Archive for the ‘2013 — Summer’ Category

Authors On The Daily Show

Monday, October 7th, 2013

9780345526113This week, The Daily Show features authors on two of its four shows. In addition to Malala Yousafzai’s appearance tomorrow (see previous story on the contenders for the Nobel Prize), author Brian Jay Jones appears on Thursday for his book about the world’s best-known puppeteer,  Jim Henson: The Biography (RH/Ballantine).

The book was reviewed last month in The Washington Post, (great line, “If the life of the man who created the Muppets had been any cornier or more wholesome, he would have been sued by Norman Rockwell’s lawyers for plagiarism”) as well as The Hollywood Reporter.

THIS TOWN Rises Again

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

This TownMany shows have already covered Mark Leibovich’s take-down of politics in D.C. in This Town, (Penguin/Blue Rider). Bill Moyers gave it powerful new attention this weekend, introducing his interview with the author by saying, “Whatever you’re doing these last days of summer. Stop. Take some time, and read this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and by the last page I think you’ll be ready for the revolution.”

The book, which had been sliding down Amazon’s sales rankings from a high of #3 in late July, rose to #15.

Below is the video of the interview.


Friday, August 23rd, 2013

9781451654424Holds are  outpacing the number of copies in libraries for Amanda Ripley’s critique of American education, The Smartest Kids in the World (S&S), but that’s not saying much, since library ordering was minimal. Holds may rise now that it is featured on the cover of this week’s NYT Book Review, and is called a “masterly book [that] can also generate the will to make changes.”

This issue also features a “Back to School Children’s Books” section.

Libraries Save Lives

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

9780062218834Standing in the library that served as a “safe haven” to her and her four siblings (Middle Country Public Library on Long Island, NY) when they were the homeless children of a mentally ill and abusive mother, Regina Calcaterra talks to Inside Edition (video here) about her memoir of that time, Etched in Sand (HarperCollins/Morrow original trade pbk).

Amazingly, Calcaterra managed to not only survive, but to also put herself through law school and help her siblings who are now all doing well. She says she is very moved by “just the thought that my book may be in this library where I came as a kid who was impoverished and that one day one of these kids are going to be reading it too and figuring out how … they are going to be able to pull themselves up out and out.”

In the new issue of People magazine reviewer Caroline Leavitt writes, “Her book reminds us that it’s possible to suffer the unimaginable and still grow up to make a difference.”


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

9780062303998On Inside Edition, Jane Velez-Mitchell discusses her book, Exposed: The Secret Life Of Jodi Arias (Harrper/Morrow; download the EXPOSED_PRESS release with more information on the book here). The book was embargoed, so there were no prepub reviews.

It was also excerpted in the New York Post over the weekend.

Many more appearances are in the works on CNN (the author has a nightly show on CNN/HLN).

Demand Rising for BONE SEASON

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

9781620401392 Today marks the arrival of two major launches. In addition to Night Film (see previous post), Samantha Shannon’s  The Bone Season, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury) also arrives. The first title in the Today Show’s  reincarnated Book Club,  announced today, is this debut by a  21-year-old novelist, the first in a planned seven-part series (yes there is talk of a movie).

The launch of the Club received a remarkable amount of press, including a feature in  the New York Times, “Today Is Starting Oprah-like Book Club.” The author was also profiled in today’s USA Today, and, over the weekend, NPR asked an often-repeated question, “Could This Be The Next Harry Pottter?

Libraries report that demand is rising.

The Today Show announcement is below:

The official book trailer:

Release of the Day: NIGHT FILM

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Night FilmToday is the release day for Marisha Pessl’s heavily-anticipated second novel, Night Film, (Random House; RH Audio). Random House pulled out all the publicity stops, liberally greasing anticipation with advance readers copies. That worked. It was listed in many of the summer previews, from The Millions to USA Today and was reviewed in advance of publication by several consumer sources.

As a result, libraries are showing a respectable number of holds on cautious ordering (275 on 50 copies in one large system), about the level of prepublication demand for another title Random House pulled out the stops for, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, (RH/Doubleday, 9/13/11).

The latest review, from USA Today is much more intriguing than their 3 out of 4 star rating would indicate. Says the reviewer, “In her haunting 600-page novel, Pessl fashions an indelible character, a deeply enigmatic master of terrifying cinema,” also noting, “There’s even a Night Film app. If this all sounds too multi-media gimmicky, it actually adds to the urgency of a thoroughly spooky story.”

The other reviews have been mixed, but we’re betting that readers will continue to want to know what the fuss is about.


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Lawrence in ArabiaScott Anderson’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday to discuss his new book Lawrence in Arabia, (RH/Doubleday; Blackstone Audio) caused the book to soar to #16 on Amazon’s sales rankings (from #96).

Holds continue to grow in libraries on minimal ordering (we issued a Holds Alert on it last week).


Monday, August 19th, 2013

The Husband's Secret   Silent Wife   9780143122548

With titles that make them sound like the odd couple of fiction, the word-of-mouth hits of the summer are steadily climbing the best seller lists. The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty, (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn; Thorndike) is now at #10 on USA Today‘s list, up from #32 last week, after 2 weeks. The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin; Blackstone Audio), a trade paperback original, is a few spots behind, at #17, up from #26, after 5 weeks (no doubt helped along by the fact that it is now stocked at Walmart).

Both have been compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, (RH/Crown), now at #24 after an amazing 62 weeks.

The new attention to the “domestic suspense” genre is perfect timing for mystery critic Sarah Weinman’s new book, Troubled Daughters. Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense, (Penguin) coming next week. The NYT Book Review‘s “Inside the List” notes that readers looking for more in the genre should explore the authors in Weinman’s book, who, as she says in her introduction, use the genre to “take a scalpel to contemporary society and slice away until its dark essence reveals itself.” Salon‘s Laura Miller also features Weinman’s book in “The Grandmothers of Gone Girl.”

Watch for an opportunity to win Troubled Daughters. Twisted Wives in Penguin’s giveaway on EarlyWord tomorrow.

New Title Radar: Week of Aug. 19

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Among the titles we’re watching next week is a book that has had so much attention it seems to be causing a backlash among reviewers, Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Random House). Author James McBride publishes his first book in four years, a novel with a surprising twist and newly minted best seller JoJo Moyes follows up last year’s word of mouth hit.

All of the books highlighted here and more coming next week, are also listed on our downloadable spreadsheet with ordering information and alternate formats, New Title Radar, Week of Aug 19

Best Selling Authors

9780670022809 9780670026609-2 9780670026616

After publishing ten novels, British romance author Jojo Moyes became a best seller last year with Me Before You, a book that added a Jodi Picoult type poignancy to the author’s usual style, featuring the relationship between a quadriplegic and  his caregiver. This step away from the romance genre was signaled by a distinctive all-type cover. The Girl You Left Behind (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike) continues that cover style (now that Moyes is a best selling author, her name migrates into large letters above the title). The novel follows two love stories, 90 years apart linked by a painting. This is more familiar territory for Moyes; Last Letter From Your Lover, 2011, also features a double love story, set years apart and linked by a letter. Entertainment Weekly gives the new book an A-.


The Good Lord Bird, James McBride, (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape audio; Thorndike)

Speaking of covers, at first glance, does the one at the left look like a novel by James McBride, or a new book by Alexander McCall Smith?

Clearly something is afoot. McBride, author of the memoir, The Color of Water, a NYT bestseller for over two years, and two novels based on events in African American history, Miracle at St. Anna (2002) and Song Yet Sung (2009) again turns to history . This time, it’s the abolitionist John Brown. The twist signaled by the cover is that this one, amazingly, is a comedy. It is featured on the cover of the upcoming NYT Sunday Book Review, which applauds the book for its “countless uproarious moments,” and says McBride is “like a modern-day Mark Twain: evoking sheer glee with every page.”

Watch List 

Night Film Night Film, Marisha Pessl, (Random House; RH Audio)

After a remarkable amount of prepub attention, including a feature on last week’s CBS Sunday Morning, which included the book’s eerie trailer, Marisha Pessl’s novel broke in to the top 100 on Amazon sales rankings with growing holds in libraries.

Now come the backlash. Janet Maslin reviews it in the NYT on Thursday and is definitely not a fan. Author Joe Hill, reviewing it in the upcoming NYT BR also rains on the parade and the L.A. Times critic, David Ulin finds it problematic, saying the book held him “hostage” (and not in a good way). Even Entertainment Weekly, for all the attention the “Shelf Life” blog lavished on the book, gives it just a B. Several librarians on GalleyChat reported they were grabbed by the first half, but let down by the second. All said they were enthralled by the integration of images and text (the Wall Street Journal looks at the lengths the author went to in creating the visual elements. A free app is included in the book to explore more).

The book is on the inaugural LibraryReads list, with this convincing annotation:

Scott McGrath has it all — a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter — until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova’s talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide — or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read in the noir tradition that cuts across genres.

Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

9781620401392The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

The 21-year-old novelist is profiled in New York magazine ahead of publication, noting that the author has been ” lauded as ‘the next J. K. Rowling, a comparison that both thrills and rankles,” the author who was six years old when the first Harry Potter was published and a big fan. But, she says her story about a clairvoyant who is shipped off to a penal colony in a future Great Britain which outlaws such powers, is “much darker.” It is an Indie Next title for Sept:  “Shannon has created a world that will set your imagination on fire and lure you in so absolutely that you will forget your surroundings.” The book is also considered a strong YA crossover title.

Media Magnet 


Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press, 8/20; Blackstone Audio)

We’ve had our eye on the controversy this book has been getting, expecting it to take off a la Tiger Mom. We’re surprised to find, however, in spite of all  the attention, holds are still low in libraries.

EXPECTING Controversy

Monday, August 12th, 2013

9781594204753As we predicted, Emily Oster’s claims in her forthcoming book,  Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press, 8/20; Blackstone Audio) is drawing controversy.

This morning, the book was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America. Senior Medical contributor, Jennifer Ashton, attacked Oster’s reasoning. She said “obstetricians and midwives all over the place are going to be doing damage control” over the assertion that a pregnant woman can have up to one drink a day. In fact, says, Ashton, one drink a day is “a lot for any woman, pregnant or not.”

The New York Post also weighs in on the subject.

More is coming. A live interview with the author is scheduled for Fox & Friends tomorrow.



Monday, August 12th, 2013

Lawrence in ArabiaHolds are growing in several libraries for Scott Anderson’s Lawrence in Arabia, (RH/Doubleday; Blackstone Audio), which receives a mixed review in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, with the dismissive comment that books keep being written about T.E. Lawrence because, “After all, somebody keeps buying the stuff.”

USA Today, on the other hand, is completely positive, giving it 4 of 4 stars, saying that, in over 500 pages,  Anderson “thrillingly” illuminates “the bureaucratic fumblings, the myriad spies, heroes and villains, the dense fugue of humanity at its best and worst operating in the Mideast war theater of 1914-17.”


Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Remember when the Wall Street Journal caused and uproar by publishing a “Saturday Essay” that began the Tiger Mom controversy and launched a best seller?

9781594204753They’re at it again. This week’s “Saturday Essay” is titled “Take Back Your Pregnancy.” The author, economist Emily Oster, uses her background to analyze the data behind the list of rules pregnant women are given. As a result, she decided to continue to drink coffee and an occasional glass of wine during her own pregnancy. She also became less obsessed with weight gain.

Her book, Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press; Blackstone Audio) will be released on August 20.

Expect to see more from the media-savvy Oster (she’s known for her TED talk in which she used her background to debunk accepted knowledge about AIDS in Africa).

New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 12

Friday, August 9th, 2013

9780345528933   9780312619817   978-0-375-42536-3

Among the books arriving next week with waiting holds queues, is Debbie Macomber’s next, Rose Harbor in Bloom, (RH/Ballantine; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print), released in time to take advantage of the Hallmark series based on Macomber’s earlier books, starring Andie MacDowell.

Those who enjoy a bit of torture with their serial killers, will be looking forward to the next Chelsea Cain title featuring the ultimate mean girl, Gretchen Lowell in Let Me Go (Macmillan/Minotaur; Thorndike) as well as Swedish author Arne Dahl’s Bad Blood, (RH/Pantheon; BOT Audio), about a literary critic  whose tortured dead body is found in Newark airport (is this an author’s revenge fantasy?). It’s starred by Booklist: “Dahl has established himself as one of the leading voices in Scandinavian crime fiction.”

Titles highlighted here are also listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Aug 12

Watch List

Women of a Dangerous AGeWomen of a Dangerous Age, Fanny Blake, (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne)

Former British publisher Fanny Blake’s second novel about two women who meet on a trip to India, each of them pondering major shifts in their romantic lives, got just one prepub review, from Booklist, which deems it merely a “pleasantly diverting read” for fans of JoJo Meyers. Wendy Bartlett at Cuyahoga P.L. is buying more than that review would warrant. She sees it this way, “Think Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Library’s power customers are women between 45-70. I am always on the lookout for books that target this audience. It’s chic lit for cynical older women like me who know shopping actually doesn’t solve anything, but leaving your husband may. I’m betting they’ll grab this one.”

Awards Contender 

People in Trees

The People in the Trees, Hanya Yanagihara, (RH/Doubleday; Dreamscape Audio)

In a starred review, Kirkus calls this title part of  “that rare subgenre of literature, the anthropological novel, ” (drawing comparisons to Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen’s At Play in the Fields of the Lord). PW also stars it; “Driven by Yanagihara’s gorgeously complete imaginary ethnography on the one hand and, on the other, by her brilliantly detestable narrator, this debut novel is compelling on every level—morally, aesthetically, and narratively.”

Librarian Favorite

The Color MasterThe Color Master: Stories, Aimee Bender, (RH/Doubleday)

Libraries are credited with making Bender’s novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, a best seller (former RH library marketer, Marcie Purcell was a major and effective proponent). Fans of that book, about a girl who tastes the emotions of the person who created the food she eats, will recognize similar elements in the title story about an apprentice who learns how to create clothing that looks like natural objects, a feat she can only achieve this when she allows her emotions free reign. Entertainment Weekly aptly says that reading Bender is “like having a very clever, very melancholy friend describe their dreams to you in vivid, fantastical detail. ”

Timely Topics

The Big DisconnectThe Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, Catherine Steiner-Adair, Teresa H.  Barker,  (Harper)

Author Steiner-Adair was  quoted recently in a USA Today story about Anthony Weiner’s sexting behavior. Given the media’s fascinated with the shifts brought about by the digital revolution, we can expect attention for this book that uses cautionary real-life tales to show that today’s families “are embracing technology at the expense of face-to-face engagement.” PW prescribes it as “required reading for all parents.”

9781451654424The Smartest Kids in the World, Amanda Ripley, (Simon & Schuster)

Here’s a clue: the smartest kids aren’t Americans. Parents will be clamoring to read this examination of how other countries educate better. Kirkus calls it, “A compelling, instructive account regarding education in America, where the arguments have become ‘so nasty, provincial, and redundant that they no longer lead anywhere worth going” and PW says,  ‘This timely and inspiring book offers many insights into how to improve America’s mediocre school system.”  Media attention is beginning; the Daily Beast covers it today and the Wall Street Journal published a story by the author last week.

UnbeatableUnbeatable: Notre Dame’s 1988 Championship and the Last Great College Football Season St. Martin’s Press

We may not know much about football, but we do know that Notre Dame fans give new meaning to the word, so we’ll go out on a limb  and suggest you increase your order for this book that details the team’s stellar 1988 comeback year. PW notes it is,  “A mostly pedestrian sports book that will appeal to Notre Dame’s legions of fans.”  The emphasis needs to be on the latter point.

9781250021465Let Freedom Ring: Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the March on Washington, Kitty Kelley, (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books)

Known for her muck-raking books on celebrities, Kelley has recently abondoned that to publish books based on the photos left to her by her close friend, Stanley Tretick. Last year, she published Capturing Camelot, a collection of his photos of the Kennedys. This book contains his photos of the March on Washington. The fiftieth anniversary of that historic event  will be commemorated at the end of this month,

Alissa Nutting, INSIDE EDITION

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

TampaThe author of Tampa, (HarperCollins/Ecco), Alissa Nutting appeared on Inside Edition last night (watch video here).

Told from the point of view of a 26-year-old teacher who seduces her 14-year-old student, Tampa is called a “gender-swapped Lolita,” by the NYT,  noting that the change in gender causes a problem for the novelist, “it’s hard not to be a little happy for the guy. So it’s a much bigger leap to show that this relationship between unequals is every bit as destructive as a man and a girl’s, and Ms. Nutting lands it.”

Expected to be the  hotly controversial book of the summer, it still lags well behind Fifty Shades of Grey in terms of media attention.