A debut novel is the number one library pick this April, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT).
“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC
Additional Buzz: Honeyman is an EarlyReads author and spotted early by GalleyChatters in February. The Guardian profiles her in their introduction to the “new faces of fiction for 2017.” The book was the subject of a fierce auction fight, landing Honeyman over seven figures (in the US alone). PW reports it was one of the biggest books of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.” Booklist stars, writing “Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.”It is an Indie Next pick for May.
Another debut making the list is The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperLuxe).
“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.” — Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY
Additional Buzz: Not to be confused with The Austen Project, a series of modern retellings of Austen, such as Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, this time travel novel made Flavorwire‘s Staff Picks back in February.
“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT
Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for May. Coverage is wide ranging, from The Atlantic to the NY Post to The Spectator to Nature. The Spectator leads with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins,” while Nature calls the book “harrowing.”