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Posts tagged ‘Publisher’s Weekly’

The Bear by Claire Cameron

The Bear
by Claire Cameron.
Reviewed 10-28/13 Publisher’s Weekly

9780316230100Inspired by a fatal 1991 bear attack on a couple camping on an island in Ontario’s Algonquin Park, Cameron’s novel of fear and survival recounts the fictional escape from a similar attack of five-year-old Anna and her two-year-old brother, Alex (nicknamed “Stick” for his sticky fingers). Anna’s narrative begins midattack after her father has tossed her and her brother into the storage chest they call “Coleman.” Squished in the darkness between Stick and her teddy bear, Anna sees a black furry animal through a crack, but all she can picture is her next-door neighbor’s dog Snoopy. In daylight, she climbs out of Coleman to discover what remains of her father and to catch her mother’s last words urging her to put her brother in the canoe and paddle away. What follows is a vividly portrayed wilderness ordeal (poison ivy, hunger, rain, isolation) juxtaposed with glimpses of the inner resources young Anna draws upon (imagination, family, memory, hope), all seen through the eyes of a child who can express, if not entirely understand, her own resentment and protectiveness of her brother, her love and longing for her parents, her fear and empathy for the predator, and her determination to persevere.

Read entire review and other stories at Publisher’s Weekly

Review of The Curiosity

curiousA Curiously Good Book
by Josie Leavitt – July 2nd, 2013
Publisher’s Weekly

I don’t usually write about adult books in this column, but every once in a while I just have to. It’s not every day that a customer I’ve known for the entire almost 17-year life of the bookstore writes a novel. Stephen Kiernan has been shopping at the store forever. I’ve seen him go from Polk Award-winning journalist to a wonderful non-fiction writer. His first two books, Last Rites and Authentic Patriotism, were great sellers for us. We hosted launch parties for these books and celebrated with him.

A week from today, Stephen’s debut novel, The Curiosity, comes out. I read a lot of Tgalleys, my staffers read a lot of galley, and we’ve all come to the conclusion that this has bestseller written all over it. Beautifully written, with a unique idea, this book is just, well, damn good. Told from different perspectives (this conceit only works when those voices all sound unique, and they do here) it’s a complex story about scientific discovery, love and greed. A man has been found, frozen in Arctic ice by Dr. Kate Philo, who has worked on reanimating smaller things found in the ice. Moral questions come into play: should she reanimate him, what are the consequences and what happens when Kate falls for the man she brought back to life, and how long can he live, and what are the motivations of all involved when the media circus starts.

Read entire article/review at Publisher’s Weekly.

Eve Ensler – Personal Is Global

A brief review of another intimate and vital work by Eve Ensler.

In the Body of the World
by Eve Ensler. Metropolitan.
Reviewed on 3/11/2013 Publisher’s Weekly

In this extraordinarily riveting, graphic story of survival, Ensler, an accomplished playwright (The Vagina Monologues) and activist in international groups such as V-Day, which works to end violence against women, depicts her shattering battle with uterine cancer. Having felt estranged from her body for a lifetime, and 9780805095180been molested as a girl by her father and enthralled by alcohol and promiscuity early on, Ensler as a playwright was seized with a political awareness of the dire violence committed against women across the globe. At the age of 57, she was blindsided when she discovered that her own health emergency mimicked the ones that women were enduring in the developing countries she had visited: “the cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed… the cancer of buried trauma.” Her narrative, she writes, is like a CAT scan, “a roving examination—capturing images,” recording in minute, raw detail the ordeals she underwent over seven months. These include her crazed, “hysterical” response to the diagnosis and her treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as well as extensive surgery, chemo, radiation, and caring by a “posse” of companions in misery, like her estranged sister, Lu, and far-flung friends such as Mama C, the head of the City of Joy women’s center in the Congo.

Read entire review and others at Publisher’s Weekly.

Eve Ensler’s other books include:

Necessary Targets: A Story of Women and War
Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World
Vagina Warriors
The Vagina Monologues
I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

Books On Top of 2012

From Publisher’s Weekly
by Gabe Habash – 04 January 2013

The Bestselling books of 2012

logo-transHalf of the top 20 bestselling books of 2012 in print were either Fifty Shades titles or Hunger Games titles, and only one book not written by E.L. James or Suzanne Collins—Jeff Kinney’s latest Wimpy Kid title—cracked the one-million-copies-sold mark for the year, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks 75%-80% of print sales. Authors with multiple bestselling books extended past James and Collins, too: for print, Kinney and Bill O’Reilly had two books each in the top 20; for e-books, George R.R. Martin and Sylvia Day had two books in the Amazon Kindle top 20, further proving readers’ preference for fiction when reading electronically (No Easy Day was the only nonfiction book to make Kindle’s top 20).

What this means is that, in 2012, books not part of a successful series or brand had a much tougher time, at least at the very top of the bestseller lists. Even books from bestselling authors did not do as well as books from bestselling series, as Fifty Shades and the Hunger Games topped big-name authors like John Grisham and James Patterson, the latter not appearing on any top 20 list. One book that bucked that trend was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which crossed 700,000 copies sold on BookScan just before the year ended. Flynn sold over 100,000 more copies than J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, and was only a few thousand copies behind Rick Riordan’s The Mark of Athena, to make her book the #14 bestselling print book of 2012. The discrepancies between Nielsen’s top 20 and Amazon’s top 20 (both print and Kindle) remained consistent with PW’s 2012 midpoint analysis of book sales: reference and self-help books see a huge percentage of their sales from Amazon. The Official SAT Study Guide, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and the American Psychological Association’s official manual cracked Amazon’s print top 20, but did not make BookScan’s top 20. Another Amazon anomaly is Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, which snuck into the top 20 for print, despite being first published in 2010.

Read entire article & others at Publisher’s Weekly.

Move Over New York Times

New York Journal of Books

The New York Journal of Books (NYJB) is the only reviewing journal that releases reviews on the same day as a book is released. The NYJB is giving the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and other well-known reviewing venues a run for their money (and readers).

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The New York Journal of Books reviewer panel consists of a growing team of talented and experienced reviewers whose expertise and credentials are unique among exclusively online book reviews. This panel includes bestselling and award-winning authors, journalists, experienced publishing executives, tenured academics, as well as highly experienced professionals across a number of disciplines and industries. All bring highly relevant expertise and insight to their reviews. Each reviewer writes about books with a singular, unique voice. Together, this chorus is New York Journal of Books’ singular strength. NYJB’s catalog of reviews has far more in common with respected print reviews than with any other online-only review. In a world where print book reviews are in rapid decline, NYJB aims to preserve the tradition of excellence in book critique. At the same time, NYJB embraces the rich multimedia content that cannot be found in a print publication, providing a singularly rich book selection experience.

Read the respected and relevant reviews at the New York Journal of Books and see what books and stories catch your attention.

Indie Bookstores Upbeat

Indie Bookstores Have Big Holiday Sales
by Judith Rosen, Claire Kirch, Wendy Werris & Paige Crutcher
2nd January, 2012 Publisher’s Weekly

Despite an economic backdrop filled with talk of a fiscal cliff and no single hot holiday title like last year’s Steve Jobs biography, independent booksellers who took part in PW Daily’s Christmas 2012 survey were surprisingly upbeat. “We beat last year and last year was a stellar year. We are very happy,” said Dana Brigham, manager and co-owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass. Similarly, Suzy Takacs, owner of The Book Cellar in Chicago, which saw 2011 sales rise 38% in the wake of Borders’s closing, was pleased to have last year’s increase stick. Holiday sales for 2012 were “terrific,” she said, “up a whisker.” And Michael Boggs, co-owner of Carmichael’s Bookstore, with two stores in Louisville, Ky., was satisfied with being down 6% at one store and 4% at the other. “Both were up 38% from the year before. The new level is 30% more than pre-Borders. It’s an enormously big figure for a store that’s 35 years old to have.”

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In Des Moines, Alice Meyer, owner of 6-year-old Beaverdale Books, was “exuberant.” Her store was up 10% last month and 29% for the year. Two-year-old Wakefield Books in Wakefield, R.I., one of a few indies to open in a Waldenbooks location, also held its own. “We had another very solid year here,” said manager Bob Ryan. “December started off a little slower than we like, but those last few days from December 21 made up a lot of ground we had lost.”

The last few days were crucial for many stores this season. Lisa Baudoin, owner of Books & Company in Oconomowoc, Wis., described the final three days as “huge,” with the store’s highest sales ever on Saturday, December 22. “This year for the retailer it was a five-day holiday,” said Steven Baum, co-owner of Greetings and Readings in Hunt Valley, Md. “But it couldn’t make up for November and December.” His store was down for the year.

Other stores experienced a stronger build up to Christmas, including some affected by late October’s “Frankenstorm,” Hurricane Sandy. “It has been a good year even taking into account that we were closed for two weeks with the hurricane,” said Karen Rumage, co-owner of River Road Books in Fair Haven, Ct. Broadway and Brookline Books, which both do a big Hanukkah business, reported an early sales boost from having the holiday fall in the first half of December.

In most of the country weather was not an issue. In Houston, Blue Willow Bookshop owner Valerie Koehler, speaking for many, said “we have been very fortunate.” Christmas Eve was in the 70s. A blizzard in Oregon the week before Christmas did play havoc with restocking for bookstores there. But national events were a greater impediment elsewhere. The Newtown shootings reverberated at some bookstores in mid-December with weakened sales. Readers who normally shop at Books of Wonder in New York City to Eso Won Books in Los Angeles stayed home with their families as they watched the tragedy unfold. Books & Company’s Baudoin was one of the few to report flat sales in December, which she attributed to “the politicians. You didn’t hear much in the news about the fiscal cliff until after Thanksgiving. And that’s when things went flat.”

Although the number of independents has been growing since 2010, when the American Booksellers Association reported 1,410 members, indies and chains continue to close. In addition to Cokesbury announcing the closing of 38 stores and 19 seminary stores, bookstores like Puddn’head Books in St. Louis, Mo.; Archiva Books in New York City; St. Helens Book Shop in St. Helens, Ore.; Rainy Day Books in Tillamook, Ore.; and Yawn’s Books & More in Canton, Ga., all closed last month.

Not all closings are necessarily a bad thing. Marva Allen, co-owner of Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem, which shuttered its bricks-and-mortar operation over the summer, said, “we are totally loving the flexibility of our online store, which allows us to offer our customers a wider selection. We continue to do pop-ups and special events. I am conceiving a reading room concept [in lieu of a bookstore] that’s not yet fleshed out.”

Many adult titles that were cited as top sellers came out early in the season, like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (June), Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (March) and Tiny Beautiful Things (July). A few hit in November like John Meachem’s Thomas Jefferson, or December, Adam Makos and Larry Alexander’s A Higher Call, which Kris Kleindienst, co-owner of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, said, “came out of nowhere the week before Christmas.” While it got a boost from The Diane Rehm Show, another December release got an even bigger boost from media attention. Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, originally slated for 2013, was moved up after Oprah selected it for her book club.

Read complete story and others at Publisher’s Weekly

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