EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GalleyChat, Tues., December 3rd

This edition of GalleyChat has ended. Join us for the next one, on Tuesday, January 7th, 4:00-5:00 ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). More details here.

A roundup of this month’s chat coming soon.

YA/MG GalleyChat, Nov. 21


The November YA/MG GalleyChat has now ended.

Join us for the next one, on Monday, Jan. 20th, from 2:30-3:30, ET. #ewgcya

More details and a schedule for the upcoming year here.

Set your alarms and bring a friend!

GalleyChat Roundup, Nov. 2019

More than 200 upcoming titles were discussed during last week’s GalleyChat,

Summaries of the chat, below, for collection development, readers advisory, and LibraryReads consideration:

EarlyWord GalleyChat, Nov, 2019 — downloadable spreadsheet, useful for creating ordering carts, includes comments from GalleyChatters, information on which titles are available as DRCs through Edelweiss and/or NetGalley, and LibraryReads deadlines.

Edelweiss Catalog — includes covers, publisher marketing information, links to Edelweiss DRCs.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tues., Dec. 3rd, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). More details and a schedule of upcoming chats here.

Set your calendar alarms and bring a friend.

HOT Title Pub Date changed from Jan to March

Russell, Kate Elizabeth, My Dark Vanessa, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 3/10), LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss and NetGalley

Those looking forward to the public’s response to this thought-provoking debut, will have to wait a couple more months. HarperCollins Library Marketing noted that the pub. date has been moved from January to March.

The book, which now has nearly 100 “Much Loves” on Edelweiss, has been heavily discussed on GalleyChat since June.

The comments from this month’s chat capture readers’ responses:

Janet Lockhart, “An unflinching portrayal of a young girl navigating the aftermath of a devastating relationship. Brilliant and unforgettable.”

Robin B, “Intense, disturbing, and compelling. I smell a blockbuster”

RedheadFangirl, “had to read this after the buzz! – really compelling #metoo story but unexpected how she believes this was a love story & not the victim.”

Virginia Stanley, HarperCollins Library Marketing, “I know how you feel! It calls everything into question for the main character. She has to believe it was love. This book just wrung it out of me.”

Susan Balla, “Not sure how I feel about MY DARK VANESSA. Everyone disturbed me. I gave it 5 stars because it is a great book, but I felt like a traitor to my sex at times.”

And Kaite Stover summed up what is evident from the GalleyChat discussion, “Get your bookclubs ready to talk, (alot!} about MY DARK VANESSA @GinnyMcCoo.”

Heating up for February (LibraryReads Nominations Due Jan. 1)

[See the October GalleyChat Roundup for titles releasing in January. There’s still time tonominate them.]

Sosa, Mia, The Worst Best Man, (HarperCollins/Avon Trade pbk, 2/4), LibraryReads nominations due 1/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss and NetGall

Sosa has published several romances, featuring strong Afro-Latinx women. This one marks the author’s move up from mass market to trade pbk.  GalleyChatters say they “love her hilarious romances,’ and “enemies-to-lovers” story  line.

Montimore, Margarita, Oona Out Of Order, (Macmillan/Flatiron; 2/25). LibraryReads nominations due 1/1/20; DRC available from NetGalley

Technically a debut (her earlier novel was self-published), this title has an intriguing premise. One New Years Eve, a 19-year-old woman finds herself turning 51 at the stroke of midnight. Every New Years thereafter, she skips to yet another age. GalleyChatters call it, “a quantum leap type story, but Oona hops from young woman in 1982 through her own life, showing up at different ages and having to put life pieces together. Full of love of music and thoughts on aging.”

Fowler, Therese Anne, A Good Neighborhood, (Macmillan/St. Martins, 2/4), LibraryReads nominations due 1/1/20; DRC available from NetGalley

GalleyChatters say “everyone is talking about” this story of “how a tree can tear apart an established neighborhood full of caring residents” and that it” will make you rethink what’s important.”

YA/MG GalleyChat, #ewgcya

The October YA/MG GalleyChat has ended. A full list of titles mentioned here. To read the comments, search Twitter by #ewgcya.

The next chat will be Thurs., Nov. 21st,, 2:30 to 3:30 ET.

Set your alarms and bring a friend!

GalleyChat Roundup, Oct. 2019

Spring 2020 titles dominated last week’s GalleyChat, with a few peeks at summer titles and one coming this fall, Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi. Her first novel since her successful debut 16 years ago, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, it is scheduled for September (not yet listed on wholesaler sites).

Summaries of the chat, below, for collection development, readers advisory, and LibraryReads consideration:

EarlyWord GalleyChat, October, 2019 — downloadable spreadsheet, useful for creating ordering carts, includes comments from GalleyChatters, information on which titles are available as DRCs through Edelweiss and/or NetGalley, and LibraryReads deadlines.

Edelweiss Catalog — includes covers, publisher marketing information, links to Edelweiss DRCs.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tues., Nov. 5th, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). More details and a schedule of upcoming chats here.

Set your calendar alarms and bring a friend.

Presentations Influencing GalleyChatters

Several mentioned the following:

HarperCollins FaceBook Live — available to view now. Another live buzz session is scheduled for Friday, Oct 11.

Booklist Webinar, Brilliant Book Club Picks — now available in an archived version.

LibraryReads Reminder, December List

GalleyChatters continued the buzz for the BEA Buzz Title, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, (PRH/Penguin). See our annotation in last month’s roundup.

If you plan to vote for it for LibraryReads, be sure to do so by Nov. 1. The pub date has been moved from Jan. 7th to Dec. 31st, changing its eligibility to the December list.

Also, when voting for LibraryReads, please consider our list of upcoming Diversity Titles.

Hot January Titles (LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19)

Russell, Kate Elizabeth, My Dark Vanessa, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 1/28, LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss and NetGalley)

Described as the “mesmerizing” story of 15-year-old Vanessa’s relationship with her manipulative 42-year-old teacher. As an adult, she is asked to support accusations that her former teacher is an abuser, forcing her to look again at the relationship that she always characterized as a love story. GalleyChatters say it’s kept them thinking for months and they are looking forward to public reaction. It’s been starred by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, (Booklist has not reviewed it to date).

Napolitano, Ann, Dear Edward, (PRH/Dial, 1/14, LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss and NetGalley)

When Dial editor Julie Barer signed up this book, she told PW that its “story of the passengers aboard an airplane hurtling toward a tragic crash, and the coming-of-age of the flight’s sole survivor, 12-year-old Edward Adler” would be “the next literary fiction blockbuster.” GalleyChatter Jennifer Dayton began championing it back in June and many others are now on board, calling it, “gorgeously written, emotionally searing.”

Cummins, Jeanine, American Dirt, (Macmillan/Flatiron, 1/21, LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from NetGalley)

One of the titles that received early buzz at Book Expo, we highlighted it last month with the following annotation:

Called “thrilling, timely, and heartbreaking” expected to be “one of the biggest titles of 2020. It starts with a gunshot and doesn’t let you go” and “an important, compassionate, amazing story of one woman’s struggle to get from Mexico to the US.” Take a look at the opinion piece Cummins published in the NYT last year. Entertainment Weekly previewed it in May as “One of 2020’s most anticipated titles, Jeanine Cummins’ sweeping novel is set to arrive with big expectations: It’s already generated raves from the likes of Don Winslow (‘a GRAPES OF WRATH for our times’) and Stephen King (‘an extraordinary piece of work’). And back in 2018, it sparked a nine-house, seven-figure auction, ultimately won by Flatiron Books. This level of hype, in other words, is pretty rare.” Further proof, a movie is in the works.

Sept. GalleyChat Roundup — #ewgc

Librarians set a GalleyChat record last week, discussing over 250 upcoming titles in the hour-long chat..

Summaries, below, for collection development, readers advisory, and LibraryReads consideration:

EarlyWord GalleyChat, September, 2019 —   downloadable spreadsheet, useful for creating ordering carts, includes comments from GalleyChatters, information on which titles are available as DRCs through Edelweiss and/or NetGalley, and LibraryReads deadlines.

Edelweiss Catalog — shows covers, publisher marketing information, links to Edelweiss DRCs.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tues., Oct. 1, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). More details and a schedule for the upcoming year here.

Set your calendar alarms and bring a friend.

A few trends emerged last week:

— Several GalleyChatters brought up titles that got their attention during the Booklist Webinar—Romantic Reads (click link for archived version).

— Christmas comes in Sept/Oct this year, with holiday-themed titles. Below are just a few of the covers (find all of them by searching the spreadsheet under “Christmas.”)

— Ingram’s Collection Development librarians, who have a broad view of what’s about to be published, noted that several books on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on the horizon:

— Among the many diversity titles, the following are receiving particularly strong attention. For more diversity titles, check our ongoing list of Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration 

Cummins, Jeanine, American Dirt, (Macmillan/Flatiron; LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from NetGalley)

Called “thrilling, timely, and heartbreaking” expected to be “one of the biggest titles of 2020. It starts with a gunshot and doesn’t let you go”  and “an important, compassionate, amazing story of one woman’s struggle to get from Mexico to the US.” Take a look at the opinion piece Cummins published in the NYT last year. Entertainment Weekly previewed it in May as “One of 2020’s most anticipated titles, Jeanine Cummins’ sweeping novel is set to arrive with big expectations: It’s already generated raves from the likes of Don Winslow (‘a GRAPES OF WRATH for our times’) and Stephen King (‘an extraordinary piece of work’). And back in 2018, it sparked a nine-house, seven-figure auction, ultimately won by Flatiron Books. This level of hype, in other words, is pretty rare.”  Further proof, a movie is in the works,

Reid, Kiley, Such A Fun Age (PRH/Penguin, 12/31/19; LibraryReads nominations due 11/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss & NetGalley)

Called “A fascinating debut about privilege, class and race and how uncomfortable & sticky it can be to try and ‘do the right thing,'” about “a young black babysitter (who) gets caught up in a moment when she’s stopped by a security guard at a grocery store while taking care of her white charge. Electrifying and layered, timely and discussible. Great for book clubs.” It was a BEA 2019 Buzz Title

Tsao, Tiffany, The Majesties(S&S/Atria, 1/21/20; LibraryReads nominations due 12/1/19; DRC available from Edelweiss & NetGalley)

Described as  “like CRAZY RICH ASIANS but sinister.”

GalleyChat as Ordering Tool

We’ve long touted GalleyChat as a great way for librarians to prioritize their TBR lists. During last week’s chat, we learned that it’s also useful for anticipating public demand. As one librarian put it, “Honestly, just buy everything recommended here. These people read!” Another added, ” …librarians who don’t have time for a lot of acquisitions work could just go straight down the #ewgc list & not go wrong.”

Keep that in mind as you review the summaries of the titles discussed duing last week’s chat, in two versions:

EarlyWord GalleyChat, Jan. 2019— downloadable spreadsheet, with info. on which are available as DRCs through Edelweiss and/or NetGalley, notes from the tweets and LibraryReads deadlines

Edelweiss catalog — Same titles as above, but with covers and full publisher marketing information

Check your holds on the following soon to be released titles, one a debut and the other a second novel, a potential breakout. Heed comparisons to The Woman in the Window (which, by the way, was also touted early on GalleyChat),

 

Michaelides, Alex, The Silent Patient, (Macmillan/Celadon Books; 2/5/19), DRC Edelweiss, NetGalley

A debut that has had GalleyChatters buzzing for months, comparing it to The Woman In The Window. The author was just featured as a “hot-tipped” authors for 2019 by Ithe UK’s Observer. UPDATE: More librarians have chimed in. The Silent Patient is the favorite title on the LibraryReads list for February.

Ward, Annie, Beautiful Bad, (Harlequin/Park Row, 3/18/19) DRC Edelweiss, NetGalley

Holds are  “going crazy” in some areas for this title, also with The Woman In The Window comparisons.
You may not be familiar with the author, whose first book, The Making of June, appeared 17 years ago. As Publishers Weekly notes in its inspiring story about how the second novel cam to be, the first “fared as many debut novels do: good reviews, few sales.” On the other hand, the new book sparked a heated bidding war, which then continued to Hollywood. Film rights were acquired in Sept, The author will be featured at ALA in Seattle, United for Libraries Gala Author Tea, Sunday, January 27, 2–4 p.m.

Join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

Diversity on Most Anticipated
Book Lists

Now that we’re firmly into the new year, Janus has turned his head from favorite books of 2018 to the most anticipated of 2019, featuring over 150 titles by authors of color and/or LBGTQ+ authors, allowing us to update our spreadsheet of Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration with new discoveries and quotes from the lists (thanks to Neal Wyatt for her comprehensive tracking of the lists in her column, LJ‘s BookPulse. All are now linked on our blogroll)..

Many of the authors are well-known, having won awards for their previous books, but several debuts receive multiple shoutouts:

Kim, Angie, Miracle Creek, (Macmillan/Sarah Crichton Books, 4/16/19; DRC available from Edelweiss & NetGalley)

This debut, previously titled Miracle Submarine, has been getting positive response from librarians on GalleyChat ever since August (“…it’s so great.A courtroom drama where each chapter reveals something new about the characters and changes my mind about who did it!”). The author is set to appear at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (UPDATE: The debut panel does not require registration, as we reported earlier). Crime Reads Most Anticipated describes the novel as, “Angie Kim’s masterpiece of grief, hope, and recrimination takes place in the small town of Miracle Creek, wherein an oxygen tank said to cure everything from autism to male infertility goes from a refuge to an inferno after an arsonist seals the fate of those seeking treatment inside. A complex novel of parenting, prejudice, and putting blame where blame’s due, this one is not to be missed.”

Serpell, Namwali, The Old Drift, (PRH/Random House/Hogarth 3/26/19; DRC available from NetGalley)

On several Most Anticipated lists, including Bustle, “This epic debut novel from Zambian author Namwali Serpell tells the story of a three families over three generations. It begins in 1904, a few miles from Victoria Falls, in a small colonial settlement called The Old Drift. But one mistake sets off a major rift between a black family, a brown family, and a white family that ripples across the next century.” The author will appear, along iwth Angie Kim (above) at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (unfortunately, for those who haven’t signed up already, registration closed this week).

Washington, Bryan, Lot, (PRH/Penguin Riverhead Books, 3/19/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)

Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated, “This eagerly awaited short-story collection, excerpted in The New Yorker to much fanfare, depicts its author’s hometown of Houston with empathy, tragedy, and exceptional specificity.”  HuffPost, “Washington’s debut collection, set in his hometown of Houston, has been preceded by a cacophony of buzz. The stories revolve around a boy coming to grips with his own identity — and sexuality — but they depict his whole world, his complicated family, the neighborhoods they live in and what makes these communities hold together or break apart

Benz, Chanelle,The Gone Dead, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 6/25/19; DRC available from Edelweiss)

Appearances on several Most Anticipated lists caught GalleyChatter’s eyes. Crime Reads says, “Chanelle Benz’s 2017 story collection, The Man
Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead,
was one of fiction’s most arresting and promising in some time, and now Benz is back with her first, eagerly awaited novel, The Gone Dead. The story centers on Billie James, a woman who returns to the family homestead in Mississippi after a long absence to find a troubling legacy, namely the whispers about her father’s death, and how she disappeared the same day. The Gone Dead promises all the moral and social complexity of Benz’s shorter works, thick with atmospherics and a deep, shuddering sense of humanity.” The LA Times includes Benz in their list of “11 Authors To Watch In 2019.”

 

Vuong, Ocean, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, (PRH/Penguin Press, 6/4; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)

On several Most Anticipated lists, including Entertainment Weekly‘s,  “The poet stirred up enormous interest for his debut novel, a lyrical tracing of refugee life that confronts themes of masculinity and sexuality. Will it live up to the hype?”

Ramos, Joanne, The Farm (PRH/Random House, 5/7/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)

On several Most Anticipated lists, including Oprah.com, “Equal parts feminist dystopia and immigrant story, Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”

Librarian Favorites, 2018

The results are in for #libfaves18.

The list is most interesting for its range, around 875 title, a testament to how widely librarians read. Browsing the titles, you are certain to make new discoveries as well as being reminded of favorites or titles you meant to read.

November’s LibraryReads List is the Most Inclusive Ever

The November LibraryReads list is the most inclusive so far, with 6 of the 10 titles on the main list by authors who are African/American, Mexican/American, Asian American or Japanese. The number one title is by a Nigerian author.

Celebrating LibraryReads’ fifth anniversary, the Steering Committee has introduced several changes, including the new Hall of Fame for titles by authors who have appeared on LibraryReads twice before. This opens the main list of ten to more new authors.

Diversifying the list is only part of the job. The second, even more important step is up to you, in getting to know these books so you can recommend them to readers. To add to the LibraryReads annotations, below are the inclusive titles, with notes from GalleyChatters and on recent media attention. Most are still available as DRCs, so you can download and sample them.

The next deadline for LibraryReads is a month away, Dec. 1 (voting deadlines are now the first of the month, making them easier to remember). When considering titles, please check out our list of eligible inclusive titles.

Braithwaite, Oyinkan. My Sister, the Serial Killer, PRH/Doubleday– #1 pick — DRC available on Edelweiss and NetGalley through 11/20/2018.

Popular on GalleyChat,ever since it was first mentioned back in June.— Andrienne. “set in Lagos, Nigeria that is kind of satire and crazy, but I loved the ending.”— Joe Jones. The sister bond is really tested in this dark tale set in Nigeria. Caught me by surprise in how much I enjoyed it!”  It is  on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of 20 Books You Need to Read This Season,  “This slim, scathingly black comedy delves into two sisters’ tenuous dynamic — heightened since one of them is, erm, a serial killer. Such morbidity only sharpens the book’s comic edge, which emerges via Braithwaite’s deadpan prose. She admits, ‘It was fun to write — even though people were dying.’ ” It’s already caught the attnetion of Hollywood. Film rights were acquired, by what Deadline terms the “U.K. production dynamo” Working Title.

Carrasco, Katrina, The Best Bad Things, Macmillan/MCD– DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Sept GalleyChat — Joe Jones (who also wrote the LR annotation), “wow was that fun! Alma is such an amazing character in this historical mystery set in the Pacific Northwest.”  Washington Post, “The 10 books to read in November “– “Love crime fiction? Love historical fiction? Have I got a book for you! Meet Alma Rosales, a Mexican American, bisexual, cross-dressing, defrocked Pinkerton detective whose hunt for stolen opium on behalf of her boss and sometimes-lover Delphine Beaumond will keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe even wondering if you’ve lost your mind. Sexy, fun, serious and unputdownable.”

Higashino, Keigo Newcomer, Macmillan/Minotaur Books — DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley

GalleyChat, Vicki Nesting. “I recently read Keigo Higashino’s upcoming mystery NEWCOMER and loved the way it was structured so the detective solved one small mystery in each chapter, leading him to the solution to the murder. Brilliant!” — Joe Jones, “Told from multiple points of view we slowly weed out the possible suspects in a murder set in a small neighborhood in Japan.“ This is the author’s second LR pick — the first was in 2014 for Malice,. Many of the author’s novels have been made into movies and TV series in Japan.

Jemisin, N. K. How Long ’til Black Future Month?, Hachette/Orbit — Unfortunately, this one is not available as a DRC,. Scour your print galley shelves

GalleyChatters gasped at having missed this, the first collection of short stories by one of their favorite fantasy writers. Jemisin is not only the first African/American to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, but the first person to win the prize three years in a row. Entertainment Weekly profiling the author, writes that the books in The Broken Earth trilogy are “a prescient allegory of racial and political tensions” and are currently in development as a TNT series.

Kim, Eugenia The Kinship of Secrets, HMH; DRC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

LJ Prepub Alert, Sophisticated Reads, “Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.” Picks up where the author’s previous title, The Calligrapher’s Daughter ended.

Suri, Tasha, Empire of Sand, Hachette/Orbit; DRC on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Popular on GalleyChat — Lucy Lockley. “Fascinating desert world, complex characthers, social/cultural/religious persecution due to magical blood plus a romance!” — Publisher, “a captivating epic fantasy inspired by Mughal-Indian history. If you loved City Of Brass, Uprooted, or The Wrath & The Dawn, Empire Of Sand Is your new must-read.”

 

Fourth of July, Time to Read Diversely

Thanks to all of you who made Fruit of the Drunken Tree, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, (PRH/Random House/Doubleday) a LibraryReads pick. This debut about two young Colombian girls, close friends from very different backgrounds, shows how political upheaval dramatically changes lives. The characters of the two girls are so clearly defined that you continue to wonder how thier lives evolved long after finishing the book.

We love when the list brings us such discvoeries. Please do it again. For this Fourth of July holiday, check our recently updated list of upcomg Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration. download the DRC’s for those that interest you (the Notes section gives background on each title), read them and vote for your favorites.

   

From the September list (votes due by July 20) we recommend Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, (PRH/Knopf), about a young Barbados slave named ironically for the first US president. A sympathetic while man discovers that Wash has talents useful to him in scientific studies and brings him to the Arctic. Ghanian-Canadian author Edugyan, the first Black woman to win Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, describes the Arctic cold so vividly that you may find yourself shivering.

If the heat makes you want to reach for something on the ligher side, try GalleyChat favorite, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory, (PRH/Berkley; the author was featured in NPR’s recent story, “Beach Reads by Authors of Color.” This is an October title) or Ian Smith’s twisty Harvard-set mystery, The Ancient Nine. (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).

We look forward to your discoveries.

Diversity on Summer Reading Lists

Many of this year’s summer book lists include titles we’ve been tracking on our list of Diversity Titles, Upcoming, LibraryReads ConsiderationEntertainment Weekly gets specific, recommending “7 inclusive novels that will make you think,

Several August titles (LibraryReads nominations due next Wednesday, June 20), receive attention:

River of Stars, Vanessa Hua, (PRH/Ballantine Books); DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

Debut. A GalleyChat favorite, this title appears on multiple summer reading lists, including EW‘s “7 inclusive novels that will make you think.”  In 5 Great Debut Novels to Help Get You Through This Summer, the Voice describes it as,  ” … a 21st-century immigrant story about the terror, drama, and desperation of being undocumented and yet unable to leave.”

Severance, Ling Ma, (Macmillan/FSG); DRC NetGalley

Debut. NY magazine’s Vulture writes in 18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer, “this phenomenal debut explores what happens when we make any number of decisions by rote and fail to see or question the bigger picture.” Adds BuzzFeed in “30 Summer Books To Get Excited About, “Ma’s language does so much in this book, and its precision, its purposeful specificity, implicates an entire generation.”

How Are You Going To Save Yourself, JM Holmes, (Hachette/Little, Brown); DRC NetGalley

Debut. Entertainment Weekly, 7 inclusive novels that will make you think, “follows the lives of four friends as they drift apart and come back together, navigating adulthood as black men living with traumatic legacies who have been offered very different fortunes as they come of age. Holmes’ searing study in masculinity is offset by irresistible heart and biting humor. ”

Praise Song for the Butterflies, Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic, August), Original; DRC, Edelweiss

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, “A tale set in Ghana, where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.”  McFadden is the author of 8 books, her previous, The Book Of Harlan, won the 2017 American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction) and was named a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016.

Praise Song for Butterflies is also mentioned in the new issue of Vanity Fair, which debuts a real books section, replacing the old Hot Type column, with its dizzying run-on list of titles. The welcome change is no surprise. The magazine’s new editor, Radhika Jones, was formerly at the NYT Book Review. Featured in the new issue’s book section is a profile of the owners of the “Trailblazing Black-Owned Bookstore,” D.C.’s Mahogany. Their favorite upcoming title is McFadden’s.

The Air You Breathe, Frances de Pontes Peebles, (PRH/Riverhead); DRC Edelweiss and NetGalley

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, — “The long friendship between Dores and Graça is forged through music. Based partly on the life of Carmen Miranda, this novel takes us from 1920 Brazilian sugar plantations to the urban samba scene of the 1930s.” Previous title, The Seamstress.

Asghar, Fatimah, If They Come for Us , (PRH/Random House/One World, August). Pbk. Original; DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Asghar, co-creator of the web/HBO series Brown Girls, writes through the eyes of a Pakistani woman who comes to America and discovers a very strange country indeed.”

Reading Diversity

As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.

My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.

We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):

Dawson, Erica, When Rap Spoke Straight to God

This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.

Zoboi, Ibi, Pride

As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.

Publishers Marketplace, Book Buzz Fall/Winter 2018

While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying.  I was intrigued by the collection Friday Black by a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.

What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Towards More Diverse
LibraryReads Lists

Reminder: Nominations are due for the June LibraryReads list in just a couple of days, by midnight, April 20th.

The just-released May LibraryReads list is remarkably homogenous. All the authors are white women, most of them have already published several books, and the majority of the titles are in the rapidly growing, some would say over-published, category of psychological suspense.

While readers advisors can happily read and recommend any of the titles, as Becky Spratford has often noted in her blog RA for All, they won’t expand readers’ horizons. She pointedly asks, “Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition?”

To help you do that, we’ve added “Debut” and “Diversity” columns to our spreadsheet of the nearly 200 titles mentioned during last week’s GalleyChat, GalleyChat Titles, April.

Below are are excerpts from the tweets about the June titles by non-white and LGBT authors. If you haven’t read them already, you probably won’t have time to do so before the deadline, but this may serve to remind you of titles beyond the familiar. As Becky says, “If every single one of [you] laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too.”

Native American

Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse, S&S/Saga Press, June 26, 2018, DRC available

DEBUT
GalleyChatter: “Really fun, unique urban fantasy/postapoc blend with Indigenous characters & mythology!”  —– ” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Navajo cast of characters.”

Author background:
“Rebecca Roanhorse is an Ohkay Owingeh/Black writer of Indigenous futurisms. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Her debut novel Trail of Lightning (Book One of the Sixth World series) is available summer 2018 from Saga Press, and her children’s book Race to the Sun is coming in 2019 from Rick Riordan Presents. Her short story ‘Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience‘  is on the 2017 Nebula Recommended Reading List.

Her nonfiction can be found in Invisible 3: Essays and Poems on Representation in SF/F, Strange Horizons, and the upcoming How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation (Macmillan, 5/15/18).”

There There: A novel, Tommy Orange, PRH/Knopf, June 5, 2018, DRC available

DEBUT
GalleyChatter: “a story of urban indigenous peoples. Got a big push at #pla2018” — Following up on that, PRH Library tweeted that it is a department favorite.

The New Yorker recently published a story that comes from the book, and an interview, in which the author explaind that  he wrote There, There because, “I knew I wanted to write a multigenerational, multivoiced novel about Native people living in Oakland. My wanting to write it largely had to do with there not already being a novel about Native people who live in cities, and very few novels set in Oakland. Native people suffer from poor representation as it is, but having little representation in literature, as well as no (literary) version of our (urban Native) experience, was what made me want to write into that space, that void, and try to honor and express fully all that it entails to be Native and be from Oakland.”

Vietnamese-American/Autism

The Kiss QuotientHelen Hoang, PRH/Berkley pbk original, June 5, 2018, DRC not listed

DEBUT
Bustle headlines a story about the book, “The Kiss Quotient Is A Refreshing Own Voices Romance With A Heroine On The Autism Spectrum”

From the publisher:

“Key Selling Points
DEBUT AUTHOR who was discovered during Pitch Wars, an online contest with wide social media reach, where published authors match up with a mentee and work on pitch to catch an agent or editor’s eye; Helen was mentored by Brighton Walsh, a contemporary romance author published by Berkley and St. Martin’s Press

THE HEROINE HAS ASPERGER’S, as does the author, who is willing to discuss her personal experience

MULTICULTURAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: hero is half Vietnamese and the author, who is also part Vietnamese, seamlessly introduces cultural elements

AN OWN VOICES NOVEL: romance readers are clamoring for better representation in romances and this book speaks to the #OwnVoices social media movement”

LGBT

History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Macmillan/FSG, June 19, 2018, DRC available

Gallleychatter: “…by the author of End of Eddy. Has a unique voice.”

New Yorker profile of the author,  “Growing Up Poor and Queer in a French Village

From the publisher: “On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind.”

When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri, PRH/Putnam, June 19, 2018, DRC available by request

Galleychatters were enthusiasitc about the author’s
debut, The Assistants.

Former librarian and library page Perri speaks to librarians at a PRH Open Book session (be sure
to check out her demo of the “Page Freeze” beginning at time stamp 3:24)

Confessions of the Fox: A Novel, Jordy Rosenberg, PRH/ One World, June 26, 2018, DRC available

DEBUT

Author background:

“Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.”

African-American

Ayiti, Roxane Gay, Grove/Atlantic, June 12, 2018, DRC available by request

Originally published in 2011 by the Artistically Declined Press, this new edition from Grove Press, according to the publisher, “includes several new stories,” which may qualify it for the LibraryReads list.

 

Chinese-American

The Lost Vintage: A Novel, Ann Mah, HarperCollins/Morrow, June 19, 2018, DRC available

GalleyChatter comment, “Loved the LOST VINTAGE by Ann Mah- historical fiction with a mystery about a family member no one knew about, WWII & it’s set in a vineyard.”

The author is Chinese American, and a  Francophile. Her memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating was an Amazon best book of 2013, and winner of the Elle readers prize. She also is publishing Instantly French!: Classic French Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker  in September.

South Asian – American

Half Gods: Stories, Akil Kumarasamy, Macmillan/FSG, June 5, 2018, DRC available

DEBUT

One of the stories in this collection, “New World,” was published last year in Harper’s magazine.

Lisa Von Drasek Picks Best Kids Books 2017

Self-confessed childrens books “big mouth,” Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections.at the U. of Minn., and former EW Kids Correspondent, appeared recently on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss the best kids books of 2017. She is joined by St. Paul indie bookseller, Holly Weinkauf from the Red Balloon Bookshop. It’s worth a listen just for the infectious joy in their voices, not to mention the books they’ll make you want to pick up immediately. Lisa notes that they “discussed fifty-five books in less than an hour and didn’t even get to every one that we brought with us.” For the complete list go to No Kidding: The Best Kids’ Books to Give This Holiday Season.

They highlight cookbooks, giving special praise to Pizza, from Phaidon’s Cook in Book series, interactive titles that allow kids to virtually create recipes from scratch.

Lisa is blogging at the Blue Ox Review, the site she recently founded to “review books, give a heads up on upcoming titles that I am excited about, link to interesting news and events, and show off cool stuff from my collection. Of course, there will be an occasional rant.”

On the site, she is doing her annual “Books to give kids you don’t know very well,” (archive here) to help booksellers and librarians navigate the “maddening game” of recommending the exactly perfect gift for kids customers may see only once a year:

Best Books 2017: Read Alouds

Lets Get Started- For twos, threes, and fours