News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Parental Aid

Untangled“Meanness peaks in the 7th grade,” says psychologist Lisa Damour, interviewed yesterday on CBS This Morning about her new book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, (PRH/Ballantine; BOT/RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

As a result, the book shot up Amazon’s sales rankings and is now at #8. Holds are rising in many libraries.

The Washington Post‘s reviewer calls it, “the most down-to-earth, readable parenting book I’ve come across in a long time.”


Even as newest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, continues to do well at the box office, more Star Wars books are on the way.

Of course, the novelization of the movie appeared in print after the movie’s release and immediately shot up best seller lists.

There are 30 or so years between the time periods of the movies Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, leaving plenty of time for writers to fill in. In September, Chuck Wendig published a bridge book, Star Wars: Aftermath, which debuted at #4 on the NYT Best Seller list in September.

9780345511362_5f494The next title to watch is Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray (PRH/Del Rey/ LucasBooks; Random House Audio/BOT), coming in May.

The main character in Bloodline is Leia Organa and, unlike Aftermath, it is set closer to the time frame of The Force Awakens.

USA Today showcases the cover and posts an excerpt. Interviewing Gray, the paper reports that the novel tells the story of “how far Vader’s shadow falls” and how far Leia has come, “the role she’s created for herself since the fall of the Empire, and the one she takes up by the time of (The Force Awakens).

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Gray is no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having also written Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens) (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press; OverDrive Sample; Sept 2015).

The second in Wendig’s Star Wars trilogy, Life Debt: Aftermath, comes out in July.

Short Stories and the SLATE Book Club

9780374202392_4fb99This month the Slate Audio Book Club discuss Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample), a book that got a lot of attention very quickly last fall landing on a majority of the best books lists.

As we reported Entertainment Weekly, O magazine, and The New Yorker we all on board the bandwagon celebrating this under appreciated author’s 400+ page short story collection.

Now Slate critics Christina Cauterucci, Mark Harris, and Katy Waldman take on both the stories and the concept of short story collections themselves.

The most interesting parts of their conversation center on various ways to read short stories. They suggest reading this collection from beginning to end and not skipping around.

Another high note is the way they discuss Berlin ability to put readers right into the heart of the moment. At one point the panelists note that all the stories drop readers directly into the middle of the tale, without the least bit of warmup. At another they discuss Berlin’s economy as a writer, saying that she excels at implication and is masterful about noting what is just outside the reader’s line of sight.

All three enjoyed the collection and recommend it to readers.

Next month the club will discuss Better Living Through Criticism. (PRH/Penguin, Feb. 9), by the NYT‘s film critic A.O. Scott, a book currently receiving wide-spread attention, including reviews in the Atlantic, Slate, and, of course, the New York Times.

Holds Alert: WEST OF EDEN

When reviewers differ, how do readers decide? It can all depend on how the book is positioned.

9780812998405_08179A case in point is Jean Stein’s newest oral history, about the Golden Age of Hollywood glitterati, West of Eden: An American Place (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Janet Maslin clearly did not like it. She writes in her cutting NYT review that is its, “strangely unfocused … chopped into a few chapters about seemingly arbitrarily chosen families.”

However, the review in the LA Times by author Judith Freeman is far more compelling, saying that reading the book is:

“like being at an insider’s cocktail party where the most delicious gossip about the rich and powerful is being dished by smart people, such as Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Arthur Miller and Dennis Hopper. The result is a mesmerizing book … compulsively readable, capturing not just a vibrant part of the history of Los Angeles … but also the real drama of this town, as reflected in the lives of some of its most powerful players.”

Those players include the Dohenys, the Warners, Jane Garland, Jennifer Jones, and the Steins (big figures in movies, money, and real estate), each with a seemingly more grand, outrageous, tragic, or dysfunctional story to tell than the next.

Readers are clearly weighing in on the side of the cocktail party take. Strong demand is driving holds over a 3:1 ratio at nearly every library we checked, which has resulted in several systems ordering extra copies after buying very low.


You may not expect  the NYT’ s literary-focused Michiko Kakutani to begin a review with references to Gone Girl or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, although, as a fan of the Millennium series, she has shown an appreciation for psychological thrillers.

9781612195001_a2c4eYet, her take on Kate Hamer’s indie press debut, The Girl in the Red Coat (Melville House; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), begins with references to both titles and goes on to applaud Harner’s character development, saying she has a “keen understanding of her two central characters … Both emerge as individuals depicted with sympathy but also with unsparing emotional precision.”

(Those keeping track will remember that was Kakutani’s key praise of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as well).

In addition, Amazon picked it as one of their Best Books of February and as their Featured Debut of the month. It is a LibraryReads selection as well, with Kim Dorman of the Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ observing:

“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 is showing solid holds in libraries we checked, performing strongly enough to be pushing against a 3:1 ratio.


guernseyThe star of the movie version of Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike is in talks to star in the adaptation of another long-running best seller, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer (Random House, 2008) reports Deadline, which also notes that the movie “has previously attracted a string of high-profile actresses to consider the formidable lead role, including Kate Winslet, Lily James and Rebecca Ferguson.”

In addition, it once had Kenneth Branagh attached to direct, but he has since left the project. In talks to take over the reins is Harry Potter‘s Mike Newell.

HHhHPike is currently filming another adaptation,
this one based on a French historical novel,
HHhH, (Macmillan/Picador, 2012). When it was published here, the NYT Book Review called the debut “a gripping novel that brings us closer to history as it really happened. ” It was also it a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards  The movie is expected to be released
this year.

0786808012_197e5Branagh, who directed last year’s Cinderella, is now set to direct an adaptation of Artemis Fowl, based on the children’s book series by Eoin Colfer.

And Colfer recently completed an Iron Man book for Marvel, which, of course, could be turned into a movie.

That’s not the last link in this adaptation chain. Branagh will star in the final season of Wallander, on PBS Masterpiece Theater, May 8-22. It is based on the character in a series of books by Henning Mankell.

Tony Bennet’s Collaborator

Tony Bennett’s untitled memoir coming in August, is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of the “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016.” So far, it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites, but now we know who will serve as Bennett’s co-write.

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon announced that he is taking a six-week leave to work with Bennett on the book, returning in late March.

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Bennett, who will  will turn 90 in August, published an earlier memoir when he was 72, The Good Life: The Autobiography Of Tony Bennett (S&S/Atria, 1998). The New York Times Book Review called it “as breezy as an evening listening to Bennett himself.”

He also published a book of the lessons he lives by, including anecdotes from his life, Life Is A Gift: The Zen of Bennett, (HarperCollins, 2012).

Catching Up With:
The SuperBowl Ads

If, like us,  you were watching the Puppy Bowl yesterday (featuring the Kitty Half Time Show), you missed the ads on that OTHER bowl.

No loss. you can do a little Monday morning ad watching, via NPR’s Morning Edition story on “The Best And The Worst Of Super Bowl Ads.”

Presumably not one of the best or one of the worst, the ad for Disney’s Jungle Book, based on the Rudyard Kipling classic, is not included in that story:

Another children’s movie, not based on a book, but with tie-ins, was neither a best or worst:

Tie-ins for both are are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Upcoming — Tie-ins.

You can watch ALL the SuperBowl ads here.

Holds Alert: ORIGINALS

Are you reading this through Firefox or Chrome? Your answer, says The Wharton School’s top-rated professor, Adam Grant, indicates how creative you might be. Intrigued?

9780525429562_1412fMany are as holds are soaring on his newest book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Grant, who also wrote the bestseller Give and Take and writes for The New York Times, addresses how to upend the status quo in business and other organizations with creative and new ideas. His research and case study examples offer insight on how to spot an original idea (as well as generate it or champion it), the power of timing in creating buy-in, and methods of working against groupthink.

Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg wrote a forward for the book, which is currently at #20 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Grant spoke on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, contributing the the surge in demand. Holds are currently very strong, and in libraries that bought few copies, they are far exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Titles to Know and Recommend,
The Week of 2/8/16

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The holds leader for the upcoming week is Find Her by Lisa Gardner (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). It’s also a LibraryReads pick. Allie Williams, of Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL, offers this on the 8th of the Det. D.D. Warren novels:

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

A distant second is Alex Berenson’s tenth novel featuring John Wells, The Wolves (PRH/Putnam).

Slightly behind The Wolves is the final book in Pierce Brown’s trilogy Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy, (PRH/ Del Rey). Entertainment Weekly calls it the series’ “devastating and inspiring final chapter” but says it “hasn’t gotten the acclaim it deserves since it’s 2014 debut.” That may change. Movie rights were bought by Universal last year.

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 2:8:16

Eye on: Translations

The Elegance of the Hedgehog9781609453152_24b77

Americans are famous for turning cold shoulders to books in translation, except for when they embrace them, and then they do so in a big way. Witness the continuing excitement over Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series (#ferrantefever) and the phenomenon of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a book that continues to be a reading group favorite seven years after publication. Both are published by Europa Editions, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. At the time, the NYT‘s T Magazine wrote that the publisher’s books have become “Objects of Desire,” and that bookstore customers come in “asking ‘What’s new from Europa?'”

This week, Europa is publishing Barbery’s third novel, The Life of Elves. Released last year in France, it has not enjoyed the amazing success of Hedgehog, but that would be difficult for anyone to replicate (the Independent reports that of Hedgehog‘s  first printing of 3,000, only 12 copies sold in France the first week but word of mouth took hold and it went on to sell millions). The first of a two-book saga, it’s received praise from Library Journal, Booklist and  Kirkus, which notes it is  “completely different [from Hedgehog]: a fairy story of parallel but connected human and elf worlds and of dark forces and extraordinary goodness clashing in an age-old battle.”

A profile of the author is expected in the NYT next week, with reviews scheduled in the NYT Book Review,  Entertainment Weekly and Time magazine, among others.

9780374240905_50ed9It happens that another French translation arrives with buzz next week. The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) is the first work by the award-winning  author to be published in translation by an American publisher. Spanning 24 hours, it traces  the many ripples caused when young surfer is killed in a car crash, the effect on his parents, doctors, organ donation experts, and the woman who desperately needs his heart. It was a hit in France and is impressing critics here as well. Both Booklist and PW have given it a star and it appears on several “Most Anticipated” lists, with Bustle giving it this glowing praise:

“This slim, heady book made my own heart both stop and swell at the same time … In stunning prose that cuts like a scalpel … It’s mesmerizing … I’ve simply never read anything like it.”

Media Attention

9781451635119_bdbd5And Then All Hell Broke LooseTwo Decades in the Middle East, Richard Engel, (S&S)

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, who has been reporting on the Middle East for 20 years, will be receiving media attention from fellow journalists. Booklist, in a starred review, calls his book, “Clear, candid, and concise, Engel’s overview of the ongoing battleground should be required reading for anyone desiring a thorough and informed portrait of what the past has created and what the future holds for the Middle East and the world at large.”

The author is scheduled for a string of appearances, including the Today Show, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on February 11, followed by HBO’s RealTime with Bill Maher the next day.

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads selections arrive this week, a debut and the next in a long-running series.

9780399174124_9316c Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase (PRH/ Putnam; Penguin Audio/Books on Tape; OverDrive Sample). Deborah Margeson, of Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO, says the following about Chase’s debut:

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”Seven IndieNext List books also hit the shelves this week.

See also the author’s recent First Flight’s chat with librarians.

9780062413314_b4081The Ramblers, Aidan Donnelley Rowley (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample).

“This charming book is an homage to families — both the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It follows three characters in their early 30s who are trying to take the next steps toward growing up, deciding who they really are, and what they really want to do with the rest of their lives. They are closely linked and surrounded by family members who are in turns supportive, destructive, and ultimately loving. As members of New York’s privileged, they are free to explore their options while enjoying the best the city has to offer. You will laugh, cry, and cheer these characters on as they come to terms with both their past and their future.” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC

9780425283783_50f46Breaking Wild, Diane Les Becquets (PRH/Berkley; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts will rejoice in Les Becquets’ debut novel. In the spectacular and unforgiving wilderness of northwestern Colorado, elk-hunter Amy Raye Latour goes missing in a snowstorm at the beginning of winter. A search-and-rescue operation is organized and ranger Pru Hathaway and her rescue dog go to look for the missing woman. With alternating chapters focusing on each woman, Les Becquets spins a thrilling story about two strong and mysterious female characters whose resourcefulness and determination help them tackle incredible adversity. Breaking Wild is an extraordinary adventure story whose ending is as tense and suspenseful as anything I have ever read.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Breaking Wild also got starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and PW.

9780525429661_4444bThe Arrangement, Ashley Warlick (PRH/Viking; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America’s first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband — his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781101875551_92053In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein (PRH/Knopf; BOT).

“Lahiri traces the origins, tribulations, and tiny victories that have fueled her decades-long courtship with the Italian language in a bilingual memoir that reads more like an intimate diary. The chapters and short stories offer a vivid timeline of Lahiri’s turbulent relationship with language, bouncing around from English to Bengali during her childhood, immersing herself in the Italian culture by moving her family overseas, and finally attempting to write a book in a new voice. In Other Words is much more than an attempt at self-reflection and reinvention, it’s a mastery.” —Carly Lenz, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

If you are curious to learn more about  Lahiri love of Italian , read her interview in the Wall Street Journal [may require subscription].

9781400069538_7a0f2Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, Dawn Tripp (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Georgia is as stunningly beautiful as the artwork that inspired it. With amazing insight, Tripp captures the personal and artistic relationships between two difficult, brilliant, and complex people: the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. This is an incredible read from beginning to end, a book that begs to be discussed!” —Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

It is also the Costco Book Pick for February.

9781501112461_2b028My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, Chris Offutt (S&S/Atria Books).

“This fascinating memoir of Offutt’s difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family’s income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father’s library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down.” —Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Chris Offutt is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

9781594633461_22eecSudden Death, by Álvaro Enrigue, translated by Natasha Wimmer (PRH/Riverhead Books).

Sudden Death is one of the most audacious, smart, and original books you will read this year. It is a literary triptych — part history lesson, part tennis match, and part hypermodern adventure. Daring and visceral with a cast that includes Thomas Cromwell, Mary Magdalene, Aztec emperors, and more, the limits of the novel in Enrigue’s hands seem boundless. No other author is taking chances like this with such gratifying results.” —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX


There are no tie-in this week but the coming weeks bring many, including an Allegiant movie tie-in edition.

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

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 8

Today. we will learn if  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adapted from the book by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), overturns the box office curse that afflicted its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it’s a safe bet that the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Choice will open well and continue into Valentine’s Day weekend.

Two adaptations open next week:

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How to Be Single is a rom-com (with a stress on the com) that traces the fates of a group of singles on the dating scene in NYC. It stars Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, and Damon Wayans Jr.

It is loosely based (with a stress on “loosely”) on How to Be Single, Liz Tuccillo (S&S/Washington Square Press; OverDrive Sample – also in mass market). Tie-ins came out just a few weeks ago.

MV5BMjQyODg5Njc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExMjE3NzE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_The second movie is a big anti-Valentine’s Day play (note the poster).

Deadpool features the Marvel Comics character who has evolved from villain to antihero. Ryan Reynolds portrayed him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and reprises the role in this feature.

There is no an official tie-in, but the wise-cracking, super-skilled mercenary features in many comics, so many that Den of Geek provides a lengthy guide to reading the oeuvre.

On Most of 2016’s
Most Anticipated Lists

Just as the book award season ends, the most anticipated list begin to appear, fueling TBR piles and driving up holds queues.

Now that a number of lists have appeared, we can assess which titles fared the best. Looking at seven of the most influential lists, fifteen titles received the most nods.

Spring 2016 Previews — downloadable spreadsheet

A caution, since it’s early in the year, most of the list-makers haven’t yet read these books (Entertainment Weekly makes this clear, headlining their list “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016“), so they are based on buzz and author reputation, and are not guarantees of success. Also, most of the lists are by critics, so they tend to focus on literary titles and rarely include genre titles destined to become bestsellers.

9781501122729_8f332Innocents and Others, Dana Spiotta (S&S/Scribner; Mar. 8) makes it onto five of the seven lists we checked, with Entertainment Weekly writing“The Stone Arabia novelist’s anxiously awaited new work is about two best friends — both L.A. filmmakers — who tangle with a mysterious older woman who likes to seduce men over the phone.”

Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) and Emma Cline’s The Girls (Random House; Random House Audio; June 14) fared well too, making five of the lists.

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As we reported earlier, Chee’s book, published last week, has received significant review attention and is even one of those rarities, a literary author who appeared on a late night talk show.

Cline’s novel was picked as one of the featured titles in PW‘s “Booksellers Pick Their Top Early 2016 Books.” Unlike the critics’ list, which represent titles they expect to review, this one features titles booksellers expect to handsell. Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in Saint Louis, Mo. remarks that Cline’s novel about a murderous cult in the late 1960s (think Charles Manson) offers a “creative use of a historical incident to build a story [that] stays with you.”

Other titles that made the top 15 include two that librarians have been talking about on GalleyChat.

The Nest  9781400068326_8f573

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; Mar. 22) —  GALLEYCHATTER, November 2015, Winter Reading for 2016 Titles. Advance attention seems to doing the trick already, several libraries are developing holds queues.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House; April 19) —  GALLEYCHAT, December 2015, Eyes 2016 picks.



JUNGLE BOOK, Super Bowl Teaser

Super Bowl ads are super expensive and the smart money takes full advantage of them.

The marketing geniuses at Disney have released a teaser of their ad for The Jungle Book.

The teaser is introduced on People magazine by the movie’s young star, newcomer and native New Yorker Neel Sethi. Part of his interview, below:

The adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic debuts in theaters April 15. A full-length trailer was released in September.

Tie-ins (full list of tie-ins to upcoming adaptations here):

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The Jungle Book: The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett, Zendaya, (Disney Press, March 1)

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Rainy Day, (Disney Press, April 8)


Christmas in CamelotIt’s amazing to realize that the popular childrens series, Magic Tree House has never been adapted for the screen. Today it was announced that Lionsgate has acquired film rights to all the books.

Work has already begun on the first in the live-action films which will be based on the 29th book in the series, Christmas in Camelot, (Random House BYR) reports Entertainment Weekly. Author Mary Pope Osborne will executive produce along with her husband, Will.


First BiteIf a woman eats garlic while she is pregnant, her child will be predisposed to enjoying garlic as an adult.

That is just one of the fascinating facts about how we develop taste revealed in Bee Wilson’s
First Bite: How We Learn to Eat  (Perseus/Basic Books) and in her interview today with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.