As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.
My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.
We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):
This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.
As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.
While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying. I was intrigued by the collection Friday Blackby a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.
What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.
The June LibraryReads list brings some good news in terms of diversity.
Two of the titles are debuts by nonwhite writers.There There by Tommy Orange, (PRH/Knopf) is recommended for its “large cast of interwoven characters [that] depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.”
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, is a romance with an unusual twist. The main character is a woman on the autism spectrum, as is the author, and the heart-throb hero is half Vietnamese, as is the author.
…a groundbreaking novel about Native Americans who are city dwellers. But it’s not the Oakland, Calif., setting that leaps out. It’s Orange’s extraordinary ability to invest a series of interlocking character sketches with the troubled history of his displaced people.…
Getting published is an accomplishment for any first-time author, but nonwhite writers find it particularly challenging. Gabrielle Union’s memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine was on the October LibraryReads list, Despite being a well-known actress, she told the NYT that she found it difficult to navigate the publishing business as a black woman. Then she discovered that getting published was just part of the battle. Even after her book hit best seller lists, she “heard from readers that they had asked for it in certain cities, only to find it was still in stacks on the floor or in carts in the back.”
Similarly, landing on the LibraryReads list as a debut author is an accomplishment, but it only has meaning if other library staff read and recommend the titles.
Among the many discoveries, there was particular excitement about a debut not yet listed on Edelweiss,The Silent Patient by Alex. Michaelides. Just two GalleyChatters got their hands on it, but their excitement is infectious. A thriller by a British screenwriter, it is described as featuring “a successful painter who shoots the husband she loves in the head five times – and then never speaks again.” The author credits seemingly disparate influences, “his experience of working at a psychiatric unit, as well as his interest in the Greek legend of Alcestis and Agatha Christie thrillers.” It’s the first release from Macmillan’s new Celadon imprint, headed by Jamie Raab, former publisher of Hachette’s Grand Central and known for her keen eye. She will be speaking at LJ‘s Book Expo Day of Dialog. Galleys will be available there, as well as later in the Macmillan booth. It will also be available on NetGalley beginning May 15th.
Two other heavily promoted debuts getting kudos from GalleyChatters, are Vox by Christina Dalcher, August 21, called “so terrifyingly good that I can’t stop talking about it. In the future women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day! What would you be willing to do to give your daughter a future where she can speak freely?” and The Other Woman, a psychologial thriller by Sandie Jones, publishing on the same day, August 21,
GalleyChat’s own thriller maven, Robin Beerbower predicts that “the summer psych/suspense titles will be Ruth Wares’s Death Of Mrs Westaway (May 29) & Louise Cavendish’s Our House. (August 7). Ware’s book has a fabulous gothic feel & Candlish’s is a taut domestic thriller.”
There was also great curiousity about titles from known quantities, including Liane Moriarty’s as yet untitled novel, set for publication on November 6 and Kate Atkinson’s Transcription coming in September. Unfortunately, DRC’s are not yet available, but GalleyChatters will be stalking them. On the other hand, Susan Orlean’s The Library Bookabout the unsolved 1986 fire at LA Public’s central library was just released on NetGalley.
Join us for the next GalleyChat on Tues., June 5, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails) and don’t forget out YA/MG GalleyChat, Wed., May 16th, 2:30 to 3:30. Details on each here. Bring a friend!
The news media is all over the announcement that Amy Adams will star in the film version of A.J. Finn’s best seller, The Woman in the Window (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2018). The book spent four weeks at #1 on the NYT Best Seller list, remaining in the top 5 for seven more weeks. It is curently at #9.
British director Joe Wright will head the movie. He won multiple Oscars last year, including Best Picture, for his film about Churchill’s early days as Britain’s prime minister, The Darkest Hour. Wright has had experience with book adaptations, having had success with Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina. His adaptation of JM Barrie’s Pan, however, was a critical and box office flop.
Wright is also signed to direct a movie based on John Williams’s 1965 cult favorite, Stoner, (NY Review of Books) starring Casey Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones. According to reports, that film is moving toward production, so it could be at least a year before work begins on Woman.
Adams will soon be seen in another hotly anticipated thriller adaption, the HBO series based on Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects (PRH/ Shaye Areheart, 2006), expected for release in July.
Reminder: Nominations are due for the June LibraryReads list in just a couple of days, by midnight, April 20th.
The just-released May LibraryReads list is remarkably homogenous. All the authors are white women, most of them have already published several books, and the majority of the titles are in the rapidly growing, some would say over-published, category of psychological suspense.
While readers advisors can happily read and recommend any of the titles, as Becky Spratford has often noted in her blog RA for All, they won’t expand readers’ horizons. She pointedly asks, “Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition?”
To help you do that, we’ve added “Debut” and “Diversity” columns to our spreadsheet of the nearly 200 titles mentioned during last week’s GalleyChat, GalleyChat Titles, April.
Below are comments on the June titles by non-white and LGBT authors. If you haven’t read them already, you probably won’t have time to do so before the deadline, but this may serve to remind you of titles beyond the familiar. As Becky says, “If every single one of [you] laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too.”
GalleyChatter: “Really fun, unique urban fantasy/postapoc blend with Indigenous characters & mythology!” —– ” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Navajo cast of characters.”
“Rebecca Roanhorse is an Ohkay Owingeh/Black writer of Indigenous futurisms. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Her debut novel Trail of Lightning(Book One of the Sixth World series) is available summer 2018 from Saga Press, and her children’s book Race to the Sunis coming in 2019 from Rick Riordan Presents. Her short story ‘Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience‘ is on the 2017 Nebula Recommended Reading List.
There There: A novel, Tommy Orange, PRH/Knopf, June 5, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter: “a story of urban indigenous peoples. Got a big push at #pla2018” — Following up on that, PRH Library tweeted that it is a department favorite.
The New Yorker recently published a story that comes from the book, and an interview, in which the author explaind that he wrote There, There because, “I knew I wanted to write a multigenerational, multivoiced novel about Native people living in Oakland. My wanting to write it largely had to do with there not already being a novel about Native people who live in cities, and very few novels set in Oakland. Native people suffer from poor representation as it is, but having little representation in literature, as well as no (literary) version of our (urban Native) experience, was what made me want to write into that space, that void, and try to honor and express fully all that it entails to be Native and be from Oakland.”
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang, PRH/Berkley pbk original, June 5, 2018, DRC not listed
DEBUT Bustle headlines a story about the book, “The Kiss Quotient Is A Refreshing Own Voices Romance With A Heroine On The Autism Spectrum”
From the publisher:
“Key Selling Points
DEBUT AUTHOR who was discovered during Pitch Wars, an online contest with wide social media reach, where published authors match up with a mentee and work on pitch to catch an agent or editor’s eye; Helen was mentored by Brighton Walsh, a contemporary romance author published by Berkley and St. Martin’s Press
THE HEROINE HAS ASPERGER’S, as does the author, who is willing to discuss her personal experience
MULTICULTURAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: hero is half Vietnamese and the author, who is also part Vietnamese, seamlessly introduces cultural elements
AN OWN VOICES NOVEL: romance readers are clamoring for better representation in romances and this book speaks to the #OwnVoices social media movement”
History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Macmillan/FSG, June 19, 2018, DRC available
Gallleychatter: “…by the author of End of Eddy. Has a unique voice.”
From the publisher: “On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind.”
“Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.”
Ayiti, Roxane Gay, Grove/Atlantic, June 12, 2018, DRC available by request
Originally published in 2011 by the Artistically Declined Press, this new edition from Grove Press, according to the publisher, “includes several new stories,” which may qualify it for the LibraryReads list.
The Lost Vintage: A Novel, Ann Mah, HarperCollins/Morrow, June 19, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter comment, “Loved the LOST VINTAGE by Ann Mah- historical fiction with a mystery about a family member no one knew about, WWII & it’s set in a vineyard.”
Spotted on a photo of a stack of ARCs posted during the February’s YA/MG GalleyChat, is a new title by the author of the Morris Award finalist, Dear Martin. According to the ARC, Nic Stone’s second book Odd One Out is scheduled for release this fall, but there’s no information about it yet on retail or wholesale sites.
A few days after GalleyChat, the title was featured on a BuzzFeed list titled “Don’t Miss These Fantastic YA Books By Black Authors That Release This Year,” with the annotation, “The New York Times bestselling author of 2017’s Dear Martin pens another YA about three teens struggling through love, heartbreak, and the real deal. It sounds very diverse with both POC and LGBT representation, and we can’t wait to read it when it’s out in October! Pre-order links aren’t yet live for this one, but keep checking back here for future updates!”
In the ARC’s Author’s Note, Stone tells readers that she wrote this book because it is one she needed when she was twelve, before she realized the meaning of her “attractions to other women,” and marying her “dream man.”
Tell us about your latest discoveries (and make some of your own) during the next YA/MG GalleyChat on Monday, March 26th, 3 to 4 pm, ET (2:30 for virtual cocktails). #ewgcya
“Girl” was once the hot word used in book titles to designate a certain type of psychological suspense, but this Spring will be full of “lies.” Sometimes I Lie, Let Me Lie, and All The Beautiful Lies, were among the 185 titles mentioned by librarians during January’s GalleyChat.
For a list of the titles discussed, with information on which are available to download as e-galleys, check our Edelweiss catalog.
Join us for our next chat, Tues., Feb. 6th, 4 to 5 p.m. ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.
UPDATE: Thorndike reports that the large print pub. date has been moved up to January 30.
The week’s best seller numbers confirm just how well Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury is doing. Last week, it hit #1, quite a feat, considering it was released on a Friday, and thus lists reflected just two days of sales.
Again at #1 this week, BookScan figures, as reported by PW, show that it’s sold 220,000 copies through Jan 14. Compare that to the #1 fiction title, The Woman in the Window. BookScan reports it has sold over 36,000 copies, a respectable number, especially for a debut.
BookScan figures do not reflect the entire market, notably sales to libraries (see an analysis here, by the Independent Book Publishers Association), currently awaiting large orders to offset heavy holds queues.
Self-confessed childrens books “big mouth,” Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections.at the U. of Minn., and former EW Kids Correspondent, appeared recently on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss the best kids books of 2017. She is joined by St. Paul indie bookseller, Holly Weinkauf from the Red Balloon Bookshop. It’s worth a listen just for the infectious joy in their voices, not to mention the books they’ll make you want to pick up immediately. Lisa notes that they “discussed fifty-five books in less than an hour and didn’t even get to every one that we brought with us.” For the complete list go to No Kidding: The Best Kids’ Books to Give This Holiday Season.
They highlight cookbooks, giving special praise to Pizza, from Phaidon’s Cook in Book series, interactive titles that allow kids to virtually create recipes from scratch.
Lisa is blogging at the Blue Ox Review, the site she recently founded to “review books, give a heads up on upcoming titles that I am excited about, link to interesting news and events, and show off cool stuff from my collection. Of course, there will be an occasional rant.”
On the site, she is doing her annual “Books to give kids you don’t know very well,” (archive here) to help booksellers and librarians navigate the “maddening game” of recommending the exactly perfect gift for kids customers may see only once a year:
An astounding 750 titles were tweeted, with a total vote count of 1,625, 14.1% higher than #libfaves16. Link the full list here.
Thanks to GalleyChatters Robin Beerbower, Stephanie Chase and Linda Johns who began this project six years ago.
Thanks also to the those who helped with the vote counting,
P.J. Gardiner, Marlise Schiltz, Jane Jorgenson, Joe Jones. Vicki Nesting, Lucy Lockley, Jenna Friebel, Gregg Winsor, Susan Balla and Andrienne Cruz.
And thanks to all the librarians who joined in.
Special thanks to Janet Lockhart for her late night work in compiling the final list. We can now announce the top ten vote-getters.
One of the joys of the list is that it is not limited by age designation or format, so it offers opportunities to discover picture books, graphic novels, and YA titles. In fact, the number one title is the National Book Award longlist title for Young People Literature, The Hate U Give, which received nearly twice as many votes as the number two title, Celeste Ng’s novel for adults, Little Fires Everywhere. Close behind at #3 is Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.
1 — The Hate U Give, Thomas, Angie, (HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray) — 49 votes
We know it was torture for many to limit #libfaves17 picks to 10. Join us tomorrow to call out honorable mentions at #libfaves17HM. Please wait until tomorrow to do so. 2017 was a great year for books! Of course, I say that every year. Because it’s true. :-) pic.twitter.com/W7T4hnQfYS