Hot Books Start With ‘Hot House’

Andrew AlbaneseWith more books appearing every day, finding a book that’s worth the money and time it takes to read becomes a challenge. The publishing business worries over this as much as readers do, and they’ve taken to talking frantically at conferences about “discoverability.” For Publishers Weekly’s upcoming issue, staff writers come to the rescue with their “staff picks” special, and PW senior writer Andrew Albanese shares his favorite with CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

“Boris Kachka’s Hot House tells the story of Roger Straus, legendary publisher at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Everything told me that this book couldn’t work when I first spoke to Boris about it at the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair,” he says. “At best, it would make a sleepy little book, I thought – too insider. Who cares about book publishing, right ? But the books is dishy, yet expertly researched, and beautifully written. It rises to the level of a great cultural history.”

Earlier this week, Albanese also notes, Hachette announced it would once again make its catalog of e-books available for sale to libraries. “I think the bigger news is that there is now robust competition for e-book lending services,” he says. “Competition can only benefit the library e-book market.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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