Several favorites from Book Expo’s Editor’s Buzz Panel will be released next week with enviable media fanfare, including debuts from Chad Harbich and Justin Torres. Plus there’s Simon Toyne‘s debut thriller, which has been sold in 27 countries, and National Book Award winner Lily Tuck‘s new novel. Usual suspects include Jacqueline Mitchard, Christine Feehan and Clive Cussler. And Thomas Friedman tops our nonfiction list with his look at four unresolved problems holding back the U.S. from supremacy, along with WWII historian Ian Kershaw‘s latest and a new memoir from Lucette Lagnado.
Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print) is the tale of a high school shortstop destined for greatness, until he mysteriously starts to choke - a reversal that affects the fates of four others at his school. This title has been on nearly every Fall preview list, helped no doubt by a strong pitch at Book Expo’s Editor’s Buzz Panel. It was also a GalleyChat Pick of ALA - librarians who joined our post-show tweetfest said it’s “phenomenal” and ”not to be missed.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+, saying that although the characters feel “underdrawn,” Harbach has “a talent for atmosphere, drawing you into his portrait of campus angst.” It’s also a Oprah Book to Watch for in September, and a September Indie Next Pick.
We The Animals by Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) is a much-praised debut novel about three biracial brothers and a dueling husband and wife who are bound by poverty and love. It was also featured on the Editors Buzz Panel at Book Expo, and was a GalleyChat Pick of ALA. In an early review, the New York Times says, “ a sense of lives doomed to struggle and disappointment pervades the writing without dragging it into lugubrious or melodramatic territory. Scenes that thrum with violence can suddenly turn tender too.” It’s also a Oprah Book to Watch for in September, and a September Indie Next Pick.
Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber (Norton; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is the story of a damaged family grappling with the implications of the teenage daughter’s decision to run away at age 13. This was another Book Expo Editors Buzz panel book that became a GalleyChat favorite – librarians said it may be Abu-Jaber’s breakout. It’s also a September Indie Next Pick. Early reviews are uniformly positive. PW says, ” Abu-Jaber’s effortless prose, fully fleshed characters, and a setting that reflects the adversity in her protagonists’ lives come together in a satisfying and timely story.”
Sanctus by Simon Toyne (HarperCollins; Blackstone Audio Books; HarperLuxe) is the first in a projected trilogy of thrillers in the Dan Brown tradition, about an ancient sect of monks on a mountain near the fictional Turkish city of Ruin, who have been protecting a secret since before the Christian era. Kirkus says, “One hopes for a more tightly structured narrative next time around, but the right ingredients are all here.” The announced first printing is 100,000 copies.
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (Ace; Blackstone Audio) is a debut horror novel about a college professor-turned-would be author who comes face to face with his past and a violent family secret at his family’s rural Southern estate. Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert was strong on this one in her BEA summary, and the LJ review calls it “a creepy, suspenseful, and well-crafted debut.”
I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck (Atlantic Monthly; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a wife’s reflections on her 42 years of marriage to her mathematician husband, set on the night of his death. It’s Tuck’s first book since she won the National Book Award in 2004 for The News from Paraguay. Kirkus says, “Does the couple’s mutual happiness provide a Hegelian synthesis? Not quite, though Tuck’s crisp writing is a joy.”
Second Nature: A Love Story by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Random House; Center Point Large Print; author’s backlist on OverDrive) explores the tumultuous life of a woman whose beauty is lost–then restored–after a fire.
The Race: An Isaac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Penguin; Penguin Audiobooks; Thorndike; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a mystery set in the early days of aviation featuring Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency.
Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel by Harlan Coben (Putnam Juvenile; author’s backlist on OverDrive) takes place after Mickey witnesses his father’s death, his mom goes to rehab, and he’s forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools. This is Coben’s first YA novel.
That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) outlines the four major problems the U.S. is not grappling with: globalization, infotech shake-up, out-of-control energy consumption, and lasting deficits.
Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You by Joyce Meyer (FaithWords; Hachette Audio; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is a Biblical take on managing emotions. PW says, “Meyer focuses on learning to think biblically, speak biblically, and then see lives and emotions transformed. Her many fans will not feel disappointed in her latest work.”
The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw (Penguin Press; author’s backlist on OverDrive) is an examination of the last year of the Third Reich as it struggled to survive the dual challenge of defeating the Soviets coming from the East and the Allies advancing from the West, by one of the foremost experts on WWII, Hitler and Nazism. PW says, “Kershaw’s comprehensive research, measured prose, and commonsense insight combine in a mesmerizing explanation of how and why Nazi Germany chose self-annihilation.”
The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn by Lucette Lagnado (Ecco) is the author’s exploration of her mother’s upbringing in Cairo and her own in Brooklyn, New York. In a starred review, Booklist said, “Lagnado is spellbinding and profoundly elucidating in this vividly detailed and far-reaching family memoir of epic adversity and hard-won selfhood.” This one was also presented at the Editors Buzz Panel at ALA Annual New Orleans. A section about Lagnado’s mother working in the cataloging dept of Brooklyn P.L. is poignant. In the beginning, the work gives her a liberating new sense of self, but a new supervisor removes all the joy from the job.