Stuart Woods and Danielle Steel kick off the new year with new titles. But these high-output authors are relative slackers, publishing just one title each. James Patterson beats them all with four new BookShots titles (he does have help, however).
As we’ve noted before, the most popular BookShots titles are those that tie in to well-established Patterson characters, but format is also worth examining. Sno-Isle’s Collection Developments blog recently posted “Bookshots a Better Bet for Audio?” As Darren Nelson points out, the audio versions are circulating better than print for the system and that makes sense, “the typical BookShots audiobook … is probably a great fit for [those] … searching for a bite-sized audiobook they can actually finish in one long trip or a week’s worth of commutes.” All four of the new BookShots titles are available in audio.
The titles covered in this column, 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 Jan.2, 2016
More Bold-Faced Names
No reviews for this one yet. Oprah is giving herself the exclusive with an excerpt in her magazine and on Oprah.com. There’s no indication whether the book promotes Weight Watchers Oprah is currently featured in ads for the company, and is also a major investor. [UPDATE: USA Today reviewing the book on Tuesday, notes her financial investment in the company, but adds, ” while there are SmartPoints listed for each recipe, this is not a Weight Watchers book.” In her first appearance for the book with pal Gayle King on CBS This Morning, she talks about her relationship with Weight Watchers].
In addition to co-writing best selling novels, Preston is an explorer. In this book, he expands on articles he wrote for National Geographic and the New Yorker (may require subscription; it was also featured in a story on NPR) about an expedition to Honduras to search for a legendary lost city. The expedition was organized by documentary film maker Steve Elkins, so it’s no surprise that a documentary film is also in the works. The book received strong pre-pub reviews, including one from Kirkus, “A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary–trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner.” It is also reviewed today in the Boston Globe.
Six peer picks arrive this week, all Indie Next selections from their January list, including their #1 pick for the month, History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (Atlantic Monthly Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).
“A lonely teenager in rural northern Minnesota, Linda is desperate for connection and obsessed with both her enigmatic new neighbors and a classmate entangled in a scandalous relationship with a teacher. Narrating these seemingly disparate story threads is the adult Linda, who may have been villain, victim, or bystander in at least one tragedy. With lyrical prose and precise pacing, debut author Fridlund builds tension and weaves a complex, multilayered morality tale rich in metaphor and symbolism. This haunting, meticulously crafted novel will inspire lengthy rumination on topics ranging from the meaning of the title to the power of belief. Perfect for reading groups!” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI
Additional Buzz: People magazines picks it in the new issue, calling it, “a compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world” The author won the McGinnis-Ritchie Award in 2013 for the first chapter and the full novel has gone on to earn three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Kirkus calls it “a literary tour de force.”
“A ‘difficult woman’ has become shorthand for one who speaks her mind, who questions patriarchal power, and who refuses to be defined by a standard of femininity. The women who populate Gay’s story collection are all difficult in their own ways — mothers, sisters, lovers, some married and some single, most of flesh and one of glass — yet they are all searching for understanding, for identity, and for ways to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical, cruel world. Some of Gay’s stories are graphic, some are allegorical, and all are important commentaries on what being female looks and feels like in modern America.” —Becky Gilmer, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR
“Leopard at the Door is a beautifully layered coming-of-age novel set in a Kenya still under the yoke of colonial British rule. Rachel, whose beloved mother died when she was 12, returns to the country she loves after six years in England. She struggles against the expectations of her father and his new partner, Susan, whom Rachel has a difficult time accepting. Fine writing weaves Rachel’s story with the essence of Kenya, the treatment of its people, and the uprising of the Mau Mau who seek independence. This is a thrillingly taut novel — with a clever title, too!” —Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
“Dan Chase is a wealthy old man living a quiet life after the death of his wife and his daughter’s move to another part of the country. But wait — he is being followed, and then his house is broken into and he has to kill the intruder. Next, the old man turns to his ‘go’ bag as it seems he has many identities, stashes of currency, and a plan to disappear. There are secrets to be discovered all throughout this tale and Perry keeps readers wondering what will come next. This is definitely one of Perry’s best!” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books to Go, South Portland, ME
Everything You Want Me to Be, Mindy Mejia (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books; S&S Audio).
“To some extent we are all chameleons. We fit ourselves to the situations we find ourselves in, act differently around our boss than with our family, and tell little white lies out of kindness. But what if that’s all you did? Hattie Hoffman is just a teenager, but she has already mastered the art of observing the people around her, assessing their desires and expectations and molding herself accordingly. Everything You Want Me to Be is a chilling mystery that explores the mutability of identity through the eyes of three very different people. If you’re looking for the next captivating thriller that everyone will be comparing to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, this is it!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Additional Buzz: A People magazine pick for the week, “A talented young girl set on ditching Minnesota for New York is murdered, and Del, the local sheriff, sets out to find her killer. This time-shifting novel … could have been pure cliche; instead, Mejia’s well-drawn protagonist brings the rural community alive and imbues the narrative with delightful, dry humor.”
“This multigenerational story is a road-trip novel, an ecological disaster drama, and a harrowing post-Iraq War PTSD portrait all rolled into one highly readable, gorgeously written book. Raymond tells this story peering over the shoulders of three strong characters, each of whom have to reconcile feelings of love — both romantic and familial — with the brutal realities of life during wartime. Despite its dark turns, Freebird is a book filled with hope for its characters as well as love for the real world it ably attempts to recreate and offer respite from.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Additional Buzz: It gets a mixed review in the NYT, which calls it “uneven” but also says it “offers plenty of memorable moments.”
A number of tie-ins come out this week, getting ready for the post-holiday film season.
Fifty Shades Darker (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, EL James (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) also in Spanish Cincuenta sombras más oscuras (Movie Tie-In): Fifty Shades Darker MTI – Spanish-language edition, E L James (PRH/Vintage Espanol).
The second film in the expected trilogy adapting E.L. James’s novels comes out on Feb. 10.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote join the cast as Grey’s ex-lovers.
As we noted at the time, Variety reported that the second film as well as the upcoming third film of the trilogy (shot back-to-back) is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Cards). He replaces Sam Taylor-Johnson with whom James clashed during the filming of the first movie. The screenplays for the final two films will be written by E. L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard.
The novelization of the newest Star Wars film finally hits after the movie’s release (on Dec. 16), delayed in an effort to prevent spoilers.
Three tie-ins related to the March 17th premiere of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast come out this week:
Belle’s Story (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).
Beauty and the Beast Deluxe Step into Reading (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).
Expect more to come and follow the tie-in link below for additional titles already announced but publishing later.
Same Kind of Different As Me Movie Edition:
A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together, Ron Hall, Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent (HC/Thomas Nelson; OverDrive Sample).
The inspirational film has been pushed back from its original April 2016 slot and will now open on Feb. 3. It stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund.
It had a rocky introduction when the preview aired in August, with The Guardian writing “Renée Zellweger and Greg Kinnear’s aggressive condecension; Djimon Hounsou’s Jar Jar Binks accent; the set designer’s antler fetish … this film does not look good.”