Archive for the ‘2010 – Summer’ Category


Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Librarian Nancy Pearl was an early enthusiast of The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal, (Pbk, Picador, 8/23; Hdbk, FSG, 2010), calling it the best memoir she read last year. It’s been on the Indie Best Seller list since it was published in trade paperback in August, moving up to #8 last week. Nancy interviews de Waal on Seattle’s cable channel.

De Waal inherited a collection of tiny Japanese carvings from a great uncle. In trying to figure out why he had been chosen as the recipient, de Waal saw it as beginning of a story, which turned out to be a book about his family (and what a family it was. One of his ancestors, Charles Ephrussi, is included in Renoir’s painting, The Luncheon of the Boating Party). It is also the story of a Jewish family living in Europe from 1870 to 1938, which as de Waal says, is the story of figuring out where you belong and how to make sense of yourself “as an outsider in the middle of society.”

He reveals that he is going to write another book, about “the history of the color white” (as unlikely as that sounds, listening to him describe it, we have to agree with Nancy that it sounds “fabulous”).

Both Nancy and de Waal are enthusiastic about Ali Smith’s new novel, There But for the, published last month, and reviewed in both The NYT Book Review, and The Washington Post.

There But For The: A Novel
Ali Smith
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Pantheon – (2011-09-13)
ISBN 9780375424090


Monday, July 11th, 2011

Wendy Bartlett, Collection Development Manager, Cuyahoga P.L. emailed us that libraries may want to check their holds on The Long Drive Home (S&S, 5/17) by Will Allison, a novel about a man who gives in to rare fit of road rage, killing a teenager in the process. His subsequent lies and deceptions eventually tear apart his once perfect family.

It is a People magazine Pick in the 5/30 issue, which describes it as “a gripping morality tale …Allison’s eye for the quiet details of domestic life highlights what’s at stake, and he makes brilliant use of the precocious [six-year-old daughter] Sara…” The 7/4 NYT Book Review attests to the novel’s emotional power, although the reviewer questions the book’s key plot element and is “queasy” about being made to like the main character.

Based on holds, Wendy says she is now placing a 3rd order and put book on Cuyahoga’s popular  “Coming Soon/Bestsellers” handout.

Tell us what books are taking off in your library ;email us, or leave a comment below.

Patchett’s Revenge

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

In Friday’s New York Times, Janet Maslin took Ann Patchett’s new book, State of Wonder, to task for taking too long to “hit its stride,” (although, by the end, Maslin admits the book is “up to the level of Ms. Patchett’s usual work”). She also doesn’t think much of the basic premise, about an American researcher in the Amazon, working on a new fertility drug (in the book, the work is referred to as “Lost Horizons for American ovaries”), calling it “a little too loony to be taken seriously.”

But don’t be put off by that; subsequent reviews have been stellar:

NPR; An Amazon Adventure, Replete With Love, ‘Wonder’ — “[Patchett is] back in form with her mesmerizing sixth novel…”

Salon, Laura Milller, “State of Wonder”: Dueling doctors in the Amazon — “With audacity and ambition, Ann Patchett has transfigured the story line of Heart of Darkness by setting it in the present day and turning both the seeker and the sought after into women.”

L.A. Times, Carolyn Kellog, Review — Kellog explores the themes of the book and notes it drags a bit towards the middle, but calls it an “exciting mystery” that “speeds to a close” by the end.

The Telegraph (UK), Helen Brown, Review — This is by one of the few reviewers that didn’t think much of Patchett’s bestseller, Bel Canto, but says State of Wonder “really is something special.”

People (6/15 issue, pg. 61; review not currently available online) — People not only bestows 4 of a possible 4 stars on the book, but makes it a “People Pick,” and gives readers fair warning, “Reading this book will cause you to call in sick, cancel all plans and return to page one upon completion.”


Friday, May 13th, 2011

A picture book that makes no bones about parents’ frustration in trying to get their kids to sleep has risen to #1 on Amazon. It started as throw-away comment on Facebook, when author Adam Mansbach wrote in frustration, “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the — to Sleep.” People liked the idea so much, Mansbach went ahead and put together a PDF, which went viral, got covered by the NYT, optioned by Fox, and sold to Canongate for publication in the UK. It is coming out next month from Mansbach’s publisher, Brooklyn indie, Akashic Books.

Some attribute the success to the book being widely available via piracy, but it doesn’t hurt that it features strong illustrations (see sample here), an instantly relatable subject, and makes a great baby shower gift (after all, how do you wrap a PDF?).

Even though the PDF is supposedly viral, according to the New Yorker, you need to know someone to get a copy. You can also try posting your email to DCUrbanMom forum.

In a story today, CNN quotes Akashic publisher Johnny Temple saying a G-rated version will be coming next.


Navy Seal Memoirs

Monday, May 9th, 2011

In today’s NYT, Michiko Kakutani reviews two new memoirs by former Navy Seals. She says “Both books will…leave readers with a new appreciation of the training that enabled Seal Team 6 to pull off the Bin Laden raid.”

Seal Team Six, by Howard E. Wasdin, (St. Martin’s; audio, Blackstone), a former member, comes tomorrow, in advance of its original May 24th publication date. Kakutani says it is as “visceral and as action packed as a Tom Clancy thriller,” giving readers “specifically interested in the Seals experience … a better sense of their tradecraft and day-to-day training.”

The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL, (HMH, 4/11/11; audio, Tantor), by St. Louis, Mo. native, Eric Greitens, who was a member of another team that targeted Bin Laden, “is more philosophical and big picture oriented” and “concerned with the evolution of [the author’s] larger vision of public service.”

In several libraries we checked, holds are running neck and neck on the two titles.

ONE DAY Earlier

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The film adaptation of best selling British novel, One Day, originally planned for the fall, has been moved to July 8th. The move is seen as a vote of confidence for the indie film, as it now competes against blockbuster carry-overs from the previous July 4th weekend.

Directed by Lone Scherfig, who made her reputation with 2009’s An Education. Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, One Day follows the lives of the characters, from the college graduation night they spend together, through the subsequent 20 years, revisiting them each year on July 15.

The book, which sold well here, was a phenomenon in the U.K. (see The Guardian, David Nicholls: why he made the headlines in 2010).

One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
David Nicholls
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2010-06-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0307474712 / 9780307474711

Riordan Cover Revealed

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

USA Today features the cover, title and first chapter of of Rick Riordan’s second book in the The Kane Chronicles, releasing May 3.

The Throne of Fire again features the son and daughter of an Egyptologist, who  “…embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.” (Publisher’s annotation).

Cue the Floodgates

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Now that Mockingjay is officially released, reviews are breaking. In USA Today, Bob Minzesheimer’s efforts to avoid spoilers make his review a bit opaque. This was not the case for the L.A. Times, which is being roundly criticized for both breaking the embargo and revealing key plot elements. On the Web, Entertainment Weekly posted a review at 8 a.m., with a “Spoiler Alert!” warning and give it a B+.

The AP ran a story about midnight launches in bookstores.

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press – (2010-08-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0439023513 / 9780439023511

David Mitchell’s Mixed Reception

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Best known for his 2004 breakout Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell returns with The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which is on several summer reading roundups (it’s one of five books on Time Magazine’s Summer Entertainment list, which calls the author, “The most consistently interesting novelist of his generation…”), was a BEA Librarian Shout & Share selection, as well as a July Indie Pick. As the media coverage begins, libraries we checked had enough copies to respond to the modest holds for this historical novel about a clerk for the Dutch East Indies Company’s outpost in Japan.

Following a profile in the New York Times Magazine, David Mitchell’s Genre-Bending Fiction, The Thousand Autumns rose to #32 on Amazon salea rankings and Cloud Atlas to #50.

Recently, Production Weekly reported that Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen and Natalie Portman have been offered roles in the movie of Cloud Atlas, being produced by the Wachowski brothers (the Matrix trilogy) and directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).

Entertainment Weekly gave the new book a B-:

Despite some magnificent narrative set pieces. . . .  the book feels diffuse, with too little forward momentum. Japan may be the land of one thousand autumns, but Mitchell sometimes seems intent on raking the leaves of every last one.

But Salon‘s Laura Miller was more sympathetic, deeming it

…less successful than [Mitchell’s previous novel], Black Swan Green, but eminently worth reading all the same . . . . [although] the first part, some 170-plus pages, feels like a worthy but not especially exciting historical novel.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel
David Mitchell
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-06-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1400065453 / 9781400065455

Other Major Titles on Sale Next Week

Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown) follows an investigation run by a former CIA agent.

Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine) has “the taut suspense and vivid depictions that are hallmarks of Gerritsen’s writing,” according to Library Journal, “although this one feels a bit stretched, with one too many plot twists and one too many villains.” As we mentioned earlier, cable channel TNT’s new series based on Gerritsen’s female buddies, Rizzoli & Isles, premieres on July 12.

In the Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson (Holt) is a military courtroom drama involving a lieutenant accused of murdering his commanding officer.

Inside Out by Barry Eisler (Ballantine) “drives this locomotive of a story full speed into the façade on the war on terror. . . . One sex scene fits neither the story nor the characters, and the violence may make even the most jaded reader uncomfortable, but this is a relentless and revelatory look into the human cost of those who torture on behalf of their country,” says Library Journal.

Work Song by Ivan Doig (Riverhead) was a Buzz Title at PLA, where Doig also appeared, highlighting his move to Penguin. A July Indie Pick, the novel has holds ranging from 2:1 to 4:1 in libraries we checked. Library Journal says that “Doig’s eagerly awaited sequel to The Whistling Season (2006) begins ten years later in 1919, when Morrie Morgan gets off the train in Butte, MT, “the richest hill on earth,” run by Anaconda Copper. . . . Doig delivers solid storytelling with a keen respect for the past and gives voice to his characters in a humorous and affectionate light.”

New TWILIGHT Book Arrives This Summer

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

It’s not Midnight Sun, a retelling of the Twilight saga from Edward’s point of view, which Stephenie Meyer scrapped after it was leaked on the Web in 2008.

Clearly Meyer still feels the need to tell the story through someone else’s eyes. On her Web site today, Meyer announces that she’s written a novella from the perspective of Bree Tanner, one of the newborn vampires who appears in Eclipse and dies ten pages later.

The book, called The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, will be published on June 5th (no ordering information is available yet) and will also be free on the Web from June 7th through July 5th at (Meyer says this is a thank you to her fans).

The burst on the cover declares that one dollar from the sale of each physical book will go to the American Red Cross. According to USA Today, the first printing will be 1.5 million copies and will sell for $13.99.

What about Midnight Sun? Meyer acknowledged to USA Today that fans are waiting for it, but that she’s “not writing about vampires right now.”