Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

July LibraryReads List

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Landline   Dollbaby   9780316250818_1a106

The just-released LibraryReads list of the ten books arriving in July that librarian love, offers some great readers advisory titles (over half are debuts). It’s also a reminder to nominate titles for upcoming lists (how-to here).

At BEA, the LibraryReads panel gave some helpful tips on how to use these lists:

1) You no longer have to admit “I haven’t read anything great lately,” your colleagues have. Each LibraryReads annotation is a readers advisory handsell you can steal.

2) The lists began in September, so there are now over 100 titles you can recommend. Check out our downloadable list —  LibraryReads-All-Lists-Through-July-2014. sort it by category and you have an instant list for creating displays, or to use when you’re stuck trying to recommend a recent book in a particular category.

2) The lists are handy R.A. training tools which demonstrate how to quickly communicate why you love a title.

On the July list, librarian favorite Rainbow Rowell gets her second #1 LibraryReads pick with Landline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike), after her YA novel, Fangirl, was the pick for the inaugural September list. Excitement has spread to booksellers, who also include it on their Indie Next July list.

Among the five debuts on the list, is Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books). You can join us for a live chat with the author next week, as part of our Penguin First Flights Debut Author program.. Below is the LibraryReads annotation:

“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.” —  Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Also among the debuts is the book Stephen Colbert and fellow Amazon victim Sherman Alexie recently urged people to buy, via Powell’s, rather than Amazon, California by Edan Lepucki (Hachette/Little, Brown, July 8; audio from Dreamscape).

“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.” — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Holds Alert: THE VACATIONERS

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The VactionersHolds are growing on the novel that is being called the smart beach read of the summer, The Vacationers by Emma Straub, (Penguin/Riverhead).

The NYT Book Review gives it a succinct rave in its “Short Takes” section, “Straub may be an heir to Laurie Colwin, crafting characters that are smart, addictively charming, delightfully misanthropic and fun,” ending with the ultimate praise, “When I turned the last page, I felt as I often do when a vacation is over: grateful for the trip and mourning its end.”

In a lead review, People magazine gave it its highest rating, 4 of 4 stars and called it a “delicious, deceptively traditional domestic drama … offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”

Not everyone is completely in love. Several reviewers, like the daily NYT‘s Janet Maslin, feel the book’s ending is too pat, but admit, like the U.K.’s Independent,  that, “The Vacationers is a holiday read in every way with a gently witty narrative that slips down as easily as a beachside cocktail.”

Most libraries ordered it modestly and are showing holds as high as 25 to 1.

THE STRAIN First Full Trailer

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Enough with the creepy teasers, below is the creepy first full trailer for the FX series, The Strain, based on the vampire novel trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The 10-episode premieres next month.

Tie-in:

The Strain Tie-inThe Strain: TV Tie-in Edition

Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Harper, June 24, 2014

Mass market; 9780062344618,  $9.99

Small Press Title Wins Women’s Prize for Fiction

Friday, June 6th, 2014

A Girl is a Half-Formed ThingPublished by a very small press in Great Britain (it was only their second book) and coming in September from Coffee House Press in the U.S., A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, the author’s debut novel, won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, announced in London last night.

The book, which the 37-year-old author wrote ten years ago, was initially rejected by agents and publishers who considered it too difficult to sell. The author put it away until she tried again with Galley Beggar Press, a start-up in the author’s home town of Norwich. It received glowing reviews that acknowledged the book’s unconventional language, described by the Guardian as “devoid of commas, a fractured, poetic, pre-conscious voice, pregnant with full stops and half rhymes … But it actually feels like language anyone could read and understand. Its subject matter is the real difficulty, the story of a young girl, struggling to deal with her older brother’s illness – a brain tumour – and the abuse she experiences.” It went on to win the newly-created Goldsmith’s Prize for Literature and was published in paperback by Macmillan/Faber & Faber.

McBride won over competition from several literary heavy weighs, including Donna Tartt, for The Goldfinch. She says she has “nearly finished” a second novel.

Colbert Gives Amazon the Finger

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

When Amazon began their fight with publisher Hachette, they may not have taken into account the fact that Stephen Colbert is published by Hachette.

Colbert explains the situation below and shows Bezos what he thinks of it.

Colbert brings on “fellow Amazon victim,” Sherman Alexie, who is also published by Hachette.

Since debut authors are most at risk from Amazon’s tactics, Alexie helps one of them by recommending viewers pre-order California, by Edan Lapucki, (Hachette/Little, Brown, July 8; audio from Dreamscape) via Powells.

9780316250818_1a106

The book has appeared earlier on summer reading lists, including the Pittsburgh Post Gazette‘s, with the following recommendation,

When the American economy collapses and anarchy reigns in the land, a couple from Los Angeles head for the hills where they have to forage for food and improvise shelter. They are quickly confronted by stark choices and must figure out whether reconnecting with other survivors would be worth the aggravation that comes with being a part of civilization.

Ripped From the Headlines

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The DirectorIf your readers want to understand how the internet has opened the government to security leaks, but can’t get their hands on Glenn Greenwald’s best seller, No Place to Hide, you can offer them a new novel released yesterday.

David Ignatius’s The Director(W.W. Norton), provides, according to NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani, “a harrowing sense of the vulnerability of governments and ordinary people alike to cybercrime, surveillance and digital warfare in this day when almost anything and everything can be stolen or destroyed with some malicious pieces of code and a couple clicks of a mouse.”

Ignatius knows the territory; he has covered the CIA for The Washington Post for over 25 years.

The Director also gets high praise from NPR reviewer Alan Cheuse, who says the author, in this his 9th novel,  provides “yet another deeply engaging spy thriller, rooted at that point where the intricacies of the intelligence community and the everyday world of civilians converge.”

Did fact inspire fiction? No, says Ignatius, in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, He began working on the novel months before the news about Snowden broke. But he seems happy with “ripped from the headlines” comments. As he reminds listeners, “Snowden, before he worked for the NSA, worked for the CIA.”

May GalleyChat – A Few (out of many) Good Books

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Ed Note: To help you sort through (or add) to your TBR piles, below is GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower’s picks of the titles brought up during our most recent GalleyChat. Join us for the next GalleyChat, Tuesday, June 3rd, 4 to 5 p.m., EDT — #ewgc.

May 6th’s chat was chock-full of so many appealing books we may all need to take a long vacation this summer so we can read! Chatters brought up over 80 books in a variety of genres and since there is no way I can summarize everything, two collections were created on Edelweiss — one for titles with e-galleys, including new titles by Philippa Gregory, David Mitchell, Ann Hood, and Sarah Waters. (remember to log in. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see the download buttons).

List for May 6 GalleyChat with E-Galleys

The other list includes titles which are not available as e-galleys (this is fluid, however, so you may find that some now have download buttons).

List for May 6 GalleyChat without E-Galleys 

Below are a few titles that rose to the top of the GalleyChat pile:

that night

One of my “go-to” books for library patrons who want a thriller is Chevy Stevens’ debut, Still Missing, and her most recent book, That Night (St. Martin’s, June) has been mentioned multiple times over the past few GalleyChats. This is a top-notch psychological thriller that was so relentless I had to stop reading a few times to catch my breath. If you would like an e-galley, Talia (Talia.Sherer@macmillan.com) will hook you up.

Based on the 23 “much love” recommendations on Edelweiss, JoJo Moyes’ quirky love story One Plus One (Penguin/Pamela Dorman, July) is destined to be a summer “must-read.” Arizona librarian and regular GalleyChatter Melissa Samora said Moyes is quickly becoming a favorite author and loves the characters she creates.

How can a reader resist comments such as “I wonder how to describe The Quick without giving away the surprise?” (Marie Andrienne) and the reply “Know exactly whatquick you mean; it is a puzzlement for me as well.” (Lucy Lockley)? So it seems there is nothing else to say about the Victorian thriller The Quick by Lauren Owen (Random House, June) except to add that three librarians said it was a very intriguing and surprising book. It is also included the the just-published New Republic‘s Summer Reading Guide which also alludes to twists and turns and warns, “Read it with the lights on.”

GalleyChat regular Janet Lockhart, Wake County (NC) collection development librarian, brought up The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills, a memoir that recounts Mills’ friendship with the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Janet said, “This is a fascinating peek into the life of a notoriously private person, done in a respectful and delicate manner.” Lee is currently in the news for reinstating her lawsuit against her hometown’s museum (and for finally approving the e-book release of To Kill a Mockingbird, which may bring interest in finding out she is “really” like.

I”m out of time but stay tuned for more amazing titles librarians have loved. Please friend me if you would like to keep in the loop of what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss.

LIFE OF CRIME Trailer

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

9780062206138The trailer for Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow), starring Jennifer Aniston, was released last week. The movie, which also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins, opens on August 29.

Director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel to The Rolling Stone last year, and expressed the hope 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 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).

Trailer, below

Hot in Cleveland

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

When Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, has a gut feeling about a title, she buys it in quantity, to be ahead of the demand curve. She lets the staff in on her thinking through her “Hot Title Thursdays” posts on the staff intranet, a clever way of ensuring the success of these titles, as staff in turn recommends them.

Conversely, Wendy relies on staff response when she just doesn’t see the potential in some heavily-promoted title (not a fan of The Night Circus when it was first announced, she asked staff to read galleys to tell her if she was nuts. They told her she was. She ordered more. Good thing; it went on to be a best seller).

We’ve asked Wendy to begin sharing her Hot Title Thursdays posts on EarlyWord. Below is the first, about a book that’s also been generating enthusiasm on GalleyChat. It’s coming out the end of July and is now available via NetGalley and Edelweiss (sounds perfect for the Memorial Day weekend).

Fortune HunterThe Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike)

Wanna find out how the 1% lived back in the day?

Here’s your chance!

If you don’t think “gossipy page turner” when you think of historical fiction, you clearly haven’t read Daisy Goodwin. Her previous title, a debut novel, The American Heiress also did very well for us.

I’m happy to report that her new novel, The Fortune Hunter, is even stronger, particularly in terms of pacing, and will again appeal to a wide range of readers, from romance to historical fiction, to royal watchers, to the Downton Abbey crowd, and even to people who love travel.

Part of the fascination is that Goodwin has based the novel on actual historical figures in Victorian-era Europe, including Victoria herself. The main characters are Elizabeth “Sisi” Winterhalter, the Empress of Austria, Bay Middleton (yes, a distant relative of the current Princess of Wales), the Earl of Spencer, as in Diana’s great-great-grandfather……..you get the idea. Sisi, a legendary beauty, travels Europe to alleviate her boredom. (The cocaine mixture administered by the Hungarian lady-in-waiting doesn’t hurt either.) She decides she wants handsome Bay Middleton, the best rider in England, to be her personal assistant for hunting season. But Middleton is in love with the heiress to the Lennox fortune—a young woman not wise at all in the ways of the world. It’s a love triangle, but also a clash of societal roles, classes and cultures. Fun, fun, fun. I read it in two sittings.

This one has a street date of July 29th. Get those holds in now! ENJOY!

THE SLAP To NBC

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The SlapThe controversial Australian novel, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, (Penguin, 2010), may become an NBC eight-episode series. Lisa Cholodenko has signed on to direct. As The Guardian comments, “This is ideal ground for Cholodenko [The Kids Are All Right, and the HBO series, Olive Kitteridge, now shooting ] whose films explore the tensions, hypocrisies and foibles of liberal middle-class life,”

A hit in both Australia and the U.K., where it became a reading group staple, the novel is about the shock waves set off after a man slaps someone else’s 3-year-old at a barbecue. The author told The Guardian in January, “I wanted to write about complacency, the fact that Australia at the turn of the century had become one of the wealthiest and most prosperous nations on the planet. We had become richer, we had become fatter, but it also seemed that we had become less generous and less egalitarian because of this prosperity.” The same could be said of the U.S.

Below is the trailer for the Australian version:

Food, France, Mirren

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Below, yet another attempt to try to make up for that creepy trailer we posted earlier, something to warm the heart and perhaps the stomach, the trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey, based on Richard C. Morais’s novel about the rivalry between the owners of two restaurants that are just 100 feet away from each other in southern France. Helen Mirren appears to be at her haughty best (even with a rather uneven French accent), and director Lasse Hallström, (Chocolat), returns to the familiar ground of food and France.

The book is described on Oprah.com’s feature, “Books To Read Before The Summer Blockbuster Movies Come Out“:

In Richard C. Morais’ food-centric world, nights are as “black as a boudin noir”; the sun sets like “a mango sorbet dripping over the horizon.” If you love to eat—particularly French or Indian food—you’ll be right at home in that world, tagging along with Hassan Haji and his family, as they taste their way from India to England to rural France. There, they open Maison Mumbai and engage in a culinary culture war with a snooty French madame who runs the elegant, Michelin-starred restaurant across the street. The film version (produced by none other than Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Juliet Blake) delivers lush alpine landscapes and Helen Mirren as the prickly epicurean. But enjoying the fantastical nature of the dishes—for example, the roasted pigeon—takes a little imagination. Devour all 200-odd pages in one sitting.

Tie-in:

The Hundred Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey 
Richard C. Morais
S&S/Scribner
July 8, 2014
9781476765853, 1476765855
Paperback / softback
$15.00 US / $17.99 Can.

Another Week, Another Creepy Teaser for THE STRAIN

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The creepy teasers have been piling up for The Strain, the 10-episode TV series based on the vampire novel trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The latest comes with a difference, a definite premiere date, July 13.

We’ll hold off on grossing you out further until the actual trailer arrives. Those with strong stomachs can watch all the teasers on The Strain’s official Web page.

Tie-in:

The Strain Tie-inThe Strain: TV Tie-in Edition

Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Harper, June 24, 2014

Mass market; 9780062344618,  $9.99

YELLOW BIRDS Closer to Screen

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Yellow BirdsThe leads have been cast for Kevin Powers’ 2012 National Book Award finalistThe Yellow Birds, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike Press; Hachette Audio). Benedict Cumberbatch will play army Sergeant Sterling, who leads a platoon in Iraq. Will Poulter and Tye Seridan will play two Privates he takes under his wing (Entertainment Weekly).

David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) is set to write and direct.

When the book, a debut, was published, it received a great deal of press attention, including cover stories in both Parade magazine and the New York Times Book Review.

Powers published a book of poetry last month, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, (Hachette/Little, Brown).

One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time

Monday, May 19th, 2014

I Remember YouCalling a new book “One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time” is high praise. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s influential reviewer Laura DeMarco applies it to a novel by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir, saying, “I have read a lot of horror fiction, and a lot of psychological suspense books, and I Remember You, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, also in trade pbk, both, March 25), ranks among the scariest, right up there with the best of Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s that good. And that scary. And, ultimately, that moving.”

Sigurdardottir, known for her mysteries, makes a departure in this standalone, which, says DeMarco, “chills with sounds and smells and shadows, not blood.”

DeMarco mentions that the covers of the American and U.K. editions were changed from the original, which Icelanic fans complained was too terrifying. Link here to see it on the Candian version (Icelanders must be sensitive).

NATCHEZ BURNING is #2

Monday, May 12th, 2014

9780062311078_1be7f.jpgThe book we called “THE Title You Need to Know” for the last week of April, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio), debuts at #2 on this week’s New York Times Fiction best seller list and at #5 on the USA Today list, where is is just below Veronica Roth’s Divergent.

It’s been five years since Iles’s most recent book, The Devil’s Punchbowl. He published 13 thrillers in rapid succession and was on track to release Natchez Burning in 2011, when twin tragedies changed that plan. He nearly died in a car accident, losing part of his right leg, and then his father died, making him realize, as he tells the Greenville S.C. newspaper, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in this book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”

He ultimately decided to make Natchez Burning the first in a trilogy. On his Web site, Iles says, “I’m working like a madman to finish The Bone Tree, volume 2 of the trilogy.”