Book News and New Book Reviews

Just a sampling of our new materials (right side)!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

For the first eight months of 2014, adult book sales were down 1.6%

For the first eight months of 2014, adult book sales were down 1.6%, as all formats but downloadable audio had declines. E-book sales had the smallest drop, off only 0.1% to $853.3 million. Trade paperback sales were down just 0.7%, to $860.4 million. Hardcover sales were off a more noticeable 7.2% through the eight months and mass market paperback sales were down 3.4%.
In children’s/ya, e-book sales were up 56.5% and hardcover sales jumped 47.1%. E-books accounted for 15.0% of all children’s/ya sales in the January-August period up from 12.0% in the same span in 2013. E-books’ share of adult sales rose to 29.7% in 2014 from 29.2% in the first eight months of 2013.  Figures are based on reports from 1,209 publishers.  (From PW Article)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature

Powerful narrative, unforgettable characters, illustrations that stir the imagination, and insights that engage the mind and heart—literature for children is forged from the same enduring elements as literature for adults.  Children’s books with these qualities often shine for generations, with some achieving landmark fame.  A few such books ultimately go on to enter the canon of classics of children’s literature.
justsostories.jpgThe Grolier Club’s milestone public exhibition, One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature, showcases one hundred books of this caliber, printed from 1600 to 2000.  On view from December 10, 2014 through February 7, 2015, the show includes such beloved books as Robinson Crusoe, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Peter Rabbit, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Winnie-the-Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, The Cat in the Hat, Where the Wild Things Are, and Harry Potter.  These classics and others—many famous today, some only in their time—will bring smiles of enjoyment to adults and children alike.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The World's 56 Largest Book Publishers, 2014

Although there was a fair amount of deal making among the global book publishing giants last year, those mergers and acquisitions did not have much of an impact on the top of Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly’s annual ranking, based on annual revenue, of the world’s largest publishers in 2013. Pearson came in first, with $9.33 billion in revenue, followed by Reed Elsevier, Thomson/Reuters, and Wolters Kluwer. All four educational and professional publishers held the same respective positions on the list in 2012 Random House was the largest publisher of trade books in 2013, and was fifth largest overall (its position also unchanged from 2012). The company benefited from its 53% stake in Penguin and the assumption of full control of Random House Mondadori in late 2012, which was renamed Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial at the end of last year. Together, Penguin Random House and RH’s German publishing group had sales of $3.66 billion in 2013 (with Penguin’s revenues for the last six months of the year reported in the PRH total; revenue for the first six months were attributed to Penguin parent company Pearson). Random House’s agreement with PRISA (ranked #24 on the 2013 list) to acquire the trade book segment of its Santillana Ediciones Generales business will likely be completed this year, meaning that the house will grow again in 2014.
(Click here for the complete list and article)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How BookVibe used Twitter to predict the Man Booker Prize winner

The prize has a transformative effect on the careers and finances of literary novelists. Last year’s The Luminaries (Granta) had sold only modestly on its initial publication, but has since gone on to shift 560,000 copies worldwide. Meanwhile, since taking the prize in 2003, Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi (Canongate) has sold 3 million copies, its film adaptation taking more than half-a-billion dollars at the box office. It has changed the fortunes of its publisher along the way. Heady stuff.
Imagine it were possible for publishers and booksellers to tell which are the books that successfully achieve that knife-edge balance between literary accomplishment and commercial success. It could have powerful implication for the publishing industry. And we think it might just be possible to do that by mining the data publicly available on Twitter.
We decided to test this theory
We gathered hundreds of thousands of tweets that mentioned the six books on the Man Booker Prize shortlist. Then we created an algorithm that looked at this data, aggregating what was being said about each book by whom and in what quantity to see if it were possible to use this information to predict the outcome of the prize. And we were surprised at the accuracy of the results.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Starbucks Pick of the Week: S.E. Hinton's 'Rumble Fish'

Ever since Starbucks launched its first digital book Pick of the Week in conjunction with Apple iBooks in September 2011 – an extended sampler of Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus – publishers have tried to leverage the program for both new and backlist titles. But perhaps none has reached quite so far into the backlist as digital publisher Diversion Books, which publishes the e-book of S.E. Hinton’s 40-year-old YA classicRumble Fish, the Oct. 14–20 Starbucks/iBooks Pick of the Week. Mary Cummings, v-p and editorial director of Diversion, says, “We think Rumble Fish can help a new generation of readers discover one of the most important young adult authors of all time. And we hope the offer will inspire longtime Hinton fans to reconnect with the author.”

Link to Library EBook Version

Full article on Publishers weekly

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Neil Gaiman On the Value of Scary Stories

Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman sat with TOON Books publisher Fran├žoise Mouly and Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman to discuss his new graphic novelHansel and Gretel. The video embedded above features the entire conversation.
Gaiman confesses that the “Hansel and Gretel” fairy tale really frightens him, but he does believe that children must be exposed to dark stories. Gaiman thinks that “if you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up. I think it is really important to show dark things to kids—and in the showing, to also show that dark things can be beaten, that you have power.”

To watch the video go to here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Keeps Nook Family Up to Date

Posted  by   for the Overdrive Blog.
I’m sitting here at my desk, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab® 4 Nook® is dropped into my lap. I cast my mind back to recent history and remember that Barnes & Noble left the tablet game, looking to find another way to have Nook tablets distributed. Enter Samsung, and the new Galaxy Nook.
To break it down simply, it appears that Barnes & Noble approached Samsung, who repurposed the Galaxy Tab 4 – the Galaxy Tab closest in scale to the average book – and gave us the future of the Nook tablet. At the heart of the device, it’s still an Android tablet – running the most current version of the operating system. I’m not going to spend any time going over the specs with you, because you can see them for yourself here. What I want to talk about is how Samsung has improved upon the idea of the Nook Tablet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Literary Tourism: New Bedford, MA

Sperm Whale FinNew Bedford, MA, you say? Where’s that? Well if you’ve read half as much about the New England whaling industry as I have, you’d know. While Ishmael may leave Manhattan Island in “Loomings,” Moby-Dick‘s narrator is heading for Massachusetts—and while he hopes to go to Nantucket, he ends up stuck in New Bedford for a weekend, and ultimately ends up sailing from there. But there’s no reason to be as depressed as Ishmael is to have missed the packet to Nantucket, because New Bedford is an awesome literary place in its own right.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum
Not only does the New Bedford Whaling Museum feature enough art and artifacts to teach the uninitiated what a try-works is or how whaling changed both before and after Melville’s time, but it also has some especially interesting tidbits of New England history you might not be familiar with. If you’re wondering why the New Bedford area has so many Portuguese-style food options, you may find your answer in an exhibit on how the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian communities developed very early in this location due to whaling.
You can also visit the last remaining wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NYPL Celebrates Ntozake Shange Play With a Schomburg Center Exhibit

The New York Public Library is hosting the “i found god in myself” exhibit in honor of Ntozake Shange’s play, for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf. This exhibit was organized to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the piece’s premiere performance.
Ntozake ShangeIt opened on September 19, 2014 and will run until January 03, 2015. Patrons will be able to find it at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Shange herself (pictured, via) will give a talk at the Schomburg Center on October 15, 2014.
Here’s more about the exhibition: “Turning to the choreopoem not simply as an engaging work of text or drama but as a well of social, political and deeply personal issues affecting the lives of women of color, the exhibition will feature 20 specially commissioned pieces in honor of each individual poem, additional non-commissioned artworks on display at satellite locations that address the work’s themes and archival material donated by Shange. The exhibition’s title is drawn from one of the last lines recited in the finale poem a laying on of hands.”