Archive for the ‘EarlyWord’ Category

GalleyChat Today, 4 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Join us for today’s GalleyChat, from 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Hashtag #ewgc [more info on how to join here].

We’ll be chatting about the books librarians are looking forward to for the fall.

Below are a few of the titles that came up during our August chat (all are available on Edelweiss):

The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe (RH/Knopf 10/2) — The sure-fire success of the fall. When the author’s mother learns she is dying of cancer, the two of them create their own private book club. Through books, they are able to talk more honestly about what matters the most to each of them.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, Susannah Cahalan (S&S/Free Press, 11/13)  – Memoir  by a young New York Post reporter who suddenly wakes up strapped down in a hospital.

Killer Librarian Mary Lou Kirwin (S&S/Pocket Books) — This one comes with an irresistible tag line: “When she checks in, someone always checks out..”

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic David Quammen, (W.W. Norton 10/1) — Scary science, sure to be heavily covered in the media this fall.

Live Chat with Scott Hutchins, A WORKING THEORY OF LOVE

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

GalleyChat Today!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Join us for today’s GalleyChat, from 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Hashtag #ewgc [more info on how to join here].

We’ll be chatting about the books librarians are looking forward to for the fall.

Last month, GalleyChatters were buzzing about dozens of titles (remember, this group saw Gone Girl coming back in March), including:

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan, (Macmillan/FSG, 10/2) —  several GalleyChatters said this is their favorite of the year so far. It was also selected by most of the panelists during BEA’s Librarian  Shout ‘n’ Share panel, with GalleyChat regular Kaite Stover giving it this book talk:

Clay, a recently downsized web & graphic designer takes a job at an obscure San Francisco bookstore run by an otherworldly and old world mannered gentleman, Mr. Penumbra. The bookstore is patronized by an unusual clientele, a secret biblio-society. They “check out” books using bookstore member cards and return the books at their leisure. Clay’s job is to work the graveyard shift, fetching books and recording every minute detail of a customer’s appearance, mood, and conversation in a giant logbook.

In an effort to assist the business end of the bookstore and yank it into the iAge, Clay creates a data visualization program that tracks the bookstore’s customers’ borrowing patterns. Assisted by fellow techno-geeks, Clay is about to discover the purpose of the bookstore and hopefully thwart the cabal trying to destroy the bookstore and Mr. Penumbra.

This hip literary Easter egg hunt will appeal to fans of careful plotting with quirky characters in a page-turning story that asks which is more immortal, print books or ebooks?

The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe, (RH/Knopf, 10/2; RH Audio; BOT AudioThorndike Large Print) — Request Digital ARC from Edelweiss – there’s high expectations for this one, which Kaite Stover also booktalked at the BEA Shout ‘n’ Share panel:

It should come as no surprise that this book will be on every book groups’ list this year. An unsentimental portrait of a man’s love for his funny, wise, loving mother as she undergoes chemo treatments and their shared passion for books and reading.

Both mother and son recognize one of the most valuable traits of books, “they help us talk. But they also give us something we all can talk about when we don’t want to talk about ourselves.”

Each chapter is titled after a book that Will’s mother, Mary Anne, has read and loved. While telling the story of his mother’s treatment, the family’s reactions, and his own responses to the reading, Schwalbe deftly works in the most discussable elements

The Cutting Season, Attica Locke, (Harper; 9/18; Dreamscape Audio; HarperLuxe) —  Request Digital ARC from Edelweiss – There was strong enthusiasm for this new mystery, which follows the author’s debut, Black Water RisingIt was also presented at BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share, by Cuyahoga’s Wendy Bartlett,

The Cutting Season has the best opening line of any book this fall, “It was during the Thompson-Delacriox wedding, Caren’s first day on the job, that a cottonmouth, measuring the length of a Cadillac, fell some twenty feet from a live oak on the front lawn, landing like a coil of rope in the lap of the bride’s future mother-in-law.”

Not enough people know about this author. Her settings remind me of Dave Robicheaux’s Louisiana in the James Lee Burke books. She writes outstanding literary thrillers à la Dennis Lehane [ed note: Lehane also sees it that way; it's the first pick in his new line of books, designated by the burst on the cover] or some Laura Lippman’s standalones. If your customers don’t know Attica Locke, here’s the chance to turn them on to a great new talent. Grab some backlist copies of her debut, Black Water Rising and create a display with The Cutting Season.

YA GalleyChat Today

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Please join us today for the third installment of YA GalleyChat, beginning at 4 p.m. ET (come a half hour early, at 3:30, for a get-to-know-each-other social; virtual, age-appropriate cocktails will be served). How to join here.

The titles that were mentioned during our fist YA GalleyChat are continuing to build steam (see earlier post).

One of the titles buzzed about in March has just been released, and is generating word of mouth. Kill Me Softly, Sarah Cross, (Egmont USA, 4/10; Listening Library) weaves fairy tales into a modern suspense/romance about a girl trying to escape her fate as dictated by Grimm. Readers will enjoy recognizing elements of familiar stories in a new way.

Hollywood has also caught on to the trend of re-imagining fairy tales, with the current Mirror, Mirror, starring Julia Roberts as the evil queen and Lily Collins as Snow White as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, coming June 1, with Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the queen.

Who can resist that cover, with the clever echoes of New Moon?

Also, two upcoming titles with buzz:

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein, Disney/Hyperion, 5/15 — set during WWII, this is about a young woman imprisoned in France by the Nazis, who writes about her friendship with a young female pilot. The strong bond between these female characters captured GalleyChatters.

Between the Lines, Jodi Picoult  and Samantha van Leer, S&S/ Emily Bestler Books, 6/26 — the first teaming of Picoult with her teen age daughter, this novel is about a girl whose fascination with the hero of her favorite book becomes all too real. GalleyChatters say it is destined for cross-over success (Note: Picoult and van Leer will be the featured speakers during ALA’s President’s Program this summer).

Today’s AuthorChat Now Archived

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

The AuthorChat with Jean Zimmerman, author of The Orphanmaster is now archived here.

The Orphanmaster is a historical thriller, set in 17th C Manhattan (then New Amsterdam). It’s rich with historical detail that makes the period come alive, based on Jean’s research (she has written several nonfiction titles, including The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune and a Dynasty, Harcourt, 2006).

The Orphanmaster
Jean Zimmerman
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2012-06-19)
ISBN / EAN: 0670023647 / 9780670023646


YA GalleyChat is Tomorrow

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Please join us for the second installment of YA GalleyChat tomorrow, beginning at 4 p.m. ET (come a half hour early, at 3:30, for a get-to-know-each-other social). Info. on how to join here.

An amazing 64 titles came up last time. Unsurprisingly, there was great excitement for followups to popular series. Librarians report “Kids are salivating for Insurgent (HarperTeen, May)” Veronica Roth’s sequel to her best-sellling Divergent, which hit many best books lists. There is also great anticipation for Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Penguin/Dial, May), following up Graceling and Fire.

Some upcoming debuts also generated interest:

Seraphina by Rachel Harriman, (RH Young Readers, July); “Just when you thought you were SOOO OVER dragons. Terrific characters, sense of place, can’t wait to book talk.” — Lisa Von Drasek; available as an eGalley on Edelweiss and NetGalley.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House, June 26): Many came back from ALA Midwinter with ARC’s of this one (many more are likely to have grabbed it at PLA last week). This debut novel envisions what would happen if the earth’s rotation began to slow down. Published for adults, it features an 11-year-old heroine and is expected to have strong cross-over appeal. It sold for big money in both the UK and the US and has been optioned for a movie. It’s available as an egalley from Edelweiss and NetGalley.

Gilt, Katherine Longshore, Viking; May; None of the GalleyChatters had read it yet, but there was curiosity about this debut historical novel, set in the court of Henry VIII, but with a surprisingly modern cover. It’s the first in a planned series.

Join Our Debut Authors Program

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce an opportunity for EarlyWord readers to become part of the launch of titles by major debut authors. Working with the Library Marketing team at Penguin (many of you already know Alan Walker and Dominique Jenkins), we’ve begun “First Flights — The Penguin Debut Author Program.”

I am particularly pleased that the first title in the program is The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman (Penguin/Viking, June 16). A work of historical fiction, it appeals to me on several levels. It’s set in an area I’m familiar with, the island of Manhattan, in a time period many of us don’t know much about, when it was part of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. It features a remarkably free-spirited female character who is even more remarkable for being based on a real person. The details of daily life at the time are fascinating (foot-long oysters!) and rooted in the author’s deep knowledge of 17th C history.

When you join the program, you will get a copy of the advance readers edition of The Orphanmaster and will be invited to join an online conversation with the author and me on April 11.

You will also become part of the “Penguin First Flights” club and will automatically receive notice of each new title in the program. The second title, The Bellwether Revivals, by Benjamin Wood, is a book of psychological suspense, coming June 28.

We all love being the first to know about a book that later becomes a household name. As part of this program, you will not only be among the first to read each book, you will be among the first to get to know the authors. Find out more and sign up here.

YA GalleyChat Kicks Off Today

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

It’s our newest addition — Young Adult GalleyChat. Join us today, from 4 to 5 pm Eastern (pre-chat warmup begins at 3:30). We’ll be looking ahead to books that look promising for the spring and summer. How-to is here.

We expect that many of you grabbed galleys at MidWinter. Below are a few that EarlyWord Kids correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek snapped with her iPad on the show floor:

Below, LBYR’s Zoe Luderitz shows off I Hunt Killers by Lyga Barra (Hachette/LBYR, April 3). There have been books about what it would be like if your child were a killer (Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin). This one looks at it from the other side, what would it be like if your father were a serial killer.

The debut everyone is talking about as a crossover title, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House, June 26):

And, the “Gotta Get Galley of the Show,” Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue (Penguin/Dial, May 1):

GalleyChatters at Midwinter

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

GalleyChat regulars sported their new GalleyChat buttons at ALA Midwinter. Below in the Macmillan booth,

Standing, from L to R — Talia Sherer, Macmillan Library Marketing, mugging for the camera; Stephanie Chase, Multnomah PL; Ali Fisher, Macmillan Library Marketing.

Seated, Alene Moroni, King County P.L.

Our next GalleyChat is Tues., Feb. 7 at 4 p.m., Eastern, (social networking begins at 3:30).

We’re also debuting a YA GalleyChat on Feb. 14 at 4 p.m., Eastern, with a get-to-know each other session at 3:30. How-to here.

If you join five or more sessions, you are eligible for your very own button.

GalleyChat; Top of the TBR Pile

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Join us for GalleyChat this coming Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 4 to 5 p.m. (Eastern) when we will be discussing galleys of books coming out in Sept. and beyond.

Below are ten fall titles that rose to the top of participants’ TBR piles during last month’s chat:

The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach, Little, Brown, 9/7
Hachette Large Print, 9780316204729
Comments — a “masterpiece” and “Baseball and Moby Dick–what a combination! ”




When She Woke, Hillary Jordan, Algonquin, 10/4
Audio, Highbridge, 9781611745702
Comments — “brilliant, disturbing, unexpected turn. Much more than 1984 meets The Scarlet Letter.” –” Made me think of Handmaid’s Tale




Forgotten Waltz, Anne Enright, Norton, 10/3
Thorndike, 9781410443243

Lots of interest, although nobody had read yet.




Lost Memory of Skin, Russell Banks, Ecco, 9/27
HarperLuxe, 9780062088857
This is one I’ve become an evangelist for  and I’m happy to report that those I’ve gotten to read it are glad they did. Some say it’s Banks’ best yet.




The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, 9/13
RH Audio, 9780307938909
Large Print, Center Point, 9781611732023

We hardly need to say more about this one. As we reported earlier, it  has already been compared to The Help and The Da Vinci Code, in terms of potential popularity (but not at all in terms of plot or style or setting!)


The Night Strangers, Christopher Bohjalian, Crown, 10/4
RH audio, 9780307940773
RH Large Print, 9780739378366

Not many in the group have read this yet, but one who did said she “Couldn’t put it down,” causing others to grab their copies



Rin Tin Tin, Susan Orlean, S&S, 10/4
S&S Audio, 9781442344969; Thorndike, 9781410443441
This one has all the elements of a hit; fascinating historical detail (for instance, the heavy reliance on animals during combat in WWI), show business, triumph over obstacles and, of course, Susan Orlean and the dogs that were Rin Tin Tin through the years.



The Stranger’s Child, Alan Hollinghurst, Knopf, 10/11
RH Audio, 9780307966582
Comment — “Reminded me of Downton Abbey and Kate Morton.” Just announced as one of the titles on the Booker longlist. If it wins, the timing couldn’t be better; the announcement will come the week after it is published here.



Those Across the River, Christopher Buehlman, Ace,  9/6
Blackstone Audio
One who picked it up via NetGalley said she “Had nightmares after only reading the 1st quarter of it.”



Triangles, Ellen Hopkins, Atria/S&S, 9781451626339, 10/18 [No cover art yet]
S&S Audio, 9781442345362
Hopkins’ first book for adults, using the free verse style that is familiar from her YA titles; Comment “it’s riveting… she packs punch!


GalleyChat, Special Edition

Monday, February 14th, 2011

On Friday, we tried an experiment with GalleyChat. Our “regular” GalleyChats are free-for-alls, featuring librarians talking about their recent finds. This time, we focused on just two forthcoming titles, which were presented at the HarperCollins Buzz session at Midwinter.

The GallyChat group particularly loved the WWII survival story Lost in Shangri-La. One of the participants, Lesa Holstine, gives it this shorthand Twitter description, “One of the unknown episodes of WWII. Plane crash with military, survivors encounter with tribe & rescue attempts,” (read her review on Lesa’s Book Critiques). Readers said it’s for fans of other survival tales, like Into Thin Air, Unbroken and Endurance (about the Shakleton Expedition).

It was also considered a good teen crossover title, especially for girls interested in WWII, since one of the survivors was a member of the Women’s Army Corps.

The book already has starred reviews by Kirkus and Library Journal and several librarians said that after reading it, they plan to order more for their libraries.

Lost in Shangri-La
Mitchell Zuckoff
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-05-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061988340 / 9780061988349

Larger Print; HarperLuxe; 9780062065049; $26.99
Audio; Books on Tape; UNABR; 9780307917256; $40

The second book, Family Fang, is the first novel by an author well known for his short stories. This one is a tale of a family of performance artists who create events in shopping malls that result in chaos, as a protest against superficiality. The parents call this art, their two children, who are unwilling participants, call it “making a mess.”

Most admitted that the book was outside their reading comfort zone, but were glad they read it. They found the relationship between the siblings touching and an evolving mystery kept them reading. Jennifer Dayton of Darien (CT) Library summarizes it well,

Family Fang will be a critical success, but it is also that rare breed that is also very readable. I went into it reluctantly and got sucked in immediately.  I found the characters of the siblings to be not only endearing but very real. You just had to feel for those poor kids being born into that wacky insanity. It offers lots of good discussion points (e.g., art vs. real life, what constitutes child abuse), making it book-group-worthy.

Family Fang
Kevin Wilson
Retail Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2011-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061579033 / 9780061579035

Keep your eyes open; we plan to do more special editions of GalleyChat, focusing on specific titles. Meanwhile, the next GalleyChat, Regular Edition, will be on Tuesday, March 1, 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern.

NPR Book Club with Laura Hillenbrand

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

NPR announces that they are starting a “a book-club-meets-social-media experiment.”

Via Facebook, Twitter and throughout February, readers of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken can join guided discussions about the book (details at At the end of the month, there will be a live chat with Hillenbrand.

The NPR site also mentions, that you can “join in to discuss the book in your own community,” which may be an interesting opportunity for library book clubs. More details are promised soon.

Here at EarlyWord, we’re continuing our own experiment in social networking with GalleyChat the first Tuesday of every month. Please join us today, 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern, to find out whichmnew galleys other librarians are reading. Details at

How about you? Are you using social networking for book discussions or other library activities? Tell us what you are doing in the comments section.

Election Day GalleyChat

Monday, November 1st, 2010

There’s two big commitments are on the agenda for tomorrow — voting and GalleyChat. For information on how to join the latter (begins at 4 pm., EST), link here.

During the last GalleyChat, Harper offered copies of Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Over 150 people took advantage of that offer; we’d like to hear how you are enjoying it.

We’re also curious to know if you are taking advantage of Simon & Schuster’s eGalley program (the latest title being offered is the paranormal thriller, Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann, coming in February with a 200,000 copy printing).

Cryer’s Cross
Lisa McMann
Retail Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse – (2011-02-08)
ISBN / EAN: 1416994815 / 9781416994817

Below are some other titles on our radar. We look forward to hearing what’s on your TBR list.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Laura Hillenbrand
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-11-16)
ISBN / EAN: 1400064163 / 9781400064168

RH Large Print; 9780375435010
RH Audio; 9780739319697

During our last galley chat, several wondered whether Laura Hillenbran’s new book will have as much appeal as the author’s earlier book Seabiscuit. I’ve read it and believe it will. In that book, Hillenbrand was able to get thousands fascinated by the story of a long-forgotten race horse. Imagine what the same author can do with a WWII hero who survived 47 days in the open ocean only to be captured by the Japanese. The book’s already received universally strong prepub reviews; we’re expecting heavy consumer coverage when it arrives in two weeks.

Looking ahead to the spring,

Left Neglected
Lisa Genova
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Gallery – (2011-01-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1439164630 / 9781439164631

Large Print; Thorndike; (ISBN 9781410433824; price $35.99; release date 1/5/2011

After Still Alice, a novel about  early-onset Alzheimer’s, this is the story about a woman afflicted with another brain disease; one that makes the sufferer unable to recognize part of themselves. Booklist has already called it “more accessible than her somber first book,” There is strong inhouse buzz that this will reach a wider audience than Still Alice.


The Fates Will Find Their Way: A Novel
Hannah Pittard
Retail Price: $22.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2011-02-01)
ISBN / EAN: 006199605X / 9780061996054

ARE’s for The Fates Will Find Their Way, a literary debut with strong inhouse buzz were sent in the Oct B&T mailing. Lee Boudraux’s editorial letter asks people to “take a moment” to read it; it’s a refreshingly short book (Boudraux terms it “economical”).


West of Here
Jonathan Evison
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2011-02-15)
ISBN / EAN: 1565129520 / 9781565129528

Highbridge Audio; 9781615731169

We’ve been hearing about this for months from Michael Rockliff, head of library marketing at Workman/Algonquin and we still have a few months to go before the public gets its hand on it. It’s picking up buzz at the regional bookseller shows, just received a star from LJ and it now has a Web site, complete with a timeline and newspaper clippings from the period the book covers.


The Weird Sisters
Eleanor Brown
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam – (2011-02-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0399157220 / 9780399157226

Penguin Audio; 9780142428948

The sisters’ motto: “There is no problem a library card can’t solve.” From the editor that brought us The Help and The Postmistress, Booklist says that debut novel The Weird Sisters exhibits “no false steps.”

GalleyChat Tomorrow

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Please join us for GalleyChat tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Share with colleagues what you’re reading, what you’re loving and what’s not worth the hype.

At the last GalleyChat, I am happy to say that I got lots of support for my October favorite, Up From the Blue. Looking forward to its publication, so the word of mouth can finally take off. I even see 15 holds on 5 copies in one library system and another one ordered 44 copies; hurrah!

Up from the Blue: A Novel
Susan Henderson
Retail Price: $13.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061984035 / 9780061984037

UPDATE: Just heard from Thorndike that they will be publishing this title in Large Type:
Thorndike, February: ISBN 9781410434364; $31.99

To join the EarlyWord GalleyChat:

  1. If you are not already on Twitter, set up an account.
  2. Put Sept. 28th at 4:00 EDT on your calendar.
  3. Just before the discussion starts, log on to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (Tweetchat is good; it refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion; be sure to sign in with Twitter at the upper right).
  4. To follow the discussion, enter #ewgc (which stands for EarlyWord Galley Chat).
  5. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that you include hashtag #ewgcin each of your tweets (if you’re using Tweetchat, it will do that for you). It will also help if you write book title in all caps, to make them stand out. (like this — Anyone else reading THE PASSAGE? #ewgc). Since this is a galley chat, we ask that you only write about forthcoming books (Oct and beyond).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Featuring: Laurie Halse Anderson, Jon Scieszka & Leonard Marcus
Link here for more information and to register