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
Currently, Patterson has only 4 books on NYT Best seller lists — the first two titles in his new trade paperback original series BookShots, which debuted last week on the combined list, 15th Affair at #14 on the hardcover fiction list after 7 weeks and Jacky Ha-Ha on the Childrens Middle Grade list after 13 weeks. So it’s high time to publish a new title.
Next week’s title is the next in the Private series about a private security agency cleverly named Private. Head of the agency Jack Morgan heads to Rio to provide security for the Summer Olympics, as he did the 2012 Olympics in London in Private Games.
Griffin comes off her #1 NYT best seller of last year with a new title told from the perspective of two very different sisters, one who has a traditional family, but envies her sister’s single life. Of course, the single sister is desperate for a child. This one is described by PWas “Giffin at her finest, a fantastic, memorable story.” Kirkus agrees, “Giffin’s fans will be pleased with this fast-paced, witty, and thoughtful new offering.”
Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate, Gary J. Byrne, (Hachette/Center Street; Hachette Audio)
As we wrote earlier this month, this embargoed title, the latest in a line of books aimed at discrediting Hillary Clinton, has topped Amazon’s sales rankings for weeks. Byrne is a former Secret Service officer who was assigned to the White House when Bill Clinton was in office. Politico reports that Secret Service veterans “blast writer Gary Byrne for having ‘underlying motives.'”
Free-lance journalist van der Leun discovers some uncomfortable truths about a story that made headlines in its day. During the Clinton administration, a young American activist was murdered in South Africa. Her parents, in an amazing act of grace, forgave the killers.The only book reviewed in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, which gives it and A- and says, it is “a story steeped in extraordinary characters and circumstances …a dense and nuanced portrait of a country whose confounding, convoluted past is never quite history”
We Could Be Beautiful, Swan Huntley (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), has already appeared on several summer book previews and is this week’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” which calls it a “riveting psychological thriller [that] takes you inside the world of Manhattan’s elite — and keeps you on tenterhooks.”
“Wealthy art collector Catherine spends her time fussing over her tiny boutique card shoppe so that she can feel like a productive member of society. She meets the handsome and refined William Stockton, yet something seems just a little too good to be true. The plot thickens as long hidden family secrets emerge. Huntley certainly knows how to build up the suspense. This debut novel includes some nice plot twists and Catherine’s character evolves favorably. Recommended for fans of psychological fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“This is a thoughtful police procedural about a missing person case and the secrets that come to the surface when a feisty detective becomes relentless in finding the truth. Edith is a successful college student from a well-known family, but all is not what it seems. Detective Manon Bradshaw is feeling the pressure to quickly resolve the case. What sets this apart from other detective stories is how the lead character is brought to life; she exposes her melancholy and it adds a satisfying mix to the thrills. Recommended for fans of Tana French.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
A Certain Age, Beatriz Williams (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).
“Open the pages of A Certain Age and be drawn into Williams’ rich, atmospheric world of Manhattan in the 1920s — a world where society pages hint at gossip, speakeasies tease with gin, and secrets and hidden desires lie just below the polished veneer of the fashionably dressed and well-bred families of the city. This deft retelling of Richard Strauss’ comic opera Der Rosenkavalier is simply exquisite.” —Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA
“Nine-year-old Alex and his mom, Valerie — the ex-star of a superhero TV show — make their way across the country, Comic-Con by Comic-Con, toward a future of inevitable loss. They visit the fallen heroes, wise women, and wizards of pen-and-ink who have all shaped the story of their lives. Pushed and pulled by so many other people’s stories, can Alex and Valerie learn to write their own?” —Cat Nichols, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“Two disparate individuals pass the time counting pigeons in the town park and finally make each other’s acquaintance: Marguerite, a retired and lonely 80-something plant scientist, and Germain, an unemployed, undereducated, dim-witted 45-year-old who lives in a trailer behind his mother’s house. Soon, Marguerite is reading to Germain, who eventually overcomes his childhood aversion and begins to read himself. This is a lovely story of the redeeming qualities of civil conversation, the possibility of friendship bridging many years and inquiring minds, and the worlds opened up through reading.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common
Several marquee authors return with new books next week, but only one has significant holds, The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, (PRH/Bantam; RH Audio), the fifth book featuring con man Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare.
Other well-known names are showing far fewer holds, including the latest in the series Robert Ludlum made famous, now continued by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Enigma, (Hachette/Grand Central; Machete Audio), coming in advance of the latest Bourne movie Jason Bourne opening 7/29/16. It stars Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander,
Also showing few holds is Bill O’Reilly’s young readers version of his best seller about the attempt on the life of the Republican icon, The Day the President Was Shot: The Secret Service, the FBI, a Would-Be Killer, and the Attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan, (Macmillan/Holt; Holt)
“The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Tyler’s latest is part of an ongoing series transforming Shakespeare’s plays. Margaret Atwood will take on The Tempest in October in a new novel entitled Hag-Seed. Jo Nesbø, Gillian Flynn, and Tracey Chevalier are also part of the project, which extends through 2021.
“After the death of his wife, Cal Sidey abandoned his children for the life of a solitary ranch hand in Montana. Years later, in 1963, his son Bill asks his father to return home to look after his grandchildren, while Bill tends to a family emergency. The powerful story of Cal’s visit is a tragedy of narrowly missed moments as he attempts reentry into a world that no longer has any place for his old-fashioned and violent ways. The prose is clear and lovely, every character is strongly drawn, and Cal Sidey captured my heart while breaking it. Watson has given us a grand Western tragedy, spare and harrowing.” —Kathi Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Inventive and emotionally charged, the two novellas in So Much for That Winter bridge the gap between melancholy and humor. Told in a series of lists and headlines, these stories of the aftermath of two relationships are witty examinations of love and heartbreak in an age of technological detachment and shortened attention spans. Nors’ relentlessly paced vision of modern life should not be missed.” —Emily Ballaine, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
“Suspense and love intertwine against the starkly beautiful backdrop of Antarctica in this wonderful debut. Deb is a researcher devoting her life to the magnificent penguins that populate this remote corner of the world, where the ice-choked waters set the stage for the tragic collision of a supersized cruise liner and mountainous iceberg. When Deb discovers the man she loves is aboard the doomed ship, the poles of her world shift, as she must now focus on rescuing the one person who has saved her from her self-inflicted solitude. Raymond does a masterful job building the tension while the dramas of both the past and present unfold.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
“When a young boy goes missing, his mother and sister begin finding pages from his diary revealing secrets they had never suspected. Where did he go, and why won’t his friends tell anyone the truth? Tremblay peels back the layers of a quaint New England town to expose the ugly underbelly of family life in the U.S. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock is a shocking, scary, and disturbing read, the result of a powerful storyteller at work, and it solidifies Tremblay’s reputation as a master of psychological suspense.” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
Tie-ins this week get off to an explosive start with two editions marking the upcoming summer blockbuster, the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day, one for adults and one for young readers.
20 years after humans turned back the alien invasion, an even larger force is descending on Earth. The film stars Liam Hemsworth along with returning favorites from the first film: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, and Vivica A. Fox. Will Smith is not returning. The movie opens June 24.
King’s 2006 horror tale follows a band of survivors trying to locate a mysterious signal that, sent over the cell phone network, turns humans into raging killers. It stars John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, and Isabelle Fuhrman. It came out last weekend on VOD and will open in a limited number of theaters on July 8.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: And a Thousand Cocktails, Mike Stangle, Dave Stangle (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample; S&S Audio; also in mass market). A comic collection of essays and stories becomes the basis for the next Zac Efron romp. He and Adam DeVine star opposite Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza in this tale of two brothers, who, in an effort to keep a low profile at their sister’s wedding, search for dates – only to discover the women they take to the ceremony are beyond even their definition of wild. The film opens July 8.
The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, Robert Mazur (Hachette/Back Bay). The nonfiction account ties to the July 13 film starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo and Amy Ryan. It tells the story of a US Customs special agent who takes out the international financial systems that supplied money-laundering services to the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Next week, fans of Terry Pratchett will have the bittersweet pleasure of reading the novel which was completed in 2013, before his death last year. The Long Cosmos. Terry Pratchett, with Stephen Baxter (Harper; HarperLuxe) is the final title in the Long Earth series.
Below are highlights of other titles coming out next week. They are listed, along with several other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 13, 2016.
Among the holds leaders this week are three authors who long ago achieved marquee status (i.e., their names are in larger type than the titles on their book jackets) and a rarity among holds leaders, a debut novel.
Thor, a favorite of conservative talk shows, was interviewed on the Glenn Beck Show on Sirius Radio at the end of May. Discussing Donald Trump’s candidacy, which neither support (Beck has said that, although he doesn’t disagree with many of Trump’s policies, he feels he is “deeply flawed and dangerous as a human being“), Thor made a comment that, according to a Sirius Radio statement, “may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone.” As a result, the show was suspended for a week. Thor will have plenty of opportunities to talk about that story next week as he is scheduled for interviews on several Fox-TV shows as well as on Beck’s radio show to promote his new book, the 15th in his Scott Harvath series
Bay of Sighs: Book Two of the Guardians Trilogy, Nora Roberts, (PRH/Berkley; Brilliance Audio)
The second in Roberts’ original trade paperback paranormal romance trilogy, following Stars of Fortune.
Here’s to Us, Elin Hildebrand, (Hachette/Little, Brown: Hachette Audio
The next in her Nantucket-based series. Hilderbrand’s previous recent title, The Rumor, brought her to a new level on best seller lists;
People magazine, listing it as one of their summer reading picks, calls this a “A fascinating memoir” by the feminist author (Backlash) about her efforts to come to terms with her estranged father, after he has goes through a late-life sex-reassignment surgery. Definitely not a feminist, her father, now a woman, tells her, “Men have to help me. It’s one of the great advantages to being a woman. You write about the disadvantages of being a woman, but I’ve only found advantages!”
Appearing on several summer reading lists, it will be covered widely. In one of the first reviews, Laura Miller in Slate says that the book’s “complexity fascinates.” Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- and says, “It’s a gripping and honest personal journey—bolstered by reams of research—that ultimately transcends family and addresses much bigger questions of identity and reinvention.”
People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is also on several summer reading previews. Set in the “60’s and ’70’s, it’s about couple with two children, who suddenly faces the fact that their fairly luxurious lifestyle will not longer be funded by the largess of their parents.
Librarians and booksellers offer readers ten titles this week. The LibraryReads selections include the return of several series as well as two debuts, while the Indie Next picks highlight a buzzy summer reading favorite.
“Directed by powerful librarians, agents roam alternate realities searching out special volumes for their mysterious library’s collections. Irene is a spy for the library but something is a little off about her current mission; there’s something strange about her new assistant that she can’t quite put her finger on and worse, the requested volume has already been stolen. Cogman’s engaging characters and a most intriguing imagined world are sure to delight readers, especially bibliophiles.” – Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
“Nora leaves London to visit her sister, Rachel, in the countryside often. But this trip is different – a silent house, a dead dog hanging from the railing and so much blood. Nora stays, trying to help the police solve the case. She thinks it might have something to do with the unsolved attack on Rachel when she was just a teen but it could be someone new. This story is thrilling and quietly gripping. We become as obsessed as Nora in finding her sister’s killer and what if he strikes again?” – Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
“In the long-awaited sequel to The Rook, negotiations between two highly secret organizations, one based on science and reason and the other on the supernatural, are continuing. Odette and Pawn both come to the forefront of the story as we get more of the history of the groups and why mortal enemies would want to join forces. With its blend of intricate world-building and fantastical situations, Stiletto both surprised me and made me laugh.” – Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA
“Doiron delivers a novel of intensifying suspense. The brooding and flawed Bowditch deals with a newly revealed family secret that sets him off on a search for the truth. His personal mission leads him into danger as he chases a vigilante through the wintry Maine woods. Doiron perfects his storytelling with a richly detailed setting and admirable sense of timing. You’ll want to go back to the previous Bowditch adventures while awaiting the next installment. Highly recommended for fans of Nevada Barr and C.J. Box.” – Mamie Ney, Auburn Public Library, Auburn, ME
Booksellers offer suggestions this week for books coming out in June and July:
“Evie Boyd is a lonely 14-year-old adjusting to her parents’ recent divorce and an emotional break with her childhood best friend. She encounters a wild and enchanting group of girls and is immediately drawn into their world of reckless abandon. Seduced by their thrilling, cult-like family hidden in the California hills, Evie finds herself pulled into events that will lead to unspeakable violence. Cline’s captivating prose strips bare the deep desires and vulnerability of teenage Evie as she struggles for acceptance. The Girls is an enthralling and haunting novel that will linger with readers long after the last page.” —Tarah Jennings, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD
“Gritty, thrilling, and full of twists, Harvey’s first novel to be set in his hometown of Boston is cause for celebration. Its namesake neighborhood is as richly textured as the characters in this deeply moving crime story about two friends haunted by their shared past of violence. While it will certainly appeal to fans of Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, Brighton sings with a fresh Bostonian voice that is all its own.” —Thomas Wickersham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
“This multigenerational saga follows the fortunes of the Sel and Duke families from early Colonial days to the present, spanning centuries and continents as they make their living not only from the bounty of the land but also from the ravaging and destruction of it. As always, Proulx is brilliant at creating a story that flows impeccably, and her nature writing is some of the most beautiful and evocative to be found in modern literature. This novel is an epic work, a fictional Silent Spring that will linger with readers long after completion.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS
“Twenty years ago, Margo and Henry fell in love, lost each other to a fierce misunderstanding, and went their separate ways — to marriages, children, and a second-best kind of happiness. Now, a chance encounter holds out hope for reconciliation and the joy of true love. Greene tells this story by jumping back and forth in time and between narrators, while readers wonder ‘will they or won’t they?’ Read this one for the story and the superb style. One of the best books I have read this year.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA
“With his debut novel, Reid sets an extremely high bar for all future psychological thrillers. The entire story takes place in little over 24 hours as Jake and his girlfriend travel to meet and have dinner with his parents. In the narration by the unnamed girlfriend, something unsettling surfaces early and builds with the passage of every page. Readers will become riveted, reading faster and faster as the ‘unsettling’ becomes frightening, and then terrifying. Recommended for all who enjoy a good mind-twisting scare!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
“With wildly inventive ideas, compelling suspense, and surprising emotional depth, The Insides captured my attention and imagination right from the start. Bushnell is a playful and adventurous writer, coloring outside the lines of genre, breaking the real world open and building his own between the cracks. In a feat of literary street magic, he blends the ordinary and the surreal together into a harmony that feels perfectly right and true even as it disorients the senses The result is a quirky paradox of a novel: fierce yet tender, lighthearted yet severe, weird yet natural.” —Jason Foose, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
The reboot of Ghostbusters dominates the tie-ins with five titles forthcoming.
There are two novelizations. Out this week is the version written for ages 8-12, Ghostbusters Movie Novelization, Stacia Deutsch (S&S/Simon Spotlight). Following that, on June 28th, is the full novelization, issued by a different publisher, Ghostbusters, Nancy Holder (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample).
The supernatural comedy opens July 15th and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. So high are expectations that action figures are forthcoming as well from a range of producers including Lego and Mattel.
Stephen King is poised to join his son on best seller lists. Joe Hill’s The Fireman, arrived at #1 on the NYT list last week and is currently at #8. King’s new title completes the trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes and continued in Finders Keepers.
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Mary Roach (Norton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), a quirky, funny, nonfiction foray that looks at science and warfare. Expect a wave of publicity with excerpts, interviews, and reviews in major sources.
“With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a fascinating topic few of us would openly explore. She writes about the issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Roach brings to our attention the amazing efforts of science to tackle all the challenges of modern warfare. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating revelation.” — Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA
“An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.” — Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA
Gyasi earned a $1 million advance for her debut, which gives it a publicity hook, but it is also appealing to reviewers. It addition to being a LibraryReads pick, it is an Indie Next selection and is on four summer reading lists: The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly‘s top 10 choices, B&N, and Buzzed. It is reviewed today on the NYT site (in print, it will appear in the upcoming NYT Sunday Review)
“Rowley has lovingly captured what it is like to be totally invested in caring for another life, another heart. This book is a true gift for anyone who has experienced the loss of a dog, but especially for those of us who have nursed a beloved dog through an illness even though you both knew it was going to be a losing battle. A special bond is formed there, and the story of Lily and Ted illustrates it so perfectly.” — Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT
It is also an Indie Next pick and a B&N summer reading list selection.
Four additional Indie Next picks hit the shelves as well, two of which are also on the widely-syndicated St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s summer reading list, Marrow Island and Wintering.
“After an earthquake destroyed the oil refinery on Marrow Island and killed her father, Lucie Bowen left. Twenty years later, she returns to the Puget Sound and discovers her friend Kate is now living on this toxic island with members of ‘The Colony.’ Set in the Pacific Northwest, Marrow Island is a mystery/thriller that encompasses communal living, natural and man-made disasters, and what can happen when we tinker with the ecosystem and try to play a larger role.” —Tracy Taylor, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
“It is tempting to inhale Wintering in a great rush because it is such a suspenseful, wild, and dangerous survival story. That would be a mistake. Geye magically conveys the starkness, beauty, and despair of the northern Minnesota borderlands in prose that deserves to be savored. He gives us characters with deep, complex interior lives who struggle with secrets, love, and damaged relationships. A powerful father-son story and a landscape revealed in breathtaking detail make this a novel to read with care and wonder.” —Tripp Ryder, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN
“These interconnected stories set in Maine and around the Northeast coast announce a startling new writer of strong literary fiction. Noyes’ women yearn, stumble, get back up, make terrible mistakes, strive, keep dark secrets, take off, come back again, and fumble toward love. An extraordinarily raw voice that will remind readers of Rebecca Lee and Elizabeth Strout.” —Melanie Fleischman, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
“This novel in verse begins with the death of a wife and mother told through the eyes of her husband, her two sons, and, unexpectedly, a crow. Crow — one part trickster-god, one part guardian, and wholly unpredictable — descends upon this fractured family to watch over them in their grief and guide them back to the land of the living. Porter’s phrases and descriptions startled me with their clarity, and undid me with their simple and unexpected poignancy.” —Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Star Trek Beyond opens on July 22, 2016, marking the 50th anniversary of the first Star Trek TV broadcast. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto return as Captain Kirk and Commander Spock and Idris Elba comes aboard as well.
Two tie-ins are available thus far, both supporting the franchise rather than serving as direct adaptations of the movie.
Thus far the movie is getting mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter says it is “High-toned but ho-hum,” The Independent calls it “entertaining but very lightweight,” but the UK version of Den of Geeksays it is “a breath of fresh air. Warmly recommended.”
For those who want to know more about the author, PRH/Viking will publish le Carre’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, in Sept.
The next Ice Age animated film, opening July 22, brings three tie-ins starting with Ice Age: Collision Course: The Junior Novel, J.E. Bright (S&S/little bee books).
New editions of this book remind us of changes in the culture since the previous one. Information on how a changing body may affect piercings and tattoos, covered earlier, is now old hat. This time, according to the publisher, the new edition incorporates current lifestyle trends such as “juice bars, raw diets, e-cigarettes, push presents, baby bump posting …”
The media is already giving attention to memoirs by two very different people. Among bookseller picks are titles that have shown up on many consumer summer reading previews.
The Long Game: A Memoir, Mitch McConnell, (PRH/Sentinel; Penguin Audio)
The Senate Majority Leader began promotion for his memoir with an appearance on yesterday’s CBS This Morning There were no prepub reviews, indicating this book is embargoed. As a result, many libraries have not ordered it.
Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China, Eddie Huang, (PRH/Spiegel & Grau)
Celebrity bad boy chef Huang’s previous memoir was the basis for the ABC TV series Fresh off the Boat. The ground-breaking show just aired its second season final episode and has been renewed for a third, making this a good moment for the author to release his second book (even though he has complained openly that TV sanitized his book). He is profiled in the New York Times and on NPR.
“Set in trendy Brooklyn, Straub’s latest novel follows the lives of former bandmates Zoe, Elizabeth, and Andrew and their teenage children, Ruby and Harry. When Ruby and Harry begin a relationship, their parents are forced to face and reveal long-buried tensions and secrets. Straub’s spot-on depictions of middle-age suburban life and teenage angst are alternatively searing and hilarious. This book is the ultimate literary beach read!” —Alexis Jason-Mathews, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC
Entertainment Weekly picked Straub’s newest as one of the Hottest Fiction titles of the year, saying “The author of 2014’s summer hit The Vacationers focuses on a tight-knit set of college pals who now have college-age kids themselves.”
This is the author’s fifth novel, but in between he’s done a few other things, like create the TV series Fargo, becoming, as Vanity Fair claims. “the future of Hollywood.”
“When a private plane plunges into the ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, the media and the government want answers. The two survivors — a middle-aged artist along for the ride and the four-year-old son of a prominent and powerful family — have little to say. Before the Fall takes the reader on a thrilling ride through the past lives of the other passengers and the aftermath of the crash. As the deepest secrets of the wealthy and those who surround them surface, no one is safe. A brilliant and relentless thriller.” —Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS
“I must be one of the few people to love Neil Gaiman most for his nonfiction. Over the years, I’ve scoured the shelves and online for his speeches, his introductions, his forewords, even his tweets and blog posts, so this book is a thing of wonder. Filled to bursting with his humor, wisdom, and hope, all articulated in the thoughtful, generous prose we know and love, The View From the Cheap Seats will keep you company, give you solace, and help you think deeper, smile harder, and breathe easier.” —Serena Longo, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
“Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book, published for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, is personal, political, and profound. Her examination of 12 national parks is much more than a guide to the history and landscape of those places. It is a guide to the heart and soul of the entire National Park system, whose depth is exceeded only by its beauty.” —Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Typically a UK show running on ITV lands in the US on Masterpiece Theater but Amazon nabbed Doctor Thorne, the newest Julian Fellowes uppercrust drama, and will start airing the 3-part mini series this Friday. In something of a bid to out do Masterpiece, or at least evoke its Alistair Cooke heyday, Fellowes introduces each episode, sitting in an arm chair, as Slate puts it very “cozy highbrow … that velvet! That fireplace!”
The Guardian was not impressed when it aired in the UK in March, writing, “let’s take a memory drug to forget this disgrace … Pointless to the point of excruciating.”
The tie in, Doctor Thorne: The Chronicles of Barsetshire, Anthony Trollope (Oxford University Press), comes out June 1.
The Secret Life of Pets is an animated film from Universal detailing the adventures of pets. It stars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart and opens July 8.
Two titles support its release thus far: the storybook The Secret Life of Pets Big Golden Book (Secret Life of Pets), David Lewman, illustrated by Craig Kellman (PRH/Golden Books) and the level reader Meet the Pets (Secret Life of Pets), Random House (PRH/Random House Books for Young Readers).
Coming out on May 31st is The Bye Bye Man: And Other Strange-but-True Tales, Robert Damon Schneck (PRH/TarcherPerigee). It is the tie-in for the horror movie of the same name, based on Schneck’s short story “The Bridge to Body Island.”
The film has been moved from its expected June 3rd opening to December release, but it appears the tie-in date has not been changed.
Title output slows down next week, in anticipation of the Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a busy time in stores.
Two best-selling series wrap on Tuesday. The final book in Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave series,The Last Star (Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers) and on the adult side, Justin Cronin’s The City of Mirrors (PRH/Ballantine).
Several consumer media and peer picks offer fodder for readers advisors (see below).
People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as, “Adrift after dementia and then death have stolen her mother, 40-year-old Blanca heads to … a Spanish coastal village … As she tries to ease her grief with sex and drugs, she turns the lives of those around her upside down … both poignant and funny.”
It is also picked as one of the more literary-minded Lit Hub‘s “Five Summer Reads,” — “Somehow she mixes a heady aperitif of a book that combines quirky, sexy, and gloomy in perfect measures as protagonist Blanca faces losing her mother and her mojo on a Spanish beach.”
Tribe : On Homecoming and Belonging, Sebastian Junger, (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Type)
The author of The Perfect Storm, is sure to get major media attention for his book about our returning troops. In an early review in the daily NYT, Jennifer Senior say Junger “writes, simply … After months of combat, during which ‘soldiers all but ignore differences of race, religion and politics within their platoon,’ they return to the United States to find ‘a society that is basically at war with itself. People speak with incredible contempt about — depending on their views — the rich, the poor, the educated, the foreign-born'” and therefor has ” accidentally written one of [the Presidential campaign’s] most intriguing political books. All without mentioning a single candidate, or even the president, by name.”
Food and lies are the topics of this week’s peer picks.
Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler (PRH/Knopf; Random House Audio; BOT)
“At her new job at one of NYC’s posh restaurants, Tess falls for a mysterious bartender and negotiates the politics of the service industry while building a social life. Danler drew from her own experience and the writing is vivid and stimulating. I’m always interested in a story about a girl trying to find her place in the world and her adventures, but anyone who appreciates writing that pulses with life will drink this down.” — Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL
“In an alternate historical London, people who lie reveal themselves by giving off smoke but the rules of how this works are complicated. There are some people who can lie and not trigger any smoke and this lends an interesting element to the story. The rules we are given are changeable. The setting lends itself well to the story. The writing is descriptive, and the tone is atmospheric. Similar authors that come to my mind were Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. This is a dark, delicious tale.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Smoke is also getting media attention. It’s featured in the Wall Street Journal [may require subscriptio]. The author will be interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered on Tuesday. Reviews are scheduled for upcoming issues of the Washington Post, the daily New York Times and the New York Times Book Review.
Wrapping up the week is another Indie Next pick, Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship, Isabel Vincent (Workman/Algonquin).
“Dinner With Edward is the charming story of the author’s friendship with her friend’s widower father. Vincent does a wonderful job evoking the sensuous details of the meals they shared, but this is more than just a foodie memoir: it is an exploration of the nature of friendship, aging, loss, and how we define our identities as the world changes around us. Despite the sadness of some of its topics, Dinner With Edward is ultimately a warm, feel-good story.” — Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
The big tie-in news this week is, well, giant, as in BFG. There is both a book version and an audio version in anticipation of Steven Spielberg’s film, opening on July 1, The BFG Movie Tie-In, Roald Dahl (Penguin/Puffin Books; Paperback; $7.99; Audio tie-in, Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).
As we wrote earlier, a new trailer was recently released, as well as the news that the film got a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival when it premiered last Saturday.
Women lead in holds this week. Nevada Barr is in first place with Boar Island (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio), the 19th in her Anna Pigeon mystery series, That is followed by Mary Kay Andrews’s The Weekenders, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) with an appropriate cover to welcome in the summer. It is also an Indie Next pick (see below).
Four Peer Picks hit shelves this week. One is a big name from the May LibraryReads list (which also made the June Indie Next List). The other three, all Indie Next selections, include the return of a reader and librarian favorite.
Both a LibraryReads(and Indie Next title is The Fireman, Joe Hill (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).
Mary Vernau, of Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX offers an introduction:
“The Fireman is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others. This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.”
The Indie Next pick is DiSclafani’s sophomore outing after 2013’s The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. That novel was one of our Penguin First Flights titles.
“The real star of The After Party is the novel’s setting: 1950s Texas, where wealthy housewives and Junior League debutantes rule the social landscape. At the center is Joan Fortier, an unconventional bachelorette who is not content to sit on the sidelines — or to stay in Houston. Joan’s attitude causes conflict with her childhood best friend, CeCe Buchanan, and their relationship falters, exposing insecurities in both women. Fans of DiSclafani’s first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, will not be disappointed by this well-written, engaging new work.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
“This book is perfectly named. The title describes the characters in the story and also recommends it be read during a relaxing weekend on the beach, by the pool, or curled up on the couch at home. True to her roots, Andrews serves up a mystery complete with a dead body and lots of secrets, many of which don’t get revealed until the very end. And to add a touch of urgency, there’s a hurricane. What could be better?” —Rona Brinlee, The BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL
“Abby and Gretchen are the best of friends. They have navigated through all the adolescent pros and cons that came with growing up in the late ’80s: zits, big hair, getting the nod from senior class heartthrob Tommy Cox, and — demonic possession? Written in Hendrix’s unique, darkly comedic, and slightly twisted voice, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is that quirky and satiating page-turner that fans of Horrorstör, have been salivating for.” —Angelo Santini, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
The upcoming week’s arrivals may seem meager, after the onslaught of new titles last week.
Two marque authors have new books coming, and both are children’s titles.
Sherman Alexie is getting kudos for his first foray into picture books, Thunder Boy Jr.illustrated by Yuyi Morales, whose Viva Frida, was both a Caldecott Honor Book and the winner of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award last year.
The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles, in a rare departure from covering adult titles, calls this book about a child who, as a “Jr.” wants his own name, “ebullient.” He adds that it not only fulfills Alexie’s goal “to help correct an ongoing problem: the lack of brown-skinned kids in literature,” but also captures “a child’s desire to establish his own special quality.”
John Grisham publishes the sixth title in his 13-year-old lawyer-in-training series for middle-graders, Theodore Boone: The Scandal, (PRH/Dutton Young Readers).
“When a hunting accident results in the death of his neighbor’s son, Landreaux Iron follows native tradition and offers his own son, LaRose, to the bereaved family. Thus begins a powerful story of anger, love, hurt, and joy among a group of families and neighbors living in a small community in the North Dakota hinterland. Erdrich’s luminous prose captures each character’s struggle to overcome their worst impulses – whether it’s a handicapped man’s long-nurtured quest for revenge, or the pain of a mother withholding her love from her daughter – and reaches into the distant past to reveal the story of the young boy’s namesake, the original LaRose. Muted on the surface, but with a heart that beats strong, Erdrich’s latest novel is a book to be treasured.” —Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Nathaniel Philbrick (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).
“History buffs will welcome this serious and interesting salvaging of the American Revolution from the mists of legend and folklore. Reading this book also is a reminder that the messy, often disturbing politics of our own time are not unique, that idealism conflicts with power struggles, that both war and building a nation can have destructive consequences, and that revolutionaries and traitors both galvanize a movement. Complex, controversial, and important.” —Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI
The Wall Street Journal also named it one of ‘The Hottest Spring Nonfiction Books’ [subscription might be required].
“Three stories are linked in this outstanding debut by criminal pursuits and Venice — not so much the actual place, but the idea of that place: in the late 1500s Venice, Italy, a man schemes to steal the most guarded technology of the day — a mirror; in 1950s Venice Beach, California, a thief discovers a mysterious text that seems to have unusual insights about that stolen mirror; and in 2015, a soldier purses the thief in The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas to retrieve the book about the mirror. As the stories draw together, Seay’s thrilling novel dazzles at every turn. Unexpected and amazing, The Mirror Thief will leave readers breathless.” —Jeremy Ellis, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
A Court of Mist and Fury, Sara Maas, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; Recorded Books) — the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.
The Crown, Kiera Cass, (HarperTeen) — The finale to The Selection series in which dystopia meets The Bachelor. An effort to launch it as a TV series on the CW didn’t get past the pilot stage, but there are still hopes for a Warner Bros. movie.
Zero K, Don DeLillo, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio) — All the country’s critics want to have their say on this book. Michiko Kakutani jumped ahead in the daily NYT this week, calling it the author’s “most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld.”
It’s such a big week that there’s even a hot title in the usually quiet category of revised editions. The best seller on getting the most from Social Security has been updated to reflect new regulations that took effect on April 29, 2016. Ironically, as reported by Bloomberg, those changes in Social Security rules were brought about by the book itself, which revealed some loopholes. Time to weed those first editions (if you can get them out of readers’ hands).
Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, Ron Miscavige (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).
Earlier this month, the NYT profiled the author, whose TED talk has been viewed nearly eight million times. She is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition, this Saturday, followed by CBS Sunday Morning, and the week after by PBS NewsHour.”
It is a banner week for books librarians love with seven LibraryReads selections hitting shelves, including the #1 pick for May:
“Britt-Marie is a woman who is used to her life being organized. But when she leaves her cheating spouse and takes a temporary job as caretaker of the recreation center in the tiny town of Borg, her life changes in unpredictable ways. With its wonderful cast of oddball characters and sly sense of humor, this novel is sure to capture readers’ hearts. Highly recommended.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
“Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
“Set during World War II and loosely based on the author’s own grandparents, this was a strikingly honest look at the changes that war creates on a country’s landscape and its people. These changes were so strongly shown by the progressive style of this novel. Bit by bit, we are privy to each character’s transformation. What a great tribute to what they endured. War gives birth to many endings, also to many beginnings. Bittersweet.” — Lori Elliott, Kershaw County Library, SC
Cleave’s novel is also People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” an Indie Next selection, and a favorite on GalleyChat.
Wilde Lake, Laura Lippman (HC/William Morrow; Harper Audio).
“As Lu, the newly elected state’s attorney in Howard County, prepares for a trial of a woman found murdered in her apartment, she begins to uncover secrets from her past. Bringing her back to the night her brother saved a life at the cost of another, Lu begins to question everything she’s known about the events and her childhood. Lippman’s newest standalone is sure to be another hit, perfect for mystery fans.” — Annice Sevett, New Hanover County Library, Wilmington, NC
“An arresting story about a wife manipulated and what she goes through to escape her husband’s desperate means to keep her. When her daughter is born, Anna starts hearing a voice in her head that may suggest the supernatural or the divine. She and her daughter hole up in a motel where all the guests seem to hear a similar voice in their heads. The author jolts the reader into reading something unexpected and the effect is eerie and memorable. Highly recommended for a book discussions.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
“When Casey Duncan and her friend are invited to Rockton, a town for people who need to disappear, she’s skeptical. Could it really be the haven it promises? She soon finds that Rockton has its own particular set of problems, including a designer drug and a murderer. As the town’s new detective, Casey is soon plunged into the hunting of a killer in a town built on secrets. Armstrong introduces a fascinating setting and an intriguing cast of characters. Readers will find themselves hooked.” — Elena Gleason, Coos Bay Public Library, Coos Bay, OR
“In Hart’s new suspense novel, we meet veteran detective Elizabeth Black, who is facing possible suspension for a suspicious shooting. At the same time, former police officer Adrian Wall is released from prison after serving time for the murder of Julia Stange. Stange’s son wants Adrian dead. Adrian has always claimed his innocence, but after his release, a couple of new bodies turn up at the church. This is a thrilling page-turner that starts at a rapid-fire pace and doesn’t let up. Great book for literary and thriller lovers alike.” — Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN
“Church deftly traces the life of Meridian Wallace, an intelligent young woman who is searching for who she is and what she wants to become. As America braces for entrance into WWII, Meri falls for the ambitious Alden Whetstone, a much older but brilliant scientist. Aspiring to be a ‘good wife,’ Meri abandons her own academic pursuits in ornithology to follow Alden to Los Alamos, but the years that follow are filled with dashed hopes and compromises. Over the decades of her marriage, Meri attempts to fill the void of unrealized dreams by making a home and reclaiming her sense of self. Filled with sharp, poignant prose, the novel mimics the birds Meri studies, following her as she struggles to find her wings, let go, and take flight. Church gives readers a thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of the sacrifices women make in life and the courage needed for them to soar on their own.” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
“Haigh has been building a body of work around Bakerton, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade. In this new Bakerton novel, Haigh once again unleashes the sweep of historical forces as out-of-state companies look to drill for natural gas deposits. There is hope among the residents that the future will be brighter, but there is also the risk that they will just be victims of greed and further environmental ruin. This is a big, issue-oriented book, but its success is found in the brilliance with which Haigh crafts her characters and makes their lives a vehicle for looking at the moral, political, environmental, and economic questions about fracking. A timely book and perhaps one even worthy of the title ‘Great American Novel.’” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA
“While any new book from Richard Russo is a cause for celebration, to have one that revisits the characters from a beloved classic feels like a gift from the literary gods. Everybody’s Foolreturns to North Bath, New York, the setting for Russo’s breakout novel from 1993, Nobody’s Fool. No one writes better about the quirks, petty jealousies, hard times, humor, and heartbreak of small town America. Everybody’s Fool is good old fashioned storytelling at its finest!” —Shawn Donley, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Imagine Me Gone is a deeply moving portrayal of a family’s complex love for one another as they manage and respond to the shape-shifting undercurrent of mental illness experienced by both father and son. A compelling read on every level, this novel is crafted with impressive emotional sensitivity, providing a direct feed into the inner lives and secrets of each character. Writing of this caliber is a rare thing. Haslett has created a gem of a novel that I will recommend over and over again.” —Nancy Scheemaker, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY
Entertainment Weekly lists it as one of their Hottest Fiction picks: “Haslett’s latest — one of spring’s biggest books — is a heartbreaking, hilarious chronicle of one family struggling to love one another amid anxiety and depression.”
“Horse racing and breeding, evolution, race, love, family dynamics and America’s historical past are a few of the subjects and issues that Morgan bravely, confidently, and intelligently explores with a poetic and lyrical sensibility. The result is a gorgeous and engaging novel that is sobering, important, and unforgettable. In addition to her singular vision and style, Morgan combines some of the intense power of the landscape as mindscape of Thomas Wolfe, the dramaturgy and myth-mining of Eugene O’Neill, the deep focus and rigor of Richard Powers, the transcendent beauty of Vollmann’s best prose, and the strong spiritual commitment of Marilynne Robinson. The Sport of Kings unfolds dramatically into an exquisite work of classic American literature.” —Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
“A lovely debut that swept me along with the story of two people destined to be together. One chance meeting in college then takes three different roads and readers see the next decades played out through the couple’s eyes. Each story is different, yet with the same players, and each does not turn out as expected. This is a thoughtful and touching novel about love, expectations, and forgiveness.” —Kelly Estes, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
“Arthur Pepper has finally gotten around to cleaning out his deceased wife’s clothes when he comes across her charm bracelet. He doesn’t remember seeing it before, and the charms pique his curiosity about the life his wife led before they met. Thus begins an adventure that will have Arthur learning to embrace life more fully and becoming more present in the lives of those he cares about. Grab a seat and get lost in this charming read with characters you will cheer on, laugh with, and perhaps shed a tear for.” —Lisa Fabiano, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
Several titles coming out this week tie in to the upcoming Disney movie Finding Dory, set to open June 17.
Finding Dory: The Junior Novelization (RH Disney (PRH/Disney) is aimed at kids aged 7 to 10. Also available in paperback, the hardcover edition is called the “Deluxe” version.
There’s also a picture book, Finding Dory (Picture Book): Three Little Words, Amy Novesky (Hachette/Disney Press) and the image-rich Disney Pixar Finding Dory: The Essential Guide, DK (PRH/Penguin/DK Children).
The two leveled readers are Ocean of Color (Disney/Pixar Finding Dory), Bill Scollon (RH/Disney) and Dory’s Story (Disney/Pixar Finding Dory), RH Disney (RH/Disney).
The film, which recounts the continued adventures of the fish Dory following Finding Nemo, features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Idris Elba.
As we have previously posted, a remake of Roots is on the way, scheduled to air on the History Chanel, and simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, over four consecutive nights beginning May 30.
A tie-in edition is now available, Roots[miniseries tie-in]: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley, (Perseus/Da Capo Press).
The new version seeks to make the seminal TV event, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alex Haley, relevant to a new generation of viewers, many of whom were not alive when the first adaptation aired.
Set to premiere on June 10th is Warcraft, a fantasy film adaptation of the video game of the same name. It stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, and Ben Foster.
The tie-in Warcraft: Durotan: The Official Movie Prequel, Christie Golden (PRH/Titan Books) comes out this week.
The game has been adapted into novels for over a decade, the most recent is Illidan: World of Warcraft, William King (PRH/Del Rey). There are also comics based on the game. The film opens June 10.
Eager fans have been placing holds for marquee authors appearing next week, John Sandford (Extreme Prey, PRH/Putnam) and Iris Johansen, Hide Away (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).
Harlequin’s Mira imprint is betting on Meghann Foye’s debut, Meternity with a 100,000 copy first printing. By an editor at Redbook, it is about an editor at a NYC magazine who thinks faking a pregnancy might be a great way to get perks, only to learn the truth of Shakespeare’s adage about weaving deceitful webs. Prepub reviews are all positive, with LJ enthusing, “Full of moments that will leave readers in suspense, gasping at consequences, and rooting for the heroine … perfect for fans of Candace Bushnell.”
People pick — “an astonishing study of animal intelligence has the makings of a classic — and is one fascinating read.”
Catastrophic Happiness : Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years, Catherine Newman (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio).
People pick — ‘The exhaustion, tenderness and terror of parenthood are captured by blogger Newman in a front-line report — she’s the mother of two — that’s both winsome and funny. Topics include tantrums, playing with food and (because she take us to the joyous-disastrous brink of adolescence) the sex talk.’
Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power, Mark Landler (PRH/Random House; Recorded Books).
Landler’s book gets double coverage, an except in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk” plus coverage of the excerpt in the New Yorker. The author is also scheduled for an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).
The founder of Nike will appear on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. Next week, he is scheduled for Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Charlie Rose show on PBS.
Jenelle Klavenga, of Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA writes this summary:
“Shelby has a plan to help herself overcome her relationship issues: asking Aiden to be her friend. Aiden agrees, because he realizes that he does not treat women very well and wants to learn how to treat them right, even though he doesn’t want to get married. The situation seems to work well for both Aiden and Shelby, until they realize they feel much more than friendship for each other. Mallery never fails to deliver a great story full of love and friendship. Another fantastic read.”
Four Indie Next picks from the May list arrive as well.
“Van Booy’s delicate touch is turned to the relationship between orphaned Harvey and her uncle, Jason, a man no one could expect to be the right choice as guardian. Van Booy uses the plot structure of a series of Father’s Day gifts given to Jason from the now adult Harvey to reveal more than either of them realized about the life they have shared as adoptive father and daughter, as well as the heartbreaking truth of how they came to be a part of each other’s lives. Father’s Day is Van Booy at his most poignant, showing how redemption can arise from heartbreaking circumstances.” —Don Luckham, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH
Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long, Julia Reed (PRH/Rizzoli).
“Any time Julia Reed publishes a new book is a good excuse for a party. And now, with Julia Reed’s South, she even gives readers the blueprint for how to do it. What a gift to us all! This book is filled with wonderful ideas for entertaining, fabulous recipes, gorgeous photographs, a host of characters, and of course, killer cocktails. No one gets the South like Julia, and no matter where you live you’ll find inspiration in these pages to make your next gathering unforgettable.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
“Sleeping Giants reads like a military dossier, interview after interview given with the serious intent of laying out a scientific tale of discovered history that will change everyone’s lives forever. At the age of 10, Rose falls through a hole in the ground and lands in a large metal hand that had been buried. Seventeen years later, she is on the research team that seeks answers to the relic’s source and the meaning behind its existence. Is it a weapon? Is it a threat to humanity? Or is it simply a mystery that will remain unsolved? Whatever it is, readers will enjoy this Prometheus-like look into our distant past and the excitement of forecasting the potential future of the human race.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA
Media Coverage: The Wall Street Journal writes that the movie rights for this originally self-published book were snapped up by Sony Pictures after a rave in Kirkus.
“Tense and atmospheric, this novel is set in Depression-era North Carolina but confronts a number of issues that are relevant today. I consider it one of the best historical fiction titles I’ve read lately—what must have been intensive research blends seamlessly with unforgettable characters and vibrant depictions of mountain caves, mining towns, and struggling farms. The book brilliantly takes readers back to a bygone era while subtly showing that it is an era whose darkness could soon fall again. Fans of Claire Fuller and Ron Rash won’t want to miss it.” —Elizabeth Weber, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL
The big tie-in news this week is the release of the adaptation of Me Before You,by Jojo Moyes (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample; also in Mass Market). The film comes out on 6/3/16 and already the previews have driven the book straight up Amazon’s sales rankings. First, the teaser trailer shot the book to #1 and then the full trailer sent both Me Before You and its sequel, After You, climbing again.
Here is the preview that is selling so many books:
Two quite different titles arrive to remarkably similar fanfare next week. Each has been selected for Indie Next and/or LibraryReads, and has received advance media attention and great prepub reviews. Despite all this, both were excoriated by the daily NYT reviewers.
Of the two, Eligibleby Curtis Sittenfeld (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample) is receiving the most advance attention. An update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, set in Cincinnati no less, it is the number one LibraryReads for April (see below), an Indie Next selection, People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” and is reviewed appreciatively by Entertainment Weekly. The author is featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and profiled in the New York Times, but the daily NYT‘s reviewer Michiko Kakutani rains all over it in an early and particularly savage review (“reads less like a homage or reimagining of Austen’s classic than a heavy-handed and deeply unfunny parody.”).
In terms of holds for books coming out next week, it’s currently neck and neck with Amanda Quick’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample), also a LibraryReads pick. Both are far behind the holds leader, David Baldacci’s Last Mile.(Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), his next thriller featuring detective Amos Decker after Memory Man.
The NYT‘s Janet Maslin does a hatchet job on another heavily anticipated novel, Maestra, L.S. Hilton (PRH/Putnam; BOT; OverDrive Sample), an Indie Next pick for April (see below). Marlin calls it “a pornographic shopathon travelogue thriller.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a more positive spin, saying it’s “a sensual, sweat-suffused thriller … engaging throughout, but [main character] Judith remains frustratingly distant, and that mires the novel in the realm of macabre wish fulfillment.”
Booklist ‘s starred review calls it “a gift for readers who delight in vengeful female protagonists.”
It’s showing about half the number of holds as those for Eligible on similar ordering.
For readers who like twisty dark psychological thrillers, but with a bit less edge, take them to the new books shelves in YA for The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (PRH/Delacorte; Listening Library), Bustle recommends it, because it “explores the nature of truth, childhood friendships, and the unreliability of memory in shocking ways. Fans of authors like Gillian Flynn and books like The Girl On The Train and Luckiest Girl Alive won’t be able to resist this YA thriller.”
People Magazine Picks
People magazines “Book of the Week” is Sittenfeld’s Eligible. The other two recommendations are:
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos (Macmillan/ FSG; Macmillan Audio) — “This beautiful mediation on love and loss and art is as luminous as a Vermeer.” Also an Indie Next pick.
Girl About Town (S&S; Atheneum Books for Young Readers) — a classic whodunit by Dancer-director Shankman (Hairspray). People calls it a “Nostalgic gun.”
Also in the magazine is an excerpt of the bio, Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming, (Macmillan; Macmillan Audio)
The #1 pick is Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).
Leslie DeLooze, of Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NYLibraryReads introduces this next re-telling in the Austen Project:
“Love, sex, and relationships in contemporary Cincinnati provide an incisive social commentary set in the framework of Pride and Prejudice. Sittenfeld’s inclusion of a Bachelor-like reality show is a brilliant parallel to the scrutiny placed on characters in the neighborhood balls of Jane Austen’s novel, and readers will have no question about the crass nature of the younger Bennets, or the pride—and prejudice—of the heroine.”
Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the “10 books you have to read in April,” saying: “Clear your afternoon and finish it in one gulp.” It is also an Indie Next pick for May and a GalleyChat favorite.
Sharon Layburn, of South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY calls the newest Amanda Quick novel, ‘Til Death Do Us Part (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample) a “tour de force” in her inviting annotation:
“Gothic atmosphere meets tender romance in Quick’s latest Victorian era tour de force. Calista Langley asks crime novelist Trent Hastings for assistance in unmasking a twisted secret admirer that seems to have singled her out, and the two become tangled up in more than just an investigation. Quick perfectly balances setting, characters, plot, and relationship development–the end result being a story that will delight her legion of fans, as well as earn her new ones.”
A title sure to warm any librarian’s heart, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, Joshua Hammer (Simon & Schuster; HighBridge Audio) also hits shelves.
Marika Zemke, of Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, MI offers this introduction:
“For centuries, Arabic manuscripts were collected by private households in Mali, particularly Timbuktu: gilded manuscripts painted with real gold, showing vibrantly colored illustrations of nature. These highly valued manuscripts were handed down within families who acted as caretakers. As radicalized Muslim leaders came into power, the manuscripts were seen as corruptions of true Islam, requiring intervention. History and adventure at its best.”
“Is it any wonder that memoir is the richest genre? The stories we live are far more fanciful, heartbreaking, and ridiculous than the ones we create with our imagination. We have no control over them. They unfold in spite of our best efforts in a clumsy, unsettled mess that becomes our life. In Life Without a Recipe, Abu-Jaber stops along the way to consider the terrain. She can’t control the events, but she controls the words with tight, perfect sentences. There’s a beauty and elegance to the prose that elevates this story of the author’s search for identity that results in a warm and wise delicacy to be savored.” —Terry Nebeker, One More Page, Arlington, VA
“Get ready to tear through this hedonistic and refreshingly sex-positive thriller that hits all the right notes. Hilton sets her amoral heroine, Judith, amidst the shallow elegance of the European art world. While Judith is deeply enamored with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, she is also a razor-sharp critic of bad taste and human softness, sniffing out and exploiting male weakness with gusto. She is utterly void of empathy, yet oddly sympathetic. I’ll be recommending this novel to everyone I know with a strong constitution and an appreciation for intensity!” —Seija Emerson, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
“A beautiful afternoon on Mothering Sunday — now known as Mother’s Day — in 1924 provides the backdrop for this exquisite tale of love, longing, and memory. Jane Fairchild, a house maid, has been the long-time lover to the heir-apparent at the estate next door. Their final cataclysmic afternoon together will alter the course of her destiny in ways that she never contemplated. Told in flashbacks by the nonagenarian Jane, this rare gem of a novella will haunt readers long after they turn the final pages. Superb!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN
It also made Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 books you have to read in April” listing: “‘Save some tissues for Graham Swift’s latest, an exquisite, emotionally resonant romance.”
Two tie-ins come out this week, another in support of what Marvel hopes will be a blockbuster movie and a different kind of big film, the next starring Tom Hanks.
A Hologram for the King (MTI), Dave Eggers (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample) also comes out this week, tying in to the April 22nd opening of the new Tom Hanks movie directed by Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas), also starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt, and Sarita Choudhury.
Eggers’s 2012 novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and tells the story of a down-on-his-luck American salesman who hopes a deal made in Saudi Arabia will change his fortunes.
Next week brings a range of titles for readers’ advisors, plus the return of many big names, including Nora Roberts (a LibraryReads pick, see below) and Lisa Scottoline (an Indie Next pick, also below).
Alert, Angry Birds fanatics, a movie is coming, along with tie-ins. For Broadway fans, the tie-in to Hamilton also arrives.
Julie McElwain’s debut, A Murder in Time (Norton/Pegasus; OverDrive Sample), sends a 26-year old FBI agent back in time to 1815 – where her training stands her in good stead, as there is a serial killer on the loose. Randee J Bybee, of Upland Public Library, Upland, CA, introduces readers to the central character:
“Kendra is a smart, confident protagonist who is familiar with the hustle it takes to stay afloat in a male-dominated profession. Thrown into a situation completely alien to her, she manages to assimilate to her surroundings, albeit roughly, while using her wits to catch a ruthless killer. She can be abrasive, and I found myself cringing, curling my toes, and muttering out loud. It will be fun to watch her mature in future books. McElwain has created a highly entertaining story.”
Nora Roberts’ newest also has a serial killer thread. Marilyn Sieb, of L. D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI, says this of The Obsession (PRH/Berkley; Brilliance Audio):
“Readers who love romantic thrillers will be mesmerized by the latest Roberts offering. The suspense kept me up all night! Naomi Carson, a successful young photographer, has moved across the country and fallen in love. She thinks she has escaped her past, but instead finds that the sins of her father have become an obsession. The serial killer premise makes it a tough read for the faint-hearted, but sticking with it leads to a thrilling conclusion.”
The Indie Next selections for the week mirror LibraryReads in that one is a debut and the other is a return of a reader favorite.
“Gooding, Idaho, 1975: Loretta, Jason, and Boyd, three teenagers each trapped in their own way, find each other and plot their escape. Vestal lays out the history and complexity of their lives and their Mormon community, from Loretta’s becoming an unwilling ‘sister wife’ in a zealous household to Jason’s struggle to identify himself while at odds with his family and hometown. Surreal interludes of ‘Evel Knievel Addresses an Adoring Nation’ showcasing the fevered stunt driver waxing poetic, demonstrate Vestal’s strength with language as a reeling Knievel appears like a vision of cowboy extremism, becoming the off-kilter savior the teenagers have been seeking.” —Julia Sinn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“An infertile couple decides to use a sperm donor to create the perfect family they have always wanted. When the wife sees a picture of a man who looks very similar to their donor on the evening news, the story is set in motion. Could their donor be a serial killer? Christine will stop at nothing to find out who the biological father is, even if it means the end of her marriage. This latest novel of suspense from the bestselling Scottoline is fast-paced and will keep readers guessing until the end!” —Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, WI
Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, (Hachette/Grand Central).
Likely to be the first Broadway script to become a best seller, this goes beyond the script to being a tie-in, with photos of the production, cast interviews, and annotations of the lyrics by Miranda.
The show will be featured on PBS Great Performances this fall.
First is Alice Through the Looking Glass, Kari Sutherland (Hachette/Disney Press), a novelization of the film. Also on the way is Alice Through the Looking Glass: A Matter of Time, Carla Jablonski with illustrations by Olga Mosqueda, Vivien Wu, Richard Tuzon, and Jeff Thomas (Hachette/Disney Press). It is a “choose-your-own-path” story following different characters through both the familiar Alice story and the film. Finally, the novelization Alice in Wonderland(Based on the motion picture directed by Tim Burton) (Hachette/Disney Press) will be re-issued.
The strong opening of Batman v. Superman stumped critics, but box office receipts fell off after the first week, as word of mouth began to counteract heavy marketing. Marvel/Disney have their fingers crossed that their Iron Man and Captain America dust up will not follow in the footsteps of DC Comics/Warner Bros.
There is plenty of news surrounding the film already with the Black Panther set to make his big-screen debut (Chadwick Boseman plays the superhero monarch) and Spiderman also putting in an appearance. The movie opens May 6.
Although Batman v. Superman has shaken DC Comics, they will be trying their luck again with an adaptation of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.