This Week's Book Buzz

It’s a People pick. It was No. 4 in the Amazon rankings as of Friday afternoon and one of its Best Books of the Month. It also rated a lead review in Entertainment Weekly (though it got just a B), and it’s cracked the top 20 at the Barnes & Noble site. And it’s not officially available until November 16.
It’s Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Random. ISBN 9781400064168. $27), and remember you heard it from us first. Not only was Unbroken a Prepub pick but it was highlighted at the Editors’ Picks panel at LJ‘s Day of Dialog at BEA by Jennifer Hershey, Senior VP and editor-in-chief of Ballantine Bantam Dell.
The story of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic athlete turned B-24 crewman who survived 47 days floating on a raft in the Pacific, seems to have struck a nerve. Our reviewer demurred, pointing out that Zamperini’s autobiography is still available (Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian’s Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II. Harper Paperbacks. pap. $13.95). But the Hillenbrand name, linked forever with Seabiscuit, seems to be magic.
Other books that are available and doing well include Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s Towers of Midnight (Tor. ISBN 9780765325945. $29.99.), Book 13 of the Wheel of Time fantasy series. That book leapt out of the gate on November 2 and without much ado landed in the top spot on the New York Times fiction best sellers list.
Also debuting on the list: Dennis Lehane’s Moonlight Mile, which came in at No. 6. Booksellers love Moonlight; it’s a No. 1 Indie Next Pick for November and an Amazon Best Book of the month as well. LJ‘s reviewer, book review editor Wilda Williams, noted a few false notes but agreed that the ending made perfect sense (LJ 9/15/10). Perfect sense for every thriller collection, for sure.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.