Michael Lewis Books Trading Fast
The perennial bestselling author skewers high-frequency trading
Who else but Michael Lewis (Moneyball) can spin captivating prose out of “rebate arbitrage” and “electronic front running”? Bounding onto our Hardcover Nonfiction list at #1 and selling 55,528 copies in its first week (40,000 more than the runner-up, Women of Duck Commander), Lewis’s Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt examines the rise of electronic stock exchanges and the resulting scams. Aided by banks and brokerages, high-frequency traders use fast data links to get ahead-of-the-curve information on trades, which they then use to their advantage. Lewis’s protagonists include a colorful crew of Wall Street players—led by Canadian Brad Katsuyama—who set up their own exchange, aimed at curbing high-speed exploitation. In a starred review, PW praised Lewis for “his usual superb job explicating the inexplicable in [a] lucid, absorbing account of the crossroads of high-tech data transfer and byzantine market strategies, where milliseconds of signaling speed yield billions in profits.” Naturally, Sony Pictures is nearing a movie-rights deal, with Scott Rudin and Eli Bush producing. According to Bloomberg News, on April 1, the FBI began investigating the legality of high-frequency trading. Lewis launched his press tour with an interview on 60 Minutes by Steve Kroft, followed by interviews on NBC’s Today Show, NPR’s Fresh Air, Comedy Central’s Daily Show, PBS’s Charlie Rose, PBS’s NewsHour, and many other programs. His events in Seattle at Town Hall and in Washington, D.C., at George Washington University, sponsored by Politics & Prose, drew crowds. His latest appearances included an interview conducted by his wife, former MTV News anchor Tabitha Soren, at City Arts and Lectures in San Francisco, and an interview with Malcolm Gladwell in Los Angeles for Live Talks. —Jessamine Chan
Barr’s ‘Angel’ Creates Bestseller
Harrowing tale on Iron Range abduction draws her fans
Nevada Barr’s Destroyer Angel, the 18th mystery featuring National Park Service ranger Anne Pigeon, debuts at #12 on our Hardcover Fiction list.
While on a camping trip in Minnesota’s Iron Range, Anna heads away from her group for a moment to spend some time alone in the wild; while she does so, the group she left behind—including the wealthy designer of outdoor equipment and a paraplegic testing out a specialized off-road wheelchair, plus each of their daughters—is approached by four armed men, intending to take them hostage. The mysterious captors march the group through the wilderness to an airplane; but Anna is never far behind, and while she may not be armed, she has the advantage of knowing how to survive in the wilderness—and how to stalk one’s prey.
Barr, a novelist, actor, and painter, has put her own experience as a National Park Service ranger to repeated good use. She currently lives with her husband in New Orleans.
“Nevada Barr’s success with Destroyer Angel is not just a testament to a good writer, a good character, and a good story, but to good fans, who flocked by the hundreds to her often standing-room-only book tour events,” said Andrew Martin, v-p, publisher, Minotaur Books. “After 20 years of Anna Pigeon, this was her best tour yet—in just eight days, she did more than 10 events in places including Minnesota, Chicago, and Michigan—hitting mystery bookstores, general independents, national chains, regional distributors, and libraries.” —Peter Cannon
Wimpy Kid, All Month Long
Abrams/Amulet is celebrating its first-ever Wimpy Kid Month in April, which will become an annual event. The campaign culminates with the cover, color, and title reveal for Jeff Kinney’s ninth book in his bestselling series, to be published November 4. Wimpy Kid Month will feature retail promotions and authorless events in bookstores across the country. In addition, Kinney will make appearances throughout the month. The cover and title reveal for Wimpy Kid #9 will occur during a live global webcast on April 28 at 9 a.m. EST, at www.wimpykid.com. There are more than 120 million copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in print. The most recent title in the series, Hard Luck, was the bestselling book in the country last year, with more than three million copies sold. —Sally Lodge
They’ve Got Her Under Their Skin
Mary Higgins Clark endures as a favorite
Mary Higgins Clark is making the rounds, with television appearances last week on the Today Show, CNBC’s Closing Bell, and Good Day New York, so it’s no wonder that her latest suspense novel, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, has sold 32,390 copies to date at outlets tracked by Nielsen BookScan. It also debuted this week at the #1 spot on our Hardcover Fiction list.
I’ve Got You Under My Skin is classic Clark: believable characters and a plot with plenty of twists and turns that will keep readers on the edges of their seats. When Laurie Moran’s husband was shot dead, their young son was the only witness. He also relayed a message to Laurie from the killer saying that she was next. Five years later, Laurie is the producer of a true-crime, cold-case television series that is launching with the reenactment of a 20-year-old unsolved murder. Unknown to Laurie, her husband’s killer inserts himself into the scene, and two seemingly unrelated murders threaten to overlap because of a third: hers.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Clark’s professional relationship with Simon & Schuster. In 1974, Clark signed a $3,000 contract with the publisher that included a $1,500 advance for an as-yet-untitled novel, which subsequently became Where Are the Children?—her first bestseller. Since then, Clark has written 45 books, all bestsellers. When other publishers have approached Clark, she says, her response has been, “Many thanks, sir, but I’ll dance with the fellow who brung me.”
Clark will visit eight East Coast cities this spring and summer to promote I’ve Got You Under My Skin; her tour includes a stop at the Javits Center during BEA. —Claire Kirch