Archive for the ‘LibraryReads’ Category

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 Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.”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.

VINEGAR GIRL Tops
June LibraryReads List

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

The fourth in the Hogarth series of modern re-tellings of Shakespeare tops the June LibraryReads list of the ten books librarians love, announced today.

9780804141260_86189LibraryReads FavoriteCatherine Coyne, of Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA explains how Anne Tyler interprets the Bard in Vinegar Girl (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio; BOT):

“The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.”

Scroll down on this page to see the chart of what comes next and note Jo Nesbø takes on Macbeth in 2017.

9781101988640_11286The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc) marks the first in a series of Fantasy titles featuring an undercover librarian. Beth Mills, of New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY introduces Cogman’s debut title:

“Directed by powerful librarians, agents roam alternate realities searching out special volumes for their mysterious library’s collections. Irene is a spy for the library but something is a little off about her current mission; there’s something strange about her new assistant that she can’t quite put her finger on and worse, the requested volume has already been stolen. Cogman’s engaging characters and a most intriguing imagined world are sure to delight readers, especially bibliophiles.”

Keep an eye out for the next two books in the series, both due out before December and be sure to join our upcoming chat with the author on June 1.

9781101947135_24878Another debut to watch is Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT), the subject of a ten-publisher bidding war.

Amanda Monson, of Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA says:

“An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.”

9780316228046_0fcdbThe next in the Checquy Files series makes the list as well. Mary Bell, of Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA writes this about Stiletto, Daniel O’Malley (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio):

“In the long-awaited sequel to The Rook, negotiations between two highly secret organizations, one based on science and reason and the other on the supernatural, are continuing. Odette and Pawn both come to the forefront of the story as we get more of the history of the groups and why mortal enemies would want to join forces. With its blend of intricate world-building and fantastical situations, Stiletto both surprised me and made me laugh.”

9780393245448_381d9In nonfiction, Mary Roach returns with Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (Norton; Brilliance Audio). Darren Nelson, of Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA offers this recommendation:

“With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a fascinating topic few of us would openly explore. She writes about the issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Roach brings to our attention the amazing efforts of science to tackle all the challenges of modern warfare. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating revelation.”

The full list of recommendations was posted today.

BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE
Tops The May LibraryReads List

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

9781501142536_a0d9dThe #1 pick on the just released LibraryReads list for May is Britt-Marie Was Here, Fredrik Backman (S&S/Atria Books). Backman also wrote the NYT‘s bestseller A Man Called Ove as well as My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.

Vicki Nesting, of St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA offers this annotation:

“Britt-Marie is a woman who is used to her life being organized. But when she leaves her cheating spouse and takes a temporary job as caretaker of the recreation center in the tiny town of Borg, her life changes in unpredictable ways. With its wonderful cast of oddball characters and sly sense of humor, this novel is sure to capture readers’ hearts. Highly recommended.”

Other very popular reader favorites such as Kelley Armstrong, Chris Cleave, John Hart, Joe Hill, and Laura Lippman also appear on the list.

9780062200631_20c73Hill’s newest, The Fireman (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio), detailing the very cinematic concept of humans infected by a virus that makes them spontaneously combust, is also being developed for a movie.

Mary Vernau, of Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX says of the horror thriller:

The Fireman is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others.This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.”

9780312380366_06fe7 After five years away, John Hart returns with Redemption Road (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books; Macmillan Audio), a literary thriller that was a GalleyChat hit as well. Kelly Currie, of Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN shares what the excitement is all about:

“In Hart’s new suspense novel, we meet veteran detective Elizabeth Black, who is facing possible suspension for a suspicious shooting. At the same time, former police officer Adrian Wall is released from prison after serving time for the murder of Julia Stange. Stange’s son wants Adrian dead. Adrian has always claimed his innocence, but after his release, a couple of new bodies turn up at the church. This is a thrilling page-turner that starts at a rapid-fire pace and doesn’t let up. Great book for literary and thriller lovers alike.”

9781101875940_d1c9bTwo debut authors, Stephanie Danler and Clare Mackintosh, also break onto the list. Danler’s coming of age restaurant novel, Sweetbitter (PRH/Knopf; BOT) was a GalleyChat hit too and was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Hottest Fiction.

Sonia Reppe, of Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL explains the buzz:

“At her new job at one of NYC’s posh restaurants, Tess falls for a mysterious bartender and negotiates the politics of the service industry while building a social life. Danler drew from her own experience and the writing is vivid and stimulating. I’m always interested in a story about a girl trying to find her place in the world and her adventures, but anyone who appreciates writing that pulses with life will drink this down.”

9781101987490_5f111Mackintosh’s I Let You Go (PRH/Berkley; BOT) is a crime thriller that made waves in the UK when it hit shelves. NOTE: Join us for a chat with the author on Wed., April 20, 4 to 5 p.m., ET.

Jennifer Winberry, of Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ says:

“Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming.”

9780393285543_a3e5dPulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet also makes the list with Sweet Lamb of Heaven (Norton), another genre blend taking on the rich space between domestic thriller and psychological horror.

Andrienne Cruz, of Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA shares:

“An arresting story about a wife manipulated and what she goes through to escape her husband’s desperate means to keep her. When her daughter is born, Anna starts hearing a voice in her head that may suggest the supernatural or the divine. She and her daughter hole up in a motel where all the guests seem to hear a similar voice in their heads. The author jolts the reader into reading something unexpected and the effect is eerie and memorable. Highly recommended for a book discussions.”

The full list of recommendations was posted today.

A Modern P&P Tops
Librarians’ April Favorites

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

9781400068326_8f573Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House; BOT; April 19) is the #1 pick on the April LibraryReads list.

Part of The Austen Project, Sittenfeld recasts Elizabeth as a magazine editor and Darcy as a neurosurgeon. The novel has made many “most anticipated lists” including those by Entertainment Weekly, The Millions, and The Washington Post. It was also a favorite of Galleychatters.

Leslie DeLooze, of Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY offers this annotation:

“Love, sex, and relationships in contemporary Cincinnati provide an incisive social commentary set in the framework of Pride and Prejudice. Sittenfeld’s inclusion of a Bachelor-like reality show is a brilliant parallel to the scrutiny placed on characters in the neighborhood balls of Jane Austen’s novel, and readers will have no question about the crass nature of the younger Bennets, or the pride—and prejudice—of the heroine.”

9781476777405_b96a6The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, Joshua Hammer (Simon & Schuster; April 19) made the list with its account of a literary “Ocean’s Eleven” – the heist of centuries-old Arabic manuscripts under threat from Al Qaeda.

Marika Zemke, of Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, MI shares this summary:

“For centuries, Arabic manuscripts were collected by private households in Mali, particularly Timbuktu: gilded manuscripts painted with real gold, showing vibrantly colored illustrations of nature. These highly valued manuscripts were handed down within families who acted as caretakers. As radicalized Muslim leaders came into power, the manuscripts were seen as corruptions of true Islam, requiring intervention. History and adventure at its best.”

9780765385505_c1470Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Macmillan/Tor.com; Macmillan Audio; April 5) explores the other side of portal fantasy stories. Jennifer Kelley, of Kershaw County Library, Camden, SC invites readers to wonder:

“What happens to children who find a doorway into a fantasy land, and then come back into the mundane world? It’s certainly not a happily ever after scenario for these children, but those that find their way to Eleanor West’s school are learning to cope. Shortly after Nancy comes to the school, a series of horrific events occur. It’s up to her and others at the school to figure out who is committing these atrocities. This book is so wonderfully written.”

9781501121043_4333eThree debuts make the list, including Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss (Gallery/Scout Press; April 5) which explores the NYC art world of the 80s.

Diane Scholl, of Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL says:

“Following the lives of three individuals in New York on the cusp of 1980, this book was structured in such a unique and original way. Lucy is in her early twenties, experiencing life in a big city; James who after college finds himself the reigning critic of the art world and Raul, escaping the post Peron Dirty War in Argentina will find himself the art world’s new favorite; these three will find their lives entwined in many ways. A tragic accident will change all these characters and others close to them. This is a wonderful book that I wasn’t ready to finish.”

Librarians also selected the next books by several big names, including Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, and Laurie R. King.

The full list is available now.

 

Top LibraryReads March Pick:
THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

9780812993103_f08deThe #1 pick on the just-released LibraryReads list for March is The Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson (PRH/Random House; Random House Audio; BOT). This is only Simonson’s second novel; her first was the bestselling Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.

Paulette Brooks of Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI says the following in her annotation:

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

9780399169496_dec56Another fan-favorite author, Lyndsay Faye, makes the list with Jane Steele (PRH/Putnam; BOT), an historical crime novel using Charlotte Brontë’s
Jane Eyre as a launching pad.

Abbey Stroop of Herrick District Library, Holland,
MI describes it:

Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!”

9781451686630_0a0baLisa Lutz, who grabbed readers with her Spellman Files books takes a turn to thrillers, in The Passenger (Simon & Schuster).

Beth DeGeer of Bartlesville Public Library, Bartlesville, OK writes:

“This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman who has to keep switching identities and stay on the run. Is she a reliable narrator or not? What was the original event that sent her on the run? There is a lot of action and suspense as she tries to survive and evade the law while trying to keep her moral center intact. Unlike Lutz’s Spellman books, this reads more like a Charles Portis road novel, though considerably more serious and dangerous. Highly recommended.”

9781616205027_7fcfeNovelist Lee Smith takes a turn to nonfiction in
her memoir Dimestore: A Writer’s Life (Workman/Algonquin Books).

Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ writes:

“Evenly divided between a book about Smith’s process and her life, first as a Southern mountain child and, later, as the parent of a schizophrenic child, this book is interesting and compelling. Despite being surrounded by loving family and being blessed with an active imagination, Lee copes with a mentally ill mother. Later, her son’s mental illness and early death brings her to the breaking point but she is saved by her writing. This is a read-alike for Karr’s The Liars Club. It desperately needs a cinematic translation for it’s elegant and evocative writing.”

Two debuts make the list, The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Harper/Ecco; HarperAudio) and The Madwoman Upstairs, Catherine Lowell (S&S/Touchstone; Blackstone Audio).

9780062414212_2b722 Mary Kinser of Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham, WA says the following about Sweeney’s debut, which is also a top 15 Most Anticipated title:

“If you think your family is dysfunctional, move over, because here come the Plumbs. Suddenly faced with the dismantling of the nest egg they’ve counted on to solve their financial woes, the four Plumb siblings have to grow up, and fast. But though they all do some terrible things in the name of ambition, there’s something lovable about the Plumbs. You can’t fail to be moved by the beating heart of this novel, which seems to say that family, for good or ill, unites us all.”

9781501124211_01013Kristen McCallum, Algonquin Area Public Library, Algonquin, IL offers this recommendation for The Madwoman Upstairs, another riff on Jane Eyre:

“Meet Samantha Whipple, a descendant of the Bronte family, who arrives at Oxford to study literature, as her father did before her. She receives a copy of Jane Eyre – a volume that she thought was destroyed in the fire that took her father’s life. When a second Bronte novel belonging to her father turns up, she is convinced he has staged an elaborate treasure hunt for her promised inheritance. Enlisting the help of her sexy, young professor, Samantha sets out on a quest to find buried treasure and learns the value of friendship and courage along the way.”

The full list of suggestions is available beginning today.

Our GalleyChatters were also fans of many of these books (see here, here, and here).

SALT TO THE SEA Is LibraryReads #1 Pick

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

9780399160301_6d8b1Published as a young adult title,  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, (Penguin Young Readers/Philomel; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) crosses over to adult as the #1 LibraryReads selection of the top ten titles for February.

Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL provides the annotation:

“Titanic. Lusitania. Wilhelm Gustloff. All major maritime disasters, yet the last is virtually unknown. Ruta Sepetys changes that in her gripping historical novel. Told in short snippets, Salt to the Sea rotates between four narrators attempting to escape various tragedies in 1945 Europe. Powerful and haunting, heartbreaking and hopeful–a must read.”

Also on the list are several debuts, including two that have been featured on our Penguin Debut Authors program, First Flights.

Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase, (PRH/Putnam; BOT and Penguin Audio) — see chat archive here

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.” — Deborah Margeson, Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl,  Mona Awad, (PRH/ Penguin Pbk Original)  — see chat archive here

“Everyone loves Lizzie–she is the confidant, the late night go-to, and she is always there and hungry for attention. Lizzie becomes even more obsessed and needy when she no longer feels insecure about being overweight and it becomes painfully obvious that she will always feel bad about herself. It is a candid and sad look at how we mistreat people with different body types.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX