Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

Six Titles To Make You An RA Guru, Week of April 21

Friday, April 17th, 2015

“Highly anticipated” is the catch phrase for next week, with new titles from Toni Morrison, David Baldacci and Jon Krakauer, but don’t let those big names cause you to overlook a memoir by poet Elizabeth Alexander.

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 April 21, 2015

Holds Leaders

9781455586387_4b710David Baldacci, Memory Man, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

The honorary chair for National Library Week introduces a new series with this book.  The “memory man” is Amos Decker, a former football player with a head injury that has a strange result. He forgets nothing. Now a small town P.I., he investigates a school shooting. Kirkus calls the character a “a quirky, original antihero.”

The trailer for the movie based on one of Baldacci’s earlier titles,  Wish You Well, has just been released. It goes straight to DVD and On Demand in June.

9780062311115_b417fGreg Iles, The Bone Tree, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Two tragedies, a serious car accident and the loss of his father, caused author Greg Iles to think differently about his writing. After 13 books he realized, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in [my next] book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”

The result was last year’s Natchez Burning. The first in a trilogy, it arrived to fanfare from librarians and  debuted at #2 on the NYT best seller list, Iles’s highest ranking on that list to date. It’s now been on the paperback list for two week in a row, setting readers up for the next title, The Bone Tree.

It is both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick.

LibraryReads:
“Based on a real series of unsolved murders from the civil rights era in Louisiana, and the crusading journalist who uncovered the story, Iles’ novel shines a bright light of truth upon one of America’s darkest secrets. Iles’ compelling writing makes this complex tale of good versus evil a must-read for those who love thrillers, and those who want to learn a little bit of American history not normally taught in school.” — Ellen Jennings, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

9780399165153_2c6d9Amanda Quick, Garden of Lies, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

This standalone mystery by Jayne Ann Krentz, writing under one of her pseudonyms, is set in Victorian London. Kirkus approves, “A lady with a secret to hide and a gentleman reputed to be mad make a dandy investigative team.”

 

Advance Attention

9780307594174_bddd5Toni Morrison, God Help the Child, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Morrison’s latest can easily be called the most hotly anticipated novel of the season, having appeared on all the seasonal previews. Morrison gets the New York Times trifecta, the cover of last week’s NYT Magazine, the cover of the upcoming NYT Book Review, plus the Friday review by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT. It is also reviewed by Ron Charles, the Washington Post, today. Sad to say, however, the reviewers  find the book a let down. Morrison is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

Upcoming Media Attention

9780385538732_e12b5Jon Krakauer, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (RH/Doubleday; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print)

Best-selling nonfiction author Krakauer is known for writing about disturbing subjects, such as his personal account of a disastrous attempt to climb Mt. Everest, Into Thin Air (the movie Everest, to be released on Sept. 18, features Michael Kelly as Krakauer). In his new book, he turns his attention to a series of rapes at the University of Montana. The book is embargoed, so no reviews have appeared yet [UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal just released an interview with the author that has some details on the book} and the city of Missoula is bracing itself.

The author is scheduled to appear on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, followed by the CBS Early Show on Wednesday and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show the next day.

Picks

9781455599875_6176fElizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World: A Memoir, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The #1 IndieNext pick for May:

“It is hard to find the right words to do justice to this very special book. Yes, it is by one of our greatest contemporary poets, Elizabeth Alexander, who wrote ‘Praise Song for the Day’ for President Obama’s first inauguration, so the language is gorgeous. And yes, it is a memoir of losing her husband at a young age and so it is, in parts, gut-wrenchingly sad. And yes, it is an ode to an extraordinary man we come to feel we know as an artist, chef, father, friend, and lover. But, above all, it is as beautiful a love story as I have ever read, and it lifts readers up and gives us hope and makes us believe. I will urge it on everyone I know.” — Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Eight Titles to Know and Recommend, The Week of April 13

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The leaders in holds next week are Nora Roberts and Lisa Scottoline. Also arriving is a memoir by a black woman who makes the horrifying discovery (while browsing in a library) that her grandfather was a notorious Nazi. Readers advisors can look to several LibraryReads and Indie Next picks for titles to recommend.

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 April 13, 2015

Holds Leaders

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The Liar, Nora Roberts (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio)

Readers, she married a liar and only finds out after he dies. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Roberts excels at effectively incorporating lots of domestic details about her heroine’s life in a slow-burning fuse of a plot that ultimately explodes in a nail-biting conclusion.”
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Every Fifteen Minutes, Lisa Scottoline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Aurio; Thorndike, OverDrive Sample)

Starred reviews from all four trade publications

Advance Attention

9781615192533_c9619My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past, Jennifer Teege, Nikola Sellmair, Carolin Sommer (The Experiment, dist. by Workman; Blackstone Audio)

Workman’s hottest ARC at Midwinter, according to library marketer Mike Rockliff.

People magazine ran an excerpt, with the description, “Adopted as a child, Jennifer Teege recently discovered a family secret her grandfather was the monstrous SS officer played by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.” She is also featured on NPR’s web site. With all this advance attention, you can expect more to come. Below is the trailer:

Picks

9780062225467_d3103Where They Found Her, Kimberly McCreight, (Harper; Blackstone Audio; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

Excitement comes from many quarters for McCreight’s second novel after her 2014 Edgar and Anthony nominee Reconstructing Amelia, beginning with a cover blurb by Gillian Flynn, “McCreight creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling novel.”

Librarians and booksellers are also fans. It’s both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick :

“Molly Sanderson is covering a feature for the Ridgedale Reader that not only stirs up her recent grief over a stillborn child, but secrets that have been kept hidden for over two decades in this northern New Jersey college town. As the stories of four different women unfold, a new piece of the puzzle is revealed. Chilling and gruesome at times, this is a novel with characters who will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Also note, McCreight has an YA speculative fiction trilogy in the works, titled The OutliersFilm rights for all three books were acquired by Lionsgate, with Reese Witherspoon as one of the producers.

9780804178112_7a06cHouse of Echoes, Brendan Duffy, (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:
“Eager to get out of the big city, Ben and Caroline Tierney purchase a large, old house upstate hoping to renovate it into a hotel. However, their house, called The Crofts, has a dark, mysterious past, and terrifying secrets begin to threaten the family. This wonderfully eerie and atmospheric debut novel is a great recommendation for fans of Bohjalian’s The Night Strangers and McMahon’s The Winter People.” — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

9780812993158_c5971The Dream Lover, Elizabeth Berg, (Random House; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:
“George Sand leaves her estranged husband and children to embark on a life of art in bohemian Paris. A talented writer who finds monetary and critical success, Sand adopts a man’s name, often dresses as a gentleman and smokes cigars. Through her writing, politics, sexual complexities and views on feminism, Sand is always seeking love. This novel has spurred me to learn more about George Sand, a woman truly ahead of her time.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

9780544303164_a65baThe Turner House, Angela Flournoy, (HMH; Blackstone Audio)

Indie Next
“The greatest testament to the skill of a writer is the ability to make what might seem alien to the reader completely recognizable and utterly engaging. Such was my experience reading The Turner House. Mine is a tiny white family from a small town with no sense of heritage, yet every moment I spent with the Turners — a family of 13 children shaped by the Great Migration to Detroit — I felt at home. Their struggles and joys are universal, yet told with an exacting eye that always finds the perfect detail. This is a truly impressive debut.” —Kim Fox, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

9781476777931_d5083The Given World, Marian Palaia, (S&S; OverDrive Sample

Indie Next
“In this fresh take on stories about the devastation that war visits on those left behind as well as on those who are sent to fight, Riley resists believing her beloved older brother never emerged from the tunnels of Cu Chi. Since his body was never found, she follows this hope from the Montana plains to Vietnam and then spirals down into the back streets of 1980s San Francisco. As Palaia details Riley’s struggle to move from denial to the eventual acceptance of reality, she portrays the starry Montana nights as vividly as the streets of Saigon and the bars of Haight-Ashbury. A brilliant debut!” —Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA

Ten Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of April 6

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Among the familiar names arriving next week (James Patterson, of course, and Alexander McCall Smith, but in a new guise), are some LibraryReads debuts, including a book that dares to poke fun at the Duchess of Cambridge.

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 April 6, 2015

Holds Leaders

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Hot Pursuit, Stuart Woods, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The technicolor covers of Woods’ Stone Barrington novels are becoming very familiar. The 77 year-old author has stepped up his publishing schedule, He released four new titles last year, and will do the same this year.

Miracle at Augusta, James Patterson, Peter de Jonge, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

Nobody can match Patterson, and his pool of co-writers, in terms of output. Coming just three week after NYPD RED 3, which seemed close behind January’s Private Vegas, this is the second book featuring pro-golfer Travis McKinley, after Miracle on the 17th Green.

Stepping Out of Character 

9780804197953_151e1-2Emma: A Modern Retelling, Alexander McCall Smith, (RH/Pantheon; RH Large Print; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Alexander McCall Smith, known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels, tries on a new character for The Austen Project, a series of Jane Austen reboots commissioned by HarperCollins in the U.K., but published by various publishers here (Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey was published by Grove Press last year. Up next, Curtis Sittenfeld’s take on Pride and Prejudice). The Washington Post feels he does a good job portraying “Miss Emma Woodhouse in blue jeans.” For many of us, though, Clueless is the definitive modern retelling of Emma.

Critics Favorites

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The Folded Clock: A Diary, Heidi Julavits, (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample)

Featured on the cover of the NYT Book Review a full two weeks before publication, and now followed by a review in the L.A Times., the author is also scheduled for an interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, (Grove Press)

On the cover of this week’s NYT Book Review and reviewed in today’s Washington Post.

Picks

9781455557103_300c9-2The Royal We, Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan, (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample)

On Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” at #3  (just behind the debut of the new season of Mad Men and video for a track from Brandon Flowers new album) this novel by the founders of the sardonic fashion web site Go Fug Yourself is also a LibraryReads pick:

This delightful spin on the story of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the perfect beachy, weekend read for anyone who loves love stories with a healthy dose of humor. Here, Will and Kate are replaced by Nick and Bex–he’s the heir to the British throne, she’s the American who effortlessly steals his heart. Can they weather many obstacles to find their Happily Ever After? Part fairy tale, part cautionary tale, the novel is pure fun from start to finish. — Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

9781476710457_7aa38The Children’s Crusade, Ann Packer, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

A People “Book of the Week,” calling it “…  an absorbing novel which celebrates family even as it catalogs its damages,” it is reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle and is an Indie Next pick:

Doctor Bill Blair and his wife, Penny, built a home in a wooded area of California that would later be known as Silicon Valley. It was a time full of hope for the future, but 10 years and four children later Penny has grown resentful of her role as a wife and mother. She finds solace in art, but at a great cost to her family. Thirty years later, the lives of the three oldest Blair children are in upheaval yet again when their youngest brother, the black sheep of the family, returns to the family home and forces them all to confront their past and face their future. Packer’s emotionally gripping story asks just how much our adult lives are determined by the events of our childhood. — Carson Evans, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT

9781616203740_95535Orhan’s Inheritance, Aline Ohanesian, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge; OverDrive Sample)

Workman’s library marketer and personal galley whisperer to many librarians, Mike Rockliff says this one,”reminded me how much it’s a love for the well-turned phrase that’s kept me in this business for over 50 years.” It is also the #1 Indie Next pick for the month.

“Debut author Ohanesian’s historical novel relives the nearly forgotten tragedy of the Armenian Genocide during and after WWI. Through deportations, massacres, and executions of Christian and Jewish Armenians, the Ottoman Empire and its successors eliminated 1.5 million citizens. Ohanesian’s beautifully written book shares a tale of passionate love, unspeakable horror, incredible strength, and the hidden stories that haunt a family. Highly recommended, — Doug Robinson, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA

9780425270189_6c85aStill the One, Jill Shalvis, (Penguin/Berkley original mass market pbk)

LibraryReads:

Oh Jill Shalvis, how I love thee! Although all the books in this Animal Magnetism series have strong heroines, this one is the absolute best. And chemistry–wowza, it’s intense. The novel brings a focus on two important social issues: the lack of funding available for those who need physical therapy, and the fact that service dogs who do not pass their certification should not be thrown away. I fell in love and learned something at the same time. Instant classic. — Amanda Brown, Roanoke Public Libraries, Roanoke, VA

9781492602026_fd794A Desperate Fortune, Susanna Kearsley, (Sourcebooks Landmark; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads:

While transcribing an old manuscript of a young girl’s diary, Sara decodes an account of Jacobite spies. Long before, Mary Dundas gets involved in a mission which makes her confidante to the King of Scotland in exile. And along the way, both women fall for men they know little about. Kearsley is a master at seamlessly blending stories from two time periods. Readers who enjoy a little puzzle solving with their historical fiction will be rewarded. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Seven Titles For RA Gurus, Week of March 30

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Titles arriving next week range from sure bets, to a very interesting question mark. The media will be busy with NYC’s former Police Commissioner who went from From Jailer to Jailed. For those of us whose sins are more of the grammatical nature, help is on the way.

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 30, 2015

Holds Leaders

At the Water's Edge  9781250056238_d0a76  9780553391350_f3ae7

At The Water’s Edge, Sara Gruen, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print; Overdrive Sample),

It’s the holds leader for the week, which is no surprise, given the author’s name recognition but the question is, will demand continue? We summarize the best thinking on its chances from several collection development librarians in a separate post. Holds are slightly higher on this one than they are for Steve Berry’s new book, below, but libraries have ordered fewer copies, perhaps in reaction to the author’s previous title, Ape House, which did reach the demand level for her earlier Water for Elephants.

The Patriot Threat, Steve, Berry, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; Overdrive Sample)

The tenth Cotton Malone thriller poses the question many ask at this time of the year, “What if the U.S.  federal income tax was illegal?”

The Angel Court Affair, Anne Perry, (RH/Ballantine; Overdrive Sample)

Can an author keep a series fresh after a many titles?  Yes, says PW, calling this thirtieth entry in Perry’s historical series featuring Victorian era husband-and-wife detectives, one of the better entries, adding, “As usual, Perry melds the intellectual debates of the day with a suspenseful plot line.”

Critics’ Favorite

9780062349378_cd9a5The Harder They Come,  T.C. Boyle, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)

Already getting attention from major critics:

Washington Post – Ron Charles begins his review, “Every punch and thrust and gasp in the opening of T.C. Boyle’s new novel demonstrates why he’s one of the greatest storytellers in the country.”

NYT, Michiko Kakutani  — “arguably Mr. Boyle’s most powerful, kinetic novel yet.”

L.A. Times, by Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins — “As much as this is a novel of big ideas, The Harder They Come never feels didactic, partly because Boyle doesn’t let up on the accelerator, ” but, “Much of his story is tied to characters, Adam and Sara, whose irrational, far-right, Uh-merican ignorance (or outright insanity) make them hard to follow with anything like sympathy. Even as the action amps up, emotional connection flickers.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9781476783703_d69f4From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054,, Bernard B. Kerik, (S&S/Threshold Editions; Overdrive Sample)

The controversial former NYC police commissioner is media bait and is scheduled for appearances on:

• NBC-TV/’Today,’ March 30
• CNN-TV/’CNN Tonight,’ March 31
• ABC-TV/’Nightline,’ March 31

9781594487132_85bbaSo You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson (Penguin/Riverhead; OverDrive Sample)

The author was already treated to a love fest by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. An excerpt was featured as a NYT Magazine cover story.

Picks

9780393240184_dec2cBetween You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, Mary Norris, (Norton; Recorded Books)

An Indie Next pick, this new book on the always entertaining subject of grammar is featured in a new video series from The New Yorker. We’ll be watching.

Titles To Know and Recommend, The Week of March 23

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Standalone thrillers from Harlan Coban and Joy Fielding hit shelves next week, as well as an embargoed new bio of  Steve Jobs, already making headlines and two debut Y.A. titles that have caught Hollywood’s attention.

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 23 2015.

Holds Leaders

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The Stranger, Harlan Coben, (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Kirkus approves of this standalone thriller, saying, “This 100-proof nightmare ranks among his most potent.” PW completely disagrees, but adds, “Even when not at his best, Coben is very good, and readers won’t be disappointed.”

The Cavendon Women, Barbara Taylor Bradford, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

A sequel to the Edwardian era Cavendon Hall, (2014), this title brings the family saga in to the 1920’s. Kirkus calls the books “Bradford’s answer to Downton Abbey.” Booklist considers it a “dishy continuation.”

Someone Is Watching, Joy Fielding, (RH/Ballantine; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike)

This standalone gets a star from Booklist, “Not geared to the faint of heart, Fielding’s story of one woman’s search for justice, understanding, and internal peace is nothing short of arresting.”

Media Attention

9780385347402_p0_v7_s260x420   Jobs Fast Company

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader, Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli, (RH/Crown Business; RH & BOT Audio)

The book behind this week’s headlines that Tim Cook offered to donate a portion of his own liver to the dying Steve Jobs. It’s embargoed, but the media, always obsessed with Jobs, has picked over leaks, some of which come from the online version of the upcoming excerpt in Fast Company and others from Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature (since blocked). Another bit of news is that the authors, who will appear on ABC ‘s Good Morning America next week, portray their subject quite differently than Walter Isaacson did in his best seller, Steve Jobs, the basis for the movie that is currently filming. As the Fast Company headline, “Kind. Patient. Human. The Steve You Didn’t Know,” indicates, Becoming Steve Jobs could be considered a rebuttal to the earlier book.

YA Advance Attention

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One, Paige McKenzie, Alyssa Sheinmel, (Perseus/Weinstein Books; Recorded Books)

Media mogul Harvey Weinstein picked up rights to a book and movie series based on the YouTube series that averages 5 million views per month, catching the attention of the NY Post, which rarely covers books, let alone YA books, in a story headlined “Harvey Weinstein thinks he’s found the latest young adult hit.” The review media is also enthusiastic. Kirkus calls it “Suspenseful, exciting and endlessly entertaining” and SLJ says, “Readers who appreciated holly Black’s Doll Bones (2013) or Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones series should consider picking up this creepy debut.”

The author was featured on the Today Show:

We All Looked Up, Tommy Wallach, (S&S BYR; S&S Audio;  OverDrive Sample)

A SF novel about four teenagers facing the arrival of a meteor that is likely to wipe out the earth, we first started hearing about it from YA Galley Chatters who were intrigued by both the the cover (be sure to click on it, above right, to see the larger version. It really doesn’t work as a thumbnail) and the blurb from Andrew Smith, “Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up is a triumphant debut—this generation’s The Stand. It is at once troubling, uplifting, scary, and heart-wrenching, and written with so much compassion for our fragile hold on the fleeting here and now. A glorious, wonderful, completely unforgettable novel.” It’s since received a string of superlative prepub reviews including stars from Kirkus and PW.

MTV News pulls out TV and film references to describe it, “Skins meets The Breakfast Club meets Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia.” Paramount nabbed the film rights.

Picks

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The Precious One, Marisa de los Santos, (HarperCollins.Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)

Both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick:

Taisy hasn’t seen her father since he dumped her family and started another one 17 years ago. An unexpected invitation to write his biography returns her to her hometown, and gives her a rare chance to knit together a broken web of relationships. Like all de los Santos’ books, The Precious One features smart, funny characters who form an unconventional family. It’s luminous and heartwarming, without an ounce of sap.  — Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC

A Reunion of Ghosts, Judith Claire Mitchell, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

A GalleyChat favorite, this is also an Indie Next pick for March:

‘The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.’ These are the words that the Alter sisters live by and the reason they have chosen to die at their own hands. Lady, Vee, and Delph Alter have written a suicide note that turns out to be a family history. The sisters are descendants of Lenz, a chemist and the creator of the poison gas that was first used in WWI, and his wife, Iris, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and the first in the family to commit suicide. A Reunion of Ghosts is a captivating chronicle of a family and the weight of consequences that grow heavier with time.—Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir, Abigail Thomas, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

People “Book of the Week” — “It’s no wonder Abigail Thomas is leery of what lies ahead. The accident that left her husband brain-damaged was the starting point  for A Three Dog Life (2006); in her new book, she experiences a romantic betrayal that will leave you gasping. Mostly, though, she writes of the changes aging brings us all and of coping through love: of family, dogs, a well-turned phrase. She is superb company.”

Indie Next pick for April:

Like an honest talk with your wittiest friend, Thomas’ new memoir will have you both laughing out loud and on the verge of tears. Examining a life that has changed dramatically over the years and the friendship that has endured it all, What Comes Next and How to Like It reveals simple truths we can all recognize in our own lives. Thomas’ gentle humor is evident in every passage as she writes of struggling with aging, loyalty, and drinking after the death of her loving husband. What makes this all the more brilliant are the sparkling moments of insight, full of depth and emotion, that Thomas so beautifully shares with the reader. —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Nine Titles (plus one) for RA Gurus, the Week of March 16, 2015

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Next week brings just one clear holds leader (three guesses as to the author’s name), and a debut that arrives with high expectations, as well as several LibraryReads picks to recommend.

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 16, 2015.

Holds Leader

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NYPD Red 3, James Patterson, Marshall Karp, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

Advance Attention

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The Last Flight of Poxl West, Daniel Torday, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike, 7/22)

Michiko Kakutani’s review in the daily NYT last week is followed by this week’s New York Times Book Review cover. The reviewer notes that the novel begins with an excerpt from a faux review from NYT Book Review itself (the quote is a dead-on parody, although, as the reviewer says, it’s unlikely that the Book Review copy editors would have allowed “truly unique” to slide by). Echoing the faux review, this one is more mixed than Kakutani’s.

Hausfrau, Jill Essbaum, (Random House; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

This debut has come up repeatedly on GalleyChat beginning in November. In January, The Guardian saw it as a successor to Gone Girl and another book that was then on the horizon,

From Rachel Watson, the unhappy heroine of British writer Paula Hawkins’s much-anticipated debut novel The Girl on the Train, to Anna Benz, the depressed wife at the heart of Jill Alexander Essbaum’s haunting Hausfrau, this year’s most compelling reads are all about lost girls, some of whom, like Flynn’s Amy Dunne, turn out to have a core of steel in their soul.

Unlike The Girl on the Train, however,  Hausfrau does not arrive to long holds lists, or the amount of advance media attention its predecessor enjoyed, but that appears to be revving up. It is reviewed in the new issues of both People magazine (“Sexy and insightful, this gorgeously written novel opens a window into one woman’s desperate soul”) and Entertainment Weekly (strong review, but it’s undercut by a low “B” rating).

The Wall Street Journal profiles the marketing campaign behind Hausfrau, saying that Random House is “touting it as a literary 50 Shades of Grey” and already has a third printing in the works.

It is an Indie Next pick, with a recommendation from a bookseller who is a  GalleyChat regular:

“In this powerful, affecting novel, Essbaum has written an ode to desire and the destructive choices we make. There is a grace in Essbaum’s writing that leads the reader to love Anna, to befriend her, and to be endlessly protective of her. Whatever it is that a poet does with words — the arranging, the building of something that is more than the sum of its parts — Essbaum, an accomplished poet, does with the emotions and the honesty in this work. It is brave, vulnerable, and filled with love, passion, and the kind of lust that one never speaks about. This is something special.” — Kenny Coble, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

If you think it’s easy to design a book jacket, take a look at the following video, which shows the many iterations this one went through. Robbin Schiff, executive art director at Random House, told Mashable, which featured it, “The final design, with its stark Swiss typography against the moody and lush floral grouping, conveys a sensual but claustrophobic atmosphere,” reflecting the atmosphere of the book.

Upcoming Media Attention

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Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin, (RH/Crown, RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The author of the best selling The Happiness Project will promote her new book about how to acquire positive habits and shed negative ones, in a Today Show 3 part mini-series on the subject of habits, which begins on Monday 3/16. She appears on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, Frank Bruni, (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample)

Sure to appeal to parents dealing with college admissions insanity, the NYT‘s Frank Bruni asserts that it doesn’t really matter if your child gets into Harvard. In an early review, The New Republic knocks Bruni’s “repeated reassurance that the Ivies are unimportant because there are still other ways to attain wealth and status in America,” saying this is “a book that wants to dismiss the importance of status without questioning the validity of status-seeking motives.” That issue may be lost on most college-obsessed parents. UPDATE:  Bruni adapts a section from the book in essay for the NYT‘s Sunday Op/Ed section. As of Saturday morning, the online version, posted late Friday, is the most emailed story with nearly 450 comments.

Frank, Barney Frank (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio)

Frank’s memoir is reviewed in this week’s NYT Book Review by Frank Bruni, who, as noted above, has his own book coming next week. A clear fan of  Frank as a person, Bruni finds his chronicle of coming out as a gay politician rewarding because “the author’s odyssey to honesty perfectly tracks America’s journey to a more open-eyed, healthier, better place,” but is disappointed by the “sometimes dry manner at odds with his public personality.” Frank is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

LibraryReads Picks

Prud9780316212243_fa2ccence, Gail Carriger, (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads — “I was hoping we’d be seeing Prudence in her own series. Baby P – Rue to you –is all grown up and absolutely delightful. First-time readers will think it’s a wonderful book on its own merits. However, it becomes spectacular when we get to revisit some of the beloved characters from the Parasol Protectorate. Gail Carriger is always a delight!” — Lisa Sprague, Enfield Public Library, Enfield, CT

9781476778068_2964cThe Witch of Painted Sorrows, M. J. Rose, (S&S/Atria; Dreamscape AudioOverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads — “Rose weaves a passionate tale of sensuality, heartbreak and despair, exposing readers to a side of Paris that is as haunting as its main characters. The melding of time and generations transform Sandrine and La Lune into a single force to be reckoned with. The unexpected ending will leave readers wanting more.” — Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

9780316284943_96ec5Delicious Foods: A Novel, James Hannaham, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads — “How can you not be immediately intrigued by a novel that opens with a teenage boy driving from Louisiana to Minnesota after both his hands have just been cut off at the wrist? When you read this novel, you’re dropped right into a world – darkly funny and audaciously bold.” — Meghan Hall, Timberland Regional Library, Lacey, WA

The Pock9780062362858_94e9bet Wife, Susan Crawford, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads — “Dana is a ‘pocket wife’ because her lawyer husband barely gives her the time of day. One afternoon, she drunkenly argues with her neighbor Celia, takes a nap, then wakes to find Celia dead. Could she have murdered Celia? Dana, suffering from manic episodes, tries to solve her friend’s murder before she loses all self-control. Highly recommended for fans of Gone Girl.” — Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, MN

Nine Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles for the Week of March 9

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Nonfiction comes to the fore next week, with the new book by Erik Larson getting review attention and holds to rival fiction. The ever-fascinating Duke and Duchess of Windsor are examined by celebrity chronicler Andrew Morton and readers advisors have a real-life ghost story to recommend.

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 8, 2015

Holds Leaders

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Last One Home, Debbie Macomber, (RH/Ballantine; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print; OverDrive Sample) — Known for her long-running series, Blossom Street and Cedar Cove series, Macomber now publishes a standalone about three sisters.

Cold Betrayal, Judith A. Jance, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Thorndike;  OverDrive Sample) – Series character Ali Reynolds is joined in this novel by a “Taser-carrying nun.”

Endangered, C. J. Box, (Hachette/Grand Central) — the latest in the series featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.

Advance Attention

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Dead Wake, Erik Larson (RH/Crown; RH and BOT Audio; RH Large Print)

This one could also be counted as a Holds Leader. It has been picked by a wide range of booksellers, from the independents  (Indie Next, March) to Amazon and  COSTCO’s book buyer (promoted in the COSTCO Connection). Also a LibraryReads pick, it has received major advance review attention, with more sure to come. The author is scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s NPR Weekend Edition Saturday.

Upcoming Media Attention

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17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History, Andrew Morton, (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample)

We don’t have specifics on this one, but a book about the eternally fascinating Duke and Duchess of Windsor by the man who broke the first stories about Princess Diana’s marital woes can’t help but be media bait.

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, Robert D. Putnam, (S&S)

Featured in this week;s New York Times Book Review, which notes it is by the author of the “instant-classic” Bowling Alone who now “brings his talent for launching a high-level discussion to a timely topic.” to the subject of income inequality and how it affects  children. The author is scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s NPR Weekend Edition.

Picks

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Vanishing Girls, Lauren Oliver, (HarperCollins; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample)

A crossover LibraryReads pick for 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

Two of Oliver’s earlier books, Panic and Before I Fall have been signed for movies.

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara, (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample)

Featured in the GalleyChatter column from last month, this book follows the post-college lives of four male friends into their 50’s, and is getting remarkable attention from librarians, with many ready to declare it their favorite of the year. The trade reviews are all strong, but  only Kirkus grants it a star. It is a long novel (700 pages), which is considered a plus by Publishers Weekly, “There is real pleasure in following characters over such a long period, as they react to setbacks and successes, and, in some cases, change. By the time the characters reach their 50s and the story arrives at its moving conclusion, readers will be attached and find them very hard to forget.”

American Ghost: A Family’s Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest, Hannah Nordhaus, (Harper; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Picked by Entertainment Weekly one of “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015.” Their intriguing annotation, “A journalist roots out the truth about an ancestor who’s believed to be haunting a Santa Fe, N.M., hotel,” is borne out by the trade reviews. Booklist‘s starred review ends, “the book’s unique blend of genres and its excellent writing make it hard to put down.”

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

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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 few 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.

————

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

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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

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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