Archive for the ‘2012 — Fall’ Category


Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Jerusalem: A CookbookJerusalem fever” is spreading across the country, according to the NYT.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed), released last year, was chosen as the IACP’s Cookbook of the Year, and was the James Beard  winner in the International category.

The NYT story notes that Ten Speed already has 200,000 copies in print, which is unusual since most new cookbooks, especially those that are not by celebrities, “disappear without a trace” (sadly, the same could be said for all book categories).

At least part of the success is attributed to social media. Fans started a page on Facebook dedicated to it, as well as on Pinterest and Instagram. The hashtag #tastingjrslm, allows them to communicate about favorite recipes. The NYT itself features the authors on this month’s “Recipe Lab” videochat.

Holds in libraries are unusually high for a cookbook (one library shows 90 on 17 copies). The NYT story quotes the rector of an Episcopal church, who says, “I took it out from the library as many times as I was allowed to. And there were still so many things I wanted to make that I was forced to buy it.” (We like the image of the library rapping the reverend on the knuckles for hogging the book).

Women’s Prize in Fiction Winner To Movies

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

May We Be ForgivenFilm rights have just been acquired for A.M. Homes’s novel, May We Be Forgiven, (Penguin/Viking) winner of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), reports Deadline.

About a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving and its aftermath, this darkly humorous story, said the L.A. Times critic, “is so fast-moving and pushes its characters to such extremes that it quickly moves into a zone that’s a farcical hyper-realism.”

A few of the earlier  prize winners have been made into movies, most notably Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, which starred Tilda Swinton. It was a sensation at the 2011 Cannes film festival but did not get the expected Oscar nominations. Filming for the 2007 Prize winner, Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been completed. Some footage has appeared online, but  no release date has been set.

Backlist Best Seller: THE DOG LIVED (AND SO WILL I)

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The Dog LivedThe latest title to hit best seller lists as a result of flash sales by eBook retailers is Teresa Rhyne’s cancer memoir, The Dog Lived (and So Will I)(Sourcebooks, Oct., 2012). It debuts on the new USA Today list at #10, after Kindle and Nook editions were discounted from $14.99 to $1.99.

As the top Nonfiction eBook on the list, it is likely to debut at #1 on the upcoming NYT E-Book Nonfiction list.

The book received strong prepub reviews. Libraries own it in both print and eBook editions.

The Digital Divide

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Captive Audiences“We’re leaving behind a third of Americans,” who cannot afford Internet access, creating a “digital divide.” As a result, some kids have to go to McDonald’s to do their homework, says Susan Crawford author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age (Yale U. Press) on Friday’s Bill Moyers & Company.

This is an issue librarians have discussed for years. Although Crawford doesn’t mention it on the show, she wrote in earlier about the role libraries play in a piece for the NYT’s “Room for Debate; Do We Still Need Libraries?”

The few public libraries that own the book are showing heavy holds. An excerpt below. The full video is on the Moyers’ site.

Worth Watching: Oprah’s Interview with Ayana Mathis

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Yesterday, Ayana Mathis, author of Oprah Book Club 2.0 selection, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, (RH/Knopf), sat down for a thoughtful interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Among the highlights, a tour of the Iowa Writers Workshop, how Mathis was influenced by Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, (Random House, 2010), books that “wreck you,” and a special segment at the end with Ann Patchett celebrating her store, Parnassus Books, in Nashville. Oprah did not announce a new title for the club.

The full interview is on the Oprah site.

On the Rise: BEND, NOT BREAK

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Bend, Not BreakGetting a large boost from the latest of Tina Brown’s “Must Reads” segments on NPR’s Morning Edition is Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu and MeiMei Fox (Penguin/Portfolio, 12/21/12). Now at #33, it is moving up Amazon’s Sales Rankings and shows increased holds in libraries on modest ordering.

At eight years old, Ping Fu was taken from her parents during China’s Cultural Revolution and placed in a re-education camp, where she ate dung and dirt and endured gang rape. She survived, wrote a thesis about infanticide in China and, as a result, was forced out of the country. She came to the U.S. with next to nothing and went on to become a tech entrepreneur.

She was interviewed about her business on the Daily Beast yesterday:

Brown says of the book,”Her philosophical thoughts … her stoic ability to understand the patient lessons that she learned and apply them to her thoughts about survival and love … it’s very, very moving, indeed.”

Wilkerson Reviews HATTIE

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Twelve Tribes Oprah Sticker   The Warmth of Other Suns

The NYT Book Review features the latest Oprah 2.0 pick on the cover this week (without mentioning the Oprah connection). Since The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis (RH/Knopf) is set during the Great Migration of African Americans to northern cities, the review was assigned to Isabel Wilkerson, the author of the prize-winning history of that period, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, (Random House, 2010).

Wilkerson calls the novel “raw and intimate” and says “The story it tells works at the rough edges of history, residing not so much within the migration itself as within a brutal and poetic allegory of a family beset by tribulations.”

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie rose to #9 on the Jan. 13  NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, after 3 weeks, moving up from #10 the previous two weeks.

ME BEFORE YOU Gaining Fans

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Me Before YouOn our watch list for this week is Jojo Moyes’s potential breakout novel, Me Before You, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books, Thorndike Large Print), a word-of-mouth success in Great Britain. The editor of USA Today’s book reviews, Deirdre Donahue gave it her thumbs up on Friday, saying,

…it’s a bit hard to describe or stuff into a single category. There’s an unlikely love story, complicated family dynamics and a moral dilemma of an ending that Jodi Picoult might envy. Me Before You also paints a portrait of a small English village riddled with class distinctions that rings more true than J.K. Rowling’s overwrought The Casual Vacancy.

Libraries are now showing one-to-one holds. Keep your eye on this one.


Monday, December 24th, 2012

The False PrincePicked as a best book by both the NYT Book Review and Publishers Weekly, Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The False Prince (Scholastic, April), is being adapted as a film by Paramount.

Runaway KindThe book is the first in the projected Ascendance trilogy. The second title, The Runaway King, is scheduled for release in March.

Adding some glitz to the announcement is the news that the executive story editor for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Bryan Cogman, has been hired to write the screenplay.

New Title Radar — Dec. 24 to 29

Friday, December 21st, 2012

With the Christmas holiday arriving next week, it’s amazing that any new books will be shipped, but a few are on the way. Dick Wolf, creator of the TV series Law & Order, makes his fiction debut. Simon Garfield, whose book on fonts was a surprise hit, turns his attention to maps and the tie-in to a “zombie rom-com” movie arrives.

Intercept The Intercept: A Jeremy Fisk Novel by Dick Wolf, (Harper/Morrow; HarperAudio; Blackstone Audio)

Wolf, the creator of the TV series Law & Order introduces NYPD anti-terrorism detective Jeremy Fisk, in this, his first novel, planned as the beginning of a series. Expect heavy promotion for this one. It is already connecting with booksellers, who put it on the  Indie Next List for January. Prepub reviews were enthusiastic about the tense plot, but not so much about the writing or character development.

On the MapOn the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks, by Simon Garfield, (Penguin/Gotham)

Garfield fed the growing fascination with fonts in his book Just My Type. Now he turns  to a subject with even more enthusiasts, cartography. Published earlier  this year in the UK and in several university library collections, this is a “fully Americanized edition” (besides taking out all those pesky u’s, we’re dying to know what that means).

Warm Bodies Tie-inWarm Bodies: Movie Tie-in by Isaac Morton. (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler)

Billed as a “zombie rom-com,” the movie is based on a book that was originally a self-published success. Set  in America after a zombie apocalypse, it features “R,”  a young zombie who communicates mostly via grunts and moans. His favorite food is human brains, which give him a side of memories. After eating the brains of a suicidal teen, R falls in love with the boy’s girl friend. One hitch; her father, played by John Malkovich, is the country’s leading zombie killer.

Official Web Site:

Michiko Joins Oprah’s Club

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Hours after Oprah announced she had picked Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (RH/Knopf), the NYT posted a rave review from their difficult-to-please reviewer, Michiko Kakutani, who calls the book a “piercing debut.”

Although it shot up Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping from #186,959 to #130, it didn’t break in to the top 100. It’s doing much better on rankings, however, where it is currently at  #17.

All the libraries we checked ordered the book prior to the announcement, based on stellar pre-pub reviews, but we found just one that had ordered multiple copies per branch. Cuyahoga’s Wendy Bartlett reports on how she spotted it:

I snapped up The Twelve Tribes of Hattie as soon as the publisher sent me the ARC, because it deals with America’s great African-American migration. Our customers loved the nonfiction title on that subject, The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House), which came out last year. Baby boomers especially enjoy books about this time period; they’ve heard these stories all their lives from their parents and grandparents, so they want to know more. Every African-American family here in Cleveland has a migration story, so I knew they’d love this book.

A reminder: the pub date for The Twelve Tribes has been moved up from mid-January to today and the original ISBN’s have been changed (see previous post), so libraries need to place new orders. Also, please note the BOT editions —

BOT CD: 9780804127271
BOT LDL: 9780804127288

New Title Radar; Dec 3 to 8

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Publishers know (or, fervently hope) that bookstore staff will be devoting their time to selling, rather than unpacking new books in the next few weeks, so new releases are slowing down. Next week, fiction is dominated by veteran authors such as Tom Clancy and Robin Cook. In nonfiction, Elie Wiesel publishes a memoir about his recent heart surgery and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings will anger parents with a new book that debunks the myths they tell their kids.

Usual Suspects

Clancy, Tom and Mark Greaney, Threat Vector (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike large print)

The man who invented the techno thriller follows up last year’s Locked On (also with co-writer Greaney) with a new title about President Jack Ryan Sr. now facing a new threat from China. His son, Jack Ryan Jr.’s secret secret intelligence group could be an asset, but it’s being threatened with exposure.

Cook, Robin, Nano, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike large print)

The man who invented the medical thriller with Coma in 1977 has published a new book nearly every year since. This one features a company called Nano, which is developing microbivores, tiny (nano) robots that attack and destroy viruses and bacteria. But the company may not be all that it seems.

Robards, Karen Shiver, (S&S/Gallery Books; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

Romantic suspense veteran Robards (her first title in the genre, To Love A Man, was published in 1984) returns with a book that caused Kirkus to nearly come undone, saying it’s “Packed with fast-paced action, nail-biting suspense and blazing sexual tension.”

Vine, Barbara The Child’s Child (S&S/Scribner; Brilliance Audio; Center Point Large Print)

Barbara Vine is the pseudonym Ruth Rendell adopts for her darker books. This one is about a woman who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with her brother’s gay lover. She finds her life eerily echoing a novel titled The Child’s Child, set in the ’30’s and ’40’s. Both Booklist and Publishers Weekly both said it not as strong as her acclaimed previous novel, The Birthday Present, but still found it absorbing.


Park, Linda Sue The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 5: Trust No One, (Scholastic; Scholastic Audio)

The original 39 Clues was is an 11 volume series about two orphans’ efforts to find the clues to a magic serum that will create the most powerful person on earth. Written by different authors, the first, The Maze of Bones (2008) is by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jones and the Kane Chronicles series. This new book is the penultimate in a second  39 Clues series, the Cahills vs. Vespers. The author, Linda Sue Park, won the Newbery Medal in 2002 for A Single Shard. She also wrote an earlier 39 Clues novel,  Storm Warning (2010). This series stops with the next volume, Day of Doom, coming in Marchby David Baldacci. But, don’t despair, a third, four-volume series, Unstoppable, is on its way.


Jennings, Ken Because I Said So! (S&S/Scribner; Tantor Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

Jeopardy! champion and Brainiac author Ken Jennings explores the myths that parents perpetrate on their kids (the book is subtitled, The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids). USA Today already featured a chat with the author.

Giunta, Sal Living with Honor (S&S/Threshold Editions

This memoir by an Afghanistan veteran, the first living person to received the Medal of Honor since Vietnam, is published by Simon and Schuster’s conservative imprint. It will be featured on various shows in the upcoming days, including NBC’s Weekend Today, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, FOX-TV’s Fox & Friends, and MSNBC-TV’s Morning Joe.


Wiesel, Elie, Open Heart (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

Wiesel, who has written over 50 books, recently made news with the announcement that has said he is working on a book with President Obama. In Open Heart, the 84-year-old writes about his emotions, including worry about what might be left undone, on the eve of his  open heart surgery two years ago.




Thursday, November 29th, 2012

A librarian’s BEA Shout ‘n’ Share pick, B.A. Shapiro’s debut novel, The Art Forger(Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio; Thorndike Large Print), has been picking up fans since its release in October.

It hit the Indie Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list at #11 last week, moves up to #9 this week and is showing heavy holds in several libraries.

Consumer reviewers found weaknesses in the plot, but all agreed with Entertainment Weekly‘s conclusion that the author “has such interesting things to say about authenticity — in both art and love — that her novel … becomes not just emotionally involving but addictive.”

Booksellers were unequivocal in their endorsement, making it the #1 Indie Next Pick for November.


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


USA Today calls Matched, Ally Condie’s YA dystopian trilogy, “the most popular series of books for teens since The Hunger Games,” noting that Matched has “less violence and more poetry.”

The final title in the series, Reached (Penguin/Dutton) debuted at #6 on last week’s USA Today best seller list, a series high.

Condie tells USA Today that the idea for the series, which began with Matched (2010) and was followed by Crossed (2011), came from a discussion with her husband about what would happen if the government decreed who you would marry.

To what does Condie attribute the series’ growing populatiry? To “teachers and librarians who embraced it.”

And, no surprise, film rights have been sold to Disney. David Slade has signed as director. He has had some experience with teen movies; he directed Eclipsed, the third film in the Twilight Saga.

Warren Buffet Tap Dances to Work

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A new book about the “boring” Warren Buffet, Tap Dancing to Work by Carol J. Loomis, (Penguin/Viking/Portfolio), rose to #26 on Amazon’s sales rankings after the author and the subject appeared together on the Today Show yesterday and in a much more in-depth interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.