Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

GalleyChat Wrap -Up For July

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Editors Note: GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower is off this month and we’re grateful to one of our go-to readers advisors, Jennifer Dayton of Darien (CT) Public Library for rounding up the titles from the most recent GalleyChat.

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It may be summertime and the living may be easy, but GalleyChatters are relentless in their quest for the next great thing. During the most recent chat, women’s history was a strong theme on the non-fiction side, balanced by serious escape reading on the fiction side.

We hope you will be inspired to download and read the eGalleys of the titles highlighted here.  If you love them as much as we do, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles still eligible for nomination.

For a list of all 138 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.

Non-Fiction

parisiennesLes Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, Oct.; LibraryReads deadline: Aug. 20) by Anne Sebba takes a long hard look at a piece of history that is often looked at through the rosy haze of time. Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (Ariz.) Public Library, says, “ In Les Parisiennes, Anne Sebba examines what life was like for Parisian women under Nazi occupation during WWII. Using stories gleaned from interviews and primary sources, she documents the everyday hardships and life-changing tragedies suffered by these resilient women. Women from all walks of life were forced to adapt to food shortages, the disappearance of family members, and potential capture or unwanted attention from German soldiers. How they chose to respond to these challenges often determined the fate of generations. Sebba’s lavish use of detail and her graceful, sympathetic writing add to this book’s powerful depiction of an era that still fascinates us today.”

9780062363596_b2357Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow, Sept. 6)  by Margot Lee Shetterly is the compelling story of the African-American women who were the secret backbone of NASA in its infancy.  Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La., says, that it’s  “a fascinating book about black female mathematicians (or ‘computers’) who worked for the space program back in the 50s and 60s. A movie based on the book is scheduled for release in January, starring Octavia Spenser, Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson.:

9781400069880_cde2eI am an evangelist for Victoria:  The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire  (PRH/Random House, Nov. 29; LibraryReads deadline: Sept. 20)  by Julia Baird. This is a totally engrossing look at a woman who we all think we know: staid, button-upped, humor-less. With newly found scholarship  (yeah Librarians!), we learn that this woman who was a mere 18 years old when she ascended the throne was in fact a passionate leader who loved as fiercely as she ruled. I think that this wonderfully readable book may just become the new standard in Victoria bios.

Fiction

golden-ageThere was lots of excitement for The Golden Age (Europa, Aug. 16) by Joan London.  Janet Lockhart, Collection Development Librarian, Wake County, N.C.,  sums it up, “Young Frank Gold and his family escaped from WWII Europe to Australia, only for him to fall victim to polio. He is sent to recover at The Golden Age, a children’s hospital in 1950s Australia, where he meets and falls in love with Elsa, to the consternation of the adults.  A moving story of displacement and recovery with wonderfully drawn characters and setting.”

Robin Beerbower, Galley9780062467256_ade66Chat Wrangler Extraordinaire, was not alone in her love for The Bookshop on the Corner (HarperCollins/Morrow, Sept. 20)  by Jenny Colgan and while she does have some reservations, her enthusiasm shines through. “I loved this book about a librarian getting laid off from her readers’ advisory job and opening a ‘bookshop-on-wheels’ in Scotland. A tad predictable but so what?  It was a fun journey.”

9780385349741_d756dPerennial GalleyChat favorite Carl Hiassen’s forthcoming book is Razor Girl (PRH/Knopf, Sept. 6).  While he needs no “help” from us, it is clear that there is a reason he is a favorite go-to pick for readers advisors.  Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, Mich., says, “All of the best things about Carl Hiaasen are on full display in his new book Razor Girl: crazy plot twists mixed with quirky characters ranging from the mob to a Duck Dynasty-esque reality TV star. Andrew Yancy, from Sick Puppy, is back, still working Roach Patrol and trying to get his detective badge back when he gets involved with Merry Mansfield, a woman hired by the New York mob to create convenient traffic crashes. Sexy hilarity ensues alongside clumsy extortion plots the way only Hiaasen can manage.”

9781501122521_9c9e2Small Admissions  (S&S/Atria, Dec. 27; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20) by Amy Poeppel is a debut novel for which Beth Mills of New Rochelle (N.Y.) Public Library, gave a serious shout-out. “When twenty-something Kate, devastated at being dumped by her Parisian boyfriend, finally starts getting her life together she finds herself launched into the high-pressure world of a NYC private school admissions office. Hyper parents, over-privileged kids, eccentric relatives and well-meaning friends–some of whom are harboring explosive secrets–keep the story moving briskly and provide more than a few laughs along the way.”

Please join us on Aug. 2 at 4:00 ET with virtual happy hour at 3:30 for our next Chat!  See you all then!

Hitting Screens, Week of July 25

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two adaptations open this week, one based on a 2008 Philip Roth novel and the other on a 2012 YA novel by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve.

Nerve, opening nationwide on July 27, sports the first Pokémon Go  promotional tie-in. Producer Lionsgate is sponsoring PokéStop locations outside movie theaters in several U.S. cities.

The fast-paced YA SF thriller is about an online, voyeuristic, game of truth or dare, which according to Kirkus, reflects themes from another book Lionsgate successfully adapted,  The Hunger Games. Nerve stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis.

A tie-in came out a week ago, Nerve Movie Tie-In, Jeanne Ryan (PRH/Speak; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432845_5e494Indignation, adapted from Philip Roth’s 2008 novel, starring Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, and Tracy Letts, opens on July 29 in NYC and LA.

It premiered at Sundance this year to mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A warmly satisfying screen translation of a work by an author who has rarely been served well on film” and the NYT listed Gadon as one of their “Breakthrough Performances.” The Guardian, however, writes, “For a first-time feature, Indignation is undoubtedly accomplished, with handsome production values, stellar performances, and [a] … tour-de-force scene that bodes of great things to come from the budding film-maker. Unfortunately, on the whole, Schamus’ debut feels too self-serious to fully engage.”

A tie-in comes out next week, Indignation, Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage).

Comic-Con: DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The first teaser trailer for BBC America’s adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was featured during a panel at Comic-Con this weekend.

The 8-episode series will debut on BBC America on Oct. 22. Variety describes it as being about “the surreal adventures of a highly unconventional detective, Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood ). Together they navigate one big metaphysical mystery per season.”

Adams, best-known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, published two titles featuring Gently, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,and Dirk  Gently’s Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul, He had plans for a third novel, which he did not finish before his death. The incomplete novel was included in the posthumous collection, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time.

Comics publisher IDW, which is also a producer for the BBC America series, is publishing graphic novels that feature Gently. These are entirely new stories that take up where the books left off.

9781631405082_a3781  9781631407017_8d8b8

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings, Chris Ryall, Tony Akins, Ilias Kyriazis (IDW January 26, 2016)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short, Arvind Ethan David, Ilias Kyriazis, (IDW September 20, 2016).

Comic-Con: AMERICAN GODS

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Debuting at Comic-Con is the first view of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, adapted by Starz as a TV series.

Reporting from the conference, io9 writes that, as part of the process of making the series, Gaiman looked through earlier drafts of the novel as fodder for additional screen stories. He announced that some of what he found might ,are its way into “the next American Gods book if I do another novel, which is seeming more and more likely these days.”

If that were not news enough for fans, after a very slow wind-up to get the iconic book to any screen, big or small, it seems Starz has hit the sweet spot with a spot-on adaptation.

Neil Gaiman said, “As a general rule, if you loved it in the book, it is probably going to end up on your screen.”

In a statement that is sure to thrill and intrigue readers of the novel, executive producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal and Pushing Daisies) said the show is “fan fiction, in a wonderful way.”

Revealed as well is the news that a major element of the book, the journey the old gods take to the US, will get due attention and be treated as “trampolines into more stories.”

The Verge says more casting decisions were also announced. Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Glee, The West Wing, Pushing Daisies) will play Easter,  “a member of the old gods. (Her traditional name in mythology is Ostara, the Germanic goddess of the dawn).” USA Today has a run down on the rest of the cast.

The show is set to premiere sometime in 2017.

Comic-Con: THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Season 2 of Amazon’s hit series, The Man in the High Castle, based on the book by Philip K. Dick, was introduced at Comic-Con by executive producer Ridley Scott.

A new trailer was released a few days ago:

No release date has been announced. One source reports it’s not clear whether it will air this year or in early 2017.

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A trade paperback tie-in was released last year and a new hardcover version is set for publication in October.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN,
New Trailer

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

A new, longer trailer for the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train reminds fans that it will arrive in theaters on October 7th.

Vanity Fair sees similarities to another adaptation of a book with “Girl” in the title.

Tie-ins in trade paperback, mass market (PRH/Riverhead) and audio (Penguin Audio) are set for release on August 23. A trade paperback reprint was released last week.

Backlist To TV:
THE CHRONICLES OF AMBER

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

9780380809066_1_CoverRobert Kirkman is moving away from comics with his next planned TV project according to The Hollywood Reporter and now has his eye on creating the next Game of Thrones. Through his Skybound Entertainment unit he is adapting Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber, a ten-book science fiction/fantasy series.

Zelazny died in 1995 and was a long-standing and beloved figure in the SFF community, winning Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards.

Like Game of Thrones, Zelazny’s series, reports Tor.com, “concerns royal family politics over a throne. But in this case, our hero Corwin awakens on Earth with amnesia. He comes to discover that Earth is just one of many “shadows,” or parallel worlds, that exist between the two true worlds of Amber and the Court of Chaos. As a prince of the royal family, it is Corwin’s birthright to rule Amber and fend off the forces of chaos.”

George R.R. Martin is a fan of Zelazny. Tor notes that Martin memorialized the author via a blog post:

Lord of Light was the first Zelazny book I ever read … I’d never heard of this Zelazny guy. But when I read those words for the first time, a chill went through me, and I sensed that SF would never be the same. Nor was it. Like only a few before him, Roger left his mark on the genre.”

9780060567231_1_CoverIf you need a refresher on Zelazny Tor offers a reread of his series.

If you need to add copies, Harper Voyager published a collected edition of all ten stories in 2010: The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 by Roger Zelazny (HC/Harper Voyager) as well as a new edition of his 1988 winner of both the Nebula and Hugo for best novel, Lord of Light.

SIRACUSA Breaks Through

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

9780399165214_5f0e8Delia Ephron’s latest, Siracusa (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) may bring her to a new level of popularity. The novel is getting strong media attention and is rising on Amazon, currently just outside the top 100. Deadline Hollywood reports a film deal is in the works.

In a review titled “Delia Ephron writes her own version of Heartburn” referring to her sister Nora Ephron’s famous novel, The Washington Post summarizes the plot, “The story centers on two couples vacationing together in Italy. The four of them take turns telling the story, and their views of events rarely coincide.”

However, says the reviewer, “Siracusa takes a more expansive look at matrimony and its discontents,” adding,

“For much of the way, Siracusa is a sophisticated, elegantly written, delightfully cynical look at four middle-aged Americans, not unlike people most of us know, as they struggle to make sense of their lives. Then, abruptly, the story darkens. All readers may not share my admiration for its shocking conclusion, but it’s that sudden glimpse of tragedy, even of evil, that gives Ephron’s novel the feel of a classic.”

The LA Times says it is “skillfully wrought,” comparing it to “Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon … Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 modernist masterpiece The Good Soldier and Showtime’s ongoing dramatic series The Affair. There’s even an echo of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement about passion, guilt and how writers distort lives for literary ends.”

However, the review adds a note of caution, saying “In the end, Siracusa, like life, is a tad disappointing, its culminating disaster coming as something of an anticlimax.”

The book was featured on multiple summer reading lists. Ephron was recently interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.

Holds are spiking at the majority of libraries we checked, some topping 7:1 ratios.

Stephenie Meyer Changes Genres

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

9780316387835_23f09Stephenie Meyer will release her second novel for adults this fall, a thriller starring a female secret-agent, The Chemist  (Hachette/Little, Brown on November 15).

The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and USA Today are all reporting the story based on a press release.

As quoted in the WSJ Meyer says:

The Chemist is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross … I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain.”

It will be the first thriller by the author most famous for her YA Twilight saga novels and will her second adult novel after her SF  novel, 2008’s The Host.

GOT: Long Winter,
Meet Short Summer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

MV5BMjM5OTQ1MTY5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM3NzMxODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Although it’s getting snowy and cold in the North of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the series is focused on summer. According to multiple sources including Vanity Fair, season seven will air in summer 2017 and consist of only seven episodes. The previous six seasons have featured 10 episodes each and they aired in the spring.

Perhaps even more troubling for fans, Vanity Fair also reports that the final season, #8, will be even shorter, just six episodes. Sources such as Variety have confirmed those numbers, leaving fans only 13 hours more to enjoy.

Showrunner David Benioff explains the truncated seasons to Deadline Hollywood:

“It’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome … We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end … Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros, Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them … The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game.”

Showrunner D.B. Weiss tells Variety that the high production values of the series are also part of the reason for shorter season because hey simply cannot make ten episodes in 12-14 months of shooting, “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.”

The NYT points out that the late start might change future award seasons: “If the seventh season begins later than May, it will not be eligible for next year’s Emmy Awards,” continuing “Game of Thrones has garnered the most Emmy nominations of any TV show for three consecutive years, and last year it took home the Emmy for best drama for the first time.” This year, reports USA Today, it racked up 23 nominations, the most of any show in 2016.

As if to temper the disappointment over the delayed start and shorter seasons, Vanity Fair speculates that the schedule might give George R.R. Martin enough room to complete The Winds of Winter in time for inclusion in the TV series. Martin, who always has much to say on his blog, is completely mum on that point.

FRESH AIR Bump for
Cathleen Schine

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

9780374280130_ee819Check your holds for They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is rising on Amazon, up to #346 from #4,077, and demand is spiking in several libraries.

The rise coincides with a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. In a long conversation host Terry Gross asks Schine about her newest book and how it reflects the novelist’s own life.

Their conversation centers upon the difficulties of middle-age kids dealing with their aging and ill parents and the feelings of guilt that arise from living far away from them.

The publicity for the book paints it as far more comedic than the interview suggests, a take many reviews reinforce. NPR’s book critic Maureen Corrigan asked, “who needs a novel about colostomy bags and grief? … you do if you’re a reader who relishes acute psychological perceptions and lots of laughs to leaven the existential grimness.”

Author Penelope Lively, reviewing for the NYT BR, says the novel “combines black comedy with shrewd observation of family dynamics,” continuing that “Despite its subject matter [it] is a very funny novel.”

Entertainment Weekly gave it a strong B+, writing that the “deliciously quirky multigenerational novel … manages to be funny and heartbreaking at the same time; Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.”

The Heart is a Lonely Detective

Monday, July 18th, 2016

9780812998320_efc5eMissing, Presumed by Susie Steiner (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) got a big boost from NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, causing  the book to jump on Amazon’s sales rankings from 4,426 to 146.

The police procedural, a June LibraryReads pick, was inspired by Kate Atkinson’s approach to the Jackson Brodie mysteries, which Steiner says have “all the propulsion of mystery — so there’s that page-turning grit making you want to go back to it — but along with that is all the riffing and meandering and depth and relationship of a literary novel.”

The “riffing and meandering” in her case it is the character of detective inspector Manon Bradshaw, a very lonely woman who is suffering in her personal life, “in particular the tribulations of Internet dating, which she finds particularly miserable, as a lot of people do.”

The NPR interview also focused on Steiner’s process of writing. “I’m a huge rewriter,” she says, which helps her dose out the clues: “I do draft upon draft upon draft, and that provides an opportunity to backlay clues. So there was an awful lot of putting clues in, taking them out again, putting them back in, worrying it was then obvious … that’s a delicate balance because the reader wants to be co-sleuth — that’s part of the joy — but also not to work it out too early.”

NPR has been an early fan. In addition to the interview, Bethanne Patrick wrote an online only review in early July, saying “If you’ve binge-watched Happy Valley, The Fall or Prime Suspect, have I got a book for you … You might come to Missing, Presumed for the police procedural; you’ll stay for the layered, authentic characters that Steiner brings to life.”

Asked if there is a sequel in the works, Steiner told Weekend Edition, “There’s certainly another one.”

Holds are spiking at several libraries we checked, with ratios topping 5:1 in some locales.

A GREAT RECKONING Tops
August LibraryReads List

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

9781250022134_00385The latest in the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series, A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (Macmillan/Minotaur) is the #1 LibraryReads pick for August.

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

Additional Buzz: It has earned a rare all-star sweep from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

9781101984994_8f6a1The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!” — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

Additional Buzz:  See our chat with the author here. It is also one of B&N‘s summer reading picks.

9780393241655_3db1aThe Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood (Norton).

“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY

Additional Buzz: An Indie Next pick for August (one of several overlaps this month between booksellers and librarians’s selections), it is also a B&N summer reading pick.

The full list of ten selections is available now.

Live Chat with Author Fiona Davis

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

This chat has now ended. You can read the archived version below.

For more on the Penguin Debut Authors Program, click here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Fiona Davis : THE DOLLHOUSE
 

Following Fellowes

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

9781250045461_aa055In her NYT review of Belgravia, the novel by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Daisy Goodwin speculates on whether it will satisfy the legions who are still mourning the end of the TV series.

Curiously, Goodwin herself is in the running to fill that hole, as the writer and co-executive producer of an 8-part TV series Victoria, about the early years of the queen’s reign. It will run in January on PBS Masterpiece in the very time slot Downton once occupied (in the UK, it begins this fall on ITV, also in the time slot that Downton once ruled).

In addition, in late November, Goodwin will publish Victoria: A Novel (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press). It’s not clear that the book is the source for the series. The publisher description simply says, “Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the inner life of the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.”

Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2014) drew comparison from People magazine to Fellowes, “Downton Abbey fans will gallop like Thoroughbreds through this entertaining historical novel.”

Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman will star in the TV series as Victoria, reports Entertainment Weekly, “beginning from her ascension to the throne in 1837, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert,” played by Tom Hughes (About Time).

ITV has posted several clips, a longer first look and a teaser that reveals some of the lush costuming.

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton enthuses to Entertainment Weekly, “Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it’s a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming Masterpiece fans will love.”