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.
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.
Les 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.”
Hidden 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.”
I 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.
There 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, GalleyChat 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.”
Perennial 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.”
Small 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!