Archive for the ‘LibraryReads’ Category

Towards a More Diverse LibraryReads

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

UPDATE: Just added, the Penguin Random House diversity catalog.

A recent story on Book Riot pointed out a lack of diversity among the LibraryReads picks. To help librarians discover titles by a wider range of authors, we asked library marketers at the various publishing houses to put together what we call, for the lack of a better term, “diversity catalogs” of titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations. We have posted the ones we’ve received so far in the links at the right and will add more as we receive them.

What better time than the Fourth of July holiday to celebrate diversity? Highlighted below are titles available to download now and one to request:

  

The City of Brass, S A. Chakrabortty, (HarperCollins/ Harper Voyager)

A debut fantasy that interweaves aspects of Muslim culture. HarperCollins Voyager imprint is one to look to, as they declare themselves “committed to introducing a new wave of diverse voices and intriguing stories that push the boundaries of science fiction and fantasy for the 21st century.”  Listen to the Book Buzz description here. See the full HarperCollins diversity catalog here.

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, Martha Batalha, translated by Eric M. B. Becker (Oneworld Publications, dist. by IPG)

Originally published in Brazil, it is described by the publisher as “A darkly comic portrait of two rebellious sisters in 1940s Rio de Janeiro that illuminates contemporary issues of feminism and domestic equality. ” It is published by independent publisher Oneworld Publications, which focuses on “diverse cultures and historical events.” Recently profiled in the Guardian, the 30-year-old company is based in Oxford, U.K., and opened offices in New York in 2009. Its titles are distributed in the US via Publishers Group West [Note: this is a correction. Previously, we incorrectly identified the distributor as IPG]. See the full IPG/PGW diversity catalog here.

Real American: A Memoir, Julie Lythcott-Haims, (Macmillan/Holt)

Called a “bold, impassioned memoir that explores the emotional and cultural divide imposed by American racism on people of mixed race” by Publishers Weekly, this is by the author of the best-selling anti-helicopter parenting book, How to Raise an Adult. Full Macmillan diversity catalog here.

Dogs at the Perimeter, Madeleine Thien, (Norton, Original Trade Pbk; Recorded Books)

Chinese-Canadian Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Norton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) was a finalist for the Man Booker and swept Canada’s literary awards. This, her third novel, available for the first time in the U.S., is about Cambodian refugees dealing with past traumas. It received strong reviews when it was published in the UK in 2012, including The Economist, which noted, “The strife in Indo-China has inspired some astonishing writing in recent decades, both fiction and non-fiction. Dogs at the Perimeter belongs with the best of such works.” Like the other titles in the Norton diversity catalog, it is available by request.

We’re Going To Need More Wine, Gabrielle Union, (HarperCollins/Dey Street).

We mentioned this collection of essays by the actress and activist in our earlier post, noting her heartfelt tribute to libraries during a panel at Book Expo.

It’s now available to download.

LibraryReads Needs Diverse Books

Monday, June 19th, 2017

A recent analysis of titles picked for the LibraryReads program showed a sorry lack of diversity. The headline of the Book Riot story puts it succinctly and starkly, “LibraryReads So White, or Why Librarians Need to Do Better.

This is not news to the LibraryReads Steering Committee (which, until recently, I was part of and continue to be an advocate). As current member Stephanie Anderson of Darien PL, responded, the group is working on plans to encourage more nominations from library staff. As she says, “diverse titles make the list when multiple librarians read them in advance and vote for them. I agree that as individual librarians, we have a lot of work to do.”

Fortunately, you can be part of the solution. Set your own personal challenge to read more diversely and nominate the titles you discover for LibraryReads. If you’re part of the crowd grabbing galleys at ALA this week, give special attention to those by non-white authors. If you need suggestions, ask the library marketers. We expect, in response to this issue, that publishers will soon be posting diversity catalogs and we will do a round up.

  

On my own TBR list is Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True (HarperCollins/Dey Street). She had me at the title, but she sealed the deal with heartfelt tribute to libraries during a panel at Book Expo. Print galleys will be available in July, but you can download digital ARCs in the next few days.

I’ll also be reading Celeste Ng’s second book, Little Fires Everywhere (PRH/Penguin Press; Penguin Audio/BOT). She will be featured at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea.

It’s timely that one of the programs on the upcoming ALA agenda is Growing Readership Through Diversity. As that title indicates, not only will LibraryReads benefit from your diversifying your reading, so will your library.

THE LYING GAME Tops July LibraryReads List

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Making it three for three, Ruth Ware lands on the July 2017 LibraryReads list, this time in the #1 spot for The Lying Game (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press).

Ware has written three books. All have been librarian picks. Her debut, In A Dark, Dark Wood (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press), made the August 2015 LibraryReads list and her sophomore effort, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S), made the July 2016 list.

“Isa and her friends are boarding school misfits who are notorious for playing ‘the lying game.’ The more believable your lies, the more points you earn. A suicide at the school results in the girls being expelled under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, Isa hasn’t seen her three closest girlfriends in a decade, but one text will bring them together again to deal with their deadly childhood secrets. I could not put this atmospheric book down. This is definitely going to be a summer hit.” — Virginia Grubbs, Darien Library, Darien, CT

Additional Buzz: Time names it one of the “Top 10 Thrillers to Read This Summer.” It headlines Bustle‘s list of “29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer” and is included on the New York Post picks it as one of their “20 best books of the summer.” Kirkus stars, warning “Cancel your plans for the weekend when you sit down with this book, because you won’t want to move until it’s over.”

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (HC/William Morrow) marks another three-peat. While Jackson has written nine novels, this newest is her third LibraryReads pick, following The Opposite of Everyone (HC/William Morrow), which made the February 2016 list, and Someone Else’s Love Story (HC/William Morrow), on the November 2013 list.

“Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother’s small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past including a dark family secret. This is a compelling story about love and family told with humor and charm. Jackson paints a picture of the South that is filled with affection but is also honest.” — Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

Additional Buzz: LJ and Kirkus star, with Kirkus writing it is “A satisfying, entertaining read from an admired writer who deserves to be a household name.”

It comes with an intriguing trailer:

Not a repeat but a debut, When the English Fall by David Williams (Workman/Algonquin) also makes the list.

When the English Fall offers a new perspective on apocalyptic fiction, written from the point of view of an Amish farmer named Jacob. Part insight into Amish culture, part dystopian novel, the story follows the days leading up to a solar storm and its aftermath. Jacob lives a peaceful life with his family. As events unfold outside of the community, he becomes witness to his English neighbors’ unraveling. Jacob and his family, already accustomed to a life without modern conveniences, must decide what course of action they will take, and what assistance they will provide to their English neighbors.” —  Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChatter pick too, with the advice that “Discussion groups that have enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Dog Stars by Peter Heller can add [it] to their roster.” Heather Bistyga, librarian from Anderson, SC, raved,  saying “This is a worldwide disaster writ small, rendering it exquisitely powerful and quietly terrifying.” It is also an Indie Next choice for July. Kirkus stars, writing it is “A standout among post-apocalyptic novels.”

The full list of ten picks is available online.

LibraryReads Pick To The Movies

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Big Little Lies producer and star Reese Witherspoon has issued a “Great Book Alert!” to her 9.7 million followers on Instagram, about the LibraryReads pick Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Just a few days later, Deadline Hollywood, reported that she will produce the film version and likely star.

The actress and Hollywood powerhouse when it comes to adapting books, says the novel is “Beautifully written and INCREDIBLY funny … I fell in LOVE with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love too!”

Her rave review adds star power to what is already a buzzy debut, as does the fact that she also added it to her rwbookclub on Instagram.

MAGPIE MURDERS Tops LibraryRead List

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

9780062645227_84e73LibraryReads-FavoriteA double whodunnit tops the June LibraryReads list, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.” — Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL

Additional Buzz: It is also the #1 Indie Next pick and a GalleyChat favorite from February, with Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library saying, “Mystery readers are in for a treat.” Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly star, with Kirkus offering “Fans who still mourn the passing of Agatha Christie … will welcome this wildly inventive homage/update/commentary as the most fiendishly clever puzzle—make that two puzzles—of the year.”

Most of the press attention has been in the UK and Ireland. The Guardian includes it on their “The best recent thrillers – review roundup.” The dismiss the novel’s beginning as “thinner than Poirot’s moustache,” but are over the moon about the second part, “which is worth the price of admission alone.” The Irish Times calls it “at once a brilliant pastiche of the English village mystery and a hugely enjoyable tale of avarice and skulduggery in the world of publishing … [it is] a compendium of dark delights.” Horowitz introduces the story in an interview with Audible UK.

9780765392039_fcc6eAlso making the list is Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Macmillan/Tor).

“In Every Heart a Doorway we met Jack and Jill, two sisters bound together yet alienated. In this installment, we learn how these two girls escape their parents when they exit the world we know for a realm of fairy-tale horror via a magic stairway, appearing in a trunk in a locked room. This is a story about two young women and the trauma that shapes them; a story about love, hate, and the thin line between. A captivating and emotional novella that irresistibly sweeps the reader along.” — Tegan Mannino, Monson Free Library, Monson, MA

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly published an excerpt. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly star it, with LJ writing, “Beautifully crafted and smartly written, this fairy-tale novella is everything that speculative fiction readers look for: fantastical worlds, diverse characters, and prose that hits home with its emotional truths.”

9781101990483_f22a2Fiona Barton returns with The Child (PRH/Berkley; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT), after her bestselling debut, The Widow.

“When a baby skeleton is unearthed at a construction site, reporter Kate Waters thinks it is a story worth investigating. As she digs into the mystery of the child, she uncovers more than she bargained for. Told from the viewpoints of various characters, Barton tells an intriguing tale about the newborn baby and all the characters involved, leaving it up to the readers to put together the connections until the very end.” — Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, NC

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly interviews the author. It tops Canadian Loan Stars list for May. Publishers Weekly stars it, writing “Readers patient with the relatively slow initial pace until the intertwining stories gain momentum will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion.” In the video below Barton talks about what libraries mean to her:

The full list of ten picks is online.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT Tops LibraryReads

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

9780735220683_fcd46LibraryReads-FavoriteA 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.

9780062651259_9040aAnother 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.

9781492649359_ebafaA nonfiction choice is The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, Kate Moore (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“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.”

 

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE Tops LibraryReads List Of Librarian Favorites

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9780812989403_3b3daLibraryReads-FavoritePulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Strout’s newest novel, Anything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT), is the number one pick for the April LibraryReads list.

It marks her second time at the top of the list, first winning in January 2016 for My Name is Lucy Barton, a novel that also was on the Favorite of Favorites annual list the same year.

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: It is on a number of 2017 forecast lists including the NYT‘s “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017,Nylon‘s count of “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017,” and the AV Club‘s list of”Lose yourself in 2017 with these 17 books and comics.”

9781501160769_3546aAnother multiple favorite also returns to the list, Fredrik Backman with Beartown (S&S/Atria). He first landed on the list in 2015 with My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and then again in 2016 for Britt-Marie Was Here, which was the #1 pick in May.

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: It was picked by Canadian librarians as part of their Loan Stars selections. Backman is also the COSTCO buyers pick this month, featured for his long running best seller,  A Man Called Ove.

9780062460226_f3c29A new voice for LibraryReads comes via Kate Eberlen with her debut, Miss You (HC/Harper).

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Additional Buzz: It was a smash in the UK with The Telegraph comparing it to David Nicholls’s One Day, and saying “Following on from a lucrative deal in the UK, there has already been a ‘pre-emptive’ bid in the United States, and a subsequent scramble to buy it in 24 other countries – so don’t be surprised to see it being devoured by sunbathers on holiday this summer.” The Guardian says it is a “funny, poignant and really rather lovely ships-in-the-night debut, although it’s not until the end that ‘will they/won’t they?’ becomes a burning question. Grief, family dynamics and how to live with, but not be defined by, the cards one is dealt are the central concerns here.”

The book trailer gives a sense of the story and feel:

The full list of ten picks is available now.

THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

9780812989885_852c4LibraryReads-FavoriteAlex Award-winner Hannah Tinti’s second novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (PRH/The Dial Press), is the number one pick by librarians for the March LibraryReads list.

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter. Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood. And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.” — Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX

Additional Buzz: Elle names it as one of the “25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017” and it makes The MillionsThe Great 2017 Book Preview” as well. In the UK, CultureFly includes it on their list of “10 Books To Look Forward To In 2017.”

9780062563668_1bcb5The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck (HC/William Morrow).

“Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, this book is narrated by each of the women, giving us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. This story examines the human side of war, where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Additional Buzz: Book trailer, below:

9780399574634_410d5The Wanderers, Meg Howrey (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.” — Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick. The publisher is calling it “Station Eleven meets The Martian.” Both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus give it starred reviews. Kirkus says it is “A lyrical and subtle space opera.”

The full list of ten picks is available now.

I SEE YOU Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

9781101988299_bbe9bLibraryReads-FavoriteThe number one pick by librarians for February is
I See You, by Clare Mackintosh (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The sophomore thriller tops the just released LibraryReads list of monthly favorites.

“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website. At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly offers a sneak peek at the first three chapters. Librarians chatted with the author about her first book, I Let You Go.

9780393609097_a8601Neil Gaiman’s newest, a spry retelling of the Norse tales, also makes the list, Norse Mythology (Norton; Harper Audio).

“After reading Gaiman’s account of Norse mythology, I doubt that I will ever forget how the gods of Asgard acquired their treasures. Thor’s hammer that never misses its mark, Freya’s incredible ship that shrinks to the size of a pocketable silk scarf, Odin’s powerful spear, all came to be because of Loki’s mischief. Above all, I will not forget the ill-gotten and ill-treated children of Loki who bring about Ragnarok, the end of earth and heaven and the death of the gods. Everything feels very real and very now when told by someone who has obviously drunk of the ‘mead of the poets.’” — Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL

Additional Buzz: The NYT featured the book back in June, quoting Gaiman as saying “I hope the scholarship is good, but much more than that, I hope that I have retold stories that read like the real thing: sometimes profound, sometimes funny, sometimes heroic, sometimes dark, and always inevitable … [the] tales have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done … They ran like a vein of silver through Sandman, they were the bedrock of American Gods.”

9781101985137_a7fd5The hot debut, All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is also on the list.

“Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller. Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the one you and I know. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.” — Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: It is the #1 Indie Next selection for February and is among Entertainment Weekly‘s top picks for 2017 reads. We featured Mastai in an author chat yesterday and GalleyChatters spotted him back in September.

THE GIRL BEFORE Tops Librarians Picks

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

9780425285046_76b2eLibraryReads-FavoriteThe #1 choice by librarians for the January 2017 LibraryReads list is The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio), a domestic psychological suspense novel.

“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.” — Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL

Additional Buzz: Also a hit with our GalleyChatters, Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library (NJ) described it as “a high speed ride through a tale of obsessions with twists and turns that don’t stop until after the final page is turned.” The debut, which is being marketed as the first book under a “pseudonym of an author who has written award-winning fiction under other names,” was sold to Universal in a hotly contested 2015 bidding war, reports Deadline Hollywood. Ron Howard is set to direct the project. Deadline also reports that bestselling author Tony Strong is the suspected author.

It leads a list filled wit debuts including:

9781101885932_5b5b3 The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

Additional Buzz: The hot debut Fantasy was one of our PRH EarlyReads Authors, which we featured in a chat in September. Also a GalleyChat pick. Andrienne Cruz (Azusa City Library, CA) said it will “cast a spell over adult readers.”

9781250105608_46ab1The Dry, Jane Harper (Macmillan/Flatiron Books).

“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself. At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Additional Buzz: Another big debut of the month, it is also a GalleyChat title. Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library (LA) said it was a “brilliantly plotted and atmospheric mystery.” Reese Witherspoon optioned film rights in advance of publication reports Deadline Hollywood. In draft form, the novel won the 2015 Victorian Premier Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, netting the author $15,000 in prize money. A past winner of the same prize was The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster, 2013).

9781616205812_3f761The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers (Algonquin Books).

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Additional Buzz: This debut is also a GalleyChat title. Vicki Nesting weighs in with “For fans of epistolary novels, this is a compelling and moving story.” Rivers is an award-winning playwright.

9780062451941_a2ff0Heartstone, Elle Katharine White (HC/Harper Voyager).

“A fun take on Pride and Prejudice in a fantasy setting. Merrybourne Manor has a gryphon infestation and has contracted with a band of Riders to kill them. As you can imagine, the main Rider is a little haughty and our heroine has a long memory. Familiar trials and tribulations occur with some detailed world-building, laying the groundwork for a sequel. Good for readers who don’t mind literary re-imaginings, love P&P, and Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Additional Buzz: Another of the early debuts of the year, it is a RT Top Pick (subscription may be required).

FAITHFUL Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

9781476799209_1971cLibraryReads-FavoriteThe number one pick by librarians this November is Faithful by Alice Hoffman (S&S; S&S Audio), at the top of the just released LibraryReads list of monthly favorites.

“With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also the #1 pick by booksellers, topping the November Indie Next List. It also impressed Canadian librarians, featuring on their Loan Stars list.

Below is a sample of some of the other books on the ten-title list:

9781400069880_cde2eVictoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, Julia Baird (PRH/Random House).

“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.” — Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

Additional Buzz: Victoria is about to be a hot topic with the debut of an 8-part TV series focused on the early years of her reign. Victoria will run in January on PBS Masterpiece in the same time slot Downton Abbey once occupied. Additionally Daisy Goodwin will publish a novel about the queen this November, Victoria (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press).

9780374534974_d88abNormal, Warren Ellis (Macmillan/FSG Originals).

“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: The techno-thriller first published as an e-serial. Wired reports on Ellis’s experimentation and the growing trend of digital serialization as “the next step in binge-friendly reading.” Tor.com has an interview and there are several reports on the attention Ellis receives as a groundbreaking graphic novelist. Moviepilot writes about the forthcoming TV adaption of his series Trees and The Hollywood Reporter writes about his new “pop-up imprint” with DC comics.

9780385541527_eaf86Orphans of the Carnival, Carol Birch (PRH/Doubleday).

“Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can’t get past what they see because Julia’s face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be “other,” to always be on the outside looking in.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Additional Buzz: Also a November Indie Next selection. The Guardian review was not strong but they praised it on Twitter, excerpting their strongest line: “Roll up, roll up, for a beautifully written novel about the poignant inner life of 19th-century touring freakshow attraction.”

NEWS OF THE WORLD Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

9780062409201_2396aLibraryReads-FavoriteThe number one pick of the just released list of monthly librarian favorites for October is News of the World by Paulette Jiles (HC/William Morrow).

“Readers fortunate enough to meet Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an old ex-soldier who makes a living reading the news to townspeople in 1870s Texas, and Joanna, the Indian captive he is charged with returning to her relatives, will not soon forget them. Everything, from the vividly realized Texas frontier setting to the characters is beautifully crafted, right up to the moving conclusion. Both the Captain and Joanna have very distinctive voices. Wonderful storytelling.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next selection for October.

Below are highlights of some of the other 9 titles on the list:

9780399184512_1ca7cThe Mothers (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothers asks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis

Additional Buzz: The October Indie Next #1 pick, it also appears on the Fall Reading lists from Amazon’s Editors, BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, and WSJ.

9780345540676_7bd4cCrosstalk, Connie Willis (PRH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample).

Crosstalk is the perfect romantic comedy for the digital age. Briddey works for a cell phone provider that is constantly searching for the next great way to help people “connect” – nevermind that she is already inundated by calls, texts, social media, and unannounced visits from her colleagues, friends, and nosy family. When she undergoes a procedure to telepathically sense the emotions of her seemingly perfect boyfriend, things go awry and she ends up connected to the wrong person. A perfect screwball comedy from a master writer!” — Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Additional Buzz: It is on io9’s list of All the New Scifi and Fantasy Books You Absolutely Must Read This Fall,

A number of other titles selected by librarians also got nods from booksellers via the newly released Indie Next list, including:

9780670026333_208e0  9780345544957_b58a3  9780316403436_e8038  9781492637257_07f82

The Trespasser, Tana French (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT).

Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT).

Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio).

The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The full list of ten librarian picks is available online.

LEAVE ME Tops September LibraryReads List

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

9781616206178_34018The #1 LibraryReads pick for September is Leave Me, Gayle Forman (Algonquin; Sept. 6).

“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” — Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Additional Buzz: This is the YA author’s first adult novel. Her teen novel, If I Stay, was a NYT bestseller and adapted into a movie of the same name. Her adult turn is also an Indie Next pick for September.

Also on the list of ten titles are the following:

9780062491794_46ce0Commonwealth, Ann Patchett (Harper; Aug. 24).

“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.” — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

Additional Buzz: It is the #1 Indie Next pick for September and received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

9781101988664_08c4eThe Masked City: An Invisible Library Novel, Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc; Sept. 6).

“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.” — Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC

Additional Buzz: This is the second in a quickly published series and is by one of our PRH EarlyReads authors. The first book in the series was also selected as a librarian favorite.

A GREAT RECKONING Tops
August LibraryReads List

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

9781250022134_00385The latest in the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series, A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (Macmillan/Minotaur) is the #1 LibraryReads pick for August.

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

Additional Buzz: It has earned a rare all-star sweep from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

9781101984994_8f6a1The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!” — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

Additional Buzz:  See our chat with the author here. It is also one of B&N‘s summer reading picks.

9780393241655_3db1aThe Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood (Norton).

“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY

Additional Buzz: An Indie Next pick for August (one of several overlaps this month between booksellers and librarians’s selections), it is also a B&N summer reading pick.

The full list of ten selections is available now.

DARK MATTER Tops July LibraryReads

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

9781101904220_ee938The #1 LibraryReads pick for July is Dark Matter, Blake Crouch (PRH/Crown; RH Audio):

“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” — Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

Readers might know Crouch from his Wayward Pines trilogy, the basis of Fox’s TV series of the same name, produced by M. Night Shyamalan. Dark Matter is on several consumer summer reading lists as well, selected by Entertainment Weekly (not online) and the Amazon Editors.

Below, some of the other titles in the list of ten getting additional buzz:

9781501132933_82371The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio):

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

ADDITIONAL BUZZ: This is Ware’s second novel, after the buzzy In A Dark, Dark Wood, which was also a LibraryReads selection when it debuted in August 2015. Ware’s newest is also a summer reading pick, catching the eye of Entertainment Weekly and the Amazon Editors. EW summarizes it as, “THE GIRL ON THE BOAT.”

9781250061577_d5848Among the Wicked, Linda Castillo (Macmillan/Minotaur):

“In the small Amish locale of Painters Mill, police chief Kate Burkholder decides to take an undercover assignment in a community where the death of a young girl was reported. Her long time love, Agent John Tomasetti, is reluctant with her decision because of the lack of communication he will have with her. Burkholder begins to unfold the true horrors on the local farm and unearths the dangers the town officials suspected. She finds herself trapped in a life threatening cat and mouse game. This ongoing series is a true gem and a personal favorite.” — KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

ADDITIONAL BUZZ: This eighth outing in the Amish-set thriller series marks the first time Castillo has been selected as a librarian favorite. Her bestselling series made it to Lifetime TV with 2013’s An Amish Murder.

 

The full list of librarian favorites is available today.