Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Summer Tea Leaves

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Memorial Day weekend signals the kick-off of one of our favorite literary games, predicting which title will become THE book of the summer.

Two early candidates have just been released and you can join the game. The library marketing departments of both Random House and Simon and Schuster have agreed to offer copies. We just ask you to tell us what you think by posting your reviews on Edelweiss. Scroll down to the end of this post to find out how to enter.

Luckiest Girl AliveHitting best seller lists this week, in the footsteps of several other “girls” is Luckiest Girl Alive (S&S; S&S Audio). People calls it “the perfect page turner to start your summer,” naming it a “Book of the Week.” It’s had several endorsements, from EarlyWord GalleyChatters to Reese Witherspoon, who has announced plans to adapt it as a movie for Lionsgate.


Entertainment Weekly calls I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio), the “first big beach read of the season”  and a “hilarious debut.”  Sister publication People backs that up by making it a “Pick of the Week.” It’s been likened to a big book of another summer, Where’s You Go Bernadette (with the reference slyly underscored by a similar minimal cover). Curiously, there is a Gone Girl connection for this title; both were edited by Lindsay Sagnette.

GalleyChatter Janet Schneider’s (Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY) recommends it in her Edelweiss review:

If it were possible to cross the complex, shifting morals of Gloria Wandrous from Butterfield 8 with the wacky decency of Bernadette Fox from Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’d come up with Lily Wilder from Eliza Kennedy’s timely, thought-provoking page-turner I Take You. Lily is an amazing character–she has had a rocky emotional past and made some questionable choices–and her current dilemma about how to move forward in her relationship with fiance Will takes some unexpected yet realistic turns. I Take You. is a book for grown ups–who are looking for a fresh and frisky heroine to root for, with some genuine insights into the true meaning of fidelity along the way.

To get you in the mood for summer, Random House Library Marketing is offering a Summer Reading Poster.
Download it here
, or request a printed copy here.



Enter for a chance to win the Luckiest Girl Alive  and/or  I Take You, below. You must work in a library and the offer is limited to U.S. residents only. This offer ends midnight, Wednesday, May 27.

Signup for the Giveaway!

“Fear Your Schnauzers”

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

For some reason, the executive producer of the CBS series based on James Patterson’s Zoo, thinks the statement “We really want the whole world to fear their schnauzers,” is a good promo line.

That quote became the headline for Variety ‘s report on a press event to promote the series. The Hollywood Reporter chose to use a quote from master marketer Patterson instead, who said, “People always say the book is always better than the movie, In this case, I think the series is going to be better than the book.”

The actual tag line for the series is “Animals once ruled the Earth. What if they decided to take it back?”

The 13-episode series premieres on CBS at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30


James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
Hachette/Grand Central, May 26, 2015
Trade Paperback, $15.00 USD, $17.00 CAD
Mass Market, $8.00 USD, $9.00 CAD


Stephenson’s SEVENEVES

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.02.48 AMNeal Stephenson’s Seveneves (Harper/William Morrow; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), published yesterday, offers a door-stopper of post-apocalyptic SF and has already reached #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

The plot sounds like a winner. The moon explodes for reasons unknown and before scientists can figure out why, they realize it hardly matters as a “hard rain” of debris will soon destroy the Earth. Obviously it is time to leave and a space station is adapted as a global ark, for the very lucky and the very few.

Reviews are mixed for the 880-page tome, however, and holds vary widely.

Both LibraryReads and Amazon picked it as one of the best books of May with Keith Hayes of Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC saying:

Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.

Steven Poole writing for The Guardian is less convinced, praising many of Stevenson’s ideas but ending his review with the comment that the book put him to sleep:

…in the novel’s snail-paced last third, there are lots and lots of lavish descriptions of imaginary machines: city-sized orbiting habitats, giant pendulums reaching down into the Earth’s atmosphere, “sky trains”. After scores of pages of this, my eyelids were succumbing to a powerful gravitational force. And I quite like giant space gadgets.

A similar story is playing out in requests for Seveneves across the country. Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering while others have low queues on light ordering. In Stevenson’s hometown holds are skyrocketing and The Seattle Times offers a strong review.

Buzz for Blume

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.19.23 AMJudy Blume’s first novel for adults in 17 years, In the Unlikely Event (RH/Knopf; BOT and Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample) is getting advance attention from the many grownup fans of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

CBS Sunday Morning devoted a segment to Blume over the weekend, with Rita Braver. Chloe Sevigny chats with Blume for Harper’s Bazaar.

The upcoming  NYT Magazine features Blume as the cover story, providing a wide-ranging interview touching everything from her anxiety over germs to John Green’s admiration. Blume offers this take on her career:

“I’m a storyteller — you know what I mean — an inventor of people … and their relationships. It’s not that I love the words — that’s not the kind of writer I am. So I’m not” — she made a furious scribbling motion with her right hand — “I’m not a great writer. But maybe I’m a really good storyteller.”

Indeed. Just ask the millions of readers who have read Blume devotedly since they were tweens. Her newest addresses that most familiar audience as well as her adult readers, offering a generation-spanning story set in Elizabeth, NJ when three planes crashed in little over 3 months in the early 1950s.

To promote the book, Blume will set off on a celebrity-studded tour starting with BookCon on the 31st, where Jennifer Weiner will host an interview. After that, she will be featured in conversations with Meg Wolitzer, Walter Mayes, Molly Ringwald, Ridley Pearson, and Curtis Sittenfeld. She will visit with Nancy Pearl on June 11th.

Holds are strong on strong ordering.

CAROL’s a Hit at Cannes

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

9780393325997Even before a single frame of the movie was released, Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price Of Salt, 1952 (available in trade paperback from Norton, 2004) was considered a strong Oscar contender.

In Cannes, where it premiered over the weekend, Deadline characterized the reception as “euphoric.”  It is considered the front rummer to win the Palme d’Or.

A December 18 release date was recently announced, prime time for Oscar contenders. The movie’s also received a news boost from Cate Blanchett. She plays the lead character who embarks on a lesbian affair with Roony Mara. When Variety asked if she has had personal experience in this realm, she replied, “Yes, many times” (she has since denied that statement, saying the quote was incomplete).

Reminder to readers advisors, Highsmith was writing “domestic noir” long before the current crop of best sellers. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was adapted as a film by Alfred Hitchcock. David Fincher,  Gillian Flynn and Ben Affleck have teamed up to do their own version. Highsmith also wrote the Ripley series, which has been adapted into several films, most recently The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Unlike her other books, The Price of Salt, which she wrote it under a psuedonymn in 1952. is not a psychological thriller. Vilified in the ’50’s for portraying a lesbian affair with a relatively happy ending, it went out of print and was brought back by feminist presses in the 1970’s and most recently by Norton.

Reviewing a 2009 biography of Highsmith, Jonathan Lethem recommended a “core curriculum” of the author’s novels. Publisher Norton has created a clever recommendation web site, Choose Your Highsmith, which also features a video of several authors, including Alison Bechdel, expressing their enthusiasm for The Price of Salt.

The film trailer has not been released yet. Below is a clip:

SYFY Offers First Look at

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.14.54 AMThe Syfy channel recently released the “First Look” trailer for its 12-episode series adapting Lev Grossman’s The Magicians (Plume; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) which will air sometime in 2016.

The series stars Jason Ralph (he has appeared on TV series Madam Secretary and Gossip Girl and in films such as A Most Violent Year) as Quentin Coldwater, a new recruit at the Brakebills College, a school of magic.

As we noted before, the Syfy channel has several book adaptations in the works.

Release Date Moved to 2016

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Me Before YouThe film adaptation of the 2012 best seller by Jo Jo Moyes, Me Before You (Viking/Pamela Dorman) is has been rescheduled for release on June 3, 2016, moved nearly a year from its original  Aug. 21, 2015 date.

Starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), it is directed by Thea Sharrock. This will be her first feature film, after directing the BBC miniseries The Hollow CroAfter Youwn and Call The Midwife. as well as several theatrical productions.

The book’s sequel After You, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio) has been announced for September (DRC’s are not available yet, but look for galleys at ALA).

The Daily Mail publishes scenes from the the movie set in Wales,

ALIENIST To Become TNT Series

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

9780812976144After several attempts to adapt it as a movie, Caleb Carr’s best selling 1994 psychological thriller set in gilded age era New York, The Alienist is now headed to the small screen, as an 8-part series for TNT with Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) attached to direct.

Deadline reports this is part of a shift in the focus for the network towards  “edgier original programming.”

The series still has to be cast and filmed, so it will be at least a year until it comes to fruition, depending on Fukunaga’s schedule. He just completed work on Beasts of No Nation, based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, for Netflix and is gearing up for an adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. Variety reports that Will Poulter is currently in negotiations to play the demonic clown Pennywise.


Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Luckiest Girl AliveWord of mouth seems to growing for Jessica Knoll’s debut novel Luckiest Girl Alive (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). Based on its recent move up Amazon’s sales rankings, it is likely to hit best seller lists next week and may get an additional boost as  People‘s “Book of the Week” in the new issue, “the perfect page turner to start your summer.”

We named it a “Watch Title” for this week, based on reviews and GalleyChatters enthusiasm. Since then, holds have taken off with some libraries showing ratios as high as 9:1 on very light ordering.

Hollywood is also calling. Reese Witherspoon, who has developed an eye for domestic thrillers, having produced the film of Gone Girl, plans to adapt the novel for Lionsgate.

The Best in Horror

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement in horror and dark fantasy were announced at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia last weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.01.32 AM  Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.27.13 AM  Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.02.29 AM

Steve Rasnic Tem won in the Novel category for Blood Kin (Solaris Books; OverDrive Sample) while Maria Alexander’s Mr. Wicker (Raw Dog Screaming Press) was selected as best First Novel. John Dixon took honors for best Young Adult Novel for Phoenix Island (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample) and Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.03.09 AMJonathan Maberry won the Graphic Novel category for Bad Blood (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample).

Jack Ketchum and Tanith Lee each received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The full list of winners and nominees is available on the Horror Writers Association website.

Holds Alert: THE BONE TREE

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.46.31 AMHolds are spiking well over a 3:1 ratio at some libraries for Greg Iles’s The Bone Tree (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample), the fifth novel in his Penn Cage series and the second in a 3-book arc that began last year.

The novel, which picks up where Natchez Burning left off, debuted on the NYT best seller list at the #4 spot on May 10 and moved down slightly to #6 on the May 17 list.

We listed it as one of the “Six Titles to Make You an RA Guru” the week of April 21 and The Washington Post’s Bill Sheehan gave it a glowing review yesterday, saying:

Like Natchez Burning, Iles’s latest is a hugely elaborate illustration of a famous line by William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Iles puts his own distinctive stamp on that Faulknerian theme, and the result is a very American epic-in-progress that leaves us waiting, none too patiently, for whatever revelations are still to come.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Tobey Maguire is developing a cable series based on Natchez Burning, working with David Hudgins who was the co-showrunner for Friday Night Lights. The project is with Amazon Studios, which has ordered scripts for two episodes.


Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 6.07.17 PMAs season one of the Outlander series winds down on Starz (the finale airs May 30), shooting has begun on the next season.

Based on the second novel in the book series, Dragonfly In Amber (RH/Delta; 2001; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), it follows Jamie and Claire as they escape to France and try to stop the Jacobite rising.

Once again, it spans multiple time periods and also introduces new characters, including Jamie and Claire’s adult daughter Brianna, Fergus, Jamie’s spy and one-day-adopted son, and a young Lord John Grey.

According to the website zap2it, author Diana Gabaldon is pleased with the plans for season 2, saying:

The Parisian stuff is very good, and in fact I’m deeply impressed by the outlines I’ve seen of those scripts … I think they’ve done a wonderful job of pulling out the most important plot elements and arranging them in a convincing way …

Season two is slated to air in the spring of 2016, so fans will have to endure a year-long wait, or as they call it, #Droughtlander.


Monday, May 11th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.36.25 PMChristopher Bollen’s second novel,  Orient (Harper; HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) “might well be this summer’s most ambitious thriller or this summer’s most thrilling work of literary fiction” according to author Ivy Pachoda in her glowing LA Times review of Bollen’s second novel.

It is a review with plenty of juicy quotable lines for readers’ advisors to reference – especially when working with patrons who like their crime novels filled with high body counts and a thrumming sense of place.

And Pachoda knows a thing or two about capturing a strong sense of locale — she did it in her book Visitation Street (HarperCollins/Ecco; OverDrive Sample), set in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In her review of Orient she clearly appreciates a fellow author who is able to create a similar vibrant evocation of place, saying:

The Orient of Bollen’s novel is of course Orient Point, the town at the eastern-most tip of Long Island’s less fashionable North Fork — think Gatsby’s West Egg to Daisy’s East Egg — which has so far resisted the Ralph Lauren and McMansion uprising of the Hamptons to the south. But the artists are coming, scooping up pricy shorefront properties, gutting the charming homes, bringing their cavalier city ways and transforming the quaint town as they see fit.

Her quotes just get better, ending with this summary:

There’s a smorgasbord of delights in Orient, from its murderous plot to the cheeky fun Bollen has at the expense of the art world. And there is ample room in this expansive novel for surprisingly soulful descriptions of everything from the intricacies of beekeeping to the beauty of deer hunting. Most impressive is how Bollen’s book is rich in literary diversions, moments of keen sociological and emotional insight — often into personal isolation — that transcend the conventions of its story.

Pachoda is not alone in her admiration. USA Today offers another quotable line:

… a gorgeously written book whose literary chops are beyond doubt. Come for the prose, and stay for the murders.

Entertainment Weekly,
Summer Reading, 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

ew1363cvr-cover-postBuried in Entertainment Weekly’s new issue, long after the “Baby Power List,” the lavish look at Quentin Tarantino’s “Bloody, Brutal Hateful Eight” and the excerpt of Stephen King’s upcoming Finders Keepers, (not online) comes the “Summer Books Preview.”

The full listing of 40 titles is not available online, but we’ve created an Edelweiss collection of all the titles so you can check for Digital Review Copies (NOTE: Ernest Cline’s hotly anticipated Armada, RH/Crown, just became available).

Below are links to the sections that are available online.

10 Big Fat Beach Reads To Look Out For This Summer

Hot Reads: 5 Sequels Coming To Bookshelves This Summer

5 Out-Of-This-World Tales To Read This Summer


Monday, May 11th, 2015

big little liesCalling it the “next True Detective,” the Hollywood trades announce that HBO is set to adapt Liane Moriarty’s best seller Big Little Lies (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn), winning it away from Netflix in a competitive auction. Niclole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are producing and plan to star. They originally acquired the rights to the book and planned to adapt it as a novel.

Like True Detective, which burnished the careers of its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Hollywood watcher think this may do the same for Witherspoon and Kidman.

Before I Go To Sleep  Silent Wife  Second life

Both actress/producers have developed a taste for domestic thrillers. Kidman starred in Before I Go to Sleep, based on the novel by S.J. Watson (Harper, 2011). She’s also bought the rights to The Silent Wife, by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin original trade pbk, 2013).

Reese Witherspoon recently optioned Watson’s upcoming mystery thriller Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) and was a producer for Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (RH/Crown, 2012).