drawing on six case studies including his own loss of depth perception due to a tumor.

Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe (Threshold) outlines the economic ideas of the Fox News pundit.

Memoirs and Biographies

Cleopatra by Stacy Shiff (Little, Brown). Sure, it’s a bio of a fascinating historical figure by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, but the buzz around this book has focused on its adaptation as a movie, with Scott Rudin producing, James Cameron in talks to direct (in 3-D!), and Angelina Jolie possibly starring.

The Elephant to Hollywood by Michael Caine (Holt) “revisits familiar territory” from his first memoir, according to Kirkus, “including childhood poverty, the deprivations of World War II, faltering first steps in show business before signature roles in The Ipcress File (1965) and Alfie (1966) made him an international film star—but his warm, wry delivery keeps the material interesting, even though many of the anecdotes have a distinctly practiced feel.”

You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam (Riverhead) is about a “slightly wacky person who, instead of looking inward for answers [to how to be happy], decided to help others — specifically, Boston terriers,” according to the 11/1 issue of People, where the book is a People Pick and garnered 3.5 of 4 stars.

My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space: Adventures of an Ordinary Woman by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Scottolini Serritella (St. Martin’s Press) is a collection of true life stories originally written for the Philadelphia Inquirer by the popular suspense writer and her daughter.

Twisted Sisterhood: The Dark Side of Female Friendship by Kelly Valen (Ballantine) is based on the author’s New York Times “Modern Love” column about the lasting scars of her sorority sisters’ betrayal, which attracted lots of reader mail from other women. She is scheduled to appear on Good Morning America on October 26.

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) examines the relationship between FDR and his wife.  PW says “Despite Rowley’s cheerleading that the cousins’ conflicts brought out their courage and radicalism, and that they loved with a generosity of spirit that withstood betrayal, FDR emerges as a narcissist while Eleanor carved a spectacular life.”

First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf) gets praise from PW: “Ellis’s supple prose and keen psychological insight give a vivid sense of the human drama behind history’s upheavals.”

Cookbook Season
The major gift-giving season will soon be upon us, bringing a raft of new cookbooks.

Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter) focuses on simplifying meals without sacrificing quality. The Food Network guru will appear on the Today Show October 26  and 27.

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century, Amanda Hesser (W.W. Norton) ; long before the Contessa became barefoot, the NYT was publishing recipes. In what is sure to be THE gift cookbook of the year, Amanda Hesser examined the NYT recipes since the newspaper began running them in the 1850’s, chronicling the effort in the NYT Magazine series Recipe Redux (the latest is about readers’ “most stained” recipes).

Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, Harold McGee (Penguin Press) was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air last night, shooting the book to #15 on Amazon sales rankings.