Archive for April, 2017

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 1, 2017

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Into the WaterPublishing’s summer season kicks off with the book expected to be seen in every beach tote, Paul Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT), the follow up to her sales phenomenon, The Girl on the Train.

Critics have already begun to wade in, and not too happily, as we wrote earlier. Echoing the first consumer reviews, Maureen Corrigan writes in the Washington Post, “something’s amiss in this second novel: It’s stagnant rather than suspenseful.”

But one important audience member has already plunked down money for the book. DreamWorks is set to adapt it and it’s been assigned to the Oscar-winning duo behind La La Land, producers Marc Platt and Jared LeBoff.

The author is interviewed this morning on NPR.

9780316274036_5ccd1  9780316469760_56377  9780316438834_2db69

It’s a week filled with several Patterson releases, four in total. In hardcover, the next in his Women’s Murder Club series, 16th Seduction (Hacehtte/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), arrives. In paperback, it seems we sounded the death knell for the BookShots series too early. Although many of the upcoming titles have been cancelled, this week brings two, both extensions of hardcover series (as we’ve noted before, the branded BookShots seem to sell better). Detective Cross (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) bears a cover burst reassuring wary readers that it is the “First time in print anywhere.” Also arriving is Private: Gold (Hachette/Bookshots; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780316346993_33d8dPatterson is also publishing what appears to be a humor book, co-written with son Jack, Penguins of America (Hacehtte/Little Brown; OverDrive Sample). With no prepub reviews, we have to rely on the publisher’s description, “Featuring humorous illustrations with captions that show penguins in the day-to-day situations that we’ve all experienced–from a relaxing day at the beach to a stressful morning commute.”

Patterson also announced this week that he is jumping on the true crime bandwagon, and plans to write a book about the Aaron Hernandez case.

9780062660084_5fa88Often quoted during the controversy over the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the author’s close friend, historian Wayne Flynt is publishing Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee, (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which includes many of the letters he and Lee wrote to each other. Covering it today, the New York Times reporter notes, “At least two other books about Ms. Lee are planned in coming years … That makes for at least six books from major publishers about a woman who wrote only two.”

According to prepub reviews, those looking for dirt will be disappointed. Says LJ, “Flynt’s discretion, as a friend and as the Baptist minister Lee trusted to speak at her memorial service, serves his friend well.” PW adds, “Flynt is a fluent writer in his own right, but the main rewards here lie in Lee’s tart observations on the modern world, sly sense of humor, and wonderful turns of phrase.”

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 Week of May 1, 2017.

Media Magnets

9780735211322_f4e1cWomen Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, Ivanka Trump (PRH/Portfolio; Penguin Audio/BOT).

The First Daughter outranks the First Lady in terms of time spent in the White House as well as in media attention, which is already extending to her second book. Although it is embargoed, Politico just published the preface, immediately parodied by New York magazine, as if it were “by a working woman living under the Trump administration.”

Peer Picks

It’s a great week for readers advisors, with thirteen picks from library and bookstore staff, including five LibraryReads titles:

9781616206888_9485aThe Leavers, Lisa Ko (Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis MO

Additional Buzz: A buzzy debut, it is an Indie Next pick, a spring book selection from BuzzFeed, Parnassus Books, and The Washington Post and on a number of most anticipated 2017 lists, including The Millions and Entertainment Weekly.

9780393609394_8b88fAstrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson (Norton; BlackStone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: A GalleyChat title and a spring book pick from Paste‘s list of “A Great New Batch of Science Books,” Tyson is also making news for his recently released video on the importance of science and fact:

9780062651259_9040aThe Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.” — Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library,Batavia, NY

Additional Buzz: Flavorwire featured Flynn in their “The Sweetest Debut” column.

Ginny MoonGinny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig (Harlequin/MIRA/Park Row; Harlequin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Additional Buzz:  Harlequin is not a name synonymous with literary fiction, but their new imprint, Park Row aims to be an  “exclusive line of thought-provoking and voice-driven novels by both celebrated and new authors.” This debut, seems to fulfills that mission. It is both an Indie Next and a GalleyChat title and a Summer 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Book and received starred reviews from PW, Library Journal and Booklist. In a separate interview with the author, PW calls it a “gorgeous debut novel.”

Radium GirlsThe Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, Kate Moore (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick for May. Coverage is wide ranging, from The Atlantic to the NY Post to The Spectator to Nature. The Spectator leads with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins,” while Nature calls the book “harrowing.” The trailer features historical photos and articles.

Eight more Indie Next titles debut this week:

9781573246989_580a3Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love, Marissa Moss (Red Wheel Weiser Conari/Hampton Roads/Conari Press).

“In this achingly raw graphic memoir, Marissa Moss untangles the seven whirlwind months between her husband’s ALS diagnosis and his death. Forced to balance Harvey’s increasingly complex medical needs and the needs of their three young sons, Moss struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy for her family in the midst of crisis. Absent are movie-perfect declarations of love and reconciliation; Moss lays bare the emotional devastation left in the wake of Harvey’s illness with her understated drawings and text. But there are moments of joy, too, reminding us beauty can be found in the darkest of times. Powerful, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, hopeful, Last Things challenges readers with its unflinching look at marriage, family, love, and loss.” —Beth Wagner, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, VT

9780544912588_3ee9aSalt Houses, Hala Alyan (HMH; OverDrive Sample).

“Accomplished poet Hala Alyan exceeds the brilliance of her excellent collections of poems in her moving, deeply felt, powerfully realized first novel, Salt Houses. I can’t think of many writers who have so adeptly written of family relationships — here, spanning five generations, all against a vividly rendered backdrop of exile and migration. From Palestine to Jordan, Lebanon to Kuwait, Boston to New York, this is a story of people losing, finding, and making their way. Salt Houses gives voice, body, and love to people whose lives in this country tend, at most, to be featured anonymously in news accounts — and at that, in the negative. This is real life, beautifully written and graciously enlarging the sense of who we are.” —Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Additional Buzz: It is on The MillionsMost Anticipated” list and Bustle‘s list of “15 New Authors You’re Going To Be Obsessed With This Year.”

9780802126450_79e87Miss Burma, Charmaine Craig (Grove Press; Blackstone Audio).

“Charmaine Craig’s Miss Burma is nothing short of stunning. Based on the lives of her mother and grandparents in Burma, Craig deftly tells the epic story of one family as they try to survive the horrors of World War II, independence, and then civil war. What distinguishes this book from others is its frank look at who and what survives under such perilous conditions. Especially for readers unfamiliar with Burma, like me, Miss Burma is a chronicle of loss and love in a country too long neglected by the world.” —Michael Triebwasser, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen recommends it in the a NYT “By the Book” feature and Craig has her own piece on friendship in the NYT Magazine. Electric Lit includes her novel in their counting of the “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year.”

9781501157783_41f0d‘Round Midnight, Laura McBride (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio).

“Four women, five decades, and one Las Vegas nightclub come together in a powerful story of lust, grief, and family ties. Laura McBride spins a richly evocative tale of the glory days of Las Vegas and the women who inhabit this world. Their stories are intertwined both with and without their knowledge, and together they forge a future that none of them could foresee. Taking readers from the depths of grief and then sending them soaring with emotion, ’Round Midnight is an awe-inspiring novel that deserves to be on the bookshelf of every avid reader.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

9780399583582_1bc9eThe Garden of Small Beginnings, Abbi Waxman (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Lilian Girvan is a young widow going through the motions: mother of two, newly unemployed, and navigating life’s daily aggravations. When she grudgingly signs up for a weekly gardening class, she’s surprised to find support, wisdom, and the possibility of a new relationship. Lilian is a funny, sassy everywoman who will make you laugh out loud, cry a little, and cheer as she takes tentative steps toward her own small beginnings of happiness. Abbi Waxman’s debut novel will be enjoyed by fans of The School of Essential Ingredients and anyone who believes that happiness can be a choice regardless of what life brings.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Additional Buzz: Bustle includes it on their list of “15 Spring Releases About New Beginnings To Kick Start The New Season.”

9781594633737_1c6cfPriestdaddy: A Memoir, Patricia Lockwood (PRH/Riverhead; OverDrive Sample).

“A published poet, Lockwood’s first memoir is a hilarious and contemplative narrative written with precise, flowing prose that baptizes the reader. Calling it an honest portrayal is a severe understatement, as Lockwood describes a father who converts to Catholicism and becomes a priest due to a little-known loophole that allows him to continue his ‘normal’ relationship with his wife and three children. Her understanding of what appears, from the exterior, to be bizarre behavior in the guise of religion is a peek under the sheets of a cold embrace. Loved it!” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Additional Buzz: The Guardian, New York magazine, and The Atlantic review. The Guardian headlines it is “a dazzling comic memoir.”

9781555977740_87efeFen: Stories, Daisy Johnson (Macmillan/Graywolf).

“This collection of stories scrambled my brain, in the best possible sense. They made me reread, wonder, turn the book upside down and shake it a bit to see what other fantastical imaginings would fall out. Girls turn into eels and men into foxes, a house is obsessed with a woman, and a bloodsucking girl gang preys on Internet dates. A few stories broke my heart, too. Johnson has a way of manifesting loneliness and loss into physical pain and malady that shocks the senses. Startling, unusual, and sneakily profound, Fen is an unforgettable collection.” —Stefanie Kiper Schmidt, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

Additional Buzz: In a video interview, the debut author reveals how important landscape and language are in her writing.

9780062369581_9636fThe Baker’s Secret, Stephen P. Kiernan (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Emma is an apprentice baker in a small Normandy village during the Nazi occupation whose quiet determination to keep her friends and grandmother alive is heroic and heart-wrenching. Forced to bake ten loaves of bread for the Kommandant each day, Emma stretches her supplies to make extra loaves to help feed the starving villagers. While she refuses to think she is part of the resistance and has lost hope of the Allies arriving, Emma epitomizes the French spirit of survival. Once again, we learn that the bravest among resistance fighters are often little more than children themselves. What a beautiful book to recommend to book groups and customers seeking a well-written story.” —Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, MO

Tie-ins

The series premiere of American Epic begins on PBS May 16. The documentary, narrated by Robert Redford, explores music in the 1920s when scouts traveled the country recording artists such as The Carter Family and Blind Willie Johnson. A companion book is being released this week, American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself, Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty, Elijah Wald, (S&S/Touchstone; Highbridge Audio).

A contemporary effort to remake the 1920s recordings will air on PBS on June 6th. Called The American Epic Sessions, it features artists such as Jack White, Elton John, Nas, Taj Mahal.

9780316557863_f7457Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins by Suzanne Selfors (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample) ties in to the new Netflix animated series of the same name, inspired by the older DreamWorks film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. It starts on May 5.

It tells the story of a young girl who moves to the West and finds friends, both horse and human, and excitement. Collider, for one, is not fully on board and says it offers “adventure alongside PSAs.

9780062681843_3ece99780062681867_eb02cThe first of several tie-ins arrive for the upcoming Wonder Woman film, set for release on June 2.

Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HC; OverDrive Sample).

Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HC; OverDrive Sample).

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

The Foodie Oscars Announced

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780804186742_12bafThe 2017 James Beard Media Awards have been announced.

The Book of the Year, as well as the winner in the American Cooking category, is Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes by Ronni Lundy (PRH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample).

Several notable books on Southern cooking were published this year, but Lundy’s guide to the foodways of the Mountain South won out over all the others. A book rich in essays and history and as much about sharing a sense of the culture as providing recipes, it already won the IACP Award for best American cookbook, and could be called “the Hillbilly Elegy of the food world.”

9780547614847_b3bf7Dorie Greenspan wins the Baking and Dessert category for Dorie’s Cookies (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; OverDrive Sample), her first all-cookie cookbook made critics drool.

Dessert fans will want to follow Greenspan in her new column for NYT Magazine. which kicks off this week with Buttermilk-Biscuit Shortcakes.

9781579655488_c0125Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid (Workman/Artisan; OverDrive Sample) won the International category, which continues the recent fascination with that cuisine. Like Victuals, it is a double winner, having also topped the IACP Culinary Travel category.

The full list of winners is online.

 

A “Cheerleader for Literature”

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The new Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Lisa Lucas has worked tirelessly, as she told PW last year, to “get the media to pay more attention to books.”

Profiled on today’s CBS This Morning, she spoke about the mission of the National Book Foundation to expand reading and her dream to make the foundation’s National Book Awards as eagerly anticipated as the Oscars or the Emmys.

To TV: WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9781455588220_ced4bMindy Kaling has optioned the rights to Alyssa Mastromonaco’s recently released memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (Hachette/Twelve; OverDrive Sample) reports Deadline Hollywood. In it, she writes about her time as Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff for operations in the White House.

Plans are in the works to turn it into a TV series with Kaling producing. No word yet on who will star but Jezebel says that it “sounds like it’ll be right up Kaling’s alleyThe Mindy Project minus the doctor stuff with a dash of Veep, a hint of The West Wing, minus any House of Cards Underwood-ian touches.”

The publisher calls the book “less political diatribe than a gossip session with an older sister,” which is fitting as Mastromonaco and Kaling are friends, introduced, says Deadline, by Obama himself.

As we posted, the book spent two weeks on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list and got attention when it was published last month. People reviewed it, saying it is “brimming with … humorous, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, as well as up-close-and-personal moments with Obama that shed new light on who he is as a leader, man and friend.” New York Magazine ran an interview, as did USA Today.

To Screen: THE BLACK COMPANY

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780765324016A ground-breaking fantasy series begun in 1984 has taken the first steps in the journey to the small screen.

Eliza Dushku, who starred as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, has optioned the rights to Glen Cook’s action-based epic, The Black Company series, reports Deadline Hollywood. She will star “in the pivotal role of the dark sorceress, The Lady.”

The series consists for four opening novels followed by various collections, the most recent of which is The Many Deaths of the Black Company (Macmillan/Tor/Forge; 2010; OverDrive Sample). Deadline writes that Tor will publish a new volume in 2018, Port of Shadows.

In 2005, Jeff VanderMeer interviewed Cook for The SF Site, writing Cook has “carved out a place for himself among the preeminent fantasy writers of the last twenty-five years with classics such as the Dread Empire trilogy and The Black Company novels. His work is unrelentingly real, complex, and honest. The sense of place that permeates his narrative and his characters gives his ‘fantasies’ more gravitas and grit than most novels that feature contemporary settings.” He goes on to quote Steven Erickson, “The thing about Glen Cook is that he single-handedly changed the field of fantasy — something a lot of people didn’t notice and maybe still don’t. He brought the story down to a human level, dispensing with the clichés and archetypes of princes, kings, and evil sorcerers.”

Deadline summarizes of the novels:

“[They follow] the exploits of the Black Company, an elite mercenary unit that carries out the often nefarious deeds of the highest bidder across a Tolkeinesque landscape. When these hard-bitten men discover the prophecy that the embodiment of good has been reborn, they must re-examine their loyalties. The Lady (Dushku), who rules over the Northern Empire, uses the Black Company to further her domination of a power structure rife with usurpers.”

FLOWER MOON Blossoms

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780385534246_0b8dcKillers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the USA Today Bestseller list at #7, a ranking that far outdistances Grann’s first book, The Lost City of Z, which on;y hit a high of #68.

There is more good news for the journalist turned author. Deadline Hollywood reports that a dream team might join forces for the film version, consisting of Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro. The trio, who have never worked together on one film, are said to be seriously considering the project.

Flower Moon is a rich story for them to dig their teeth into, a true crime tale of high murder counts, conspiracies, the FBI’s young director, J. Edgar Hoover, and a former Texas Ranger named Tom White. The Independent speculates on who will play which historical figure, “DiCaprio [who previously played Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s 2011 film J. Edgar] may take up the role again, with De Niro probably the pick to play Tom White.”

The film rights were sold in a hot auction for 5 million, roughly a year before the book hit shelves. Variety says it “was one of the highest prices paid for movie rights in recent memory.”

It might prove a sound buy. The Lost City of Z is more than held its own in very limited release. However, it did not perform as well when it expanded to more theaters this past weekend.  Critics are mad for it, with the A.V. Club asking “Is this the best movie of the year so far?

UPDATE:
The book was featured on the 4/30 CBS Sunday Morning.

SHATTERED Soars To Bestseller Status

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bThe news media is focused on Trump’s first 100 days, but it seems people still want to know about the campaigns that preceded it. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) hits the new USA Today bestseller list at number 3.

Library holds have grown dramatically since the book’s publication date, increasing ratios at impressive rates, albeit on cautious ordering. One library we checked has moved from a ratio of 1:1 to 53:1. Another jumped from 6:1 to 42:1.

As we noted earlier, NYT chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling” and says “Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in Shattered— and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating … and while it’s clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.”

9781250120618_caadfA potential future female presidential candidate also debuts on the list. Landing at No. 8  is This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). She tells the paper’s Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, “The direction that Donald Trump and his team want to drive this country is a direction that I don’t think America’s middle class can survive.”

The authors of both books have been making the media rounds.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE: Critic’s Rave

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780525435006_a03ffHulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986; tie-in ed., PRH/Anchor, 2017; OverDrive Sample) premiered Wednesday, to glowing reviews.

The NYT calls it “spectacular” and says that the show “argues — with an assist from current events — that progress is neither automatic nor irreversible.”

The Washington Post headlines, “The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t just timely, it’s essential viewing for our fractured culture.”

The Guardian writes “It’s a horror, and it’s a thriller, but it is, at its core, a warning, about how oppression can creep up on you, and what happens when women’s lives are no longer their own.”

NPR says it is “chilling … a horror show unveiled in slow motion … In a country where sexual harassment scandals regularly land on the front page, the patriarchy of The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t feel so far-fetched, which is the most horrific thing about it.”

Elle magazine takes an interesting approach to the book, asking a range of women authors how it shaped their “ideas of feminism, fairness, and dystopia.”

Louise O’Neill, author of Only Every Yours recalls reading when she was 15 and wondering “How is it possible that this book was written in 1985… and yet so little has changed in the last 15 years.” Reading it again this year, she’s asking the same question.

Sady Doyle, author of Trainwreck says the lessons of the book “set the table for how I would look at gender and power as an adult. I’m more glad than ever for the book as it’s become more necessary.”

Chat with Pablo Cartaya, Author of THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Read our chat with Pablo, below.

Join us for the next live chat on May 26, 5 to 6 p.m., ET with Tamara Bundy, to discuss Walking with Miss Millie, to be published by Nancy Paulsen Books  in July.

To join the program, sign up here

Live Blog Live Chat with Pablo Cartaya : THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA
 

New Crime & Nonfiction Watchlist

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Editors Note: Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from this month’s chat below.

Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
May 2, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

GalleyChat discussions are always fast and furious. While it’s a challenge to keep up with the feed, it’s worth it to hear about forthcoming titles librarians are eager to share. April’s chat was especially spirited with nonfiction and crime titles leading the way.

Reality Reading

Unlike reality television, which is generally anything but authentic, readers can count on the nonfiction recommended by GalleyChatters as the real thing.

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAs an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and the director of its world-famous Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson knows his outer space science. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry  (Norton, May) will appeal to readers who, according to Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, “… don’t think they like science and just need the right book to open up their horizons.” He also says, “Tyson does a great job using humor and common sense in giving us an overview of difficult topics. More importantly he leaves out the advanced math that usually accompanies books like these making this a great choice for people who would like to know more but are afraid they cannot grasp these ideas.” This is also a LibraryReads choice for May.

Morningstar: GROWING UP WITH BOOKSFor those of us who discovered the love of reading at an early age, Ann Hood’s short memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books (Norton, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), zoomed right into our hearts and readers will scurry to find many of the lost gems listed in this book (I’ll be searching for a copy of Robert Rimmer’s The Harrad Experiment). Marika Zemke, Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI) says, “Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She’s the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She’s the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She’s the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of the written word will savor, discuss and debate.”

Arresting Thrillers

Gone to DustMatt Goldman, former writer for Seinfeld and a stand-up comedian, has created an intriguing new character in Gone to Dust (Macmillan/Forge, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Set in Minneapolis and introducing Nils Shapiro, a smart and thoughtful private eye, this new series is a cross between Lee Child and Sue Grafton. Robin Nesbitt, readers’ advisor at Metropolis Columbus (OH) Library, says, “What a great read! Love Nils and hope he comes back for more mysteries! Well written, with engaging characters, mystery readers are in for a real treat.” We predict a summer hit, so have lots of copies on hand for mystery lovers.

The ForceFor grittier police action, three participants raved about The Force by Don Winslow (HarperCollins/William Morrow, June). Janet Lockhart, collection development librarian for Wake Co (NC) calls it “addictive and fast-paced,” recommended for fans of Dennis Lehane and television shows like The Wire. She adds, “NYPD Detective Denny Malone’s mission is to be a good cop but that doesn’t mean he follows the letter of the law. You’ll root for this hero, flawed at the Shakespearean level, as the choices he makes affect his family, his squad, and his soul. It’s set in a police world so convincingly detailed that you may find yourself reaching for your badge and bullet proof vest.”

The Child, BartonInvestigative journalist Kate Waters first appeared in Fiona Barton’s surprise bestseller, The Widow, and returns in The Child (PRH/Berkley, June) to investigate the discovery of a baby’s skeleton at a construction site. Three chatters found it engrossing, including Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library who says, “Three women are brought together as each, for her own reasons, tries to determine who the child is with irrevocable results for each. As inconsistencies and contradictions begin to pile up, Kate, Emma, and Angela dig further into the past and find life changing, but heart breaking, answers.”

He Said, She SaidErin Kelly wrote twisting psychological fiction long before Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl burst upon the scene, and her next book, He Said/She Said  (Macmillan/Minotaur, June), will no doubt be popular with patrons. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) loves it, saying, “In a year of excellent psychological fiction, this is an absolute standout. Using solar eclipses as metaphor – and actual plot device! – Kelly immerses us into a relationship between a young couple and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Believable characters, alternating points of view, and a feeling of simmering dread highlight this sexy smart novel.”

See What I Have Done, Schmidt“Lizzie Borden took an ax/And gave her mother forth whacks/When saw what she had done/She gave her father forty-one.” But did she really? See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Ingram Publishing Services/Atlantic Monthly Press, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20) gives a different and creepy view of the incident. Jen Dayton was entranced, saying, “I have always had a morbid fascination with Lizzie Borden and this book only ended up throwing gasoline on that bonfire. Told in the alternating voices of Lizzie, her sister Emma, their Irish maid Bridget and drifter Benjamin, author Sarah Schmidt takes a story we all think we know and spins it into something new and fresh and just as terrifying as you remember.”

Palate Cleanser

Little French Bistro, Nina GeorgeAfter all of that murder and mayhem, a sweet book like Nina George’s Little French Bistro (PRH/Crown, June) is the perfect antidote. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library enthuses, “Sixty-year-old Marianne has been reduced to utter hopelessness by her loveless marriage to domineering Lothar. After surviving a suicide attempt she finds herself drawn to Kerdruc in Brittany where a chance encounter lands her a job cooking at bistro An Mor. I have never been to Brittany, but Nina George made me feel that I could smell the salt air, see the little bistro, and eavesdrop as her vividly drawn characters converse. A quiet charmer.”

If you haven’t yet participated in the fun, please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, May 2, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.

To Print: Gretchen Carlson

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

9781478992172Gretchen Carlson is at work on a new memoir,  Be Fierce: Stop Harassment And Take Your Power Back (Hachette/Center Street Books), scheduled for publication on September 26. The announcement come amidst media coverage of accusations of sexual harassment at Fox and the recent firing of Bill O’Reilly.

In a statement Carlson said “Make no mistake – sexual harassment is not just about sex. It’s really about power. Sexual harassers feel they can get away with it because they believe they’re the ones holding all the cards. It doesn’t occur to them that the women they’re harassing have power too. We need to encourage women to stop being silent, stand up and speak up and join the movement. Together we can make change.”

Carlson filed a lawsuit against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, leading to his ouster, paving the way for O’Reilly’s exit. She is just one of many at the network to have shared their stories. Her book will gather the voices of others without such a megaphone. According to Hachette Imprint Center Street Be Fierce , will “Gretchen’s experience and powerful stories from the thousands of women who have reached out to her who refuse to submit to intimidation of any kind. Gretchen will also share the wisdom and research of lawyers, psychologists, and other experts helping to confront this problem and advance what has become an international conversation about women refusing to shut up and sit down.”

She may not be able to be completely candid, however. As The Daily Beast points out, she “can’t discuss her former employer under the terms of a $20 million settlement agreement.” She tells the site, “Obviously, I can’t talk about the details of the case, but my goodness, I don’t need to … I can be an advocate for this issue. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I never expected to be the 9780525427452_b818dface of this issue. Who would?”

Carlson’s first book was her PR-ish memoir Getting Real (PRH/Viking, 2015). It hit the USA Today‘s list at #140 and lasted just one week. In it, she presented a more flattering picture of her boss, calling him, “the most accessible boss I’ve ever worked for.”

Pirsig’s Passing

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

9780060589462_1aa82Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, (HC/William Morrow; BBC Audio), died on Monday. He was 88.

Pirsig, a college writing instructor, became an overnight sensation in 1974 when Zen was published. It sold a million copies in its first year, remained a bestseller for a decade, and earned him a Guggenheim fellowship. Reading it became a right of passage for many and remains so to this day.

The NYT writes that the book “ranged widely in its concerns, contemplating the relationship of humans and machines, madness and the roots of culture … in seeking to reconcile humanism with technological progress, [it was] perfectly timed for a generation weary of the ’60s revolt against a soulless high-tech world dominated by a corporate and military-industrial order.”

In seeking to explain the book’s popularity and cult-like following, the NYT quotes Pirsig himself, who wrote on his website, “I expressed what I thought were my prime thoughts … and they turned out to be the prime thoughts of everybody else.”

The New Yorker linked the book to Herman Melville while The New York Times earlier connected it to Thoreau.

Pirsig wrote only one other book, the less successful Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (PRH/Bantam).

The Washington Post, L.A. Times, and NPR also offer remembrances.

Critics Wade INTO THE WATER

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

9780735211209_a3de4 It may be the most eagerly awaited title of the upcoming season, so the daily NYT brings their popular-fiction critic Janet Maslin out of semi-retirement to do an early review of Paula Hawkins’s second novel after her breakout best seller The Girl on the Train.

Unfortunately, Maslin is disappointed. Acknowledging that Hawkins “could have published a book of 386 blank pages and hit the best-seller lists,” she dismantles Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT), writing “If The Girl on the Train seemed overplotted and confusing to some readers, it is a model of clarity next to this latest effort … jam-packed with minor characters and stories that go nowhere … [a] three-ring circus.”

Trade reviews range from a starred Booklist to a middling Publishers Weekly that says it juggles “a few too many story lines for comfort, but the payoff packs a satisfying punch” and a damning Kirkus which concludes, “Let’s call it sophomore slump and hope for better things.”  Maslin, whose rave review for Hawkins’s debut helped solidify the already growing word of mouth that launched it onto best seller lists, is in the Kirkus camp, asking,”What happened to the Paula Hawkins who structured The Girl on the Train so ingeniously?”

The book doesn’t arrive until next week, so there are few other reviews, but one echoes and goes beyond Maslin’s criticisms. Slate critic Laura Miller, who was no fan of Hawkins’s first, writes “Into the Water isn’t an impressive book. Its tone is uniformly lugubrious and maudlin, and Hawkins’ characters seldom rise to the level of two dimensions, let alone three.”

For her part, Maslin works hard to find redeeming qualities. “Many of us are going to read this novel anyway … So on the bright side for those who insist … while [the novel] chugs off to a slow, perplexing start, [it] develops a head of steam at an unlikely moment. It has exactly one smart, perfectly conceived Hitchcockian page: its last.”

Hitting Screens, Week of April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Several highly anticipated TV shows begin their runs this week, including Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

9780525435006_a03ffThe Handmaid’s Tale starts on April 26 and runs for ten episodes, staring Elisabeth Moss as Offred, the central character and a rarity in her world, a fertile woman, or ‘handmaid,” she becomes the property of the state, forced to conceive against her will. Joseph Fiennes stars as The Commander, to whom Offred is assigned.

Reviews are glowing. The A.V. Club headlines, “Praise be to the arresting, topical nightmare of The Handmaid’s Tale.” Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, writing it “plays like true prestige television: A masterfully unnerving vision of a near future … Moss is a brilliant muse, a fantastically unsettling alloy of fury and stillness; if this doesn’t earn her the Emmy she was robbed of for her years on Mad Men, the voting Academy should sue itself for gross negligence.” IndieWire says it is “The Scariest TV Show Ever Made, Because It Feels So Real.” Time calls it “masterful … hits exactly the right note … [and] The more you learn about Offred, the more she looks like TV’s great new heroine.” The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A thrillingly dystopian escape from our modern dystopia.”

The tie-in edition comes out this week, with an eerie photo of Elizabeth Moss on the cover: The Handmaid’s Tale (Movie Tie-in), Margaret Atwood (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample).

9780062572233_d8645American Gods starts its 8-episode run on April 30. It has an all-star cast including Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Gillian Anderson as Media, and Kristin Chenoweth as Easter.

Early reviews are largely positive. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-, with the reviewer writing that he was “consistently engrossed.” Den of Geek writes “The American Gods TV show is something special — for anyone who has ever believed in anything or simply questioned the structure of existence. This show is for you.”

However, Comics Beat headlines that it is “a beautiful mess” and says the show lacks a needed “sense of urgency” and that its “thematic superficiality is heartbreaking.”

The tie-ins hit shelves in late March: American Gods, Neil Gaiman (HC/William Morrow; also in mass market; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9781501171383_c1b1eGenius begins its 10-episode run on the National Geographic channel on April 25. It is the first scripted series from the cable network, reports Deadline Hollywood, and is part of a planned “anthology drama– telling the stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators.”

This opener is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe and stars Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush as Einstein. Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) plays the younger Einstein while Emily Watson (The Theory of Everything) is Elsa, his second wife. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are the series executive producers.

It is getting some good buzz. The NYT says “this is not your father’s biopic. It’s about time to meet the real guy behind the cuddly accent and the curvature of space-time … it’s a tense binge-worthy psychological thriller full of political and romantic melodrama.” Forbes writes the series may “inspire a new generation of thinkers and dreamers to expand our knowledge of the world” and calls it impressive and attention grabbing.

The tie-in came out in early April: Einstein TV Tie-In Edition: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9781410466822_e7e92 Only one theatrical film opens this week, The Circle, premiering on the 28th and starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and and John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). It is based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, who also co-wrote the script for the film.

There are no reviews yet but Entertainment Weekly ran a story recently, opening with a reminder that the plot of The Circle, about technology and privacy, is very timely:

“Imagine a world where everything you do is tracked online. Where privacy doesn’t exist. Where corporations have the government’s blessing to extract whatever information they want about you. Welcome to that world. Thanks to a recent party-line vote in Congress, you live in it.” They continue saying, “All of this makes the The Circle … look a lot less like a thriller and more like prophecy.”

Watson tells the magazine, “This is not a dystopian future that’s set in, you know, 2050 or something. This could basically be tomorrow. This is kind of an uncomfortably close film about where, if we aren’t careful, we could very easily go.”

There is no-tie in.

Monday, April 24th, 2017

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