News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians


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Eight Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 28

Next week brings the second anniversary of the escape of three women who were abducted and held prisoner in a home in Cleveland, celebrated by the release of a new book about their ordeal. A struggle of a different sort is examined by literary favorite Karl Ove Knausgaard. Leading in holds is John Sanford’s new title in the Prey series, while indies, fellow librarians and Entertainment Weekly all herald favorites of the week.

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 April 27, 2015

Holds Leaders

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Gathering Prey, John Sandford, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

The 25th in the Prey series, this comes just six months after the author’s previous best seller, Deadline.

Your Next Breath, Iris Johansen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Not to be outdone by prolific author Sanford, Johansen’s next also arrives six months after her previous title, The Perfect Witness

Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories, Mary Higgins Clark, (S&S; S&S/Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Much further down the holds lists, we love the title of the new collection of stories.

Media Attention

9780525427650_1b468-2Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Two years ago, three women finally escaped from a home in Cleveland where they had been chained and repeatedly raped by their abductor. People magazine features an excerpt of a new book by two of those women in the new issue (not yet online, promo here) and Robin Roberts will do an hour-long ABC hour special with the authors on Tuesday.

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Finding MeMore is coming on the story.

On Saturday, May 2, Lifetime will air a movie, Cleveland Abduction based on a book published last year by the third  Cleveland captive, Michelle Knight, Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, (Perseus/Weinstein; OverDrive Sample).


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My Struggle: Book Four, Karl Ove Knausgaard, (Steerforth/Archipelago; OverDrive Sample)

Most of us are n9780914671176_e9ba7ot in on the cult surrounding Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard, called by some a “modern-day Proust” for his series of autobiographical novels. For an examination of the phenomenon, read the quote-peppered piece in this week’s New York Magazine, “The Very Public Saga of Karl Ove Knausgaard Writing About Himself.”

Further proving his cred as a writer’s writer, the latest title in the series is reviewed by Jeffrey Eugenides in the week’s NYT Book Review, who notes, “I may be the first reviewer of Knausgaard’s autobiographical works who has appeared in one of them,” putting him, he claims, in a position to “judge how [Knausgaard} uses the stuff of his life to fashion his stories.”

The result? Eugenides judges him no less than a great writer. The first three hardcovers have been released in trade paperback by Macmillan/FSG and Recorded Books is doing them in audio.


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Early Warning, Jane Smiley, (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

“In the second book of the Langdon trilogy, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist follows the next generation of the unforgettable Iowa family introduced in Some Luck. Beginning with the death of the patriarch Walter in 1953, Smiley chronicles the social consciousness in America of the 1960s. The book goes up to events in the 1970s and early 1980s that touch each family member in unforeseen ways.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Smiley was interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show this week.

The Doll Maker, Richard Montanari, (Hachette/Mulholland; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Number three on the “Must List” in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly:
“The eighth installment in the popular Byrne and Balzano series sees the detectives investigating a string of gruesome murders. Children are killed then posed in public like dolls. Your pulse will race as they try to solve the case before another life is lost.”

The Last Bookaneer, Matthew Pearl, (Penguin Press; Penguin & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

The audio is narrated by Golden Voice Simon Vance. Treat yourself by giving it a listen:

Indie Next:
“An adventure, a mystery, an historical fiction — this exciting read defies categorization. With quirky and engaging characters who are at once villains, crooks, and heroes, along with exotic locations, literary figures, fast-paced action, and a surprise ending, this novel has something for everyone. Changing copyright laws spell the end of the line for career book thieves and spies, and a race against time and competitors makes for a story that is hard to put down. This will be another bestseller for Pearl!” —Coleen Colwell, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, CA

GalleyChatter: Something
for Everyone

Editor’s Note: Each month our “GalleyChatter” Robin Beerbower wrangles the many titles librarians buzzed during GalleyChat down to a select few that are candidates for nearly everyone’s TBR lists.

GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one, May 6, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT will focus on the titles librarians are hoping to find at BEA. Please join us (details here).

Take it away, Robin!

April’s GalleyChat yielded a nice variety of forthcoming books with something for everyone.

If you couldn’t keep up with the over 400 tweets, check out the complete listing of titles on Edelweiss.

Suspense Thrillers

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Two suspense thrillers were at the forefront of our discussion starting with the second in the Jack White series, Vanishing Games (RH/Knopf, July). In 2013 Roger Hobbs had a hit with the first Jack White title, Ghostman, (even Michiko liked it!) and the second one is—if possible—even more intense. Set in the fascinating location of Macau, “Jack” reunites with his mentor, Angela, to find a missing treasure while trying to stay one step ahead of multiple bad guys. Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library (OR), said this is “a fast-paced and thrilling high-stakes caper that is enjoyable from start to finish.”

Patrick Lee introduced the intriguing ex-Special Forces operative Sam Dryden in his smart thriller Runner and Dryden is again featured in the follow-up, Signal (Macmillan/Minotaur, July). In her Edelweiss review, Janet Lockhart (Wake County Public Libraries) said “Think Lee Child with a sci-fi twist. Main character who is sympathetic despite the alarmingly large number of people he has to kill, great pacing, and mind blowing plot twists make this a great read.”

Book About Books

9780553418774_590eb“A book is both doctor and medicine. It makes diagnoses and provides therapy. Bringing the right novels together with the appropriate people is the way I sell books.” Combine that quote from Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George (RH/Crown, June) with the setting of a floating bookshop on the Seine and no readers’ advisory librarian will be able to resist reading (and recommending) it. Joe Jones (Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio) said, “Lost loves, a search for forgiveness, and one memorable road trip featuring some unique companions and characters along the way. For anyone who loves books and how they affect us. A perfect book discussion title.”

Psychological Suspense at Its Best

9780062363237_da22e“Eerie” and “unsettling” best describes Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts (HarperCollins/ Morrow, June), the story of an 8-year-old grappling with her 14-year-old sister’s mental illness (real? fake? activated by paranormal activity?) and their family’s decision to have an exorcism filmed by a television crew. This was so intense I could hardly keep reading and recommend to readers who liked John Searles’ Help for the Haunted, especially for the sisterly bond.

Best of 2015 Contender

9781476798172_2ec36Every GalleyChat has at least one book deemed a “favorite of the year” and the heartbreaking debut by Bill Clegg, Did You Ever Have a Family (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press, September) is a definite contender. Discerning reader and devoted participant Cynthia Baskin loved this saying, “The author combines beautiful, empathetic writing with fully drawn realistic characters dealing with a horrible tragedy.” Janet Lockhart also agrees, saying this will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Strout and Ann Patchett and is a perfect title for all book groups.

Feverish for Gothics

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The fever never wanes among GalleyChat participants; we just can’t get enough of these novels filled with nail-biting atmospheric suspense. The announcement that Kate Morton’s next book, The Lake House, is due next October (S&S/Atria), sparked discussion about two titles that can be read now. Both Kimberly Freeman’s Evergreen Falls (S&S/Touchstone, August) and Lucinda Riley’s The Seven Sisters S&S/Touchstone, May) have dual timeline stories in exotic settings. Freeman’s book is set in a spa hotel in Australia and features a story fraught with scandalous secrets and love affairs; it’s a perfect match for fans of the departed Victoria Holt. New Rochelle (NY) Public Library’s Beth Mills reported that the Riley book “is the first in a linked series of seven novels focused on the mysteries surrounding six girls adopted by an enigmatic billionaire and each book features one of the sisters. I can hardly wait for the second novel, promised for November 2015.”

Memoir to Remember


Bastards: A Memoir, Mary Anna King (WW Norton, June), mentioned a couple of months ago, now has a hold on Jennifer Dayton (Darien, CT, Library) who calls it a memoir to watch.  As a child King’s mother had multiple babies but gave them all up for adoption, then sent King to live with her grandparents. As an adult, King was haunted by the family she never knew and was determined to bring everyone back together. Janet Lockhart remarked that this is a “moving bio of girl trying to find a way to make sense of her fractured family life.”

I check Edelweiss for forthcoming books daily so you don’t have to, so “friend me” to see what I’m excited to read.

Witherspoon Voices WATCHMAN

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 10.11.26 AMFollowing in the footsteps of actress Sissy Spacek who narrates the 2009 production of To Kill A Mockingbird, Reese Witherspoon has been selected by HarperAudio to narrate Go Set A Watchman.

The audiobook will be released simultaneously with the print and ebook versions on July 14th.

Born in New Orleans, Witherspoon is quoted in USA Today:

As a Southerner, it is an honor and privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired my childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch…I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver.

An avid reader, Witherspoon has been associated with a number of book adaptations as both an actress and a producer, including Water for Elephants, Wild, and Gone Girl.  She won the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter in Walk the Line, Oddly enough, Mockingbird‘s narrator, Spacek also won a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of another singer, Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

This is Witherspoon’s first audiobook.


9781602862418_df7f5A year after it was controversially featured as the opening film at Cannes, American audiences will finally get to see the bio-pic featuring Niclole Kidman as Princess Grace, titled after the book it is based on, Grace of Monaco by Jeffrey Robinson (Perseus/Da Capo; Audio, Dreamscape).

It is not coming to the big screen, however. In quite a comedown from opening the Cannes Festival, it makes its U.S. debut on the cable network Lifetime on Memorial Day, May 25th.

The film was booed at Cannes and the kinder critics said is was “not Kidman’s finest hour.”

Cookbooks, “The Golden Age”

Remember when people thought the digital age would spell the end to cookbooks?

Ironically, the online recipe site, Epicurious, begs to differ. Calling this the “Cookbook Golden Age,” they say, “If cookbooks were just collections of recipes, you could sum them up in an index. But the best books weave the wit and spirit of their authors right into every page.”

They have whittled “The Epicurious Cookbook Canon Longlist,” based on nominees from readers, down to just ten.

Either list is a great opportunity for a display, real or virtual.

Also check out Epicurious‘s list of 30 Spring Cookbooks We’re Excited For (hurrah! our favorite Brooklyn ice cream truck/stand reveals their secrets in June; Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, HarperCollins/Ecco).


Sword_of_shannara_hardcoverPromoted as the heir to Game of Thrones, MTV executives debuted a clip yesterday at a “glitzy event” (according to the L.A. Times) held in New York of the as yet unscheduled series The Shannara Chronicles.

Part of MTV’s efforts to win back ratings, it is based on Terry Brooks’s long-running series which began with The Sword of Shannara (RH/Del Rey 1977). I just  recently begun production, but MTV has already begun promoting the stars on their web site.

Tie-ins are currently scheduled for release in December.

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles Book One) (TV Tie-in Edition)
Terry Brooks
RH/Del Rey, December 1, 2015
Trade PaperbackMass Market

The Wishsong of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles Book Two) (TV Tie-in Edition)
Terry Brooks
RH/Del Rey, December 1, 2015
Trade Paperback

Nancy Pearl Loves Historical Mysteries

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.38.21 AMLibrarian Nancy Pearl picks a title from one her favorite genres, historical mysteries, for her weekly radio show.

The Strangler Vine (Penguin/Putnam; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample, 3/31/15) by M.J. Carter is a debut set in 1837 India. Nancy calls it “an old-fashioned adventure novel.”

Carter is the author of two nonfiction works and uses her skills in research to create a vividly set historical thriller tracing the adventures of William Avery, a newly arrived British solider, and Jeremiah Blake, a seasoned spy gone native.

In praise any publisher would kill for, Nancy says it is “wonderful reading, I just couldn’t put it down.”

The New York Post agrees, making it one of their “This week’s must-read books” and calling it a “yarn reminiscent of adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

Nancy appears every Tuesday on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW and an archive of her appearances is also available.

A Cop With Storytelling Chops

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.12.05 AMSteve Osborne is a storytelling genius as is clear by his appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air.

At a time when cops are in the news for all the wrong reasons, Osborne brings a new voice to the conversation, an authentic and compelling one telling vivid and visceral stories about life on the line.

In his debut memoir, The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop (RH/Doubleday; BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample), Osborne relates stories from 20 years in the New York Police Department.

Osborne is also a favorite on The Moth (a not-for profit storytelling collective) where he has honed his story telling chops, a fact quite evident as he turned his interview on Fresh Air into a performance of its own. His book jumped up the Amazon rankings as a result.

In a wise move, Books on Tape has Osborne narrate the audiobook.

Krakauer on the CBS EARLY SHOW

9780385538732_e12b5Jon Krakauer was interviewed on today’s CBS Early Show about his new book, which goes on sale today, MissoulaRape and the Justice System in a College Town (RH/Doubleday; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print).

He will appear tomorrow on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. He has also appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday

The book has been reviewed in USA Today, by Janet Maslin in the New York  Times and by Caitlin Flanagan in the Washington Post.

Coming to ABC

Astronaut Wives Club  AWC_Key_Art_Embed

The 10-episode The Astronaut Wives Club will debut on ABC in June 18, based on Lily Koppel’s book of the same title (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio and Large Print). The cover of the book, featuring the actual wives is on the left. The poster for the series, featuring the wives as portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominique McElligott, Odette Annable, Erin Cummings, Azure Parsons and Zoe Boyle.

The first episode is directed by Lone Scherfig, director of the An Education and One Day.

About the wives of of the first U.S. astronauts, the book became a best seller after it was featured on another network, CBS Sunday Morning in 2013.

YA/MG GalleyChat Today — #ewgcya

Note our brand-new hashtag, #ewgcya (the old one is now definitely NSFW)

New Pages From

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.14.09 AMThree new pages have been discovered from an earlier draft of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (Macmillan/Square Fish; OverDrive Sample).

The pages feature Meg, Calvin, and Mr. Murry at the point Meg has just escaped from Camazotz. Meg asks her father how the Black Thing captured Camazotz and Mr. Murry launches into a lecture on freedom, totalitarianism, and the dangers of security.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, L’Engle experts agree with her decision to cut the pages pre-publication and they will not be included in any new editions.

The found pages are just an example of the many edits L’Engle had to make to find a publisher. In 1960 she wrote in her journal about the demands of one publisher who rejected the book and suggested its length be reduced by 50%:

Today I am crawling around in the depths of gloom … I’m willing to rewrite, to rewrite extensively, to cut as much as necessary; but I am not willing to mutilate, to destroy the essence of the book.

As we reported earlier, a film version by Disney is in the works, with Jennifer Lee (Frozen) set to direct.

This Week on the DAILY SHOW

9780062333810_9ddcdLast night, Jon Stewart’s guest was Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield (Harper, 4/21/15), the story of a group of  women who volunteered for a mission to help Rangers in Afghanistan, by making contact with a group they could not, Afghan women. Called “cultural support” rather than front theater combat troops, they were in fact on the front lines and the woman at the center of the story died.

Visibly moved, Stewart called it “a terrific book.”

A hot property in Hollywood, the film rights to the Ashley’s War were recently won at auction by Reese Witherspoon.

The interview was somewhat overshadowed by Stewart’s announcement that his last show will be Aug. 6.

9781455584895_22802Tomorrow night, the show will feature Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush and a political commentator for Stewart’s favorite punching bag, Fox News. Her book And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side. (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print) is being published today.

On Thursday, Stewart will interview one of his favorites, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium. His new TV series StarTalk begins on Monday night on NatGeo. He is the author of several books, including, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (Norton, 2012), The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet (Norton, 2009) and Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (Norton, 2007).

ALL THE LIGHT Wins Pulitzer

All The Light We Cannot SeeGuaranteeing its continued tenure on best seller lists, All the Light We Cannot See (S&S/Scribner) by Anthony Doerr won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, announced yesterday.

An unexpected breakout best seller, it was on most of the year’s best books lists, a finalist for the National Book Award (that prize went to Redeployment by Phil Klay, Penguin Press), and is on the shortlist for ALA’s 2015 Carnegie Medal.

UPDATE: The Guardian describes how Doerr got the news of his win and says the book “is not like your average great American novel, in part because it is a very lyrical piece of work.” The Daily Beast gives an in-depth look at all the winners.

General Nonfiction Winner

The SixThe Sixth Extinctionth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert (Macmillan/Holt; S&S Audio)

Also on multiple best books lists this year, including the New York Times Book Review‘s Top Ten, it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and  a finalist for the upcoming ALA Carnegie Medal.

She managed to leaven the book’s scary findings with humor, wisecracking with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show last year:

The other books winning Pulitzers are:

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Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn (Hill and Wang)

UPDATE: A University of Colorado professor, Fenn is at work on a biography of Sacagawea.

Biography or Autobiography
The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer (Random House)

UPDATE: The author says the win was a complete shock. He also notes that Steven Spielberg is still working on plans to adapt his 1977 book, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (RH/Knopf),

Digest by Gregory Pardlo (University Press of New England/Four Way Books)

UPDATE: The poet discusses his unexpected fame in an interview in the New York Times.