Tag: reviews

High praise greeted Riverhead’s publication of Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States on Tuesday (10/20). Celebrated for her ability to tell a “story in the most fascinating way possible ” (Paste), Vowell adeptly balances equal parts “laugh-out-loud humor and her characteristic snark” (Washington Post) with “intensive research and historical insight” (Huffington Post). NPR.org raves: “at once light-footed and light-hearted, her histories are — dare I say it — fun… Vowell emerges from the Revolutionary War with an unabashed smile on her face. I’d be surprised if her reader doesn’t, too.” Featured in Time (“informative, funny and insightful.”), The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Mental Floss, USA Today (“Vowell takes on American history as only she can”), and more.  Vowell kicked off her tour with full houses in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, with big venue stops to come in Washington, DC, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Austin, and Los Angeles. Hear her on Marketplace Weekend, Dinner Party Download, Slate’s The Gist, with much more to come.
A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy (Blue Rider Press) is continuing to garner rave reviews and accolades. Patrick is being thanked for his courage in speaking out about his own struggle, battling stigmas that challenge millions, shedding light on issues that badly need it, and offering real solutions. In the coming weeks he will be on Dr. Oz, Charlie Rose, and C-SPAN Afterwords, with more press coming in every day.
Media is going mad for Elvis Costello’s new memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, which went on sale from Blue Rider Press on Tuesday (10/13).  Here are excerpts from a selection of the rave reviews that continue to roll in: NPR Books: “Writers like Costello because he’s always taken writing seriously. That’s obvious to anyone who pays attention to his lyrics, and it’s even more apparent to anyone who reads Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, his charming new autobiography. The book is refreshingly free of salacious gossip and needless name-dropping; it’s an intelligent self-assessment from a musician who went from angry young man to elder statesman of pop.”– Michael Schaub   The New York Times:  “It’s streaked with some of the best writing – funny, strange, spiteful, anguished – we’ve ever had from an important musician.” – Dwight Garner New York Magazine: “…one of music’s wittiest, smartest, and most perceptive lyricists, Costello has done his legacy proud with his new book…” Rolling Stone: “[Unfaithful Music] is truly remarkable in the way it presents a riveting, honest portrait of the author and the many A-listers he’s tread the boards with, while ricocheting through the years at an almost breathless pace.” – Jeff Slate  
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Viking) debuts at #12 on The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list for the week of October 25th.Geraldine has appeared for interviews on NPR / “Weekend Edition”  and  NPR / “Diane Rehm Show”  and  rave reviews of The Secret Chord ran in San Francisco Chronicle, NPR.org, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer and other outlets. Geraldine is currently on a 20-city book tour, which runs through November, and Viking expects more great publicity to come.
Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut's Windlass, the first book in the new steampunk series The Cinder Spires, will debut at #5 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction list, #7 on the eBook Fiction, and #6 on the Combined Print & eBook Fiction lists the week of October 18th.The book also hit the top ten on the USA Today list the week of October 8th.  In addition to wall-to-wall coverage on major science fiction/fantasy websites, Butcher hit the road for a bookstore tour of standing-room–only crowds of 300+ at events across the country.
What a week it’s been for Jojo Moyes and After You, which officially debuts at #3 on the October 18th New York Times Hardcover Fiction and Combined Print & eBook Fiction bestseller lists. The book also debuts at #4 on this week’s USA Today bestseller list.  This great news comes on the heels of a wave of amazing press and jam-packed events. NPR’s Fresh Air ran an absolute rave review from Maureen Corrigan last Thursday, saying “After You is a more muted, riskier novel than its predecessor. Think Elizabeth Bennet after Darcy’s eventual death; Alice after Gertrude; Wilbur after Charlotte. The “aftermath” is a subject most writers understandably avoid, but Moyes has tackled it and given readers an affecting, even entertaining female adventure tale about a broken heroine who ultimately rouses herself and falls in love again, this time with the possibilities in her own future.” And NPR.org ran a second review on their website over the weekend, saying “In all of her books, Moyes peers deftly into class issues, social mores and complicated relationships that raise as many questions as they answer. And yet, there is always resolution. It’s not always easy, it’s not always perfect, it’s sometimes messy and not completely satisfying. But sometimes it is.”  Slate posted a fantastic examination of After You and the notion of happy endings, and praises Moyes:  “After You isn’t as ruthless as Me Before You, but Moyes is a master of the wavering possibilities of good enough, and is always aware of the limits that sometimes make even good enough impossible.” Moyes finished her US tour this week with a sold-out luncheon with Warwick’s and a huge event at their store that night. Jojo drew crowds over 300-400+ at almost all of her events, making this tour her biggest yet and giving Pamela Dorman Books a lot to celebrate!
The highly anticipated self-help book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, which went on sale from Riverhead last week, debuts as a #1 New York Times bestseller (entering at #1 on the Advice, Hot-To and Miscellaneous list) as well as  #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list. PeopleMagazine will feature Liz in their upcoming issue in an incredible spread about her successes as a writer and about “the ripple of inspiration” (Associated Press) readers are sure to find in Big Magic! Liz will also be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on November 4. All of this comes after a wave of attention and rave reviews: The Washington Post writes “Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book” and Marie Claire advises: “Consider her your own personal life coach”. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post declares: “Elizabeth Gilbert is my new spirit animal”, and Flavorwire calls Big Magic “transformative and valuable.”
An incredible New York Times review of Mystery Train titled “Just a Book? No, More Like a Trusty Companion” appeared on the front page of The New York Times Book Review on September 1. Reviewer Dwight Garner gushes on about Greil Marcus’s writing as having “the soul to match his erudition” and calls Mystery Train, the sixth edition published by Plume, “among the few works of criticism that can move me to something close to tears.” Check out the full New York Times review for reasons why Garner calls it the book he wishes he could read again for the first time! Start Reading an Excerpt!

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On Tuesday, Riverhead Books celebrated the publication of The Wind in the Reeds, a memoir about recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina by acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce from HBO’s The Wire and Treme. This “poignant” (Salon) and “uplifting memoir” (O Magazine) about art’s transformative role in the face of disaster reveals Pierce to be “as adept a storyteller as he is an actor” (Essence).  The Wind in the Reeds has been covered in major print publications such as O! The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Hemispheres and Vanity Fair. Pierce has appeared on national TV and radio outlets including Democracy Now! and NPR’sWeekend All Things Considered. He tells Arun Rath on his choice to return to his hometown for his role in New Orleans-based series Treme: “I needed to be home… I saw the power that a television show — a piece of writing and a piece of acting, and most importantly the music— moved people to… some sort of meaning to the disaster, remembering what was important to them and why they were fighting so hard to bring their city back.” Pierce will be on tour with multiple events in Los Angeles and New York, as well as New Orleans, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Nashville’s Southern Festival of Books, Austin’s Texas Book Festival, San Francisco, and Chicago’s Humanities Festival. Start Reading an Excerpt!
In reference to the year she spent journeying with the Fulani in Africa, the world’s largest remaining nomadic group, the Christian Science Monitor praises Anna Badkhen’s gift as a “storyteller able to render the strange and different both familiar and engrossing… She observes and documents personalities and relationships, animals and seasons, and her own experiences in a foreign land with a great deal of thought and care.” Biographile raves that “Badkhen is capable of writing staggeringly vivid passages that set scenes marvelously…. The prose and the images are vivid, poetic, and tactile.”  In Walking With Abel, which Riverhead published on August 4, Anna accompanies a Fulani family on their migration across the Sahara, and learns about how political, social, and agricultural changes are affecting their centuries-old way of life. Anna shows how “[The Fulani] live in the here and now in ways the modern world has lost even the memory of” (BookPage) in a book that is being praised for its “graceful prose” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) and “beautiful passages” (Boston Globe). Badkhen also appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, and answered questions from Fulani-American callers. To celebrate the publication of WALKING WITH ABEL, Badkhen spoke at PENN Center on August 4 with food catered by Fulani-owned restaurant Kilimandjaro, and again on August 6 with Chris Beha (Harper’s Magazine) at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Badkhen will continue touring in Texas, Atlanta, and upstate New York.