This debut novel made news when it won a major deal in advance of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair (with a different title). At that time, the agent said that Mbue, who is from Cameroon and is now an American citizen living in Manhattan, is “part of the new generation of African writers just being discovered” that includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun, NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names, Teju Cole Open City, and Dinaw Mengestu How to Read the Air.
The author is profiled in the Wall Street Journal‘s Friday Arts section, with an excerpt from the book. She describes the story, below:
It is People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as a “page-turner about race, class and the Wall Street meltdown … Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating, but her message is pointed: American dreams can and do turn into nightmares.”
The Washington Post chief critic, Ron Charles, says that it comes at the right time, as it “illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse ” A review is also coming from the NYT Sunday Book Review.
The cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review is devoted to Caleb Carr’s new book, Surrender, New York (Random House; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reviewed by fellow crime novelist Michael Connelly. Unlike his most famous novel, The Alienist, which was set in 1896, this one says Connelly, is “an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment. Call it mystery with multiple messages.” The book’s 600 plus pages require “more dedication (from the reader as well as the writer) than is usual for a crime novel,” but says Connelly, “This is a novel you set time aside for.”
The Washington Post‘s mystery and thriller reviewer, Patrick Anderson, is less willing to set the time aside, saying, Carr’s “descriptive passages can be elegant and informative but they go on endlessly, maddeningly … Carr’s plot is complex, sometimes bewildering, and the reader can become lost amid his epic digressions, no matter how well they read.”
Below are several other titles arriving next week to fanfare from the media as well as booksellers and librarians. For those, and other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 22, 2016
The Campaign in Books
The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate, The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, came from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House earlier this month and is currently at #11 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list, up from #15 last week.
More on Trump and the campaign arrives next week:
The Washington Post assigned a team of their journalists to do a major investigation on the candidate, publishing stories in the paper leading to next week’s release, as well as an excerpt from the book. It is scheduled for heavy media attention from TV and radio:
• CBS Face the Nation, August 21
• NPR All Things Considered, August 22
• MSNBC Morning Joe, August 23
• NPR Fresh Air, August 23
• CNN New Day,August 24
• MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, August 24
The media may be obsessed with Trump, but there will surely be time for Democratic strategist Carville, who is adept at memorable sound bites (and has a few things to say about Trump, as the book’s jacket indicates).
Predictably, the tea party’s poster girl is publishing a pro-Trump book.
“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
It is also a B&N Summer reading selection.
First Star I See Tonight, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).
“First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.” — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI
“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.” — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS
The tie-in edition for one of the most anticipated moves from page to screen hits shelves this week, complete with a snazzy new cover and the long awaited release of a mass market edition, The Girl on the Train (Movie Tie-In), Paula Hawkins (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).
The movie follows the dark and twisty tale of a woman who fantasizes about the life of others and sees something she was not supposed to see. As a missing person investigation spins out she becomes intimately involved in the case. It stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans and opens Oct. 7.
Another big adaptation is The Light Between Oceans, starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender. The trade paperback tie in edition The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample; mass market) comes out this week.
The movie, about a couple living in a remote lighthouse who rescue an infant and keep her without informing the authorities, opens on Sept. 2, to capitalize on the long Labor Day Weekend.
The James Patterson machine rolls on with the film adaptation of Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample; in pbk as well).
Opening on Oct. 7, it tells the story of a middle schooler who decides to break all the rules and stars Lauren Graham, Thomas Barbusca, and Isabela Moner.
The long anticipated Oliver Stone film on Edward Snowden hits screens on Sept. 16. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scott Eastwood, Shailene Woodley, and Nicolas Cage.
The film drew on several titles, one of them coming out as a tie-in this week, The Snowden Files (Movie Tie In Edition): The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, Luke Harding (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).