Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Kareem On Understanding Women

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The Girls fro Corona del MarArticles We Love — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Esquire on how to understand women. How? By reading novels by women, of course.

Among his six recommendations is a summer title we’ve been hearing about on GalleyChat, Rufi Thorpe’s The Girls from Corona del Mar, (July; RH/Knopf; RH Audio; e-galley available). Jabbar recommends men read it to learn about female friendships, adding he was “was blown away by the poetic prose and depth of characterization. The blunt honesty of the women’s perspective will be a revelation for many men.”


Friday, April 18th, 2014

Recovered from the remake of Flowers in the Attic? Prepare for another blast from the past. Ira Levin’s 1967 novel Rosemary’s Baby is coming to NBC as a two-part series, which begins Sunday, May 11.

The book was famously adapted in 1968 by director Roman Polanski, with Mia Farrow as Rosemary and John Cassavetes as her husband. This time, however, the story is set in Paris, rather than in New York’s Dakota Building.

Rosemary's BabyRosemary’s Baby
Ira Levin, Intro by Otto Penzler
Pegasus (dist by W.W. Norton)
May 5, 2014
9781605981109, 1605981109
Paperback $14.95


Below is the trailer for the original (it seems trailers were longer in those days):

Get Ready: Titles to Know, Week of April 21

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Headed for a top position on best seller lists after its release next week is David Baldacci‘s third novel featuring CIA hit man Will Robie, The Target (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio). He appeared on CBS This Morning yesterday to describe it.

Also arriving is a new thriller by Andrew Gross, Everything to Lose, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio) which follows a struggling single mother faced with overwhelming temptation when she discovers a half million dollars at the scene of an accident and a posthumous book by Maeve Binchy, a collection of linked short stories about the residents of Dublin’s imaginary Chestnut Street, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; Thorndike).

Below are several other titles to be ready for next week. Ordering information for these and other titles arriving next week is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 4/21.

Making Headlines

A Fighting Chance  Forcing the Spring  Everybody's Got Something

A Fighting Chance, Elizabeth Warren, (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio)

The news media has been all over this book, both for its skewering “of the White House Boys Club” (The Huffington Post) and speculation that its very publication indicates Warren will run for President in 2016.  The embargo was broken yesterday by the Boston Globe, followed closely by the Washington Post (conveniently offering “Everything you need to know from Elizabeth Warren’s new book”) and Politico. Official publicity starts Friday with an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air,  followed by one on CBS Sunday Morning.After that, expect to see Warren nearly everywhere, including stints on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, ABC’s The View, and NPR’s Morning Edition.

Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality, Jo Becker, (Penguin Press)

Some gay activists are already taking issue with this book, claiming that the author leaves out important figures in the marriage equality movement. Becker responds to the Huffington Post, “My book was not meant to be a beginning-to-end-history of the movement. It’s about a particular group of people at an extraordinary moment in time, and I hope that people will be moved by their stories.” An excerpt is the cover story of this Sunday’s NYT Magazine (the author is an NYT reporter), with the headline: ‘Mr. President, How Can We Help You Evolve More Quickly.’ Becker will  appear on NPR’s Fresh Air. Expect it to be reviewed widely.

Everybody’s Got Something, Robin Roberts, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio)

Roberts is on the cover of the upcoming issue of People magazine and the subject of a “By the Book” profile in the NYT Book Review. In this, the second memoir by the popular host of Good Morning America, Roberts writes about overcoming breast cancer only to discover five years later that she has rare blood disorder.

Notable Paperback Release 

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, (RH/Broadway Books)

We don’t normally list paperback reprints, but this one is particularly timely. It comes just as a the first full trailer for the movie is released amid buzz about an altered ending, which will likely draw even more people to read the book first. The tie-in paperbacks won’t be released until Aug. 26.  The movie is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Advance Review Attention

Lovers at the Chameleon Club

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose, (Harper)

Edmund White’s cover review of Prose’s new novel for Sunday’s NYT Book Review, should draw in readers, both for its headline, “Divine Decadence” and for its opening lines saying that evil characters are often the most fun and that the one created by the “subtle psychologist,” Prose is “a genuinely evil character … a cross-dressing French race car driver who collaborate with the Nazis.” After praising the book’s style and ability, “like all great novels,”  to make the reader symphasize with even a repugnant character, White spends several paragraphs taking issue with aspects of the book, which he then annoyingly dismisses as a mere “quibble” and ends by calling this a “novel of great power and reach.” In the daily NYT, Janet Maslin begins her review with, “The breadth, nerve and intricacy of Francine Prose’s big new novel should surprise even her most regular readers. A bona fide page turner, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 unfolds over 20 years, across an increasingly ominous Europe, among thugs and artists and poseurs who share only the danger that threatens to cramp their partying style.” She has her “quibble,” too wishing that the book  had been “slightly tighter.” Ignore the quibbles, this one sounds fascinating.

Readers Advisory 

Take a cue from fellow librarians, who picked the following titles as two of the ten LibraryReads titles for April.

Love, Nina  On The Rocks

Love, Nina, Nina Stibbe, (Hachette/Little, Brown)
“With a unique voice, Stibbe brings 1980s literary Camden back to life in this delightful epistolary memoir. The letters that Stibbe writes to her sister are a hoot, featuring unexpected cooking advice from the great Alan Bennett, and droll commentary on just about everything from Mary-Kay Wilmers.” – Jennifer Estepp, Queens Library, Jamaica, NY

On the Rocks, Erin Duffy, (HarperCollins/ Morrow)

“After her fiance dumps her on Facebook, Abby retreats to her apartment until her best friend invites her to spend the summer in Newport. This book is for every woman who’s been determined to put things back together after finding herself on the wrong side of social media, in the aftermath of a bad breakup, or elbow deep in Ben & Jerry’s when things fall apart.” – Sara Grochowski, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, Alpena, MI

Be The First On Your Block — Galleys To Read Now

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

April GalleyChat TBR Pile[Ed. Note] We love that so many of you are reading ARC’s (aka, galleys), to find titles to nominate for LibraryReads, to be the first to discover the next big thing, and to make ordering decisions. Now that so many ARC’s are also available as e-galleys from Edelweiss and NetGalley, the selection is greater than ever.

There is a downside. Choice can be overwhelming, as evidenced by our own teetering tower at the left.

How do you pick what to push to the top of your virtual as well as actual TBR piles? And, when you fall in love with a book that won’t be published for several months, who can you talk to about it?

GalleyChat to the rescue; our monthly discussions of galleys fellow librarians are loving can help you tame your piles (adult GalleyChat is the first Tuesday of the month and YA/Middle Grade is the third Tuesday).

In addition, our own GalleyChatter, Robin Beerbower (Salem P.L.) gives us her take on what she’s learned from the adult edition (see her second roundup, below). Between chats, you can keep up with what other GalleyChatters are reading via postings on the Edelweiss community board (be sure to friend us).

The following is Robin’s April roundup:

The April Galleychat’s pace was its normal fast and furious self, with suspense thrillers dominating the discussion. Below are several of the titles that rose to the top. All are available as e-galleys from Edelweiss unless otherwise noted.

Distance  black hour  dark twisted

When it’s only April and a voracious reader tells you she’s already found one of her top ten books of the year, you take notice. The dark thriller The Distance, (Doubleday, September) by former bookseller Helen Giltrow, is already on Jane Jorgenson’s list of favorite books of the year. Continuing the dark and moody theme, Lori Rader-Day’s The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books, May) was on two chatters’ list and has also received “much love” from 3 peers on Edelweiss. On Goodreads Jorgenson calls it “A fascinating mystery that looks backwards and forwards” and “this is a great debut.”

Sharon (the author formerly known as “S. J.”) Bolton’s fourth Lacey Flint mystery, A Dark and Twisted Tide, (Macmillan/Minotaur, June; e-galley on NetGalley) is receiving many  raves. While it can be read alone, those who haven’t read Bolton’s previous titles will have a creepy good time reading the books in order, beginning with Now You See Me.

Bishop's wifeAlso mentioned was J. A. Jance’s newest Joanna Brady novel, Remains of Innocence (HarperCollins/ Morrow, July), always a treat; The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Press), was called “nice twisty mystery, well-developed characters.” And, talk about being ahead of the curve, it doesn’t arrive until December. W.W. Norton’s Golda Rademacher, whose taste we’ve come to trust, cites as one of her favorites  Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (July), a gritty mystery set in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. She was seconded by a librarian who gave it the ultimate accolade from a knowledgeable mystery reader; the ending was not at all what she expected.

Harry QuebertMy own favorite book this month was The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker (Penguin, May), which just became available as an e-galley. This 600-plus-page suspense thriller with its knot of unreliable narrators twisted and turned so much I felt like I was on both a roller coaster and a tilt-a-whirl. This will be a great read alike for Dennis Lehane’s  Shutter Island and yes, even the book everything seems to be compared to these days, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I am predicting big things for HQ.

Fortune HunterIt’s fun to see the return of authors whose debuts we first discovered through other GalleyChatters. Daisy Goodwin grabbed many of us with The Heiress, so there was excitement from those who have just received her new one,  The Fortune Hunter(Macmillan/St. Martin’s, July). One GalleyChatter who has already dived in reports she is loving it.

We’re as susceptible as anyone to a beautiful cover and this one not only features an arresting image, but it pops with raised and embossed details and lettering (an extra printing expense); a good indicator of a the package to come.

Remember to friend me if you want to keep up with what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss and please join us on May 6 for our next GalleyChat.


Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Good Lord BirdLast year’s National Book Award winner, The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike) may be heading to the big screen. Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid, After Earth) have signed to star, with author McBride taking on a role as producer. Smith will play Henry “Onion” Shackleford with  Schreiber in the role of abolitionist John Brown.

McBride’s’ Miracle At St. Anna (Penguin/Riverhead, 2002) was adapted by Spike Lee in 2008. An FX series based on the author’s book Song Yet Sung, (Penguin/Riverhead, 2008), about Harriet Tubman, was announced last fall.

Holds Alert: FAMILY LIFE

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Family LifeAfter a glowing cover review in the New York Times Book Review, Family Life by Akhil Sharma (W.W. Norton) is getting even more attention. It is called the “year’s first great novel” by Salon. In a review on NPR’s All Things Considered on Thursday, Meg Waltzer says the author, “takes a simple, emotionally difficult story and makes the reader brave the ongoing pain and become fully absorbed,” and the Huffington Post designates it as the week’s “Book We’re Talking About.”

Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds ratios.

Closer to Screen: ROOM Movie

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

RoomIt’s difficult to imagine a film based on Emma Donoghue claustrophobic best seller, Room  (Hachette/Little,Brown), but the project, announced in September appears to be moving along.

Director Lenny Abrahamson has hired Brie Larson for the lead role of Ma, a woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and lives in a tiny room with her 5-year-old son. The story is told through Jack’s eyes, as his mother works to maintain the illusion that their life is normal.

Donaghue’s latest novel, Frog Music, (Hachette/Little, Brown), was released last week.

LIFE OF CRIME To Be Released Aug 29

Monday, April 7th, 2014

9780062206138The movie Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow)has been set for release on August 29.

In The Rolling Stone last year, director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel and expressed hopes that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome.  With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The film, featured at the Toronto Film Festival was called by Variety‘s critic, a “fitting memorial” to the author.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, it was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie starring Aniston, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is  also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).

THE LEFTOVERS: Teaser Trailer

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The first teaser trailer for HBO’s The Leftovers, based on Tom Perotta’s novel, gives away very little:

The 10-episode series is co-created by Perotta and Damon Lindeloff, co-creator of the tv series Lost, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that the book first came to his attention via Stephen King’s review in the New York Times Book Review.

The series, starring Justin Thoreau, Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, premieres on June 15 at 10 p.m. EST, following the season finale of Game of Thrones.

The Leftovers (TV tie-in edition)
Tom Perrotta
St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan
On Sale Date: June 3, 2014
Trade paperback; 9781250054227, 1250054222

Final TRUE BLOOD in June

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

The final season of HBO’s True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, premieres Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT.

The teaser trailer, below, will be shown before tonight’s premiere of Game of Thrones season four.


All Together Dead (TV Tie-In)
Charlaine Harris
Penguin/Ace Hardcover
On Sale Date: May 27, 2014,
9780425271551, 0425271552
Mass market (rack) paperback
$7.99 USD / $9.99

Games Creatures Play  Dead But Not Forgotten

Although the Sookie Stackhouse series ended with Dead Ever After, (Penguin/Ace Hardcover, 2013), death in the Stackhouse universe is a relative thing. She continues to appear in short stories:

Games Creatures Play, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Brilliance Audio; April 1) – includes a new Sookie Stackhouse story

Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Nov. 25, 2014) –  a collection of 15 stories written by authors chosen by Harris.

Midnight Crossroad

Harris begins a new trilogy in May, set in the small town of Midnight, Texas; Midnight Crossroad, (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Recorded Books; Thorndike; May 6). The town has strange residents, of course, including a vampire that works in a pawn shop (on the night shift).

Publishers Weekly calls it “a solid entry in Harris’s catalogue [that] will do very well with her fans.”

Libraries are showing holds.

Get Ready: 5 Titles You Need To Know Next Week

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Titles arriving next week with guaranteed spots on the best seller list are Lisa Scottoline’s Keep Quiet and Stuart Woods’ Carnal Curiosity. Below are five others you need to know.

These titles and several more arriving next week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet with full ordering information and alternate formats.

The Opposite of LonelinessThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, Marina Keegan, S&S/Scribner; Tantor Audio

Who wouldn’t tear up, reading this from a student as she faces graduation, “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” Those words becomes even more poignant when you learn that their talented writer, Marina Keegan, died in a car accident just before she was set to begin a dream job at the New Yorker. Her final column for the Yale Daily News, became an internet hit after her death. It and several other writings that Keegan left behind are brought together in this book, featured as the lead review in People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars.

Family LifeFamily Life, Akhil Sharma, Norton

This LibraryReads pick is featured on the cover of NYT Book Review this week. Also on Entertainment Weekly‘s “must list,” it is described as an “autobiographic novel about an immigrant family derailed by an accident. It’s beautifully evocative and — tragedy notwithstanding — surprisingly funny.” It will  be featured on NBC’s Weekend Today Show.

Love Life RoweLove Life, Rob Lowe, S&S; S&S Audio

Lowe already proved himself an entertaining memoirist with Stories I Only Tell My Friends. This follow up gets a nod from Entertainment Weekly, which says Lowe, “Goes out of his way not to tread the same ground he did in hits first memoir … this book is just as breezily enjoyable as its predecessor.”
Astonish MeAstonish Me, Maggie Shipstead, RH/Knopf; RH Audio

The author’s debut, Seating Arrangements, was a favorite among librarians and booksellers and her new title is an Indie Next pick. The Huffington Post also picks it as “The Book We’re Taling About” this week (even though they are not completely taken with this “leaping departure” from the author’s previous title). Jen Dayton at Darien Public Library, who was the first to alert us to Seating Arrangements, long before it become a best seller, reviews it on Edelweiss, saying it is, “a fascinating look into the lives of professional dancers and the damage that secrets can do. Book groups could have a field day with this one.”

In ParadiseIn Paradise, Peter Matthiessen, Penguin/Riverhead

Matthiessen is known as a nonfiction writer, but considers himself a novelist who “writes other things,” as a long profile of his fascinating life in Sunday’s NYT Magazine details (unfortunately for Matthiessen, the author of the profile is not taken with his fiction). Wendy Bartlett, Cuyahoga Public Library, recommends In Paradise to librarians, saying this “book about a professor of Holocaust history who joins a spiritual retreat at Auschwitz and what he discovers about himself as he confronts a history he believes he already understands, is universal and personal at the same time … Matthiessen also explores how the Holocaust resonates for various countries and cultures by peopling the retreat with characters from all parts of the world. It’s a masterful and incredibly thought provoking construct” making it one to get “for your smart book discussion members.”

A.J. FIKRY Already A Best Seller

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryDebuting at #6 on the April 3rd Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list is the #1 LibraryReads and IndieNext pick for April, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio).

That may be confusing, since the book’s publication date, April 1, is after the cut-off date for reporting sales to the list, March 30.

The book actually shipped last week and enthusiastic indie booksellers wasted no time in getting it in to the hands of readers, employing some creative methods (today’s Shelf Awareness offers an example).

Their efforts were aided by an interview with the author on Friday’s All Things Considered

Blowin’ In the Wind

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

You can stop holding your breath.

The premiere date for the Lifetime adaptation, Petals On the Wind, the sequel to Flowers in the Attic, has been set for Memorial Day, May 26th.

There may be more coming. Lifetime is also developing the other two books in the series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, as well as a  standalone, My Sweet Audrina.

The covers for the tie-ins, now moved to a May 20 pub date, have ben revealed:

Petals On the Wind, MTIPetals on the Wind
V.C. Andrews
S&S/Gallery May 20, 2014
Trade paperback; $14.00 USD / $17.00 CAD
9781476789552, 147678955X

Mass market (rack) paperback; $7.99 USD / $9.99 CAD
S&S/Pocket Books; May 20, 2014
9781476789569, 1476789568

WOLF HALL Begins Shooting

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Chalfield Manor

The village of Holt in Wiltshire is gearing up for the BBC’s arrival next week to begin filming the adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. The shoot will take place in Great Chalfield Manor, standing in for Thomas Cromwell’s home.

Mark Rylance, who will play Cromwell, is familiar with that house. It was used as the Boleyn family home in the 2008 film of Phillipa Gregory’s novel, The Other Boleyn Girl (S&S/Scribner), in which he portrayed Thomas Boleyn.

Fans who have been eagerly awaiting Mirror And The Light, the projected final volume in Mantel’s series, were disappointed when it was announced that her next book, coming at the end of September, is The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories, (Macmillan/Holt, Macmillan Audio, read by Simon Vance), which is obviously not part of the Tudor series.

She has said, however, that she plans to finish Mirror And The Light this year. That book is clearly very much on her mind. On Saturday, speaking on BBC radio about why she finds her subject Cromwell so fascinating, she addressed the inevitable final event of the story, when his “life will end abruptly on the scaffold.” Rather than an indication of failure, she hopes her “reader, when we get there, will be moved, will be sorry, but will also be  astounded by the life I’ve narrated. I aim to leave my reader harrowed, and yet braced, ready for the next thing.”


Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

You Should Have KnownDebuting at #15 on the New York Times hardcover fiction list this week is a book we’ve had our eye on, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio). That position  puts it just below another domestic thriller, The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn) which has had a fairly long 16-week run on the list.

You Should Have Known arrived with strong advance buzz and 3.5 stars from People magazine. Janet Maslin in the New York Times last week heaps praise on the first part of the book, but complains that the latter “isn’t nearly as gripping.” The Los Angeles Times reviewer Wendy Smith says, “It’s almost impossible to put down Jean Hanff Korelitz’s riveting new novel for the first 200 pages as it dismantles the comfortable existence of a couples therapist over the course of a few nightmarish weeks” and agrees that the tension “dissipates in the second half,” but doesn’t regard that as a bad thing, simply  the book developing a “quieter drama.”

Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds, as high as 12:1.