Editor’s Note: We’re delighted to welcome Robin Beerbower as the regular “GalleyChatter” columnist for EarlyWord. Robin’s day job is as the readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. She has been a supporter of GalleyChat from its inception, calling those discussions “pure gold for selectors and readers advisors.” She’s enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication and tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her the local authority on new books. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). She plans to write regular roundups on the titles she discovers through the monthly GalleyChats, with regular updates on books to watch for.
Thanks to everyone on GalleyChat for their warm reception about my contributions to EarlyWord, and thanks to Nora for giving me this opportunity. The chats are fast and furious with tweets flying everywhere. I’ll do my best to summarize each chat (for a full transcript, check our board on Storify).
GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one is on April 1. Please join us (details here).
Below are the titles that rose to the top of the TBR lists as we chatted last week. If you haven’t received print galleys of these titles, check for e-galleys on NetGalley and Edelweiss.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, May 2014; Audio exclusive from MidWest Tape), a historical novel set in occupied France during WWII, received high praise from a couple of chatters including Susan Balla, who called it “A once-in-a-lifetime book.” The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin, April 2014), a moving novel set in a small island bookstore, also received an outpouring of love from multiple chatters. Vicki Nesting said she wanted to reread it as soon as she finished, and it has received “Much Love” from 47 peers on Edelweiss. Scroll through those reviews; you’ll be convinced (UPDATE: it’s the #1 title on the just released April LibraryReads list). Selectors, stock up on this one.
Kristi Chadwick said the intriguing novel set in a beehive, The Bees by Laline Paull (HC/Ecco, May 2014), was amazing, and during the January chat, Wilda Williams from Library Journal called it “a Watership Down for insects.”
Two science fiction/fantasy books received several mentions. The e-galley of Jeff VanderMeer’s second book in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority (Macmillan/FSG, May 2014), was well received by Megan McArdle, who loved the first book, Annihilation. The Macmillan rep reported the good news that the third book, Acceptance, will be released next September. Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor (Tor, April 2014) was mentioned by multiple members with Jane Jorgenson saying it was the best fantasy she’s read in years. Addison also writes the Doctrine of Labyrinth series as Sarah Monnette.
Suspense thrillers were popular during the exchange with the third in the Keye Street series, Don’t Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams (RH/Bantam, July, 2014), at the top of the list. Jane Jorgenson said ”It’s got good, claustrophobic, small-town feel – kind of reminds me of the mood of True Detective (love).” This has been a popular readalike series for Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner fans. Chevy Stevens’That Night and Chelsea Cain’s departure from the Sheridan/Lowell series, One Kick,(Simon & Schuster, August 2014) received nods from fans of their earlier books.
My personal favorite of the past month was Robin Black’s Life Drawing (RH, July 2014), a gorgeously written suspenseful study of marriage and betrayal. Not exactly a Gone Girl readalike but just as compelling.
If you read any of these mentioned books, please let us know what you enjoyed by either entering your comments below or in Edelweiss.