Coming next week, James Patterson releases a dystopian thriller aimed at adults, the number one LibraryReads pick, Clare Mackintosh’s psychological thriller, I See Youis picking up holds and Christina Baker Kline follows up her long-running best seller, Orphan Train with a new title.
Humans, Bow Down, James Patterson, Emily Raymond, illus. by Alexander Ovchinnikov, (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio: Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)
No reviews are available yet for this title, so we have to rely on the publisher’s breathless description, “GENRE-BENDING THRILLER … an innovative, illustrated thriller for adults … DYSTOPIAN APPEAL: Set in a future that is at once both recognizable and horrifying, the book will appeal to readers and viewers of dystopian adventure stories.”
Harare’s second book after his best selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is reviewed in the daily NYT this week, somewhat dismissively, “I do not mean to knock the handiwork of a gifted thinker and a precocious mind. But I do mean to caution against the easy charms of potted history.” Check your holds. Easy charms have fans.
“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website. At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT
Additional Buzz: The StarTribune names it one of “7 mysteries to chill your soul on a wintry night.” The author’s debut, I Let You Go, was a best seller in the UK. and won a strong review from the NYT BR Crime columnist. Several libraries are showing holds on this new one.
“Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” would immortalize a young woman. This is the story of Christina and her life. After almost dying as a child of an undiagnosed illness, her legs are twisted, making her stumble as she walks. As she ages, the effects of this illness get much worse leaving her with a shrinking world. This book immerses us in the life on her farm and into the heart of a young woman. A fantastic, and touching story by this author that brings to life the story behind a painting and the life of a young girl who always wanted more than she was given, but accomplished so much despite her handicap.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL
“Robert stands watching the demolition of the old paper mill that stood in the center of town and served as a constant reminder of his friend, Nathan. The reader is transported from present day to 1970s Maine, where Robbie finds his friendship with Nathan a literal escape from the bullying at school, and a figurative way of coping with his brother’s struggle with muscular dystrophy. The portrayal of family dynamics in the wake of tragedy is reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng but with an anchoring of boyhood friendship in this coming of age tale.” — Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO
“The Mother’s Promise is an emotional story of a mother’s love for her teenage daughter, who is struggling with severe social anxiety. Alice and her daughter, Zoe, cope with their problems until Alice becomes critically ill and is faced with a heartbreaking prognosis. She turns to two strangers for help with Zoe and her future. As the relationship among Zoe and these women evolves, they all confront their own personal problems and secrets. This beautifully written story will move readers to tears of grief, compassion, and, at its conclusion, hope.” —Fran Duke, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA
A late edition to the Moana tie-in collection is Moana: The Mighty Maui Makes a Friend, Kalikolehua Hurley, illustrated by Mehrdad Isvandi (Hachette/Disney Press). It is a storybook for grades 1-3. Blu-ray and DVDs arrives March 7.
The literary world is holding its collective breath for the publication on Tuesday of George Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, as we reported earlier. At that time, we were surprised to find that holds were relatively low. They have been growing since and more will come, as Saunders has several media appearances coming up, including the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday. More on the title below, under Peer Picks.
The next in the best selling series featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware series, prepub reviewers were not impressed. Publisher Weekly says, “The psychological insights Alex typically displays are few and barely relevant to the inquiry or its solution.”
“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can. How this group of people manages to survive years of persecution and imprisonment is astounding. It is an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.” — Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT
“Welcome to a world where magic grants you access to all the benefits of wealth and power. This is the story of two families, one from magic and one not. When Abi comes up with a plan to help her family by having them serve one of the most powerful magical families, she thinks it will save them. But when her brother is sent to one of the harshest work camps, the plan seems less likely to keep them alive. Her brother must face the dangers of slavery while Abi and the others will see grandeur and wealth but also see the rotten core that is gilded in gold.” — Suzanne Christensen, Spanish Fork Public Library, Spanish Fork, UT
“The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a powerful story of both hope and despair. Told through diary entries, this is a wonderful glimpse into life in a small British town during WWII. Ryan is a skilled writer who gives each diary entry a clear voice: Mrs. Paltry is dishonest and scheming, Venetia, the self-centered young woman in love with a mysterious man, Kitty, the love struck teenager with big dreams, and Mrs. Tilling, the midwife and moral compass of the town. Through their entries, you really see them grow. The power of music brings them strength that they didn’t know that they had.” — Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI
Additional Buzz: Based on holds, word seems to have leaked about this debut which was a success in the UK. Prepub reviews were not positive, so libraries have ordered cautiously. Kirkus, damns it with faint praise, calling it, “Mildly entertaining, Ryan’s debut novel seems overfamiliar and too intent on warming the heart,” but nevertheless says that “readers may find themselves furiously turning pages even if they can easily predict what’s coming next.” Proving that, it is also an Indie Next selection for February.
“Saunders’ first novel has a steep entry curve. It’s not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you’ll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln’s dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It’s a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.” —Jason Vanhee, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Additional Buzz: It is an all-star, receiving starred reviews from all four trade sources. As we wrote earlier, it is getting wide attention. On this week’s NYT Book Review Podcast, Saunders says that he originally wrote it as a play, which makes it particularly appropriate that the audio version features 166 narrators, many of them well-known Hollywood names. Saunders is scheduled to be interviewed on tomorrow’s NPR Weekend Edition Saturday and on Wednesday on the Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert.
The film stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, and Bill Nighy and is set in London during WWII. It features filmmakers creating patriotic flicks during the war.
Critics are glowing. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “stealth charmer” and Variety says it is “a relentlessly charming romantic comedy … the sort of crowd-pleaser that knows the difference between satisfying its viewers and flattering them, all the while showcasing surprising performances from Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin, and an entirely unsurprising one from Bill Nighy — a master scene-stealer pulling off yet another brazen heist.” Entertainment Weekly says it is “Comedic, poignant, and delightful.”
The movie opens April 7.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel; OverDrive Sample) arriving this week ties in to the March 3 movie, Logan, the 10th X-Men film and the final Wolverine solo film. It is not a pure adaptation of the comics, but rather inspired by them.
The week brings a dozen titles that are favorites among librarians and booksellers (see Peer Picks, below), including one that arrives to hefty holds lists, Sophie Kinsella’a My Not So Perfect Life, (PRH/Dial; BOT Audio;OverDrive Sample). The holds leader however is the 44th in J D Robb’s “In Death” series, Echoes in Death (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; OverDrive Sample). PW notes that Robb “is not only prolific but consistently inventive, entertaining, and clever in her crime series set in a near-future New York City.”
Interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Merkin, described as “a productive and admired professional, a writer and critic for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, a novelist and essayist,” has nevertheless struggled with depression all her life. Her memoir is reviewed on the cover of this week’s NYT BR by Andrew Solomon, a clinical psychologist acclaimed for his own memoir of depression, The Noonday Demon. Denotes that Merkin writes this “long-awaited chronicle of her own consuming despair” with “insight, grace and excruciating clarity, in exquisite and sometimes darkly humorous prose,”adding that “Merkin is unlikely to cheer you up, but if your misery loves company, you will find no better companion.”
Giving voice to the implied hope of the title is the New York Post’s story headlined, “Your child is an untapped gold mine.” The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week on Fox Business Mornings with Maria and on NPR’s Here & Now.
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, Shellac Kolhatkar (PRH/Random House)
The stories of underhanded hedge fund dealings are depressingly endless but, like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, each is fascinating in its own way. This week’s NYT Book Review says this one “is many things: a Wall Street primer; a procedural drama; a modern version of Moby-Dick, with wiretaps rather than harpoons.” The author is scheduled for an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air on Tuesday.
There’s a dozen titles to take special note of this week. Four of them are LibraryReads:
“Picking up where To Dwell In Darkness left off, Crombie’s new mystery resolves unresolved issues from that book while telling a compelling new story. Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery. Another fine entry in this excellent series.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
Additional Buzz: The StarTribune counts it among their “7 mysteries to chill your soul on a wintry night,” writing “The tricky balance of the personal and the professional has always been one of the stellar aspects of Deborah Crombie’s exceptional series … The novel’s title suggests sorrow, deep and debilitating, the kind of grief that chokes. It also alludes to Gethsemane and all that garden implies — betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness. It’s all here.”
“After reading Gaiman’s account of Norse mythology, I doubt that I will ever forget how the gods of Asgard acquired their treasures. Thor’s hammer that never misses its mark, Frey’s incredible ship that shrinks to the size of a pocketable silk scarf, Odin’s powerful spear, all came to be because of Loki’s mischief. Above all, I will not forget the ill-gotten and ill-treated children of Loki who bring about Ragnarok, the end of earth and heaven and the death of the gods. Everything feels very real and very now when told by someone who has obviously drunk of the ‘mead of the poets.’” — Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL
“Katie Brenner has moved from her family’s farm to the big city. She goes to great lengths to present the face that she thinks the world wants to see. When she’s fired from her job and forced to return home she helps her family get their new venture up and running. Learning the truth about herself and those around her leads to the realization that nobody’s life is as perfect as it seems from the outside. Kinsella never loses her sense of humor, even when her characters are facing serious situations. She makes you believe in them and leaves you wanting to know what happens next.” — Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE
“Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller. Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the one you and I know. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.” — Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC
“Russell, just released from an 11-year prison sentence, finds anger and revenge waiting for him on the outside. Maben, homeless, broken, and walking along the interstate in the blazing Mississippi heat toward McComb, is forced to make a decision that puts her and her young daughter on the run from the police. In a desperate moment of chance or fate, Russell and Maben’s paths cross, their shared past is revealed, and Russell is left to make the ultimate choice. Smith’s novel is mesmerizing from its opening pages; you will have to pace yourself while reading it to fully enjoy and appreciate the pitch-perfect language and descriptions that can only come from one who has a masterful command of storytelling.” —Matt Kelly, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
“We all have a secret self, parts of our personalities that are unknowable, even to the people closest to us. In A Separation, Kitamura stays largely inside the narrator’s head, musing on a great many things: the muddled truth that can exist between married couples, the precise pain of infidelity, the myriad tiny betrayals we commit every day. Her prose is perfect, spare and beautiful, and her observations are spot-on. Some of her sentences were so good they startled me out of the story, which might sound like a bad thing, but it really isn’t. It just meant I spent a little longer with this book, my mind wandering like the narrator’s.” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
“If there is Canadian magical realism, this is it! The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the charming story of Rose and Pierrot, two children raised in a Montreal orphanage in the early 20th century. O’Neill traces their romance from their childhood of entertaining rich people in their homes to their less salubrious post-orphanage careers. When Rose and Pierrot meet again as adults, magic happens—but can this magic survive the rigors of the real world? Fantastic and fabulous in the truest sense of both words.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
“This eloquent and detailed collection of aspirations and dreams tells of those torn between two worlds, the country and family left behind in trade for a distant place of hope and desires fulfilled. Each chapter is an experience of memory suffused with subtle moments that will leave you breathless.” —Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
Additional Buzz: While the term “timely” seems overused these days, it clearly applies to this book by the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction last year for The Sympathizer. The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week on NPR’s All Things Considered as well as on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Holds are growing.
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio).
“A father’s gentle nature, a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s trust, and a son’s determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family’s struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!” —Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“You don’t have to remember the 1980s to deeply ‘get’ this sweet memory trip back to the decade when video games, personal computers, and mixtapes were new. But if you did come of age in the 1980s, look out. All those awkward boy/girl moments, all those songs that comprised the soundtracks of your make-out sessions and your break-ups, all the wonder of your first encounters with MS-DOS buried deep in a far corner of your memory… Jason Rekulak will bring it all back to you.” —Carol Spurling, BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID
Additional Buzz: Another of Entertainment Weekly‘s “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017” picks. They write “Revel in 1987 nostalgia in this debut about a teen boy, a coveted copy of Playboy and a computer-nerd girl.”
“Sarah Manguso is a master of the minimalist form. She can do more with a sentence than many authors can do with an entire book. In this collection of brief ruminations, she covers everything from sex and mortality to ambition, mental illness, writing, desire, and motherhood. These ‘arguments’ are aphoristic gems in which a seemingly random thought has hardened into a bold, cutting, crystalline truth. There is no exposition. Manguso lets these minute statements stand on their own, and the reader is left with nowhere to hide from direct engagement with a most remarkable literary mind.” —Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
“With Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller confirms her place as a writer of exceptional insight and warmth. This tale of a marriage, of a family, and especially of children bearing the brunt of the fallout of betrayals and abandonment, pulls you in and refuses to let you emerge from the lives of its characters until the tale is finished. Even then, it takes time to shake the spell the book creates. A wonderful follow-up to Our Endless Numbered Days that explores similar themes through an entirely different story, Swimming Lessons will be a great book for fans of Fuller’s first novel and will bring her new fans as well.” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA
Debuting at Sundance, Before I Fall is based on Lauren Oliver’s 2010 bestselling YA novel about a teen who relives the last day of her life over and over again.
The Hollywood Reporter says “this neatly written Heathers-meets-Groundhog Day high-concept package delivers both technical polish and a toothsome yet likeable cast. Better still, it has just enough tragic edge to draw young adults, and young-at-heart adults, with melancholy temperaments, a sizeable constituency judging by the popularity of dying teen stories.”
It opens in theaters on March 3 and stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, Diego Boneta, and Elena Kampouris.
NYT‘s ArtsBeat blog writes that the show, which has been running in London since 2013, will be revamped for its US debut, to make it more familiar to fans of the Gene Wilder film version, including songs made famous by the movie. Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle plays Wonka.
A documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, I Am Not Your Negro reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates the film, which includes stunning archival footage.
Entertainment Weeklygives it an A- and Variety says “Raoul Peck’s transcendent documentary takes a kaleidoscopic journey through the life and mind of James Baldwin, whose voice speaks even more powerfully today than it did 50 years ago.”
The NYT ranks it as as one of the 10 best films of 2016, writing “In his thrilling documentary, Raoul Peck closes the divide between the personal and political through a portrait of James Baldwin. Expressively narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the movie largely draws on Baldwin’s own writing — as well as material like his F.B.I. files — to create a portrait of a man that turns into a harrowing indictment of his country.”
The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.
Another tie-in to a Broadway play is Jitney: A Play – Broadway Tie-In Edition, August Wilson (The Overlook Press). Part of August Wilson’s 10-play The American Century Cycle, itwas the only one that had yet to be preformed on Broadway until its debut on January 19th of this year.
It is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and stars Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, and John Douglas Thompson.
The NYT raves, writing “Conversation sings and swings, bends and bounces and hits heaven smack in the clouds, in the glorious new production of August Wilson’s Jitney … words take on the shimmer of molten-gold notes from the trumpets of Louis and Miles.”
Wilson, Daniel Clowes (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly).
The live-action adaptation of Clowes’s 2010 graphic novel Wilson, starring Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, and Judy Greer also premiered at Sundance. Unfortunately, it was not a hit with the critics there. Variety writes, that it “boasts some funny vignettes but fails in the crucial test of making us care much about the title character.”
Each week seems to bring a new Gone Girl/Girl on the Train contender. This week’s candidate is My Husband’s Wife, a debut by Jane Corry (PRH/Pamela Dorman; BOT; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).
A best seller in the UK, it is showing high holds ratios in advance of its release here. Parade Magazine features it this week, predicting, “If you loved Gone Girl and The Talented Mr. Ripley, you’ll love My Husband’s Wife…It’s got every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.” It received strong reviews from Booklist and PW, but Kirkus panned it. Note that holds are heavier, on another contender, The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), as we wrote last week.
The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan 30,2017
The parents of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American high school student who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012, an incident that helped spur the Black Lives Matter movement, will appear on several shows this week.
USA Today – video interview, today ABC Nightline – 1/27
ABC The View – 1/30
Comedy Central Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah – 1/30
ABC Good Morning America – 1/31
“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“I celebrate whenever there’s something new by Paul Auster. I wasn’t prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that’s the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.” —Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as the Beast. Ewan McGregor is Lumiere and Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Potts.
Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast (Updated Edition): Inside Stories from the Animated Classic to the New Live-action Film, Charles Solomon (Hachette/Disney Editions)
The live-action version of the Archie comics, Riverdale, premiered last night on the CW.
In their rave review of the first four episodes, Den of Geek! calls the show “highly addictive” and writes “Yes, this is a show that mixes sex and murder and noir with Archie, but it does so in a way that is self-aware and instantly ready to shatter expectations … And you know what? It is magnificent.”
The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It is already getting criticized for whitewashing, and TasteofCinema wonders if it will succeed.
Among the peer picks coming next week is the number one LibraryReads title for January, considered this season’s heir to the “Girl” mantle and showing strong holds, The Girl Before, JP Delaney (see below).
Follows Italian theoretical physicist’s Carlo Rovelli’s surprise best seller, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. A profile in this week’s New York magazine says this one is a “more expansive book on physics from the ancient Greeks to contemporary quantum mechanics … with its warm, enthusiastic language and tone, the book is also deeply humanistic in approach.” He is scheduled to appear today on NPR’s Science Friday.
“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.” — Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL
“Barry takes her readers back to Salem with a mesmerizing tale filled with familiar characters from her previous works and new ones as well. Towner Whitney and John Rafferty come to the aid of Callie Cahill as they attempt to piece together the circumstances surrounding the brutal murder of her mother while trying to keep herself from becoming a victim as well. This is a beautifully written story, full of twists and turns. Fans of The Lace Reader will love The Fifth Petal, though the book stands on its own and can be recommended to all readers.” — Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY
Rise: How a House Built a Family: How a House Built a Family, Cara Brookins (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)
“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book with such a strong female character—and it’s not fiction! Cara Brookins has survived three bad marriages. After the abusive third marriage dissolves, Brookins resolves not to be scared anymore and decides with steadfast determination to take charge of her family. She takes her kids on a road trip to a cabin in the Ozarks, where they begin to dream about having a new house that represents their new life. Though it’s hard for them not to be scared at every turn, their recovery and growth parallels the structure of their home. As they build, they tear down emotional walls. I kept looking at the photo of that amazing house on the back of the book with wonder that she was able to do this on her own. What an amazingly strong woman! I loved this book.” —Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO
“Izzy Poole is 18, pregnant with her erratic art teacher’s baby, and without any family or money to help her raise her child. Dr. Preston Grind is tragically widowered and estranged from his parents, who raised him using unconventional and unhealthy methods in the name of science. Dr. Grind invites Izzy and nine other couples also expecting their first child to join the Infinite Family Project, an experiment in communal parenting and an attempt to rebuild Dr. Grind’s broken family. This is a fascinating and touching exploration of what makes or breaks a family.” —Marisa Langlois, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY
In a twist, James Patterson publishes a hardcover next week featuring a character first introduced in one of his paperback original BookShots series rather than the other way around. Never Never(Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) features detective Harriet Blue of the Sydney Police Department. She appeared in the December BookShots title, Black & Blue, written in collaboration with a new Patterson co-author, Candice Fox, a crime writer who lives in Sydney. In addition, Patterson publishes a new middle grade title next week, the third in a series, House of Robots: Robot Revolution (Hachette/ jimmy patterson; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) with co-author Chris Grabenstein.
In YA, Veronica Roth, author of the popular dystopian Divergent series, begins a new space opera series with Carve the Mark, (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen; HarperAudio). Booklist notes that, despite the change in genre, her themes are familiar, “Roth offers a richly imagined, often-brutal world of political intrigue and adventure, with a slow-burning romance at its core,” but SLJ warns,
fans of the earlier series “will find that this book has less romance and more violence.”
Arriving with three starred reviews is the second in Gregg Hurwitz’s thriller series, The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel (Macmillan/Minotaur; Brilliance Audio). The first book garnered praise as well as a film deal prior to publication. Last year, it was announced that Bradley Cooper was in talks to star, but there’s been no news since. However, Hurwitz is working on another project with Cooper, as screen writer for a TV series based on the Pulitzer Prize winner, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick. Of this second book Booklist, writes “As good as Orphan X was, this is an even better novel, mostly because of its more claustrophobic setting… its captivating villain, and the way the author keeps ratcheting up the danger.” Hurwitz has signed for three more books in the series.
The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, earlyword-new-title-radar-week-of-jan-16-2017.
Reviewed in this week’s New York Time Book Review, this is Martin Luther King’s widow’s memoir as told in an oral history to her friend, Reynolds, over 30 years. It is scheduled to be featured on Good Morning America as well as Nightline on Monday, Martin Luther King Day.
Epstein argues that Snowden is not a whistle blower but a spy for the Russians or the Chinese. It is reviewed skeptically on the cover of the New York Times Book Review this week by Nicholas Lemann, who is interviewed on this week’s “Book Review” podcast. He says that although Epstein never really substantiates his claims, that the book can be fun if you treat it “like reading a John LeCarre novel.”
“A fun take on Pride and Prejudice in a fantasy setting. Merrybourne Manor has a gryphon infestation and has contracted with a band of Riders to kill them. As you can imagine, the main Rider is a little haughty and our heroine has a long memory. Familiar trials and tribulations occur with some detailed world-building, laying the groundwork for a sequel. Good for readers who don’t mind literary re-imaginings, love P&P, and Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
Four Indie Next titles publish this week, from the January and February lists:
“In 1965, Ruth Malone, recently separated from her husband, wakes to find her children gone. Both are found dead and Ruth finds herself the prime suspect, tried and convicted by the court of public opinion because she is a single parent and rumors abound about her drinking and dating habits. Flint has created a compelling whodunit based on true events, and I was riveted from page one. This is a literary thriller that will have you parked in your reading chair until you turn the last page!” —Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, WI
“This phenomenal collection of short stories has ruined me forever. Ottessa Moshfegh is brilliant when it comes to showing off the uglier, twisted side of humanity, the part that we would never share on Facebook or Instagram. Her characters are often desperate, hungry for something they might be able to obtain if only they could name it. Their bitterness often leads to grotesque, yet honest, reactions to the world around them. I can’t wait to recommend this dark little oddity to as many readers as possible.” —Becca Chavez, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
“Join 85-year-old Lillian on a New Year’s Eve stroll through Manhattan, a city as changed by time as Lillian herself. As with Joyce’s Ulysses, the reader is privy to a life told in snapshots of memory within a single day. Based loosely on the life of Margaret Fishback, Lillian is a former Depression-era advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy’s and a poet of light verse. She is also a mother and an ex-wife. Rooney’s work has a light touch, but she is never frivolous. Rooney has the capacity to portray depth within brevity, pain within humor. Here is a novel that both entertains and enlightens, a balance rarely achieved.” —Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
“In her remarkable debut, Adelia Saunders develops an intriguing idea into an extraordinary book. When Magdalena looks at other people, she sees words describing their lives written on their skin. The impact is so disturbing that she often leaves her glasses off and walks through the world in a blur, almost missing an encounter with Neil, the American student upon whose face her own name is written. Would fate have demanded that they meet? The interwoven stories of Magdalena, Neil, and their families raise thought-provoking questions of destiny and freewill. Well done, Ms. Saunders!” —Gillian Kohli, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
Additional Buzz: It is picked by Canadian librarians as a Loan Stars pick for January (as is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk).
It’s big week for readers’ advisors, with a dozen librarian and bookseller picks arriving. In addition, a series often mentioned as a librarian favorite, the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman returns with The Burning Page: An Invisible Library Novel(PRH/ROC; OverDrive Sample). The first (The Invisible Library) and second (The Masked City) were both LibraryReads picks (and here).
Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection, George Karl, Curt Sampson (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).
The subtitle says it all. George Karl is a no-hold-barred former NBA coach. Excerpts from the book began making headlines at the end of last month, including the New York Post‘s “George Karl sounds more deranged every day.”
Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission. Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).
The author is the host of Fox News Special Report, recently ranked as the third most-watched cable news show, giving him a ready platform to promote his book. It focuses on Eisenhower’s farewell address, which famously warned of the dangers of the “the military-industrial complex.” Kirkus calls it “A focused and timely study of Eisenhower’s significant speech and the sticky transition to JFK’s inherited new world.”
Waldman, who successfully treated her mood swings with small doses of LSD, is set to be interviewed on ABC’s Nightline on Jan. 18. Her book is a People Pick this week, “Her entertaining journal interweaves drug-related research … with scenes from her famous marriage to writer Michael Chabon.” It will also be reviewed widely.
Ulrich, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and a MacArthur Fellow, is scheduled to be interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air on Jan 17. 1. Kirkus says her “deeply researched, well-informed history [draws] on a rich trove of diaries and letters [and] the author follows many Mormon families as they confronted poverty, illness, privations, and persecution in their quest to establish a community where they could practice their faith and enact their social vision.”
“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH
“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself. At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL
“Kate Priddy is moving to Boston to swap apartments with her cousin. Haunted by an abusive ex, she wants to leave behind her previous life. But when her neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is murdered, Kate is drawn into a web of fear even darker than her past. Varying points of view add new perspectives to the narrative as the book goes on; the mystery of what really happened to Audrey is just a part of the intrigue as we delve into the minds of imperfect, broken people. As a fan of Swanson’s previous work, I was not disappointed.” — Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH
“Not for the faint of heart, Johnson’s first book is a beautifully crafted work that delves into the perils of teen-dom in a wealthy, insulated California neighborhood. The story opens with the suicide of an outcast middle-school boy. Fast forward to high school, where seemingly minor struggles of both teens and adults expose themselves to be deeply ominous, leaving few untouched by the ensuing tragedies. As the plot slowly builds, the intricate web of relationships that intertwine the lives of characters and the events that they experience become apparent, ultimately returning full circle.” — Amy Christiansen, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO
Additional Buzz: In the new issue of People as the “Book of the Week,” called a “stunning debut [that] … explores the fallout among a group of teens … who prove, in the end, less entitled than simply empty and searching. An eye-opener.” It is also an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat title. Librarians recently chatted with the author as part of our PRH EarlyReads Author chat program.
Seven additional Indie Next picks also hit shelves:
“The journey of middle-aged swindler Billy and his young, idealistic partner Charles is a journey into the history and heart of the oft-maligned American dream. As the nation considers whether it will join World War I, Billy and Charles must weigh the merits of freedom against patriotic obligation, their life on the road against the temptation of putting down roots, and their diverging desires against the love and loyalty they bear for each other. As Billy says, ‘I reckon that’s the beauty and the shame of it, all at once.’ Peelle’s exploration of this beauty and shame is exquisitely wrought, richly populated, and ultimately devastating. I finished the novel in tears.” —Mairead Small Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
“Once again, master storyteller Bohjalian has crafted a thoughtful, suspenseful novel that grabs hold and doesn’t let go until the end. Exploring the world of sleepwalking and parasomnia, he recounts the story of the night Liana’s mother disappeared. At turns a harrowing mystery and a heartbreaking tale of a family coping with their mother’s affliction, The Sleepwalker is filled with beautiful prose that culminates in a twist readers never see coming.” —Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
Additional Buzz:The Washington Post, in an early and rave review, calls it a “spooky thriller … a dark, Hitchcockian novel … Like many of Bohjalian’s novels, this neo-New England gothic ends with a surprising and most satisfying twist. It was so deliciously dark that I reread The Sleepwalker to pick up on all the subtle clues this clever novelist dropped with poetically perfect precision throughout.”
It is heralded by an appropriately creepy book trailer:
“This is the perfect dead-of-winter read! Ryan DeMarco is shocked to learn that his friend Thomas Huston, an internationally bestselling author, has disappeared into the woods, leaving his slaughtered family behind in their once-serene home. How could a man who has it all – perfect career, perfect wife, perfect kids — become such a monster? This is the question DeMarco sets out to answer, all while on a wild chase to track down Huston before he freezes to death in the harsh northern Pennsylvania winter.” —Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
“Burning Bright solidifies Petrie’s place among the best thriller writers working today. His hero, Peter Ash, wanders from town to town, living outdoors because his PTSD will not allow him to remain inside walls for very long. When he discovers a woman on the run from shadowy killers, Ash knows he must help her in spite of his near-crippling claustrophobia. Petrie gives us characters we love, warts and all, and there is a true sense of forward propulsion to his action-packed tale. Peter Ash is a hero for today and Burning Bright puts Petrie in the company of Lee Child and Robert Ludlum.” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
“What would you do to save the lives of your friends? In this debut novel, Winifred and her three friends are about to find out. Instead of a trip to a comfortable, fancy resort in some exotic destination, they embark on an excursion to the Allagash wilderness in upstate Maine. What happens next is everyone’s nightmare, yet it leads to the kind of wisdom few people ever achieve. This is a tense, disturbing, yet satisfying story of the strength of friendship in the face of a severe challenge.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA
“Haunting, foreboding, eerie, and ominous, Schweblin’s Fever Dream is the first of the Argentine author’s books to appear in English. Despite its brevity, Fever Dream throbs with a quickened pulse, as heightening tension is its most effective quality. An intriguing yet purposefully vague plot adds to the story’s mystique, one of peril, poison, and the unexplained terror of worms. Metaphorical in scope, Schweblin’s impressively constructed tale leaves much to the imagination but is all the richer for doing so. Unsettling and compelling, this is a delirious, potent novel not to be overlooked.” —Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Soli is an 18-year-old Mexican girl who enters the U.S. illegally and gives birth to a baby boy. Rashi and Kavya Reddy are an Indian-American couple in Berkeley who have unsuccessfully tried to have children. Their stories intersect when Soli is arrested and her baby is taken from her by Child Protective Services and given into foster care with the Reddys, who become attached to baby Ignacio and want to adopt him. Sekaran does a good job describing the trials and tribulations of illegal immigrants, and Soli’s hope of regaining custody rings true. A compelling read that examines very topical parental rights and immigration issues.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Stuart Woods and Danielle Steelkick off the new year with new titles. But these high-output authors are relative slackers, publishing just one title each. James Patterson beats them all with four new BookShots titles (he does have help, however).
As we’ve noted before, the most popular BookShots titles are those that tie in to well-established Patterson characters, but format is also worth examining. Sno-Isle’s Collection Developments blog recently posted “Bookshots a Better Bet for Audio?” As Darren Nelson points out, the audio versions are circulating better than print for the system and that makes sense, “the typical BookShots audiobook … is probably a great fit for [those] … searching for a bite-sized audiobook they can actually finish in one long trip or a week’s worth of commutes.” All four of the new BookShots titles are available in audio.
The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Jan.2, 2016
“A lonely teenager in rural northern Minnesota, Linda is desperate for connection and obsessed with both her enigmatic new neighbors and a classmate entangled in a scandalous relationship with a teacher. Narrating these seemingly disparate story threads is the adult Linda, who may have been villain, victim, or bystander in at least one tragedy. With lyrical prose and precise pacing, debut author Fridlund builds tension and weaves a complex, multilayered morality tale rich in metaphor and symbolism. This haunting, meticulously crafted novel will inspire lengthy rumination on topics ranging from the meaning of the title to the power of belief. Perfect for reading groups!” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI
Additional Buzz:People magazines picks it in the new issue, calling it, “a compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world” The author won the McGinnis-Ritchie Award in 2013 for the first chapter and the full novel has gone on to earn three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Kirkus calls it “a literary tour de force.”
“A ‘difficult woman’ has become shorthand for one who speaks her mind, who questions patriarchal power, and who refuses to be defined by a standard of femininity. The women who populate Gay’s story collection are all difficult in their own ways — mothers, sisters, lovers, some married and some single, most of flesh and one of glass — yet they are all searching for understanding, for identity, and for ways to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical, cruel world. Some of Gay’s stories are graphic, some are allegorical, and all are important commentaries on what being female looks and feels like in modern America.” —Becky Gilmer, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR
“Leopard at the Door is a beautifully layered coming-of-age novel set in a Kenya still under the yoke of colonial British rule. Rachel, whose beloved mother died when she was 12, returns to the country she loves after six years in England. She struggles against the expectations of her father and his new partner, Susan, whom Rachel has a difficult time accepting. Fine writing weaves Rachel’s story with the essence of Kenya, the treatment of its people, and the uprising of the Mau Mau who seek independence. This is a thrillingly taut novel — with a clever title, too!” —Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
“Dan Chase is a wealthy old man living a quiet life after the death of his wife and his daughter’s move to another part of the country. But wait — he is being followed, and then his house is broken into and he has to kill the intruder. Next, the old man turns to his ‘go’ bag as it seems he has many identities, stashes of currency, and a plan to disappear. There are secrets to be discovered all throughout this tale and Perry keeps readers wondering what will come next. This is definitely one of Perry’s best!” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books to Go, South Portland, ME
“To some extent we are all chameleons. We fit ourselves to the situations we find ourselves in, act differently around our boss than with our family, and tell little white lies out of kindness. But what if that’s all you did? Hattie Hoffman is just a teenager, but she has already mastered the art of observing the people around her, assessing their desires and expectations and molding herself accordingly. Everything You Want Me to Be is a chilling mystery that explores the mutability of identity through the eyes of three very different people. If you’re looking for the next captivating thriller that everyone will be comparing to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, this is it!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Additional Buzz: A People magazine pick for the week, “A talented young girl set on ditching Minnesota for New York is murdered, and Del, the local sheriff, sets out to find her killer. This time-shifting novel … could have been pure cliche; instead, Mejia’s well-drawn protagonist brings the rural community alive and imbues the narrative with delightful, dry humor.”
“This multigenerational story is a road-trip novel, an ecological disaster drama, and a harrowing post-Iraq War PTSD portrait all rolled into one highly readable, gorgeously written book. Raymond tells this story peering over the shoulders of three strong characters, each of whom have to reconcile feelings of love — both romantic and familial — with the brutal realities of life during wartime. Despite its dark turns, Freebird is a book filled with hope for its characters as well as love for the real world it ably attempts to recreate and offer respite from.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
As we noted at the time, Variety reported that the second film as well as the upcoming third film of the trilogy (shot back-to-back) is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Cards). He replaces Sam Taylor-Johnson with whom James clashed during the filming of the first movie. The screenplays for the final two films will be written by E. L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard.
The inspirational film has been pushed back from its original April 2016 slot and will now open on Feb. 3. It stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund.
It had a rocky introduction when the preview aired in August, with The Guardian writing “Renée Zellweger and Greg Kinnear’s aggressive condecension; Djimon Hounsou’s Jar Jar Binks accent; the set designer’s antler fetish … this film does not look good.”
“Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?’ Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, focuses on a personal collection of books that changed his life. Each book he selects provides a lesson, a reminder as to how to live his life. Readers will remember favorite books, find new books to try, and lessons to think about. Schwalbe’s book is warm, charming, and very personal. It’s a book for all avid readers.” — Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN
The LEGO film opens February 10, 2017 and stars Will Arnett as Batman as well as Michael Cera (Robin), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), and Ralph Fiennes (Alfred). The film is a spin-off of the highly successful The LEGO Movie in which Batman almost stole the show.
Tie-ins have come out through the month of December. The trade paperback came out on Dec. 6. and the mass market comes out this week (both HarperCollins/Morrow).
Variety reports that Affleck told reporters at an early screening that his goal is to blend “a throwback vibe with modern energy. And that’s fitting: In Lehane’s novel, Affleck has found a gangster yarn akin to the ’30s and ’40s genre pictures that inspired him, but one with a fresh face.”
Live by Night follows The Given Day, which was the author’s first departure into historical crime. A third book in the series, World Gone By, was published last year.
Very few new titles arrive in the upcoming week and none of them have significant holds.
We’re unable to check on one title, however, because most libraries have not yet ordered it. Batman Vol. 10, (DC Comics) collects the final issues in what Entertainment Weekly describes as “writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s … landmark run on DC’s Batman … [which] introduced daring new concepts to the Batman mythology, including a bold and colorful new take on his origin story.”
People magazine this week picks two titles from Bloomsbury USA, published earlier this month.
The “Book of the Week” is The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 12/3; OverDrive Sample). About a “simple woman from a good family” in Delhi who uncharacteristically embarks on an affair, this novel is described as a “delightfully funny novel [that] delivers a serious message about what happens when our responsibilities push us to the breaking point.” It received a starred review from Kirkus. UPDATE: In the Wall Street Journal Sam Sacks gives it a particularly intriguing review, ending with “In Mrs. Sharma, Ms. Kapur has fashioned a memorably double-sided character for a novel that, like a gathering storm, changes before your eyes from soft light to enveloping darkness.”
On a weightier note, People also picks They Are Trying to Break Your Heartby David Savill (Macmillan/ Bloomsbury, 12/6; OverDrive Sample), writing, “The Bosnian war and Thailand’s ’04 tsunami come chillingly to life in this novel, which intertwines the stories of four people … In lean, piercing prose, Savill brings the narrative to a surprising climax.”
Only one tie-in hits shelves but it is a big one, the novelization of the newest Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT).
The novel, which according to the publisher includes “new scenes and expanded material” beyond the film, follows the story of how the Rebellion steals the plans for the Death Star, thus setting up the action in the 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
It’s such a slow week in terms of publishing output that even James Patterson is releasing only one new title (technically, two, but one is a re-release of an earlier BookShots compilation). It’s a childrens book, written with frequent collaborator, and best selling childrens author in his own right (the Mr. Lemoncello series), Chris Grabenstein. Word of Mouse(Hachette/Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) arrives with strong pre-pub reviews, including a star from Booklist, which goes so far as to say blue mouse Isaiah, is destined to join the pantheon of mice in children’s lit, including Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Avi’s Poppy, and Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux.
No LibraryReads or Indie Next picks arrive this week, reflecting the slowdown of the publishing schedule as the year draws to a close.
Two very different movies with book tie-ins open next week.
The Spanish language film Julieta is based on three linked short stories from Alice Munro’s collection Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”).
Opening on Dec. 21st, the film is written and directed by Academy Award-winner Pedro Almodóvar and stars Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte along with Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Darío Grandinetti, Michelle Jenner, and Rossy de Palma.
The Guardian gave it five stars, calling it “Almodóvar’s best film in a decade” and describing it as “a sumptuous and heartbreaking study of the viral nature of guilt, the mystery of memory and the often unendurable power of love.”
More Star Wars tie-ins arrive this week for Rogue One, debuting in theaters on Dec. 16.
Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guideis by Pablo Hidalgo (PRH/DK Children), LucasFilm’s Creative Executive, which means, as described this week in an interview on NPR, his job is to “know absolutely everything there is to know about Star Wars. As the universe expands [and] to make sure everything stays accurate and in sync — a Star Wars story consultant, if you will.”
Another overview of the film’s visual is The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Josh Kushins (Abrams), which provides conception art from the film as well as essays on how the look of the film was developed. Storyboards, paintings, and designs for costumes, vehicles, and the new characters area also included.
Other Star War tie-ins arriving this week are for younger readers, a reference guide and a leveled reader:
As we get closer to the holidays, fewer hardcovers are being released. As a result, the holds leaders this week is Nora Roberts’ original paperback, Island of Glass(PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample).
Six of Patterson’s BookShots paperback originals also arrive, including a title aimed at the season, The Christmas Mystery: A Detective Luc Moncrief Mystery (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).
The titles covered here, and several 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 5.
Ever since Moneyball, his examination of how the Oakland A’s used statistics to create a winning team, Lewis has attracted media attention. In this new book, he reaches back to examine the researchers whose work influenced the Oakland A’s manager, as well as many others, to think differently. The book is reviewed by the NYT along with a profile of the author, who is also featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He is scheduled to appear onThe Late Show with Stephen Colberttonight and for tomorrow on CBS This Morning.
“McDermid is a thriller writer at the top of her game and Out of Bounds has everything readers want in a character-driven suspense novel: fully human characters, tight plotting, unexpected twists, and a story that grabs and won’t let go. Karen Pirie is still reeling from the death of her partner and is coping by throwing herself into her work as detective chief inspector of Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit. As the unit works to unravel a 20-year-old case through a DNA match from the driver in a recent car accident, Pirie skates on thin ice with her superiors by digging into the background of a mentally disturbed man who appears to have committed suicide. Highly recommended!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
“Ema, the Captive is a gentle meditation on the natural world in its grotesqueness and its beauty, humanity’s place within it, and the effect that human progress has had on both. With his usual incredible attention to detail and in measured, lucid prose, Aira somehow turns this tale into a page-turner, the kind of feat only he could accomplish.” —Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC
Mincemeat: The Education of an Italian Chef, Leonardo Lucarelli, translated by Lorena Rossi Gori and Danielle Rossi (PRH/Other Press; OverDrive Sample).
“This is not a typical chef story where the aspiring individual goes to culinary school, learns all the traditional styles, and then apprentices under a great chef to become established in the profession. Lucarelli started as a dishwasher and then through dumb luck became the chef in a restaurant after its two chefs fought with each other and left. Subsequent kitchens all offered a variety of challenges and disruptive, combative elements that helped to move Lucarelli’s career along. If you want to experience some real ‘behind the scenes’ views of restaurant life, then do yourself a favor and read Mincemeat.” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“Tursten does not disappoint in the ninth installment of her impeccable Inspector Irene Huss Investigation series, moving it forward on a perfect note with Irene and her husband, Krister, beginning a new stage in their lives. One of the things I’ve always admired about this series, in addition to Irene’s strength and intelligence, is the normalcy of her life. I loved this book, but I was so busy racing through it to unravel the various threads that now I need to read it again slowly and savor it. You will, too!” —Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA
Four tie-ins, a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and a play, hit shelves this week to take advantage of the publicity for the film adaptations. Three of them are hot Oscar contenders.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).
As we have been posting, Hidden Figures is one of the hot films of the season (see here and here). It stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) was so taken with the script that he dropped out of the running to direct a Spiderman movie in favor of this one.
The story revolves around a former baseball player in the 1950s struggling to reconcile his life and provide for his family. Washington directs and co-stars with Viola Davis, reprising their roles from a Broadway revival of the play six years ago, for which both won Tony Awards.
In its review, PW says, “Rice exhibits tremendous skill in making the impossible seem not only possible but logical. She sets up a nail-biting dilemma involving the continued existence of vampires.” Rice just announced plans for a TV series.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), Lauren Graham, (PRH/Ballantine; RH/BOT Audio).
If you weren’t one of the people who got up early on Friday for the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, you may not understand the title of the memoir by one of the show’s stars, known for her fast dialog.
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, David France, (PRH/Knopf; RH/BOT Audio).
“Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer’s sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best.” — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
Additional Buzz: This is the leading title in holds for the week.
“It’s been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about–community, leadership, the use and abuse of power–and makes me want to reread all three books.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“This book will leave you nostalgic for simpler times and craving a homemade piece of pie! Flagg offers an absolutely lovely story about a small Missouri town from its founding in 1889 through the present and beyond, told through narrative, letters, and a gossip column. I will be joyfully recommending this charming and wonderful story to all readers!” —Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
“Societal constraints and expectations of the time impede the love affair of Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier from the moment they meet in a hot air balloon above the Champ de Mars in 1886. Émile’s ailing mother is pressuring him to marry, start a family, and take over the family business even as he is facing both public and professional stress as co-designer of the Eiffel Tower. Cait is a young Scottish widow forced to work as a chaperone to a wealthy brother and sister. Cait’s and Émile’s paths cross and crisscross as Colin vividly captures the sights and sounds of La Belle Epoque in this quiet, atmospheric novel.” —Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
“Moran is a British journalist whose columns are known for covering a broad range of topics, from feminism and politics to fashion and TV. Some of those columns are reprinted in Moranifesto, a hilarious collection of opinion pieces that are Moran’s personal manifesto for changing the world. The collection covers topics as diverse as the Syrian refugee crisis, cystitis, David Bowie, and why she no longer wears heels. As dissimilar as these themes may be, they are all tackled with the blunt humor for which Moran is known. Moranifesto is gloriously funny, feminist, and timely.” —Agnes Galvin, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY
The second season of Syfy’s The Magicians begins on Jan. 25, 2017. There is a new tie-in edition of the second novel in Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy series out this week to push the show.
As IGN reports, season one offered a moderately successful beginning, writing “It had a bumpy start in its first few episodes, but it showed from the beginning that it knows how to have a good hook, and it wasn’t afraid to go big … There’s definitely room for growth going forward. Season 1 worked out the storytelling kinks as it went along, and as long as the writers have learned from those experiences and experiments moving ahead, we’re in for an amazing Season 2.”
Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition, Margot Lee Shetterly (HC/HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample; also in paperback). While not an actual tie-in, this edition specially written for young readers offers a different text tied to the expected popularity (and teaching opportunity) of the upcoming film of the same name.
As we have written previously, it stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA in Langley, Virginia on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell.
The paperback edition of the current hardback (adult) edition, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/William Morrow), comes out on December 6. The film comes out on Jan. 6, 2017.
Leading up to the traditional Black Friday, James Patterson publishes the next in his biggest-selling series, Cross the Line (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample). Under his kids imprint, he’s publishing a book in collaboration with Bill O’Reilly, Give Please a Chance (Hachette/jimmy patterson), a title that seems out of synch with the Fox News host’s general demeanor.
In nonfiction, holds are growing for Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by the popular NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio). The book offers solutions to those who feel the pace of technology is just too damned fast. His columns since the election indicate that his optimism is being put to the test.
The Daily Show (the Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests, Chris Smith, Jon Stewart, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Type; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Stewart has already begun the media rounds, with an appearance yesterday on CBS This Morning, where he was easily lead away from talking about the book to talking about the election.
Janet Maslin reviews it today in the New York Times. The less-than-glowing review suggests the book only works for Stewart fans. There’s obviously plenty of them, the book is already at #33 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
The long-suspected story of the affair Carrie Fisher had with the then-married Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars is now out. Promoting an excerpt from the book, the new issue of People magazine blares on the cover, “Carrie Fisher Exclusive My Secret Fling with Harrison Ford.” The Washington Post advises, “Move quickly over the bad jokes and the awkward writing, and you have a readable and eye-opening account of a sad but strong princess who has always been her own woman.” The title refers to the fact that Fisher wrote the book based on a diary she kept at the time.
Not allergic to media attention, Griffin began promoting this book two weeks ago on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This week, the NY Post’s “Page Six” ran a story about a run-in with Britney Spears. Let’s hope the other stories in the book have more bite.
Moonglow, Michael Chabon (HC/Harper; Harper Audio).
“A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
“I’ll Take You Thereis delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars. Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era. She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society.” — Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, WI
Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, Julia Baird (PRH/Random House
“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.” — Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC
In addition to the peer pick title above, Queen Victoria is getting attention in the form of a PBS series, to air next year. The series is created by Daisy Goodwin (The American Heiress), who wrote this novel simultaneously with the screenplay. Although it is not billed as a tie-in, the cover notes that the author is “the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS.”
Marvel’s Doctor Strange: The Art of the Movie, Jacob Johnson (Hachette/Marvel) offers a look at the visual landscape of the superhero movie, with concept artwork and commentary. A fitting book for a film New York Magazine calls “freaking gorgeous.”
Settle for More, Megyn Kelly, (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)
Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly has been making news of her own, even being called an “unlikely feminist icon.” Media sources have been eager to get their hands on her memoir to see if she spills any dirt on her interactions with Trump and on her recently fired boss at Fox, Roger Ailes. The NYT was the first to break the embargo on the book. Kelly immediately disputed elements of the review via Twitter, reports USA Today. The AP also got their hands on a copy, reporting that Kelly says Trump tried to bribe her, as well as other journalists, in their pre-election coverage by offering them gifts. Vanity Fair‘s headline on the story asserts, that, by holding this information until after the election, Kelly “Blew The Goodwill She’s Built,”
Having lost his bid to be the Democrat’s candidate for President, and then his effort to keep Trump from being elected, Sanders is continuing his fight and even sees some common ground with Trump. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, he says they both appealed to voters who criticize the establishment, adding, “If Mr. Trump in fact has the courage to take on Wall Street, to take on the drug companies, to try to go forward to create a better life for working people we will work with him on issue by issue. But if his presidency is going to be about discrimination, if it’s going to be about scapegoating immigrants or scapegoating African Americans or Muslims, we will oppose him vigorously.” Among other media appearances, Sanders is scheduled to appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday.
The NYT BR annotation reads, “The wealthy, selfish Lord Cat lives in wasteful luxury high on a mountain and treats his servants with contempt, until a drought brings hunger and he is forced to change his ways. With complex collages that mix photographs, torn paper, string and other materials, Young creates a stunning visual symphony with a surprising and unsettling emotional power.”
The NYT BR annotation reads, “This factual account of polar bears’ biology and habitat also features the story of a curious little girl who gets lost in reading a book about polar bears and visits one in her imagination. Desmond’s varied illustrations combine watercolors, acrylic paint, pencil, crayon and printmaking techniques to create ever-changing moods and spectacular scenes of Arctic life.”
There are six titles publishing this week earning votes from librarians and booksellers:
“Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith’s new novel is a charming account of one woman’s coming-of-age. Smith’s unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child lives in one of London’s many low-end housing units. She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and “brown” in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey’s final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction.” — Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN
“To sit down with Absolutely on Music is to sit down with two maestros — acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami, in a way you’ve never experienced him before, and famed conductor Seiji Ozawa who lives and breathes classical music. This book is the result of several conversations over two years between the two friends that focused on the music they both love, on writing, and on how the two connect. Written by Murakami in a question-and-answer format, Absolutely on Music offers note-by-note talks about classical music and about Ozawa’s and Murakami’s lives and the intricacies of both. Readers will hear the music!” —Terry Tazioli, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
“Noah’s perspective of growing up as the son of a black woman and white man in South Africa during apartheid, mixed with his trademark humor, is both insightful and poignant. We in the U.S. are often presented with what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has termed ‘the danger of the single story,’ which depicts history only from the point of view of the oppressors. It is refreshing and enlightening to learn history from someone directly affected by the heinousness of the apartheid laws.” —Karena Fagan, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“This is a great, fun book by Ward, a correspondent for NPR’s All Things Considered and one of the founders of the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW). Covering the period of 1920 to 1963, almost every chapter in the book is devoted to a single year and the songs that were recorded and/or released during that year. This is a broad overview that substitutes breadth for depth but doesn’t spare the entertainment factor. Ward’s sweeping survey reads like the 400-plus page liner notes for a 1,000-song box set and, as a music nerd, that is one of the best compliments I can give!” —Joe Turner, BookPeople, Austin, TX
“Scrappy Little Nobody is less outsider-looking-in as it is insider-looking-out. Kendrick’s anecdotes, experiences, and her initiation as a working youth breaking into Hollywood reflect her social awkwardness and self-deprecation as the product of a blue-collar family and a dogged work ethic. Humble and hilarious, Kendrick’s lack of the knack for celebrity life allows for an unapologetic ‘so-it-goes,’ bluntness that makes her book relatable and heartwarmingly familiar. Never too funny to not be serious and never too serious to not be personable, Scrappy Little Nobody is filled with genuine thoughtfulness, a life’s worth of intelligence, and Kendrick’s impossible charm.” —Nolan Fellows, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID
“This is a powerful meditation on the life of Louis Till, the father of Emmett Till whose brutal murder in 1955 spurred the Civil Rights Movement forward. It is not common knowledge today that Louis Till was convicted of a crime and executed in Italy while serving in the Army during World War II. Wideman was 14 years old — the same age as Emmett when he died — the year he saw pictures of Emmett Till’s body in Jet magazine. When he found out decades later about Louis Till’s fate, Wideman set out to investigate the tragic lives of both father and son. The result is a profound and moving exploration of race, manhood, violence, and injustice in our society.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
This edition is the second pass at the story. The original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Scholastic; 9780545850568), a faux Hogwarts textbook, is currently out of print an only available from used book retailers. Expect even more spin offs for the film opening on Nov. 18. Three hit shelves this week:
Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ian Nathan (HC/Harper Design).