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Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of Oct. 27

Next week brings not just one, but two books by Danielle Steel … the return to form of two iconic authors … plus 3 books about famous women that have already received media attention.

All 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 10/27/14

Holds Leaders

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It’s a Danielle Steel twofer as she publishes a novel for adults and picture book for kids on the same day. Oddly, both feature white animals. The adult title, Pegasus, (RH/Delacorte; RH Large Print, Brilliance Audio, OverDrive Sample) is described by the publisher as “a rich historical novel of family and World War II” that involves a titled German aristocrat is forced to flee to the U.S., bringing with him some prize horses, including a Lipizzaner named Pegasus. Pretty Minnie in Paris, (RH/Doubleday Young Readers) is a picture book about a Parisian Chihuahua, who gets lost at a fashion show. In the holds race, Pegasus is far outpacing Minnie.

Back Again

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Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice, (RH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio)

Rice has not returned to the vampires that made her famous since 2003’s Blood Canticle. PW says, compared to that book, the “newest Vampire Chronicles installment is triumphant.” The other prepub sources agree, with Kirkus saying, “it’s trademark Rice: talky, inconsequential, but good old-fashioned fanged fun.” It seems fans are cautious, however. Holds are currently light. Rice is profiled in the L.A. Times. In the NYT Book Review, Terrence Rafferty has a good time with it, “Although this is a dreadful novel, it has to be said that the earnestness with which Rice continues to toil at her brand of pop sorcery has an odd, retro sort of charm, an aura redolent of the desperate, decadent silliness of the disco era.”

The Peripheral, William Gibson, (Penguin; Penguin Audio), OverDrive Sample

Science fiction fans are hailing Gibson for going “back to the future” in this new novel. Famous for envisioning the Web, creating the terms “cyberspace” and “the matrix” way back in 1984 in his debut novel Neuromancer, Gibson switched to a nearer future in his most recent novels. The Chicago Tribune says this new book marks the “return to Gibson’s pre-millennial style, predictive, hip, tech-savvy.” In their review, the science fiction site i09 comments that the return comes with differences,The Peripheral is very different from the hyperactive cyberpunk citiscapes of Neuromancer. His canvas is much bigger — and his prophesies are far more melancholy.” Note to those in libraries that have maker spaces: the main character works in a 3-D print shop.

Readers Advisory

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Us, David Nicholls, (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

Those who only know Nicholls from the terrible film adaptation of his previous book, One Day, may have been surprised that his latest, Us was on the Man Booker longlist. The judges describe it as “a comedy about the demands of living together, about parenthood, about the relationship between reason and emotion, art and science, parents and children, middle-age and youth.”  People magazine puts it more succinctly, “Few authors do messed-up relationships better than Nicholls.”

It is also the LibraryReads #1 pick for November, with this recommendation,

“Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that makes you wish you could meet the characters in real life. This is the case with Us, the poignant story of a middle-of-the-road British family spiraling out of control, and one man’s attempt to win back their love. Quirky, delightful and unpredictable, the novel delves into what makes a marriage, and what tears it apart.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans, Gary Krist, (RH/Crown; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike), OverDrive Sample

The early history of one of America’s most fascinating cities, Empire of Sin was just selected by Library Journal as one of the  Top Ten books of 2014. It is reviewed in the Chicago Tribune.

Advance Attention

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The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore, (RH/Knopf; BOT)

Reviewers are falling all over themselves to write about Lepore’s latest.  Atlantic Magazine reviews it with a headline that gives that “secret history” more background, “The Free Love Experiment That Created Wonder Woman: The polyamorous ‘sex cult’ conceived by the comics’ founder wasn’t exactly feminist, but it was built on women-empowering, pro-queer ideals.”  It gets the lead review in the 10/24 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which grants it a a solid A and a strongly positive reaction from Dwight Garner in yesterday’s NYT,

Yes Please, Amy Poehler, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books; HarperAudio)

The L.A. Times book review compares Poehler’s book favorably to other recent memoirs by funny women, “If [Tina] Fey’s Bossypants or [Mindy] Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? feel like a chatty beach weekend with a friend, Yes Please has the more manic air of a snowbound situation. Truths will be told, yes, and anecdotes recounted, but the attic and the cellar will also be raided, for funny hats and canned goods.” If that doesn’t make sense,  Entertainment Weekly, which ranks it at #3 of things to do this week, says,  ” Of course the Parks and Rec star’s first book is LOL funny — there is an acrostic poem dedicated to Tina Fey and recollections of rapping while pregnant on SNL — but there are also frank, relatable stories about her slow climb to fame and life as a working mom, as well as earnest bites of wisdom.”

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story, Barbara Leaming, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio), OverDrive Sample

Leaming applies a contemporary analysis to Jacqueline Kennedy’s life after JFK’s assassination, presenting evidence that she suffered from PTSD. The book was featured on the Today Show this week:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

The Science Behind INTERSTELLAR

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The space epic, Interstellar, arrives in theaters on Nov. 7th with huge expectations (as evidenced by the Entertainment Weekly cover, right.Variety predicts that the 3-hour film will bring an opening box office of at least $50 million).

The plot has been kept under wraps, but early reports say it’s about a group of scientists who use a wormhole to travel through space in an effort to find solutions to Earth’s dwindling food supply, or, failing that, a new home for its inhabitants. Directed by Christopher Nolan, it stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine.ScienceofInterstellarMech.indd

The idea for the film was inspired by the work of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who is also an executive producer and a scientific consultant on the movie.

A short video was just released that features Thorne. He is also publishing a book, The Science of Interstellar(W.W. Norton), set to be released on the same day as the movie, Nov 7.

Joan Didion is “A Lion”

Author Joan Didion’s nephew, the actor and director John Griffin Dunne, is working on a documentary about his aunt because he wants people to know that “a woman so tiny and frail is a lion. She’s a fearsome critic, essayist, a voice of moral authority and a deeply intimidating figure.”

He released the following trailer as part of his campaign for Kickstarter funding to finish the film. The L.A. Times interviews Dunne who reports that, hours after the trailer’s release yesterday, donations already totaled over half the goal of $80,000.

Quammen on Ebola

In her Library News email last week, Golda Rademacher, Norton’s Library Marketing Manager, alerted librarians to the following drop-in title:

9780393351552_5bc5bEbola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus
DAVID QUAMMEN
9780393351552, pbk, $13.95
NORTON, 10/20/14

With all the news about Ebola lately, we had a lot of requests for the Ebola chapter from David Quammen’s Spillover. We’ve pulled the chapter out and are publishing it as a paperback with some updates and a new introduction by the author.

In today’s New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviews it, saying that Quammen warns readers not to take Richard Preston’s “lurid descriptions of Ebola’s consequences literally” in his best selling book, The Hot Zone. Nevertheless, Quammen ” shows in these pages that the reality of the virus is horrifying without any apocalyptic embellishment.”

Kakutani also mention journalist Laurie Garrett’s  “illuminating and encyclopedic book The Coming Plague” (Penguin Books).

LibraryReads Favorites of Favorites: Top Twenty-Five

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As part of its first year celebration, LibraryReads has released a list of the Top Twenty-Five favorites from the first years worth of picks, as voted on by hundreds of librarians around the country.

Now, you can vote on this shortlist (even if you’ve never voted before). A final list of the top ten vote getters will be released on  December 1st (voting ends on November 15th).

Also, remember to nominate your favorite upcoming books for future lists (Dec/Jan nominations are due by Nov. 20).

Readers Advisory: Nancy Pearl, From Thriller to Cozy

9780385536998_1e4af-2Noting a growing tend of  fast-moving but very complex thrillers that challenge the readers and are well worth the attention they require, Nancy Pearl, during her regular Tuesday appearance on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW, recommends one of  her recent favorites, The Distance by Helen Giltrow, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio). It  features a wealthy, elegant socialite named Charlotte who lives another life as Karla, a woman who helps people in trouble disappear. Katla, Nancy emphasizes, is not a nice person, and in fact, the book is “filled with people who are not particularly good people, but whom you somehow care about. It takes skill for a writer to pull that off.” Listen here

It was a LibraryRead pick for September and a favorite on GalleyChat.

OverDrive Sample

Audio Clip:

Murder at the BrightwellThat book included scenes Nancy “had to read with my eyes closed,” but on last week’s show, she recommended a book in a quite different genre, one she doesn’t generally enjoy, a cozy mystery. Murder at the Brightwell, by Ashley Weaver, (Minotaur/Macmillan) won her over with its subtle humor and “witty repartee” between a “Nick and Nora” type of wealthy young couple in the 1930’s, making it “like armchair traveling into a rarefied world.” Listen here.

It was a LibraryReads pick, for October, as well as a GalleyChat favorite (New York librarian Janet Schneider described is as “a Dorothy L. Sayers/Downton Abbey combo”). A debut, the author is a public librarian in Louisiana.

LJ Gets the Jump on
Best Books Season

Holiday catalogs are arriving earlier than ever, so why not the best books lists?

Library Journal is the first out of the gate, several weeks earlier than usual, beating out Amazon (although they have a slight edge, having released their mid year previews, “Best Books of the Year, So Far“) and Publishers Weekly.

Below are the Top Ten (there’s also a “More of the Best” list, plus several lists of the  best in various categories, including e-original romance).

Some recent awards winners did not make the cut. The Man Booker winner, announced earlier this month, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan is not on either of LJ‘s top lists, nor are any of the National Book Awards shortlist titles. But it’s the diversity of the lists that make them interesting (don’t forget to vote for your favorites from the LibraryReads shortlist),

Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 — Top Ten

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An Untamed State, Roxane Gay, (Grove Press/Black Cat, Brilliance Audio), 5/6/14, OverDrive Sample

No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, Glenn Greenwald, (Macmillan, Metropolitan; Brilliance Audio), 5/13/14, OverDrive Sample

Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, Mark Harris, (Penguin Press; Recorded Books), 2/17/14, OverDrive Sample

A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James, (Peguin/Riverhead; Highbridge), 10/2/14, OverDrive Sample

The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert, (Macmillan/Holt; S&S Audio), 2/11/14

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans, Gary Krist, (RH/Crown; Dreamscape; Thorndike), 10/28/14,  OverDrive Sample

The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell, (Random House; Recorded Books; Thorndike), 9/2/14, OverDrive Sample — on Man Booker longlist; and IndieNext pick

Us, David Nicholls, (Harper: HarperAudio; HarperLuxe), 10/28/14 — on Man Booker longlist; LibraryReads #1 pick for November

Some Luck, Jane Smiley, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike), 10/7/14, OverDrive Sample — was on the National Book Awards longlist; a LibraryReads pick for Oct. and an IndieNext pick

Audio sample:

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge; Thorndike), 4/1/14, OverDrive Sample — LibraryReads #1 pick for April and an IndieNext pick

Live Chat with Debut Author
Rebecca Scherm

Special Time 6:00-7:00 PM EDT!

Live Blog Live Chat with Rebecca Scherm, UNBECOMING
 

YA GalleyChat, Tuesday, Oct 21, 5 to 6 p.m.

Please join us for the next Y.A. GalleyChat, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern. More details here.


Holds Alert: BEING MORTAL

9780805095159_1b909Surgeon Atul Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio) debuted on this week’s NYT Best Seller Hardcover Best Seller list at #3 and is currently #6 on Amazon’s sales rankings (between Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Patton and John Grisham’s Gray Mountain). Libraries are showing heavy and growing holds on conservative ordering.

Gawande appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and was profiled in New York Magazine. The book was reviewed last week in the daily New York Times, as well as in many other newspapers.  OverDrive Sample

More on Ebola from
HOT ZONE Author

9780385479561_45d0eWhen Ebola began making headlines this year, one of the few books on the topic was the 20-year-old nonfiction title that the NYT says could “be classified as dystopian nonfiction,” The Hot Zone,(RH/Anchor Trade; Mass Market; S&S Audio).

The author, Richard Preston publishes new reporting on Ebola in the 10/28 issue of the New Yorker. In an interview in this week’s NYT Book Review, he says so much has changed in the last 20 years that he is “dying to update the book” and is clearly doing so, outlining what he plans to change.

Asked about rumors of a Fox TV series based on the book, he confirms that efforts are now underway, (The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed that story on Thursday, adding that Preston’s new reporting  will be incorporated).

Asked why he and brother Doug Preston each write such scary books, he says people often wonder if they come from terrible childhoods. But no, he says, “It comes from storytelling around the dinner table. We all just got into the habit of telling weird and interesting stories.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of Oct. 20

THE big title of the fall arrives next week, John Grisham’s Gray Mountain … George R.R. Martin fans will have something to tide them over until The Winds of  Winter arrives … and several titles are already getting media bumps.

All 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 10/20/14

Holds Leaders

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Gray Mountain, John Grisham, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; RH Large Print), OverDrive Sample

Grisham’s latest is not only the holds leader for the week, but for the entire season. The protagonist is a young lawyer, Samantha Kofer, who, after her cushy corporate job is ended by the collapse of Lehman Bros., takes on pro bono work in a small Appalachian coal town. There she learns, up close and personal, how people’s lives are ruined by the machinations of big companies. PW suggests this “may be the debut of a series character.”

Shopaholic to the Stars, Sophie Kinsella, (RH/Dial; RH Audio, BOT; Thorndike, 11/1), OverDrive Sample

A distant second to the Grisham in holds for the week, but still strong, this is the first new title in the series in four years. A relocation to Hollywood offers shopaholic Becky the opportunity to fulfill what seems to be her ultimate destiny as a celebrity stylist. The author is scheduled to appear on CBS This Morning on Wednesday.

George R.R. Martin Teases 

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Game of Thrones fans will soon be teased by two “new” books by George R.R. Martin (the eagerly anticipated next book in the series, The Winds Of Winter, is expected in 2015, but no pub date has been announced). Coming next week, is a Y.A. title, The Ice Dragon, (Macmillan/Tor Teen). Originally published as part of the 1980 anthology of stories, Dragons of Light, edited by Orson Scott Card, it was then republished as a stand-alone book in 2007, now out of print. The new edition features artwork by Spanish artist Luis Royo. Entertainment Weekly previewed it in August, saying “the book’s themes more resemble those of a children’s fable than HBO-ready sex-and-gore fare.”  OverDrive Sample

Arriving next week is The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin, Elio Garcia, Linda Antonsson (RH/Bantam), which gives further background on the series to insatiable fans.

In the Media

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio),  OverDrive Sample

Audio sample:

Nicholas Kristof in a column in the NYT Book Review last week notes that Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, as “America’s young Nelson Mandela.” In the long blurb on the cover, John Grisham says that Stevenson is  “… doing god’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”

Stevenson appeared on the Daily Show last night and is scheduled for NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

 

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books. Azar Nafisi, (Penguin/Viking)

Audio sample:

This week brought a rare occurrence, and author featured on  Late Night With Seth Meyers. Not only that, Meyers called Asar Nafisi, “cool”  (Part One, Part Two). In  this book, she attempts to answer the question of whether books can be as meaningful to Americans as they were to her Iranian students in her best seller, Reading Lolita in Tehran.

Food: A Love Story, Jim Gaffigan, (RH/Crown; BOT, read by author)

Audio sample:

In the follow-up to his bestseller Dad Is Fat, comedian Jim Gaffigan writes about his favorite topic, food. He will be featured in a cover story in Parade Magazine, and on the Today Show on Monday.

Rosewater: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival, Maziar Bahari, Aimee Molloy, (Random House Trade Paperbacks; Tantor Audio), OverDrive Sample

Tie-ins rarely get featured in the media, but this case is different:

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, Trailer

The first trailer has just been released for Ron Howard’s upcoming movie In the Heart of the Sea. Scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 13, it is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s book of the same title.

Related Books

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Philbrick won the 2000 National Book Award in Nonfiction for In the Heart of the Sea, about the Essex, a Nantucket ship hunting whales in the South Pacific in 1819, when it was stalked and eventually sunk by a sperm whale, setting the crew adrift for 90 days.

Philbrick also published a version for young readers, Revenge of the Whale, (Penguin/Puffin, 2004).

The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as the whaling ship Essex’s first mate Owen Chase. He published an account of the story, published in 1821, which inspired Herman Melville (played byBen Whishaw in the movie) to write Moby Dick. Chase’s book is still available in several editions, including The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale, (Penguin Classics, 2000) with an introduction by Philbrick.

Tie ins (for tie-ins to all upcoming book adaptations, check our Edelweiss catalog):

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Movie Tie-in)
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin, Trade Paperback January 27, 2015
9780143126812, 0143126814

Audio: January 27, 2015
Nathaniel Philbrick, Scott Brick
9781611763577, 1611763576

GROUP HOPPER vs TFIOS 2

Saturday Night Live has been sending up YA film adaptations.

Last week, dystopian movies got the treatment:

The week before, it was a “grounded” YA film:

EBOLA Preparedness

Look what’s rising on Amazon’s sales rankings:

Ebola HandbookEbola Survival Handbook: A Collection of Tips, Strategies, and Supply Lists From Some of the World’s Best Preparedness Professionals
Lost Arts Publishing (Author)
Pbk, 138 pages, $7.95
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 9/22/14
ISBN-10: 1502449870

 

Published via Amazon’s self-publishing platform, CreateSpace, the book appears to only be available via Amazon (some copies are being sold on EBay).

Bloomberg News published a story earlier this month, “Ebola Fears in U.S. Boost Sales of Emergency Supplies,” which includes the book. It is also featured on several survivalist Web sites, many of which are run by the authors of the articles collected in the book.

Also rising in sales is Richard Preston’s 1994 book The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus, (RH/Anchor trade paperback, also available as mass market pbk; S&S Audio), about an Ebola outbreak in Washington D.C. It’s currently at #27 on Amazon’s sales rankings and libraries are showing holds. OverDrive Sample.

UPDATE: Preston publishes new reporting on Ebola in the 10/28 issue of the New Yorker, and is interviewed in the NYT Book Review.