Posted by: billpurdue | July 21, 2009

63 Looking forward ……. and back

According to a selection of new fiction titles compiled by The Bookseller, October will be outstanding for commercial novels, with new books from 17 authors who carry a Nielsen BookScan five-star rating. Nielsen Bookscan collects retail sales information from point of sale systems in more than 20,000 bookshops around the world, according to its website, so it’s in a fairly unique position  to be able to show which are the bestselling authors. These five star authors include James Patterson, Robert Harris, Kate Mosse, Patricia Cornwell, Martina Cole, Cecelia Ahern, Bernard Cornwell, Eoin Colfer and Terry Pratchett. They follow a ‘literary’ September, with Nick Hornby, Sebastian Faulks and Margaret Atwood, as well as “Dan Brown day” on 15th September, when the sequel to The Da Vinci Code will be published. It’s called The Lost Symbol [Transworld £18.99 978-0593054277] and very little is being given away in advance, but read this Guardian article about him by Alison Flood. Half price discounts are already being advertised.

The sudden death of Michael Jackson, as you might expect, prompted the instant publication of a t least three biographical tomes. They were released on July 17th – the publishers must have been preparing for this event;

UnmaskedUnmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson by Ian Halperin [Simon and Schuster £10 978-1847377951] and Michael Jackson – Legend, Hero, Icon: A Tribute to the King of Pop by James Aldis, [Harpercollins £12.99 978-0007339839] where you can discover how to do the moonwalk on page 96! There’s also Michael Jackson: Life of a Legend by Micheal Heatley [ Headline £17.99 978-0755360536] It pays to beware of instant publications of this type: the sole review (so far) on Amazon of the Halperin book begins “This book is not well written”, but I’ve seen a favourable review of the last mentioned title.

There has been a good deal about the anniversary of the first moon landing in the media recently. Can you remember what you were doing when it happened? I remember that it was the night before the first day of my very first job (in Coventry City Libraries), so I thought it best to have an early night. Pity. Of course several books have just been published to coincide with this anniversary and at least one more is due next month. Here’s just a selection:

51tk4njhJDL._SL160_AA115_The Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Photographic Retrospective [ Specialty Press (US) £17.99 978-1580071482] “provides complete photographic coverage of the Apollo 11 mission, from training, through launch, to the historic moon walk, to recovery in the Pacific”.

The Rocket’s Trail: The Untold Horror Story Behind the First Moon Landing [Arena Books £12.99 978-1906791308] is a novel by Nick Snow which “dramatises the hidden history behind America’s victory in the Space Race and how Cold War Warriors went to extreme lengths to cover it up”

Apollo 11: The Moon Landing Logbook [Sterling $14.95 (£10.06 approx) 978-1402769795] – a book for children with stickers, but adults might also like it.
Seventh LandingThe Seventh Landing : going back to the Moon , this time to stay [Springer £19.99 978-0387938806, published next month ] is by Michael Carroll. This is more about the future than the past as it “reveals the very latest strategies for how we’ll get to the Moon, what we know today, what we want to find out, and what life will be like at the first true outposts on the Moon and Mars”.

Next time – don’t know what to read next? There are websites to help.

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