The season moves into full gear this week, with dozens of titles vying for attention (so many, that we’ve put together a downloadable spreadsheet that includes the following highlights plus nearly 30 other titles). On our Watch List is a Gatsby-esque debut that has been a hit on GalleyChat, Indiscretion by Charles Dubow. Movie tie-ins remind us that Disney’s Oz, The Great and the Powerful arrives in theaters on March 8.
Indiscretion Charles Dubow, (HarperCollins/ Morrow; Blackstone Audio; HarperLuxe)
We fell in love with this debut and asked GalleyChatters to read the ARC. They came back with equal enthusiasm, enjoying the “Gatsby-ness [it's told from the perspective of an outsider, who suffers years of unrequited love for one of the main characters] and the twist at the end.” It’s on the February Indie Next list and is one of 16 Oprah Must-Reads for February. One library is betting big on it; Cuyahoga bought 210 copies.
Schroder, Amity Gaige, (Hachette/Twelve)
A People Pick in the new issue, this in-house favorite is reviewed by Danielle Trussoni (Angelogy) who calls it “a chilling story about an obsessional father who deceives his wife and kidnaps their only child…Gaige’s writing is surprising and original, but the real pull of this magnetic novel is the moral ambiguity the reader feels.”
The City of Devi, Manil Suri, (W. W. Norton)
The Washington Post‘s reliable Ron Charles says, “Even amid the wondrous variety of contemporary Indian fiction, Suri’s work stands apart, mingling comedy and death, eroticism and politics, godhood and Bollywood like no one else.” It is scheduled for coverage on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
See Now Then, Jamaica Kincaid, (Macmillan/FSG ; Macmillan Audio)
Kincaid’s first novel in ten years is sure to draw many reviews. Entertainment Weekly kicks it off with a middling B grade, saying that the story of a divorce is heavily reminiscent of Kincaid’s own, and that she “captures the stuck rhythms of marriage as she repeatedly cycles back to the same fights…As a literary device, it’s affecting, but actually reading the words, again and again, can get tiring.”
Deadly Stakes, J.A. Jance, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print)
The eighth in the series, Booklist gives it kudos for, “Fast pacing, multiple plotlines, a fascinating look at online research, and sympathetic characters … [all tied into a] suspenseful story,” but PW demurs that it exhibits “…awkwardly contrived linkages and a lack of narrative drive, [making] this a lesser effort.” Nevertheless, it is showing the most holds in libraries of all the titles coming out this week.
Touch & Go, Lisa Gardner, (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print)
People reviews this stand-alone about kidnapped couple Justin and Libby Denbe, saying “The suspense crackles as the Denbes grapple with their captors’ bewildering brutality. But what gives the story heart is Libby’s dawning realization that her family may have been broken long before their kidnappers appeared.”
From Mama’s Table to Mine, Bobby Deen & Melissa Clark, (RH/Ballantine paperback original)
Paula Deen’s kids know how to make diet lemonade out of lemons. Their mother, who has made millions from comfort food, suddenly admits she’s had diabetes for years and the entire family goes on a diet. Rather than becoming Weight Watchers spokepeesons, son Bobby publishes a book and the entire family appears on cover of People Magazine (2/4 issue) . The book will be featured on several shows in the upcoming week; NBC’s Today Show; FOX-TV’s Fox and Friends; ABC’s The Dr. Oz Show; ABC’s The Chew and The Rachael Ray Show.
Lucky Me: My Life With–and Without–My Mom, Shirley MacLaine, Sachi Parker, Penguin/Gotham
Shirley MacLaine, of course, is back in the spotlight because of her scene-stealing turns on Downton Abbey. She gets less flattering attention in her daughter’s memoir, which with will be featured on ABC’s 20/20 show tonight, on a segment titled, Stars, Scars and Showbiz Kids (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). The show’s press release states, “Parker says MacLaine neglected her while instead focusing on her own career and life.”
Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government, Gavin Newsom and Lisa Dickey, (Penguin Press)
Clearly, there are high hopes for this book, which is embargoed with a one-day laydown on Tuesday. California Lieutenant Governor Newsom writes about using technology to improve local government (it is billed as an attempt to create “Angry Birds for Democracy”).
My Brother’s Book, Maurice Sendak, HarperCollins
As we noted earlier, Sendak’s final completed book is previewed on the Vanity Fair Web Site. Expect more coverage as the book arrives next week.
Disney’s Oz, The Great and the Powerful arrives in theaters on March 8. Disney is investing considerable bucks to promote this prequel via a spot during the SuperBowl on Sunday (ten-second preview below — to see longer trailers go to the Official Web Site).
Publishing is also pulling out all the stops with re-releases of the original book:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, Disney Press — This re-release features “beautifully repainted Denslow artwork, original Stromberg imagery, and an introduction by one of the stars of Oz The Great and Powerful, James Franco.”
Audio: Dreamscape is releasing new recordings of the first two Oz books (also on OverDrive):
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, read by Tara Sands (Jan 22)
The Marvelous Land of Oz read by Tara Sands (Feb 19)
Disney Press is releasing several tie-ins :
Oz The Great and Powerful, Elizabeth Rudnick — the junior novel adaptation
The Art of Oz The Great and Powerful by Grant Curtis — behind-the-scenes book
Oz The Great and Powerful: The Movie Storybook by Scott Peterson — movie stills
Oz The Great and Powerful: Witches of Oz, Scott Peterson, Disney Press– picture book
Oz The Great and Powerful: Land of Oz Disney Press — Level 2 World of Reading title.