Editor’s Note: With this column, our “GalleyChatter” Robin Beerbower marks her first anniversary writing the column. We appreciate her tenacity in wrangling so many titles from each of our monthly chats (a dazzling 92 books during the March 3 chat) down to several to move to the top of your TBR lists (if you don’t find something here, Robin’s compiled the full list into an Edelweiss collection).
GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one is on April 7, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT. Please join us (details here).
Of course librarians are drawn to books that feature fellow colleagues and the debut novel by Erika Swyler, Book of Speculation (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, June), has already received high praise from GalleyChatters. It features newly unemployed librarian Simon Watson who is working on saving his family house from falling into the sea and also trying to save his sister, who seems to destined to fall under a curse set by their female ancestors. Janet Lockhart (Wake County Public Libraries) and I believe that this fascinating and compelling story with touches of myth and magic is perfect for fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and the more recent Magical Lies by Greer McAllister.
It’s always fun to predict what book smart beach goers will be carrying in their totes come summer and Jennifer Dayton (Darien, CT, Library) thinks it will be the tale of a man’s obsessive love for a free-spirited woman, Girl in the Moonlight, Charles Dubow (HarperCollins/Morrow, May). Jennifer said this not-so-guilty pleasure “is a wonderful take on Brideshead Revisisted.” [Note: the cover doesn’t render well in this thumbnail size. Click on it to see a larger version]
St. Charles Parish Library’s (LA) Vicki Nesting‘s enthusiasm for Anna Freeman’s The Fair Fight (Penguin/Riverhead, April) had many of us scrambling to download the DRC from Edelweiss. This novel set in 18th century England’s world of female boxers is already Vicki’s favorite historical novel of the year because, “From the backyard boxing rings to the disturbing long-term effects of smallpox, readers will be swept up in Freeman’s compellingly authentic, not-to-be-missed novel.”
Jamie Attenberg’s The Middlesteins landed on many “best of” lists in 2013, and her follow-up novel, Saint Mazie (Hachette/Grand Centra, June), has popped up in the last couple of GalleyChat discussions. Based on a real-life story of a woman in New York City, this novel of a theatre owner’s big-hearted move to open her establishment to help the needy during the Depression garnered rave reviews by Kansas City (MO) Library’s Kaite Stover, who said this epistolary novel has a “feisty female lead, quick pace, and is cinematic in scope. Would make a great flick.”
In J. Ryan Stradel’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest (Penguin/Pamela Dorman, July), a superstar chef’s rise to fame is told in a collection of short stories told from various viewpoints. Rich in unique characters and with enticing food descriptions, this is one to watch and would make a great book club choice. Even though the tone is a little different, try this for those who loved Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge. [Note: this is one of the upcoming titles in the Penguin Debut Authors program. Join here]
Judging from the enthusiastic GalleyChatter raves for The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (Hachette/Grand Central, April), this charming novel is sure to be a hit, especially for Will and Kate watchers. Leslie Stokes of Heard Co. Public Library in Franklin, GA, said the authors “show that in today’s world of paparazzi, TMZ, and Twitter, dating a prince may not necessarily be a fairytale. Believable new adult romance that avoids the overabundance of angst present in so many teen dramas.”
This month’s nonfiction choice is The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital, Alexandra Robbins (Workman, May), a fascinating and somewhat alarming examination of the contemporary nursing profession. Carol Kubala (retired librarian, Saxton B. Little Free Library, CT) gave it five stars on Good Reads, saying “Robbins not only shows, she tells in this revealing expose of the modern day state of nursing. It is an eye-opener not to be missed.”
GalleyChatters are also anticipating JoJo Moyes’ After You, the sequel to Me Before You, announced in late February. Sorry to say there is no DRC or print ARC available but Penguin’s library marketing rep said they are working on print ARCs for ALA annual. Is there any better reason to attend?
Please join us for our next spirited GalleyChat discussion on April 7, and “friend me” on Edelweiss to see what’s on my TBR pile.