There’s so many significant titles coming out next week, that it’s almost a relief to note that one of them has been postponed; Jane Goodall’s Seeds of Hope (Hachette/Grand Central), due to accusations of plagiarism.
The media will have plenty to choose from next week. In addition to the titles featured below, Debbie Reynolds and Maya Angelou release their first memoirs in years, Gwyneth Paltrow brings out a new cookbook and Marie Osmond writes about losing her son (an excerpt is featured in People magazine this week). But the lion’s share of attention will likely focus on Mary Roach‘s examination of the alimentary canal, Gulp.
All the titles highlighted here, and more, are list on our New Title Radar, Week of April 1
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson, (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)
Reviewers are expecting a great deal from the author of Started Early, Took My Dog, as evidenced by the fact that Janet Maslin jumped the pub date to review it in the New York Times this week. She calls this novel about a woman who lives her life over and over again, a “big book that defies logic, chronology and even history in ways that underscore its author’s fully untethered imagination.” It shares the #1 spot as an IndieNext Pick for April (along with Jill McCorkle’s book, which happens to have the same title), Atkinson is featured in the New York Times Magazine and gets an unequivocal “A” from Entertainment Weekly.
Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight (Harper)
Also receiving an “A” from Entertainment Weekly is this debut which actually live up to the claim that it is “this year’s Gone Girl.” Excitement about it has been building on GalleyChat for months. Booksellers agree, making it an IndieNext Pick for April — “Throw out all the cliched superlatives! McCreight’s remarkable debut novel is about Kate Baron, a high-powered lawyer who believes that her daughter Amelia has committed suicide — until she receives the anonymous text — ‘She didn’t jump.’”
All That Is, James Salter, (RH/ Knopf)
Salter’s first novel in 30 years is featured as an “Exclusive First Read” on NPR’s web site, which describes him as a “writer’s writer” and notes “Salter’s deceptively simple prose…His sentences flow one to the next with a limpid inevitability that carries us along.” Entertainment Weekly, gives it a “B+”, marking him down because he “opts for a panoramic view of [main character] Bowman’s life, bloating the narrative with minor characters’ backstories.” Still, it is the prose that wins the reviewer over, “the sentence-to-sentence craftsmanship is stunning, and Salter can still write a perfect love scene.”
The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, (S&S/Scribner; Brilliance Audio)
The author’s previous title, Telex From Cuba garnered an enviable line in Carolyn See’s Washington Post review, ” It’s the kind of thing you should stock up on to give sick friends as presents; they’ll forget their arthritis and pneumonia.” It went on to become a National Book Award finalist. In anticipation of this, her next book, Maud Newton wrote in the NYT ‘Room for Debate': I’m already gearing up to be annoyed if Rachel Kushner’s second novel, The Flamethrowers, doesn’t win something major.” David Ulin writes in the L.A. Times that this book operates “…in the space between creativity and politics, the saga of an artist who travels from Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s to become immersed in the white hot center of Italian radical politics. Kushner is a vivid storyteller, worth reading for her sentences alone.” It is scheduled for coverage on NPR‘s“Weekend Edition” on Sunday.
Without a Summer, Mary Robinette Kowal, (Macmillan/Tor Books)
The third in series, a GalleyChat favorite described as “Regency romance with magic,” that will appeal to both fans of Jane Austen and those who find her a bit to stilted. Check out what Ali Fisher has to say about it on “Uncharted Pages”
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, Mary Roach, (Norton; Tantor Audio)
In Mary Roach’s last book, Packing for Mars, she revealed how astronauts deal with poop in space. Will her new book deliver equally memorable moments? Tons of media attention is in the works next week, so we will soon be hearing about “poop transplants,” rectal smuggling and Elvis Presley’s megacolon. Hats off to the creative person in St. Louis who came up with the idea of a “Dinner and Digestion” program, featuring the author. She is scheduled to appear on Fresh Air on Monday (which happens to be April Fool’s Day), and gets to again match wits with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (see below for her previous appearance).
Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos, (HarperOne)
Wonder what happened to the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding? She became a parent, but not instantly as the title suggests. Here she recounts her efforts to become pregnant, what happened after she did and what her Hollywood life is like. Appearances are scheduled next week for the Today Show, The Katie Couric Show, and many others.
All You Could Ask For, Mike Greenberg, (HarperCollins/Morrow)
The cohost of ESPN’s popular sports show, Mike and Mike in the Morning, Greenberg’s most recent book was titled, Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot, so his shift to what Kirkus describes as “chick lit, with somber overtones” is, as Booklist dryly notes, a”seemingly incongruous choice of subject matter.” It will be fun to see how this one is handled on talk shows.