BOOK NOTES: More book news, Jan. 19, 2013

By Mary Louise Ruehr Published:

Author James Renner will visit book club at Kent Free Library

The Kent Free Library's Mystery Monday Book Club will have a special guest at its next meeting: James Renner, author of "The Man from Primrose Lane," the club's title for January.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in the library's second-floor meeting room. No registration is required.

Set in Akron, the novel tells the story of a depressed writer investigating his wife's suicide and the murder of a neighborhood hermit, only to discover that there may be surprising connections between the two deaths.

This will be Renner's second visit to the Kent Free Library.

Copies of the book are available at the library's check-out desk.

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Best-Sellers

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. "A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan (Tor)

2. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

3. "The Husband List" by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's)

4. "Collateral Damage" by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

5. "Kinsey and Me: Stories" by Sue Grafton (Putnam/Marian Wood)

6. "Tenth of December: Stories" by George Saunders (Random House)

7. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

8. "The Blood Gospel" by James Rollins (William Morrow)

9. "Cross Roads" by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

10. "Threat Vector" by Tom Clancy (Putnam)

11. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

12. "Empire and Honor" by W.E.B. Griffin and William Butterworth IV (Putnam Adult)

13. "Dream Eyes" by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam)

14. "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis (Knopf)

15. "Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. "Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes" by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin's Press)

2. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly (Henry Holt and Co.)

3. "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central)

4. "Ninja Innovation" by Gary Shapiro (William Morrow)

5. "My Share of the Task" by Stanley McChrystal (Portfolio)

6. "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

7. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen (Dutton)

8. "The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days" by J.J. Virgin (Harlequin)

9. "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak" by Joel Osteen (Faith/Words)

10. "Wheat Belly Cookbook" by William Davis (Rodale)

11. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham (Random House)

12. "The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies" by Jared Diamond (Viking)

13. "The End of Diabetes" by Joel Fuhrman (HarperOne)

14. "Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook" by Weight Watchers (Wiley)

15. "Fat Chance" by Robert Lustig (Hudson Street Press)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. "Odd Interlude" by Dean Koontz (Bantam)

2. "The Columbus Affair: A Novel" by Steve Berry (Ballantine)

3. "Return to Sender" by Fern Michaels (Zebra)

4. "Big Sky River" by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin HQN)

5. "10th Anniversary" by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (Vision)

6. "Montana" by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

7. "Catch Me: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel" by Lisa Gardner (Signet)

8. "Full House" by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's Press)

9. "Left for Dead: A Novel" by J.A. Jance (Pocket Books)

10. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Choke Point" by Peter Telep (Berkley)

11. "Sea Glass Winter: A Shelter Bay Novel" by JoAnn Ross (Signet)

12. "Safe Haven" by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

13. "Wyoming Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel" by Joan Johnston (Dell)

14. "After Tex" by Sherryl Woods (Harlequin Mira)

15. "Kill Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Vision)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James (Vintage)

3. "Fifty Shades Darker" by E.L. James (Vintage)

4. "Fifty Shades Freed" by E.L. James (Vintage)

5. "Home Front" by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Griffin)

6. "Private London" by James Patterson (Grand Central Publishing)

7. "Death Comes to Pemberley" by P.D. James (Vintage)

8. "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain (Ballantine)

9. "Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel" by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

10. "The Hobbit, Or There and Back Again" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books)

11. "Safe Haven" by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

12. "Do More, Spend Less" by Brad Wilson (Wiley)

13. "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel (Mariner Books)

14. "Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel" by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

15. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

FICTION

1. "A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (TorBooks)

2. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

3. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

4. "The Husband List" by Janet Evanovich, Dorien Kelly (St. Martin's Press)

5. "Collateral Damage" by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

6. "Kinsey and Me" by Sue Grafton (Marian Wood Book)

7. "Tenth of December" by George Saunders (Random House)

8. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

9. "The Blood Gospel" by James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow & Co.)

10. "Cross Roads" by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

NONFICTION

1. "Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes" by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin's Press)

2. "Jesus Calling: Enjoy Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

3. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

5. "StrengthsFinder 2.0" by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

6. "Ninja Innovation" by Gary Shapiro (William Morrow & Co.)

7. "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

8. "My Share of the Task" by Stanley McChrystal (Portfolio)

9. "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

10. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Dutton Books)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. "Hopeless" by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

2. "Safe Haven" by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

3. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

4. "The Beggar King" by Oliver Potzsch (AmazonCrossing)

5. "The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden" by Jessica Sorensen (Jessica Sorensen)

6. "Up to Me" by M. Leighton (M. Leighton)

7. "Someone to Love" by Addison Moore (Addison Moore)

8. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James (Vintage Books)

9. "Collateral Damage" by Stuart Woods (Penguin Group)

10. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. "Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes" by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin's Press)

3. "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

4. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

5. "An Invisible Thread" by Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski (Howard Books)

6. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Penguin Group)

7. "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman (Little, Brown)

8. "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

9. "My Share of the Task" by Stanley McChrystal (Penguin Group)

10. "Fat Chance" by Robert H. Lustig (Penguin Group)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

1. "A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (Tor)

2. "Safe Haven" by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

3. "Hopeless" by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

4. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

5. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

6. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James (Vintage)

7. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

8. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

9. "Collateral Damage" by Stuart Woods (Putnam Adult)

10. "Fifty Shades Darker" by E.L. James (Vintage)

11. "Fifty Shades Freed" by E.L. James (Vintage)

12. "Up to Me" by M. Leighton (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

13. "Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes" by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin's Press)

14. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

15. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky (MTV)

16. "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

17. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

18. "The Husband List" by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly (St. Martin's Press)

19. "Private London" by James Patterson and Mark Pearson (Grand Central Publishing)

20. "Dream Eyes" by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam Adult)

21. "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

22. "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

23. "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

24. "The Blood Gospel" by James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow)

25. "Beautiful Darkness" by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Review: 'The Entertainer' depicts old Hollywood

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press

"The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father's Twentieth Century" (Riverhead), by Margaret Talbot

Part biography and part Hollywood history with a side of Americana, "The Entertainer" might be the most engaging book you're likely to read about a movie star you've never heard of.

Actor Lyle Talbot was indeed a star, in the 1930s, yet it's difficult to pick out a significant film from the two dozen or so he appeared in before he turned mainly to television and the regional stage, performing well into his 80s. Surely, though, he has stories to tell after working with Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, Shirley Temple, Barbara Stanwyck and other screen greats.

While passing along those tales, his daughter Margaret Talbot, a writer for The New Yorker, broadens her scope by linking her father's life and career to how people sought entertainment in 20th-century America and the kinds of characters who provided it.

Lyle Talbot (1902-1996) was raised in tiny Brainard, Neb. After a stint with a carnival as a young teenager, he began performing as a hypnotist's assistant -- the act involved a bit of fakery -- and by 18 had his first role in a play. It was almost his last: Instead of delivering a stage punch, he actually knocked out the leading man of the melodrama "Her Other Husband," who was also the co-owner of the company. Talbot accepted a cut in pay in lieu of being fired and eventually was allowed back onstage. Appearing in regional productions and theater troupes, he learned the craft and worked his way to New York.

Even after finding his groove as an actor, Talbot was still a bit of a wide-eyed kid from Nebraska. He was a partygoer and ladies' man, but he was so put off, even frightened, by actress Mae West's in-your-face sexuality that he hid out for a week to avoid joining the road company of "Sex," her latest scandalous play.

Talbot scored a screen test in 1931 at Warner Bros. He chose to perform a scene from "Louder, Please," a Broadway play that, unbeknownst to him, was a scathing parody of Warner production chief Darryl Zanuck. Luckily for Talbot, Zanuck was amused and director William Wellman so enjoyed the idea of tweaking Zanuck, even if unintentionally, that he cast Talbot in his next film on the spot. That led to a slew of movies in the early years of talking pictures.

Talbot's daughter writes less about his famous co-stars than the environment in which they worked. Of particular interest are the so-called pre-Code Hollywood films -- "Three on a Match" and "Heat Lightning" are two of Talbot's -- that were made after the formation of self-censorship rules in 1930 and their actual enforcement in the mid-1930s. Bad guys and girls might go unpunished, crime and other misdeeds paid rather well, a woman might put career ahead of marriage, and sex was often more than suggested.

Margaret Talbot doesn't shy away from considering her father's limitations as a performer. He joined those actors unhappy with the unbridled demands of the studios in founding the Screen Actors Guild, which didn't enamor him with Warner Bros. While good-looking and talented, he lacked the screen presence to become a major star and wasn't clever about nurturing his career. He accepted practically any role, especially from the 1940s on, when he was no longer under contract. That's how he ended up in films directed by cult figure Ed Wood, one of them the infamously awful "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

Lyle Talbot never lost the thrill that came from performing. His daughter provides an endearing and insightful portrait of an actor and a father -- and of a country that always enjoyed the thrill of being entertained.

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New Dan Brown book 'Inferno' debuts in May

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new Dan Brown novel is coming in May, and the subject is Dante.

Doubleday announced Tuesday that Brown's book is called "Inferno," named for Dante's epic journey in verse. Brown again will feature Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the protagonist for his blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" and for the million-selling follow-up "The Lost Symbol." The book might seem familiar in other ways, as Brown again takes on a masterpiece of Western civilization: "The Da Vinci Code" centered on an iconic painting, the Mona Lisa.

Brown may also be returning to the religious controversies of "The Da Vinci Code," when he infuriated some Catholics by suggesting that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children. Dante himself was a Catholic who was critical of church leaders.

"Inferno" comes out May 14.

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Junot Diaz is finalist for short story prize

NEW YORK (AP) -- Junot (JOO'-noh) Diaz's "This Is How You Lose Her" is among three finalists for a $20,000 prize for short story collections.

Other nominees announced Tuesday for the Story Prize are Dan Chaon's (shawnz) "Stay Awake" and Claire Vaye Watkins' "Battleborn." The winner will be announced March 13.

Diaz's book was a nominee last fall for the National Book Award.

Organizers of the Story Prize, established in 2004, also announced a new award: the Story Prize Spotlight Award for collections "worthy of additional attention." This year's winner, Krys Lee for "Drifting House," will receive $1,000.

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