February 12th, 2016 By: Nora Rawlinson
The most heavily anticipated titles this week, as demonstrated by hold queues, are Jeffrey Archer’s Cometh the Hour, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) and Jo Nesbo’s Midnight Sun (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print: RH Audio).
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 Feb. 15, 2016
After a string of books with “Girl” in the title, it’s a relief to hear of a successor that uses a more grownup name. The Widow, Fiona Barton (PRH/NAL; OverDrive Sample) is a People pick for the week, “a twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.” Entertainment Weekly’s review invokes comparisons to those Girl books, adding, “Barton’s debut, already a best-seller in her native U.K., might have more of a right to the comparison than most.”
Booksellers made it an Indie Next pick:
“Readers on the hunt for the newest, hottest thriller can take heart: Barton’s debut novel is impeccably paced and quietly terrifying, sure to fill any void left after reading The Girl on the Train. Jean Taylor is reeling over the loss of her husband, but the man she knows and the man the police know are two very different people. Told in alternating voices, The Widow is perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Tana French and will have readers on the edge of their seats.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA.
Prepub reviews were generally strong, with PW giving it a star. Kirkus was more mixed, “The idea of a woman who stands beside an alleged monster is an intriguing one, and very nearly well-executed here, if it weren’t bogged down with other too-familiar plotlines.”
Most libraries ordered it cautiously. A few are showing holds. Watch this one; you may need to order more.
But we’re not escaping girls completely. Kate Hamer’s debut, The Girl in the Red Coat
(Melville House; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample) has already been hailed by the NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani, who also invoked the girl comparisons (as Entertainment Weekly says, “Apparently, the first rule of Gone Girl Club is: Never stop talking about Gone Girl.”).
It is also a LibraryRead pick. Kim Dorman of the Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ says:
“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”
It comes with an impressive three stars from the prepub review media.
Check your holds; they are high on modest orders in many areas.
A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold, Andrew Solomon, (PRH/Crown)
To be featured tonight on an ABC Prime Time Special with Diane Sawyer, it is promoted on Good Morning America today.
Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, William Shatner, (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne; Macmillan Audio)
No news yet on media coverage, but given the subject and the author, we’re sure to be hearing about it.
Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir,
Joel Grey, (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio)
Grey was interviewed by Terry Gross on Monday’s Fresh Air about his memoir, which is also a People pick this week, “as much about his struggle coming out of the closet as it is about the theate …this is a refreshingly honest look back at an actor’s life, regrets and all.”
In addition to the “Girl Successors” above, more LibraryReads and Indie Next picks hit the shelves.
Beth Mills of New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY offers this take:
“Fans of Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story will be pleased to see William’s acerbic friend Paula take center stage. A successful divorce lawyer, Paula’s carefully constructed life starts to fracture when family secrets come to light, forcing her to try to come to terms with the power of her story to hurt and heal, and a growing need for family connections. A wonderful cast of offbeat, memorable characters make this book a winner.”
More IndieNext picks coming this week:
“I love settling into a novel where I meet smart yet conflicted protagonists and get right into their skin. In A Doubter’s Almanac, Milo Andret’s mathematical genius is as much a burden as it is a gift. He makes a series of choices — damaging to both himself and his family — that would seem to unravel any empathy readers might have for him, but Canin’s eloquent prose brings out the humanity in even the most flawed individuals. This is a novel filled with characters whose struggles with intellect, family, and vulnerability I won’t soon forget.” —Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS.
It is also People magazine’s “Book of the Week”
“Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind — at times almost unbearably painful. But Canin also shows how families can work through their divisions, making a kind of peace with even the most abhorrent behavior. Surprising and beautifully written, this hefty book is a gem.”
“On the outer edge of a struggling small town in North Carolina lives a long-married — in name, if not in fact — couple, Frank and Wendell. For all the decades they have been together they have hidden from the world to protect themselves, but now Frank’s health is failing. The poignancy of Wendell’s struggle to keep Frank safe is heartbreaking. These are not characters we see often in fiction — poor and rural and gay and old — but Griffin draws them so honestly and well that we quickly know them and come to care deeply for them.” —Michael Barnard, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA.
All the Winters After, Seré Prince Halverson (Sourcebooks Landmark; Brilliance Audio).
“This is the compelling story of a damaged young woman, Nadia, who has taken refuge in a cabin in the Alaskan woods for the last 10 years after escaping an abusive marriage. Kachemak Winkel, the cabin’s owner, returns to Alaska after a long absence, still mourning for his parents and older brother who lost their lives in a plane crash 20 years earlier. Two young, damaged souls are at the heart of this beautifully written novel, and the wild and dangerous beauty of Alaska is present throughout. Perfect for book groups!” —Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, MO.
The tie-ins arriving this week are connected to three very popular series.
Veronica Roth sees the third adaptation of her Divergent series hit the screens on March 18. Allegiant Movie Tie-in Edition (Harper/Katherine Tegen Books; HarperCollins Audio) comes out Tuesday in this hardback edition as well as a paperback version.
The film series stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James (the same actor who played Kemal Pamuk on Downton Abbey – Lady Mary’s first season indiscretion).
Holy Catnip, Batman! Super Heroes collide in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, it opens March 25th.
A junior novel tie-in comes out this week.
Billed as a companion novel, it tells a new story but riffs off the movie, Cross Fire: An Original Companion Novel (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Michael Kogge (Scholastic Inc.; OverDive Sample).
Finally, two more Star Wars books arrive, seemingly late to the party since the movie debuted in December. The first is the junior novelization of The Force Awakens film. The novelization for adults was delayed in print for weeks after the movie opened and it is only now that kids are able to get their hands on a version of their own.
Star Wars The Force Awakens Junior Novel, Michael Kogge (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press; Blackstone Audio).
Also out this week is a Chapter Book focused on the female star, Rey: Star Wars The Force Awakens: Rey’s Story, Elizabeth Schaefer (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press).