Looking Forward; At Last!

I’m getting a little tired of looking back at 2008, so it’s a relief to turn to the American Booksellers Association’s list of favorite titles coming in January (Indie NextList).

Topping the list of 20 titles is the comic first novel Beat the Reaper, about a hit man turned medical intern. Bookseller Amy Pierson of Toad Hall Bookstore, Rockport, MA says “The briskly paced thriller offers an entertaining plot, quirky characters, and a shocking ending that will haunt the reader for a long while.”

This is Little, Brown’s big Winter debut novel, acquired by Reagan Arthur, an editor with a great track record for spotting debut hits, such as The Historian and And Then We Came to the End.

Library ordering is relatively light, despite strong reviews in all four prepub sources — PW, LJ,  and Kirkus and Booklist (“Who would have thought that extreme violence liberally sprinkled with obscenities could be both funny and tender?”). Note that it is also available in audio and large type.

Beat the Reaper

by Josh Bazell

  • Hardcover: $24.99; 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (January 7, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0316032220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316032223
  • Audio CD: Unabridged; $29.98
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; (January 7, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1600244327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600244322
  • Paperback: $24.99; 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (January 7, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0316037559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316037556
The Indie List doesn’t often include how-to titles, so Home Outside is a stand out. It’s by the author of several other gardening books, including Outside the Not So Big House.
Libraries I checked have not ordered it.
Home Outside; Creating the Landscape You Love
Messervy, Julie Moir
  • Hardcover: $30; 240 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (January 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1600850081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600850080

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