EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Hugo Awards Under Siege

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 12.35.40 PMGeorge R.R. Martin says the Hugo Awards are “broken… and I am not sure they can ever be repaired.”

He made the comment after a successful campaign to swamp the nomination process triggered a nasty fight which has now degenerated into an all-out battle over the future of the award. The fallout has been reported widely, by The Atlantic, The Guardian, Slate, and Entertainment Weekly.

The short version is that two online groups posted lists of suggested titles and urged those who agreed with their own decidedly right of center political/cultural leanings to pay the $40 it costs to vote and swamp the nomination process – and they succeeded.

Two authors have responded by withdrawing their nominated works from the awards.

Annie Bellet withdrew her short story “Goodnight Stars,” posting “I am not a ball. I do not want to be a player. This is not what my writing is about.”

Marko Kloos withdrew his novel Lines of Departure (Amazon/47North), “keeping the nomination is not a moral option at this point.”

In response the World Science Fiction Society, which runs the Hugo Awards said,

“This year is the first time in the history of the Hugo Awards that a finalist has withdrawn a work after announcement of the finalist shortlist. Nominees with sufficient nominating votes to make the shortlist have in the past declined nomination as Finalists; however, this has always happened before the shortlist was announced.”

Black Gate, a fanzine, has withdrawn as well although they did so too late to change the ballot.

Connie Willis also withdrew as a presenter at the award ceremony saying,

“I’ve essentially been told to engage in some light-hearted banter with the nominees, give one of them the award, and by my presence–and my silence–lend cover and credibility to winners who got the award through bullying and extortion. Well, I won’t do it. I can’t do it. If I did, I’d be collaborating with them in their scheme.”

Bottom line for librarians: Many Science Fiction and Fantasy fans may see this year’s round of winners as tainted no matter who wins. Unfortunately, an award librarians have relied on for years to highlight the best in two very popular genres is now suspect and, unless a solution can be found, other awards may be vulnerable to similar hijacking.

Timing: MISSOULA

9780385538732_e12b5It may seem bad timing that Jon Krakauer’s book, MissoulaRape and the Justice System in a College Town (RH/Doubleday; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print) arrives just months after the Rolling Stone‘s story on an incident at the University of Virginia,  “A Campus Rape,” was discredited. However, as Krakauer tells NPR Weekend Edition yesterday, the book was originally planned for release in the fall, but was rushed into print as a form of rebuttal. He says the “Rolling Stone fiasco” ended up as ammunition for those who believe the myth that women lie about being raped and notes that, “in 90% of rapes, the rapist walks away.”

The author will also appear on the CBS Early Show on Wednesday and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show the next day.

The local community is disturbed by the attention the book may bring, as evidenced by the number of stories in the local newspaper. At his request, Krakauer is scheduled to take questions from Missoulians on May 6 at a public forum held by the local bookstore, Fact and Fiction.

The book is reviewed today in USA Today and by Janet Maslin in the New York  Times.

Paula Hawkins: New Book Coming

The Girl on the TrainThe author of the uber-bestselling The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead), Paula Hawkins tells The Daily Beast that she is at work on another psychological thriller that she hopes “to finish over the summer so that it hopefully will be out summer or autumn of next year.”

She adds, “It also deals quite a lot with memory issues, but in a different way. It’s about the memories we have from childhood and how the stories that we tell about ourselves and our families shape who we are.”

She drops no hints about the title and admits she is feeling the pressure to try to live up to the success of GOTT, but says she is persevering because she doesn’t want to “leave too big a gap between the first book and the second, because the longer that gap, the more terrifying the publication of the second book becomes.”

CLINTON CASH: Embargo Broken

9780062369284_4d7a3Calling it “the most anticipated and feared book” of Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign, the New York Times breaks the embargo in a story published today on the forthcoming Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by Peter Schweizer (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe, 5/9/15). Fox News immediately lept on the story, but New York Magazine is less excitable, “New Book Will Ostensibly Make People Care About Shady Clinton Donations.”

Expect to hear more about the book. Schweizer is a conservative writer with strong media ties. His previous book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets (HMH, 2013), was the basis of a 2013 CBS 60 Minutes feature. One of the subjects of that story, N.J. Rep. Rob Andrews (D) resigned this February amidst an investigation by the the House Ethics Committee, began before the 60 Minutes story, into his use of campaign funds.

Due to the book’s embargo, it has not been reviewed in the pre-pub media. As a result, some libraries have not ordered it.

Y.A./M.G. GalleyChat, Tomorrow, April 21, 5 to 6 p.m.

Join us for Y.A. & M.G. GalleyChat to learn which forthcoming books fellow librarians are excited about.

Tuesday, April 21st, from 5 to 6 p.m., EDT (4:30 for virtual pre-chat cocktails) 

Hashtag #ewyagc.

More details here.

Best Sellers: THE LIGHT Makes a Comeback

All The Light We Cannot SeeWe’d gotten used to seeing Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, tucked right behind the juggernaut of The Girl on the Train. But then Harlan Coben’s The Stranger came along and knocked it into third place. Last week, J.R. Ward’s The Shadows cast it into fourth place and it looked like the beginning of a slide.

But this week, The Light has returned to its old spot, banishing The Shadows all together and moving The Stranger down to 4th position (and The Girl on the Train keeps chugging along at #1).

The novel took Doerr ten years to write, a journey he described last month in Scribner Magazine.

A year ago, before the book became a best seller, Doerr talked about the places and ideas that inspired him.

Six Titles To Make You An RA Guru, Week of April 21

“Highly anticipated” is the catch phrase for next week, with new titles from Toni Morrison, David Baldacci and Jon Krakauer, but don’t let those big names cause you to overlook a memoir by poet Elizabeth Alexander.

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 21, 2015

Holds Leaders

9781455586387_4b710David Baldacci, Memory Man, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

The honorary chair for National Library Week introduces a new series with this book.  The “memory man” is Amos Decker, a former football player with a head injury that has a strange result. He forgets nothing. Now a small town P.I., he investigates a school shooting. Kirkus calls the character a “a quirky, original antihero.”

The trailer for the movie based on one of Baldacci’s earlier titles,  Wish You Well, has just been released. It goes straight to DVD and On Demand in June.

9780062311115_b417fGreg Iles, The Bone Tree, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Two tragedies, a serious car accident and the loss of his father, caused author Greg Iles to think differently about his writing. After 13 books he realized, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in [my next] book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”

The result was last year’s Natchez Burning. The first in a trilogy, it arrived to fanfare from librarians and  debuted at #2 on the NYT best seller list, Iles’s highest ranking on that list to date. It’s now been on the paperback list for two week in a row, setting readers up for the next title, The Bone Tree.

It is both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick.

LibraryReads:
“Based on a real series of unsolved murders from the civil rights era in Louisiana, and the crusading journalist who uncovered the story, Iles’ novel shines a bright light of truth upon one of America’s darkest secrets. Iles’ compelling writing makes this complex tale of good versus evil a must-read for those who love thrillers, and those who want to learn a little bit of American history not normally taught in school.” — Ellen Jennings, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

9780399165153_2c6d9Amanda Quick, Garden of Lies, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

This standalone mystery by Jayne Ann Krentz, writing under one of her pseudonyms, is set in Victorian London. Kirkus approves, “A lady with a secret to hide and a gentleman reputed to be mad make a dandy investigative team.”

 

Advance Attention

9780307594174_bddd5Toni Morrison, God Help the Child, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Morrison’s latest can easily be called the most hotly anticipated novel of the season, having appeared on all the seasonal previews. Morrison gets the New York Times trifecta, the cover of last week’s NYT Magazine, the cover of the upcoming NYT Book Review, plus the Friday review by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT. It is also reviewed by Ron Charles, the Washington Post, today. Sad to say, however, the reviewers  find the book a let down. Morrison is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

Upcoming Media Attention

9780385538732_e12b5Jon Krakauer, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (RH/Doubleday; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print)

Best-selling nonfiction author Krakauer is known for writing about disturbing subjects, such as his personal account of a disastrous attempt to climb Mt. Everest, Into Thin Air (the movie Everest, to be released on Sept. 18, features Michael Kelly as Krakauer). In his new book, he turns his attention to a series of rapes at the University of Montana. The book is embargoed, so no reviews have appeared yet [UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal just released an interview with the author that has some details on the book} and the city of Missoula is bracing itself.

The author is scheduled to appear on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, followed by the CBS Early Show on Wednesday and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show the next day.

Picks

9781455599875_6176fElizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World: A Memoir, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The #1 IndieNext pick for May:

“It is hard to find the right words to do justice to this very special book. Yes, it is by one of our greatest contemporary poets, Elizabeth Alexander, who wrote ‘Praise Song for the Day’ for President Obama’s first inauguration, so the language is gorgeous. And yes, it is a memoir of losing her husband at a young age and so it is, in parts, gut-wrenchingly sad. And yes, it is an ode to an extraordinary man we come to feel we know as an artist, chef, father, friend, and lover. But, above all, it is as beautiful a love story as I have ever read, and it lifts readers up and gives us hope and makes us believe. I will urge it on everyone I know.” — Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Live Online Chat with Josh Lieb

Live Blog Live Chat with Josh Lieb, RATSCALIBUR
 

More Than JUSTIFIED:
Elmore Leonard

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.36.48 AM

The final episode of FX’s Justified ran on Tuesday night, bringing renewed attention to Elmore Leonard via subtle homages to the author that were not lost on fans, the switching of the iconic Stetson hat to a version closer to the one Leonard lobbied for and a cameo of the book Leonard said he often re-read for inspiration, The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (Macmillan/Picador, 1972; OverDrive Sample).

9780062120342_927acThe series, originally based on Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” (from the collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, re-released in trade paperback as Fire in the HoleHarperCollins/Morrow; OverDrive Sample) and featuring the central character who also appeared in the novels Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Raylan, the last novel Leonard published before his death in 2013, has been a powerhouse show for the network and brought more fans to Leonard.

Both Fire in the Hold and The Friends of Eddie Coyle are currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Glowing reviews of the series’ end all laud Leonard as well, from New York Magazine’s in-depth conversation with executive producer Graham Yost to a consideration of Leonard’s character in Word & Film.

The renewed attention makes this a good time to promote Leonard’s extensive backlist and many adaptations through virtual and in-house displays.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.07.50 AM  Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.08.01 AM  Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.08.24 AM

The three Justified novels. as well as the collection featuring the original short story, have been reprinted with bursts on the covers to make the connection, “Featuring RAYLAN GIVENS, from the new FX Series, JUSTIFIED.”

Beyond the series, classic examples of Leonard’s style include Hombre, Rum Punch, Be Cool, and Killshot. The Morrow imprint of HarperCollins recently re-released those titles as well several others in new trade paperback editions.

Many of Leonard’s books have been made into movies such as 3:10 To Yuma, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, and the recent Life of Crime (based on The Switch). The first five seasons of Justified are available on DVD and the final is on its way.

Don’t forget the audio versions. Favorite narrators Frank Muller and George Guidall served as narrators for many of his titles.

BEA — First-Timers Guide
for Librarians

EW-logo-BEABook Expo America is just six weeks away — time to start planning so you can get the most out of the show.

Several pf EarlyWord’s GalleyChatters, veteran BEAers, have created the EarlyWord BEA First-Timers Guide for Librarians to share tips and recommendations.

We’ve set it up as a forum, so you can ask questions, make connections with like-minded librarians before the show (maybe even find a roommate) and enter your own favorite tips.

We like to think of this as a free-flowing pre-BEA cocktail party, so please join in.

Live Online Chat with M.J. Arlidge

The chat has now ended. Please join us for the next one on Wed., June 4

Live Blog Live Chat with M. J. Arlidge: Eeny Meeny
 

David Brooks Dives Deep

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 8.21.10 AMColumnist and commentator David Brooks’s new book, The Road to Character (Random House; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) is a blend of self-examination and an exploration of what makes a richly fulfilling inner life.

In an interview yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered, he says he began this journey after meeting a group of people who tutor immigrants and realizing that they “radiated gratitude for life,” a quality he found missing in his own life, despite his outward successes.

The Guardian calls the book “a powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”

It rose to #2 on Amazon’s sales rankings today, possibly benefiting not only from people on the search for their own roads to character, but from those on the search for interesting (if pointed) graduation gifts. As The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles points out in a story satirizing printed version of famous graduation speeches aimed at that market, it is the season for such books.

Nina Stibbe: An Author To Watch

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.12.22 AMAs we reported earlier, Nina Stibbe’s second book, A Man At the Helm (Hachette/Back Bay original trade pbk; OverDrive Sample), has received glowing attention.

The daily New York Times plays catchup this week with another shining review, placing her in the same company as fellow British comic mastermind P.G. Wodehouse. Says reviewer John Williams, “Ms. Stibbe is in her early 50s, and Man at the Helm is the second book to appear in relatively quick succession and establish her reputation as a top-shelf comic writer.”

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Williams also reports that Nick Hornby is adapting Stibbe’s first book, a memoir about her stint as a nanny, Love, Nina, for the BBC. There’s still many steps to its becoming a reality, so it’s too early to speculate on whether it will also be broadcast in the US.

Reading GO SET A WATCHMAN Under Watchful Eyes

Go Set a WatchmanMost of the world is still holding their breath for the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman,(Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe; HarperCollins EspañolHarperCollins Español AudioeBook) in July.

But as the London Book Fair opens, a select few are getting an early look at the manuscript. International publishers interested in acquiring territorial rights (25 countries have already signed up) are queuing up to read the manuscript in agent Andrew Nurnberg Associates’ London offices under heavy security, reports The GuardianBecause of the desire for secrecy, they are only allowed to read the manuscript in paper form.

We’re on the alert for the first leaks.

Favorite Library and Indie May Titles

Genres dominate the May LibraryReads List, with two Fantasy novels, two Science Fiction picks, two Crime stories, rounded out by one chick lit and a few literary titles.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 12.12.50 PMCalled a stand-alone fairy tale for adults, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (RH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample) is the top pick this month. Lucy Lockley of St. Charles City-County Library (MO) offers this description of the Fantasy:

“A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches. Fast-paced, with magic, mystery and romance, Novik’s stand-alone novel is a fairy tale for adults.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 12.13.37 PMThe second fantasy, again with a fairy tale feel, is Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses (Bloomsbury USA Children’s; OverDrive Sample), a YA book with cross over appeal. Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library (OH) says:

“The human world is in peril. Feyre, a semi-literate girl, hunts for her family’s survival. After she kills an enormous wolf, a fierce fey shows up at her doorstep seeking retribution. Feyre is led to beautiful eternal springs, but the journey is not without danger. Maas masterfully pulls the reader into this new dark fantasy series which feels like a mix of fairy tales, from Beauty and the Beast to Tam Lin.”

The May Indie Next List of 20 titles offers a different distribution – and no overlap with the LibraryReads list.

The list is notable this month for the large number of debuts among the marquee names such as Anne Enright, Lisa Scottoline, Greg Iles, and Matthew Pearl.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 12.14.42 PMWell-known poet Elizabeth Alexander earns the #1 pick for her debut memoir The Light of the World (Hachette/Grand Central; Grand Central Audio; OverDrive Sample), and receives this glowing annotation:

“It is hard to find the right words to do justice to this very special book. Yes, it is by one of our greatest contemporary poets, Elizabeth Alexander, who wrote ‘Praise Song for the Day’ for President Obama’s first inauguration, so the language is gorgeous. And yes, it is a memoir of losing her husband at a young age and so it is, in parts, gut-wrenchingly sad. And yes, it is an ode to an extraordinary man we come to feel we know as an artist, chef, father, friend, and lover. But, above all, it is as beautiful a love story as I have ever read, and it lifts readers up and gives us hope and makes us believe. I will urge it on everyone I know.” —Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 12.15.27 PMAmong the many other debuts is The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) which receives an equally appreciative description:

“The greatest testament to the skill of a writer is the ability to make what might seem alien to the reader completely recognizable and utterly engaging. Such was my experience reading The Turner House. Mine is a tiny white family from a small town with no sense of heritage, yet every moment I spent with the Turners — a family of 13 children shaped by the Great Migration to Detroit — I felt at home. Their struggles and joys are universal, yet told with an exacting eye that always finds the perfect detail. This is a truly impressive debut.” —Kim Fox, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI