Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

GalleyChatter, What To Read Now

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

[Ed. Note: This post is by EarlyWord's GalleyChatter, Robin Beerbower]

Our monthly GalleyChats are setting new records, with more librarians and more titles (over 77 in July’s active session; more than a title a minute). It’s a great jolt for those who may be suffering reading doldrums.

While many professed their love for titles that came up during the previous month’s chat – Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your EyesLiane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, (now on the Man Booker longlist) — many new titles were recommended, especially for fans of mysteries and memoirs. Check here for a complete list–July 8 GalleyChat Titles.

Hot Mysteries

Murder at the BrightwellMysteries were a hot topic with three in particular garnering accolades. The group was excited to hear that Louisiana librarian Ashley Weaver has published her debut mystery, Murder at the Brightwell(Minotaur/Macmillan, October).

Set in a fashionable seaside resort during the 1930s and featuring a wealthy young woman as the sleuth, New York librarian Janet Schneider said this is “sort of a  Dorothy L. Sayers/Downton Abbey combo.”

9781250021410_dcbafG. M. Malliet’s newest book, A Demon Summer(Macmillan/Minotaur, October), was recommended as a solid entry in the British Max Tudor series. Library patrons (and librarians) eagerly awaiting Louise Penny’s next book,  The Long Way Home (Macmillan/Minotaur, August), can quell their impatience by trying one of Malliet’s earlier titles as a temporary fix, (caution: they may end up hooked).

Margaret Maron’s popularity has been growing and her August release of Designated Daughters(Hachette/Grand Central) which promises to expose Judge Deborah Knott’s family secrets, was met with great enthusiasm by multiple participants.

9781250009647_b9d37Espionage and romance were both included with Vicki Nesting (St. Charles Parish Library) raving about Dana Haynes’ sequel to Ice Cold Kill, Gun Metal Heart (Macmillan/Minotaur, August) with the return of former Shin-bet agent Daria Gibron. Vicki’s GoodReads review calls it, “Frenetically fast-paced and fun international thriller. Conspiracies, double crosses and drones — oh my!”

phillipsAnd for contemporary romance fans, Heroes are My WeaknessSusan Elizabeth Phillips (HarperCollins/Morrow, August), adds wit to create a pleasing froth. Beth Mills (New Rochelle Public Library) said Phillilps does her “usual smooth storytelling along with amusing riff on Gothic elements a la Victoria Holt.” Sixteen Edelweiss peers have also added their love. No surprise it’s on the LibraryReads list for August. Collection development librarians will want to keep a close eye on this.

Spine Tinglers

horrorstorYou can get ready for Halloween now with spine-tingling galleys of books geared for release this fall.

For the many who love to hate IKEA, Horrorstörby Grady Hendrix, (Quirk/RH, September) is a sure hit. Chatter Kristi Chadwick attests, “It jumps well between amusing and creepy (which kind of describes Ikea itself).” Set in the fictional Orsk Furniture store and formatted like a retail catalog, the haunted store plot mixes well with social commentary. Also, take a close look at the clever jacket.

Boy Who DresAlso popular with those who like to be scared was The Boy Who Drew Monsters, Keith Donohue (Picado/Macmillan, October), the story of a boy whose drawings come to life (as the Macmillan rep characterizes it,  “think Tim Burton”). GalleyChat regular Janet Lockhart (always spot on in her recommendations) calls it,  “An elegantly written tale that is truly bonechilling and reminds me of Thomas Tryon, Shirley Jackson and Neil Gaiman.”

watersThe other eerie read that has been mentioned over the past three chats is Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests (Riverhead/Penguin, September). In her Edelweiss review, San Diego Library’s Jenne Bergstrom said, “Its agonizing tension and gorgeous sexy romance make this a perfect beach or airplane read, but the sharp characterization and elegant writing will satisfy your craving for literary substance.”

 

perry

Revealing Memoirs

I’ve never paid much attention to Joe Perry, the “brooding” lead guitarist of Aerosmith, or even been a fan of the band, but I was glued to his new memoir Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith(Simon & Schuster, October). It was searing and honest, and I developed a new-found admiration for his dedication to his art and relationships — and yes, he does “tell all” about Steven Tyler.

Other memoirs by famous men discussed were Not My Father’s Son, Alan Cumming (Dey Street/HC, October) and As You Wish, Cary Elwes (Touchstone/S&S, October). Collection development administrator Tracy Babiasz (Alachua County Library District, FL) said of Scottish actor Cumming’s unflinching story of his brutal upbringing, “Amazing memoir! I felt it in my toes!” Charmer Cary Elwes’ BEA appearance was a huge draw and fans of the Princess Bride movie have been raving about his personal behind-the-scenes stories of the filming.

Under the Radar

five daysThorndike Press’s Mary Smith selects fiction for large print publishing and has a good eye for under-the-radar titles. Her latest recommendation is Five Days Left, Julie Lawson Timmer (Amy Einhorn/Penguin, September) and says this story of a woman with only five days left to live has “lots of great topics for book discussion. Might need some Kleenex too.”  It could also be the perfect readalike for JoJo Moye’s Me Before You. Also note that Five Days Left is the next title in Penguin’s First Flight program on EarlyWord.

That’s it for this month! Join us this coming Tuesday, August 5 for our next GalleyChat and please friend me if you want notifications of what I’m anticipating on Edleweiss.

First Trailer for Third Hobbit Movie

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The title of the third and final Hobbit movie was changed in April from the rather passive There and Back Again to one that promises more action, The Battle of the Five Armies.

The first trailer was released yesterday and already has nearly 3 million views on YouTube. The movie opens on Dec. 17

Americans Aren’t the Only Surprise On The 2014 Man Booker Longlist

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The first Man Booker longlist to include American authors has been released. Of the 13 novels, 4 are by Americans. As The Economist wryly observes, the list “has divided headline writers into those who prefer ‘Commonwealth writers edged out’ and those who have chosen ‘Donna Tartt snubbed’.”

But the Guardian gets to one of the most pressing issues,   exploring, “Why The Longlist Has Bewildered The Bookies,“ while taking a familiar swipe at American writers (similar to the Nobel Awards jurist’s claim that Americans are “too insular” to be able to win that prize), by saying, “American novelists tend to write about the US, and none of the four – Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, Richard Powers – set their selected books abroad. So … there’s a marked sense of restricted horizons …”

The Economist, on the other hand, picks American Richard Powers’ Orfeo as one of the two most interesting books on the list. The other is The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Australian Richard Flanagan.

It happens that just before this announcement, we heard Seattle Public Library’s David Wright describe his excitement about that book, calling the author, “a consummate stylist, but with a style that is in service to the realities he’s writing about, which are often deeply painful and tragic. That is certainly true in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which depicts with a fair amount of detail the horrific experience of POWs in WWII (Flanagan’s father was a survivor of the Thai-Burma death railway) … He is so skillful in showing how these events affect mens’ lives … his writing is devastating, generous, and deeply caring.”

Flanagan is also modest. He tells the Guardian that he was “stunned” to learn he was on the list.

The author who may be the most surprised to make the list is Paul Kingsnorth. Not only is The Wake his first novel, he had so much trouble getting it published, that he finally turned to crowd-funding it via the U.K. website Unbound. The author describes the novel as “a strange and left-field book,” written in its own language, a version of Anglo-Saxon English.

A taste of it below:

The longlist, with American publishing information, below:

Available now:

To Rise Again  We Are All Completely  9781476747231_f75ed

The Wake  9780393240825  9781620406472_4cf58

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Hachette/Little,Brown, 5/13/14)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Penguin/Putnam/Marian Wood; 5/30/13; also in trade pbk)

The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (S&S; 3/11/14; Thorndike)

The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound) — published via the crowd-funded site Unbound; available as an ebook on Axis 360

Orfeo, Richard Powers (Norton, 1/20/14; Thorndike; Recorded Books)

History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 5/6/14)

Forthcoming:

9780385352857_702c0  bone clocks

9780062365583_e119e  9780307378231_0137f

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (RH/Knopf. 8/12/14)

J, Howard Jacobson, (RH/Crown/Hogarth (3/10/15)

The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Random House, 9/2/14; Recorded Books)

Us, David Nicholls (Harper, 10/8/14; HarperAudio)

The Dog, Joseph O’Neill (RH/)Pantheon, 10/9/14; RH Audio)

Not Yet Published in the U.S.:

The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)

How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

No Stopping Colbert

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Sweetness No. 9Now that Stephen Colbert has achieved his goal of making Edan Lepucki’s California a best seller, he is applying the Colbert Nation magic to another upcoming title by a debut author published by Hachette, Sweetness No. 9 by Stephan Eirik Clark, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 8/19/14)

Lepucki appeared on the show on Monday. Colbert asked her to pay it foreword by recommending a book. She replied, “I’m reading Stephan Eirik Clark’s Sweetness #9, (It’s) so good.”

The novel is a satire called by Library Journal, “a hilarious take down of an industry more interested in getting us to buy its products than in selling us good food. Essential for fans of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You for Smoking.”

FIFTY SHADES NS For Morning TV

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Fifty Shades of GreyThe trailer for the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey was set to debut on the Today Show this morning, but the network has decided to air just a portion of it, saying that the full trailer is not appropriate for morning television (somewhere, the movie’s marketing firm is smiling).

The full trailer, however, will be available on NBC.com following this morning’s broadcast, which will include an interview with the stars, Jamie Dornan, (Christian Grey) and Dakota Johnson’s (Anastasia Steele). Tomorrow morning, the show will feature a behind-the-scenes tour if the film set.

The movie is still seven months away, scheduled to debut in theaters on February 13, 2015.

UPDATE: below is the full trailer.

A truncated version was shown on the Today Show, along with a giddy interview with the stars conducted by a pregnant woman:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

CALIFORNIA Rising on Amazon

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

9780316250818_1a106-2Stephen Colbert’s call to make California by Edan Lepucki (Hachette/Little, Brown) a NYT best seller has worked. It debuted on the July 27 Hardcover Fiction list at #3.

Colbert urged his audience to buy the book through independent booksellers, rather than Amazon, as a protest against the company’s strong-arming publisher Hachette as part of their terms negotiations.

But now that the book is on best seller lists, it is also rising on Amazon, hitting #208 this morning. Before it was published, when Amazon was not making pre-orders available, it was at #1,610,422 (how it had any ranking a tall when it couldn’t be ordered is a puzzle). After publication on July 8, it rose to #686.

The novel, which was a LibraryReads pick before Colbert made it the centerpiece of his protest, has also been receiving strong reviews in the consumer press:

The New York Times Book ReviewEdan Lepucki’s California

San Francisco ChronicleCalifornia, by Edan Lepucki

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Secrets divide and destroy in Edan Lepucki’s dystopian novel, California

The Los Angeles TimesA grave new world awaits in Edan Lepucki’s California

Koryta Gains Fans

Monday, July 21st, 2014

9780316279963_05770Reviwer love is growing for Michael Koryta’s. latest thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 6/3/14).

Featured yesterday as one of of NPR.org’s “You Must Read This” picks, it gets this strong recommendation, “If you want an elegantly written, taut thriller with an amazing sense of place, then look no further.” It’s on the Amazon’s editors’ list of the Best Books of the Year So Far (even though it is published by Hachette, the company Amazon is famously feuding with), and  Janet Maslin praised it last week in the New York Times.

The NPR reviewer ends by saying, “Koryta, I might add, is only 31 years old. I mention this not to be ageist — but to delight in the fact that he’s got a lot of time to keep on telling us stories. That, dear readers, is great news for us.”

We can add that Koryta already has a considerable body of work, having published ten novels.

Several of Koryta’s books, including Those Who Wish Me Dead, are in development for films or television.

ME BEFORE YOU Movie Set for Next Year

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Me Before YouJojo Moyes’s 2012 best seller, Me Before You, (Viking/Pamela Dorman) is being adapted as a film that has just been set for release next year, on August 21.

In April, it was announced that Thea Sharrock, who directed the BBC’s series, Call the Midwife, as well as several Broadway plays, would take it on as her first time directing a film. Moyes wrote the script. No stars have been announced.

British author Moyes broke on to U.S. best seller lists with this, her ninth title, a novel about the relationship between a quadriplegic and his caregiver that also looks at the issue of assisted suicide. It was such a departure for the author, known for more traditional romances, that she worried it would be a tough sell. Instead, it brought her a wider readership.

The author’s most recent book, One Plus One, (Viking/Pamela Dorman), a contemporary, romance, was published in May.

Diana Gabaldon On OUTLANDER

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A preview for the upcoming Outlander series for Starz, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, features the author as well as an answer to the eternal question — what do men wear under their kilts?

The series begins on Aug. 9. UPDATE: Starz announced that the first episode will be available free  online beginning on Aug. 2.

Official Web Site: Starz.com/Originals/Outlander

Tie-ins:

NewImage

Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Diana Gabaldon

RH/Bantam: July 1, 2014
9780553393705, 0553393707
Trade paperback
$18.00 USD

RH/Dell: July 1, 2014
9780553393699, 0553393693
Mass market paperback
$9.99 USD

Third Gillian Flynn Book Set for Adaptation

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Sharp ObjectsThis time, it’s for a TV series.

Gillian Flynn’s debut Sharp Objects, (RH/ Shaye Areheart Books, 2006) is being developed as a one-hour serialized drama, according to many sources, including Entertainment Weekly.  Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will handle day-to-day operations as the show runner, with Flynn will as one of the executive producers. It has not yet been sold to any of the networks.

The novel was an Edgar Award finalist for best first novel and Stephen King was a big supporter, 

To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven’t read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris’s All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn’t one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights.

Two movies based on the other books by Flynn arrive this fall. Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, is listed for release on September 1 (although some sites list it as still TBD), and Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, on October 3.

On NPR — Ann Cleeves

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE — Be sure to check out the great offer in the comments section.

9781250036605_45d26As a respite from the heat, NPR’s Morning Edition interviewed Ann Cleeves, the author of a series of mysteries set in Scotland’s sub-polar “wild and bleak” Shetland Islands.

The most recent title is in the series, the fifth, is Dead Water, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s/Minotaur; Feb, 2014). The sixth, Thin Air, is due next year.

The books are the basis for Shetland, a popular BBC One series in the U.K. (it hasn’t been broadcast in the U.S.)

Below are the titles in the series (first four are currently available in trade paperback from Macmillan Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books):

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP Gets Release Date

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

It’s been several months since three’s been news about the film adaptation of S.J. Watson’s domestic thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, (Harper, 2011), and making us fear it had disappeared into Production Limbo. Suddenly today, it was announced that it will be released in the U.S. on 9/12/14.

Before I Go to Sleep is about Christine, played by Nicole Kidman, who wakes up every morning, with no memory of the past. Each day, she discovers a diary she’s been keeping and uses it to try to piece together her life.

A trailer appeared online earlier today, but has since been inexplicably taken down. UPDATE: The U.K. trailer, below,  became available a few days after we wrote this. In a significant change from the book, Christine keeps a video diary rather than a written one.

Colin Firth co-stars as Kidman’s husband and Mark Strong as her psychiatrist. The movie is produced by Ridley Scott, and directed by Rowan Joffe, (Brighton Rock, The American).

Tie-in :

Before I Go to Sleep tie-in : A Novel
S. J. Watson
Harper Paperbacks; September 30, 2014
(with the announcement of the movie release date, the pub date may be moved up)
9780062353887, 0062353888
Paperback / softback
$14.99 USD / $18.50 CAD

Celeste Ng On ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Everything I NeverOne of our Penguin First Flights authors was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered on Saturday, Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You, (Penguin Press). Host Arun Rath says the reader is hooked from the book’s opening line, “Lydia is dead, but they don’t know it yet.”

Learn more about how the Ng structured the novel in  our online chat with the author.

Become a member of Penguin’s First Flights program here.

LEFTOVERS Begins Sunday

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The Leftovers  Leftovers Tie-in

The HBO series premiere of The Leftovers, based on Tom Perrotta’s novel, begins on Sunday.

It is the #1 People Pick for the week — “The show is a sinister nightmare, and it holds you like one.”

Time magazine’s critic is also a fan. His review is headlined, “It’s gloomy, it’s slow — and it’s absolutely gorgeous.”

Others, however, question if it will connect with viewers.

SF ChronicleViewers may envy those who vanished

New York magazine –HBO’s The Leftovers Is All Bleakness All the Time

Boston HeraldLeftovers nothing but reheated tripe

San Jose Mercury News —  HBO’s The Leftovers is a drab downer

Author Perrotta, recently talked to WordandFilm.com about his hopes for the  series.

HBO has just released a video on the making of the adaptation:

Holds Alert Deux: THE VACATIONERS

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The VacationersThe Entertainment Weekly blog just added another voice to the chorus of excitement over The Vacationers by Emma Straub, (Penguin/Riverhead) — see our holds alert from two weeks ago (and our prediction that this would be a breakout).

Entertainment Weekly gives a pitch for it being THE 204 Summer Must-Read:

It’s kind of like a Jonathan Tropper novel in that it’s super-readable and funny and a total page-turner, but it also has a lot of smart things to say about relationships and love and big messy families. It’s light but not just empty calories — ideal for the beach!

Several libraries have ordered more copies, but holds continue to outstrip ordering.