Archive for the ‘2009 – Fall’ Category


Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, the fascinating story of a man who lived in NYC in the 1880’s as a light-skinned African American, when he was actually white. As the story says, this was “highly unusual.”

Also highly unusual is NPR featuring a book that came out in hardcover over a year ago; the story is part of a special series Morning Edition is doing this week on how race is woven into American lives.

The book came out in trade paperback in January.

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line
Martha A. Sandweiss
Retail Price: $17.00
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2010-01-26)
ISBN / EAN: 014311686X / 9780143116868

OverDrive WMA and MP3 Audiobook
Tantor Audio

12 Audio CDs (Retail Unikeep Pkg); 9781400111510; $26.24
12 Audio CDs (Library Binder Pkg); 9781400141517; $52.49
2 Mp3-CDs (Retail SlimlineL Pkg); 9781400161515; $18.74

SAVE BIG Money Makeovers

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

The hot topic of the new crop of self help books is saving money. Elizabeth Leamy, consumer correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America, says in her new book, Save Big, that you can forget saving small by cutting out lattes and packing your own lunch and save big in other areas. She’s been appearing on Good Morning America this week to promote the book.

Most libraries haven’t ordered it; it was not reviewed prepub.

SAVE BIG: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands
Elisabeth Leamy
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 338 pages
Publisher: Wiley – (2009-12-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0470554215 / 9780470554210

Oprah’s Fav Vegan Chef

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The rebroadcast yesterday of Oprah’s show with Tal Ronnen, her favorite vegan chef, shot the book up Amazon’s charts (to #3 from #407).

Most libraries are showing heavy holds; 5 to 1 is typical.

The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat
Tal Ronnen
Retail Price: $29.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061874337 / 9780061874338

Groovy, Man

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The New York Times Science section calls Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle, “an exquisite picture guide to the universe,” adding, “Actually ‘exquisite’ does not really do justice to the aesthetic and literary merits of the book…”

Online, the NYT offers a slide show of some of the book’s amazing images.

The book is owned by most large libraries. Today, it rose from #29,203 on Amazon sales rankings to #18.

Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle
Michael Benson
Retail Price: $55.00
Hardcover: 328 pages
Publisher: Abrams – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0810949482 / 9780810949485

Get a Fair Deal

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

One of the biggest gainers on Amazon sales rankings today is not owned by most libraries (it wasn’t reviewed prepub); Stop Getting Ripped Off by Bob Sullivan rose to #18 from a lowly #10,432 after an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air last night. Sullivan is a reporter for covering computer crime and consumer affairs.

Confusing title alert: Fight for Your Money: How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune, by David Bach came out in March and is owned by most libraries.


Stop Getting Ripped Off: Why Consumers Get Screwed, and How You Can Always Get a Fair Deal
Bob Sullivan
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2009-12-29)
ISBN / EAN: 034551159X / 9780345511591

eBook available from OverDrive

Making a List; Checking It Twice

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Pilots always run through a checklist before a flight. On the other hand, surgeons don’t, relying instead on their considerable knowledge, training and instinct. Harvard Medical School surgeon Atul Gawande, wondered if checklists might be useful in medicine. He tested the idea and found it produced not only better results, but “massively better results.”

Something as simple as making sure everyone in the operating room knew each other’s names resulted in a 35% reduction in the number of complications and deaths. Why? Because once everyone introduced themselves, they were more likely to speak up if they saw a problem.

Gawande, who besides being a surgeon, also writes for the New Yorker, discusses his findings in The Checklist Manifesto. He was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition today. As a result, the book rose to #57 from #245 on Amazon sales rankings. Holds are heavy in many libraries.

NOTE: Gawande is Sunday’s Sunrise Speaker at the upcoming ALA MidWinter in Boston; Jan. 17, 8 to 9 a.m, Grand Ballroom, Boston Convention Center.


The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Atul Gawande
Retail Price: $24.50
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Metropolitan Books – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0805091742 / 9780805091748

Macmillan Audio: UNAB CD; 9781427208989; $29.99

NPR’s Focus on American Lives

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

In the final week of the year, NPR’s Morning Edition is featuring the stories of various American lives.

Today, T. J. Stiles, author of the National Book Award winner for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, talked about the man who controlled 5% of the U.S. economy in his time, despite his lack of education.


The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
T.J. Stiles
Retail Price: $37.50
Hardcover: 736 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-04-21)
ISBN / EAN: 0375415424 / 9780375415425

Books on Tape; UnAbr; 9781415965917; $100
Audiobook and eBook downloadable from OverDrive

Tomorrow, the show will feature boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.

Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson
Wil Haygood
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-10-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1400044979 / 9781400044979

eBook downloadable from OverDrive.

Big Fiction Titles; Week of 12/28

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Plenty of new fiction by big-name authors is hitting bookstore shelves, ready for those cashing in their gifts cards or returning unwanted gifts).

12/29 Fiction

Fired Up: Book One of the Dreamlight Trilogy (Arcane Society Dreamlight Trilogy)
Jayne Ann Krentz
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult – (2009-12-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0399155961 / 9780399155963

Brilliance Audio
UNAB. CD; Lib Ed; 978-1-4233-2644-1 $92.97
UNAB. MP3-CD; Lib Ed; 978-1-4233-2646-5 $39.97

Brilliance Audio

  • UNAB. CD; Lib Ed; 978-1-4233-2644-1 $92.97
  • UNAB. MP3-CD; Lib Ed; 978-1-4233-2646-5 $39.97

Audiobook and eBook downloadable from OverDrive.

Starred review from Booklist for this “…first in a trilogy connected to her brilliantly original Arcane Society series [which] displays all the signature Krentz elements her readers prize, from witty prose to a fast-paced plot rich in danger and intrigue to superheated chemistry between two perfectly matched protagonists”

The 13th Hour: A Thriller
Richard Doetsch
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atria – (2009-12-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1439147914 / 9781439147917

This thriller, told in reverse, is getting some extra attention because it is also being released as a Vook (today, the Washington Post took a look at it and other efforts to combine text and video).

Of the prepub reviewers,  Booklist was the most enthusiastic, giving it a star. LJ‘s verdict was that  “Suspending disbelief is worth every moment of Doetsch’s (The Thieves of Heaven; The Thieves of Faith) thrill ride through time, which tantalizingly reveals the true nature of all the characters involved.”

The book does have an intriguing premise, as outlined by the author:

Other big-name titles releasing on 12/29:

  • Stephen Hunter I, Sniper, Simon & Schuster
  • Jude Deveraux Days of Gold, Atria
  • Julie Garwood Sizzle, Ballantine
  • Mary Balogh, A Matter of Class, Vanguard

Today Does a DOUBLE TAKE

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

An appearance on the Today Show this morning propelled Kevin Michael Connolly’s Double Take from #67,933 on Amazon sales rankings to #197.

Connolly was born without legs, but became a competitive skier and photographer. The title of the book refers to the fact that, wherever he goes, he’s stared at.

Kirkus called it “a courageous, immensely rewarding chronicle expressed in arresting words and pictures.”

(Thanks to Marin Younker at Sno-Isle P.L. for pointing this out on the library’s Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle blog. Check it out, if only for the falling snow! How DO they do that?)

UPDATE, Ed. Note —  I guess the above comment was too much for the EarlyWord Web guys (that’s adcStudio, in case you’re curious). A few minutes after this post, it began snowing on EarlyWord! Thanks for the laugh you guys — you’re the best!

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


Double Take: A Memoir
Kevin Michael Connolly
Retail Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperStudio – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061791539 / 9780061791536

HarperAudio; UNAB CD; 9780061981562; $16.99

Book and Audio downloadable from OverDrive

New Approach to Autism

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

A new program for teachers and parents of toddlers with autism is producing encouraging results.

The NYTWell” blog points to a report in the Journal of  the American Academy of Pediatrics that shows the Early Start Denver Model (E.S.D.M.) resulted in increased I.Q.’s.

The “Well” blog also interviews one of the co-authors of a new book describing the program. Libraries we checked have not ordered it.

Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism: Promoting Language, Learning, and Engagement
Sally J. Rogers PhD, Geraldine Dawson PhD
Retail Price: $48.00
Paperback: 297 pages
Publisher: The Guilford Press – (2009-12-09)
ISBN / EAN: 1606236318 / 9781606236314

The Talented Miss Highsmith

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

THE biography catching reviewers’ attention this month is Joan Schenkar’s The Talented Miss Highsmith.

Highsmith’s books have had an enduring appeal, but were brought to a greater audience through recent movies based on the Ripliad, five novels featuring the charming sociopath Tom Ripley.

In the Washington Post, Jonatham Lethem’s review of the bio. is not as laudatory as others have been. Instead, he encourages readers to turn to the novels themselves.

As Lethem says, “The antidote to literary biography is literature.”

The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
Joan Schenkar
Retail Price: $40.00
Hardcover: 704 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – (2009-12-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0312303750 / 9780312303754


The following are the Highsmith titles that Lethem recommends.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game (Everyman’s Library)
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $27.50
Hardcover: 880 pages
Publisher: Everyman’s Library – (1999-10-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0375407928 / 9780375407925


The Cry of the Owl
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $12.00
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press – (1994-01-18)
ISBN / EAN: 0871132907 / 9780871132901


The Blunderer
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $11.95
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2001-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0393322440 / 9780393322446


This Sweet Sickness
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2002-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0393323676 / 9780393323672


The Tremor of Forgery
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $12.00
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press – (1994-01-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0871132583 / 9780871132581


Deep Water
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $13.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2003-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0393324559 / 9780393324556


A Dog’s Ransom
Patricia Highsmith
Retail Price: $12.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2002-08-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0393323366 / 9780393323368

Big Titles; Week of 12/21

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

The year is winding down, with just a few big titles this week.

12/22 Nonfiction

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Atul Gawande
Retail Price: $24.50
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Metropolitan Books – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0805091742 / 9780805091748

Macmillan Audio: UNAB CD; 9781427208989; $29.99

Surgeon and writer Gawande’s 2007 title, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Perfomance was on the NYT bestseller list for 6 weeks. His first book, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, was a finalist for the National Book Award. In The Checklist Manifesto, he argues that a seemingly mundane checklist can go a long way preventing mistakes in the operating room, a subject he wrote about in a 2007 in the New Yorker.  He will appear at ALA Midwinter in the Sunrise Speaker Series on 1/17, 8 to 9 a.m.

12/24 Nonfiction

Your Kids Are Your Own Fault: A Guide For Raising Responsible, Productive Adults
Larry Winget
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Gotham – (2009-12-24)
ISBN / EAN: 1592404952 / 9781592404957

Audio and ebook downloadable from OverDrive

Another slap upside the head from Winget, “The Pitbull of Personal Development,” who’s already told you to Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life, that You’re Broke Because You Want to Be and It’s Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault.

12/22 Fiction

Hidden Empire
Orson Scott Card
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Books – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0765320045 / 9780765320049

Macmillan Audio: UNAB CD; 9781427207777; $39.99

Audiobook downloadable from OverDrive

The sequel to Empire

12/22 Childrens

A Whole Nother Story
Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 1599904357 / 9781599904351

Vying for a place alongside Lemony Snicket, this is the debut of a new series. Booklist said, “Any story elements that feel derivative will likely only attract the book’s target readers, who will eagerly embrace the entertaining narration of Dr. Cuthbert Soup, Founder of the National Center for Unsolicited Advice.”  Kirkus called it “Great fun.”

12/22 Young Adult

Hearts at Stake: The Drake Chronicles
Alyxandra Harvey
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 0802798403 / 9780802798404

Before you roll your eyes at yet another YA vampire series, consider that  Booklist says it’s “Fun, funny, and a relief from Twilight wannabes, this first installment in the Drake Chronicles has lots to offer for savvy readers and gives vampire addicts a nice twist on their usual fare.”

Women Take Top UK Story Awards

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

2009 was the year of “the sudden and splendid blossoming of the short story,” declared the Guardian, observing that women have picked up three major UK prizes this year. Two of the three have been published in the U.S.

Why would women’s work stand out in this short form, when women are less often awarded major prizes for their novels? Guardian critic Sarah Crown speculates that

Short stories…are famously uncommercial; that, coupled with the perceived exactingness of the form and its heavyweight literary lineage, means that short stories by women are taken seriously – and awarded accordingly.

Most recently, Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah claimed the Guardian‘s First Book award for fiction, for her collection, An Elegy for Easterly. “Gappah’s deep well of empathy and saber-sharp command of satire give her collection a surplus of heart and verve,” said the PW review. According to World Cat, 336 libraries have it, with those we checked showing modest numbers of copies.

An Elegy for Easterly: Stories
Petina Gappah
Retail Price: $23.00
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Faber & Faber – (2009-05-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0865479062 / 9780865479067


Last May, Alice Munro won the £60,000 Man Booker International prize, for a body of work the judges described as “practically perfect.”  The Canadian author’s most recent collection is Too Much Happiness, which up to seven holds per copy on hand, or more, in several libraries we checked.

Too Much Happiness: Stories
Alice Munro
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-11-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0307269760 / 9780307269768

Available in Large Print from Center Point Platinum Fiction on January 1, 2010

  • $34.95; ISBN 9781602856462

Also available from Random House Audio

  • CD: $40; 9780307576736

Ellen Hugs TREES

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres’ enthusiasm for The Life and Love of Trees sent the book all the way to # 28 on Amazon.


The Life & Love of Trees
Lewis Blackwell
Retail Price: $50.00
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: PQ Blackwell – (2009-10-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0473150956 / 9780473150952

Courageous Waterbirds

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

On NPR’s All Things Considered last night, 85-year-old photographer Theodore Cross talked about his love of waterbirds, which he calls courageous because of the long migrations they make. He’s pretty courageous himself, having traveled seven days across the Arctic tundra to get a a shot of a particular bird.

His photographs are gathered in the book Waterbirds. Several are also on NPR’s photoblog.

Theodore Cross
Retail Price: $100.00
Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0393072266 / 9780393072266