The merit badge at left is for all our GalleyChat regulars (thanks to Ali at Macmillan Library Marketing, who found it for us on the Badger site). Those huge TBR piles are not to be ashamed of, they’re to be celebrated!
Based on Tuesday’s GalleyChat, the one you MUST move to the top of your TBR pile is Before I Go to Sleep, a debut by S.J. Watson (Harper, 6/14). It was first mentioned in our December chat and has gained steam ever since. About a woman with amnesia, trying to piece together her life by writing a daily journal, it’s described as creepy and enthralling (for more about it, listen to the title presentation from HarperC’ollin’s MidWinter buzz session). It’s clearly hot; galleys are now scarce. UPDATE: You can get it as an eGalley through NetGalley.
We love to hear about regional successes. The Baltimore and Raleigh contingents were buzzing about a first novel by a 71-year-old North Carolina author, Anna Jean Mayhew, The Dry Grass of August (Kensington; 4/1). The author’s warm, engaging style is showcased on a local TV show appearance, below, and even more so on the local NPR interview with Frank Stasio. GalleyChatters compare the book to both The Secret Life of Bees and The Help. It’s in trade paperback, making it easier on the budget.
Interest seems to be expanding beyond the region; some litbraries in other parts of the country are showing holds.
A YA title that got several mentions is Bumped by Megan McCafferty (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen; 4/26). Called an “interesting take on the dystopia trend,” the title comes from the central plot point; it’s 2036 and a virus has rendered everyone over the age of 18 infertile, so teens are being paid to procreate. Obviously, this one is quite different from the author’s frothier Jessica Darling series (Sloppy Firsts, etc).
Aside from specific titles, there were comments on reading galleys as eBooks, such as those offered by NetGalley & S&S’s GalleyGrab. Two people noted an unexpected benefit; they’re discovering more debut authors as a result.