Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 22, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a relatively slow publishing week in terms of big names. Other than James Patterson, who releases a YA novel this week, Crazy House (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the most recognized name is Michael Crichton, whose novel Dragon Teeth (HC/Harper; HarperAudio) is being published posthumously. Prepub preview are strong and it’s an Indie Next pick (see “Peer Picks,” below). The NYT book editor, Pamela Paul, publishes a book about, guess what? Reading. My Life with Bob (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; OverDrive Sample) uses the reading notebook she has kept since high school, called “Bob,” or Book of Books, as the basis of a memoir. Prepub reviews are strong, with LJ saying, “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience.”

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable books arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 22, 2017.

Peer Picks

Four Indie Next titles from the June list hit shelves this week.

Standard Deviation, Katherine Heiny (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“I was a fan of Single, Carefree, Mellow so it was a treat to read Katherine Heiny’s latest release. Standard Deviation wryly delves into the complications and contradictions inherent in good, long-term love and parenting a slightly more challenging child. This is a laugh-out-loud, funny read with brains and heart, and a gentler world to spend time in for anyone who just needs a break.” —Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Additional Buzz: The author will be interviewed on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Saturday. Reviews are scheduled in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and People magazine. BookPage lists her as one of “10 Women To Watch In 2017,” saying “Heiny offers a wry, often hilarious take on monogamy and marriage with her debut novel.” LJ includes the book on their list of May “Top Debut Novels,” calling it “brightly funny.”

Shadow Man, Alan Drew (PRH/RH;RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Additional Buzz: Literary Hub lists it as one of the “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in May,” writing it features “indelible characters.” Booklist and Kirkus star, with Kirkus writing “An unusually deft blending of styles, Drew’s engrossing novel works equally well as psychological study and cop thriller, literary novel and genre piece.” Booklist also includes it in their list of “The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2017,” saying it “beats to multiple hearts of darkness.”

Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio).

“I worshipped Michael Crichton. I cried for two days when he died, in part because there would be no more novels. However, after all these years, Dragon Teeth is a true surprise, and a joyful one indeed! Although he’s more associated with futuristic science, Mr. Crichton was a dab hand at the historic thriller, and this novel is deeply grounded in fact. At its heart are two feuding paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh, participants in the late-1800s Bone Wars, a period of frenzied fossil discovery. Add to the mix a fictional Yale student, friendly and unfriendly Native Americans, a heap of varmints and scoundrels, and a lady or two, and you’ve got a rollicking good story!” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

Additional Buzz: The Associated Press reported last year on the discovery of this lost novel, one which Crichton’s widow found among his papers. It is on a number of spring and monthly book lists, including The Washington Post and io9. Such is the buzz around it that USA Today posted an excerpt in November 2016, a full six months before it hit shelves and film rights were bought early by the National Geographic Channel for a limited series. If you have forgotten Crichton’s reach in the near decade since his death, Vanity Fair offers a reminder.

Chemistry, Weike Wang (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The unnamed narrator of Wang’s winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she’s always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can’t. Her lab work falters. She’s unable to accept or decline her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. But when she has a breakdown and loses in both academia and in love, she finally realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project, and soon she can see her parents in a new light — and they aren’t the fierce tiger couple they’d always seemed to be.” —Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: It makes Entertainment Weekly’s list of “19 book you have to read in May,BuzzFeed‘s Summer Reading list, and New York magazine’s Spring Book List. EW calls it “sharp” and “witty” and says it is written in “precise, impeccable prose.” It also got a great deal of early attention. The Millions put it on their Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview, Barnes and Nobel counted it as one of the “6 Superb Debut Novels to Read in 2017,Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Entertainment Weekly also listed it on their 2017 previews. It is on Electric Lit‘s list of “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year” and LJ highlighted it on their list of “Great First Acts.”

Tie-ins

Five tie-ins come out this week for the same movie, Despicable Me 3. The film stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. It will premiere on June 30.

Included in the tie-in line up is Despicable Me 3: The Junior Novel, Sadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; also in a Deluxe edition). Other tie-ins include the hardback picture book Despicable Me 3: Agnes Loves Unicorns!, Universal (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and Despicable Me 3: Seek and Find, Universal (Hachette/LB Kids). There are also two level readers, Despicable Me 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Yellow by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids) and Despicable Me 3: Best Boss Ever by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids)

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

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