The latest John Grisham thriller, The Whistler (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT), arrives this week. As a result, it’s a week avoided by most other big name authors. Even James Patterson has only one title arriving and it’s for kids, Middle School: Dog’s Best Friend(Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample), which hits shelves while the film adaptation of the first book is still in theaters. Grisham will appear on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning and, on the day of publication, on CBS This Morning.
In picture books, Nanette’s Baguette by the Caldecott-honor recipient Mo Willems (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion), is set in a French village, where a young frog is entrusted with buying bread for her mother for the first time. Expect a host of rhymes on the title, of course.
These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 24.
The musician will be profiled on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning. He is also set for appearances next week on The View, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and TheDaily Show w/ Trevor Noah as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered (date not yet set).
A collection of pieces by the author who died earlier this year, it is a Parade Pick, with an online excerpt.
It’s the big cookbook season and several titles featured in the “Best of the Rest” addendum to the NYT‘s The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016 arrive. Ina Garten will receive media attention for Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (RH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample) including appearances on the Today Show and even Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Anthony Bourdain releases his first cookbook in over ten years, Appetites (HC/Ecco) and Dorie Greenspan turns her attention to a deceptively simple delicacy in Dorie’s Cookies(HMH/Rux Martin; OverDrive Sample).
Popular food blogger Mimi Thorisson lived out many people’s fantasies by restoring a large house in the French countryside and creating a life that allows Thorisson and her husband to pursue their passions, hers for cooking, his for photography and their shared passion for restoring old houses. This book, which follows last year’sA Kitchen in France, is as much a travel book as a cookbook, will be featured in the NYT Travel section. She has already been profiled in the Wall Street Journal [subscription maybe required].
“In the early 1990s, a grand experiment began in the Arizona desert to determine if human life could be sustained in an engineered, sealed ecological system. The mission failed spectacularly, but fiction gives it another chance in this riveting story of eight scientists who commit to live under glass for two years. They battle hunger, fatigue, and isolation, but the real drama is personal. The story is told through the voices of three distinct narrators — two heating things up on the inside and one nursing resentments outside the glass walls. Master storyteller Boyle entertains, but never slips into schlock. He writes with wit and perspicacity on both human relations and ecology, and this novel is among his best.” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI
“This slender tome began as a social media viral sensation. Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, a husband and father wrote an open letter to the perpetrators of those attacks, stating time and again that they would not have his hate, despite the fact that he lost his wife and the mother of their infant son. This memoir closely follows the hours after the attack, chronicling Leiris’ thoughts and emotions for the next several days up through the funeral for his wife. Though brief, this is a powerful meditation on grief and resilience and the importance of building a legacy of forgiveness for his son.” —Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
“This debut novel is a page-turner from the very beginning. In a story of a family filled with pain, deceit, lies, and dark secrets across generations, Everhart allows readers to feel everything her young narrator, Dixie, must endure. For me, the mark of a good book is that I find myself thinking about it after I have finished reading, and The Education of Dixie Dupree will be with me for a long while.” —Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, Peter Orner (Catapult).
“From beloved novelist and short-story writer Peter Orner comes a collection of essays on the reading life. Orner considers Chekhov in a hospital cafeteria, Welty on a remote island. He also throws Julian Barnes out the window of a moving car — after all, who would trust a man who only talked about what he loved? Behind and around and between these meditations flit the ghosts of the author’s life: his late father, his lost marriage, his self-deprecating take on his own career. The result is a book overflowing with charm — wry, delectable, and laugh-out-loud funny. Orner is a writer’s writer, but he is also a reader’s reader. Am I Alone Here? is an absolute treasure.” —Mairead Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
The story follows a homeless man who adopts a street cat. In turn, the cat helps him turn his life around. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob the cat along with Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), and Anthony Head, it opens Nov. 11, 2016.
The holds leader among the titles that arrive in the upcoming week is the next in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series, Escape Clause, (PRH/Putnam; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Close behind in holds is Jojo Moyes’s Paris for One and Other Stories (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). It is a People pick for the week: “Moyes in in fine, cheeky form in this collection of short fiction, deploying the wit and charm that animates Me Before You and her other popular novels.”
James Patterson comes up with a new twist on his BookShots series of short original paperbacks next week, collecting four of the titles into a hardcover edition, Kill or Be Killed: Thrillers (Hachette/BookShots Series; OverDrive Sample) also available in large print, the first time any BookShots titles have been available in that format.
Jay Asher’s second YA novel, after the very popular Thirteen Reasons Why, is also a Christmas novel, What Light (Penguin Young Readers/Razorbill; Penguin Audio/Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a girl whose family owns a Christmas tree farm. Booklist calls it a “surprising change of direction … a frothy, peppermint-in-hot-cocoa romance … Certain to please readers seeking an escapist, feel-good holiday read.” The Netflix adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why is currently in production. Asher recently spoke to the students in the California high school where filming recently wrapped.
These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, Earlyword New Title Radar Week of Oct 17.
The hosts of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper hit the cover of People magazine for their first book. The show returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, November 29th. Another HGTV star, Nicole Curtis, host of Rehab Addict, is also releasing a book this week, Better Than New: Lessons I’ve Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me) (PRH/Artisan; OverDrive Sample).
The fall season has brought many new books by and about musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and the Beach Boys. People‘s “Book of the Week” is about another artist from the same era, Paul Simon. They write, “This touching biography details the singer’s Queens youth, his beginnings with Art Garfunkel and the road to stardom. … Pure pleasure.”
The last of the Man Booker finalists to be published in the US, this title was originally published by the tiny 2-person Scottish house Saraband (see our earlier coverage). The novel earned praise from The Guardian, which said “The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus.”
“Thrilled for another opportunity to enjoy DI Stephens and Max Mephisto joining forces against crime and intrigue. It may appear light hearted with its theatrical/magician twist, but these detective stories are full of dark happenings. Solving the gruesome murder of two local children dampens the holiday spirit in this small town. The lead characters are very enjoyable and the theater setting so unique. I enjoyed the love interest/overprotected daughter story line as well! Very much looking forward to the next installment.” — Carol Ward, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Solon, OH
“Einstein. Just hearing that name likely brings a smile to your face, as you picture the mischievous wild-haired scientist with the twinkle in his eye. In The Other Einstein, readers get a view of the woman behind the genius, his first wife Mileva Maric, a strong willed and brilliant physics student who refused to let society dictate her life’s path, but who lost her way when love came on the scene. Benedict has penned an engaging tale that will likely inspire readers to investigate the true story behind Maric’s genius and her personal and professional relationship with Einstein.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY
Selections from book sellers span their October and November Indie Next lists. One more from October is Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South, Beth Macy (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).
“In the early 20th century, Albino African American brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but also tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the height of the Jim Crow South, when black lives didn’t matter and lynching was at its peak. The mother’s persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup her sons’ wages and achieve a better standard of living is at the heart of this true story, an inside look at the historical depths of American racism.” —Joan Grenier, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
“It’s a familiar cast of characters: a single mom raising a spunky kid; an older woman descending into Alzheimer’s; the inhabitants of a small town; a nice eligible man. And then comes the twist: the single mom and the older woman aren’t related by blood, but connected through the older woman’s now deceased daughter. With humor and heart, long-held secrets come to light and special bonds are formed. Inheriting Edith is both entertaining and poignant.” —Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK
“I came to this book expecting to be entertained, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. But in the wise and observant ways of Prose, Mister Monkey is more than just a protracted joke. The story begins in the narrow spaces of a theater so to be demolished for condos and widens as Prose shifts points of view from actor to costume designer to writer to waiter to Hindu deity and back to the stage. Adolescent rage, loneliness, divinity, the end of the world, the beginning of love, the way we fail to live up to our dreams for ourselves, the fear of our own mediocrity, the unexpected victories that are the grace that fills the spaces made by disappointment: these are the soul of this novel with an agile, monkey heart. Both deeply moving and light, this is one of my favorite novels of the year.” —Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC
“IQ is the nickname of Isaiah Quintabe, who, despite being a high-school dropout, is absolutely brilliant and has amazing deductive skills. Living on the rough side of Long Beach, California, he is an underground detective who takes on cases in the city’s ghettoes that the LAPD refuses to handle. Beginning with a kidnapping and moving to a case involving the assassination attempt on a famous rapper, IQ represents a positive influence in this tough environment of gang warfare, drugs, murders, and prostitution. A mixture of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, the craziness of Don Winslow’s Savages, and the classic mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, this debut will spark interest and open up this particular world to new readers.” —Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA
“The Gambler vs. the House. Alexander Bruno’s journey as a psychically abled, top-notch backgammon player illuminates themes of reward and loss, purpose and fulfillment in this engaging, thought-provoking yarn. Lethem’s prose is on point, and his allusions and references resonate strongly. His description of this world — fast, oddly comical, sardonic, and, at most times, without sense or reason — is poignant and heavy-hitting, full of breath without being overly winded. Another winner from Lethem, who has established himself firmly amongst the top dogs of intelligent contemporary literary fiction.” —Blake Smith, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL
Additional Buzz: It’s reviewed by Kurt Anderson on the cover of the New York TimesSunday Book Review, as well as a daily review by Dwight Garner (as part of the new direction, with both the daily and Sunday review reporting to Pamela Paul, this is not an accident, but indicates that the book was considered important enough for double coverage). Anderson notes this is Lethem’s tenth novel, making him “among the most prolific of the name-brand literary novelists of his generation,” and that “Lethem has said that after ending his youthful sci-fi phase and becoming a certified big deal, he felt pressure to ‘stay major!’ . . . to only write books as long, sorrowful and wide-screen as The Fortress of Solitude, but that he chose instead to write ‘other kinds of books.’ A Gambler’s Anatomy is the best so far of those other kinds of books.”
Garner, however, goes ahead and compares this new book to the author’s earlier efforts to write The Great American novel, and finds that, in comparison, that this is a “fluky novel, not among Mr. Lethem’s very best. Its themes are underdeveloped, and it moves in zigs and zags, like a squirrel in headlights,” amusingly saying “it plays at its best like a Twilight Zone episode filmed by the Coen brothers.”
‘This is a grueling, soul-searching study of memory and personal pain written in the most soaring prose. To some extent, most of us think we came from dysfunctional families, but this memoir is going to become the calibration standard for dysfunction. How Slouka survived his parents and their scarred Czech pasts, their humiliating years as refugees, and their years of unhappy marriage in America is a small miracle. What’s left are some large emotional holes that Slouka attempts to patch up in front of the reader. An absolutely mesmerizing read.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
“The Fall Guy, which starts innocently enough, introduces its three main characters as they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a calm summer sojourn upstate. Things take a Lynchian turn when Charlie and Chloe’s guest, Charlie’s cousin Matthew, notices what appears to be duplicitous behavior within and outside their home. Lasdun does an incredible job of slowly ratcheting up the suspense, earning the reader’s trust with his spare, pitch-perfect language, and upending expectations on every page. Morally complex characters, a sly and inventive take on the guilt and shame of modern-day banking, and prose as sensuous as some of the novel’s sexiest scenes are just a few of the many rewards of Lasdun’s latest, and greatest, novel.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
The Next: A Novel Of Love, Revenge and a Ghost Who Can’t Let Go by Stephanie Gangi (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).
“With only hours left before cancer kills her, Joanna DeAngelis is dying badly. Instead of focusing on saying goodbye to her daughters and her beloved dog, she spends her last day cyber-stalking her ex-boyfriend and his Internet-famous new girlfriend. When Joanna draws her last breath, mysterious heavenly powers decide that she needs to resolve a few things before moving on to the next world. What happens when ghost-Joanna returns to New York City bent on revenge is terrifying, funny, and, finally, break-out-the-tissues touching. A gorgeous book about love in all its forms: familial, canine, romantic, lost and found again.” —Hillary Nelson, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
“Fans of Gorky Park and other Arkady Renko mysteries are about to be surprised. The Girl From Venice is not a mystery, and it takes place in Venice at the end of WWII, not in countries of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. The pace is still taut, however, and the characters still fascinating. Italy in the last days of the war, with the Germans retreating and everyone hedging their bets, is a complicated place to be, one where every future is uncertain and one very fitting for a master of subtlety like Smith.” —Olga Onal, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA
“On May 13, 1939, the S.S. St. Louis set sail from Germany to Cuba with many Jewish passengers fleeing Hitler. Despite all best efforts, they were turned away from Cuba, the U.S., and Canada, forcing the ship to return to Europe, where many of the passengers would die in Hitler’s death camps. Correa puts a human face on this shameful episode. Hannah Rosenthal, the daughter of wealthy aristocrats, was 12 when she boarded the St. Louis. Seven decades later, Anna Rosen receives a package from an unknown relative in Cuba that inspires her and her mother to travel to Cuba to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past. A masterful debut!” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR
Additional Buzz:People gives a nod the author, the editor in chief People en Espanyol, making it a pick of the week, saying it “brings the refugee experience alive in the timely must-read.” Sister publication Entertainment Weekly features an interview with the author.
The Spanish-language edition, La niña alemana will receive attention on Spanish-language TV and, of course, in People en Espanol.
• CNN en Espanol-TV/’Camilo,’ October 17
• Univision-Radio/’Maria Marin,’ October 17
• Telemundo-TV/’Un Nueva Dia,’ October 18
• Univision-TV/’Despierta America,’ October 18
• November issue of People en Espanol
One tie-in this week, The Making of Outlander: The Series: The Official Guide to Seasons One & Two, Tara Bennett (PRH/Delacorte Press; OverDrive Sample). It is a behind-the-scenes account of what it took to create the series as well as a guide to the two seasons aired thus far.
Ever attuned to trends, James Patterson releases his first true crime title next week, complete with two co-authors and a double subtitle, Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein, with John Connolly and Tim Malloy (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). In picture books, Jon Klassen ends his hat trilogy (I Want My Hat Back, 2011, and This Is Not My Hat, 2012) with a story about two turtle friends who find their relationship threatened when they both covet a white cowboy hat, We Found a Hat (Candlewick). Reviews promise a surprising twist at the end. In YA, a popular trilogy also concludes with Marie Lu’s The Midnight Star (PRH/Putnam Young Readers; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).
The description of the newest Oprah pick sounded so much like her own upcoming book that Jennifer Weiner happily prepared to see the magic sticker on the cover of her new book. Her hopes were dashed when the pick actually turned out to be Love Warrior. As Jezebel.com reports, she tweeted her disappointment, and later withdrew it, apologizing for being “petty.” She said she’d been going through a rough time because a film deal recently fell through (she doesn’t name the deal. Perhaps it is the one that was recently reported by Hollywood trades, for her just released middle-grade book, The Littlest Big Foot).
On the Man Booker shortlist as well as the Carnegie Medal longlist, and, just recently announced, the lists for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award and Giller Prize, the author’s third novel is just being released in the US. There have been no consumer press reviews here yet (in a pre-pub review, Publishers Weekly gave it a star). Earlier this summer, Canada’s The Globe and Mail wrote that the book “cements Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists” and that the story is a “gorgeous intergenerational saga, stretching as far back at the 1940s and traversing China” told from the perspective of a woman living in present-day Vancouver, who begins the book with the story of her father’s suicide.
After last week’s overflow of peer recommendations, October 10th brings just four, but they include two October LibraryReads selections: one of the buzziest debuts of the year and the return of a reader-favorite.
“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothersasks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO
“Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who is both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not one iota of love for anyone but herself. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of take-your-breath-away writing, and Ari joins the ranks of heroines who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.” —Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, CA
“Occasionally tragic and always tender, Constantine’s novel is a moving exploration of the ways in which we relate to the people we love. After the death of her husband, Katrin — a literary biographer who has dedicated her career to recording the lives of obscure and largely unsuccessful writers — finds herself drawn to a new project: telling the story of the early life and first love of the man she would later marry. A remarkable story of grief, rediscovery, and reconciliation.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
This new take on Grimms’ fairy tales earns the coveted all-star status this week, getting starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. It is also a Fall Reading pick from Amazon’s Editors.
Two additional tie-ins for Trolls arrive this week:
Both of the week’s holds leaders are by authors returning to popular series after a pause.
Harlan Coben again features sports agent Myron Bolitar in Home, (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; RH Large Type; OverDrive Sample) which gets a 2-page ad in this week’s NYT BR. Bolitar’s last outing as the main character was in 2011’s Live Wire,
After two standalone, Karin Slaughter returns to Will Trent, agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in Kept Woman, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe) which gets a starred review from Booklist. It is also a an Indie Next bookseller pick (see “Peer Picks” below).
Library ordering is low for Atlas Obscura (Workman; OverDrive Sample). So far, holds are also minimal, but in this case we think you should ignore holds. This title is sure to do well from the new book shelves and is likely to pick up media attention. Entertainment Weekly features it on their “Must List” at #3, writing,”In this gorgeous collection, the celebrated Atlas Obscura website is condensed into 480 pages of awe-inspiring destinations. For lovers of history and exploration, the striking color photographs will spark immediate wanderlust.”
The author writes that this book about the founder of the travel site Kayak.com is “a sequel of sorts” to his 1981 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Soul of the New Machine. Jennifer Senior questions that in her advance review in Monday’s NYT, but says it is actually more fascinating as a portrayal of a man with bipolar disease. Of course, with Kidder’s reputation, it will receive more media attention, including reviews in the Washington Post and the Sunday New York Times Book Review.
It’s been 25 years since Magic Johnson revealed that he is HIV-positive. The British tabloid, the Daily Mail got its hands on this embargoed memoir by his wife and blares, “EXCLUSIVE: Wife reveals the night basketball superstar Magic Johnson locked himself in a room after HIV diagnosis to call his ex-lovers because he always had unprotected sex.” The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, on The View, and Nightline.
“Phillips digs into the history of a series of events in his hometown in Georgia. After a series of crimes were blamed on some of the area’s young black men, the citizens of the town saw fit to run off the entire African American population. Phillips researches the crimes and the mob mentality that followed, and shows how certain citizens of Forsyth County continued to intimidate and assault African Americans who wandered across their border for almost eighty years. This is the type of history that is far too important ever to forget.” — Amy Hall, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO
“Flavia deLuce has returned from Canada to find her father in the hospital and her sisters distant. When she is sent to deliver a message for the vicar’s wife, she steps into another mystery – one she is determined to solve, preferably before Inspector Hewitt can do the same. Flavia is once again a fun, science-loving protagonist. Flavia arrives at a turning point in her life and how she handles what happens next will tell much about the path that she will take into adulthood. This series entry ends on a note that begs for the next story.” — Chris Andersen, Stow Munroe Falls Public Library, Stow, OH
Additional Buzz: The eighth Flavia De Luce mystery is one of the Amazon’s Editors Fall Reading picks.
“Despite losing her job as a librarian who liked to put the right book into a patron’s hands, Nina continues her mission by moving to rural Scotland, purchasing a van, converting it into a bookmobile, and taking to the road. The plot revolves around the romance of the road, the romance of books and reading, and just plain old romance. Another marvelous book by Colgan! A gem of a book!” — Virginia Holsten, Vinton Public Library, Vinton, IA
“Another great book from Bolton! Convicted serial killer Hamish Wolfe has proclaimed his innocence from the beginning and has solicited the help of lawyer Maggie Rose who is known for her ability to get convictions overturned. The story unfolds in alternating chapters from the past to the present and keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a twist you won’t see coming! Highly recommended!” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT
“Lib Wright, a protégé of Florence Nightingale and a nursing veteran of the Crimean War, is dispatched from London to a remote Irish village to keep watch on Anna O’Donnell, a young girl who is rumored to have refrained from eating for four months yet continues to thrive. Miracle or hoax? Lib is determined to uncover the truth, but the truth is never simple. In this beautiful, haunting novel, Donoghue weaves a tale of misguided faith and duty, exploited innocence, and redemptive love. What is the secret behind Anna’s mysterious ability to survive? The truth is uncovered as The Wonder propels readers to a shocking conclusion.” — Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT).
“No one was more certain that he was destined for greatness than Winston Churchill and he let nothing deter or discourage him from achieving that goal. The young Churchill saw his path to prominence and power through fearless exploits in the British Army and as a war correspondent. England’s brutal war with the Boer rebels in southern Africa would prove to be his crucible. Millard’s exciting chronicle of Churchill’s experiences there, both daring and humbling, is a fitting tribute to a man whose early dreams of glory proved to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.” — Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
Additional Buzz: Starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Fall Reading: Amazon’s Editors,WSJ, and USA Today. The Wall Street Journal offers an interview and an excerpt. (subscription may be required). Reviews are upcoming from the Washington Post, the daily New York Times and USA Today.
The Kept Woman, Karin Slaughter (HC/William Morrow; Blackstone Audio).
“The Kept Womanfeatures Georgia detective Will Trent in a compelling mystery involving a superstar sports figure, his wife, and a rape. The athlete had already been cleared of the rape allegations when a dead man is found in a building he is making into a high-end club with other wealthy investors. At the scene, blood is found that doesn’t match that of the dead man, indicating that there is a second victim — a woman — in dire trouble. Another suspenseful tour de force from Slaughter.” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books To Go, South Portland, ME
Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why, Sady Doyle (PRH/Melville House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
“At its best, pop culture criticism forces us to reconsider a familiar product by placing it in a new context and, in doing so, imbuing it with new meaning. Trainwreck is just that. Doyle effectively and entertainingly litigates her case: that Western culture’s fascination with ‘fallen’ female starlets — aka trainwrecks — is simply a modern form of the patriarchal silencing and marginalization of women that has been going for centuries. With sly humor and lively prose, Doyle systematically punches through all the familiar straw-man arguments and convincingly illustrates that the ‘harmless fun’ of Internet clickbait and TMZ gossip are merely modern forms of public shaming. A must-read.” — Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
Additional Buzz: Fall Reading: Amazon’s Editors. New York Times Book Review, 9/25.
“With direct and forceful narrative and a translation as smooth and peaceful as the quiet narrator himself, this book takes the reader on a days-long search for the past and the present in modern day Bogotá. A prominent political cartoonist is shaken when a forgotten uncertainty from the past resurfaces. This psychological study of the concept that what we believe makes us who we are is a masterpiece!” — Nicole Magistro, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO
Ron Howard again directs, with Tom Hanks starring as Langdon, a Harvard symbologist constantly embroiled in trouble. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Omar Sy (The Intouchables), and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) also join the cast. David Koepp (Indiana Jones/Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons, Jurassic Park) wrote the screenplay.
The book of the week, at least among reviewers, is Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth (Harper; HarperAudio), arriving on Tuesday. It’s already received coverage, and it’s likely to get more attention in the upcoming week (see Peer Picks, below). It also comes with the news that her breakout title, Bel Canto, is being developed as a movie, starring Julianne Moore. Check your holds, some libraries are showning ratios of ten to one.
As we’ve written, Ta-Nehisi Coates followed up his long-running nonfiction best seller with a comic featuring the Black Panther, with illustrations by Brian Stelfreeze. The first four issues are being released in book form as Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1.WSJinterviews him about the series this week.
Jennifer Weiner makes her children’s debut with a middle grade novel, the first in a trilogy, The Littlest Bigfoot (S&S/Aladdin; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). She also publishes her first book of essays in October, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).
USA Today – Fall Books Preview – 9/4
ABC-TV – Live! with Kelly – Interview – 9/13
Bravo TV – Watch What Happens Live – Taped Interview – 9/13 Entertainment Tonight – Interview – 9/13 Today Show – 8AM & 10AM appearances – 9/13 Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon – Guest appearance – 9/13 The Rachael Ray Show – Guest appearance – 9/13
Alan Cumming follows up on his well-received memoir from 2014, Not My Father’s Son, with another life tale, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life in Stories and Pictures, Alan Cumming (Rizzoli; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Expect a media attention, including:
Vanity Fair – 9/1 W Magazine – 9/1
CBS-TV / Late Show With Stephen Colbert – 9/9
ABC-TV / The Chew – 9/13
CBS-TV/Late Late Show with James Corden – 9/20
Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Joe Conason (S&S; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) provides an inside look at the second career and world-wide brand of Bill Clinton. The book was the basis for a news story in The Washington Post this week.
Expect more attention to follow, including:
CNN-TV/ Newsroom, September 13
MSNBC-TV/ Morning Joe, September 13
CNBS-TV/ Squawk Box, September 14
WNYC-Radio/ Brian Lehrer Show, September 15
Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, Dan Slater (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). The publisher offers a sure-bet hook for this true crime tale, “The story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by a Mexican-American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unwinnable.”
There is a media wave for it as well:
New Yorker, 9/12/16
NPR-Radio/ Weekend All Things Considered, September 10 New York Times Book Review, September 11
C-SPAN Book TV/ AfterWords, September 20
Consumer Media Picks
In addition to Ann Patchett’s novel, People picks:
I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, Luvvie Ajayi (Macmillan/Holt Paperback original; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) — “blogger Ajayi might make you rethink some assumptions about meant and women. At the very least, she’ll make you laugh.”
Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon. Kelley French and Thomas French (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) — “The Frenches, both journalists, eloquently chronicle the terrifying, heroic first six months of their daughter Juniper’s life … tender, fierce and breathtaking.”
Unfortunately, Entertainment Weekly‘s book section was pre-empted this week by their extensive preview of the fall TV season, but Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth is #6 on their “Must List” for the week.
“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.” — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
“When Gwendolyn Hooper comes to Ceylon as a young bride, she has no idea that she’s entering a region on the cusp of political upheaval or that she’s living with a widower and his secret-filled past. The Tea Planter’s Wife has all of the elements that I’m looking for in historical fiction: compelling characters, an evocative setting, a leisurely pace, and a plot that unfolds like the petals of a flower, or, in this case, the tea plant.” — Amy Lapointe, Amherst Town Library, Amherst, NH
“A charming mystery introduces Laetitia Rodd, a widow who moonlights as a sleuth in 1850s London. She’s tapped to help uncover the mysterious past of a prospective bride, but the more Laetitia digs, the more certain individuals want to keep their secrets buried. And when those secrets turn deadly, Laetitia may be in danger herself. Saunders nails the raucous world of Victorian London, capturing the Dickens-like characters from the lowest of society to the lofty ranks of the wealthy. A fine read for those who love vivid settings and memorable characters.” — Katie Hanson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI
“In Atlanta in the late 1940s, the integration of black police officers into the force is proving to be challenging. White civilians don’t respect their authority, and black civilians don’t trust that they can protect them. Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith are men with heavy burdens on their shoulders. Every move they make is examined. When the body of a young black woman is found, they will put everything on the line to gain justice for a woman who turns into a symbol of all that is wrong with their town. Despite its historical setting, so many elements of this tale seem timely, and readers will have much to think about after turning the last page.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY
“Andreas Egger lived his whole life with nature as his most trusted companion. When humans, war, and debilitating events threatened him, he quietly climbed mountains, bathed in icy streams, watched the sun streak its intense color into the sky, and then put his head down and forged ahead. He lived eight decades, mostly alone, and faced death and privation with heroism, stoicism, and a depth of character rarely seen in the ‘modern’ 20th century. In this short novel, Seethaler has poetically created a character and a way of looking at the natural world that readers will never forget.” —Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
“Silver turns the oral tradition into fine literature with Little Nothing, a masterful work of fairy tale and folklore. Pavla, a dwarf born in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, is a survivor who magically adapts time and again in order to overcome cruelty. Danilo loves her and is obsessed only with protecting her. This is a story of the power of transformation and the gift of finding the love we need, if not the love we seek.” —Maureen Stinger, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
“David Federman, a gifted student who is both socially awkward and emotionally immature, is trying to find his place as a Harvard freshman. Enter the beautiful and sophisticated Veronica Wells, and David is hopelessly, obsessively in love for the first time. Suffice it to say this is not a match made in heaven, and it ends badly for everyone when David starts stalking Veronica and violates the school’s honor code — the first steps down a slippery slope towards a violent and tragic ending. David is by turns sympathetic and repellent, and Loner is a complex portrayal of alienation, gender politics, and class at the highest echelons of American academic life.” —Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
Additional Buzz: It is a New York Magazine Fall Reading pick. The author is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow and a review is scheduled for the New York Times Book Review, September 25. People magazine will also review.
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Greystone Books).
“The Hidden Life of Trees reads like a 250-page epiphany. Wohlleben knows trees inside and out, and his revelatory examination of the inner lives of forests provides evidence of what many sensitive nature-lovers long suspected: that trees form friendships, sustain one another, and should be viewed as more than a natural resource. This is the kind of writing that can profoundly affect the way we live on this planet.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Trolls. Film opens on Nov. 4, 2016. Directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn (both of whom worked on various Shrek movies). Starring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, and Gwen Stefani.
The start of fall is not only signaled by Labor Day, but by the increased number of titles by well-known authors coming your way next week, from Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel, Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample), to John le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani describes as more of “a collection of reminiscences” and continues that the section on his childhood, adapted from a longer New Yorker piece, is “the rawest, most emotional part of this book, and its psychological spine.”
In addition, the next Oprah pick arrives, breathtakingly quickly after her selection of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad. The title has not been announced yet, so speculation has been rife with heavy odds on Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), even though it is a memoir and the Oprah pick is classified as fiction (red herring, perhaps?).
Another guess, quickly shot down by the author, is Jonathan Safran Foer’s next novel Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). A literary darling, you can expect to see it reviewed in all the major consumer book reviews, beginning with the L.A. Times, under the less than compelling headline, “With joyless prose about joyless people, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am is kitsch at best.”
It’s also a big week for the James Patterson Bookshops series, with four new titles being released. This is the third group of titles released in the series, and it’s become clear that all BookShots are not equal. Readers prefer those that continue established Patterson series, which this month’s titles do not. Two are in the erotic romance sub-series, BookShots Flames. Patterson is not the co-author on these titles, but supplies an introduction to each. Still, it’s amusing to see the Patterson name emblazoned in script across a typical romance cover.
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 9/5/16
“Nathan Hill’s sad, funny, endlessly inventive debut feels like exactly the kind of novel Septembers are made for: a big fat cinder block of a book brainy enough to wipe away the last SPF-smeared vestiges of a lazy summer but so immediately engaging, too, that it makes the transition feel like a reward, not homework.”
Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering.
People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is a tribute to the late Nora Ephron by her friend Richard Cohen, She Made Me Laugh (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) calling it, “both complex and moving — and [Cohen’s] depiction of the literary and journalistic circles of the era isn’t stingy on the gossip, either. Nora would be pleased.”
People‘s other two picks this week are also peer picks, Gayle Forman’s first title for adults and the debut, Mischling (see below).
Two LibraryReads titles appear next week, including the #1 librarian pick for September:
“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” — Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.” — Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC
“The most overused cliché in the book business is ‘page-turner,’ so I will ask indulgence when I declare that The Risen by Ron Rash is a page-turner in the truest sense of the phrase. The Risen explores a young boy’s coming of age, sibling rivalry, a decades-old mystery, and extreme life choices. It is an exciting read for all who appreciate literature at its finest.” —Jake Reiss, Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL
“Sisters Stasha and Pearl are accustomed to the imaginative interior life they share as twins, but in Josef Mengele’s ‘Zoo’ at Auschwitz they must find refuge in that life in order to survive. Readers descend into the violence and despair of the Holocaust as experienced through the eyes of the twins but are protected by an innocence that is also urbane and by a sardonic playfulness that does not shy from horrors but transforms them into fortitude and resilience. Konar has achieved the unlikely — Mischling simultaneously haunts and inspires.” —Kelly Pickerill, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
Additional Buzz: A People pick this week, it earned starred reviews from Booklist, LJ, and PW, which calls it “a brutally beautiful novel.”
“Welcome back to Southern Florida! In the land of flimflam artists, illegal substances, and scantily clad women, disgraced detective Andrew Yancy is just trying to get his job back. Merry Mansfield, master of the car crash scam, insinuates herself into Yancy’s life with brazen confidence. As it turns out, he needs her more than he could ever anticipate. Reality TV stars, redneck kidnappers, mobsters, and corrupt developers cross paths throughout this novel in hilarious, nonstop action. Hiassen is at the top of his game with quirky characters, rapid-fire banter, and Wodehouse-like plotting.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY
Additional Buzz: Reviewed in TheWashington Post as a “raucous new novel.” More reviews are coming, from NPR and the NYT‘s Janet Maslin.
“At a time of talk about building walls and isolationism, Davies offers a look at American history through the lives of a group of people who have helped to forge this nation — Chinese-Americans. Davies presents characters for whom the American dream is as elusive or as real as it would be to any others. Set in the California Gold Rush, 1930s Hollywood, and the present day, Davies’ tale is artfully told with passion and conviction, and readers will empathize fully with each generation of ‘outsiders.’” —Jessie Martin, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
“Stewart’s follow-up to Girl Waits With Gun is equally fascinating. Based on the life of Constance Kopp, the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey, this tale takes readers from rural New Jersey to the mean streets of New York City in 1915. With grit, smarts, and utter determination, Constance tracks a convict who escaped her custody. Despite the astounding restrictions on a woman’s life in the early 20th century, Constance takes every risk to capture her suspect. Complemented by the historical notes that Stewart provides, Lady Cop is both informative and loads of fun.” —Kathy Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov’s ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carré in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man’s determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!” —Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT
“Pancakes and Paris make for a winning combination in this charming memoir. Readers will cheer for Carlson as he follows his dream of opening a restaurant in nother country. He faces many challenges, but perseveres until he reaches his goal. Thanks to Carlson it is now possible to get hearty pancakes and other treats at Breakfast in America, the first American-style diner in Paris. This is a perfect read for armchair travelers or for Francophiles planning their next trip to the City of Lights.” —Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA
“Boggs tackles a variety of challenging topics throughout this cohesive collection of essays. With a knowledgeable, considerate, and honest mind, Boggs is somehow able to transform the clinical and sedate language of infertility treatments into a beautiful song of hope and transformation. The metaphors Boggs finds for her travails sing, and the patient quality of her narration stuns. The candidness of her voice, combined with her ability to find the perfect words to sum up data, studies, statistics, and personal experience, make The Art of Waiting a gift for all readers.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Headed for best seller lists are the two peer picks for the week (see below), as well as Danielle Steel’s Rushing Waters, (PRH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio) which imagines a group of New Yorkers thrown together when a hurricane hits the city. James Lee Burke continues his multigenerational saga about the Holland family in The Jealous Kind(S&S; S&S Audio).
Also coming is a new title in George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, High Stakes, (Macmillan/Tor). Martin announced last week that the series will follow Game of Thronesto television, Says Publishers Weekly of the new title, “This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.”
People’s “Book of the Week” is a title that was introduced in our EarlyReads program (check out or chat with the author), The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Published last week and also a LibraryReads pick,, People writes, “Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”
“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC
“Hill’s debut is remarkable because it does both the little things and the big things right. It is an intimate novel of identity and loss, the story of a boy abandoned and the man now trying to recover. It also paints a vivid portrait of America and its politics from the 1960s to the present. The Nix overflows with unforgettable characters, but none more clearly rendered than Samuel Andersen-Anderson and his mother, Faye, both bewildered by life and struggling to repair the rift between them. From intimate whispers to American news cycles, this astounding novel of reclamation is guaranteed to sweep readers off their feet.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Additional Buzz: One of People magazine’s picks for the week, described as being “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen,” it’s received wide-spread attention. Entertainment Weekly calls it the “Wildest Debut” and writes that it is a “sprawling, politically charged full-of-heart tale…” New York Magazine selects it as one of the “8 Books You Need to Read This August.”
The Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores series rolls on into late September, starring Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Treat Williams and Diane Ladd and will eventually span seven episodes in this first season.
The first in the series, The Inn at Eagle Point, has already been released as a tie-in. The second book in the series also gets the tie-in treatment this week.
This debut novel made news when it won a major deal in advance of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair (with a different title). At that time, the agent said that Mbue, who is from Cameroon and is now an American citizen living in Manhattan, is “part of the new generation of African writers just being discovered” that includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun, NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names, Teju Cole Open City, and Dinaw Mengestu How to Read the Air.
It is People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as a “page-turner about race, class and the Wall Street meltdown … Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating, but her message is pointed: American dreams can and do turn into nightmares.”
The Washington Post chief critic, Ron Charles, says that it comes at the right time, as it “illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse ” A review is also coming from the NYT Sunday Book Review.
The cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review is devoted to Caleb Carr’s new book, Surrender, New York (Random House; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reviewed by fellow crime novelist Michael Connelly. Unlike his most famous novel, The Alienist, which was set in 1896, this one says Connelly, is “an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment. Call it mystery with multiple messages.” The book’s 600 plus pages require “more dedication (from the reader as well as the writer) than is usual for a crime novel,” but says Connelly, “This is a novel you set time aside for.”
The Washington Post‘s mystery and thriller reviewer, Patrick Anderson, is less willing to set the time aside, saying, Carr’s “descriptive passages can be elegant and informative but they go on endlessly, maddeningly … Carr’s plot is complex, sometimes bewildering, and the reader can become lost amid his epic digressions, no matter how well they read.”
Below are several other titles arriving next week to fanfare from the media as well as booksellers and librarians. For those, and other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 22, 2016
The Campaign in Books
The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate, The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, came from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House earlier this month and is currently at #11 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list, up from #15 last week.
The media may be obsessed with Trump, but there will surely be time for Democratic strategist Carville, who is adept at memorable sound bites (and has a few things to say about Trump, as the book’s jacket indicates).
“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!” — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY
“First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.” — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI
Additional Buzz: First Star receives stars from three pre-pub reviewing sources, Booklist, Kirkus and PW
“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.” — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS
The tie-in edition for one of the most anticipated moves from page to screen hits shelves this week, complete with a snazzy new cover and the long awaited release of a mass market edition, The Girl on the Train (Movie Tie-In), Paula Hawkins (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).
The movie follows the dark and twisty tale of a woman who fantasizes about the life of others and sees something she was not supposed to see. As a missing person investigation spins out she becomes intimately involved in the case. It stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans and opens Oct. 7.
It’s Jacqueline Woodson Week. Review attention has already begun for her anticipated adult novel, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amisted; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), arriving on Tuesday (CORRECTION: It actually arrived LAST Tuesday, as Elaine points out in the comments, but we are still declaring this her week, as the reviews continue to pour in). It’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as “a lovely, mournful portrait of a sensitive girl growing up, forging life-sustaining friendships and eventually finding her way.” The L.A. Times calls it “a powerful adult tale of girlhood friendships.” The author was interviewed on NPR’s All Thing Considered this week.
“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!” —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
In addition to the books highlighted here, new titles are coming from holds leaders Janet Ivanovich, Lisa Scottoline, mystery favorite Michael Koryta and an important new name in science fiction, N K, Jemisin, For those, and several other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 15, 2016
Schumer’s memoir has received advance attention. The media focus will continue news week:
8/16 ABC Good Morning America
8/17 NPR Morning Edition
8/17 CBS This Morning
8/22 CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert
At #4 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List — The Top 10 Things We Love this Week,” this novel is a thriller about an unlikely subject, Thomas Edison’s lawsuit against George Westinghouse about his light bulb patent. Moore is well-known to the entertainment media as the winner of the Academy Award for the screenplay of The Imitation Game, starring Eddie Redmayne [CORRECTION: the star was Benedict Cumberbatch, as our alert readers point out in the comments]. The director of that movie will begin shooting an adaptation of The Last Days of Night in January, with Redmayne starring reports Deadline.
A People magazine pick, this is a memoir by a journalist whose partner, Tony, died while saving their 4-year-old son from drowning. People calls it a “heart-wrenching tale of race, unlikely love (Tony was a former criminal) and how grief changes everything. It’s unforgettable.”
Published last week, this book is also a People pick, a novel about a woman who learns that her grandmother did what the book’s title says. She then heads to the South of France to look for the painting the artist supposedly gave her gran. Naturally, she falls in love along the way. People calls it “delicious, atmospheric.”
A GalleyChat favorite, this is the lead title for the season from Europa Editions, a publisher that has opened American eyes to some of the best writing from other countries and created a best selling phenomenon here with Elena Ferrante’s novels.
Both pre-pub sources that reviewed The Golden Age gave it a star. Set in an Australian children’s polio clinic after WW II, “Every character, however minor, comes to life in these pages … London is a virtuoso.” writes Kirkus.
“Hashimi sets her layered and suspenseful novel at the crossroads of tradition and modernity in present-day Afghanistan. Her nuanced and well-paced tale tells the story of Zeba, who is accused of murdering her husband. In the Chil Mahtab prison, where Zeba awaits her trial and sentencing, she comes to know a colorful cast of female inmates, many of whom are ordinary women who have been snared in various traps of family honor and have been cast away by their families and by society. This is a compassionately written and moving page-turner.” —Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO
“Fast-paced, funny, and extremely enjoyable, The Gentleman has fantastic elements and intriguing characters tied together with smart dialogue and timing reminiscent of a Baz Luhrman film. Badly behaved Victorian ladies, indolent poets, an exasperated editor, intrepid British adventurers, steampunk inventors, omniscient butlers, a genteel Devil, and a number of cunning plans combine to make this debut novel exciting and amusing.” —Jennifer Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, NJ
“Haunting and surprising yet immediately relatable, Palm’s striking memoir sinks its roots deep into readers and holds fast. Everything ordinary, Palm reveals, is extraordinary — tragic, profound, amusing, brutal — when examined up close. In reflecting on her own formative years, growing up ‘between points on the map’ in small-town Indiana, Palm paints a measured, unforgettable portrait of the forces that break us free of our origins and those that inevitably call us back.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
It is also a summer reading pick by the Chicago Tribune: “A memoir of memory, place and burgeoning personhood [recalling] her childhood on the banks of a river in rural Indiana and the next-door boy, once the secret object of her affection, now serving life in prison for a brutal murder.”
August is technically the beginning of the fall publishing season, so things quiet down a bit before the onslaught of the big fall titles. Nevertheless, librarians and booksellers still managed to find 10 titles coming out next week to recommend (see Peer Picks, below).
The major book news of next week will still be the books of this week, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) which just hit the USA Today best seller list at #1. No surprise there, except that, because of the timing of the list, that represents just one day of sales. This week, it’s a People pick (“Spectacular magic and disturbing violence make this a dramatic entry into Harry’s enchanted but troubled world.”)
The first SERIAL podcast was a major phenomenon. It focused on the 20-year old case that put Adnan Syed in prison for the murder of his high school girlfriend. The woman who brought the case to the producers’ attention is Rabia Chaudry, who has worked tirelessly to free Adnan. This is her story. A new trial was recently ordered so the case is in the news once again. People covers the book under the headline, ‘Adnan Syed is Innocent and I Can Prove It: Lawyer Rabia Chaudry.‘ The L.A. Times just published a review.
One of the titles on the majority of the summer reading lists, this is sure to be heavily reviewed. Based on advance holds, it appears that most libraries have underbought this one. It is also the IndieNext #1 pick for the month (see Peer Picks, below)
Irish author McInerney’s debut won the UK’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Marilyn Stasio, in her most recent New York Times Book Review “Crime” column, says she has a “wonderfully offbeat voice … Not only is McInerney’s prose ripe with foul language and blasphemous curses delivered in the impenetrable local idiom, but her style is so flamboyantly colorful it can’t always be contained.”
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, Luke Dittrich, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT).
An excerpt titled, “The Brain That Couldn’t Remember: The untold story of the fight over the legacy of ‘H.M.’ — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory” is the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine. The author was interviewed on Wednesday on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and will be featured on PBS NewsHour next week. Kirkus assesses it as, “Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine’s darker hours.”
Consumer Media Picks
In addition to the new Harry Potter and the latest Oprah pick, People also gives the love to a less well-known title, Lucy Foley’s The Invitation(Hachette/Little,Brown; OverDrive Sample) a romance set on a yacht sailing to Cannes in 1953. People recommends that readers “Pop this tale of love, secrets and obsession right into your beach bag.”
Entertainment Weekly focuses on Dark Matter (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), Blake Crouch’s novel that arrived last week to much fanfare. It arrived on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, but just barely, at #14. EW rates it a B+.
EW‘s head critic, Tina Jordan gives the less anticipated Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) an A (review not yet online). In this nonfiction title, the author investigates how to fake her own death to solve her student-loan debt and discovers a weird underground that includes a morgue in the Philippines that sells bogus death certificates.
Ten recommendations from librarians and booksellers hit shelves this week, including four on the August LibraryReads list:
“Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end.” — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI
“Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Miller’s debut made WSJ guide to summer books about food [subscription maybe required] and the August Indie Next list.
“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY
It is an Indie Next selection as well as a B&N summer reading choice.
“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!” —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
“This is the most fun and unique book I have held in my hands in a long time. It is a ‘non-linear memoir’ consisting of a quiz, random thoughts, poetry, essays, text message communications, family photos, and the captured moments of any given day. This textbook is an education in seeing the world through Rosenthal’s magical viewpoint — necessary for all who want to appreciate life’s little gifts.” —Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
“Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko has spent his entire life in a cloistered world, but he possesses a keen intellect and an understanding of humanity that far exceeds the confines of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Severely physically handicapped due to radiation poisoning, Ivan has never had a friend beyond his caregivers at the hospital — until Polina is admitted. The two teens form a fast and indelible bond that will leave readers in awe of the tenacity of their commitment. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN
“Full of quirky characters, passionate lovers, and literary references, this novel takes the reader on a playful romp through both Spain and the human soul. You know how a sprinkle of salt makes chocolate taste sweeter? This book seems all the more timeless for the dashes of modernity throughout — the Spanish detective who references CSI, the wedding band that plays Lady Gaga — all against the intoxicating backdrop of Madrid and Granada. Delightful!” —Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“As I read I Will Send Rain, I was transported to the West of the 1930s as the Dust Bowl storms began. Annie Bell is struggling to keep her home, body, and family free of the layers of dust that reappear as fast as they are wiped clean. Her husband has constant dreams of rain; her teenage daughter is blinded by love; her young son suffers from dust pneumonia; and now an admirer is forcing Annie to question her own ethics and being. I was moved by the characters, the historical background, the heartache, and the simultaneous longing and complacency that make this a beautiful and powerful story.” —Lori Fazio, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
“Clever, smart, and brilliantly comic as it deals with our humanity, our resilient spirit, and the tremendous challenges that demand our cooperative attention, Mr. Eternity is a delight. Who can resist the tale of a 560-year-old American man named Daniel Defoe, who has much wisdom to offer the world and its people. This genre-bending page-turner is a blast to read!” —Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
The biographical film Sully comes out on September 9 with some very big names attached. Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, and Aaron Eckhart all star while Clint Eastwood directs.
It recounts the story of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger and the day he saved the passengers and crew of flight 155, by safely landing the plane after a bird strike on the Hudson River.
A tie-in comes out this week, Sully: My Search for What Really Matters, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, Jeffrey Zaslow (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).
The new series Luke Cage, a spin-off of the Jessica Jones show and the next in the comics collaboration between Marvel and Netflix, debuts on Sept. 20. It follows the adventures of Cage, a man with unbreakable skin and super strength, who freelances as a superhero.
A new collected edition is being released this week:Luke Cage: Avenger, Mike Benson et al. (Hachette/Marvel).
Timed to coordinate with its released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, is a special, oversized black and white edition, Batman Noir: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (PRH/DC Comics; OverDrive Sample).
It’s the beginning of a new month, which means several new James Patterson titles are set to arrive. In addition to the hardcover Bullseye (Michael Bennett #9), there is also the paperback original Chase (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), which is also a Michael Bennett story.
So far, there are no signs of over saturation. The hardcover is showing a holds queue as long as the one that awaited the publication of the previous title in the series. The BookShot title, however, shows many fewer holds.
The third Patterson title being released, also in the BookShot series, Let’s Play Make-Believe, (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), features new collaborator James O. Born. Although Born is known, as is Patterson, for thrillers, the plot summary for this one indicates that they are exploring new territory:
Both survivors of the divorce wars, Christy and Martin don’t believe in love at first sight and certainly not on a first date. But from the instant they lock eyes, life becomes a sexy, romantic dream come true. That is, until they start playing a strangely intense game of make-believe-a game that’s about to go too far.
Close on Patterson’s heels in holds is Debbie Macomber, with her most recent, Rose Harbor romance,Sweet Tomorrows (PRH/Ballantine Books; RH/BOT audio; Random House Large Print; 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, Aug. 1, 2916
Penn and his magician partner Teller appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon this week (with a brief mention of the book). He is booked for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. Next week, he is scheduled for several shows, including ABC’s Good Morning America and ABC’s The View.
It’s good timing for the release of Congressman John Lewis’s third and final graphic novel about the civil rights movement. As we wrote earlier, Lewis was a very happy man when he won an Eisner for the second in the series, March: Book Two. The first in the series, March: Book One is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Lewis attended Comic-Con this year and, as he did last year, led a commemorative march with children through the convention hall, wearing a coat and backpack similar to those he wore as he crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Selma March in 1965.
The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate is from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House, coming weeks ahead of the The Washington Post ‘s investigative Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (S&S; S&S Audio; Aug 23).
Johnston appeared on PBS NewsHour a couple of weeks ago, along with Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, now in paperback as The Truth About Trump(Macmillan/Thomas Dunne).
Consumer Media Picks
Harmony, Carolyn Parkhurst (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is the People “Pick of the Week” — “At a breaking point with their autistic daughter Tilly, 13, the Hammond family moves to a remote camp whose charismatic leader posits back-to-nature living as a solution. The propulsive plot … is driven by multiple voices, most compellingly Tilly’s little sister’s.”
“Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly is driven by multiple voices.” baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery.” — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Christodora, Tim Murphy (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Grove Press; Blackstone Audio).
“Murphy uses Christodora House, an historic apartment building in the East Village of New York City, as the namesake and backdrop of his compelling debut novel. The story follows the lives of several residents over the course of four decades, expertly detailing the intersections of art and ambition, activism and loss, and the consequences of addiction and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. I can think of no novel in recent memory in which I felt so drawn to its characters and so emotionally invested in the outcome of their lives.” —Shawn Donley, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Carousel Court begins with the decline of a marriage as members of the Maguire family find themselves in the suburbs of Los Angeles, struggling to hold onto their last vestiges of power to control what feels like the free fall of their lives. Examining the paradox of both our over-connected and disconnected world, McGinniss’ clear voice is beautifully balanced with the dark desperation he reveals as the all-too-common silent partner of our lives. This is a powerful book that should not be missed!” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
“Agee presents the saga of the Bennett family in the years following the massacre at Wounded Knee. Formed and altered by the unforgiving Nebraska Sandhills, the Bennetts are a rough, conflicted lot, and their story is filled with secrets, lies, betrayals, vengeance, and murder. Agee evokes a lost world and time without sentiment, but with a beautiful subtlety interrupted only by the true horrors of well-researched fact. A must-read for lovers of Western literature, family sagas, and historical fiction.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
“MacArthur’s debut story collection is set in the hilly backcountry of southern Vermont — a rural landscape of half-abandoned farms and double-wide trailers, but also one of immense natural beauty and wildness. Her characters hew close to this land — even those who have left cannot help but return. These are beautifully drawn portraits of people who, despite poverty and decay, remain vibrantly alive to their world and to the power of memory. I cannot wait to read more from this author!” —Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
Children’s fantasy dominates the tie-ins this week with two titles forthcoming.
Tim Burton’s adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is finally nearing its air date, opening on Sept. 30 and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench.
A tie-in comes out this week. Several others will follow.
Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs and illustrated by Andrew Davidson (PRH/Dutton Books for Young Readers; RH Audio/Listening Library; Sept. 3, 2016).
USA Today says this contains “10 fairy tales, each illustrated by Andrew Davidson, who also designed the cover. The original stories include tales of wealthy (but very hungry) cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars … and the origins of the first ymbryne (a time manipulator that takes the form of a bird) … The book’s publication is similar to J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”
A Monster Calls is based on Patrick Ness’s novel about a story-telling monster and a troubled teen whose mother has cancer. It opens October 21st and stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and Lewis Macdougall.
Anticipation is particularly high, as indicated by holds, for two titles arriving next week.
Releasing on Sunday, July 31st, the day after the play debuts in London, is the script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine). No news yet on when it will hit Broadway, but the NY Post reports it may arrive as early as next season. Holds are heavy, and libraries have ordered enough copies to keep pace with demand.
After her major success with Big Little Lies (an HBO series adaptation is set to premiere next year), Liane Moriarty’s latest arrives Tuesday, Truly Madly Guilty(Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Holds are outstripping orders in many places by ratios as high as 8:1. A LibraryReads pick, it is reviewed in advance by the NYT‘s now retired maven of popular fiction, Janet Maslin, who occasionally steps in to write about major releases. However, she finds it not as compelling as Moriarty’s previous three novels.
Nonetheless, it is a People pick for the week, described as “a vivid tale” and on the LibraryReads list for the month:
“A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one pivotal moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. In trademark Moriarty style, the story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences, creating a delicious momentum for the reader as the tension builds and the pieces fall into place. Moriarty has another sure-fire winner with this look at the complexities of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC
Published last week, this is People magazine’s “Book of the Week” — “In this beguiling novel, three generations of articulate, self-aware women fall to pieces … With a fine understanding of women and a delicate wit, Nadler shepherds all three through grief and humiliation and out the other side.”
“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” — Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY
Crouch is the author of the Wayward Pines series, adapted as a Fox TV series.
In addition to the #1 pick and Truly Madly Guilty, noted above, a third LibraryReads pick arrives this week.
“The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. The core of the novel explores the relationship between Ada and her scientist father David. When a tragedy upends their routine lives, Ada embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will eventually lead her to new truths. Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book.” — Janie Hermann, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ
“Burton’s follow-up to The Miniaturist also takes place in the art world, but this time the settings alternate between London in the 1960s and pre-Civil War Spain in the 1930s. In 1967, a long-lost work by a dead Spanish painter turns up in London. Is it really an original Isaac Robles? Or is there a more complicated story behind the intriguing painting? A fun read with interesting meditations on the purpose and making of art.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
“There are hundreds of coming-of-age stories, but the one told in The Summer That Melted Everything is unique. In the summer of 1984, a series of disturbing events in Breathed, Ohio, are attributed to the arrival of a 13-year-old boy named Sal who claims to be the devil. Gossip and superstitions, exacerbated by the sweltering heat, turn the villagers against Sal. Only the family of the local prosecutor welcomes the boy, who is befriended by their son, Fielding. Through beautiful imagery and rich characters, McDaniel offers an original meditation on what is right and wrong, good and evil, in a magical, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable novel.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI
Deadline outlines the plot, “It centers on the O’Brien clan—a large Irish-American family living on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in a town designed and founded by three O’Brien brothers. The television series focuses on the drama that ensues when the O’Brien family reunites after years apart to face the memories from their past and learn the importance of reconciliation.”
It premieres on August 14 and stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, and Diane Ladd. Several sneak peeks are available on Hallmark’s show site.
War Dogs: The True Story of How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, Guy Lawson (S&S; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market) will open on August 19 and stars Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas and J. B. Blanc.
It is based on nonfiction account by Lawson, originally titled Arms and the Dudes, and tells the unlikely story about winning a $300 million US government contract to supply weapons for the war in Afghanistan.
USA Today offered a sneak peek in March. Below is the trailer.
We have a new name among holds leaders for books arriving this week, Ruth Ware for her second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). Refreshingly, this psychological thriller does not have a girl in the title. Ware’s first book, last year’s In A Dark, Dark Wood, was a LibraryReads pick, as is this one (see Peer Picks, below). Her debut also appeared on the NYT Hardcover Best Seller list for a week and has since developed a larger audience in trade paperback, currently on that NYT list at #6 after 7 weeks.
Ware follows authors with much longer track records, each of whom is releasing her seventeenth novel. The top title in holds for the week is Iris Johansen’s crime novel,Night and Day (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), followed by Jane Green’s romance, Falling (Penguin/Berkley; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).
People magazine’s “Book of the Week” — “This rollicking, Masterful biography celebrates a woman who had the audacity to tell us something we secretly knew already: Sex matters.” It is also reviewed in both the daily NYT and in the NYT Sunday Review, under the headline “Was She a Feminist? The Complicated Legacy of Helen Gurley Brown,” along with Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman by Brooke Hauser (HarperCollins/Harper; April). As the story points out much more will be coming on Brown, including a possible movie based on Enter Helen.
People also picks Delia Ephron’s Siracusa (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), a LibraryReads pick that we covered last week as well as Nina Stibbe’s Paradise Lodge (Hachette/Little Brown). Of the latter, People comments, “You won’t find a funnier, more original confidante than Lizzie Vogel, a teen who’s taken a job in a nursing home.” Stibbe is the author of Love, Nina, an early LibraryReads pick and Man at the Helm, in which Lizzie first appears.
“When Beth and Matt, an aspiring politician, move from NYC to DC, Beth initially hates it. But things start to turn around for her when they befriend another “transplant” couple, Ashleigh and Jimmy. Beth’s loyalty is tested when she is forced to admit to herself that Matt is just not quite as attractive, magnetic or charismatic as his rival-friend, Jimmy…..who harbors similar political aspirations. The Hopefuls is on point in its descriptions of young marriage, career ambition, and complicated friendships. The characters are completely compelling. I was overdue for a great read and this was it!” — Amy Lapointe, Amherst Town Library, Amherst, NH
“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
“World War I Paris is a dangerous place for the young witch Opaline Duplessi. Still in denial about the true extent of her powers and hopelessly in love with a man she can never have, Opaline becomes caught up in a Russian émigré’s plan to save a Romanov from Bolshevik spies on the windswept English coast. Magic and intrigue collide in this captivating follow-up to The Witch of Painted Sorrows.” —Paula Longhurst, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT
Two tie-ins come out this week, both connecting to revamps of older projects.
Suicide Squad Vol. 4: The Janus Directive, John Ostrander (PRH/DC Comics) is the next collected edition featuring the super villain strike team who serve as covert agents on specialized black op missions.
The comic series was originally created by Ross Andru and Robert Kanigher in 1959. The movie adaptation is based on the newer 1987 series by John Ostrander.
The movie was featured on the cover of the July 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly and boasts a large ensemble cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. It opens on Aug. 5.
It is an adaptation of the 1880 novel, which has already served as the basis of several movies, including the Charlton Heston film from the late 50s.
This new version of the text is not the 1880’s edition but, as the publisher says, an update by “Lew’s great-great-granddaughter [who] has taken the old-fashioned prose of this classic novel and breathed new life into it for today’s audience.”
The film stars Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman and opens Aug. 19.
It’s a week with a cornucopia of titles recommended by peers (see below).
Fans need no recommendations for Daniel Silva’s latest, The Black Widow, (HarperCollins/ Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) the 16th novel featuring Gabriel Allon the Israeli art restorer/assassin/spy. In a starred review, Kirkus notes that this one “is marked by a subtle shift in emphasis. Allon remains as compelling as ever, but Silva is clearly preparing readers for a world in which his hero takes a supporting role.”
If holds are any indication, and we think they are, Linda Castillo is headed for a higher spot on best seller lists with the eighth outing of her Amish-county mystery series, Among the Wicked, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive sample), also a LibraryReads pick (see below). In 2013, Lifetime adapted the first novel in the series, Sworn to Silence as the TV movie An Amish Murder. Her book tour includes several libraries.
Freedom: My Book of Firsts, Jaycee Dugard, (S&S; S&S Audio)
This follows Dugard’s 2011 memoir about being kidnapped at 11 and held for 18 years, A Stolen Life. Propelled by media attention, including an overview by Diane Sawyer on 20/20, the first book was #1 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list for four weeks. She will again be interviewed by Sawyer on 20/20 tonight.
An Indie Next pick, we covered this title last week. In addition to being a People pick in the new issue, this memoir gets an A- from Entertainment Weekly’s top book critic, Tina Jordan, saying it “a remarkable … coming-of-age tale set largely on the Norwegian tundra — where she trained sled dogs — and in Alaska. … It’s amazing to watch as she develops backbone and grit, determined not to let anyone or anything stand between her and the icy landscape she loves so much.”
“In the small Amish locale of Painters Mill, police chief Kate Burkholder decides to take an undercover assignment in a community where the death of a young girl was reported. Her long time love, Agent John Tomasetti, is reluctant with her decision because of the lack of communication he will have with her. Burkholder begins to unfold the true horrors on the local farm and unearths the dangers the town officials suspected. She finds herself trapped in a life threatening cat and mouse game. This ongoing series is a true gem and a personal favorite.” — KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT
The Last One, Alexandra Oliva (PRH/Ballantine Books; RH Audio/BOT).
“The Last One tells the story of twelve contestants who are sent to the wilderness in a Survivor-like reality show. But while they’re away, the world changes completely and what is real and what is not begins to blur. It’s post-apocalyptic literary fiction at it’s best. With a fast pace and a wry sense of humor, this is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of literary fiction and genre fiction alike. It points out the absurdity of reality television without feeling condescending. As the readers wake up to the realities of a new world, it becomes difficult to put down.” — Leah White, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, IL
“Nine Women, One Dress sends the reader on a journey with many characters and the little black dress of the season. From the soon-retiring dress designer and the first-time runway model, to the retail salespeople and an actor, this book relates how the dress touches and, often profoundly, changes the lives of all. Even though there were many characters in this book, the author immersed the reader into their lives. Romance, humor, and irony spark the plot as the dress travels from one life to another. A charming read!” — Kristin Fields, Farnhamville Public Library, Farnhamville, IA
“Michael and Lizzie are vacationing with another couple and their daughter, named Snow. As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to infidelities. Ephron does a tremendous job in exposing the frailties of relationships and it feels like being intimate with other people’s problems but without the guilt. Engaging and tough to put down. Great summer read!” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
“A dark, twisty, intricately-plotted psychological thriller about a teen girl, assaulted after a party, as she tries to regain her memories of the event after taking a controversial drug that erases traumatic memories. Walker’s many plot and character threads are carefully placed, and she weaves them all together into a satisfying, shattering conclusion. I’m betting we’ll be seeing this title in a LOT of beach bags over the summer.” — Gregg Winsor, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS
“Best friends Grace and Tilly spend England’s sweltering summer of 1976 sleuthing for clues to uncover the reason for their neighbor’s disappearance. They go from house to house, neighbor to neighbor, investigating as only guileless little girls can do. While they’re at it, they also look for god in the most unusual places. As the mystery of the neighborhood is slowly revealed, so are the many secrets behind every door on the avenue. If you loved A Man Called Ove, you will love The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Funny, quirky and profound!” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
“A brilliant and captivating debut, Bennett’s Pond is a strange, beautifully layered work of fiction, from its quirky and contemplative narrator’s interior life to the vivid and charming descriptions of rural Irish life. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this book is its warm invitation to celebrate solitude. Bennett writes as if in a lush, landscaped dream, each story chapter going forward, circling back, and ending in the middle of the protagonist’s musings upon her everyday experiences. Pond is utterly original, by turns hilarious and poignant, a refreshing and simply delightful read.” —Angela Spring, Politics & Prose, Washington, DC
“At first, I was uncomfortable reading about the life Jane Chisolm has to lead due to a genital birth defect and assumed that I would be sad for her throughout the book, but this is so beautifully written and unsentimental in its depiction of Jane’s quiet strength and courageous acceptance of her life that I fell in love with her quite quickly. While all the supporting characters have their own peculiarities, they are tender and endearing to Jane and that helped me to understand how she endured and was loved so fully. Everyone should read this extraordinary book and feel, as I did, the joy of this remarkable woman.” —Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, CO
“After murdering the tyrannical owner of the land they farmed on the Georgia/Alabama border, three brothers make a desperate run for Canada and manage, along the way, to acquire national reputations as the kind of ruthless outlaws who are immortalized in dime store novels. This is a rollicking and ribald adventure story, populated with shady characters and told in vivid, sparkling prose reminiscent of Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers — and there is hardly a higher compliment.” —Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
Selecting it for their summer reading list, the Chicago Tribune said, it “has been likened to the work of Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers.”
The animated film is getting flat reviews, as we wrote, with the Den of Geek offering a typical reaction, “I’m sure it’ll make lots and lots of money … I’m less sure that lots and lots of people will love it.”
The debut YA SF thriller, about an online, voyeuristic, version of truth or dare was called a page-turner by Kirkus, if beholden to books like The Hunger Games.
The film adaptation stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis and opens July 27.
Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin).
Starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, this bio-pic about a real life socialite who could not sing a note opens in the US on Aug. 12.
It has already aired in the UK where it got strong reviews. The Guardian gave it 4 out of 5 stars, saying it is a “very likable, frequently hilarious, yet still poignant tragi-comedy.” The Telegraph (pre-Brexit) agrees, giving it the same star rating and saying, it feels like “a classic postwar studio comedy – a pillowy paean to silliness, and the perfect antidote for sobering times.”
Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell) is also out behind its movie release date.
As we reported in an earlier Hitting Screens round-up, the Sundance award-winning documentary following the life of Owen Suskind (son of author Ron Suskind) opened over the July 4th holiday.
It may be a record-breaking week for the record-breaking James Patterson. Five new titles arrive with his name on them. Four are from his new series of short original paperbacks, BookShots (at least two are published the first of each month. July is one of the bonanza months), plus a YA title, Treasure Hunters: Peril at the Top of the World. In addition, the paperback version of NYPD Red 4 is being released.
The first two titles in the BookShots were published last month. Both are still on the NYT Mass Market list after 3 weeks. Both are readily identifiable as Patterson products. Cross Kill extends his most popular series, the one he writes solo, Alex Cross, and Zoo 2 arrived as the second season of the TV adaptation of Zoo launched.
This month’s titles may not fare as well. Only one is from an established Patterson series, Women’s Murder Club. The other three are romances, with one of them being, as Patterson tells Al Roker on the Today Show, “A kind of Fifty Shades of Grey, but maybe a little better story.”
He doesn’t reveal the title, but we’re guessing Little Black Dress, (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio) is his Fifty Shadesreadalike. A cover blurb reads, “Slip into something … irresistibly sexy” and the plot description reads, “Magazine editor Jane Avery spends her nights alone with Netflix and Oreos — until the Dress turns her loose. Suddenly she’s surrendering to dark desires, and New York City has become her erotic playground. But what began as a fantasy will go too far . . . and her next conquest could be her last.”
It is co-written by Emily Raymond, who has written two YA titles with Patterson, First Love andThe Lost.
The other two romance titles are in the sub-series BookShots Flames. Holds are light on these two (and Patterson’s name is not a prominent on the covers).
Learning to Ride, Erin Knightley, James Patterson (Foreword by), (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio). Kingsley has written seven historical romance novels. This is her first with Patterson.
The title with the most holds, is, unsurprisingly more identifiable as a Patterson title, an extension of the Women’s Muder Club hardcover series. Still, holds are just 20% of those you’d see for a hardcover release in the series.
The Trial: A BookShot: A Women’s Murder Club Story, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio)
This is the hardcover compilation of a book published as an ebook serial earlier this spring. It was launched to some excitement from the media, both because Fellowes is the creator of Downton Abbey and because of the format. The Atlantic declared that it represented, “The Triumph of the Serial,” but it seems the public did not share that view.
The UK trade publication, The Bookseller, explores where Belgravia went wrong, blaming it on mishandling of the medium, but perhaps the fault lies with the content. The Seattle Times damns it as “rather dull.” Comparing it to Downton Abbey, the reviewer says it “feels like a respectable but socially inferior cousin; it might get invited to dinner, but only out of obligation.”
The audio is read by the great Juliet Stevenson (OverDrive Sample here) delivering a line worthy of Maggie Smith as the dowager Countess of Grantham,
“She was at that period of her life that almost everyone must pass through, when childhood is done wth and a faux maturity untrammeled by experience gives one a sense that anything is possible, until the arrival of real adulthood proves conclusively that it is not.” seem to have either captured the public’s imagination or had the commercial success that it might have done.”
If you attended the AAP/LibraryReads Librarian Author lunch at BEA, you will remember the author’s becoming overwhelmed as she said she wrote this book for family and friends she left behind in Jamaica. The NYTinterviews the author and also reviews the book, saying. “This lithe, artfully-plotted debut concerns itself with the lives of those for whom tourists can barely be bothered to remove their Ray-Bans, and the issues it tackles — the oppressive dynamics of race, sexuality and class in post-colonial Jamaica — have little to do with the rum-and-reggae island of Sandals commercials.” The Miami Herald agrees, “Here Comes the Sunarrives in the season of the beach read, but with eloquent prose and unsentimental clarity, Dennis-Benn offers an excellent reason to look beyond the surface beauty of paradise. This novel is as bracing as a cold shower on a hot day, a reminder that sometimes we need to see things as they are, not as we wish they would be.”
Those reviews come on the heels of very strong trade reviews, including a star from Kirkus.
It’s a challenge to produce in-depth books on presidential candidates in time for the election. The Washington Post has taken that on by assigning a team of their journalists to do a major investigation on the candidate, publishing stories in the paper leading to the release in August of Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, Michael Kranish, Marc Fisher, (S&S; S&S Audio)
Meanwhile, two books coming out this week are based on previously published material.
Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, G. B. Trudeau, (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
“Doonesbury is one of the most overrated strips out there. Mediocre at best.” –Donald Trump, 1989
Trump and Me: Donald Trump and the Art of Delusion by Mark Singer, (PRH/Tim Duggan Books)
An updated version of an essay published in the New Yorker 20 years ago. Despite its age, writes theTelegraph, it “offers clearer insight into the mind of the presumptive Republican nominee than any of the detailed biographies written over the years.”
“Winters has managed to aim a giant magnifying glass at the problem of institutionalized racism in America in a way that has never been done before. This Orwellian allegory takes place in the present day but in a United States where Lincoln was assassinated before he ever became president, the Civil War never took place, and slavery still exists in four states, known as the Hard Four. In agile prose that manages to convey the darkest of humors, Winters tackles the most sensitive of issues such as the motivations of misguided white liberals involved in racial politics, the use of racial profiling, and the influence of racism on the very young. Underground Airlines is the most important book of the summer. Read it.” —Kelly Justice, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
“The brilliant and engaging writing in this memoir belies the author’s young age. Braverman offers a taut and honest recounting of a young woman fiercely chasing down her dream and confronting myriad dangers — both natural and man-made — with intelligence and grit. This white-knuckle read left me in awe of Braverman’s conviction, and her lyrical rendering of the landscape of Alaska took my breath away.” —Katie McGrath, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
“On page one of Ball’s new novel, 16-year-old Lucia Stanton gets kicked out of school for stabbing the star basketball player in the neck with a pencil. Lucia is a delinquent, a philosopher, a shard of glass. She’s also an aspiring arsonist and an iconoclast, who is vibrant, alive, and charming in a misanthropic way. Ball’s prose is precise and deceptively spare, his message dynamic in what he doesn’t write. Enlightenment thinkers used the symbol of the flame to represent the power and transmission of knowledge. It’s in this tradition that How to Set a Fire and Why becomes Ball’s pyrotechnic masterpiece.” —Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
The book also received stars from all the trade publications except Kirkus
“Sharif’s first poetry collection tells the story of the punishing legacy that enduring warfare can have on a family. She expertly utilizes language lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms to demonstrate how we have sanitized the language of warfare into something more benign and seemingly less deadly. The essential task of poetry is to engender empathy and to speak truth to power; to that end, Look succeeds in spades.” —Matt Keliher, SubText: A Bookstore, St. Paul, MN