by Bob Minzesheimer)
New Lu: Marie Lu broke into the young-adult world with her debut dystopian Legend series, yet she turns toward fantasy for her next phase. With a cover seen here exclusively for the first time, The Young Elites — out Oct. 7 from Penguin — stars Adelina Amouteru, a survivor of a blood plague who is distinctive thanks to a nasty scar and snow-white hair. She's expelled from her family, yet Adelina finds a new home with the secret society of Young Elites. While some see them as heroes out to save innocents, to others they're demonically powered monsters who need to be brought to justice — and Adelina may be the one girl who brings real chaos to a land full of magic and politics. The new series is a cross between X-Men comics and the Assassin's Creed video-game franchise, Lu says. "It chronicles a good person's downfall into becoming a villain, and I think this cover conveys that beautifully. The ominous clouds, the light vs. the dark, the dagger, and the bold title all work together so well. I'm in love with it." – Brian Truitt
'Flash' point: Michael Lewis' Flash Boys, his latest Wall Street newsmaker, lands at No. 3 on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, behind Veronica Roth, with the top two spots. That's Lewis' highest debut and highest ranking on the list. The Big Short made it to No. 5 in 2010. Lewis' new book, which looks at high-frequency trading, was released March 31 and sold 135,000 copies (print and digital) its first week, publisher W.W. Norton reports. Sales have been helped by media attention from 60 Minutes, NPR, Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Charlie Rose on PBS. – Jocelyn McClurg
'Dirty Daddy' goes clean: Without using a single word that can't be printed in a family newspaper, Bob Saget answered my questions about his new memoir, Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian, published by It Books.
National Book Festival: The Library of Congress has announced an all-star literary lineup, including Kate DiCamillo, Cokie Roberts and Billy Collins, for the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30. Events, free and open to all, include a discussion of "Great Books to Great Movies." Details are at loc.gov/bookfest/
Audie finalists: The three finalists for the Audio Publishers Association's Audie Award (for audiobook of 2013) are: Still Foolin' 'Em, written and narrated by Billy Crystal; The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibin, narrated by Meryl Streep; The Things They Carried; by Tim O'Brien, narrated by Bryan Cranston. I gave Crystal's memoir 3 stars (out of 4) in a review and wrote, "If you like the book, you'll love the audio. Seven chapters were recorded live by Crystal at an NYU fundraiser. Not many books come with their own laugh tracks."
Willy Wonka at 50: Publisher Penguin celebrated the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's kids' classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a kid-friendly party Wednesday night at Dylan's Candy Bar, an upscale candy store in Manhattan. (Kids got candy and ice cream; grown-ups chocolate martinis.) A new cover for the book notes its "50 whipple-scrumptious years." At the party, Nestle previewed a new frozen dessert, Wonka Peel-a-Pops, which look and peel like bananas. Food review: My daughter, 13, a picky eater but an avid reader, liked the vanilla center, but not the jelly-like peel. USA TODAY's Whitney Matheson (Pop Candy) recently spoke with Dahl's grandson, Luke Kelly.
Mary Cheever dies: The widow of novelist and short story master John Cheever and the mother of two writers (Benjamin and Susan Cheever), Mary Cheever, has died at 95 at her home in Ossining, N.Y. She was a poet and professor whose relationship with her husband, The New York Times writes, was "as complex as those he wrote about in his prizewinning short stories and novels." That's described in Blake Bailey's 2009 biography, Cheever: A Life, which USA TODAY's Deirdre Donahue noted is filled with "the joyless minutiae of Cheever's personal life" which "swamps the book, drowning his career as a writer."
You can follow USA TODAY's book reporter and reviewer, Bob Minzesheimer, on twitter: @bookbobminz