I was on vacation last week, hence the sparse updates on the world of books. I did spend a pleasant chunk of the week reading: A wonderful Deborah Crombie mystery set in England, Water Like a Stone, which is the equivalent of a comfort read and highly entertaining; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a terrific, funny and moving series of short stories linked by the prickly, persnickety Olive of Crosby, Maine; and Robert Goolnick's immensely enjoyable debut novel A Reliable Wife, which Herald reviewer and Friend of the Blog Amy Canfield wrote is "jam-packed with delicious twists, turns and surprises from beginning to end." I can tell you this: It'll make a great movie, though I am not yet sold on Amy's desire to have Nicole Kidman play the wife in question.
I also finished listening to Philipp Meyer's American Rust on audiobook, which I can also recommend. I liked it so much I wish it hadn't ended quite so soon as it did.
Dutton announced that it will publish John Grisham's first series of books for kids. Due out May 25 is No. 1, entitled Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, about a 13-year-old legal whiz. The second comes out in 2011. The books are aimed at a middle school readership.
USA Today reported that the film version of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief has boosted sales of Rick Riordan's series. Last week all five books were in USA Today's top 10, something that hadn't happened for Riordan before.
Publisher's Weekly reported that e-books have been a boon to at least 13 publishers: The Association of American Publishers says that sales jumped 176.6 percent - that's not a typo - to $169.5 million in 2009.