Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

American Experience

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Boys in the BoatPremiering tomorrow night, August 2,  on PBS American Experience is a documentary titled The Boys of ’36, based on the bestseller The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; Thorndike).

A feature film based on the book’s proposal was announced in 2011, with Kenneth Branagh attached to direct. In 2014, a new director was announced, Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), but there’s been no further news since.


Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The Sports GeneZooming up the Amazon charts overnight, now at #16 and rising, is The Sports Gene, (Penguin/Current), a ” deliciously contrarian exploration of great athletic feats.” (Library Journal) by David J. Epstein, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated.

The book was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. It has also been covered by the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Science News and Businessweek, among others.

Library ordering is conservative.


Monday, June 17th, 2013

Boys in the BoatHolds are heavy in many libraries for The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; Thorndike). It debuts on the 6/23 NYT NF Best Seller list at #12.

USA Today calls it a “suspenseful tale of triumph” about a rowing crew from the University of Washington, whose student body, “drew from rough-hewn loggers, farm boys and girls not only with great physical gifts but the enormous will to make something of themselves at a time when there was little hope, given the double whammy of the Depression and the Dust Bowl.”


Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The embargoed book about the Tour de France, The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton (RH/Bantam), contains accusations of doping among riders, including Lance Armstrong. It is being featured on many news outlets, including the Today Show this morning:

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New Title Radar: March 26 – April 1

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

British author Grace McCleen gets major early reviews, but a mixed reaction to her much-anticipated fiction debut with The Land of Decoration, while Nobel-winner Nadine Gordimer probes the lives of a biracial couple in post-Apartheid South Africa and National Book Award finalist Lioner Shriver delivers a satire about terrorism. Usual suspects include James Patterson & David Ellis, and Danielle Steel. Plus there’s a memoir by New York Mets starting pitcher and former English major R.A. Dickey.


The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Macmillan/Holt) focuses on a 10 year-old daughter of Armageddon-fearing Christian fundamentalists, who starts to believe in her own omnipotence and becomes bolder as her efforts seem to work. In a New York Times review that ran this week, slightly ahead of the book’s publication on 3/27, Janet Maslin says that young Judith’s “voice of God evolves into a slangy, wise cracking, child’s-eye version of divinity, and that the book’s tensions mount in a simple and schematic way.” Ron Charles, reviewing it in the Washington Post on Tuesday, saying, “alas, The Land of Decoration is not in the same room as Donoghue’s great novel [Room]. ” The book is getting a better reception in the UK, where the Times of London picked it as one of four “must-read titles of 2012” and the Waterstones bookstore chain tagged it as one of 11 debuts expected to win awards.

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. by Carole DeSanti (HMH) is a historical novel by a Penguin Group USA vice president and editor at large, about a woman who follows her love to Paris, only to find herself marooned, pregnant, penniless and trying to survive in France’s Second Empire. PW says, “though its hard to care for such a self-centered heroine, the sweeping, fascinating epic is full of drama and beauty.”


No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer (Macmillan/FSG) focuses on Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Gordimer dramatizes with acute specificity, wit, and sympathy the mix of guilt and conviction her freedom-fighter characters experience as they admit, The Struggle is not over. Still, isn’t it time to simply live their lives and give up the fight? Literary warrior Gordimer writes, There is only one time, all time, for principles you live by.”

The New Republic by Lionel Shriver (HarperCollins; HarperLuxe; Dreamscape Media) is the National Book Award finalist’s fictional exploration of the intimate relationship between terrorism and cults of personality. People magazine says, “dramatically different from her chilling 2003 bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin…Shriver’s new novel is a blowsy, cynical romp about journalists sent to cover a mysterious terrorist movement…While Shriver’s urge to entertain can be exhausting, her whip-smart observations… are funny and on the mark.”  LJ was more sanguine: “While the characters are forgettable and the satire doesn’t go quite far enough, this is still an interesting read that might appeal to fans of Tom Perrotta.”


Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) is a thriller in which the family vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime–for survival.

Betrayal by Danielle Steel (RH/Delacorte Press; RH Large Print; Brilliance Audio) focuses on an eccentric movie director who falls prey to a sociopath sidekick and a feckless producer/lover. Kirkus call it “a methodical Hollywood morality tale.”

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins) is the ninth novel featuring London investigator and psychologist Maisie Dobbs, who investigates the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London’s highest circles of power. Kirkus says, “Certainly not Winspear’s strongest mystery. But newcomers will enjoy the exploration of class-bound Britain between the wars, and fans will relish the continued development of Maisie’s complicated character.”


Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball by R.A. Dickey (Penguin/Blue Rider Press) is a memoir by the starting pitcher for the New York Mets – and a former English major. PW says, “The author emerges as one of baseball’s good guys, and someone who can write as well as he pitches. Dickey has set a new standard for athlete autobiographies.” The publisher offers this hook; “The Glass Castle meets Ball Four as Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey weaves searing honesty and baseball insight in this memoir about his unlikely journey to the big leagues.”


Chomp by Carl Hiassen (RH/Knopf Young Readers; Listening Library; Audio on OverDrive); Hiasson’s fourth book for kids is a guaranteed best seller. In a starred review, Booklist says its the author’s “best for a young audience since Newbery Honor Hoot (2002)” and Hornbook couldn’t resist saying,  “Chomp is a story for readers to sink their teeth into.”

New Title Radar – Week of Nov. 7

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Next week, watch for Nancy Jensen‘s debut The Sisters, much anticipated fiction titles from Stephen King, Umberto Eco, and Christopher Paolini, and a book about the Osama Bin Laden raid which may be controversial.

Watch List

The Sisters by Nancy Jensen (St. Martin’s Press; Blackstone Audio) is a debut novel about two girls separated by a tragic misunderstanding in 1920 Kentucky, affecting four generations of women. It’s had strong support on GalleyChat. Some libraries report it’s getting an unusually large number of holds for a midlist debut. It’s also the #1 Indie Next pick for Dec and was featured as one of the Hot Fall titles for book clubs at BEA.

Heavily Anticipated

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King (Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike Press) finds the horror master venturing in science fiction, with a Maine restaurant owner who asks the local high school English teacher to grant his dying wish, to enter a time portal to 1958 in his diner and go back in time to prevent the 1963 assassination of JFK. Janet Maslin gave it gave it a glowing review in Monday’s NYT. Unsurprisingly, it’s been in Amazon’s Top 100 for months.

The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Audio, Recorded Books) pivots on the creation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the discredited document used by anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists as proof of a worldwide Jewish cabal, by a fictional main character, Simone Simonini – a spy, a forger, a murderer, and a misanthrope. Kirkus says, “Simonini keeps good and interesting company, hanging out with Sigmund Freud here, crossing paths with Dumas and Garibaldi and Captain Dreyfus there, and otherwise enjoying the freedom of the continent, as if unstoppable and inevitable. What does it all add up to? An indictment of the old Europe, for one thing, and a perplexing, multilayered, attention-holding mystery.” 200,000 copy first printing.

Young Adult

Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini (Knopf; RH Audio; Books on Tape) finds the young Dragon Rider Eragon in a final confrontation with the evil king Galbatorix to free Alagaesia from his rule once and for all. It has been on Amazon’s top 5 for months.


SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer (St. Martins Press; Macmillan Audio) is based on a series of interviews with SEAL Team Six [UPDATE: CNN reports that the SEALs deny speaking to Pfarrer] by a former commander of the group. The Hollywood Reporter, in a story about film and tv rights being shopped, says it disputes the Obama Administration’s official account of the Bin Laden raid.
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie (Random House) is the biography of a minor German princess, Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst, who became Empress Catherine II of Russia (1729-1796), by the Pulitzer-winning biographer of Nicholas and Alexandra and Peter the Great. PW calls it “a masterful, intimate, and tantalizing portrait of a majestic monarch.” It broke into the Amazon Top 100 earlier this week.

War Room: Bill Belichick and the Patriot Legacy by Michael Holley (It Books; HarperLuxe) is “a deeply reported, thoroughly engaging look at what it takes to succeed in the NFL–and a perfect complement to the NFL Network’s compelling miniseries Bill Belichick: A Football Life,” says Kirkus.

ESPN, The Movie

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Rights to he best selling oral history of the all-sports network, ESPN, Those Guys Have All The Fun are in the process of being sold to 20th Century Fox, according to Deadline.

Coincidentally, today’s NYT story about early release of paperback reprints mentions that the book will arrive in paperback on Dec. 1, just over six months after the hardcover release.

Libraries are showing heavy holds.

New Title Radar – Week of July 18

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Next week brings various views of the post-9/11 world, including a book that examines ten years worth of evidence about the attacks (The Eleventh Day) and another that looks at upheavals in the Middle East after bin Laden’s death (Rock the Casbah). In fiction, publishers continue to fill the beach reading pipeline.

Watch List

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) follows 11-year-old Harri Opuku, a recent Ghanaian immigrant in London’s housing projects, as he investigates the apparent murder of one of his classmates. LJ says, “If your patrons liked Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and if they rooted for Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire, they will love Harri Opuku.”

Rising Star

Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill (Minotaur Books) launches a new mystery series featuring one of Thailand’s hottest crime reporters, who’s roped into running a down-at-the-heels resort purchased by her possibly senile mother and stumbles into murder. It has THREE starred reviews, from LJ, PW and Booklist, which says “Cotterill combines plenty of humor with fascinating and unusual characters, a solid mystery, and the relatively unfamiliar setting of southern Thailand to launch what may be the best new international mystery series since the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” Librarians on GalleyChat agree that it’s a fun read.

Usual Suspects

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons (Grand Central) explores a disintegrating marriage and familial betrayal in rural North Carolina. Kirkus says, “Siddons is at her usual incisive best at skewering the mores of socially pretentious Southerners, and her prose is limpid and mesmerizing, but the Grand Guignol denouement beggars belief.”

Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel (Delacorte) follows a mother-daughter duo—one a Martha Stewart-style lifestyle guru, the other a shy, gifted chef—both facing turning points, and each about to find love when she least expects it.

Justice by Karen Robards (Gallery Press) is the latest adventure featuring criminal attorney Jessica Ford, as she defends the victim of a rape case involving a sentor’s son.

Split Second by Catherine Coulter (Putnam) continues the FBI Thriller series with agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock, this time locking horns with a serial killer who has ties to Ted Bundy. Booklist says, “Told from several points of view, including the serial killer’s, the novel moves quickly, thanks to short chapters and numerous plot twists. One plot element, the appearance of a magic ring, requires significant suspension of disbelief and proves jarring in this otherwise realistic and, in the main, riveting story.”

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva (Harper) is an espionage thriller whose protagonist is both an art enthusiast and secret agent.

Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Dominian by Eric Van Lustbader (Grand Central Publishing) continues Robert Ludlum’s story of Jason Bourne, a rogue secret agent who has lost his memory. Publishers Weekly says, “it’s a testament to Lustbader’s skills that he can keep everyone in place and blazing away without losing track of the ongoing plot. While one needn’t have read the earlier volumes, knowledge of the last two or three would help keep things straight.” This is the fourth in the Bourne series written by Lustbader. Of course, Ludlum’s Bourne titles have been made into successful movies, starring Matt Damon. The first of the series to be written by Lustbader, The Bourne Legacy, is currently in pre-production as a movie, but this time without Damon. The planned release date is Aug. 3, 2012.

Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn (LucasBooks) is a new adventure for Luke Skywalker and friends set during the original trilogy.


The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA by Joby Warrick (Doubleday) is a Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post intelligence reporter’s investigation of the intelligence failures that allowed a suicide bomber to kill seven CIA agents in Afghanistan. LJ says, “Warrick’s straight journalistic report, without editorializing, is highly recommended both to those who follow the U.S. war on terror and to all readers of spy and espionage thrillers.”

The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (Ballantine) uses a decade of new information to analyze the 9/11 attacks.

Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World by Robin Wright (Simon & Schuster) is look at the upheaval in the Middle East following Osama bin Laden’s death and the recent uprisings that delivers the stirring news that jihadism is fading, and Arab nations are finally entering the modern world. Kirkus ays that it is “more journalism than deep analysis, [and] paints a vivid portrait of dramatic changes in the Islamic world.”

Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life by Mike Leach (Diversion) is a look at the unorthodox career path and coaching techniques that helped Leach take the Texas Tech Red Raiders to numerous bowl games, achieving the #2 slot in national rankings and being voted 2008 Coach of the Year before being unceremoniously fired at the end of the 2009 season.


Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Below is the first trailer for the movie based on Micheal Lewis’s book about the Oakland A’s, Moneyball. It opens on 9/13/11.

Does it feel a little like The Social Network? Aaron Sorkin worked on the screenplay for each.

The tie-in releases 8/15/11 (9780393338393).


Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The NYT Baseball section features a profile of Jane Leavy, author of the new bio of Mickey Mantle, The Last Boy, released on Tuesday with a 200,000 copy printing.

Entertainment Weekly‘s review dismissed the book as having “little new” and recycling information that already appeared in Jim Bouton’s 1970 classic Ball Four. The New York Daily News begs to differ; headlining their excerpt, “Mickey Mantle finally opens up about childhood sexual abuse.” The NYT says Leavy, “delves further than other biographers have into Mantle’s alcoholism; the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and the sexual relationship with a teacher when he was a teenager; his philandering; the extent of his osteomyelitis; and the history of cancer in his family.”

Leavy tells the NYT that she was wanted to figure out “why men in their 50s and beyond still revere Mantle,” and finally decided that his is the “ultimate boomer entitlement.”

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood
Jane Leavy
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0060883529 / 9780060883522

Larger Print; HarperLuxe, 9780060883522, $27.99

Audio; HarperAudio, 9780061767685, $49.99


Monday, June 7th, 2010

The death of Coach John Wooden brought renewed attention to his many books published by McGraw Hill, all of which rose on Amazon’s best seller list over the weekend.

Coming in July is Coach Wooden’s final book, The Wisdom of Wooden:  A Century of Family, Faith, and Friends. The publisher describes it as “a commemorative of his life…Filled with fond personal memories, warm fatherly advice.” (McGraw Hill press release, via Publishers Marketplace)

The Wisdom of Wooden: A Century of Family, Faith, and Friends
John Wooden, Steve Jamison
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill – (2010-09-03)
ISBN / EAN: 0071751165 / 9780071751162


Friday, June 4th, 2010

Weeks ahead of its release next Tuesday, The Facebook Effect by Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick has received hundreds of mentions across the web in virtually every news article about Facebook’s latest adjustments to its privacy policy as it nears the milestone of 500 million worldwide members. The book is already at #409 on Amazon, and libraries are showing growing holds on light orders.

As CNET mentions, veteran tech journalist Kirkpatrick was granted unprecedented access to the company’s top executives:
This is the Facebook that Facebook wants you to see — both the glamorous and the ugly sides of one of the most successful, fastest-growing companies in recent memory… It’s fascinating. It’s well-written and masterfully reported. Still, one is left wondering if anything more sordid was missed.
There’s also an excerpt on And on June 8, Kirkpatrick will make the rounds on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and on an ABC Radio Satellite Tour.
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
David Kirkpatrick
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2010-06-08)
ISBN / EAN: 1439102112 / 9781439102114

Other Major Nonfiction Titles on Sale Next Week

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco) offers an unvarnished look at young superstar chef David Chang, the revered Alice Waters,  “Top Chef” winners and losers, and more.

The Only Game in Town: Sportswriting from the New Yorker edited by David Remnick (Random House) collects pieces from Roger Angell, A.J. Liebling, John Updike, Don Delillo and others.