Archive for the ‘EarlyWord’ Category

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

Going Graphic

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

The book trade eNewsletter Shelf Awareness published a dedicated issue on graphic novels today, offering an overview of the format. We’re delighted to see librarians featured, and partcularly our own Robin Brenner, who writes the weekly EarlyWord “Go Graphic!” column (see her latest here), as well as her friend and colleague, Eva Volin, supervising children’s librarian at the Alameda (CA) Free Library.

Robin reveals that, in the Brookline (MA) Public Library, circ of graphic novels has now surpassed DVD’s. Just goes to show what effect a knowledgeable selector can have. A story on indie bookstores reveals that they, too, often need an evangelist to get them to try the format.

Rounding out the issue is an overview of popular novelists adopting the format (Jodi Picoult does Wonder Woman) and interviews with Dark Horse editor Sierra Hahn as well as wife and husband comics creators, Kathryn and Stuart Immonen Patsy Walker: Hellcat.

GalleyChat; 4 p.m. EDT Today

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Below are upcoming titles on the radar for GalleyChat.

Please join us at 4 pm.


Russian Winter, Daphne Kalotay, Harper — the author was fascinating at the First Novelists session at ALA.


Up from the Blue, Susan Henderson, Harper — One of my favorites; I was mesmerized by this story about a girl yearning for her bipolar mother who suddenly and mysteriously disappears. I’m not the only one; author Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) tweeted in March, “Just finished reading a galley of Susan Henderson’s UP FROM THE BLUE. I’m awestruck.”

The Wake of Forgiveness, Bruce Machart, HMH — This will be compared to Cormac McCarthy, but MUCH darker. an inhouse favorite; great PW review.

Steinberg, Avi,  Running the Books Nan A. Talese — memoir by a rison librarian. Great opening line “Pimps make the best librarians.”


Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, Random House — As in her mega-selling Seabiscuit, Hillenbrand writes about overcoming adversity — in this case, a WWII bombardier who survives at sea after a plane crash. She gets you INSIDE people & makes you care about things you never thought you might (she had me on the edge of my seat describing a track meet!)


West of Here, Jonathan Evison. Algonquin- Robin Beerbower, Salem [OR] Public Library says,

This book reminded me of those sprawling meaty historical novels I read back in the 70s and 80s. Set in Port Bonita,Washington, a fictional Port Townsend, part of the story takes place in the late 1800s with a parallel story taking place in 2006, and chronicles the early history of Port Bonita, focusing on the building of the Elwha Dam and the exploration of the Olympics…The book goes back and forth in time and skips around between characters, which I found a little confusing, and it took me a good 100 pages to really get the characters sorted and into the story, but after that I found it enjoyable.

The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino, Minotaur — A major seller in Japan; some of you may have picked up a copy from the “Sneak Peek” feature on The Book Reporter.

GalleyChat Tomorrow

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Please join us at 4 p.m., EDT, tomorrow, to talk about galleys of forthcoming books (if you haven’t joined a GalleyChat before, click here for details).

Many of you have unpacked your ALA boxes, so there will be lots to talk about.

Here’s some titles that may come up:

Stiltsville: A Novel
Susanna Daniel
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-08-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061963070 / 9780061963070

This title has come up at every one of our previous GalleyChats. I read it during the recent NYC heat wave and it was the perfect antidote. There’s plenty of heat because it’s set in South Florida, but there is also plenty of swimming, boating and a community of summer homes built on stilts. No high drama or madness here, thank heaven; just an engrossing story of an “ordinary” woman as she meets the man she will marry, forms lasting friendships, and raises a family. It’s refreshing to read about good, caring people who struggle with many of the same issues we all do, but who bring an extra ounce of wisdom to it.

I’d Know You Anywhere: A Novel
Laura Lippman
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061706558 / 9780061706554

Of course, Laura Lippman already has a following, but this standalone is poised to bring her to a whole new audience.


Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Avi Steinberg
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2010-10-19)
ISBN / EAN: 0385529090 / 9780385529099

This book had me at the opening line, “Pimps make the best librarians.” The author knows;  he had to draw on prison inmates to help run his library.


The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction
Rebecca Costa
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1593156057 / 9781593156053

I met author Rebecca Costa during her signing at ALA. She’s a real force and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on the talk shows this fall.  The book’s scary subtitle addresses her central question; “Why can’t we think our way out of our problems any more?”


Russian Winter: A Novel
Daphne Kalotay
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061962163 / 9780061962165

This debut sounds like a good, old-fashioned saga about a 76-year old former Russian ballerina who reviews her past as she puts together an auction catalog of her jewels.


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 640 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0679444327 / 9780679444329

Isabel was the last speaker on the First Author panel at ALA and she had us hanging on her every word as she spoke passionately about the migration of African Americans to the North, told through the stories of ordinary people who made the trek.


The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Retail Price: $18.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2010-08-24)
ISBN / EAN: 1565126068 / 9781565126060

The true story of a woman recovering from an illness. Her friend gives her a very strange gift; a snail in a terrarium


Brock Clarke
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1565126084 / 9781565126084

By the author of An Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Home in New England; it was a librarians’ Shout & Share pick at BEA and was featured at Algonquin’s booth at ALA.