Publishing’s summer season begins next week and marquee authors are appearing in every category. Librarians and booksellers also have a slew of recommendations.
Adult Fiction, Holds Leaders
James Patterson (with Maxine Paetro), 15th Affair (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Type; OverDrive Sample). At 464 pages, it is NOT one of the new shorter Patterson’s announced earlier this year.
Danielle Steel, The Apartment (PRH/Delacorte; Random House Large Print).
Middle Grade and YA
A Court of Mist and Fury, Sara Maas, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; Recorded Books) — the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.
The Crown, Kiera Cass, (HarperTeen) — The finale to The Selection series in which dystopia meets The Bachelor. An effort to launch it as a TV series on the CW didn’t get past the pilot stage, but there are still hopes for a Warner Bros. movie.
Zero K, Don DeLillo, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio) — All the country’s critics want to have their say on this book. Michiko Kakutani jumped ahead in the daily NYT this week, calling it the author’s “most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld.”
Hollywood also gave its review this week, in the form of it being optioned for a film by Scott Rudin.
DeLillo is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow.
The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 2, 2016
Get What’s Yours, Revised & Updated, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, (S&S)
It’s such a big week that there’s even a hot title in the usually quiet category of revised editions. The best seller on getting the most from Social Security has been updated to reflect new regulations that took effect on April 29, 2016. Ironically, as reported by Bloomberg, those changes in Social Security rules were brought about by the book itself, which revealed some loopholes. Time to weed those first editions (if you can get them out of readers’ hands).
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).
Earlier this month, the NYT profiled the author, whose TED talk has been viewed nearly eight million times. She is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition, this Saturday, followed by CBS Sunday Morning, and the week after by PBS NewsHour.”
It is a banner week for books librarians love with seven LibraryReads selections hitting shelves, including the #1 pick for May:
“Britt-Marie is a woman who is used to her life being organized. But when she leaves her cheating spouse and takes a temporary job as caretaker of the recreation center in the tiny town of Borg, her life changes in unpredictable ways. With its wonderful cast of oddball characters and sly sense of humor, this novel is sure to capture readers’ hearts. Highly recommended.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
It is also a May Indie Next pick.
“Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
“Set during World War II and loosely based on the author’s own grandparents, this was a strikingly honest look at the changes that war creates on a country’s landscape and its people. These changes were so strongly shown by the progressive style of this novel. Bit by bit, we are privy to each character’s transformation. What a great tribute to what they endured. War gives birth to many endings, also to many beginnings. Bittersweet.” — Lori Elliott, Kershaw County Library, SC
Wilde Lake, Laura Lippman (HC/William Morrow; Harper Audio).
“As Lu, the newly elected state’s attorney in Howard County, prepares for a trial of a woman found murdered in her apartment, she begins to uncover secrets from her past. Bringing her back to the night her brother saved a life at the cost of another, Lu begins to question everything she’s known about the events and her childhood. Lippman’s newest standalone is sure to be another hit, perfect for mystery fans.” — Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Library, Wilmington, NC
Sweet Lamb of Heaven, Lydia Millet (Norton; Dreamscape).
“An arresting story about a wife manipulated and what she goes through to escape her husband’s desperate means to keep her. When her daughter is born, Anna starts hearing a voice in her head that may suggest the supernatural or the divine. She and her daughter hole up in a motel where all the guests seem to hear a similar voice in their heads. The author jolts the reader into reading something unexpected and the effect is eerie and memorable. Highly recommended for a book discussions.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
City of the Lost, Kelley Armstrong (Macmillan/Minotaur Books).
“When Casey Duncan and her friend are invited to Rockton, a town for people who need to disappear, she’s skeptical. Could it really be the haven it promises? She soon finds that Rockton has its own particular set of problems, including a designer drug and a murderer. As the town’s new detective, Casey is soon plunged into the hunting of a killer in a town built on secrets. Armstrong introduces a fascinating setting and an intriguing cast of characters. Readers will find themselves hooked.” — Elena Gleason, Coos Bay Public Library, Coos Bay, OR
“In Hart’s new suspense novel, we meet veteran detective Elizabeth Black, who is facing possible suspension for a suspicious shooting. At the same time, former police officer Adrian Wall is released from prison after serving time for the murder of Julia Stange. Stange’s son wants Adrian dead. Adrian has always claimed his innocence, but after his release, a couple of new bodies turn up at the church. This is a thrilling page-turner that starts at a rapid-fire pace and doesn’t let up. Great book for literary and thriller lovers alike.” — Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN
Seven other Indie Next picks hit shelves this week.
“Church deftly traces the life of Meridian Wallace, an intelligent young woman who is searching for who she is and what she wants to become. As America braces for entrance into WWII, Meri falls for the ambitious Alden Whetstone, a much older but brilliant scientist. Aspiring to be a ‘good wife,’ Meri abandons her own academic pursuits in ornithology to follow Alden to Los Alamos, but the years that follow are filled with dashed hopes and compromises. Over the decades of her marriage, Meri attempts to fill the void of unrealized dreams by making a home and reclaiming her sense of self. Filled with sharp, poignant prose, the novel mimics the birds Meri studies, following her as she struggles to find her wings, let go, and take flight. Church gives readers a thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of the sacrifices women make in life and the courage needed for them to soar on their own.” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
“Haigh has been building a body of work around Bakerton, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade. In this new Bakerton novel, Haigh once again unleashes the sweep of historical forces as out-of-state companies look to drill for natural gas deposits. There is hope among the residents that the future will be brighter, but there is also the risk that they will just be victims of greed and further environmental ruin. This is a big, issue-oriented book, but its success is found in the brilliance with which Haigh crafts her characters and makes their lives a vehicle for looking at the moral, political, environmental, and economic questions about fracking. A timely book and perhaps one even worthy of the title ‘Great American Novel.’” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA
“While any new book from Richard Russo is a cause for celebration, to have one that revisits the characters from a beloved classic feels like a gift from the literary gods. Everybody’s Fool returns to North Bath, New York, the setting for Russo’s breakout novel from 1993, Nobody’s Fool. No one writes better about the quirks, petty jealousies, hard times, humor, and heartbreak of small town America. Everybody’s Fool is good old fashioned storytelling at its finest!” —Shawn Donley, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Imagine Me Gone is a deeply moving portrayal of a family’s complex love for one another as they manage and respond to the shape-shifting undercurrent of mental illness experienced by both father and son. A compelling read on every level, this novel is crafted with impressive emotional sensitivity, providing a direct feed into the inner lives and secrets of each character. Writing of this caliber is a rare thing. Haslett has created a gem of a novel that I will recommend over and over again.” —Nancy Scheemaker, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY
Entertainment Weekly lists it as one of their Hottest Fiction picks: “Haslett’s latest — one of spring’s biggest books — is a heartbreaking, hilarious chronicle of one family struggling to love one another amid anxiety and depression.”
“Horse racing and breeding, evolution, race, love, family dynamics and America’s historical past are a few of the subjects and issues that Morgan bravely, confidently, and intelligently explores with a poetic and lyrical sensibility. The result is a gorgeous and engaging novel that is sobering, important, and unforgettable. In addition to her singular vision and style, Morgan combines some of the intense power of the landscape as mindscape of Thomas Wolfe, the dramaturgy and myth-mining of Eugene O’Neill, the deep focus and rigor of Richard Powers, the transcendent beauty of Vollmann’s best prose, and the strong spiritual commitment of Marilynne Robinson. The Sport of Kings unfolds dramatically into an exquisite work of classic American literature.” —Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
“A lovely debut that swept me along with the story of two people destined to be together. One chance meeting in college then takes three different roads and readers see the next decades played out through the couple’s eyes. Each story is different, yet with the same players, and each does not turn out as expected. This is a thoughtful and touching novel about love, expectations, and forgiveness.” —Kelly Estes, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
“Arthur Pepper has finally gotten around to cleaning out his deceased wife’s clothes when he comes across her charm bracelet. He doesn’t remember seeing it before, and the charms pique his curiosity about the life his wife led before they met. Thus begins an adventure that will have Arthur learning to embrace life more fully and becoming more present in the lives of those he cares about. Grab a seat and get lost in this charming read with characters you will cheer on, laugh with, and perhaps shed a tear for.” —Lisa Fabiano, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
Several titles coming out this week tie in to the upcoming Disney movie Finding Dory, set to open June 17.
There’s also a picture book, Finding Dory (Picture Book): Three Little Words, Amy Novesky (Hachette/Disney Press) and the image-rich Disney Pixar Finding Dory: The Essential Guide, DK (PRH/Penguin/DK Children).
The film, which recounts the continued adventures of the fish Dory following Finding Nemo, features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Idris Elba.
A tie-in edition is now available, Roots [miniseries tie-in]: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley, (Perseus/Da Capo Press).
The new version seeks to make the seminal TV event, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alex Haley, relevant to a new generation of viewers, many of whom were not alive when the first adaptation aired.
The tie-in Warcraft: Durotan: The Official Movie Prequel, Christie Golden (PRH/Titan Books) comes out this week.
The game has been adapted into novels for over a decade, the most recent is Illidan: World of Warcraft, William King (PRH/Del Rey). There are also comics based on the game. The film opens June 10.