Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

Francophilia Continues

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

This week one more book appeared to add to the shelf of books about how the French dress better, live better and raise their kids better, all while not getting fat. Turns out their kids eat better, too.

French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
Karen Le Billon
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins/Morrow – (2012-04-03)
ISBN / EAN: 0062103296 / 9780062103291

The author was interviewed on Good Morning America yesterday. The book just broke into the Amazon Top 100 (it’s at #98).

It seems the author’s name is real.

New Title Radar: April 2 – 8

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Next week, another historical novel arrives that’s well-timed for the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic; Charlotte Rogan’s debut, The Lifeboat. Usual suspects include Christopher Moore, Adriana Trigiani, Anne Tyler, Mary Higgins Clark and Lisa Scottoline. And there’s a TV tie-in to the BBC film adaptation of Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks that will air on PBS in April. In nonfiction, there’s a warm reminiscence of Yogi Berra‘s friendship with Yankees pitcher Ron Guildry by Harvey Araton, plus new memoirs from Eloisa James on living in Paris and journalist A.J. Jacobs on living healthy.

Watch List 

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio) begins on an elegant ocean liner carrying a woman and her new husband across the Atlantic at the start of WWI, when there is a mysterious explosion. Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. PW calls it “a complex and engrossing psychological drama.” This one was picked by Waterstones as one of 11 debuts expected to win awards and have strong sales in the UK.

Usual Suspects

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore (Harper/Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio) mixes humor and mystery in a romp through the 19th century French countryside when Vincent van Gogh famously shot himself in a French wheat field. Library Journal says, “Don’t let Moore’s quirky characters and bawdy language fool you. His writing has depth, and his peculiar take on the Impressionists will reel you in. One part art history (with images of masterpieces interspersed with the narrative), one part paranormal mystery, and one part love story, this is a worthy read.” Moore will be interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani (HarperCollins) begins in the Italian Alps, where two teenagers, Enza and Ciro, share a kiss that will linger across continents and time. Both land in New York City, where Enza makes a name for herself as a seamstress, eventually sewing for the great Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera, while Ciro develops into a skilled shoemaker and rake of Little Italy. Booklist calls it “an irresistible love story.”

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler (RH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio) explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances — in their house, on the roadway, in the market. PW calls it “an uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you’ve lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way.”

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Press; S&S Audio) follows Mariah Lyons’s investigation of the brutal murder of her father, a well-respected academic, who comes into the possession of an ancient and highly valuable parchment stolen from the Vatican in the 15th century. Mary and her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, will both appear on the Today Show on Wednesday. Carol’s book Gypped: A Regan Reilly Mystery, also published by S&S, is coming out on the same day.

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike Press; MacMillan Audio) is the Edgar-winning author’s second character-driven standalone thriller with a family saga at its core. LJ says it “deftly speeds readers through a dizzying labyrinth of intrigue with more hairpin turns and heart-pounding drops than a theme-park ride.”

Sidney Sheldon’s Angel of the Dark, Tilly Bagshawe, (Harper/Morrow; Dreamscape Audio) is the third in the series written by Bagshawe in Sheldon’s style. Says Booklist, “Although clearly aimed at Sheldon’s legion of fans, the book should appeal equally to the broader range of thriller readers.”

TV & Movie Tie-Ins

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (RH/Vintage) ties in to the BBC version starring Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy and Matthew Goode, which will air on PBS on April 22 and April 29, 2012. When it was shown in the UK, the British tabloid, The Daily Star, referred to it as a “raunchy adaptation” and an “X-rated hit.” Critics applauded the first episode, but were divided over the second. Audiences, while strong, was not a large as those for Downton AbbeyCheck out the trailer here.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits by Gideon Defoe (RH/Vintage) ties into the animated feature by those wonderful folks who gave us Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, with voiceovers by Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven. The first stop-motion clay animated feature film to be shot in Digital 3D, it’s based the first two books in a series by British author Dafoe (collected in this tie-in edition), which has had a stronger following in the UK than here.  Treat yourself; watch the trailer. The movie opens on April 27th.


Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift by Harvey Araton (Houghton Mifflin) is the story of a unique friendship between a pitcher and catcher, starting in 1999, when Berra was reunited with the Yankees after a long self-exile after being fired by George Steinbrenner 14 years before. It’s already picking up buzz from the Wall St. Journal, which mentions Houghton’s television ads for the book within the VIP areas of Yankee Stadium, as well as ads during the live game feed, and in the New York Times. The authors will appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday as well as on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

Paris in Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James (Random House; Books on Tape) finds the bestselling author of 24 historical romances (who is actually Mary Bly, daughter of poet Robert Bly and associate professor and head of the creative writing department at Fordham University) living in Paris with her family after she survived both cancer and the death of her mother. LJ says, “Not just for Francophiles or even James’s legion of fans, this delectable confection, which includes recipes, is more than a visit to a glorious city: it is also a tour of a family, a marriage, and a love that has no borders. Tres magnifique!”

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Press; Simon & Schuster Audio) is the fourth book in the One Man’s Humble Quest series, and finds the experieintial journalist trying to become the healthiest man in the world by following a web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. LJ says it’s “engrossing and will have readers chuckling.”

Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America by Michael Savage (Harper/Morrow; Thorndike Press Large Press; Brilliance Audio) is a rant against “Barack Lenin” by the host of the No. 3 radio program in the nation, heard by nearly eight million listeners a week and syndicated across the United States in over 300 markets. “Not a book to make everyone happy,” says LJ, “but the 250,000-copy first printing and one-day laydown on April 3 indicates that the audience will be large.”

SCIENCE OF YOGA & QUIET Coming to Colbert

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

On the Colbert Report “TA-night”, the man who has made yoga controversial (and his book a best seller; it’s currently at #41 Amazon’s rankings and has heavy holds in libraries), William J. Broad.

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards
William J Broad
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-02-07)
ISBN / EAN: 1451641427 / 9781451641424

Coming to the show on Thursday, the woman who brings introverts their due, Susan Cain. Her book, Quiet, debuted is #5 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list after two weeks.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Susan Cain
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 266 pages
Publisher: RH/Crown – (2012-01-24)
ISBN : 9780307352149

RH Audio; ebook and audio on OverDrive

French Lessons

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (Penguin, Feb.7). continues to get attention. It was featured on the Today Show yesterday and on NPR’s All Things Considered.

It’s the lead book review in new issue of People (Feb 20), which gives it 3.5 of a possible 4 stars, and calls it an “engaging memoir-cum-sociological study.”

The NYT is not buying it. Reviewing it yesterday, Susannah Meadows, says “Much of the so-called French child rearing wisdom compiled here is obvious.” She also notes that the amount of support French mothers receive from the government (national paid maternity leave, free pre-school, subsidized nannies) would make anyone more relaxed about parenting.

Entertainment Weekly finds it a “fun read,” but gives it only a “B” because “Druckerman seems to draw all her anecdotal evidence from a mere handful of upper-middle-class Parisians.”

Several reviewers are comparing this book to last years’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Both were excerpted in the Wall Street Journal. The L.A. Times notes,

Chua’s excerpt, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” almost instantly went viral, whereas Druckerman’s “Why French Parents Are Superior” is trending a little slower. Druckerman’s a bit more circumspect than Chua, a technique that tends not to attract as many eyeballs…while Bringing Up Bébé may wind up a hit, it’s unlikely to be a sensation of Tiger Mom proportions.

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

Now FRENCH Parents Are Superior

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Anyone remember when we were urged to call French fries “liberty fries”?

How quickly things change; now it seems everything French is superior. French women don’t get fat and they’re better parents, according to a new book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (Penguin, Feb.7).

An article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, “Why French Parents Are Superior” sent the book up to #11 on Amazon’s sales rankings (yes; the same publication that launched Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother with the similarly titled, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“).

New Title Radar – Week of Jan 30

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Next week brings three debuts to watch – about the Korean immigrant experience, an Alaskan couple longing for a child in 1920, and a Romanian Jewish village in 1939 – plus two well-reviewed thrillers by authors steadily building their audiences, Daniel Palmer and William Landay. Usual suspects include Robert Harris, Kristin Hannah and Shannon Hale  – while Elizabeth George delivers a Christian devotional for moms.

Debuts to Watch

Drifting House by Krys Lee (Penguin/Viking; Thorndike Large Print) is a debut novel portraying the Korean immigrant experience from the postwar era to contemporary times. Library Journal says, “Readers in search of exquisite short fiction beyond their comfort zone—groupies of Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth) and Yoko Tawada (Where Europe Begins) — will thrill to discover Lee’s work.”


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Hachette/Little,Brown/Reagan Arthur; Thorndike Large Print) is a debut novel about a couple struggling in their marriage, who arrive in Alaska in 1920. Longing for children, they build a child out of snow that’s gone the next morning, though they glimpse a small girl running through the trees. Kirkus calls it “a fine first novel,” saying “the book’s tone throughout has a lovely push and pull–Alaska’s punishing landscape and rough-hewn residents pitted against Faina’s charmed appearances–and the ending is both surprising and earned.”

No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel (Penguin/Riverhead) is set in a remote Jewish village in Romania in 1939, as war closes in. At the suggestion of an 11-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Library Journal says “debut novelist Ausubel has written a riveting, otherworldly story about an all-too-real war and the transformative power of community.”

Rising Thrillers

Helpless by Daniel Palmer (Kensington; Brilliance Audio) is the followup to the author’s acclaimed debut Delirious, the story of an award-winning coach accused of murder. (Palmer, by the way, is the son of bestselling author Michael Palmer.) LJ says, “Palmer scores again with a terrific thriller that has it all—murder, drugs, kidnapping, techno-mayhem, romance, manly ex-Navy SEAL exploits, and a burgeoning father-daughter relationship.”

Defending Jacob by William Landay (RH/Delacorte; Blackstone Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is the latest from the author of The Strangler and the award-winning Mission Flats. It features Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber, who is shocked to find his 14 year-old son Jacob charged with the murder of a fellow student. Library Journal raves, “this brilliant novel …  is equal parts legal thriller and dysfunctional family saga, culminating in a shocking ending. Skillful plotting and finely drawn characters result in a haunting story reminiscent of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent.”

Usual Suspects

The Fear Index by Robert Harris (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio). Author Harris has successfully moved from alternate history to ancient history to WWII thrillers and contemporary stories and now a techno-thriller about an artificial intelligence project with a mind of its own. Library Journal says this “outstanding thriller… will kindle readers’ minds from the first page. Get ready to enjoy a brilliant integration of fascinating research, compelling themes, and vivid characterization.” It will be in the media next week, including a feature on NPRs “Morning Edition.” A movie is in the works, directed by Paul Greengrass, with Harris writing the screenplay.

Home Front by Kristin Hannah (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Center Point Large Print; Macmillan Audio) is the story of a couple whose growing distance is twisted by the wife’s unexpected deployment to Iraq. Publishers Weekly says “by reversing traditional expectations, Hannah calls attention to the modern female soldier and offers a compassionate, poignant look at the impact of war on family.”

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury) is a sequel to the bestselling Austenland (2007), in which another contemporary American plays Regency heroine at Pembrook Park. PW says, “though a tacked-on romance and some flimsy plot twists strain credibility… Hale provides a welcome, witty glimpse of a side of Austen rarely explored in the many contemporary riffs on her work.” A movie of the first title wrapped filming this summer, with Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga) producing.


A Mom After God’s Own Heart Devotional by Elizabeth George (Harvest House Publishers) draws from the author’s bestselling books, radio spots and podcasts, along with scripture, to provide devotionals to guide mothers in parenting.




New Title Radar – Week of Jan 23

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Given the librarian stereotype, it seems appropriate that a book which praises introverts, Quiet, will be featured at the raucous ALA MidWinter meeting, on Saturday. The book releases this week, along with several novels deserving an RA push and titles by returning favorites, Robert Crais, Walter Mosley, Hilma Wolitzer, Margot Livesey and Tim Dorsey.

Watch List

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy (HarperCollins/Morrow) is the tale of a business school graduate in four-inch heels, set in the financial world, leading up to the tumultuous year of 2008 – it’s billed by the publisher as The Devil Wears Prada meets Wall Street. Library Journal says, “despite financial details that may make your head spin and a workplace that will make your stomach churn, Duffy’s fresh take on the single-in-the-city tale does a terrific job of reviving chick lit.”

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (Hachette/ Grand Central; Hachette Large Print) is a Southern famiy saga by the author of Gods in Alabama, and follows a young woman’s search for the truth about who her mother really is.  In a starred review, Booklist calls it “Jackson’s most absorbing book yet, a lush, rich read with three very different but equally compelling characters at its core.”

Heft by Liz Moore (Norton) is the author’s second novel, featuring a 600-pound former academic and a teenager in crisis who become unlikely allies. PW says, “the writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original, but the diptych structure is less successful, as the respective first-person narrators are sometimes indistinct. Regardless, Moore’s second novel wears its few kinks well.”


Usual Suspects

Taken by Robert Crais (Penguin/Putnam; Wheeler Publishing; Brilliance Corporation) is the 15th Elvis Cole novel, involving a wealthy industrialist whose missing son appears to have faked his own kidnapping. “Cole and sidekicks Joe Pike and Jon Stone all get a chance to shine, ,” says PW. “Told from multiple points of view, this installment would make a fine action-packed film with three strong male leads.”

All I Did Was Shoot My Man: A Leonid McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley (Riverhead; Penguin Audiobooks) finds Leonid McGill in his fourth outing, investigating a complex case that involves adultery and murder as his own life unravels. “General readers and Mosley fans will appreciate his characteristically fine writing as well as the internal struggles Mosley inflicts on his protagonists,” says Library Journal.

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer (RH/Ballantine; Center Point Large Print; Audiogo)  is about a widowed 62-year-old science teacher who finds himself ambushed by female attention after his stepchildren place a personal ad in the newspaper. Library Journal says, “Wolitzer is surprisingly good at portraying a man’s perspective. Although her writing is not as crisp as in some of her previous novels, this is a breezier tale with a lighter edge.”

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (Harper; Harperluxe) is a modern take on Charlotte Brontë’s classic, Jane Eyre, set in early 1960s Scotland. PW says, “although guardian angels and kind strangers turn up like an army of deus ex machinas, these plot missteps dont detract from Gemmas self-possessed determination. Captivating and moving, this book is a wonderful addition to Liveseys body of work.”

Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio) marks the return of Florida serial killer Serge Storms. He’s finagled his way into becoming a secret agent in Miami for the president of a Banana Republic, and now Homeland Security wants to bring him down. PW says, “though the books formula will be familiar to series fans, neither Dorseys fast-paced prose nor his delight in skewering human foolishness has lost its mischievous sparkle.”

Movie tie-in

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (Random House Trade) is a comic drama about a group of British retirees in a home for the elderly in India. It’s being published in the U.S for the first time as a tie-in to the British film version – starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Billy Nighy, and Dev Patel – which will be released here in May 2012. The original UK novel title was These Foolish Things.

Young Adult

Fallen in Love (Lauren Kate’s Fallen Series #4) by Lauren Kate (RH/Delacorte YR; Listening Library) includes four new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Crown Publishing Group; Random House Audio) argues that introverts get a bum rap and extroverts should not be held up as the ideal – it even charges, as People says in its lead review this week, that “risk-loving extroverts in the financial industry helped cause the global crisis.” The author wrote the lead essay in the New York Times Sunday Review last week, which attracted many comments. She also appears at ALA Midwinter tomorrow.

Fairy Tale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio (S&S/Gallery Books; Tantor Media) as we noted earlier, this memoir by John F. Kennedy Jr’s personal assistant, publicist, and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life is already grabbing headlines. PW says, “Terenzios captivating story, told with style and grace, chronicles her time with Kennedy within the glorious but often brutal bubble that encircled his world, and what he taught her about living.”

City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Sea by Roger Crowley (Random House) traces the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the first time. It is framed around two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade in 1202 and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503. Kirkus says, “an action-packed political and military history that will remind readers of the Italian sea power that prevailed for centuries before Western European nations arrived on the scene.”

The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography by John Matteson (Norton) explores the life of writer and social critic Margaret Fuller (1810–1850), who was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation, but also plagued by self-doubt. LJ says, “the work is well written, easily accessible, and entertaining. Prior knowledge of Fuller is not necessary to enjoy it. A great read for anyone interested in extraordinary women in our literary and women’s history.”

Snooki Loves Her Cats

Monday, October 31st, 2011
Entertainment Weekly reads Snooki’s Confessions of a Guidette(Gallery/ S&S, Oct.) so you don’t have to, and includes this choice bit:

The book is dedicated to her cats for being the “best cats, best friends ever.” Later, she threatens those who bad mouth her cats. “Don’t talk s–t about my cat; I’ll go squirrel monkey on your ass.” Does anyone know what this means?

Below, Snooki shows what goes down at the typical author/publisher meeting:

New Title Radar – Week of September 5

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Several favorites from Book Expo’s Editor’s Buzz Panel will be released next week with enviable media fanfare, including debuts from Chad Harbich and Justin Torres. Plus there’s Simon Toyne‘s debut thriller, which has been sold in 27 countries, and National Book Award winner Lily Tuck‘s new novel. Usual suspects include Jacqueline Mitchard, Christine Feehan and Clive Cussler. And Thomas Friedman tops our nonfiction list with his look at four unresolved problems holding back the U.S. from supremacy, along with WWII historian Ian Kershaw‘s latest and a new memoir from Lucette Lagnado.

Watch List

Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print) is the tale of a high school shortstop destined for greatness, until he mysteriously starts to choke – a reversal that affects the fates of four others at his school. This title has been on nearly every Fall preview list, helped no doubt by a strong pitch at Book Expo’s Editor’s Buzz Panel. It was also a GalleyChat Pick of ALA – librarians who joined our post-show tweetfest said it’s “phenomenal” and  ”not to be missed.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+, saying that although the characters feel “underdrawn,” Harbach has “a talent for atmosphere, drawing you into his portrait of campus angst.” It’s also a Oprah Book to Watch for in September, and a September Indie Next Pick.

We The Animals by Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) is a much-praised debut novel about three biracial brothers and a dueling husband and wife who are bound by poverty and love. It was also featured on the Editors Buzz Panel at Book Expo, and was a GalleyChat Pick of ALA. In an early review, the New York Times says, ” a sense of lives doomed to struggle and disappointment pervades the writing without dragging it into lugubrious or melodramatic territory. Scenes that thrum with violence can suddenly turn tender too.”  It’s also a Oprah Book to Watch for in September, and a September Indie Next Pick.

Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber (Norton; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is the story of a damaged family grappling with the implications of the teenage daughter’s decision to run away at age 13. This was another Book Expo Editors Buzz panel book that became a GalleyChat favorite – librarians said it may be Abu-Jaber’s breakout. It’s also a September Indie Next Pick. Early reviews are uniformly positive. PW says, ” Abu-Jaber’s effortless prose, fully fleshed characters, and a setting that reflects the adversity in her protagonists’ lives come together in a satisfying and timely story.”

Sanctus by Simon Toyne (HarperCollins; Blackstone Audio Books; HarperLuxe) is the first in a projected trilogy of thrillers in the Dan Brown tradition, about an ancient sect of monks on a mountain near the fictional Turkish city of Ruin, who have been protecting a secret since before the Christian era. Kirkus says, “One hopes for a more tightly structured narrative next time around, but the right ingredients are all here.” The announced first printing is 100,000 copies.


Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (Ace; Blackstone Audio) is a debut horror novel about a college professor-turned-would be author who comes face to face with his past and a violent family secret at his family’s rural Southern estate. Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert was strong on this one in her BEA summary, and the LJ review calls it “a creepy, suspenseful, and well-crafted debut.”


I Married You for Happiness  by Lily Tuck (Atlantic Monthly; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a wife’s reflections on her 42 years of marriage to her mathematician husband, set on the night of his death. It’s Tuck’s first book since she won the National Book Award in 2004 for The News from Paraguay. Kirkus says, “Does the couple’s mutual happiness provide a Hegelian synthesis? Not quite, though Tuck’s crisp writing is a joy.”


Usual Suspects

Second Nature: A Love Story by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Random House; Center Point Large Print; author’s backlist on OverDrive) explores the tumultuous life of a woman whose beauty is lost–then restored–after a fire.

Prey: A Novel by Linda Howard (Ballantine; Random House Audio; Thorndike; author’s backlist on OverDrive) follows rival Montana wilderness guides forced to cooperate against a killer on their trail.

Dark Predator by Christine Feehan (Berkley; Penguin Audiobooksauthor’s backlist on OverDrive ) continues the supernatural Carpathian series.

The Race: An Isaac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Penguin; Penguin Audiobooks; Thorndike; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a mystery set in the early days of aviation featuring Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency.

Young Adult

Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel by Harlan Coben (Putnam Juvenile; author’s backlist on OverDrive) takes place after Mickey witnesses his father’s death, his mom goes to rehab, and he’s forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools. This is Coben’s first YA novel.




That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) outlines the four major problems the U.S. is not grappling with: globalization, infotech shake-up, out-of-control energy consumption, and lasting deficits.

Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You by Joyce Meyer (FaithWords; Hachette Audio; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a Biblical take on managing emotions. PW says, “Meyer focuses on learning to think biblically, speak biblically, and then see lives and emotions transformed. Her many fans will not feel disappointed in her latest work.”

The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw (Penguin Press; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is an examination of the last year of the Third Reich as it struggled to survive the dual challenge of defeating the Soviets coming from the East and the Allies advancing from the West, by one of the foremost experts on WWII, Hitler and Nazism. PW says, “Kershaw’s comprehensive research, measured prose, and commonsense insight combine in a mesmerizing explanation of how and why Nazi Germany chose self-annihilation.”

The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn by Lucette Lagnado (Ecco) is the author’s exploration of her mother’s upbringing in Cairo and her own in Brooklyn, New York. In a starred review, Booklist said, “Lagnado is spellbinding and profoundly elucidating in this vividly detailed and far-reaching family memoir of epic adversity and hard-won selfhood.” This one was also presented at the Editors Buzz Panel at ALA Annual New Orleans. A section about Lagnado’s mother working in the cataloging dept of Brooklyn P.L. is poignant. In the beginning, the work gives her a liberating new sense of self, but a new supervisor removes all the joy from the job.

Big Week for Memoirs

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The memoir category continues to grow, as proved by the large selection coming next week.

Already making headlines is Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso (FSG), the memoir of the author’s seduction and molestation, beginning at age 7, by a serial child rapist in his 50s, it follows their 15-year relationship. New York magazine reviewed it this week, calling  it “an unstable mixture of bildungsroman, dirty realism, and child pornography” and calls it “beautiful and appalling.”

Andre Dubus‘smemoir of his childhood, Townie (Norton), an EarlyWord favorite since his appearance at ALA Midwinter, has already garnered admiring reviews.

A natural outgrowth of the public fascination with celebrity chefs and their cookbooks is the celebrity chef memoir. Next week brings two with strong backing from their publishers:

Gabrielle Hamilton recently confirmed her chops as a writer with an excerpt in the New Yorker from Blood, Bones and Butter, which recounts her trajectory from a 1970s Pennsylvania childhood that disintegrated in divorce to opening her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune.

The memoir has also wrested rare praise from New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani, who says,

…the book is hardly just for foodies. Ms. Hamilton, who has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking, and her memoir does as dazzling a job of summoning her lost childhood as Mary Karr’s “Liars’ Club” and Andre Aciman’s “Out of Egypt” did with theirs.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 140006872X / 9781400068722

Grant Achatz, whose Chicago restaurant Alinea was crowned the best in America by Gourmet magazine, also delivers Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat. Co-written by Nick Kokonas, the book has a 75,000 copy first printing. An excerpt in the new issue of People (March 7) chronicles Achatz’s struggle with tongue cancer.

Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas
Retail Price: $27.50
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Gotham/Penguin – (2011-03-03)
ISBN / EAN: 1592406017 / 9781592406012

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Getting to Heaven: Departing Instructions for Your Life Now by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey (Berkley) is an “instruction book” regarding the Christian idea of the afterlife by the author of the multimillion-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven.

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America by Les Standiford and Joe Matthews (Ecco) is the story of the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh—son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America’s Most Wanted—which went unsolved for a quarter of a century. It will get a major round of publicity, including a March 1 Q&A with the authors in USA Today, a March 2 appearance by Joe Matthews and the Walshes on the Today show; and a March 3 segment on Nightline.

Revolt!: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann (Broadside Books) advocates no tax increases, weakening federal regulations and cutting social programs in the name of deficit reduction.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (Penguin Press) chronicles the training process of a once forgetful U.S. Memory Champion. The author was interviewed on All Things Considered on Wednesday.

Michael Oher Speaks

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Michael Oher, the offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, finally tells his side of his adoption story, which is central to Michael Lewis’s bestseller The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and the subsequent film starring Sandra Bullock. He explains on the Huffington Post that he wrote his memoir, I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to the Blind Side and Beyond (with Don Yeager) because “I wanted to talk about some of the questions people have about how I was portrayed in the movie and about my life before I came to live with the Tuohys.”

Kirkus says: “The book is strongest when Oher conveys his hard-won wisdom through specific examples and anecdotes from his life. When he dispenses more generalized advice, the narrative reads like a generic public-service announcement.”

At libraries we checked, orders were in line with modest reserves.

I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond
Michael Oher
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Gotham – (2011-02-08)
ISBN / EAN: 1592406122 / 9781592406128

Other Notable Titles on Sale Next Week

Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld (Sentinel) chronicles the career of the Secretary of Defense during 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani calls it: “tedious, self-serving. . .  [and] filled with efforts to blame others — most notably the C.I.A., the State Department and the Coalition Provisional Authority (in particular George Tenet, Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice and L. Paul Bremer III) — for misjudgments made in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the failure to contain an insurgency there that metastasized for years.” On Monday, February 7, Rumsfeld will appear on “World News” with Diane Sawyer at 6:30 p.m. ET and on “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. ET. On Tuesday, February 8, he will appear on “Good Morning America” at 7 am ET.

Spousonomics: Using Economics To Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson (Random) is a quirky and practical look at relationships by, respectively, a front-page editor for the Wall Street Journal and an award-winning New York Times reporter who’s covered Wall Street. Based on the authors’ survey of 1,000 couples, Szuchman explains that the key to a good sex life is to keep it “affordable.” If couples are tired, “they make it quick. Maybe they don’t even bother to take their shirts off. When one of them is in the mood, they say so,” she says in an essay on the Daily Beast.

The Foremost Good Fortune by Susan Conley (Knopf)  is a memoir of family’s move from Maine to Beijing, only to find that the cultural differences between their two homes pale when the author gets a cancer diagnosis. Booklist calls it, “Beautifully written and insightful on many levels.”

Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli is a memoir of an ex-journalist’s search for wholeness and spiritual renewal in Bhutan, while helping to launch Kuzoo FM, the nation’s fledgling radio station. Kirkus says, “the author’s authentic voice and light, pleasant cultural insights make for a refreshingly uplifting book.”

TIGER MOM on Colbert

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Amy Chua’s book has been out for less than two weeks, but already “Tiger Mother” has passed into the lexicon. She appears on the Colbert Report tomorrow night.

Holds are rising quickly; several libraries have reordered aggressively.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Amy Chua
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2011-01-11)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202842 / 9781594202841

Penguin Audio; UNABR; 6 Hours; 5 CDs; ISBN 9780142429105; $29.95

Tiger Mom’s Not Finished Yet

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Discussion of Amy Chua’s approach to mothering, as she describes it in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother continues unabated.

In today’s NYT, Janet Maslin, who actually read the entire book (rather than just the WSJ except, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“) comes to an unexpected conclusion,

In truth, Ms. Chua’s memoir is about one little narcissist’s book-length search for happiness. And for all its quotable outbursts from Mama Grisly (the nickname was inevitable), it will gratify the same people who made a hit out of the granola-hearted Eat, Pray, Love.

According to Maslin, the two share an obsessive fascination with self. She also points out that, by the end of her book, the Tiger Mom has softened,

But Ms. Chua’s story has been shaped according to a familiar narrative arc, the one that ensures that her comeuppance will occur, that her children will prove wiser than she and [she will] fess up to shortcomings (“the truth is I’m not good at enjoying life”) and smell the roses at the end of the book.

The Today Show can’t get enough of her; they’re planning a second appearance, and are gathering questions for her on the site right now.

The book appears at #5 on the 1/30/11 NYT Nonfiction list, after just five days on sale (the list reflects sales through 1/15).

If you’ve been on the fence about buying more, it’s time to get off. This one won’t end soon.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Amy Chua
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2011-01-11)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202842 / 9781594202841

Penguin Audio; UNABR; 6 Hours; 5 CDs; ISBN 9780142429105; $29.95

TIGER MOTHER on the Prowl

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

If you haven’t already, you are likely to hear a great deal about a book released yesterday, which describes the traditional Chinese approach to child rearing, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua. On NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday, Maureen Corrigan predicted,

Battle Hymn is going to be a book club and parenting blog phenomenon; there will be fevered debate over Chua’s tough love strategies, which include ironclad bans on such Western indulgences as sleepovers, play dates, and any extracurricular activities except practicing musical instruments … which must be the violin or piano.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Amy Chua
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2011-01-11)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202842 / 9781594202841

Penguin Audio; UNABR; 6 Hours; 5 CDs; ISBN 9780142429105; $29.95

That’s happening already. An excerpt from the book in the Wall Street Journal, with the challenging title, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” appeared over the weekend and became the top-read story. It is being discussed widely, in blogs and articles, from The New Yorker to the Guardian in the UK, which calls it “one of the most controversial books of 2011.” It is currently at #6 on Amazon’s sales rankings and library holds are rising rapidly.

Chua appeared on the Today Show on Monday. Her upcoming book tour should be fun.

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

This is Chua’s third book. Her previous titles have been on international policy. Tiger Mother made news when it was acquired last year, for a rumored high six figures.

Literary Jackie Gets Her Due

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Next week, book lovers and Jackie Onassis fans may enjoy the first of two books looking at her career as an editor in the publishing industry: Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books by William Kuhn.

According to Kirkus, “Kuhn argues that Jackie touched on forbidden themes in her own life—her husband’s adultery, the humiliation of marriage, political machinations—only through her list, including such books as Barbara Chase-Riboud’s controversial novel Sally Hemings (1979) and Elizabeth Crook’s novel about Sam Houston and Eliza Allen, The Raven’s Bride (1991).

The New York Times Fashion section explores the rivalry (complete with trash talk) between author Kuhn and Greg Lawrence, whose Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis will arrive on January 4 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

Libraries we checked have modest orders in line with modest holds for both titles.

Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books
William Kuhn
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2010-12-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0385530994 / 9780385530996


Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Greg Lawrence
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books – (2011-01-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0312591934 / 9780312591939

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man by Steve Harvey (Amistad) is the popular radio show host’s followup to his #1 New York Times bestselling book of relationship advice, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Lots of publicity is line up, including Good Morning America on Tuesday, publication day and a profile in the NYT Sunday Arts & Leisure section (tentatively scheduled for 12/19).

The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas (NAL Hardcover) chronicles the financial history of rap and hip-hop.

Fiction: Usual Suspects

Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy with Grant Blackwood (Putnam), the newest geopolitical military thriller with Jack Ryan, arrives with a 1.75 million printing.

Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King (Crown) is historical fiction set in 11th-century Scotland. PW says, “Though clichés often plague the prose… King’s blend of historical figures and fictional characters turns a medieval icon into a believable mother, wife, and ruler.”

Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris (Berkley Hardcover) follows Betsy Devonshire, amateur investigator and owner of Crewel World Needlework in investigating another mystery.

Young Adult

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy Series #6) by Richelle Mead is the final installment in the bestselling Vampire Academy series.