Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

11 Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of March 2

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Next week, the final book in Dennis Lehane’s trilogy arrives, the public will finally get their hands on the memoir all the reviewers are raving about and a new book arrives from the surveillance expert that Malcolm Gladwell urges everyone to read.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 1

Holds Leaders

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World Gone By, Dennis Lehane (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

In 2008, Lehane surprised his fans by stepping away from detective novels and into a historical epic, with The Given Day, (2008), set during Boston’s 1919 police strike. He picked up the story in Live by Night, (2012), with Joe Coughlin the black sheep youngest son of the prominent Boston Police captain from the first book, as he becomes a Prohibition era mob boss. This, the final in the trilogy, extends the story into WWII and is an Indie Next pick for April:

In the prologue of World Gone By, Lehane describes his main character but certainly captures his own abilities as well: ‘Joe Coughlin had a gift for bringing the beacons of the city into contact with her demons and making it all seem like a lark.’ This is Lehane’s great gift: creating characters with the full scope of human dimensions — our inner angels and devils, our passions and our crimes — and immersing them in the timeless trials of our world while disguising his feat as the entertainment of a ‘good read.’ Lehane is a magician, a maestro, and a master of the written word. — J.B. Dickey, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Ben Affleck is set to star and direct a film adaptation of Live By Night. for Warner Bros. Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana & Elle Fanning will also star. That studio also holds the rights to the first in the series, but there’s been no further news about it.

The Assassin, Clive Cussler, Justin Scott (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio)

The eighth adventure featuring private detective Isaac Bell, following 2014’s The Bootlegger, also coauthored with Scott.

Advance Attention

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H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald (Grove Press, March 3, 2015; OverDrive Sample)

From The New York Times Book Review to People magazine, all are entranced by this memoir (see our stories from last week as well as this week).

Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

On the cover of this coming Sunday’s NYT Book Review, Neil Gaiman strives mightily to love Ishiguro’s heavily anticipated novel. He can take a cue from the Washington Post‘s former Book World editor, Marie Arana who is a fan and booksellers, who picked it as an Indie Next title.

#1 Picks

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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce, (Random House; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

#1 LibraryReads March pick:

Miss Queenie Hennessy, who we met in Joyce’s first book, is in a hospice ruminating over her abundant life experiences. I loved the poignant passages and wise words peppered throughout. Readers of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will enjoy this book. There’s no fast-paced plot or exciting twists–it’s just a simple, sweet story of a life well-lived. — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Caldwell was the co-author of The Rule of Four (2000), which was considered a more literary Da Vinci Code. In a starred review, Booklist says this new title may sound like it’s mining the same territory, but it “has more in common with high-end literary-historical thrillers like those by Iain Pears … [and is] the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think.” Independent booksellers like it so much they made it the #1 March IndieNext pick.

It is also a LibraryReads March pick:

A murder on Vatican property begins this tale of religion, politics, and family. Two brothers, both priests, struggle to make sense of their friend’s murder. When one is accused, the other must go to extreme lengths to prove his brother’s innocence. Caldwell’s second novel is a book to savor. This is a heart-wrenching book you will want to read more than once. — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

More Picks

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Where All Light Tends To Go. David Joy,  (Penguin/Putnam; BOT)

LibraryReads March:

This beautifully written novel juxtaposes the glory of the Appalachians against the despair of everyday life. Jacob McNeely recognizes his family’s brutality, but Maggie, the love of his life, gives him hope. Achingly told, the visceral prose will stay with readers long past the conclusion. Fans of the Southern fiction of Ron Rash and Wiley Cash will fall in love with this new voice. — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

 

Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral,  Mary Doria Russell, (HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

A favorite from December’s GalleyChat, collection development librarian Janet Lockhart (Wake County Public Libraries) welcomed this new novel by the author of the popular book group title The Sparrow as “compulsively readable” and “A bravura piece of storytelling.“

It is a March Indie Next pick:

This continuation of the story begun in Doc is equally engaging. From a shroud of American West mythic bombast and misrepresentation, Russell creates compelling, realistic characters with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday shown to be both heroic and heatbreakingly human. Epitaph focuses on Josie Marcus, the love of Wyatt’s life. Theirs is a grand romantic tale told in hardscrabble detail, and Russell even makes what could have been cardboard villains into fully realized characters, both flawed and sympathetic. A rip-roaring good yarn!  —Kathi Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Crossover Picks

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Vanishing Girls, Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins)

LibraryReads March:

Reminiscent of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this book begs for a re-read after you finish it. Nick, the main character, is recovering from a devastating trauma. Her family life is turned upside down, and a longtime childhood friendship is strained due to her sister’s exploits. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read multi-layered stories. — Sybil Thompson, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH

The author is at work on the screen adaptation of her 2014 book Panic for Universal.

Mosquitoland, David Arnold (Penguin/Viking BYR; Listening Library)

This YA title has garnered a remarkable amount of “Love” from librarians and booksellers on Edelweiss, and received an advance rave in the 2/27 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which notes that, among the current “glut of angst-ridden first-person novels about the everyday trials of adolescence … [it] is a breath of fresh air when a novel like David Arnold’s Mosquitoland bucks the usual classifications and stands defiantly alone.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9780393244816_0c984Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, Bruce Schneier, (Norton)

The cover blurb, from Malcolm Gladwell, reads, “The public conversation about surveillance in the digital age would be a good deal more intelligent if we all read Bruce Schenier first.”

Schneier, the cryptographer who helped journalist Glenn Greenwald review Edward Snowden’s NSA documents, will be interviewed on NPR’s Science Friday next week. Both Politico and the Atlantic will feature excerpts and reviews are coming from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Economist.

Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles,
Week of Feb 23

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Next week, Danielle Steel publishes the first of four novels for the year. Advance media attention heralds a memoir by a rock legend and readers advisors have four LibraryReads picks to recommend.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb 23, 2015

Holds Leaders

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Prodigal Son, Danielle Steel (RH/Delacorte; RH Large Print; Brilliance Audio)

The latest from Steel comes with the announcement that she is taking a page from Patterson’s books and increasing the number of hardcovers she releases. This one will be the first of four for the year, followed by Country in June, The Box in September and Final Gifts in December. In addition, her paperback release schedule will be accelerated, so you may want to adjust the number of copies you have on standing order.

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Mightier Than the Sword, Jeffrey Archer, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), gets a full-page ad in this week’s NYT Book Review

The Girls of Mischief Bay, Susan Mallery (Harlequin/Mira simultaneous hardcover and trade pbk; Brilliance Audio), begins a new series.

Hush Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel, Laura Lippman (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample), People magazine’s “Book of the Week” in the new issue.

Media Attention

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Girl in a Band: A Memoir, Kim Gordon, (HarperCollins/Dey Street; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

From an excerpt in Vogue to a profile in the NYT, this memoir by the female band member of Sonic Youth is getting a range of advance coverage.

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It, Marc Goodman, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

To be featured on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story, Mac McClelland, (Macmillan/Flatiron; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)

One of the first titles from Macmillan’s new imprint, Flatiron Books, founded by Bob Miller, who established his ability to make best sellers when he was head of the successful Hyperion Books. Originally intended as a nonfiction imprint, Miller made news when he hired another best seller maven, editor Amy Einhorn, then head of her own imprint at Penguin, to add a fiction line. Irritable Hearts, a memoir by a journalist who suffered PTSD after returning home from covering Haiti’s devastating earthquake, is reviewed in Sunday’s NYT Book Review.

LibraryReads Picks

9780062282569_d6018The Siege Winter, Ariana Franklin, Samantha Norman (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“I couldn’t have been more excited when I learned Franklin wrote a new book. This wonderfully written novel takes place during King Stephen and Empress Matilda’s tumultuous civil conflict to claim England, no matter what cost to themselves or their subjects. The story conveys the brutality of the period without sacrificing the complex nature of the time and the people.” — Elizabeth Carroll, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

9780062339485_29c82Finding Jake, Bryan Reardon (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“Stay-at-home dad Simon Connelly receives the call every parent dreads: there’s been a shooting at his children’s school. Through flashbacks and present-day narratives, he mines his memory for clues to what may have happened. This is a refreshing take on the well trodden ‘bad kid’ novels, and an excellent thriller to recommend to all who liked Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin.” — Alissa Williams, Pekin Public Library, Pekin, IL

9780765376459_c3cfcA Darker Shade of Magic, V. E. Schwab (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

9781250056450_e2a1dA Murder of Magpies, Judith Flanders, (Macmillan/Minotaur; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“Loved this mystery! The acerbic narrator is 40-year-old British book publishing editor Samantha, whose best author goes missing after writing a tell-all book about a famous French fashion designer who died under suspicious circumstances. Very funny, and great secondary characters as well.” — Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR

Seven Titles for R.A. Gurus,
Week of Feb. 16

Friday, February 13th, 2015

None of the titles arriving next week have long holds list waiting for them. The new Richard Price novel, currently showing few holds against fairly modest ordering, may take off amidst a burst of media attention. Also arriving, several LibraryReads and GalleyChat titles to recommend.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title, Week Radar of Feb. 16, 2015

Keep Your Eye On 

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The Whites, Richard Price as Harry Brandt, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio by Bobby Cannavale; OverDrive Sample)

You can understand why Richard Price wanted to write a “slicker, more commercial book,” the reason, as this week’s NYT feature reports, he decided to try writing under a pseudonym. Among fellow crime writers, he is considered a master. Yet, despite awards and acclaim, his books don’t sell as well as Dennis Lehane’s or Michael Connelly’s.

Although the author himself thinks he didn’t achieve his goal, some reviewers disagree. In the New Yorker, Joyce Carol Oates calls The Whites, “more of a policier than Price’s previous fiction—more plot-driven and less deeply engaged by the anthropology of its urban communities.” In his other books, she says,  setting is “lavishly detailed” but in The Whites, “the grim urban landscape is scarcely more than a backdrop. The author focusses on the interwoven lives of a number of characters in language as forthright and free of metaphor as a police report, and on the construction of an elaborate narrative that shifts between present and past action.”

Michael Connelly, on the cover of this Sunday’s NYT Book Review, says Price “manages to give the story a fierce momentum, one that makes putting this book aside to sleep or eat or do anything else very difficult … This book literally interrupted my professional and personal life. Once in, I had to stay in and stick with it to the end.” This one could give Price the commercial success he seems to be seeking.

Librarian Picks 

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A Touch of Stardust, Kate Alcott, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“With the background of the making of Gone with the Wind, this is a delightful read that combines historical events with the fictional career of an aspiring screenwriter. Julie is a wide-eyed Indiana girl who, through a series of lucky breaks, advances from studio go-fer and assistant to Carole Lombard to contract writer at MGM. A fun, engaging page-turner!”  — Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ

Dreaming Spies: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Laurie R. King. (RH/Bantam; Recorded Books;  OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“Considering that King is one of the finest mystery authors writing today, it’s no surprise that the latest in the Russell/Holmes series is an engaging read. Intrigue follows the duo as they board a liner bound for Japan and meet up with a known blackmailer and a young Japanese woman who is not all that she seems. Great historical research and rich atmosphere!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Half the World, Joe Abercrombie, (RH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

“Fifteen-year-old Thorn, determined to become a king’s soldier, is fighting not just physical opponents, but her world’s social mores. Girls are supposed to desire nothing more than a wealthy husband. Period. Thorn’s struggles to achieve her dream make for a riveting read. Second in a series, this book reads very well as a standalone.” — Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX

9780062332943_b7fb6Fiercombe Manor, Kate Riordan, (Harper; OverDrive Sample)

A favorite on our September GalleyChat, “With its English manor setting, threads of madness, and hints of hauntings, it’s an obvious homage to Kate Morton, Victoria Holt, Sarah Waters, and Daphne du Maurier. Before reading, Google ‘Owlpen Manor’ to see the house that inspired the setting.” Edelweiss is also showing “much love” (their version of “likes,” but stronger) from a dozen librarians.

Media Attention

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ISIS : Inside the Army of Terror, Michael Weiss, Hassan Hassan, (S&S/Regan Arts; OverDrive Sample)

This title appears to be embargoed, since there are no prepub reviews and, as a result, libraries have not ordered it. Co-author Hassan published a story last week in The Guardian in which he writes that he and Weiss conducted in-depth interviews with ISIS members for the story. Hassan is a journalist for The National, an English-language newspaper from Abu Dhabi, which reviews the book. No news just now on media attention, but given the subject, and that it is the first title from publicity magnet Judith Regan’s new S&S imprint (her colorful presence is welcomed back in a story in last Friday’s NYT), expect to be hearing about it.

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty, Amanda Filipacchi, (Norton; Highbridge Audio)

Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan this week on NPR’s Fresh Air; “a farcical fictional meditation on female beauty structured as a mashup of an old episode of Friends, a fairy tale and a murder mystery.” The author recently appeared on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show.

Movie tie-in

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Insurgent Movie Tie-in Edition, Veronica Roth, (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), also in paperback

The movie of the second installment in the series starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James opens March 20. A new trailer appeared online this week.

Eight Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of Feb. 9

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Next week features several books by rising stars, from a YouTube comedian poised for the transition to HBO, to several heavily anticipated debut novels, including one by an author who thinks her character makes Katniss Everdeen “look like a wuss.”

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 9. 2015

Holds Leaders

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Obsession in Death by J. D. Robb (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is the holds leader of the titles being published next week, followed by Jonathan Kellerman’s Motive, (RH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Also highly anticipated is Anne Tyler’s 20th novel, A Spool of Blue Thread(RH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample) the LibraryReads #1 pick for the month and an Indie Next pick, it is also a People pick this week (“will delight her many fans:) and Michiko Kakutani, reviews it in the NYT today (it doesn’t delight her). A rumor has sprung up that Tyler is retiring. She tells the Wall Street Journal that’s untrue; “I have no idea whether I’ll do another [book], but I would never put myself in the position of saying I wouldn’t or would … It depends on whether something arrives or not.”

Media Attention

9781476749051_0ebe9-2The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae, (S&S/Atria/37 Ink; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

If you haven’t heard of the YouTube star, check out her profile by the L.A. Times. She may be on the verge of new recognition, HBO recently green lighted a pilot for a possible series, titled Insecure.  She is producing it with another comedian who recently began his own show, Larry Wilmore. And, of course, she is scheduled to appear on his show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore later this month.

Picks

9780399169526_2629dMy Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Excitement is bubbling up for this debut and librarians who are part of our Penguin First Flights Debut Author program are in on it (by the way, it’s been a good week for titles in the program; Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm, Penguin/Viking, is a People pick this week and Everything I Never Told You, Penguin Press, won a YALSA Alex Award)

Entertainment Weekly picks Sunshine as the top book on the 2/16 ‘Must List,’ along with a strong review in the books section, “Walsh has an innate knack for plot and suspense, but the real pleasure here is his prose: The heat of a Louisiana summer and the joy of getting a phone call from your crush are as vivid as the pangs of nostalgia you my feel for your teenage self.’ It is also and Indie Next and a Library Reads title

The author signed at Midwinter and he sings for librarians here:

T9780062227096_1ce94he Country of Ice Cream Star, Sandra Newman, (HarperCollins/Ecco; OverDrive Sample)

Quick; does that title, or that cover, make you think “another dystopian novel”? It may soon. As the Wall Street Journal proclaims, “Author Sandra Newman thinks Katniss Everdeen, of the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, is kind of a wuss.” Her 15-year-old heroine is bolder. ““Instead of agonizing over kissing a boy, she just has sex. Instead of killing people with her archery skills, she has an assault rifle. I also think she’s a lot smarter and funnier than Katniss Everdeen, but clearly I’m biased.”

An Indie Next pick, (also picked by  BuzzFeed — Most Exciting New Books of 2015  and The Millions Book Preview)

“Newman drops the reader into a small tribe of scavengers, hunting and thieving out a meager survival in the woods of Massachusetts, approximately 80 years after an unnamed plague has wiped out most of the U.S. population. The world Newman creates is original, richly detailed, and compellingly realized, including the patois in which the story is told. At turns violent, romantic, funny, and touching, The Country of Ice Cream Star wraps an exploration of power, American institutions, race, and human nature into a ripping, twisting, and turning post-apocalyptic tale that is epic in scope and achievement.” —Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

9781606998106_fd2ffDisplacement, Lucy Knisley, (Norton/Fantagraphics)

One of the GalleyChat favorites from September, GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower says, “I haven’t read many graphic novels but I am now addicted to Lucy Knisley’s series of personal experiences that started with Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and continued with An Age of License. Her latest receives high praise from collection development librarian Janet Lockhart who said ‘Knisley is single handedly turning me into a graphic novel reader.’ ”

9780062310637_dc61bRed Queen, Victoria Aveyard, (HarperTeen; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

This Y.A. title has been given “much love” by 99 people to date on Edelweiss, which must be a record. 65 of them are bloggers, which makes us suspect a blog tour. Nevertheless, on GalleyChat, it was described as “epic fantasy and everyone’s talking about it.” It’s the first in a trilogy, by an author who graduated from USC’s screenwriting program in 2012. Optioned by Universal for a film adaptation, the deal was featured in The Hollywood Reporter.

Nine Titles to Know,
The Week of Feb. 2

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The ground hog should come out of hibernation next week to read new titles by Kristin Hannah, Lisa Gardner, and Nick Hornby and to see if yet another in the list of anticipated heirs to Gone Girl’s mantle lives up to expectations.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable books arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 2, 2015

Holds Leaders

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One of the holds leaders of the week, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio, OverDrive Sample) is getting love from a wide range of sources. It’s been a favorite of librarians on GalleyChat, picked by independent booksellers as the #1 Indie Next title for February, and by Pennie Clark Ianniciello, the book buyer for Costco’s,  with a feature in this month’s Costco Connection. A full-page ad in the 2/1 NYT BR follows one for the title that is neck and neck in number of holds, Lisa Gardner’s Crash & Burn, (Penguin/Dutton, OverDrive Sample)

Advance Attention

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Funny Girl, Nick Hornby, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT; OverDrive Sample)

In an advance review in yesterday’s New York Times, Janet Maslin says Hornby’s latest “packs in lots of laughs, but it’s also got more heft than Mr. Hornby’s readers may expect.”  This is the first book in five years for the author, who divides his time between writing novels and screenplays (Wild and the forthcoming Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín). He’s also been writing a comedy series for the BBC, so it is no surprise that this novel, set in the ’60s, is about a young woman who wants to become the next Lucile Ball.

People magazine’s current “Book of the Week,” if it brings a run on Hornby’s previous titles, they have been re-released in trade paperback, as the full-page ad in the NYT announces, with a “stunning new look.”

The Sculptor, Scott McCloud, (Macmillan/First Second)

As we wrote earlier, McCloud’s magnum opus graphic novel has been getting major buzz in the comics world. This week, it gets an early review in ComicBook.com, “juxtaposes fantastical imagery with small human moments, both clarifying why this story could only be told as a comic and constructing a deeply compassionate story”and Paste magazine, “McCloud marries [his] rigorous academia to an evocative epic that explores the metaphysics and emotions of creation. Drafted over five years, this 500-page tome chronicles David, an abrasive, obsessive artist, in his journey to create a masterpiece that will survive his own mortality.” NPR chimes in with an “exclusive first read” on their site.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, Paul Fischer, (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Talk about timing. This true story comes right on the heels of The Interview controversy, which brought early coverage in the NYT (Dec. 31), followed by an interview with the author this week in the Wall Street Journal and is the source for an in-depth opinion piece in a Washington Post blog.

Picks

Kind worth  9780062316899_93d95  9781608196883_b44f3

The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower is an early fan of Swanson’s second novel. Weary of comparing each new psychological suspense novel to Gone Girl, she says this is the next Girl on the Train because, “The sympathetic characters were are and far between and the twists and turns didn’t stop until the perfect ending.” She adds,  “Get lots of copies so you’ll have a ‘sure-bet’ handy for your patrons.”  She’s clearly been spreading the word, of the books coming out this week, it gets the most  librarian “love” on Edelweiss. She’s backed up by Entertainment Weekly, which lists it in their 2015 preview  of “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015,” as one of three successors to Gone Girl, along with The Girl On The Train and The Daylight Marriage(Algonquin, May, eARCs available from Edelweiss and NetGalley). Swanson won high praise for his first novel, which came out just a year ago,  The Girl With a Clock for a Heart.

A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers, Hazel Gaynor (HarperCollins/ Morrow trade paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

A Galley Chat favorite in December, described as, “a historical novel based on actual events, an interesting look at a sad time in London history when many homeless children were required to sell flowers and watercress on the streets by day and sleep in doorways by night.”

We Are Pirates, Daniel Handler, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

An Indie Next pick for February, it gets a strong blurb from Neil Gaiman,  “Honest and funny, dark and painful, We Are Pirates reads like the result of a nightmarish mating experiment between Joseph Heller and Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s the strangest, most brilliant offering yet from the mind behind Lemony Snicket.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9781476755717_54862-2Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, Bill Browder, (S&S; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

An exposé about the 2009 torture and murder of a Russian whistle-blower in a Moscow prison, the author is set to appear on several FOX News shows as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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Books Set to Explode,
Week of Jan 26

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Arriving next week are two explosive books. Ghettoside, by L.A. Times journalist Jill Leovy, investigates how our criminal justice system fails African Americans and is already making headlines. The other, James Patterson’s latest, is literally exploding as part of a promotional stunt.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 26.

Holds Leader

9780316211130_dcb2dPrivate Vegas, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio)

In most libraries, the holds leader for this week is still lagging behind the holds leader from last week. In most libraries, the debut phenomenon, The Girl on the Train tops Private Vegas.

Perhaps feeling the heat, Patterson has crafted a new promotion. Private Vegas will literally explode, for the fan willing to pay $300,000 for the privilege (also included, a trip to Vegas and dinner with Patterson). The less well heeled can sign up for a chance to win a self-destructing eBook. Others can get a similar thrill by checking out library eBooks.

Media Attention

9780385529983_bd29dGhettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill Leovy, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Michael Connelly’s cover blurb, “Gritty, heart-wrenching … Everyone needs to read this book, ” is one you might expect to find on a novel, but this book is nonfiction, an investigation into the murder of a young black man in Los Angeles by an L.A. Times reporter. Flavorwire picks it as one of “10 Nonfiction Books That Will Define the Conversation in 2015″ and it seems to be doing just that, with advance coverage that includes:

New York Timesreview by Dwight Garner – Jan. 22

L.A. Times — Review, “Ghettoside focuses on one L.A. murder to make case for more policing” – Jan. 22

New York Times Book Review Cover review – Jan. 25

Features are also planned on NPR:

NPR Weekend Edition – 1/24

NPR Fresh Air – 1/26 or 1/27

Picks of the Week

9780062072948_439b2The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, Julia Quinn, (HarperCollins/Avon; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

A February LibraryReads Pick:

“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard’s motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.” — Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT

9781627791991_67ddbThe Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, Sharma Shields, (Macmillan/Holt paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

On O magazine’s list of “10 books to pick up now” (link not available) and Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” (it also gets an A in the review section):

“A young boy grows up obsessed with the creatures known as Bigfoots — understandable, considering his mother ran away with one — and goes on to raise a very unusual family in this wildly fantastical debut novel.”

9780451471475_c55f3I Was Here, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile; OverDrive Sample; Listening Library)

A People pick (note, it is a YA title, which People doesn’t mention, attesting to its crossover appeal)

“‘It’s not your fault.’ So ends Meg’s suicide note to Cody. Still, Cody can’t help but feel guilty — how could she not have known that her best friend was suicidal? But when Cody goes to Meg’s college to pack up her things, she realizes there’s a lot she didn’t know. A heartbreaking novel about coping with loss from the bestselling author of If I Stay.’

9780544315495_b2fafThe Jaguar’s Children, John Vaillant, (HMH; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Reviewed by Alan Cheese on All Things Considered, 1/20/15

IndieNext pick:

“Vaillant has established his reputation as an accomplished writer of nonfiction, and he now brings his considerable talent to this debut novel. There are no easy moments in this story told by Hector, a young man engaged in an illegal border crossing inside a sealed tanker truck. Vaillant uses Hector’s narration to bring the frequent brutality of the illegal immigration experience to light in visceral detail, engaging both the reader’s sympathy and revulsion, which linger long after the last page is turned.” — Fran Keilty, The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT

9781602862524_57e05Wolf Winter, Cecilia Ekbäck, (Perseus/Weinstein; Recorded Books)

IndieNext pick:

“Maija, her husband, Paavo, and their daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, leave Finland to settle in Lapland in the beautiful area near Blackasen Mountain. One day, Frederika discovers the body of one of the villagers. Was he killed by wolves or was he murdered? What powers does the mountain have? The harsh ‘wolf winter’ brings the settlers together to survive, but what tragedies, secrets, customs, and vengeance are they hiding? When Maija and her family arrived at the mountain, readers were told, ‘This was the kind of land that didn’t know how to let go.’ Ekb?ck’s intriguing tale of Swedish Lapland in 1717 gives insight into the land and people of the far north and is also hard to let go.” — Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT 

A Dozen Titles for Readers Advisors, Week of Jan. 19

Friday, January 16th, 2015

With no blockbuster names arriving next week, readers advisors can concentrate on the many picks by colleagues.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 26, 2015

Advance Attention

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Leaving Before the Rains Come, Alexandra Fuller, (Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Fans of Fuller’s previous autobiographies, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, will want to know whether this new one is as good. Entertainment Weekly‘s top book critic Tina Jordan, clearly a Fuller fan, says in the new issue’s lead review it is even better than the others and gives it a resounding A. It also received an early review in last week’s NYT BR, and the author is profiled in Home & Garden section.

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Fans of Fuller’s African adventures will be thrilled to find she is back with another engaging memoir, and new readers will want to read her previous works. In Leaving Before the Rains Come, Fuller tells of her unraveling marriage and her realization that she is a person truly between countries, living in the U.S. with her husband and children while her heart and soul remain in Africa. Her experiences in the States change her, and when she returns to Africa she discovers that she no longer fits in as she previously had. Fuller must face some tough questions about who she is and where she belongs, and she does so with her usual intelligence and wit.” —Liz Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, AK

Fear the Darkness: A Thriller, Becky Masterman, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample);

Janet Maslin gives Fear the Darkness early attention in the daily NYT this week. Clearly expecting a winner, based on the authors previous title, Rage Against the Dying, she calls this one “another strong display of the author’s ingenuity” but seems let down by the book’s “involving, if not electrifying, first half.”  In the end, however, she says the “book’s later stages are easily its best and well worth waiting for.”

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner, (Norton)

The NYT covers this book by the Pulitzer Prize winner in a story that should fascinate anyone interested in research.

People Picks 

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper, (S&S; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick of the Week, 1/26/15;  ” … a lovely book you’ll want to linger over.”

Also an Indie Next pick:

“Eighty-three-year-old Etta Vogel quietly sets out one day to walk 3,200 kilometers to the coast of Canada for her first view of the ocean. As Etta travels, author Hooper gently and poignantly reveals a lifetime of morally charged events that shaped Etta as well as her husband, Otto, and her lifelong friend, Russell. This is a beautiful and sometimes hauntingly stark portrait of three WWII-generation lives, sprinkled with the wise counsel of a loyal coyote named James. I loved it!” — Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

See How Small, Scott Blackwood, (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

‘This strange and mesmerizing novel begins with the murder of three teenage girls in an Austin ice-cream shop, then traces the crime’s impact on survivors, including a mother, a witness and an accomplice to the crime. In lyrical, often dream-like prose, Blackwood illuminates the nature of grief and the connections among the living and the dead.”

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adam, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

”One day David Adam was a regular guy; the next he scraped himself on a screw and panicked that he’d contracted AIDS. For more than a decade that thought dominated his life. Part memoir, part exploration of the science behind OCD, The Man Who Couldn’t stop is an obsessive read and one with heart.’

LibraryReads Pick

First 9781250019837_9abf8Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample)

Both a LibraryReads and Indie Next pick

LibraryReads recommendation:

First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.” — Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ

GalleyChat Pick

9780802123190_da341Before He Finds Her, Michael Kardos, (Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press)

GalleyChat Fave, Sept:

“I loved Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair (2012) and was sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved, so I’m keeping fingers crossed that his newest will find a bigger audience. This fast moving plot about a man who murdered his wife and may be looking for his missing daughter is told from multiple viewpoints and is perfect for Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay readers.” — Robin Beerbower, EarlyWord

Indie Next Picks

9780871407900_0d56aSweetland, Michael Crummey, (Norton/Liveright)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Crummey takes readers into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland. Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland’s family founded the town, and he is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate to the mainland that is effective only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.” —Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

9780062346032_d56d4Migratory Animals, Mary Helen Specht, (Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Specht’s novel weaves together stories of science and art, friends faraway and family returned. Migratory Animals is a coming-of-age tale for grown-ups, a reminder that growing pains don’t stop as we age and change and become who we’re supposed to be — or who we hope to be. Flannery and her friends will grab hold of you and not let go until the last page has been turned.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780525427506_43541Unbecoming, Rebecca Scherm, (Penguin/Viking, BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Julie rents a room in a dilapidated house outside of Paris. She repairs antiques, mostly things no one else wants, and is a loner with no friends or social life. In her room at night, she reads the news from Garland, Tennessee, her hometown, where two men are about to be let out on parole for a crime for which she was the mastermind. Julie is terrified of being found and is just trying to survive. This is an exhilarating page-turner with multi-layered characters and several good twists. Once you hit the halfway point, it’s a race to the finish to find out what’s going to happen.” —Amanda Skelton, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN – See also, our chat with the author, Rebecca Scherm. 

9781616954277_51a87Morte, Robert Repino, (Penguin/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Ants conquer the world and pets overthrow their masters in this smart, gripping novel. House cat Sebastian becomes Mort(e), a fearsome warrior for the animal cause. Battling across a dystopian landscape, flushing out the few human survivors, Mort(e) can never quite forget his domesticated past and lost friend, the dog Sheba. A crisis of conscience ensues. What is good? Who is evil? Are the dictatorial ants truly better than the humans with their germ warfare? Laced with humor, this action-packed thriller is thought-provoking.” — Mariga Temple-West, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA

Seven Titles to Know And Recommend, The Week of Jan. 12

Friday, January 9th, 2015

9781594633669_dc9b1 9780525954545_51ca6

Making history, the holds leader of the titles arriving next week is a debut, which is getting a flurry of advance reviewsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample). If you’re thinking that the many Gone Girl comparisons may lead to a movie, you are correct. Film rights were won by Dreamworks prior to publication.

Close behind Hawkins is Tami Hoag’s next psychological thriller, Cold, Cold Heart (Penguin/Dutton).

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 1/12/15.

Advance Attention

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The Magician’s LieGreer Macallister, (Sourcebooks Landmark; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Arriving with three major picks — IndieNext, this week’s People magazine, (a “richly imagined thriller”) and LibraryReads, which gives it the following recommendation:

“Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder–or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.” — Paula Jones, Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA

West of Sunset, Stewart O’Nan, (Penguin/Viking; OverDrive Sample)

A favorite on GalleyChat in September, O’Nan’s latest focuses on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood. In her Edelweiss review Darien Library’s Collection Development manager Jennifer Dayton said, “This is a portrait of a man drowning in longing for lost chances, lost loves and lost worlds. I loved it.” It is also the lead review in this issue of Entertainment Weekly, with a solid  B+ and is an IndieNext Pick:

“This novel begins after F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda have streaked across the Jazz Age sky like bright, shiny shooting stars. Scott is in Hollywood working as a script doctor and shakily holding on to sobriety; Zelda is in a mental hospital clinging to sanity just as tenuously. Unaccustomed to the workaday world, Scott struggles to prove his worth in Hollywood by showing up to work on time, paying his bills, and living a life of quiet desperation. Gone are the days of wine and roses; Scott must now learn to live as if there is a tomorrow. O’Nan offers a subtle portrait of an American icon as an ordinary man attempting to redefine himself after nearly losing it all.” — Kerry Spaulding, University Book Store, Mill Creek, WA 

Outline, Rachel Cusk, (Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio OverDrive Sample)

We already noted the killer advance review from Dwight Garner in the NYT. It is being followed by another in Sunday’s NYT Book Review.

Media Hits

9781439172568_3cd19  81oJJox61EL

The First Bad Man, Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

The minimalist cover signals something unusual (the back cover is more conventional, filled with quotes from Lena Dunham, Dave Eggers, Hilton Als and A.M. Homes). Several libraries have not ordered it, probably because the pre-pub reviews, while strong, made it sound challenging, or even peculiar (“will delight the open-minded reader looking for something new,” LJ). Those libraries that have bought are showing holds.

Miranda July, experimental artist, filmmaker, and writer, is a media darling who even has a handbag named after her. A feature in the current issue of Elle magazine calls her a “polymath” (a characteristic parodied by The Onion two years ago in a piece titled “Miranda July Called Before Congress To Explain Exactly What Her Whole Thing Is“). Don’t check her online calendar if you’re prone to wondering what you’re doing with your own life. She is also profiled in this Sunday’s NYT Book Review and is scheduled for a feature on NPR’s Weekend EditionExpect more coverage in VogueO MagazineMarie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar. UPDATE: the daily NYT has joined in, with a review by Michiko Kakutani, saying that the book’s scenes are described in “deliberately grotesque, even repellent terms,” and with a their own profile. This is the link to Sunday’s NPR Weekend Edition interview.

9780812993578_4ce6b

The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters, Wes Moore, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample)

In 2010, the author published The Other Wes Moore, a parallel look at his own life and the life of another black man, also living in Baltimore and also named Wes Moore. While the author of the book went from fatherless delinquent to becoming an investment banker, Rhodes scholar, and an aide to Condoleezza Rice, the other Wes Moore ended up in prison. That book received media attention, as will the follow up:

Comedy Central Daily Show – some time this month
MSNBC Morning Joe – 1/12
HBO Real Time with Bill Mahr – 1/16

Titles For R.A. Gurus, Week of Jan. 5

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

This is our favorite season of the year, as new contenders emerge for potential breakout success. Last year, while many were looking for the next Gone Girl, a totally different book became an unexpected long-running best sellerAll The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner).

In the first week of the new year, the contenders are Pierce Brown’s second in his Red Rising trilogy and a debut novel that is already a surprise favorite in-house, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton (Hachette/ Grand Central).

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 5, 2015

Holds Leaders

9780399169151_16a4b  9780399165139_f8fed

Insatiable Appetites, Stuart Woods, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio); OverDrive Sample

Trust No One, Jayne Ann Krentz, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books; Thorndike); OverDrive Sample

Other well-known names also return this week —  Charles Todd, Bernard Cornwell, George Pelecanos (a novella and short stories), Sophie Hannah, and, teaming up for the third time, Marcia Muller with Bill Pronzini — as well as the next in the Flavia de Luce series, the #1 Library Reads pick for January:

9780345539939_6fe24As Chimney Sweepers Come to DustA Flavia de Luce Novel, Alan Bradley, (RH/Delacorte; RH Audio; Thorndike); OverDrive Samplego behind the scenes of the audio recording here

LibraryReads recommendation:

“After the unexpected recovery of her mother’s body brings the de Luce’s family secrets to light, Flavia’s life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term–and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!” — Lizzie Gall, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI

Breakout Contenders

golden-sunGolden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy, Pierce Brown, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books); OverDrive Sample

Brown’s debut, the first in the Red Rising trilogy, was a hit with librarians who made it the #1 LibraryRead pick last February. The second book, also a LibraryRead pick, is #3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” of things to do this week. The only book reviewed in that issue, it is called the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut” It gets an A, of course.

LibraryReads recommendation:

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”– Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD

secret-wisdom-lineThe Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Christopher Scotton, (Hachette/Grand Central; Blackstone Aurio); OverDrive Sample

This debut started small, but generated such support from Hachette’s sales staff, as outlined in a Publisher Weekly story, that it got the big title treatment, with advance readers copies promoted at ABA back in May, plus appearances by the author at regional bookseller shows. It’e worked, the book is the #1 Jan. IndieNext Pick:

“Struggling to recover from the trauma of his baby brother’s tragic death, Kevin and his broken mother relocate to Medger, Kentucky, for the summer. Their return to the Appalachian coal town in which their family is deeply rooted is intended to heal them both. While Kevin’s grandfather is just the person and the wild hollows surrounding their little town just the place to help him mend, Kevin finds that Medger and its citizens are in need of healing as well. Poverty, a mountaintop removal operation, and desperation are tearing their town and the land around it apart. Scotton’s finely wrought characters, perfectly paced plot, and keen sense of place make The Secret Wisdom of the Earth resonate with the reader long after the book has been finished.” —Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT 

Scotton spoke at an AAP breakfast at ALA and the book is GalleyChat pick, with Kansas City’s Kaite Stover saying it reminds her of Stephen King’s The Body (adapted as the movie Stand By Me), with the “same strong male relationships and heart-wrenching coming of age elements.“

Entertainment Weekly is not so enthusiastic, however, giving it a in a review that opens on a downer,”It took Christopher Scotton, who is the CEO of a software company by day, 15 years to write Secret, and it shows. It often feels as if he’s trying to fit every known genre … into his stuffed turducken of a plot,” but goes on to acknowledge, “… it’s not hard to see why the book has earned early praise and an impressive first-run print order of 100,000 copies … it strives to tell the type of story that many contemporary novelists find too old-fashioned, or too sincere … it’s flawed and sprawling and a little bit unmoored, but its aim is true.”

9781616203047_5fa81Descent, Tim Johnston, (Workman/Algonquin); OverDrive Sample

On GalleyChat this was compared to Jacqueline Mitchard’s Deep End of the Ocean. Kaite Stover found it, “moving, absorbing, and lyrical in telling the story of a family’s anguish at the disappearance of a child.” It is also and IndieNext pick:

“Descent is a gripping, utterly engrossing account of a girl’s disappearance in the Rocky Mountains. The aftermath of this tragedy is told in alternating voices: the injured brother at the scene of the accident when she left with a stranger to get help; the mother who has been hospitalized and stunned into breathtaking grief; the father who has been unable to leave the small town where the family was vacationing when his daughter disappeared — and most stunning of all, through the words of the victim herself. A real page-turner with a brilliantly conceived climax!” —Kelly Estep, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY 

People Picks

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Her, Harriet Lane, (Hachette/Little, Brown); OverDrive Sample

People Pick of the Week — “Chilling, suspenseful and shrewd about friendship’s mix of love and envy, HER captivates right up to it’s shocking denouement.”

Before I Go, Colleen Oakley (S&S/Gallery; )

People Pick — ‘In this spirited and original debut, 27-year-old control freak Daisy Richmond learns she has just months to live — and becomes obsessed with finding her husband a new wife. Author Oakley has set herself a tricky balancing act here, blending a comic sensibility with the depth and poignancy her subject requires. She pulls it off.’

This is also an IndieNext Pick:

“After just a few years in remission, Daisy’s breast cancer returns with a vengeance and she is given mere months to live. The love shared by Daisy and Jack, her husband, is unbounded and immense. While undergoing experimental cancer treatments, Daisy decides to look for her replacement, a new wife for Jack. She visits dog parks, bookstores, and finally lands upon the ideal woman through an online match service. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that things do not go as planned. This book about cancer and death is filled with love and a grand sense of humor, is never maudlin or sappy, and serves as a necessary reality check for all of us.” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Media Attention

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America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System, Steven Brill, (Random House)

This is an expansion of Brill’s award-winning story, which Time magazine devoted an entire issue to. Brill had open heart surgery while completing the book, giving him added insight. He is scheduled for appearances next week on CBS This MorningThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart and on  NPR’s Fresh Air.

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film, Patton Oswalt, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

Author/comedian Oswald is profiled in this week’s NYT BR “By the Book”column. He is scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, on CBS This Morning, as well as Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Movie Tie-ins

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, E L James, (RH/Vintage; RH audio)

Cincuenta Sombras de Grey (Movie Tie-in Edition)E L James , (RH/Vintage Espanol)
You may have heard that the movie adaptation arrives on Valentime’s Day; Trailer

The World Made StraightRon Rash, (Macmillan/Picador) — Trailer

Movie arrives next week, Jan. 9, before the more talked about Rash adaptation, Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, which arrives on VOD in Feb. and in theaters in March. The tie-in for it will be released on Jan. 20.

 

Titles for R.A. Gurus, Week of 12/29/14

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The 2015 publishing year begins next week as new books head to stores, ready for customers brandishing gift cards.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 12/29/14

Holds Leader

9780345543851_1571cDie Again: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel,
Tess Gerritsen (RH/Ballantine); OverDrive Sample

Among the titles by familiar names (Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Brad Taylor, Sherryl Woods, Jane Green) the leader in holds is Tess Gerritsen’s eleventh in her series featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. The fifth season of the TNT TV series based on the characters returns beginning Feb. 17 and a sixth is in the works, to debut in the summer. In an interview with PW, Gerritsen says the book draws on her own experiences while on Safari in South Africa.

LibraryReads Picks

9780804176378_c14ffVanessa and Her Sister, Priya Parmar, (RH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio); OverDrive Sample
Audio clip:

The first buzzy debut of the season, this title is featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, is People‘s Book of the Week, as well as both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick.

LibraryReads annotation:

“Told uniquely as part diary, part epistolary novel, Parmar focuses on the relationship of Vanessa (later Bell) and Virginia (later Woolf) Stephens, one filled with unspoken jealousy and a fierceness of love that will ultimately destroy their kinship. This well-researched novel with gorgeous prose brings the characters to life with a unique perspective.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Slate uses it as a jumping off point for a piece that offers a jaundiced view of the “biographical fan fiction” trend, beginning with Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank.

9781476767314_daf49The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio); OverDrive Sample

The followup to Simsion’s The Rosie Project, a book that won an Australian prize for unpublished manuscripts and went on to sell more than a million copies worldwide.

Fans Bill and Melinda Gates recorded a video with the author:

LibraryReads annotation:

“Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA — It is also an IndieNext pick.

9780804178983_8c4d5The Dress Shop of Dreams, Menna van Praag, (RH/Ballantine; Thorndike; Recorded Books); OverDrive Sample

LibraryReads annotation:

“Tidy, romantic, and fine escapism. All the characters here have interesting back stories: Cora is believable as a no-nonsense gal trying to rebuff sweet Walt’s advances, and Etta is someone I’d like to meet in real life. Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

9781616954765_d0d69The Bishop’s Wife, Mette Ivie Harrison, (Soho Crime; Blackstone Audio); OverDrive Sample

Y.A. author Harrison’s mystery debut got an early review by the New York Times‘ Janet Maslin, indicating she thinks it may take off and, indeed, she notes that it “has good reason to draw a large readership” because of its focus on domestic abuse among extremists in some religious communities and because it “incorporates details about Mormon daily life that should fascinate readers who know little about them.” Maslin also notes that it appears to be the beginning of a series.

It is both an IndieNext and LibraryReads pick.

IndieNext:

“Linda Wallheim is the local bishop’s wife and the mother of five sons, all but one out of the house and on their own. As a Mormon, Linda has been increasingly frustrated with some of the Church’s doctrine. While her life is busy fulfilling her duties with many community services and being the hostess for the ward at all hours, she chafes under the patriarchal beliefs and practices. When she is called to care for a five-year-old girl whose mother has mysteriously disappeared, Linda begins to question the circumstances of the young wife’s absence. This is a beautifully written story about a woman who supports her husband as the bishop while recognizing that her inner convictions might go against his will. A compelling read!” — Patricia Worth, River Reader, Lexington, MO 

LibraryReads:

“As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop’s wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop’s wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.” — Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

Four Titles to Know & Recommend, The Week of Dec. 8

Friday, December 5th, 2014

In the midst of all the assessments of the best books of the year, it’s refreshing to look forward to some new titles coming out next week.

All the titles covered here, and a few other notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Dec. 8, 2014

 9781439199350_c6496-2The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike)

Diamant’s fifth novel arrives just after the airing of a Lifetime two-part series based on her first and most well-known novel, The Red Tent.  The author is profiled in the Boston Globe (unfortunately, a review of Lifetime‘s adaptation, in the same issue is not positive). The story of a Jewish immigrant growing up in early-20th-century Boston, as told by her 85-year-old self to her granddaughter. Booklist, calls it, a “graphic, page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century” and it has a significant amount of “love” on Edelweiss.

Here, Ric0375406506_60ed3hard McGuire, (RH/Pantheon)

McGuire broke new ground when his 1989 comic strip was first published in Art Spiegelman’s Raw magazine. This new book-length version is being celebrated with an exhibit at the Morgan library, which has been covered in the Atlantic magazine and in the New York Times. An interview with the author is coming on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

9780062377180_e0c5dMoriarty, Anthony Horowitz, (Harper)

We urged you back in October to read the galley of this book. It is People’s Book of the Week, 12/15/14 and an IndieNext pick:

“I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches for 20 years, but I’ve never read anything as devious as this! After the famous encounter between Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, Inspector Athelney Jones and Pinkerton Agent Frederick Chase are thrown together to combat the rising shadow of an American crime boss looking to take over Moriarty’s empire. Horowitz wisely does not try to imitate Doyle’s style, but instead comes up with a unique voice with several parallels to the Holmes and Watson dynamic. As soon as you finish, you’ll want to read it again with a new appreciation for Horowitz’s masterful plotting. Exquisitely done!” —Steven Sautter, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

9781623658007_c5405Irene: The Commandant Camille Verhoeven Trilogy, Pierre Lemaitre, (Quercus/MacLehose)

IndieNext, Dec — “This extremely suspenseful, fast-paced crime novel is not for the fainthearted. Its graphic violence may turn some readers away, but those who stick through the opening scenes will be richly rewarded by following Commander Verhoeven’s pursuit of a monstrous serial killer who models his gruesome crimes on scenes from classic crime novels. The intense action is enriched by scenes from Verhoeven’s domestic life, as well as the interactions among the distinct personalities of his Paris detective squad.” —Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

Eight Titles to Recommend
The Week of Dec 1

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The arrival of books by big names is slowing down to a trickle now that the magic “Black Friday” has passed. The only one this week is Mark Greaney’s continuation of  Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise, Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect, but both the number of holds and library orders are down considerably from the heights that the Jack Ryan name once commanded.

That clears the decks for attention to some other titles you may want to recommend.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Dec. 1, 2014

Advance Attention

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God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi, John Safran, (Penguin/Riverhead; Blackstone Audio)

Australian author Safran was featured on NPR’s 11/23 Weekend Edition Sunday. As the book'[s subtitle indicates, the tale is tangled and not at all what Safran expected. The NPR interview also mentions that it is very funny in parts, something one might not expect from the subject (also attested to by the blurb from John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, “Frightening and hilarious.”)

How to be both, Ali Smith, (RH/Pantheon), OverDrive Sample

This Booker shortlist title jus won the  Goldsmith Prize, for “pushing the novel into thrilling new shapes.’ The author was profiled in the New York Times on  11/25  and on NPR’s  Weekend Edition. The L.A. Times‘s lead critic David Ulin gives it a glowing review this week. Some libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

Independently Wealthy, Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, (Macmillan.St. Martin’s), OverDrive Sample

Kirstin Hannah calls Rosenthal a “bright new voice in women’s fiction.” A People magazine calls this sequel to the author’s New Money “delicious fun.”

Mai Tai’d Up, Alice Clayton, (S&S/Gallery, Original Trade Pbk.; S&S Audio), OverDrive Sample

People Magazine pick  12/8/14 — “Clayton’s a master at balancing heart, humor and plenty of action between the sheets.”

Best Mysteries and Thrillers

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Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery, Christopher Fowler, (RH/Bantam; Recorded Books, Feb), OverDrive Sample

In the daily New York Times, by Janet Maslin calls the author’s Peculiar Crimes series “delectably droll … criminally underappreciated by the wider world”  and notes the author is “crazily prolific,”  giving readers advisors a strong backlist to mine.

The Sweetness of Life, Paulus Hochgatterer, (Quercus/MacLehose Press)

PW Best Book, Mystery/Thriller — “Hochgatterer, a child psychiatrist based in Vienna, makes his U.S. debut with this suspenseful and insightful thriller in which a child psychiatrist treats a little girl traumatized by the discovery of her grandfather’s faceless corpse in the snow outside a fairy tale Austrian town.”

Memory of Flames, Isabel Reid, Armand Cabasson, (Gallic Books Limited), OverDrive Sample

PW Best Book, Mystery/Thriller — “Lt. Col. Quentin Margont investigates a royalist plot to undermine the defenses of Paris as the allied forces advance on the city in 1814 in Cabasson’s third Napoleonic Murders whodunit. The intricate storytelling and sophisticated character development make this one of the best historical mysteries of recent years.”

Enter Pale Death, Barbara Cleverly, (Soho Press), OverDrive Sample

IndieNext Pick, Dec. — “The tales of pre-World War II Scotland Yard’s Joe Sandilands are becoming addictive. Intrigue, political manipulations, the ever-present undercurrent of class differences, and the rising spectre of Nazism run throughout the series. Joe always expected to one day wed Dorcas, a charming girl he watched grow up, and is alarmed to find that she has attached herself to her academic patron, Sir James Truelove. The detective is sent to Truelove’s family estate to investigate the death of Sir James’s wife. Murder investigations, just like true love, never run smoothly. Is Sandilands going to find the way through this snake’s nest?” — Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

Seven Titles to Make You An R.A. Guru, Week of Nov. 24

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

With Black Friday arriving earlier than ever this year, the push to get books into stores by the traditional day now seems like an anachronism. Nevertheless,  two titles from brand name authors (one of them the biggest of brand names) arrive and there’s several others to keep an eye on.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 11/24/14

To get you in the mood for next week, below is Lewis Black’s rant on his non-namesake day:

Holds Leaders

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Hope to Die, James Patterson, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print;  eBook), OverDrive Sample

One of the holds leaders for the entire season,  close behind John Grisham’s Grey Mountain, John Sandford’s Deadline, and Lee Child’s Personal, this is the next in the series featuring  Alex Cross (played by Tyler Perry in the 2012 movie, Alex Cross), following up on the cliff-hanger from last year’s Cross My Heart.

Betrayed: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel, Lisa Scottoline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio), OverDrive Sample

After several standalones, Scottoline returned to her Rosato & DiNunzio series last year, in Accused, bringing in new partners to the all-female law firm, now called Rosato & Associates. Expressing some reservations about the novel’s plot points, Kirkus wound up judging this, “the most successful melding to date of Rosato & DiNunzio’s cases and Scottoline’s family-centered stand-alones.”

LibraryReads Pick

9780062068514_744dbNever Judge a Lady by Her Cover: The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels, Sarah MacLean, (HarperCollins/Avon),  OverDrive Sample

November pick — “Having lost her innocence in a teenage love affair, Lady Georgiana is a social pariah. Trying to save the tatters of her reputation, she must marry and marry well. By night, she is Anna, the most powerful madame in London, and a powerful seductress in her own right. Will Georgiana succeed in re-entering society, or will her past catch up with her once and for all?” — Emily Peros, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

Best Book Pick 

9781455519347_76ae0-2Twice Tempted, Eileen Dreyer,  (Hachette/Grand Central mass mkt pbk and eBook), OverDrive Sample

Picked, along with the previous title,  as one of the ten best books in the romance genre by Library Journal‘s romance reviewer.

Eye On 

THE-LOOK-OF-LOVE-LR-webThe Look of Love, Sarah Jio, (Penguin/Plume, original trade pbk; Blackstone Audio), OverDrive Sample

With this striking cover and the author’s growing reputation for light-hearted trade paperback romances (aka, “chick lit” titles), we predict Sarah Jio will soon break in to hardcover (in fact, she has switched publishers, which signals a relaunch). Her previous title, Good Night June, won over many by incorporating the story of the origins of the children’s book Good Night, Moon. via a woman who inherits a bookstore and discovers her aunt knew Margaret Wise Brown, which brought comparisons to Nora Ephron’s movie, You’ve Got Mail. The New York Daily News gives it a great send off, calling it, “a fun, quirky exploration of romance and friendship.”

Media Coverage 

9781476792491_37f12After We Collided, Anna Todd, (S&S/Gallery, S&S Audio), OverDrive Sample

The second in the series that began with After, this grew out of fan fiction dedicated to the boy band One Direction, and captured media attention for the claimed one billion downloads. Published online by WattPad, the New York Times wrote about it in March, Cosmopolitan magazine picked it for their first-ever #CosmoBookClub, and interviewed the author Anna Todd  in the magazine. the series was signed for a movie and caused even NPR’s Morning Edition to wonder earlier this month, “After Fifty Shades, Could This Be The Next Big Online Hit?

The transition to print did not follow the Fifty Shades path to bestsellerdom, however. After made a single appearance at #107 on the USA Today best seller list. The site Jezebel, took a dim view of it back in April, declaring, “If you complained about the prose of 50 Shades, After is going to send you into a conniptions.”

Holds are minimal on light ordering in libraries.

9781250065995_36e99Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys: A Memoir, Viv Albertine,  (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) OverDrive Sample

Punk rockers are now middle aged, so it’s memoir time. This one is by the guitarist for the all-girl band, The Slits (thanks for the correction in the comments). It gets an approving, if somewhat backhanded, review from the New York Times;” [Albertine’s] book has an honest, lo-fi grace. If it were better written, it would be worse. To borrow a line from David Byrne, which Ms. Albertine quotes, ‘The better a singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they’re saying.’ ‘

Four Titles to Recommend,
Week of Nov. 17

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Based on advance attention from librarians and booksellers, readers advisors have a range of titles to recommend next week, from a Norwegian mystery, written in a “perversely delicate style” to a literary novel that is “both heartbreaking and hysterical.”

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 11/17/14

Library Picks

9780544273399_5ea85The Murder of Harriet Krohn, Karin Fossum, (HMH), OverDrive Sample

The New York Times Book Review‘s mystery columnist, Marilyn Stasio, recently wrote a guide to the varied styles of Scandinavian crime novelists. Fossum is at the top of the list, described as writing “grim suspense novels on abnormal-psychology themes, but in a perversely delicate style that brings Ruth Rendell to mind.” It’s starred by PW and Cuyahoga P.L’s head of collection development, Wendy Bartlett has ordered in quantity, so copies will be available for browsing.

IndieNext Picks

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The Paris Winter, Imogen Robertson, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio), OverDrive Sample

“In 1909 Paris, a Russian princess, a French model, and a young Englishwoman meet at Academie Lafond, a school for aspiring female artists. It was a time when it was a woman’s duty to marry and support her husband in his career and become the work of art, not the artist. These fictional characters are inspired by real women such as Suzanne Valadon, a friend and muse to Toulouse Lautrec; Ada Leigh, who ran a house for penniless English and American women in Paris; and Gertrude Stein, whose salon paintings noted in The Paris Winter were Picasso’s. The reader, drawn into the underbelly of Paris with its backdrop of opium addiction, murder, and revenge, will be haunted by this tale long after the last page is turned.” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, Hermione Lee, (RH/Knopf), OverDrive Sample

“As always with Lee’s work, her latest biography offers a detailed and fascinating view of her subject’s life. Penelope Fitzgerald was a teacher, a scholar, a world-class novelist, a two-time winner of Britain’s Man Booker Prize, and a devoted mother and wife. Fitzgerald came late to fame, and this meticulously researched and beautifully written biography reveals every facet of her life in the most intimate way. I loved it!” — Kathy Ashton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT 

All My Puny Sorrows, Miriam Toews, (McSweeney’s), OverDrive Sample

“How does one craft a novel that tackles such difficult and controversial subjects as depression, euthanasia, and suicide without coming across as morbid and morose? Just read Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows. With great style and wit, Toews has created a tale that is at once heartbreaking and hysterical. Following the story of two sisters, Elf and Yoli, All My Puny Sorrows deals with the hardships of Elf’s depression and desire to end her life. Beautifully written, rich with tenderness and compassion, this novel keeps you alternating between laughter and tears, captivated from start to finish.” —Claire Roser, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

Adds Book Riot “Don’t let the serious subject matter dissuade you – this beautiful book will give you all the feels.” (We’re guessing that “feels” is a good thing).

Holds Leaders,
Week of Nov. 17

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Collaborations are the name of the game next week, as two best selling authors team up with co writers. But the holds leader, David Baldacci continues to go it on his own.

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Baldacci, David, The Escape, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

In an interview yesterday, Baldacci says he envies Sue Grafton for keeping her Kinsey Malone books in the 1980’s. His series tries to keep up with new technology, which is both “a blessing and a curse.” He launches his latest book at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT., next Wednesday.

The Job: A Fox and O’Hare Novel, Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg

The author of the Stephanie Plum novels, in her third collaboration with Lee Goldberg, a writer for the Monk TV series, (previous titles in the series are The Heist, June, 2013 and The ChaseFeb., 2014). It seems it’s working for both authors, the fourth in the series, as yet untitled, is set for August of next year.

The Cinderella Murder, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, (S&S; S&S Audio; Thorndike

Celebrating 40 years of best sellers, Mary Higgins Clark told the Wall Street Journal this week that she hopes to still be writing at 95. She may have discovered the secret of reaching her goal, in this her first collaboration with another author, Alafair Burke (All Day and All Night released in May, is her tenth novel). It features characters from Clark’s solo title,  I’ve Got You Under My Skin, (released in April), producers of a TV show, Under Suspicion that tries to solve cold cases by re-enacting them.  Says Kirkus, “This serendipitous series launch, or continuation, will satisfy Clark’s legion of fans and may well win her some new ones.” Two more titles in this series are under contract.