EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GalleyChat, Tuesday, July 7, #ewgc

This session of GalleyChat has now ended.

Please join us for the next one, Tuesday, August 4, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

Holds Alert:
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 10.00.32 AMRacing up the Amazon rankings is a book on raising kids that tells parents to stop hovering and take a chill pill.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, who once worked as the Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University, enters the crowded and heated child-rearing fray with How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample).

Published last month, it was featured on the cover of the June 21 NYT Sunday Book Review where reviewer Heather Havrilesky said that its “bleak portrait may just be the Black Hawk Down of helicopter parenting” and went on to link the book to others such as David MuCullough, Jr.’s You Are Not Special and Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun.

The book, excerpted in Slate this week under the catchy headline “Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out,” is also seeing a rise in holds on very conservative ordering.

NPR Offers RA Assistance

Author and NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan, who last month offered a summer reading book list came back to Fresh Air yesterday with four more suggestions, this time suspense novels she says are all “deadly accurate in their aim to entertain.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.58.49 PMFirst up is Innocence; Or, Murder on Steep Street (Soho; OverDrive Sample) by Heda Margolius Kovaly, translated by Alex Zucker. Kovaly is a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and communist rule in Czechoslovakia. She died in 2010, leaving behind a number of works including this novel set in 1950s Prague, just a few years after the close of WWII. It centers on a movie theater usher trying desperately to save her husband who has been imprisoned and accused of espionage. Corrigan says “the great draw is the menacing view it gives us of communist Prague.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.00.29 PMS.J. Watson’s Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), also featured in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, is Corrigan’s second pick. She calls it a “nuanced” and “erotic psychological thriller.” The story follows a woman who falls down the rabbit hole of the “online demimonde.” Corrigan promises readers will never see the end coming.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.02.20 PMThe third pick is Run You Down (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Julia Dahl, (following Dahl’s Edgar-nominated debut, Invisible City). It again features the reporter Rebekah Roberts as the central character, who is once again drawn into the world of Hasidic Jews – this time when she starts poking into the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Roseville, N.Y. where a woman has been found dead in a bathtub. Corrigan ends her summary with this useful take: “Though the plot becomes a bit formulaic at the end, Dahl is an evocative writer, never more so than when she’s describing the nascent yearnings of those younger members of that religious community — gay, vaguely feminist, simply different — who can’t quite fit in, but can’t quite leave.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.02.52 PMClosing out her picks is The Last Taxi Ride (Macmillan/Minotaur; OverDrive Sample) by A.X. Ahmad, the follow-up to The Caretaker. Here Ranjit Singh, an ex-army captain and Sikh immigrant from India, has become a taxi driver and is accused of murdering a Bollywood film icon. In her summary of what it feels like to read the book Corrigan offers the very high praise, that in a period when “we’ve lost both P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, it’s cheering to stumble upon an emerging detective like Ranjit, who feels utterly authentic and original.”

Stewart Countdown

It’s less than a month until Jon Stewart signs off from the Daily Show on August 6. You can binge on the show via the Web site “Your Month of Zen.”

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Stewart is beloved in the book industry for the number of serious books he has featured and his ability to sell them to his audience.

In the first years of the show, however, Stewart rarely featured authors and when the did, they were celebrities. The first was Joy Behar who stopped by as part of her book tour for Joy Shtick. That same year Stewart interviewed Donny Osmond for his memoir Life Is Just What You Make It.

It wasn’t until two years later that he featured his first political books, both of them satirical, P. J. O’Rourke‘s The CEO of the SOFA and Jeff Greenfield’s  Oh, Waiter, One Order of Crow!

As he predicted at the time, 9/11 changed the course of the show, and that included featuring authors on more serious political issues. His first guest after 9/11 was New York Times columnist, Frank Rich. In the next year, he began to hit his stride, starting with Sebastian Junger in January discussing his Vanity Fair article on Afghanistan (later expanded into the 2010 book War).

On a lighter note that year, he interviewed author Elmore Leonard for his book Tishomingo Blues (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2002) and clearly had a good time watching Leonard steal the show.

GO SET A WATCHMAN, Sneak Peek

Go Set a WatchmanThe Wall Street Journal will post the first chapter of Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman, plus a sample of Reese Witherspoon reading the audiobook, this Friday, four days in advance of the book’s publication. In the U.K., the excerpts will be published by the Guardian.

The chapter will also be discussed on the WSJ Book Club Facebook page.

For an amusing take on the promotion campaign for the book, check out the discussion between Peter Bart, Variety’s former editor-in-chief and Mike Fleming, also formerly of Variety and now at Deadline. Says Bart,  “How do you sell a (sort of) sequel to the great To Kill a Mockingbird when you have no star to promote it (Gregory Peck is long gone) and Harper Lee, age 89, hasn’t been seen in public in sixty years.”

It may seem hopelessly old-fashioned to the Hollywood crowd, but, according to the New York Times, bookstore promotions include “read-a-thons, midnight openings, film screenings, Southern food and discussion groups.”

PP&Z Set Photos

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Set photos have just been released from the film adaptation of the mashup, Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), Entertainment Weekly notes it will be different from “the over-the-top ” Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

Director Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) clearly wants to distance his film from that box office disaster, saying, “The idea was that it was Pride and Prejudice set in this alternate world and then for everyone to play it straight … The movie’s big wink is that there is no big wink.”

PP&Z stars the currently hot actress Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) as Elizabeth Bennett, with Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy. It is scheduled to hit screens on Feb. 5, 2016.

A tie-in is scheduled for December:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith
Quirk Books: December 15, 2015
Trade Paperback; 9781594748899, 1594748896
$14.95 USD, $16.95 CAD

For more books to movies and TV, see our list of upcoming book adaptations, as well as our list of tie-ins.

An UNFORTUNATE Teaser

This tantalizing trailer was posted on YouTube yesterday:

Unfortunately, it seems it’s a hoax, Variety reports that a Netflix spokesperson says the company had nothing to do with it. They also report that “The video in the fake trailer appears to be from the 2004 movie adaptation starring Jim Carrey, while the song is an excerpt of Missed Me by the Dresden Dolls, a Boston-based ‘punk cabaret’ duo.”

Netflix announced last November that they plan to adapt Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket books, but there’s been no news since.

Crime Report

9781476795553_70309This week’s NYT Sunday Book Review offers a rundown of crime stories starting with Joseph Finder’s review of Sascha Arango’s The Truth and Other Lies (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is an antihero novel about a man pretending to write the very successful crime novels his wife actually pens.

After pointing out that “we’re in something of a golden age of the sociopathic antihero, on the page and on screen, from Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter to the passionate borderlines of Gillian ­Flynn and Paula Hawkins,” Finder calls this a strong example of the genre:

Arango, a German television writer, has constructed a clever plot that always surprises, told with dark humor and dry wit and bustling with aperçus that show no signs of jet lag from Imogen Taylor’s clean translation.

Trade reviews are very strong and it is a July Indie Next pick.

Reviewer Marilyn Stasio’s crime roundup column in the same issue highlights four further titles.

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.44.57 PMLeah Stewart returns to her suspense roots in The New Neighbor (S&S/Touchstone; Dreamscape; OverDrive Sample). The secret-filled novel centers on two reclusive women who begin a fraught relationship after they exchange grudging waves from the decks of their isolated houses. As the story unfolds, Margaret, an abrasive 90-year-old, decides to play detective, prying into the past of Jennifer, a much younger woman with a 4-year-old son.

Stasio tantalizingly ends her review with “Stewart never relaxes her tight focus on these complex characters…but even as they begin to break through each other’s defenses, you can’t help thinking it might have been better for Jennifer if she’d never returned that first wave.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.45.31 PMS.J. Watson’s sophomore novel, Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which follows his breakout debut Before I Go To Sleep, is the story of middle-aged and bored Julia who discovers her murdered sister was involved in cybersex. As she investigates further a man who could well be her sister’s killer pulls her into his thrall.

Stasio describes it as “a discreetly sexy novel [that] should have a “Beach Candy” sticker on its cover… [the] romantic suspense story pairs high concept with low literary value. But the plot is a pip.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.46.25 PM Clearly a fan of David Mark, Stasio calls him a “craft-conscious author” and his Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy mysteries “robust police procedurals.” Her review of the newest, Taking Pity (Penguin/Blue Rider Press; OverDrive Sample), in which McAvoy is involved in two cases, a mass murder from 1966 and a present day crime ring, offers a strong pitch to start the series now and keep reading until caught up.

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.47.12 PMNot so well received is Tom Wright’s Blackbird (Europa; OverDrive Sample). While praising the style, “Wright is one of those regional authors who can out-sing the birds with his lyrical descriptions of his home place,” Stasio has issues with the plotting, “he keeps running away from his own story.” Still, it is getting great trade reviews and is the follow-up to his well-received debut What Dies In Summer.

GalleyChat, Tuesday, July 7

Join us for GalleyChat to learn what forthcoming books fellow librarians are excited about.

Tuesday, July 7
4 to 5 p.m., EDT
(3:30 for virtual cocktails)

Hashtag #ewgc.

More details here.

A LOT of Titles for RA Gurus, the Week of July 6

It’s a good thing it’s a long weekend, because we have a very long list of titles for you. We suspect that publishers are cramning books into the pipeline before Go Set a Watchman hits shelves the following week.

9781501115639_38cefNext week, the media will be focused on Jimmy Carter’s memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, beginning with  NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow, followed by:

• MSNBC-TV/”Morning Joe,” July 7
• MSNBC-TV/”Hardball with Chris Matthews,” July 7
• CNN-TV/”The Lead with Jake Tapper,” July 8
• NPR-Radio/”Diane Rehm,” July 9
• PBS-TV/”Newshour,” July 9
• Radio Satellite Tour, July 10
• ABC-TV/”This Week,” July 11
• CBS-TV/”CBS This Morning,” week of July 13
AARP Magazine, June/July issue

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The leading titles in holds are Nemesis by Catherine Coulter, (Penguin/Putnam) and Code of Conduct: A Thriller by Brad Thor (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books).

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 7:6:15

Consumer Media Picks

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The Swede, Robert Karjel (Harper)

The publisher clearly thinks this, the Swedish author’s first book in English, is a potential best seller, having spent handsomely for the rights and backing it with a full-page ad in last week’s NYT BR.

Entertainment Weekly featured it as the lede review last week, giving it a strong B+.

The Wall Street Journal interviewsed the author in 2013 whenFox picked up the rights for a TV series, under the headline,”Homeland + The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’= ”

Libraries have ordered it cautiously, however, despite a very strong review in Publishers Weekly, “Filled with rich characterization and unforeseeable twists and revelations, this mesmerizing first in a planned series will leave readers gasping for breath”

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Among the Ten Thousand ThingsJulia Pierpont (Random House)

On Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” for this week at #19, it is also also reviewed in the issue, where it gets a straight A.

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime, Val McDermid, (Grove Press)

On Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of “Brainy & Brilliant Beach Books“– link is to our Edelweiss collection

One Way or Another, Elizabeth Adler, (Macmillan/Minotaur)

On People magazine’s Summer’s Best Beach Books” from last week— link is to our collection on Edelweiss

Peer Picks

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Crooked Heart, Lissa Evans (Harper)

LibraryReads:

Crooked Heart is a rewarding, addictive read. Orphaned ten-year-old bookworm Noel, sent away to rural St. Albans, finds himself under the reluctant guardianship of Vee, aka Mrs. Vera Sledge. Amidst a chaotic background of bombings and uncertain futures, Vee and Noel gradually form a powerful bond. I recommend this darkly humorous, honest, and complex story. It is book club heaven.” — Janet Schneider, Oceanside Library, Oceanside, NY

NOTE: this was also on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist. A movie of the author’s 2009 novel Their Finest Hour and a Half, is in the works with Lone Scherfig directing  (One Day, An Education)

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Maybe in Another Life, Taylor Jenkins Reid (S&S/Washington Square Press, original trade pbk)

Reviewed in People magazine this week, it is also a LibraryReads pick:

“Hannah Martin has just moved back to LA after ending a relationship. Her best friend, Gabby, takes her out to a bar on her first night home. Enter Ethan, the One Who Got Away, and suddenly, Hannah has to decide if she’ll leave with Ethan or Gabby. We follow Hannah after choosing both options, alternating chapters to explore the consequences of each. A must for anyone who loves a hankie with their books!” — Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC

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Those Girls, Chevy Stevens, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)

LibraryReads

Those Girls follows the lives of the Campbell sisters. After running away from their alcoholic father, they find themselves caught in a worse situation when they are kidnapped. As events spiral out of control, they manage to escape and create new lives. This is a tale that will captivate readers and show just how strong the bond between family members can be.” — Annice Sevett, Willmar Public Library, Willmar, Minnesota

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Speak, Louisa Hall, (HarperCollins/Ecco)

Indie Next:

“This is an amazingly complex novel that explores humanity, time, memory, communication, love, and the fear of losing what once was. Introducing five different narratives that at first seem unconnected, Hall creates a shimmering spiderweb of a story: delicately crafted, fragile, and infinitely beautiful, uncovering humanity’s most elusive and abstract thoughts. Hall impresses upon the reader the importance of speaking not just in order to move forward, but also in order to retain the past: ‘They are all in me, in the words that I speak, as long as I am still speaking.’” — Nancy Solberg, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

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Vanishing Games, Roger Hobbs, (RH/Knopf)

GalleyChat, April:

” In 2013 Roger Hobbs had a hit with the first Jack White title, Ghostman, (even Michiko liked it!) and the second one is—if possible—even more intense. Set in the fascinating location of Macau, ‘Jack’ reunites with his mentor, Angela, to find a missing treasure while trying to stay one step ahead of multiple bad guys. Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library (OR), said this is “a fast-paced and thrilling high-stakes caper that is enjoyable from start to finish.”

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The Last Pilot, Benjamin Johncock, (Macmillan/Picador)

Reviewed this week in People (“Ingeniously plotted, deftly written and engrossing”), this is also an Indie Next pick:

“Filled with dialogue that cuts like a knife, The Last Pilot is a riveting time capsule of a novel that tells the gripping story of Jim Harrison, an Air Force test pilot working at NASA during the glory years of the 1950s. The dangers and magnitude of space exploration pale in comparison to Harrison’s life-on-earth challenges — including the death of his young daughter — which haunt and threaten to destroy him. An emotionally raw, riveting read.” —Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

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The Hand That Feeds You, A.J. Rich, (S&S/Scribner)

On both Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer Reading previews as well as and the Wall Street Journal‘s, it got slapped by an absolutely  terrible review from PW., but booksellers went for it an named it an Indie Next pick:

“Morgan is living the good life until the day she returns home to find her fiance mauled to death and her dogs covered in blood. She had rescued her dogs from a shelter, wanting to do something good, and now a man is dead. As time moves forward, the ground under Morgan shifts. She doesn’t understand why her dogs, loving animals, would have done such a thing. And the victim is not all he seemed either — his job, his home, nothing is as he said, and then there is the discovery of other fiances. This edge-of-your-seat mystery has twists and turns that will keep you guessing. A.J. Rich is the pseudonym of award winners Jill Ciment and Amy Hempel, writing as a team.” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books and Music, Sunriver, OR

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The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, Kelli Estes, (Sourcebooks Landmark)

Indie Next:

“In 1886, a young Chinese woman is forced out of the only home she has ever known in Seattle. Liu Mei Lin must overcome prejudices and terror while struggling to keep the traditional beliefs that are close to her heart. On contemporary Orcas Island, Inara deals with an overbearing father who will throw up every roadblock he can to get her to do what he wants. As Inara prepares to turn a family home into a hotel, she finds an embroidered silk sleeve hidden below a stair step. Wanting to learn more about the sleeve and the figures depicted on it, she begins a search to find out more about the woman who made it. This story is compelling, heart-wrenching, and an absolutely beautiful read.” —Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

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Down Among the Dead Men, Peter Lovesey, (Soho Crime)

Indie Next:

“Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond has been called off his current case load to join his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, on an internal investigation. A detective is accused of failing to follow up on DNA evidence that could link her niece to a murder. It’s an ethical violation case, but the evidence came to light three years ago and only now is she being accused. Diamond expects that more is happening than meets the eye. Meanwhile, a teacher from a private girls’ school has gone missing and now the schoolgirl who was looking for her has disappeared as well. It’s going to take a bit of doing to unravel what is happening in Sussex. If you’ve never read an Inspector Diamond book, this one is a great place to start.” —Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, IN – See more at:

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Bell Weather, Dennis Mahoney, (Macmillan/Holt)

)Indie Next:

“Set in a fantastical 18th century world where rain falls up and color storms wash the land with bright hues, Bell Weather is, at its core, the story of a spirited young woman fighting for the freedom to choose her own path. Although Molly tells the townsfolk of Root almost nothing of her past, readers learn about her childhood with an overbearing governess, a cold father, and a brilliant, cunning brother who will stop at nothing to ensure that he and Molly are together and unbridled. Mahoney has created a marvelous world that readers will want to visit again and again.” —Amelia Stymacks, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

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Bull Mountain, Brian Panowich, (Penguin/Putnam)

An Indies Introduce title with as killer quote from Wiley Cash, “Brian Panowich stamps words on the page as if they’ve been blasted from the barrel of a shotgun, and as with a shotgun blast, no one is safe from the scattered fragments of history that impale the people of Bull Mountain.”

Wild Card

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As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew, Jen Chaney, (Touchstone, original trade pbk)

Even with all the titles above, we just had to mention this one. Few libraries have ordered it, but this celebration of the best take ever on Jane Austen is guaranteed to circulate like crazy from the new book shelves.

GO SET A WATCHMAN:
Discovery Story Questioned

Go Set a WatchmanIt seemed that the controversies about the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman had been laid to rest, but this afternoon the New York Times reports that questions have come up about  whether the manuscript was a “stumbled on” last August as had been claimed, or if it was actually discovered in 2011.

The timing is important to those that fear that Lee, now 89 and nearly deaf and blind, was manipulated into agreeing to the book’s publication. In 2011, Lee’s sister and protector Alice was still alive. If the discovery been revealed, she may have taken steps to prevent its publication.

It’s unlikely this will have any impact on the book’s release, set for July 14. The state of Alabama has already ruled against complaints that Lee was coerced and reported that she was in fact happy to hear so many people are interested in reading the book.

SHADOWHUNTERS, The Web Site

Although the movie based on The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, by Cassandra Clare was considered a box office flop, ABC Family thought it could have a new life as a TV series, titled Shadowhunters,

It’s not coming until next year, but fan flames will be kept burning in the just-launched official site ShadowHuntersTV.com.

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New trade paperback editions of the six titles in the series as well as of the 3-part prequel series, Infernal Devices are coming in September.

In March, Clare launches a sequel to the series, beginning with Lady Midnight  (S&S/ Margaret K. McElderry) set five years after the Mortal Instruments.

THE MARTIAN Trailer Bump

Sometimes movie adaptations bring new attention to the books they are based on, and sometimes all it takes it the release of the movie trailer.

USA Today notes that Andy Weir’s debut sci-fi novel, The Martian (RH/Crown), rose to its highest level, #4 on their June 18 best seller list, following the tailer’s debut. This week, it is still in the top ten, at #9.

The tie-in features a closeup of Matt Damon, who stars as an astronaut stranded on Mars. The movie debuts on  Oct. 2.

9781101905005_1ed84The Martian (Mass Market MTI)
Andy Weir
RH/Broadway; October 13, 2015
Mass Market; $9.99 USD, $12.99 CAD
9781101905005, 110190500X

 

Zuckerberg Picks SF Classic

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.16.25 AMMark Zuckerberg’s next Facebook reading club pick is a cult SF favorite, Iain M. Banks’s The Player of Games (originally published in 1988, now available from Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio/Blackstone; OverDrive Sample). It is the second of the Culture novels, a series that many consider a touchstone of the genre (the first is Consider Phlebas and the most recent is The Hydrogen Sonata).

This is the first fiction title that  Zuckerbeg has picked in his “Year of Reading” program.  The Player of Games may prove more accessible than the previous ten books on various business, culture, and social science subjects, some of them fairly weighty. If nothing else a discussion about AI and future worlds hosted by one of today’s leading tech companies should prove interesting.

CIRCLING THE SUN is #1 for Indies in August

The August Indie Next List is available to preview.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.11.37 AMTopping the list at #1 is Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun (RH/Ballantine; BOT and RH Audio)

About the adventurer and aviation pioneer Beryl Markham, it is also a LibraryReads pick for July as well as a GalleyChat favorite. The summary, written by Rhianna Walton of Powell’s Books, offers useful sell lines for those still looking for a way to capture its content and feel:

Reading Circling the Sun reminded me of the deep pleasure of solid storytelling: the vast landscape of colonial Kenya, complicated and compelling historical characters, love, suffering, and adventure combine to create a captivating narrative. McLain imagines the African childhood and early adulthood of real-life horse trainer and pioneering female aviator Beryl Markham, as well as her social milieu, which included Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa. Markham lived a fascinating and uncompromising life filled with danger, ill-fated romance, and stunning bravery, and McLain does justice to her memory with this sensitive and beautifully written portrayal.

Some library reading groups are planning to read it along with Markham’s own memoir, West With the Night (Macmillan/North Point Press). Her contemporary, Ernest Hemingway memorably said about it. “this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.14.56 AMKitchens of the Great Midwest (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio) by J. Ryan Stradal

A debut novel about a savant chef and the power of cooking,  Jessica Stockton Bagnulo of the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY says it is a novel that “everyone is going to be talking about!” Librarians certainly are as it made our GalleyChat picks back in March and is the number one LibraryReads pick for July. ALSO NOTE: Please join our Penguin First Flights live online chat with the author is on July 15.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.16.03 AMThe list includes a number of other debuts, including The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample) by Natasha Pulley. A literary blend of steampunk, fantasy, and historical fiction, it is a book readers’ advisors might want to particularly note, as Amanda Hurley of Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL) makes clear at the end of her annotation: “Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.20.20 AMBig Names appear as well. The long anticipated Armada (Crown/RH; RH Audio) by Ernest Cline makes the list with the comment that it “will not disappoint the myriad fans of Ready Player One. On the contrary, it is another magical, nerdy romp through science fiction and fantasy pop culture where the thing that happens to the hero is exactly the thing every sci-fi lover secretly — or not so secretly — dreams will happen to them!” Note also that Steven Spielberg is directing and adaptation of Ready Player One expected to begin filming next year.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.22.58 AMThe newest Alice Hoffman novel, The Marriage of Opposites (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio) makes the cut as well. It is about the life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pissarro and her son, Camille, the great Impressionist painter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.27.20 AMIn nonfiction fans of Alex Kershaw have a new book to enjoy, Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris (RH/Crown; BOT and RH Audio), about the chief surgeon at the American Hospital in Paris who worked with the underground network to move people to safety during WWII.