Editors Note: GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower is off this month and we’re grateful to one of our go-to readers advisors, Jennifer Dayton of Darien (CT) Public Library for stepping in to write about the titles librarians were buzzing about during July’s post-ALA GalleyChat:
There was still a lot of buzz this month among GalleyChatters for the titles by authors that thrilled them at BEA such as Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Fates and Furies, The Art of Crash Landing and Best Boy, (recently selected as the LibraryReads #1 pick for August), but excitement is also beginning to surface for some other titles.
The majority of the new titles are from familiar and beloved authors, titles we’d expect to see on everyone’s TBR piles, such as Louise Penney’s continuation of the Inspector Gamache series, The Nature of the Beast (Minotaur/Macmillan August), Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord (Viking/Penguin, October) as well as JoJo Moyes’ sequel to the surprise hit Me Before You entitled, of course, After You (Pamela Dorman/Penguin, September). But not all the authors are well-known and two debut memoirs are also getting word of mouth.
Familiar but not predictable:
Chris Bohjalian is a favorite among GalleyChatters, but he is always a surprise because you don’t know what subject he will tackle next. The Guest Room (RH/Doubleday, Jan) is the story of a bachelor party that’s worse than anything imagined in the Hangover movies. The fallout opens the fault-line cracks in the life of main character, Richard Chapman. As always with Bohjalian, he is interested in larger topics, in this case the failure to ensure women’s rights globally. Susan Balla (Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT) says, “Chris Bohjalian is a master of writing a woman’s point of view”.
Kristi Chadwick (Advisor, Massachusetts Library System) was so engrossed in Karin Slaughter’s standalone Pretty Girls (RH/Delacorte, Sept.) that she got sunburned while reading it on the San Francisco docks during ALA. Kristi calls it “a fabulous standalone There is a lot more to discover than the whereabouts of a missing girl, and the revelations keep coming long after you think the answers are found. It’s a stomach-dropping roller-coaster of a thriller.”
Katie Dunneback (@younglibrarian, Washington DC) was not alone in her excitement about Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams (Penguin/Viking, Nov). “Williams ties off her Schuyler Sisters trilogy with the story of beautiful young woman trying to hide, a restored antique car whose origin in Nazi Germany is unknown, and the rich older woman who may have the answers for both.”
The hot-button topic of teen bullying is examined in The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Martin Dicks (Macmillan.St, Martins, September). Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) says that readers will “be glad when Caroline Jacobs returns to confront her former BFF who turned on her and finds that things have not gone so well for her.” That IS the perfect comeback.
Andrienne Cruz, (Adult Services Librarian, Azusa City Library, CA) managed to score a rare ARC of The Witches by Stacy Schiff (Hachette/Little, Brown, Oct) at BEA. She says that, “It is not something you can regard lightly, the writing is very detailed in such a way that allows readers to discover for themselves how the Salem trials could have resulted the way they did. The reader will search for clues within and will feel bewitched in how Schiff’s research unfolds itself like magic.”
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy (Macmillan/Picador, Sept) was a BEA Editor’s Buzz choice and Tracy Babiasz (Chapel Hill Public Library, NC) backs that up. She calls this memoir of a black doctor trying to find his way “Equal parts objective and empathetic.” and applauds it for its “fascinating study of relationship between race and medicine.”
Two other memoirs, Home is Burning by Dan Marshall (Macmillan/Flatiron Books, Oct) and Furiously Happy; A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (Macmillan/Flatiron, Sept), got a lot of love from GalleyChatters for the humor used in exploring the serious subjects of cancer and ALS (Home is Burning) and depression (Furiously Happy).
And finally, The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh; A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto (Workman/ Timber, Oct) seemed to be on multiple To Be Read piles. While Vickie Nesting and I confessed that we do indeed pick it up and “fondle it” frequently, we haven’t cracked it yet.
Perhaps it will come up at the next GalleyChat, Tuesday, August 4th, 4:00-5:00 (ET) with virtual cocktails at 3:30. Please join us.