News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GalleyChat, Tues. Dec. 6

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Read the transcript, below.

Join us for the first chat of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails). #ewgc


Library Journal‘s Best Books of 2016 list includes these eight Macmillan titles:

Get the full story and more at MacmillanLibrary.com!

The Slow March Of A Very

IMDb image for GOT Ep. #7.1

IMDb image for GOT Ep. #7.1

George R.R. Martin is not happy, and he won’t be making his readers happy either. Expect more delays for Winds of Winter says The Telegraph, reporting on Martin’s appearance at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico.

Writing that he has “missed several deadlines” for the next in the series and saying he still does not know when it will be completed or published, the paper reports Martin’s grim assessment of the story so far,

“There are a lot of dark chapters right now … Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fill the world … Some of the characters [are] in very dark places … In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people.”

As for the next, next book (Dreams of Spring) and the ending of the series, Martin says, “I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to end my book, but I suspect the overall flavor is going to be as much bittersweet as it is happy.”

It seems darkness is Martin’s current mood. On his blog this week, he posted, “December has come, and the end of 2016 (thank god, what a bloody awful year).” While he does not list all the reasons 2016 was horrible, it did mark yet another year in which his book was not finished.

Reflecting his dour mood from 2015 on not completing the saga, Martin told the audience in Mexico, “Sometimes I look back and say, ‘Did it really have to be Seven Kingdoms?’ The Five Kingdoms of Westeros, that would have been good, right?’”

On the HBO series front, IMDB has posted an air date of June 25, 2017, although few other sites offer confirmation. HBO aired a tiny teaser in its video of upcoming shows for 2017.

Bill Gates’s Faves

In a model Donald Trump might want to consider, Bill Gates says “reading books is my favorite way to learn about a new topic. I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.”

He offers those thoughts as a preface to his end of year list of favorites which he says represents an “eclectic mix of topics—from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership. They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures.”

His list is shuffling the Amazon rankings as all of the books gain ground.

His five choices, with an excerpt of his explanations and its movement on Amazon, are:

9781598534801_1242fString Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis, David Foster Wallace (PRH/Library of America).

“You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book. The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon.”

Showing an impressive score, Wallace’s book moved from #8,425 to within the Top 100, sitting at #80.

9781501135910_59461Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is “a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes … [Knight] tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.”

It too leaped on Amazon, and is also now in the Top 100 at #60, up from #391.

9781476733500_d13c4The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Mukherjee’s book has a “special focus on huge ethical questions that the latest and greatest genome technologies provoke. Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.”

Another Top 100, at #75, the book moved up from #325.

9780465027668The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age, Archie Brown (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Basic Books; OverDrive Sample).

Gates says that the “fierce election battle” prompted him to read this and that he learned that “the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be ‘strong leaders.’ Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers.”

The leap here was the most impressive Amazon jump of all, going from #240,893 to #390.

9781608196104_b6abaThe Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke, Ph.D. (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA).

Calling it one of his favorite genres, “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating,” Gates says the book will “convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.”

This lesser known title did very well too, moving from #25,051 to #222.

As he did for his summer choices, Gates offers an narrated, animated overview of his picks:

BABY GROOT Gets Big Welcome

If anyone doubted that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be a major release on May 5, this should change their minds. The trailer had 81 million views in the 24 hours after it was released. Director James Gunn enthused on Facebook

Holy crap! With 81 million views in its first 24 hours, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer is the SECOND BIGGEST TEASER TRAILER EVER (after Beauty and the Beast), and the biggest Marvel Studios Teaser ever! No kidding – I’m, like, floored …

It probably has something to do with that adorable Baby Groot.

See our earlier post for information on tie-ins.

BIG LITTLE LIES, First Full Trailer

1410472035_08b27HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, begins airing on February 19, 2017.

The just-released first full-length trailer is making headlines. Glamour calls it “The Mom Version of Pretty Little Liars You’ve Been Waiting For” and Entertainment Weekly says that the “Trailer Hints At Dark Underbelly Of Parenting.”

The cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley, causing the  A.V. Club to note, “this one seems to star every famous white woman under the sun (plus Adam Scott).”

Tie-ins hit shelves in February:

Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In), Liane Moriarty (PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017; Mass Market).

Hitting Screens,
Week of December 5, 2016

At the domestic box office over the weekend, the adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts is doing well enough in its third week to expect that the franchise will continue through the planned four more films. The screenplay is now #2 on the USA Today after two weeks.

The much lower budget Arrival, based on the short story by Ted Chiang, is also doing well and has brought new attention to the author.

mv5bmtk5otm2mjqynl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjm2nde0mdi-_v1_sx675_cr00675999_al_A single adaptation opens this weekend, All We Had, the indie film that marks the directorial debut of Katie Holmes. She stars as well as a hard-luck mother besieged by difficulties. The film also features Stefania Owen, Luke Wilson, Richard Kind, Mark Consuelos, Judy Greer, and Eve Lindley.

It is based on the debut novel of the same name by Annie Weatherwax (S&S/Scribner, 2015; OverDrive Sample) about the very difficult lives of those living on the uncertain edge of the American economy.

Reviews are not strong but some are more complimentary than others. The Guardian is the most receptive, giving it three stars and saying “A stellar, brazen performance by the Dawson’s Creek actor and her strong cast keep this film, about the bond between a wayward mother and daughter, afloat.”

Variety was not as kind, writing “Katie Holmes makes an undistinguished helming debut with All We Had, a middlebrow drama with no pretensions but also no depth.”

The film will open on Dec. 9 in both theaters and on demand. There is no tie-in.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of December 5, 2016

9780425280126_4d044  9780316319973_5108b

As we get closer to the holidays, fewer hardcovers are being released. As a result, the holds leaders this week is Nora Roberts’ original paperback, Island of Glass (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample).  

Six of Patterson’s BookShots paperback originals also arrive, including a title aimed at the season, The Christmas Mystery: A Detective Luc Moncrief Mystery (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Dec 5.

Media Attention


The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, Michael Lewis, (Norton; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Ever since Moneyball, his examination of how the Oakland A’s used statistics to create a winning team, Lewis has attracted media attention. In this new book, he reaches back to examine the researchers whose work influenced the Oakland A’s manager, as well as many others, to think differently. The book is reviewed by the NYT  along with a profile of the author, who is also featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He is scheduled to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight and for tomorrow on CBS This Morning.

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, Kathleen Collins, (HarperCollins/Ecco, paperback original; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)
The film maker Kathleen Collins was just 46 years old when she died in 1988. She was also a remarkable short story writer, as this collection attests. It is getting a massive amount of critical attention, from the New Yorker , the New York Times and the LA Times. It’s even Bustle’s Book of the Month.

Peer Picks

9780802125743_e3b09Four Indie Next selections come out this week, starting with the return of a fan-favorite author, Val McDermid with Out of Bounds (Atlantic Monthly Press).

“McDermid is a thriller writer at the top of her game and Out of Bounds has everything readers want in a character-driven suspense novel: fully human characters, tight plotting, unexpected twists, and a story that grabs and won’t let go. Karen Pirie is still reeling from the death of her partner and is coping by throwing herself into her work as detective chief inspector of Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit. As the unit works to unravel a 20-year-old case through a DNA match from the driver in a recent car accident, Pirie skates on thin ice with her superiors by digging into the background of a mentally disturbed man who appears to have committed suicide. Highly recommended!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Additional Buzz: The Guardian includes this latest in the Karen Pirie series in their “The best recent crime novels – review roundup,” writing: “McDermid’s expertly juggled plotlines and masterful handling of pace and tension tick all the best boxes, but what makes this book a real cracker is Pirie herself – grieving, insubordinate and dogged in her pursuit of the various culprits.” Canadian librarians pick it as a Loan Stars choice and the Scottish Book Trust selects it as one of the “30 Excellent Scottish Books of 2016.”

9780811219105_cba49Ema the Captive, César Aira, translated by Chris Andrews (Norton/New Directions; OverDrive Sample).

Ema, the Captive is a gentle meditation on the natural world in its grotesqueness and its beauty, humanity’s place within it, and the effect that human progress has had on both. With his usual incredible attention to detail and in measured, lucid prose, Aira somehow turns this tale into a page-turner, the kind of feat only he could accomplish.” —Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

Additional Buzz: Paste selects it as one of their “21 of the Best New Novels Translated into English” saying: “a powerful novel worth reading ASAP.”

9781590517918_b7398Mincemeat: The Education of an Italian Chef, Leonardo Lucarelli, translated by Lorena Rossi Gori and Danielle Rossi (PRH/Other Press; OverDrive Sample).

“This is not a typical chef story where the aspiring individual goes to culinary school, learns all the traditional styles, and then apprentices under a great chef to become established in the profession. Lucarelli started as a dishwasher and then through dumb luck became the chef in a restaurant after its two chefs fought with each other and left. Subsequent kitchens all offered a variety of challenges and disruptive, combative elements that helped to move Lucarelli’s career along. If you want to experience some real ‘behind the scenes’ views of restaurant life, then do yourself a favor and read Mincemeat.” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Additional Buzz: It is one of the BBC’s “Ten books you should read in December.” They write, the “enthralling memoir … takes us through long, sensual after-hours escapades as well as the satisfactions of learning on the job and cooking up his own fantasies. Most revealing, perhaps, are his mistakes.” It is also one of the Amazon Editors’ “top picks for the best books of December.”

9781616954048_d6fd1Who Watcheth, Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy (PRH/Soho Crime; OverDrive Sample).

“Tursten does not disappoint in the ninth installment of her impeccable Inspector Irene Huss Investigation series, moving it forward on a perfect note with Irene and her husband, Krister, beginning a new stage in their lives. One of the things I’ve always admired about this series, in addition to Irene’s strength and intelligence, is the normalcy of her life. I loved this book, but I was so busy racing through it to unravel the various threads that now I need to read it again slowly and savor it. You will, too!” —Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA


Four tie-ins, a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and a play, hit shelves this week to take advantage of the publicity for the film adaptations. Three of them are hot Oscar contenders.

9780062363602_4650aHidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

As we have been posting, Hidden Figures is one of the hot films of the season (see here and here). It stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) was so taken with the script that he dropped out of the running to direct a Spiderman movie in favor of this one.

The film debuts in limited release on Christmas Day, followed on Jan. 6 by a wide release. This tie-in is for adult readers (the young readers’ edition hit shelves last week).

9780062662422_066ffLive by Night, Dennis Lehane (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Another film opening on Christmas Day in a small run to qualify for the Oscars is Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s historical gangster novel. It will play nationwide on January 13, 2017.

In addition to directing and writing the screenplay, Affleck stars with Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina and Elle Fanning. It’s Affleck’s first time in the director’s chair since his award-winning Argo.

The trade paperback arrives this week, with the mass market scheduled for the week after.  We have been tracking the progress as the film has developed.

9780735216686_c42dbFences (Movie tie-in), August Wilson (PRH/Plume).

As we wrote earlier, Denzel Washington’s film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, Fences is heading to the big screen.

The story revolves around a former baseball player in the 1950s struggling to reconcile his life and provide for his family. Washington directs and co-stars with Viola Davis, reprising their roles from a Broadway revival of the play six years ago, for which both won Tony Awards.

Another hot Oscar contender opening on Christmas Day, Vanity Fair offers an alternative title for the film: “Please Hurry Up and Give Viola Davis an Oscar.”

9780765388100_9e2a3A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans, W. Bruce Cameron (Macmillan/Forge; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Opening on Jan. 27, 2017 is this tearjerker about a dog named Bailey who comes back to life again and again (each time remembering his past) until one day, he finds is first owner, now a grown man. As we have noted, the book was first published in hardcover in 2010 and spent over a year on the New York Times hardcover and trade paperback best seller lists.

The film stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, Peggy Lipton, and some great dogs.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

The Non-Reader President-Elect

9781501138003_88283 9780345481030 9780061547843_c9df4

In a column focused on the importance of reading Salon warns not to expect Summer Reading lists from Donald Trump.

Unlike President Obama who regularly posted what he was reading, Trump is unlikely to spend any time doing so. In a summer interview with The Washington Post he said that he has never been a big reader, “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.”

This is despite, as the Post points out, having multiple author credits himself, working with ghost writers, and publishing more than a dozen books, most of which are autobiographical. He also has claimed in those books to be a reader, suggesting a number of titles to others.

Trump follows one of the most avid defenders of reading and the written word as Salon comments. President Obama, as well as the first lady have “been staunch advocates of the literary arts, opening the White House to poetry jams and student readings and supporting independent bookstores like Washington’s Politics and Prose.”

Salon outlines how reading has helped past presidents, perhaps most famously the lessons John F. Kennedy learned from Barbara Tuchman’s best seller The Guns of August, which influenced his decision-making during the Cuban missile crisis.

The expressed lack of interest in reading is not just a matter of personal choice concludes Salon. Trump’s “disavowal of reading telegraphs to our children and society that books — and the people who write them — are not to be valued. It undermines the young artists who need to know that their craft matters and the teachers attempting to instill a respect for reading in their students. In short, it sends the message that acquiring knowledge through slow, deliberate study is unnecessary.”

Chabon’s Glowing Reception

9780062225559_e399cMoon glow byMichael Chabon (HC/Harper; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample) is a critical and library darling and has the holds figures to prove it. In the majority of library systems we checked hold ratios are well over 3:1, with some reaching 5:1. Even where holds are within acceptable ratios, all copies are in circulation and have active hold lists. It is a LibraryReads November selection with the following annotation:

“A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The critical community is just as impressed. The Washington Post says “Chabon aims for the moon and successfully touches down on the lunar surface [offering] an emotional tale of love and loss; fabulous, at times magical, writing; and a story rooted in real-world events told from a unique perspective.” Michiko Kakutani reviews it for the NYT, saying Chabon “writes with both lovely lyricism and highly caffeinated fervor.” BuzzFeed offers an in-depth profile complete with photos and “day in the life of” coverage. Entertainment Weekly features the title, and the photos that inspired it.

It is on the Carnegie Medal shortlist (winners to be announced at MidWinter) as well as multiple end of the year best lists. It is also the #1 Indie Next pick for December.

Literary Sobriety

9780226140131_dfde2“Recovery is the path of the hero,” Neil Steinberg, co-author of  Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery (University Of Chicago Press) tells NPR’s Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. The interview sent the book moving up Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping from #27,706 to within the Top 100 at #88.

Steinebrg tells NPR’s Scott Simon that he uses “quotes from poems and songs and stories and letters from … writers throughout time who faced the challenge [of addiction] and wrote about it.”

Those quotes can be heartbreaking, such as one from Jill Faulkner Summers, William Faulkner’s daughter. At the start of a binge, after she had pleaded with him to not start drinking again, he turned to her and said “you know, no one remembers Shakespeare’s child.”

Emily Dickinson offers a bit more hope, writing “I wish one could be sure the suffering had a loving side. The thought to look down some day, and see the crooked steps we came, from a safer place, must be a precious thing.”

Both authors have a background that helped them conceive and write the text. Steinberg is a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and author of Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life (PRH/Plume, 2009). Bader is the creator of the website Quotenik, a library of verified quotes sourced from books, TV, radio, films, newspapers, and conversations.

Check your copies. Every library we checked that owns the book either has a hold list or all copies in circulation. Several libraries we checked have yet to order. The book came out in August and got a starred review in Library Journal.

Library Faves

Tweet your favorites of the year.

The Shack Gets A Trailer

9781455567607_01cb2William P. Young’s 2007 self-published inspirational blockbuster, The Shack, (later picked up by Hachette/Grand Central; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) has had a long road to the silver screen. We first wrote about the movie deal in 2013 when Summit Entertainment acquired the film rights.

The first trailer is sending the book zooming once again on Amazon, rising to #59 from #997. Entertainment Weekly reports it has sold 20 million copies since its release date.

The film stars Sam Worthington (Avatar), as a father who has lost is faith in the face of unspeakable tragedy. Octavia Spencer (The Help) plays God. Grammy winner Tim McGraw stars as well, alongside Radha Mitchell.

The film will debut on March 3, 2017.

Tie-ins have already been released. The Shack, Wm. Paul Young (Hachette/Windblown Media; also in mass market).

NYT’s Top Ten on the Rise

The New York Time‘s announcement of their picks of the 10 Best Books of 2016 has had an effect on Amazon’s sales rankings. Of the paper’s ten picks, five titles have made significant leaps.

9780385542364_9d8d8Unsurprisingly, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), already a best seller, has the highest ranking of the ten. The National Book Award winner moved from #80 to #55 at the time of this posting (bet on these titles gaining a bit more ground over the weekend).

9781627795944_e366cIan McGuire’s The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample) made a greater leap. The Man Booker longlist title skyrocketed from #4,907 to just outside the top 100 at #141, perhaps simply because it’s the first title on the NYT‘s list. For a refresher on the story, see the NYT Book Review by Colm Toibin, the daily NYT by Michiko Kakutani, and the take by The Wall Street Journal. It has not appeared on the other best books lists we’ve tracked.

9780525429630_6e612The National Book Award finalist,  The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (PRH/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) rose even more, moving from #5,189 to #280. It is also a Washington Post best of the year.

9781590514887_b6f51In nonfiction, At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others, Sarah Bakewell (PRH/Other Press; OverDrive Sample) made the largest leap, moving from #4,716 to #264. The book earned starred reviews from all four pre-pub sources, with Booklist writing that it’s not all arcane philosophy, “With coverage of friendship, travel, argument, tragedy, drugs, Paris, and, of course, lots of sex, Bakewell’s biographical approach pays off.”

9780385535595_c7da8Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer (PRH/Doubleday; BOT) jumped over 1,000 titles, moving from #1,293 to #163. The very timely book is still part of the conversation as the president-elect creates his financial base of advisors. As we wrote earlier, Mayer explains how the Koch family and other wealthy conservative families have undertaken a concerted campaign to shape the political environment.

THE ALIENIST Finds Its Stars

9780812976144Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglorious Bastards, The Zookeeper’s Wife) and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train, The Hobbit trilogy) will star in the TNT adaptation of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, reports Deadline Hollywood.

Brühl will play the criminal psychologist in the novel, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, and Evans will play newspaper reporter John Moore as they join forces to conduct an investigation into a series of gruesome murders ravaging gilded age NYC (Deadline, which generally gives scant attention to the source material, provides an unusually long and vivid description of the story).

This moves the long-gestating series closer to the screen, with an expected air-date of late 2017. After several attempts to adapt it as a movie, as we noted earlier, the best selling 1994 psychological thriller was planned for a small screen run as an 8-part series. Previously, Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, True Detective) was attached to direct, but now he’s an executive producer and Jakob Verbruggen (episodes of House of Cards, Black Mirror) will take over the director’s role.

Filming is expected to begin early in the new year.