Archive for the ‘GalleyChat’ Category

GalleyChat, TODAY, Tues. May 2

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on Tues., June 6 – 4 to 5 p.m. ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

New Crime & Nonfiction Watchlist

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Editors Note: Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from this month’s chat below.

Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
May 2, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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GalleyChat discussions are always fast and furious. While it’s a challenge to keep up with the feed, it’s worth it to hear about forthcoming titles librarians are eager to share. April’s chat was especially spirited with nonfiction and crime titles leading the way.

Reality Reading

Unlike reality television, which is generally anything but authentic, readers can count on the nonfiction recommended by GalleyChatters as the real thing.

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAs an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and the director of its world-famous Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson knows his outer space science. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry  (Norton, May) will appeal to readers who, according to Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, “… don’t think they like science and just need the right book to open up their horizons.” He also says, “Tyson does a great job using humor and common sense in giving us an overview of difficult topics. More importantly he leaves out the advanced math that usually accompanies books like these making this a great choice for people who would like to know more but are afraid they cannot grasp these ideas.” This is also a LibraryReads choice for May.

Morningstar: GROWING UP WITH BOOKSFor those of us who discovered the love of reading at an early age, Ann Hood’s short memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books (Norton, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), zoomed right into our hearts and readers will scurry to find many of the lost gems listed in this book (I’ll be searching for a copy of Robert Rimmer’s The Harrad Experiment). Marika Zemke, Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI) says, “Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She’s the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She’s the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She’s the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of the written word will savor, discuss and debate.”

Arresting Thrillers

Gone to DustMatt Goldman, former writer for Seinfeld and a stand-up comedian, has created an intriguing new character in Gone to Dust (Macmillan/Forge, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Set in Minneapolis and introducing Nils Shapiro, a smart and thoughtful private eye, this new series is a cross between Lee Child and Sue Grafton. Robin Nesbitt, readers’ advisor at Metropolis Columbus (OH) Library, says, “What a great read! Love Nils and hope he comes back for more mysteries! Well written, with engaging characters, mystery readers are in for a real treat.” We predict a summer hit, so have lots of copies on hand for mystery lovers.

The ForceFor grittier police action, three participants raved about The Force by Don Winslow (HarperCollins/William Morrow, June). Janet Lockhart, collection development librarian for Wake Co (NC) calls it “addictive and fast-paced,” recommended for fans of Dennis Lehane and television shows like The Wire. She adds, “NYPD Detective Denny Malone’s mission is to be a good cop but that doesn’t mean he follows the letter of the law. You’ll root for this hero, flawed at the Shakespearean level, as the choices he makes affect his family, his squad, and his soul. It’s set in a police world so convincingly detailed that you may find yourself reaching for your badge and bullet proof vest.”

The Child, BartonInvestigative journalist Kate Waters first appeared in Fiona Barton’s surprise bestseller, The Widow, and returns in The Child (PRH/Berkley, June) to investigate the discovery of a baby’s skeleton at a construction site. Three chatters found it engrossing, including Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library who says, “Three women are brought together as each, for her own reasons, tries to determine who the child is with irrevocable results for each. As inconsistencies and contradictions begin to pile up, Kate, Emma, and Angela dig further into the past and find life changing, but heart breaking, answers.”

He Said, She SaidErin Kelly wrote twisting psychological fiction long before Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl burst upon the scene, and her next book, He Said/She Said  (Macmillan/Minotaur, June), will no doubt be popular with patrons. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) loves it, saying, “In a year of excellent psychological fiction, this is an absolute standout. Using solar eclipses as metaphor – and actual plot device! – Kelly immerses us into a relationship between a young couple and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Believable characters, alternating points of view, and a feeling of simmering dread highlight this sexy smart novel.”

See What I Have Done, Schmidt“Lizzie Borden took an ax/And gave her mother forth whacks/When saw what she had done/She gave her father forty-one.” But did she really? See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Ingram Publishing Services/Atlantic Monthly Press, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20) gives a different and creepy view of the incident. Jen Dayton was entranced, saying, “I have always had a morbid fascination with Lizzie Borden and this book only ended up throwing gasoline on that bonfire. Told in the alternating voices of Lizzie, her sister Emma, their Irish maid Bridget and drifter Benjamin, author Sarah Schmidt takes a story we all think we know and spins it into something new and fresh and just as terrifying as you remember.”

Palate Cleanser

Little French Bistro, Nina GeorgeAfter all of that murder and mayhem, a sweet book like Nina George’s Little French Bistro (PRH/Crown, June) is the perfect antidote. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library enthuses, “Sixty-year-old Marianne has been reduced to utter hopelessness by her loveless marriage to domineering Lothar. After surviving a suicide attempt she finds herself drawn to Kerdruc in Brittany where a chance encounter lands her a job cooking at bistro An Mor. I have never been to Brittany, but Nina George made me feel that I could smell the salt air, see the little bistro, and eavesdrop as her vividly drawn characters converse. A quiet charmer.”

If you haven’t yet participated in the fun, please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, May 2, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.

GalleyChat, Tues. May 2

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

There’s some random tweets in the GalleyChat widget below. The hashtag ended up trending, so some others joined in. We can’t delete those tweets, but will soon post a Storify version, minus the random tweets.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tuesday, May 2, 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails!)

More info on how to join here.

GALLEYCHATTER, Page-Turners for Summer Totes

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from last month’s chat below.

Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, tomorrow, Tuesday,
April 4, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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Summer is here, at least in publishing land, and GalleyChatters recommend many new titles that will be perfect for summertime readers. Most are available as DRCs from Edelweiss, those available only from NetGalley are noted.

Nail-Biting Thrillers

break-downTopping many lists this month (including mine) was the perfect domestic thriller, The Breakdown by B. A. Paris (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, July; DRC on NetGalleyLibraryReads deadline: May 20). Cass’s brewing personal breakdown is not only the result of her early onset dementia symptoms but also guilt over bypassing a car breakdown on a rainy night only to discover later the occupant was murdered. This “tilt-a-whirl” of a plot will keep readers guessing. Andrienne Cruz says it’s “maddingly awesome.” Jennifer Winberry adds, “High tension and an urgency to the narrative keeps pages turning to the shocking conclusion in this second novel from the author of Behind Closed Doors.” This is perfect for readers who liked A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife and Clare Mackintosh’s thrillers.

9780062473615_b8d28With its lighter tone than most recent thrillers, readers who can’t get enough of Mary Higgins Clark will enjoy Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know, Dear (HarperCollins/Morrow, May). Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) gave it a nice shout out, saying, “A freak accident that injures her mother and grandmother brings Vanessa back to her childhood home and straight into a family mystery. Kidnapping, deception and revenge all have a place in this novel. Oh, and dolls. Lifelike porcelain dolls. Made with real hair and made to resemble their owners. This is creepy but not over the top.”

final-girslWith a cover blurb from Stephen King, “The first great thriller of 2017 is here,” the novel Final Girls by Riley Sager (PRH/Dutton, July; LibraryReads deadline: May 20), has a lot to live up to, but GalleyChatters are also enthusiastic, saying this suspense thriller with a bit of horror will appeal to those who like Karin Slaughter and Chevy Stevens. Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City (CA) Library said, “Slow buildup and picks up fast, this is a satisfying take on the slasher movies that were popular in the 90s with a twist that will astound.”

9781250099778_2eb71Readers who are biting their nails waiting for the next Diana Gabaldon title may temporarily quench their longing by reading The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack (Macmillan/Picador, June; LibraryReads deadline: April 20). With dual timelines, one present and one ancient, this book involving antiquities, ancient libraries, librarians, tarot cards, suspense, and a mysterious love interest is perfect beach reading.

Family Dysfunction

9780307959577_b30abJ. Courtney Sullivan’s previous books, Maine and The Engagements, were popular, and early praise indicates Saints for All Occasions (PRH/Knopf, May) could be another heart-tugging winner. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, didn’t want it to end and admits she still thinks about it and continues, “Families and the secrets they keep is what this book is all about. When an untimely death brings the sisters together for the first time in many years, will the closely guarded and potentially life altering secrets come to light? I loved this novel about how families make do with what they are given and learn to love in spite of it.”

9781501157783_41f0dOne of the first books to receive a solid entry on my best of 2017 list is Laura McBride’s ‘Round Midnight (S&S/Touchstone, May), a novel set in Las Vegas with multiple points-of-view. Janet Lockhart says it best, “Spanning six decades, against the transformation of Las Vegas from a dusty desert town into a glittering tourist mecca, this is the tale of four women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.  A big-hearted story with small and large emotional payoffs, it is recommended for fans of Anna Quindlen, Fredrik Backman, and Ann Patchett.” I would add Wally Lamb readers to Janet’s list.

Novel Nonfiction

9780062664327_c2581One of my favorite travel narrative/memoir combos of 2017 is Tim Bauerschmidt’s Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living (HarperCollins/HarperOne, May). Heather Bistyga, ILL/Periodicals Librarian from Anderson, SC, also loved it, “Driving Miss Norma is the heartwarming story of a 90-year-old woman who was brave enough to say ‘no’ to medical treatment for cancer, and the family brave enough to take her on the road for the adventure of a lifetime before she was able to die with dignity. I laughed and cried with Tim, Ramie, Miss Norma and Ringo [the family dog] on their trip around the country, and I hope to have the courage to support my loved ones as Norma’s family supported her.” Yes, you may ugly cry but you won’t forget Norma.

9781250080547_b4d09-2Finally, a word to the wise, stock up on The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Macmillan/Flatiron; May), It is a readers’ advisors’ dream. An intimate memoir, it’s a compelling and page-turning true crime that legal thriller fans will love. If that isn’t enough, it is also beautifully written. Andrienne Cruz said it was “harrowing – devastating, resolute, meticulous, gut-wrenching and masterful.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, April 4, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.

YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues., March 21

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

This edition of YA GalleyChat has ended. Read the transcript, below.

Join us for the next chat, Tues. April 19, 4 to 5 pm.(3:30 for virtual cocktails) to discuss Young Adult and Middle Grade galleys.

GalleyChat, Tues. March 7

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

This chat has ended. Join us for the next one on Tuesday, April 4, from 4 to 5 pm, ET. Details here.

GALLEYCHATTERS Spring into Summer

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Every month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite ARCs. Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from the latest chat below.

Some of these titles can still be nominated for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
March 7, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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Spring titles were still galvanizing librarians during the February chat, but several May titles also got attention. Most of these are available as Digital ARCs. Look for them on Edelweiss or NetGalley.

If you need even more titles to choose from, check our compilation of all 160 titles mentioned here as well as a transcript of the chat.

Nonfiction for Novel Lovers

Nonfiction stories where the pages almost turn themselves are always popular with patrons and two good contenders were offered in February’s GalleyChat.

Killers of the Flower MoonThe Lost City of Z by David Grann was a big success as a book and is shaping up to be at least as successful in the movie version, set to open April 24 in the US.  He has another winner on his hands with another true story, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday, April). Movie rights to it were sold last year in a bidding war called by Deadline, “the biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”  The book is getting “much love” from 24 Edelweiss peers. Collection development librarian P.J. Gardiner,  Wake County (NC) Public Libraries, agrees, saying, “Why are so many Osage Native Americans dying in Oklahoma? It is the 1920s in rich oil country and local law enforcement cannot explain why some of the country’s most wealthy residents are dying at alarming rates and from an array of causes. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the newly created FBI, sends Tom White to investigate. What he finds is a tangled mess of racism, swindling, and lots of people willing to look the other way.”

Radium GirlsReaders who hunger for more true history like Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly) will want to read Kate Moore’s Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (Sourcebooks, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), the story of women during WWI working the coveted jobs of painting clock-faces only to start dying from radium poisoning. Nicole Steeves, Fox River Grove (IL) Library director said the elements are perfect for readers’ advisory (readable non-fiction, women’s stories, and science writing) and would also recommend it to teens. She added, “It is also is a timely example of good research and careful attribution, relevant to librarians’ concerns about news literacy.”

Classic Mystery Redux

Magpie MurdersLibrarians are crazy about Anthony Horowitz’s The Magpie Murders (Harper, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), a cleverly assembled homage to classic country house whodunnits. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library says, “Mystery readers are in for a treat. We get not only one mystery to solve, but two as we get a book within a book; each having its own story. Each mystery was very well done with good characters and plenty of red herrings which kept me guessing until the end. A fun story for fans of locked room mysteries in the style of Agatha Christie.” Another librarian’s crystal ball predicts this could be the break-out hit of the summer.

Domestic Novels

Stars Are FireIt’s been four long years since readers have had a new novel by Anita Shreve and we are excited that The Stars are Fire (PRH/Knopf, April) is worth the wait. Based on Maine’s Great Fires of 1947, a young mother and her children have to start over after the death of her husband. Jennifer Dayton from Darien Library was smitten saying, “When the fire destroys everything that Grace has in the world, she is forced to reinvent her life and the lives of her children. And it is just when things look at their rosiest that her world is upended again. This story will have you rooting for Grace and her happiness long after you turn the last page.”

I Found YouReaders who have read all of Liane Moriarty’s novels will want to try Lisa Jewell’s  I Found You (S&S/Atria, April). Set in a seaside English town, a single mother, a man with amnesia, and an abandoned wife all collide in a nail-biting climax. Readers of Clare Macintosh’s I Let You Go and Catherine McKenzie’s Fractured will enjoy the suspense and good character development.

Debuts

SycamoreGalleyChatters love to read and promote good debuts and Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor (Harper, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), set in the sizzling mid-state desert of Arizona, is an easy one to recommend to anyone who wants an atmospheric coming-of-age novel. Kelly Currie from Delphi Public Library said “With a multitude of fully developed characters, multiple points of view, and a suspense-laden plot, Sycamore offers something to satisfy every reader. You will find humor and sorrow aplenty in this very well written story. “

Ginny MoonAt least three GalleyChatters raved about the intriguing new novel Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig (HarperCollins/Park Row Books, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), a moving story of a 14-year-old autistic teen who although recently adopted by a loving family, is desperate to return to her violence ridden life with her birth mother. Janet Lockhart was enthusiastic about this saying,  “Ginny Moon has a mission: to find her Baby Doll and make sure she is safe. Her problem? No one understands Ginny’s concern is for an actual, not an imaginary child. Ludwig has created a character whose voice leaps off the page. By turns engaging and infuriating, she is always true to herself — and to Baby Doll.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, March 7, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

YA/MG GalleyChat, February

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Below is the Storied version of yesterday’s chat.

Join us for the next one on Tues. March 21, 4 to 5 pm, Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

GalleyChat, Tues. Feb. 7

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Add to your TBR pile with the recommendations from the February GalleyChat, below.

Join us for next month’s chat on Tuesday, March 7, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails), #ewgc.

GalleyChatters’ Spring and Summer Recommendations

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our latest chat below.

Some of these titles can still be nominated for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, today,
Feb. 3, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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For those snug at home staring at the snow, January’s recommendations will be just the ticket for taking you away from the dreary days. If you’ve exhausted Netflix, practice a little binge-reading on any of the following forthcoming titles.

Check here for a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat.

Novel History

The Scribe of Siena

Time travel fans will enjoy The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (S&S/Touchstone, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), an absorbing combination of contemporary and historical fiction. Neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato is in Italy to take care of her brother’s estate but finds herself in 14th century Siena on the eve of the Black Plague investigating a 700-year-old conspiracy. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, says this “smartly written novel” is a “wonderful travel log to life in 14th century. I loved this total immersion into life in Renaissance era Siena.”

A Twist in TimeIn the first book of the Kendra Donovan series, Murder in Time, the former FBI agent was transported from the modern times to an English castle in 1815 to find a killer. In the follow-up, Twist in Time (Norton/Pegasus, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20), Julie McElwain continues Kendra’s perilous adventures after she fails to return to the 21st century. Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library said of the sequel, “Her sponsor’s nephew Alec is under suspicion in the stabbing death of his former mistress so Kendra and the Duke rush to London. Once again McElwain blends history, a touch of fantasy, and procedural to fun and intriguing effect.”

The Women in the CastleGathering “much love” votes on Edelweiss far in advance of its pub date at the end of March is Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle (HC/William Morrow). One of those votes come from Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis (TX) Community Library who says in her review, “This book looks at Nazi Germany through the eyes of a special set of victims, the widows of three German men who were executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. After the war, the women band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and to try to keep each other going. It is a guidebook on the human side of war where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.”

For Your Binge-Reading Pleasure

9781501139239_3ebc7In novels filled with tangled relationships Taylor Jenkins Reid has been inching her way into readers’ hearts. Her next book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (S&S/Atria, June; LibraryReads deadline: April 20) is poised to be a winner. Tracy Babiasz, acquisitions manager for Chapel Hill Library, NC, says, “Former Hollywood A-lister Evelyn Hugo is finally going public with the story of her seven husbands, ready to reveal the love of her life, so she calls in a journalist to write her coveted biography…but the answer’s going to surprise everyone! This one left me thinking about what truly makes a family.” Jenna Friebel, materials selection librarian from Oak Park (IL) Public Library, adds, “I didn’t think Taylor Jenkins Reid could outdo her last several amazing books, but oh she did! I truly hopes this becomes THE beach read of summer 2017!”

9781476759944_97f27Another author developing a dedicated following is Lucinda Riley, the Irish author of the Seven Sisters series. The Shadow Sister (S&S/Atria, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20), the sequel to The Seven Sisters (a favorite of GalleyChatters in April of 2015) and The Storm Sister, continues the journeys of the siblings in their world-wide quest to discover their heritages. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library says she is becoming a fan of these epic dual timeline stories and recommends it for readers of Susanna Kearsley, Kate Morton, and Lauren Willig.

9780062271631_76794One of the joys of an unread mystery series is starting with the first entry and plowing through all of the titles not only for plot, but also character development. Those lucky people who haven’t yet discovered Deborah Crombie’s series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James are in for such a treat. Of the 17th title in the series, Garden of Lamentations (HarperCollins/Morrow, February), Beth Mills from New Rochelle Public Library said in “this compelling new story,  Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery.”

Debut Novel

9781941040560_7e248GalleyChatters love an off-center novel and it’s an added bonus if it’s humorous and tender. Regular GalleyChat contributor Cynthia Baskin says Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (Norton/Tin House, March) is such a book, “Narrated by 12-year-old Elvis, Anne Hartnett’s debut novel is about grief, mental illness, and family bonds. A quirky family deals with the loss of its sleep-swimming matriarch with equal parts drama and comedy. Rabbit Cake is engrossing, compelling, and lovely, and I enjoyed every bit of it!”

Never Too Late For a Resolution…

9781492633556_46f3aIt’s never too late to resolve to improve your life and reading Eve Shaub’s Year of No Clutter: A Memoir (Sourcebooks, March) might be just the ticket for spring cleaning inspiration. Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City Library says, “If you’ve read most if not all of the books that talk about getting rid of stuff, add this to your list. The author takes you to her realm and you stay there like the very clutter she tries to get rid of.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, February 7, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

YA/MG GalleyChat, Tues. Jan. 17

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

GalleyChat, Tues. Jan. 3

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

This month’s GalleyChat has ended. Read the transcript below and please join us for the next episode on Tuesday, Feb. 7th – 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.

GalleyChatter, Signs of Spring

Friday, December 30th, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our latest chat below.

Some of these titles can still be nominated for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
Jan. 3, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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GalleyChatters’ favorite season is upon us, late winter and early spring, when publishers take advantage of a quiet time to introduce new or under-the-radar talent.

It’s a good time to introduce more people to our get-togethers, so we’re asking regular GalleyChatters to “Bring a Pal” to Tuesday’s session and expose them to the wonderful world of advance reading. We know they will thank you.

Below are some highlights of the December chat. Check here for a list of all titles that came up.

Hearts and Minds

9780399162107_7f864Alex George’s debut novel, A Good American, was well loved by many and his next book, Setting Free the Kites (PRH/Putnam, February) is just as impressive. Set in a small town in Maine during the mid-1970s, this moving story of a beautiful friendship between two middle school boys will have you emptying the tissue box as you read late into the night. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library said, “This is the perfect coming of age story and one that is destined to be placed on the shelf with To Kill a Mockingbird and Stand by Me.” [NOTE: Check out EarlyWord’s recent chat with the author here.]

9780062356260_bd19cChosen for over fifty “One Book, One Read” programs, Orphan Train was a breakout hit for Christina Baker Kline. Her next book, A Piece of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow, February), a novel based on the relationship between Andrew Wyeth and his inspiration for “Christina’s World” is destined by be as popular. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, was smitten saying, “Christina Olson is probably one of the most iconic women of the 20th century who we literally know nothing about. You will come to love and admire the woman who graces one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century.”

9780062469687_ecca3One of GalleyChat’s most prolific readers, Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City Library, is a fan of the coming-of-age novel Hearts of Men, by Nikolas Butler (HarperCollins/Ecco, Feburary).  Calling it a “memorable book,” Andrienne also says, “This story is about sons, about values, about what it is to be a good man. It follows the lives of Nelson and Jonathan, the former bullied and friendless; the latter a popular all-American kid from a wealthy family. Their friendship is chronicled amidst a backdrop of growing up, going to war, falling in love, and choosing what men normally hold dear to their hearts.”

Thriller Time

9781101988299_bbe9bGalleyChatters loved Clare Mackintosh’s breakout psychological suspense title I Let You Go, and we’re pleased to report her followup, I See You (PRH/Berkley, February) is just as readable. Set in London, Zoe Walker tries to get help from law enforcement after she realizes advertisements with her face and others have become crime victims. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) loved it, saying, “This taut thriller has one surprise after another until at last, it seems all has been uncovered…or has it? A shocking last revelation will have readers turning back to see what clues were missed.”

And the Winners Might Be…

We polished our crystal balls and two titles emerged that are contenders for the year’s literary awards.

9780735212176_8834cTwo GalleyChatters raved about Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (PRH/Riverhead, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20) a gorgeously written story about immigration, and judging from the Edelweiss “much love” response, they aren’t alone. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) sums it up, “A touch of magical realism, immigrant narrative, beautiful imagery.” Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library echoed Gregg saying, “It is a beautifully written, unique book about what we do to protect ourselves, what we do to connect with others, and how we as human beings move through time and space. This work is truly a masterpiece.”

9780812989403_3b3daElizabeth Strout has a knack for creating unforgettable characters, such as Olive Kittredge and Lucy Barton, and her newest novel, Anything is Possible (PRH/Random House, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20) is already accumulating accolades. Janet Lockhart of Wake County Public Libraries (NC) has already called this a favorite of 2017 and continues, “The residents of Lucy Barton’s hometown get their say in the latest book from the author of Olive Kittredge. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different person and they leap off the page in all their flawed glory. Strout’s compassion for her characters permeates the book.”

Debut Fiction

9781616204747_2a472New galleychatter Lisa Hollander, readers’ services librarian from Syosset Public Library, NY, recommends The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister (Workman/Algonquin, January), saying it was a “romantic comedy, which is strange when you think that the topic is a man grieving over his wife dying young. It was a nice distraction from real life.  Highly recommend.”

A Book about Books

9780062412317_31a41Librarians adore books about books and so we noticed when Joe Jones of Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) enthused about Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History, Rebecca Romney, J. P. Romney (HarperCollins/Harper, February). Joe recommends this for readers who say they don’t like nonfiction and also said, “Sometimes we get lucky and find an author who can not only educate us, but also entertain us as well. Rebecca and J.P. had me laughing as I learned things I had never knew before about Shakespeare, Johannes Gutenberg, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Franklin just to name a few of the characters included in these pages. “

Please join us for the first GalleyChat of the new year, on Tuesday, January 2, 4:00 (ET), and remember to bring friends and please introduce them during  the virtual pre-chat virtual cocktails which begins at 3:30.

GalleyChat, Tues. Dec. 6

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Read the transcript below.

Join us for the first chat of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails). #ewgc

GalleyChatter: New Year’s Titles to Read Now

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower, rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our latest chat, to add to your TBR pile.

If you fall in love with any of these titles, be sure to nominate them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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Below are highlights of some of the many titles recommended during the most recent GalleyChat. As always, GalleyChatters buzzed a dizzying array of titles. Take a look at the full list of here.

Distinctive Women

9780735220683_fcd46Even though it’s not due to be published until May, librarians are already professing their love for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman, May 9; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), the story of a socially awkward and lonely 30-year-old woman in Scotland who finds unexpected companionship. Cheryl Hill, West Linn Library (OR) reference librarian, said, “Eleanor’s quirks and misunderstanding of certain human behaviors make for some very funny scenes. Her journey of self-discovery makes for a totally compelling novel that I could not put down. I look forward to the publication of this book so I can tell all my friends and family to read it.”

9781250113320_1e13aAnother debut novel featuring an interesting woman is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, January; link is to NetGalley DRC). On New Year’s Eve in 1984, Lillian walks to a dinner date but ends up strolling the length of Manhattan while reflecting back on her life as a highly-paid advertising executive, wife, and mother. Dana Rubin of New York Library’s Adult Services Department and lifelong New Yorker said, “I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the New York of the 1980s with Lillian Boxfish. I would love to have encountered her in real life, and listened to her stories. I love that she had such a full life, and lived it on her terms.”

More Women Worth Meeting

9780062413567_ad6a1Fans of Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret will flock to Nicola Moriarty’s The Fifth Letter (HarperCollins/Morrow, January), not just because the authors have the same last name (they are sisters), but because Nicola has her own equally distinctive voice. Four lifelong friends meet for an overdue getaway and during a drunken evening everyone writes an anonymous confessional letter, but someone writes an extra letter spewing hatred towards a fellow friend. Its discovery will test their bonds. I raced through the pages to find out who wrote the letter and how the multiple twists were resolved.

9780373789252_45a18Kristan Higgins transitioned from writing romance to creating complex women’s relationships with If You Only Knew. She continues the genre in On Second Thought (HC/HQN Books, January), the story of two sisters reuniting after a spouse’s death and a break-up. Jane Jorgenson loved it, saying, “Being there for one another as adults, something they’ve never done before, makes each of the women re-examine their lives and the choices they’ve made. As always Higgins delivers an emotional read and one that flows naturally from start to finish.” Also giving it a shout out is Stephanie Chase Hillsboro PL (OR) library director: “Funny, charming, and a tear-jerker, all rolled up into one. Fans of early Jennifer Weiner will love.”

Novel History

9781616205812_3f761Based on a true incident and court case, Susan Rivers’ debut historical novel The Second Mrs. Hockaday (Workman/Algonquin, January), received praise from Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library (LA). “For fans of epistolary novels, this is a compelling and moving story of a young bride accused of bearing and then killing a child while her husband was away fighting in the Civil War.” This has also received many “much love” votes on Edelweiss and is sure to be a good candidate for book groups.

Winter Thrillers

9781250111173_7d636Already blindsiding readers with its between-the-eyes double whammy finale, Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (Macmillan/Flatiron, January) in a tense psychological suspense novel about Louise who begins an affair with her new boss while also becoming close friends with his wife. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) adds, “As Louise observes David and Adele’s relationship from the point of view of first a secretary, then a friend, then a lover, she knows something isn’t quite right in the marriage but the more questions she asks, the more things don’t seem right. A frightening tale of coming undone with an unforeseen, shocking twist at the end.”

Solitary Men

9781250067852_c2b69Move aside Jack Reacher, a new hero has arrived to save the day. Greg Hurwitz’s eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Orphan X, Nowhere Man (Macmillan/Minotaur, January) again features Evan Smoak. Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, CA, says, “Smoak/Orphan X is a highly-trained assassin who was part of a covert operation but has now pledged to help others as ‘The Nowhere Man.’ Aside from dodging nefarious entities he is also being hunted down by his ruthless ex-group who deem him too dangerous to be let loose.”  This is also perfect for those who like Roger Hobbs’ Ghostman. Hurwitz is under contract to write three more books in the series and his hero Smoak may follow Reacher to the big screen, Warner Bros picked up the film rights last year.

9781101875681_5fe86Already gathering multiple “much love” Edelweiss votes, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (PRH/Knopf, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20) is the fascinating study of a man who lived alone in the woods for decades until he was caught stealing food. Marika Zemke of Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI) said, “At times we all might think that we would like to be alone for awhile. For Christopher Knight, that “for awhile” turned out to be 27 years. 27 years of living in solitude in the woods of Maine where he lived in a tent, never built a fire, spoke to anyone or even took a hot shower. Similar in style to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, this book is destined to be on many reading lists.” This is also good for readers who liked Timothy Treadwell’s Among Grizzlies, but–spoiler alert–Stranger in the Woods has a better ending.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, December 6, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.