EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Holds Alert: SHAMED

9781594487132_85bbaLike catnip to the entire Internet, Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (Penguin/Riverhead Books; OverDrive Sample), a book on trolls, shaming, and collective attacks, is taking off.

After his bleep-filled appearance on The Daily Show and widespread coverage in media as diverse as The New York Times and the A.V. Club, Ronson’s book is topping hold ratios of 4:1 in most libraries we checked.

The topic has wide appeal and Ronson, a proven bestselling author, is getting high praise. The Boston Globe says his book is

“ … a modern-day horror story: cringe-inducing, anxiety-provoking, and so gripping it’s impossible to put down. Although the stocks and the pillory were outlawed nearly 200 years ago, after our forebears deemed them cruel and dehumanizing, Ronson argues compellingly that the Internet has revived the practice of public humiliation and given it greater reach in recent years.”

While The New York Times claims “Without losing any of the clever agility that makes his books so winning, he has taken on truly consequential material and risen to the challenge.”

However, there is some push back. The Huffington Post says the book’s “bold claims make for delicious reading, but they depend upon the erasure of nuance and the comfortable retreat to smug self-righteousness.”

Ronson’s book is just one of several recent publications on the topic. Jennifer Jacquet’s Is Shame Necessary? (RH/Pantheon) and Shelby Steele’s Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country (Perseus/Basic Books) also address the issue as pointed out in collective reviews by both The LA Times and The Washington Post.

New Host for THE DAILY SHOW

The news that The Daily Show has a new host, Trevor Noah, occupied much of the media yesterday.

Noah joined the cast of The Daily Show as a contributor in 2014 and is an internationally known comic previously based in South Africa. There are no details in the widespread coverage (here, here, and here) to indicate that Noah will be as book-friendly as Jon Stewart (who, incidentally has no authors booked this week after his triple-header last week).

Among Stewart proteges, only  Stephen Colbert shared the book bug (we’ll see what if that continues when he begins hosting The Late Show in September), but neither John Oliver nor Larry Wilmore has continued that tradition. Here’s hoping Noah surprises us (and who would have predicted, when Stewart began hosting the show, that he would become a major book champion?)

One of our favorite Jon Stewart moments proved he not only knows books, but also understands libraries. This may be the only time the Boston Public Library’s “Statement of Purpose” was quoted on national TV:

Heavily Anticipated Fall Titles

Among the heavily-anticipated titles on lists like Entertainment Weekly‘s “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015,” were several fall titles that had not yet appeared in catalogs.  Now that publishers’ sales conferences have wrapped up, the fall catalogs have appeared, in anticipation of promotions at BEA, and we have more information on those titles:

9780374239213_454c1 Purity, Jonathan Franzen, (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio, Sept 1)

Says Entertainment Weekly, “Franzen’s novels never fail to elicit equal parts hype and hate. Purity promises to be a departure from his previous works The Corrections and Freedom.” So, does that mean it won’t inspire hype and hate? Franzen is scheduled to appear at BEA on May 27, kicking off the show, in an interview with Salon critic Laura Miller.
Catalog: Macmillan Adult Fall 2015

9780385353779_2660fCity on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio, Oct. 13)

According to a 2013 story in New York magazine’s “Vulture” blog, this 900-page first novel sold to Knopf for almost $2 million and movie rights to Scott Rudin. Way back then, “Vulture” also offered a list of “28 things you can surmise about Garth Hallberg’s City on Fire by reading Garth Hallberg.”
Catalog: Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2015

M Train, Patti Smith, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio, Oct. 6; No cover yet)

Smith mentioned she’s working on this follow-up memoir to Just Kids in a Rolling Stone interview in October, describing it as not about the past, but “sort of in present tense. I wanted to write a contemporary book or just write whatever I felt like writing about, and it’s things going from literature to coffee to memories of Fred in Michigan.” Catalog: Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2015

9781611137156_f408cThe Witches, Stacy Schiff, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio Oct. 20 )

Schiff’s bio of Cleopatra became a #1 best seller, possibly fueled by talk of a movie version directed by James Cameron, starring Angelina Jolie AND in 3D (that idea now seems to be over). In this book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines the Salem Witch Trials.
Catalog: Little, Brown Fall 2015 / Winter 2016 Frontlist

After the jump, make your own discoveries, via links to the recently posted fall adult catalogs from the larger publishers. Tell us what you’re excited about in the comments section. Read the rest of this entry »

She’s Back

9780385354288_f9fb7

The star attraction of RH/Knopf Fall 2015  catalog, posted on Friday, is the fourth title in The Millennium series, which began with Stieg Larrson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Although Larsson reportedly left behind a manuscript for a another title in the series when he died, this is an entirely new book, written by Swedish journalist David Lagercrantz, chosen by Larsson’s Swedish publisher, Norstedts with the approval of Larsson’s brother and father.

Another interested party is not happy about the forthcoming book. Larsson’s partner of 32 years, Eva Gabrielsson in an interview by Agence France-Presse, says this book’s release is not about continuing his legacy, “It’s about a publishing house [Norstedts] that needs money, (and) a writer who doesn’t have anything to write so he copies someone else.”

The title, translated from the Swedish, is That Which Does Not Kill.

UPDATE: The English-language title will be changed to The Girl in the Spider’s Web, continuing the tradition of the others in the series, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also quotes Knopf’s Editor-in-Chief Sonny Mehta, who brought all three previous novels in the series to the U.S., “I think it has all the richness of the original sequence of novels. It’s got a whole chain of American characters in it, and American settings as well.”

It’s still listed on the publishers catalog as:

The Girl in the Spider's WebMillennium Series: Book 4
David Lagercrantz
RH/Knopf: September 1, 2015
9780385354288, 0385354282
$27.95 USD

HP, Illustrated

harry-potter-jim-kayThe first images from a new fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to be released Oct. 6, 2015, are hitting the interwebs.

The publishers, Scholastic here and Bloomsbury in the U.K., plan to release one illustrated HP title a year over the next seven years. The illustrations are by Jim Kay, who also illustrated Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls, (Candlewick, 2011).

Entertainment Weekly has the “exclusive” on the cover and several of the interior images but the the British site Imgur (via Tor.com) offers views of the illustrations as they appear on the actual pages. Below is one of the spreads:

illustrated-hp-hagrid-2

HOME Is A Home Run

Based on Adam Rex’s chapter book, The True Meaning of Smekday, (Disney/Hyperion; Listening Library), the animated Dreamworks movie Home, opened this weekend and outperformed expectations. Variety speculates, “Jeffrey Katzenberg must be breathing a huge sigh of relief after the embattled DreamWorks Animation chief scored a much needed box office win with the release of Home.”

Critics are also fans. The New York Times calls it “a charming concoction with positive messages for younger children about conquering fears, understanding outsiders and knowing yourself.”

Unfortunately, the film reviews don’t mention the original book, which enjoyed a rapturous reception in The New York Times Book Review when it was published in 2007; “a story so original, so absorbing and so laugh-out-loud funny that the minute I read the last page, I want to start at the beginning again … [it] will captivate fans of the wordplay and characters in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and of the outrageously entertaining satire of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

It happens that rave review is by EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek, who went to see the movie on opening day to see how the book translated to the screen. She reports, “I laughed aloud and enjoyed the reactions from the kids in the audience. One of my favorite book talk moments, in the MoPo (7eleven/WaWa), it is beautifully portrayed. The plot is very different from the book, but it’s a great opportunity to bring an even great audience to the original.” Further, Lisa, an avowed dog person says, “Tip’s cat Pig is one of the best animated characters, ever!”

The True Meaning of SMEKDAY   SMEK For President

Written in the form of a time capsule essay by an 11-year-old girl nicknamed Tip (her real name is Gratuity), it begins after aliens called the Boov, have invaded the earth and changed the name Christmas to Smekday (to honor one of the Boov leaders). It was illustrator Adam Rex’s first novel (the sequel, Smek For President, came out in February).

The main character, Tip,  is voiced by singer Rihanna and the Boov alien, named Oh, by Jim Parsons (star of The Big Bang Theory). Fans of the book will remember that character was originally named J.Lo In a twist worthy of the wordplay of the book, the real J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez, voices a different character in the movie.

Tie-ins (for a full list of tie-ins to current and upcoming movies, check our collection on Edelweiss):

9781481426107_5393d-2   9781481426060_feb5d-2

Tip’s Tips on Friendship
Thies Schwarz
S&S/Simon Spotlight: February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback: $3.99 USD, $4.99 CAD
Ages 5 to 7, Grades K to 2

Home : The Chapter Book
Tracey West
S&S/Simon Spotlight: February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback: $5.99 USD, $6.99 CAD
Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5

Scott Simon Times Three

The voice may be familiar, but not the face. Scott Simon, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday began moonlighting as a regular correspondent on yestaday’s CBS Sunday Morning. It’s a busy time for Simon. In addition to radio and TV, his new memoir, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) hits the shelves on Tuesday.

UnforgettableIn 2013 Simon was at his mother’s bedside as she died, tweeting about grief and his experience from the intensive-care unit. It was a vigil that played out on Twitter with millions following along. In this, his third memoir, he writes about his mother’s glamorous but difficult life, his childhood, and witnessing her death. As The Washington Post captures in its glowing review, it is an affecting story.

A Curious MindIn his debut on Sunday Morning, Simon interviews Hollywood powerhouse Brian Grazer, best known for Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and the currently hot Fox show Empire, who is also publishing a  new book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (S&S; S&S Audio; April 7) co-written with Charles Fishman. In it, he explores the power of curiosity and open-mindedness in his career, which has also allowed him to conduct “curiosity conversations” with Barack Obama and Eminem among hundreds of others.

Unfortunately, the embed code for the segment does not work; watch it here.

As a result of the show, Grazer’s book rose to #49 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Currently holds are light for both titles but expect demand as the PR machines rev up for each.

CASUAL VACANCY, U.S. Trailer

9780316228534

The HBO/BBC adaptation of  J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, (Hachette/Little, Brown) debuts on HBO April 29th & 30th.

It has already aired in the U.K., where fans resented a change in the ending. As a result, many took to Twitter to urge others to read the book instead.

The trailer for U.S. audiences was just released. Harry Potter fans will recognize one of the actors.

Media Tie-in Edition (cover not yet released):

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
Hachette/Back Bay Books: April 28
Trade Paperback  $18.00 USD, $20.00 CAD

The BBC has also signed the detective series that Rowling wrote under the name Robert Galbraith (The Cukoo’s Calling, The Silkworm) for a series.

Even Patterson Can’t Beat the TRAIN

The Girl on the Train  All The Light We Cannot See  9780316406994_4e369

The best seller logjam has not broken. On the 4/5 NYT Hardcover Fiction list, the number one and two spots are occupied, as they have been for weeks, by Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead) and Anthony Doerr’s  All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner). Even a new book by James Patterson can’t break through. His latest, with Marshall Karp, NYPD Red 3 (Hachette/Little, Brown) arrives at #3.

Other lists, however, show a different story. USA Today‘s has the Patterson title at #2, after The Girl on the Train as does the PW/Bookscan list. On the Indie Best Seller list, however, NYPD Red 3 arrives at a lowly #12.

HausfrauMeanwhile, Hausfrau, by Jill Essbaum, (Random House; RH Audio), heavily considered a successor to The Girl On The Train, just squeaks onto the main list at #16, in a tie with #15, The Whites, by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt (Macmillan/Holt).

The NYT‘s “Inside the List” column may bring more readers to Hausfrau, as it promotes the book’s erotic side, noting that the author, a poet, is “no stranger to the naughty bits.” Others, like Time magazine, have put it another way, “Anna Karenina Goes Fifty Shades With a Side of Madame Bovary.”

Seven Titles For RA Gurus, Week of March 30

Titles arriving next week range from sure bets, to a very interesting question mark. The media will be busy with NYC’s former Police Commissioner who went from From Jailer to Jailed. For those of us whose sins are more of the grammatical nature, help is on the way.

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 March 30, 2015

Holds Leaders

At the Water's Edge  9781250056238_d0a76  9780553391350_f3ae7

At The Water’s Edge, Sara Gruen, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print; Overdrive Sample),

It’s the holds leader for the week, which is no surprise, given the author’s name recognition but the question is, will demand continue? We summarize the best thinking on its chances from several collection development librarians in a separate post. Holds are slightly higher on this one than they are for Steve Berry’s new book, below, but libraries have ordered fewer copies, perhaps in reaction to the author’s previous title, Ape House, which did reach the demand level for her earlier Water for Elephants.

The Patriot Threat, Steve, Berry, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; Overdrive Sample)

The tenth Cotton Malone thriller poses the question many ask at this time of the year, “What if the U.S.  federal income tax was illegal?”

The Angel Court Affair, Anne Perry, (RH/Ballantine; Overdrive Sample)

Can an author keep a series fresh after a many titles?  Yes, says PW, calling this thirtieth entry in Perry’s historical series featuring Victorian era husband-and-wife detectives, one of the better entries, adding, “As usual, Perry melds the intellectual debates of the day with a suspenseful plot line.”

Critics’ Favorite

9780062349378_cd9a5The Harder They Come,  T.C. Boyle, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)

Already getting attention from major critics:

Washington Post – Ron Charles begins his review, “Every punch and thrust and gasp in the opening of T.C. Boyle’s new novel demonstrates why he’s one of the greatest storytellers in the country.”

NYT, Michiko Kakutani  — “arguably Mr. Boyle’s most powerful, kinetic novel yet.”

L.A. Times, by Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins — “As much as this is a novel of big ideas, The Harder They Come never feels didactic, partly because Boyle doesn’t let up on the accelerator, ” but, “Much of his story is tied to characters, Adam and Sara, whose irrational, far-right, Uh-merican ignorance (or outright insanity) make them hard to follow with anything like sympathy. Even as the action amps up, emotional connection flickers.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9781476783703_d69f4From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054,, Bernard B. Kerik, (S&S/Threshold Editions; Overdrive Sample)

The controversial former NYC police commissioner is media bait and is scheduled for appearances on:

• NBC-TV/’Today,’ March 30
• CNN-TV/’CNN Tonight,’ March 31
• ABC-TV/’Nightline,’ March 31

9781594487132_85bbaSo You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson (Penguin/Riverhead; OverDrive Sample)

The author was already treated to a love fest by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. An excerpt was featured as a NYT Magazine cover story.

Picks

9780393240184_dec2cBetween You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, Mary Norris, (Norton; Recorded Books)

An Indie Next pick, this new book on the always entertaining subject of grammar is featured in a new video series from The New Yorker. We’ll be watching.

Crystal Ball:
AT THE WATER’S EDGE

At the Water's Edge  9781565124998_36937  book_AH

Will word of mouth sink or buoy up Sara Gruen’s At The Water’s Edge (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; RH Large Print; Overdrive Sample), arriving next week?

Early reactions are sharply divided. It’s the #1 LibraryReads pick for April but both Kirkus and Booklist were less than enthusiastic, with Kirkus calling it plain “silly” and complaining that the main characters came across as “spoiled brats.” Past history is also divided. The author has published one blockbuster, Water for Elephants, the basis for a successful movie (which may even become a Broadway musical), followed by the less successful Ape House.

We checked in with several collection development librarians to get their take. All of them expect At The Water’s Edge to hit best seller lists based on the author’s name recognition and to continue due to word of mouth. Several took a strong position early and others have gone back to order more copies.

Below are their major points (sorry, quotes had to be anonymous).

Setting:

  • “The World War II setting will definitely be a bigger attraction than that of Ape House (a research center dedicated to studying bonobo apes).”
  • Set in Scotland, it includes fascinating details about the Loch Ness monster

Comparison to previous titles:

  • Most said that Ape House had not done well at all in their libraries, but one librarian cautions, “Underperformance is relative. We might have considered Ape House a success if we didn’t have Water for Elephants as a comparison.”

Characters:

  • “Unlikeable characters have held back some titles from star writers for us before.”
  • “Some people complain about the characters in GOTT, but that hasn’t killed word of mouth.”
  • The main character shows emotional development and don’t forget, there’s a romance involved.

Reading Group Appeal:

  • “Reading groups who will have a great time dissecting this book and parsing the characters.”

Reviews:

  • The LJExpress review, posted after the less appreciative Kirkus and Booklist reviews, has it right. “Get past [some issues with believability], and you’ll find yourself skimming along entertainingly with Maddie as she grows up, asserts herself, and gets the right man.”
  • “One of my very best ARC readers raved about it, and she’s never wrong.”
  • The consumer press will have an effect, especially if Entertainment Weekly and/or People are enthusiastic. It will get media attention of course. The  author is scheduled to appear on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Saturday and next week on the Diane Rehm Show.

Summary:

  • “My best guess (educated, of course ) is this book will circulate briskly for most of the summer into the fall and be a book club favorite. It’s success will be closer to Water for Elephants and much better than Ape House, which was a bust for us. It has a lot of hooks going for it: Scotland, World War II, romance, Loch Ness monster, a Downtown Abbey vibe (few seem to be bothered that Lord Grantham and family continue going to balls and teas in the midst of war).”

Place your bets in the comments section, below!

J.K. Rowling’s Chamber of Secrets

9781849669740J.K. Rowling wrote a song for Nearly Headless Nick to sing in The Chamber of Secrets but deleted it during edits; the dementors were less of a threat in the early drafts of The Prisoner of Azkaban; pages from David Guterson’s East of the Mountains hid The Order of the Phoenix from prying eyes.

1357-apr032015_0These are but three of the revelations in J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013, a 544 page scholarly work by Philip W. Errington (Bloosmbury Academic; April 23, 2015; ISBN 9781849669740) with a price tag of $128 that has made the cover of the April 3rd edition of Entertainment Weekly. We’re willing to bet this is the first time an academic book has made the cover (it’s in the burst, just above the photo of a goat eating Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s dress}.

Errington is the director for children’s books at Sotheby’s auction house and has spent five years working on the bibliography, according to The Guardian. It provides full details of each edition of the Harry Potter books, which are numerous due to the varying adult and children’s covers, the UK vs. US texts, and the multiple foreign translations.

Perhaps of most interest to readers will be his account of how the Harry Potter books were revised and edited (which EW excepts in their story), including a secret code and a dead letter drop in a bar to pass along one manuscript, how Rowling got sick of re-reading the books during edits, and the massive efforts to maintain continuity between the series titles which resulted in a detailed file termed “the HP bible.”

Like Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, published by South Dakota Historical Society Press, another academic book that found a popular fan-base, Errington’s book is likely to hold appeal beyond its intended audience of researchers and book dealers.

Based on WorldCat, orders are very light but expect demand. Not every denizen of Rowling’s huge fan base can afford the steep academic price and will turn to their local library for the keys to this chamber of secrets.

READY PLAYER ONE,
The Spielberg Movie

Ready Player OneThe long-gestating film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, (RH/Crown, 2011) has made a giant step towards reality. Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that they’ve hired a director,  Steven Spielberg.

Currently finishing up the original Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks, Spielberg’s next project is the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, currently scheduled for release July 1, 2016. After that, reports Deadline, he plans to turn his attention to the Cline adaptation. Also on his plate, but evidently now third in line, is an adaptation of Lynsey Addario’s recently released memoir,  It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War (Penguin, Feb. 10), with Jennifer Lawrence set to star.

9780804149112_319ecReady Player One, Cline’s debut, was the top title on a list of librarian favorites for the year.

Cline’s second book, Armada (RH/Crown, RH & BOT Audio), set for publication on July 24th, has also been optioned for a movie .

Nancy Pearl Recommends UNBECOMING

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 8.55.01 PMYou can hear the joy in librarian Nancy Pearl’s voice when she discovers a new author she loves. During her program on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW this week, she is especially excited about discovering a debut, Rebecca Scherm’s novel Unbecoming (Penguin/Viking, Jan. 22; OverDrive Sample).

Nancy particularly appreciates Sherm’s deftness in crafting a restrained novel with fully realized characters. The “psychological acuity, the way [Sherm] understands her characters and presents them to us, is just brilliant,” she says, adding “it’s amazing what she did in just 308 pages. I love this book.”

Sherm’s novel was also part of the Penguin First Flights program on EarlyWord in October. In a live chat with librarians, Sherm discusses her influences – Patricia Highsmith and Alfred Hitchcock – as well as how she hopes readers respond to her characters, “As a writer, there’s a sense of readerly discomfort that I want. One of the things I find so incredible about Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels is that I am rooting for him and against him at the same time.”

What’s the novel about? Summing it up on her own website, Sherm posts a useful RA description “Unbecoming reinvents the heist plot and takes up the making of a femme fatale — this time, from a woman’s point of view.” In their “Briefly Noted” summary The New Yorker writes this “lively début combines a knotty coming-of-age tale and a high-society caper.” The NYT Sunday Book Review deems it “startlingly inventive.”

Nancy features a new book each Tuesday. An archive of previous shows is on the KUOW site.

GALLEYCHATTER, Seven Titles to Read ASAP

Editor’s Note: With this column, our “GalleyChatter” Robin Beerbower marks her first anniversary writing the column. We appreciate her tenacity in wrangling so many titles from each of our monthly chats (a dazzling 92 books  during the March 3 chat) down to several to move to the top of your TBR lists (if you don’t find something here, Robin’s compiled the full list into an Edelweiss collection).

GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one is on April 7, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT. Please join us (details here).

From Robin:

9781250054807_1030cOf course librarians are drawn to books that feature fellow colleagues and the debut novel by Erika Swyler, Book of Speculation (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, June), has already received high praise from GalleyChatters. It features newly unemployed librarian Simon Watson who is working on saving his family house from falling into the sea and also trying to save his sister, who seems to destined to fall under a curse set by their female ancestors. Janet Lockhart (Wake County Public Libraries) and I believe that this fascinating and compelling story with touches of myth and magic is perfect for fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and the more recent Magical Lies by Greer McAllister.

9780062358325_9699eIt’s always fun to predict what book smart beach goers will be carrying in their totes come summer and Jennifer Dayton (Darien, CT, Library) thinks it will be the tale of a man’s obsessive love for a free-spirited woman, Girl in the Moonlight, Charles Dubow (HarperCollins/Morrow, May). Jennifer said this not-so-guilty pleasure “is a wonderful take on Brideshead Revisisted.” [Note: the cover doesn’t render well in this thumbnail size. Click on it to see a larger version]

9781594633294_c128cSt. Charles Parish Library’s (LA) Vicki Nesting‘s enthusiasm for Anna Freeman’s The Fair Fight (Penguin/Riverhead, April) had many of us scrambling to download the DRC from Edelweiss. This novel set in 18th century England’s world of female boxers is already Vicki’s favorite historical novel of the year because, “From the backyard boxing rings to the disturbing long-term effects of smallpox, readers will be swept up in Freeman’s compellingly authentic, not-to-be-missed novel.”

9781455599899_acfa2Jamie Attenberg’s The Middlesteins landed on many “best of” lists in 2013, and her follow-up novel, Saint Mazie (Hachette/Grand Centra, June), has popped up in the last couple of GalleyChat discussions. Based on a real-life story of a woman in New York City, this novel of a theatre owner’s big-hearted move to open her establishment to help the needy during the Depression garnered rave reviews by Kansas City (MO) Library’s Kaite Stover, who said this epistolary novel has a “feisty female lead, quick pace, and is cinematic in scope. Would make a great flick.”

9780525429142_89846In J. Ryan Stradel’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest (Penguin/Pamela Dorman, July), a superstar chef’s rise to fame is told in a collection of short stories told from various viewpoints. Rich in unique characters and with enticing food descriptions, this is one to watch and would make a great book club choice. Even though the tone is a little different, try this for those who loved Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge. [Note: this is one of the upcoming titles in the Penguin Debut Authors program. Join here]

9781455557103_300c9Judging from the enthusiastic GalleyChatter raves for The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (Hachette/Grand Central, April), this charming novel is sure to be a hit, especially for Will and Kate watchers. Leslie Stokes of Heard Co. Public Library in Franklin, GA, said the authors “show that in today’s world of paparazzi, TMZ, and Twitter, dating a prince may not necessarily be a fairytale. Believable new adult romance that avoids the overabundance of angst present in so many teen dramas.”

9780761171713_3f9a8This month’s nonfiction choice is The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital, Alexandra Robbins (Workman, May), a fascinating and somewhat alarming examination of the contemporary nursing profession. Carol Kubala (retired librarian, Saxton B. Little Free Library, CT) gave it five stars on Good Reads, saying “Robbins not only shows, she tells in this revealing expose of the modern day state of nursing. It is an eye-opener not to be missed.”

635604653206302811-JojoMoyesGalleyChatters are also anticipating JoJo Moyes’ After You, the sequel to Me Before You, announced in late February. Sorry to say there is no DRC or print ARC available but Penguin’s library marketing rep said they are working on print ARCs for ALA annual. Is there any better reason to attend?

Please join us for our next spirited GalleyChat discussion on April 7, and “friend me” on Edelweiss to see what’s on my TBR pile.