Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

Titles Know and Recommend, the Week of 6/29

Friday, June 26th, 2015

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Leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, The English Spy by Daniel Silva, (Harper) is the holds leader among books arriving next week. Also, arriving is one of tie-ins to Marvel’s big summer release, Ant-man (full list of titles in our collection Upcoming — Tie-ins) and an audio-only title from Stephen King.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 6:29:15

Media Attention

9781442389649_aba55Drunken Fireworks, Stephen King, read by Tim Sample, (Simon & Schuster Audio; 3 minute excerpt)

Stephen King brought attention to eBooks when he released an eBook-only title, Riding the Bullet. He now brings attention to CBS’s on-demand audio platform by releasing this audiobook-only title. About a fireworks rivalry that gets out of hand, the audio is also available on CD and via audio download.

In early November the short story will be released in print as part of a new King collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (S&S/Scribner; Nov 3).


The New York Times, author and narrator interview (upcoming)

CBS/Play.It, live stream, July 1 and 2


Killing Monica, Candace Bushnell, (Hachette/Grand Central)

Candace Bushnell wrote a series of columns for the New York Observer, which became the book Sex and the City, which became the HBO series starring Sarah Jessica Parker. In Busnell’s new book, she writes about an author of a series of best selling books that becomes a popular TV series starring an actress need SondraBeth Schnowzer. The author ends up being so identified with the character that, well, the title seems to serve as a spoiler.

In multiple interviews, including one with The New York Observer, Bushnell denies that this book bears any similarity to her life or to her relationship with SJP. Not that it much matters; interest in SATC has been dimmed by time and two disastrous movies (even so, Parker recently hinted that a third is on the way. We’ll believe it when we see it). As USA Today indicates, the book has little going for it on its own.

Peer Picks


The Oregon Trail : A New American Journey, Rinker Buck, (Simon & Schuster)

Indie Next #1 Pick:

“Inspired by a family trip in a covered wagon in the 1950s, Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set out by wagon to discover what remains of the Oregon Trail between Missouri and Oregon. Along the way, readers learn about wagon design, mule heritage, and what pioneers needed to endure traveling west in the 19th century. This is also a moving personal story of brotherhood, endurance, and the kindness of strangers. Buck weaves fact, action, and reflection together into a page-turning delight that history buffs and fans of contemporary nonfiction will not want to miss.” —Dick Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY

Reviewed in the daily New York Times by Dwight Garner, it was also on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Summer Reading Preview,”5/16/15.

In the trailer, author Rinker Buck explains what made him deiced to take such a crazy journey:


The Mountain Story, Lori Lansens, (Simon & Schuster)

One of our GalleyChat picks back in December:

“Lori Lansens’ story of conjoined twins, The Girls, is a perennial library favorite and The Mountain Story (S&S/Gallery), her latest book about a group of strangers who get stranded in the woods above Palm Springs, California, is already receiving attention. Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro, OR, Public Library) said it’s ‘a deeply moving story of survival, and of the choices we make in our lives. Lansens does a wonderful job of weaving in the stories of the four characters, and moving between the current desperate situation and events in the past.’ ”


The Star Side of Bird Hill, Naomi Jackson, Penguin Press

Featured in our Penguin Debut Authors series, this is an Indie Next pick:

“In the summer of 1989, sisters Dionne and Phaedra — aged 16 and 10, respectively — are shuttled from their Brooklyn life to their grandmother Hyacinth’s home in Barbados. Dionne is filled with palpable teenage angst and the desire for romance, while Phaedra prefers to experience the mysteries of Bird Hill with her grandmother. Both girls have a tentative curiosity about their mother’s early life on the island, but it is not until their father shows up unexpectedly that they question their very identities and what it means to be ‘home.’ Reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid, Jackson’s coming-of-age tale makes Barbados spring from the page with humor, beauty, and heartbreak.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The author speaks to librarians, below:


Kiss Me, Susan Mallery, (Harlequin)


“As always, Ms. Mallery has given us a fantastic read. As soon as I pick up her titles, I can’t put them down until I have finished them. They are feel-good, heartwarming — I need more synonyms. I love seeing all the previous characters, the friendships and families that have formed since Chasing Perfect came out five years ago. Thanks, Ms. Mallery, for another amazing read.” — Jenelle Klavenga, Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA

A Dozen Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of 6/22/15

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Some big name authors publish new titles next week, but consumer reviews are focused on a debut collection of short stories. Among the titles chosen by peers are several with a bookish theme as well as a title billed as a “great psychological thriller.”

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 6/22 (Note:Also included are media tie-ins to the Marvel movie Ant-Man, releasing July 17),

Holds Leaders

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This week, the holds leaders in a tight race, are:

Janet Evanovich, Wicked Charms (Random House; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

James Patterson and Howard Roughan, Truth Or Die (Hachette/Little Brown)

Mary Higgins Clark, The Melody Lingers On (S&S)

The Guardian recently called Clark “The anti-Gone Girl” because her heroines are always likable, also noting that, at 88, Clark is not slowing down. She will publish 3 books (Death Wears a Beauty Mask is already out. Coming in November, All Dressed in White, the second in the series with Alafair Burke).

She is also set for media appearances next week:

• NBC-TV/’The Today Show, June 22
• CNBC-TV/‘Closing Bell, June 24
• WNYW-TV/Good Day New York, June 25
AARP Magazine, June/July issue

Consumer Media Picks

9781101874998_a2daaThe Cartel, Don Winslow (Random House)

The daily NYT’s critic Janet Maslin picked this as part of the Summer Reading Rreview last month. Today, she follows up with a strong advance review, including this over-the-top line, “The Cartel culminates in a near-symphonic array of lethal coups de grace, written with such hallucinatory intensity that the whole book seems to have turned into a synchronized fireworks display.”

Winslow also wrote Savages, the basis for the movie by director Oliver Stone. So, naturally, there are movie plans, as reported by Deadline, which also noted that this is the first of Winslow’s books edited by Knopf’s legendary head, Sonny Mehta “since he won back Winslow from S&S.”

9780385352819_e8c4bIn the Country: Stories. Mia Alvar, (RH/Knopf)

It’s no surprise to see a collection of short stories reviewed respectfully in the New York Times Book Review (as this one is this Sunday), but it is a surprise to see one featured on both Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” (and very prominently, at #3, sandwiched between the animated movie Inside Out and the video game Lego Jurassic World) and one of the three titles on People‘s Picks section, saying “In these profound, trenchant short stories centered around the Filipino diaspora, startling truths are revealed.”

9780385539081_6eac6China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan, (RH/Doubleday)

People Book of the Week — ‘Take a Jane Austen novel, combine it with Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous and set it in the glittering capitals of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. What have you got? This deliciously fun follow-up to Kwan’s bestselling Crazy Rich Asians. On the eve of her wedding to one of China’s most eligible men, Rachel Chu, a young professor, discovers her birth father — and a new world of unexpected choices. Her story is both field guide to Asia’s uberwealthy echelon and comic satire at its best.”

Entertainment Weekly is less enthusiastic, giving it just a B and comparing it unfavorably to the first book.

9781455554591_04146Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, Sarah Hepola (Hachette/Grand Central)

A memoir about the hot-button issue of women and alcoholism, expect to hear about this next week, particularly since, as a writer for Salon, the author has media connections. The L.A. Times gives it an advance review, saying it is, “both a riveting coming-of-age story and an important contribution to the growing body of writing about women and drinking” and, “For all the wresting with hard truths, Hepola is a funny writer, and the book is shot through with a black humor that will be familiar to her readers on where she is the personal essays editor.” UPDATE: The author appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Peer Picks

9780553418774_590ebThe Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George, (RH/Crown)

Indie Next and LibraryReads

“Quirky and delightful, Nina George’s book focuses on Jean Perdu, owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn’t know he needed.” Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

9781250054807_372c8The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)

Indie Next and LibraryReads:

“A roller coaster of a read! This is the story of a librarian from a splintered family with a tragic past who is gifted a mysterious book that leads him to dive deep into his family’s history, all while his present life seems to be falling to pieces around him. If you loved Morgenstern’s The Night Circus or Kostova’s The Historian, this is a book for you.”– Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

9780374139667_ba8a0Death and Mr. Pickwicl, Stephen Jarvis, (Macmillan/FSG)

Indie Next:

“This rollicking great novel, brimming with vivid characters, takes the position that Charles Dickens did not create his first, and arguably greatest, novel on his own. Two historians struggle through documents and incidents, sending the reader through a cartwheel tour of Victorian London. Not only is there the main plot about Dickens and illustrator Robert Seymour, but also back-alley trips to drunken sports clubs, gay meeting places, taverns, and even the courtroom where the prime minister is standing trial. It’s a delightful story, full of wit and sardonic humor, but with true emotion at the heart of it all, which elevates the entire read. A delight!” —Bill Carl, Booksellers on Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH

9781476795553_70309The Truth and Other Lies, Sascha Arango, (S&S/Atria)

Indie Next:
“Henry Hayden has it all: loving wife, faithful dog, money, fame, and the respect of those lucky enough to be called his friends. Henry is actually someone who will go to extreme lengths to protect the one thing that truly matters to him: himself. When his mistress tells Henry that she is pregnant, the news sets off a chain of events that causes Henry to commit the biggest mistake of his life and forces him to stay one step ahead of the law. Arango’s novel is twisty, cynical, and brilliant.” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

9780553394818_d4bbaAs Night Falls, Jenny Milchman, (RH/Ballantine)

Indie Next:

“If you want to experience a great psychological thriller, you must read As Night Falls. Sandy has tried to leave her past behind and start a new life, but it comes crashing in on her in a vicious way. Two convicts break into her house, and that is just the beginning of the terror as Sandy must try to face the past and save her family. I could not put this book down!” —Melissa Wade, Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, FL


Ten Titles to Know and Recommend,
the Week of June 15

Friday, June 12th, 2015

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Amazingly, the holds leader for the week is not E. L. James’s Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian, (RH/Vintage original trade pbk) but Danielle Steel’s Country (RH.Delacorte; Brilliance Audio; RH Large Print) with Grey a close second. A more distant third is Elin Hilderbrand’s  The Rumor (Hachette/Little, Brown), also a LibraryReads pick. Further down the list is Brad Meltzer’s The President’s Shadow (Hachette/Grand Central) and Jackie Collins’s The Santangelos (Macmillan/St. Martin’s),

The media will be busy with books by media personalities Judd Apatow and Aziz Ansari and several peer recommendations will make you an R.A. guru.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 6:15:15

Peer Picks

9781400063369_643d3Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship, Robert Kurson, (Random House)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick, it gets chilly shoulder from the Janet Maslin in today’s NYT. Comparing it unfavorably to the author’s earlier Shadow Divers, she goes so far as to say that the best pages of this book are the ones that summarize the previous one.

But our peers have no such issues with it. Indie Next recommendation:

“Kurson, the author of Shadow Divers, follows a team of treasure hunters on their quest for the ultimate bounty of the oceans — a sunken pirate ship from the Golden Age of Piracy — as they race against the clock of international legislation and rival hunters. It quickly becomes clear that these are men who share more than a little in common with the pirates for whom they search. Pirate Hunters reminds us that the daring and romance of piracy’s heroes was good cause to inspire centuries of boyhood daydreams, which are still alive and well today.” —Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA

9781250063694_22e58The Precipice, Paul Doiron, (Macmillan/Minotaur)


“When two women go missing while hiking a difficult part of the Appalachian Trail, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch helps in trying to determine where the women were last seen. Mike then discovers there is no shortage of people whose behaviors make them suspicious. With a puzzle that keeps the reader guessing, and a main character that you can’t help but empathize with, The Precipice is another home run for Doiron.” — Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

9781501115066_b4d13My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman, (S&S/Atria)


“From the author of one my favorite books of last year, A Man Called Ove, this book packs a similar emotional punch at the end, but has some significant differences. It is told from the point of view of Elsa, a seven-year-old child who loves Harry Potter, fairy tales, and her grandmother. Once I stopped trying to make the story fit my adult view of the world and entered into Elsa’s world, I had a whale of a time.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

9780553418606_a326fThe Library at Mount Char, Scott Hawkins, (RH/Crown)

Indie Next:

“Mindblowing, outrageous, and visionary, this is without question the best fantasy I have read in many moons! Hawkins has penned a tale that both opens the reader up to new perceptions of the universe, its creation, and ascendency, and gives the adage ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ an entirely singular meaning. He has imagined characters who are simultaneously loveable and despicable and presents them in a way that is both terrifying and darkly funny. Whether or not fantasy is your genre of choice, The Library at Mount Char will amaze you!” —Lynn Riggs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

Upcoming Media Attention

9780812997576_c2798Sick in the Head : Conversations About Life and Comedy, Judd Apatow, (Random House)

NYT Summer Picks, Maslin, 5/21/15,

A collection of interviews  with comedians that Judd Apatow, the producer of Lena Dunham’s show Girls, began doing when he was in high school, in turn it is generating interviews:

NPR/Fresh Air—6/15
Comedy Central/Daily Show with Jon Stewart—6/15
PBS/Charlie Rose—6/16
NPR/Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal—6/22
NPR/Weekend All Things Considered—TBA

9781594206276_19101Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg, (Penguin Press)

Ansari, a hit at Book Con, is primed for his upcoming appearances;

06/16 ABC Good Morning America
06/24 TBS Conan

At the Movies

The hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, adapted from the book by Jesse Andrews (Abrams, 2012). Arriving in theaters today, it’s getting strong advance reviews.


A “revised edition”  of the audio is narrated by two of the movie’s stars:

9780147520852Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition)
By: Jesse Andrews
Narrator: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and others
Listening Library
Grades: 9-12
6 Hours and 8 Minutes

9781419719462_e562f-2Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Jesse Andrews
ABRAMS/Amulet Paperbacks: June 9, 2015
9781419719462, 1419719467
Trade Paperback, $9.95 USD, $11.95 CAD

Titles for RA Gurus,
The Week of June 8

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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New books from familiar best selling names arrive next week ) — Barbara Delinsky, Dorothea Benton Frank, Laurell K. Hamilton and Sophie Kinsella, writing a YA novel this time (click on the covers, above, for more information on each) — but none of them have generated long holds lists.

There are gems among the librarian and bookseller picks, including Erika Johansen’s second in the Tearling series. Sure to get media attention is Jimmy Fallon for writing (huh?) a picture book.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 8, 2915

Peer Picks

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The Invasion of the Tearling, Erika Johansen, (Harper; HarperLuxe)
This sequel to The Queen of the Tearling, gets an unequivocal A from Entertainment Weekly, this is also an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick:
The Mort are coming! Johansen introduces new characters and enticing bits of history, with the second volume of her intriguing tale of fantasy, mystery and royal politics. Kelsea, the new Tearling Queen, has broken the Red Queen’s treaty and prepares to suffer the consequences as her nation is about to be invaded. Readers will be eager for the final volume in the Tearling saga. — Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO
The Truth According to Us, Annie Barrows, (RH/Dial; BOT & RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Barrows is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show next week. Her book is a pick for both Indie Next and LibraryReads:

It is 1938 in a rural West Virginia town and a young woman arrives to write the town’s history. Layla doesn’t really know what to expect from the town, and the town doesn’t know what to make of her. This is the heart of the South, the soul of small towns, where everyone looks out for you and knows your history. Sweet story tailor-made for fans of Billie Letts, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Language Arts, Stephanie Kallos, (HMH; Recorded Books)
The art of communication is the major theme of this story, and Kallos employs all of its variations — whether spoken nuances and innuendos, written assumptions and dissonance, or the fractured and difficult ways of being known that those with autism experience. This is the story of a marriage, of a father and his son, and of how a man’s childhood shapes his life. Readers will be absorbed, challenged, puzzled, and ultimately satisfied by this wise and soulful book. —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

In the Media

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Second Life, S. J. Watson, (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

We could create a reading club based just on the books that Reese Witherspoon has optioned. Following in the footsteps of her producing partner, Niclole Kidman, who starred in the a movie of Watson’s 2011 best selling debut, Before I Go To Sleep, Witherspoon is a fan of the author, having recently optioned this, his second book.

Happily Ali After: And Other Fairly True Tales, Ali Wentworth, (Harper; HarperAudio)

#3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s Must List for the week:

In the hilarious follow-up to Ali In Wonderland, the actress and ccomedian takes inspirational tweets as self-improvement mantras in an ill-fated quest for happiness as she approaches the age of 50. Her glass isn’t half full — it’s ’empty and cracked.’

The Jezebel Remedy, Martin Clark, (RH/Knopf; Recorded Books)

One of Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 Great Summer Thrillers” in the new issue:

Clark is, hands down, our finest legal-thriller writer, and this latest, about husband-and-wife attorneys whose client has made a huge pharmaceutical discovery does not disappoint.


Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA, Jimmy Fallon, Miguel Ordóñez (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends; also a board book)

Fallon is scheduled for the Today Show, on Tuesday and more is likely to follow. As far as the picture book itself, it sounds like Kirkus and Publishers Weekly read two different books:

“Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it”  — Kirkus

“A punchy and deceptively simple story that will make for some fun readalouds” — PW

At the Movies

9780143108382_47e4dOpening today, is Testament of Youth based on the 1933 memoir by Vera Brittain, recently released as a tie-in (Penguin). The movie stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Hayley Atwell and Dominic West.

The  NYT review is more respectful than passionate. “Testament of Youth Recalls the Great War With Little Nostalgia.” The AV Club doesn’t mince words, headlining their review, “Famous wartime memoir Testament Of Youth gets a boring BBC adaptation.”

Hot Titles Arriving Today

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

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Tuesday is the traditional release day for major titles and several are hitting this week with fanfare.

Judy Blume seems to be having a great time promoting her title for adults, In the Unlikely Event (RH.Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Stephen King’s Finders Keepers (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike) is enjoying an appreciative reception, from the daily NYT (“One of the pleasures of Finders Keepers is watching Mr. King’s ways of making pages turn”) to USA Today (4 of 4 stars).

Other titles receiving attention:

9781476789255_6eadfEight Hundred Grapes, Laura Dave, (S&S; S&S Audio)

A GalleyChat favorite in February. this is the LibraryReads #1 pick for June:

“Take your time and savor the family dynamics. Enjoy the romantic twists in this tale of a career-minded young woman circling back to her roots at a California winery. The appeal is broader than that of a romance since it delves into the complexities of various relationships — parent to parent, parents and children, even winery and owner. This is an excellent summer read!” — Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park, NJ

9781455599899_acfa2Saint Mazie, Jami Attenberg, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive sample)

A favorite of Jen Dayton’s, Darien Public Library, she brought this one up during the Shout ‘n’ Share program at BEA. If you’ve read Attenberg’s first book, The Middlesteins, says Dayton, this one is quite different. Set in the Depression, it is inspired by a true story from Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel, of a woman who opened her NYC movie theater to those who needed a place to “feel human.”

It is an Amazon June spotlight pick, one of ten books on the Wall Street Journal‘s Summer Reading preview as well as one of  Entertainment Weekly‘s 10 big fat beach reads to look out for this summer (it’s not THAT fat, it’s more of a middle weight at 356 pages).

Palace of9781476793740_9ff55 Treason, Jason Matthews, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

Profiled in the New York Times last week, Matthews a retired spy turned novelist. His first book Red Sparrow came out in 2013 and hit the USA Today best seller list at #101 for one week. Film rights were bought by Fox and a screenwriter was announced a year ago. This is the sequel.

The NYT describes both novels as “old school” and Matthews tells the interviewer, “A lot of new thrillers are written by people who have not lived the life, and a lot of them seem to be about a bipolar Agency guy, helped by his bipolar girlfriend, trying to chase a bipolar terrorist who has a briefcase nuke, and there’s 12 hours left to go. My book is all fiction, but it’s an amalgam of people I’ve known, of things I’ve done, of stuff I’ve lived.”

It’s featured in Entertainment Weekly‘s summer reading preview, USA Today’s 25 hot books for summer and an Indie Next pick.

9781632861122_883d0The Sunlit Night, Rebecca Dinerstein, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive sample)

After reading so many stories in U.S. newspapers about the next hot book coming from the U.K., it’s refreshing to read this headline in The Telegraph, “The Latest Us Literary Sensation” applied to Dinerstein’s debut. It is also an Indie Next pick:

The endless daylight of a Norwegian summer is the perfect backdrop for this warm and quirky debut filled with unusual characters and situations, a setting that is real yet somehow out of time, visual and precise writing, emotional warmth, and faith in the healing power of love. This tale of Frances and Yasha, their families, and their companions during a transformative summer in perpetual Arctic light is a perfect read for fans of Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love or Bill Forsyth’s classic movie, Local Hero.” —Anmiryan Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

9780451469601_679c6-2A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, Alexandra Petri, (Penguin/NAL; OverDrive sample)

Washington Post columnist Petri,  says Dave Barry in the cover blurb, “is the funniest person in Washington. This is all the more impressive when you consider that Congress is also located there.”  As proof, her column this week is titled, “Christian Grey’s perspective is the only thing that could make Fifty Shades of Grey worse.” This book is a memoir.


Eeny Meeny, M. J. Arlidge, (Penguin/NAL, trade pbk original; Penguin Audio; OverDrive sample)

One of the titles in our Penguin Debut Authors program, this thriller was mentioned at BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share as “making you want to lock all your doors and windows.” It was recently optioned for a TV series.


Our spreadsheet of other notable titles arriving this week, with ordering information and alternate formats, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 1, 2015

Titles for R.A. Gurus, Week of June 1

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Next week two hotly anticipated titles arrive, Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event (which. she recently told People magazine, may be her last book. It is their “Book of the Week” in the new issue) and Stephen King’s Finders Keepers.

We’re a bit distracted by Book Expo America today, so we will publish a fuller rundown of titles on Monday.

Meanwhile, you can download our spreadsheet of notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 1, 2015

Eight Titles for RA Gurus,
Week of May 25

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

DeMille  9780399167324_f0541

Two best selling authors returning next week, Nelson DeMille with his first book since 2012, Radiant Angel, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) and Clive Cussler with the 10th in his Oregon Files series, Piranha, (Penguin/ Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print). A debut gets a leg up from Entertainment Weekly and the NYT Book Review in the contest for The Book of Summer 2015, Kent Haruf’s final novel arrives, as well as several other titles with strong  recommendations from peers in libraries and bookstores.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 25, 2015

Advance Attention


Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People, Matthew Diffee, (S&S/Scribner)

New Yorker cartoonist Diffee does well with rejection. In 2011, he edited (or “rescued”), The Best Of The Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker (Workman). Now he does the same for some of his own rejected cartoons, as well as several that actually made it (sometimes after many tries). He was interviewed by NPR earlier this month. 

Review Attention


The Rocks, Peter Nichols, (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

This gets double coverage in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on the “Must List; the Top 10 Things We Love This Week”  (“heartbreaking yet funny”),  it is reviewed in the issue. It’s also reviewed by Kate Christensen in the upcoming  NYT Book Review.


Starred by PW and Kirkus, it also is an Indie Next pick:

This enchanting tale set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean is a bittersweet double love story told in reverse. The Rocks begins with a dramatic, shocking event and then moves backward in time to reveal the 60-year-old secret that caused the unraveling of a marriage and forever altered the lives of the two families involved. A page-turning family saga with a mystery at its core, this is the perfect book to usher in a summer of great reading!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick‘s, La Jolla, CA

Peer Picks

9781101875896_69c40Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf, (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio)

An Indie Next #1 and LibraryReads pick, this is the author’s final book, published after his death last year. As the Wall Street Journal reports, he knew he was dying as he wrote it. “Normally, it took him six years or more to write a novel. But in a rush of creative energy, he wrote a chapter a day.”  He finished it in 45 days.

LibraryReads recommendation:

Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed. — Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR


The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi, (RH/Knopf; Brilliance Audio)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick (plus stars from PW & LJ)

Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.– Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ


Dietland, Sarai Walker, (HMH; Highbridge Audio)

Indie Next, stars from Kirkus & LJ

“Meet Plum, a woman who has forever defined herself by her obesity and who gets through her daily routine by looking forward to the life that will come after her weight-loss surgery. When Plum discovers that she is being followed by a strange girl, her life is changed forever. While Plum embarks on her journey of self-acceptance, a violent feminist crusade takes the world by storm. As the two storylines converge, readers witness an unexpected transformation. This is a fun, no-apologies-offered debut!” —Tess Fahlgren, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT


Of the movie and TV tie-ins releasing this week (for a list of all upcoming movie/tv ties-ins, check our Edelweiss collection), the adaptation that’s making the most impact is based on Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, (Abrams, 2012). As a result of the buzz, the book hit the NYT YA best seller9781419719462_e562f list for the first time last week and continues this week.

The hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the screening won a standing ovation, the Audience Award for best drama, as well as the Grand Jury Prize, over-the-top reviews and Oscar predictions (see our list of other book adaptations in the early Oscars pool). The movie opens in limited release on June 12.

Tie-in: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Tie-in Edition), Jesse Andrews, (Abrams/Amulet Paperbacks)

A second trailer was released this week:

Thirteen Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles, the Week of May 18

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Several best selling names return next week, but none of them with major holds lists, a surprising comment when James Patterson is one of the names. His latest, however, is not an adult title, but the ninth and final in his YA series, Maximum Ride. Also returning are Clive Barker and Stephen Hunter.

It’s a big week for recommendations by librarians and booksellers, with six new titles for consideration and three other titles are already getting advance attention.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 18, 2015

Advance Attention

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio)

The subject of this book has taken to Twitter to refute its claims, with the unintended consequence of causing the book’s sales to rise on Amazon. It is reviewed in both the daily New York Times and the NYT Book Review, 5/13/15

Disclaimer: A Novel, Renée Knight, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)

“The Latest Buzzy Thriller From England,”  as the Wall Street Journal‘s headline describes it, is a domestic noir first novel told in alternating chapters and is, you guessed it, compared to both Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. Film rights have been sold to 20th Century Fox

War of the Encyclopaedists, Christopher Robinson, Gavin Kovite, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

An early review by Michiko Kakutani in the daily New York Times signals a book with literary buzz. Co-written by two friends, this novel portrays two men with backgrounds similar to their own. Separated when one of them is called up by his National Guard unit, they stay in touch by editing a Wikipedia entry. Of that curious construction, Kakutani says, “The plotting of this novel can feel ad hoc and overly stage-managed at the same time, but in a breezy, intimate sort of way,” and concludes that the result is ” a captivating coming-of-age novel that is, by turns, funny and sad and elegiac.” An interview in the Wall Street Journal delves into the complex writing collaboration.

Peer Picks

9780804179034_f4113Uprooted, Naomi Novik, (RH/Del Rey)

LibraryReads #1 pick and Indie Next

A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches. Fast-paced, with magic, mystery and romance, Novik’s stand-alone novel is a fairy tale for adults. — Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO

9780062190376_9ac29Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, (HarperCollins/Morrow)

Indie Next and LibraryReads:

Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers. — Keith Hayes, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

9780062364777_3d492Mislaid: A Novel, Nell Zink, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HighBridge Audio)

After the critical success of her first book, The Walllcreeper, you can expect many reviews for this one. Already weighing in is Ron Charles in The Washington Post and the author is profiled in the New Yorker.

Mislaid is also a June Indie Next pick:

Where Zink’s debut novel, The Wallcreeper, defied easy plot summary, Mislaid is arguably even more hilariously audacious by shouting its plot so loudly. Peggy knows from an early age that she is a lesbian. Lust being a strange thing, however, she sometimes ends up pregnant by way of her gay poetry professor, Lee. Zink presses every button we’re often conditioned to avoid regarding gender, sex, and race and revels in the fluidity of our sense of self. It may very well be the case that the famously elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon has finally been revealed — and he is in fact an American female expat living outside Berlin named Nell Zink. —Brad Johnson, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

9780385539586_65e98The Knockoff, Lucy Sykes, Jo Piazza (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio)


The Knockoff is a digital-age mash-up of old-school movies The Women and All About Eve, set in the Devil Wears Prada world of a high fashion magazine. I absolutely loved this fresh, charming, addictive and ultimately heroic story of 40-something cancer survivor Imogen’s quest to rescue and rebuild her career, despite the machinations of a younger tech-wiz rival. — Janet Schneider, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY


9780544330146_88b09The Ghost Fields, Elly Griffiths, (HMH)


Griffiths has written another strong entry in her excellent Ruth Galloway series. Here, Ruth is called in when a World War II plane is excavated, complete with pilot–but the pilot is in the wrong plane. Strong characters combine with an absorbing puzzle to create a hard-to-put-down mystery. — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY


9781250028594_1a15aLittle Black Lies : A Novel, Sharon Bolton, aka, S. J. Bolton (Macmillan/Minotaur)


Set in the Falkland Islands, this novel grabs you from the opening paragraph. A child is missing, and he’s not the first. The incident sets off a chain of events leading to multiple characters confessing to murder. Accustomed to living in an idyllic community, fear and anger escalate among the locals. Bolton has created a page-turner of a story with a surprise ending. — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

In the Media


The host of NPR’s Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep, will have a natural platform to discuss his new book, Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio).

Six Titles to Know,
The Week of May 11

Friday, May 8th, 2015

There are no clear-cut holds leaders this week, but familiar names will hit the shelves, like Jefferey Deaver, Steve Martini, Lincoln Child and Craig Johnson.

Some libraries are showing holds on a debut, Luckiest Girl Alive, media attention will be focused on Tom Brokaw’s memoir about living with multiple melanoma and several titles arrive with Indie Next recommendations.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 11.

Title to Watch

Luckiest Girl AliveLuckiest Girl Alive, Jessica Knoll, (S&S; S&S Audio)

One of many titles described by some as a successor to Gone Girl, underscored on the cover by a blurb that reads, “With the cunning and nerve of Gillian Flynn, but with an intensity all its own, ” it gets a strong B+ from Entertainmet Weekly.

There are some similarities between the two books, notes the reviewer,

Both have dark, twisty, true-crime-inspired plots … Both have been optioned by Reese Witherspoon to become dark, twisty, true-crime-inspired films. And both feature shrewd, prickly, damaged heroines who have made their careers at glossy magazines—much like Knoll and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn once did. (Knoll used to work at Cosmo and Self; Flynn used to work here at EW.).

However, says EW, Luckiest Girl Alive “isn’t innovative enough to inherit Flynn’s mantle, but it’s gripping enough to earn a spot on a nearby shelf.” Our GalleyChatters agreed, considering it an “absorbing study of a woman trying to get out of a bad past by remaking herself into a perfect mold … not quite the Gone Girl readalike we expected, it was still fascinating.”

Check your holds; they are heavy relative to copies ordered in some libraries.

Media Attention

9781400069699_f1f9fA Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope, Tom Brokaw, (Random House; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print)

Brokaw writes about dealing with his diagnosis of multiple melanoma. Heavy media attention begins tonight with NBC’s Dateline, promoted on NBC Nightly News on Thursday:

Coming up:

NBC Today Show – 5/11
NPR Fresh Air – airs 5/13
Comedy Central Daily Show – 5/12
PBS Charlie Rose – 5/12

9781455585663_81736The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism–From al Qa’ida to ISIS, Michael Morell, Bill Harlow, (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

Written by the former deputy director of the C.I.A., this book is getting press coverage. The Washington Post says the book includes “the bleakest assessments of the CIA’s performance during that tumultuous period by an official who was in the agency’s leadership at the time” and the New York Times says the author asserts, “Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events.”

Peer Picks

9781101874318_f1a6dThe Book of Aron, Jim Shepard, RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio)

In a very early rave in the Washington Post, Ron Charles calls The Book of Aron no less than a masterpiece.  New York magazine lists it as one of “8 Books You Need to Read This May,” saying, “Shepard deserves attention far beyond the cozy circle of writers who worship him … Aron retells the well-known story of a doomed Warsaw Ghetto orphanage through the eyes of a very young and very flawed would-be survivor, eluding mawkishness and thereby evoking tears.”

Indie Next:

Shepard has performed a small miracle in channeling the voice of a young Jewish boy trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. He traces Aron’s progression from country bumpkin and reluctant scholar to a ‘macher’ on the streets of Warsaw, where his cunning and courage prolong the lives of his increasingly oppressed and desperate family. Aron’s story meshes with that of Janusz Korczak, well-known pediatrician, child rights advocate, and orphanage operator, when Aron is rescued from the streets after the death of all of his family members. The final scene of Korczak leading the ragtag parade of children to the train to Treblinka closes an astonishing portrayal of the Nazi evil viewed through the eyes of a very resourceful, tragic, but indefatigable child.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield CT

9780393248210_6b7f4The Green Road, Anne Enright, (Norton; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

New York magazine’s ‘8 Books You Need to Read This May’

Indie Next:

Steeped in the moist earth of Ireland, this is the story of the Madigan family and the life that forces them apart, only to return again to a home filled with memories. Rosaleen suffers greatly at the loss of her four children — not to death, but to lives of their own: her eldest to New York, another to Mali, one daughter to a hospital career, and another to the ‘big city’ of Dublin. The concept of ‘family’ still holds them together despite years and circumstances, and as Rosaleen announces plans to sell the family home, a last Christmas gathering proves profound. —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

HOW TO START A FIREHow to Start a Fire, Lisa Lutz, (HMH; Blackstone Audio; Wheeler Large Print)

Indie Next:

How to Start a Fire integrates Lutz’s trademark humor, quippy dialog, and quirky characters with a story of three college friends who meet in Santa Cruz in 1993. Readers will fall in love with these three women as they experience failed marriages, career decisions, and other significant life events. Those who are new to Lutz will gobble up this standalone entry and then race to their bookstore to begin reading about the Spellman family in her earlier bestselling series —Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego, CA

Ready for Summer; Titles for RA Gurus, The Week of May 4

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Next week is the first week of the summer, according to the publishing calendar, so it’s appropriate that Entertainment Weekly anoints the “first big beach read of the season,” the “hilarious” debut, I Take You, Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio).

9780316408752_8a3c4We’ve become used to James Patterson’s publishing schedule racing along nearly as fast as his chapters, but he may be setting a new record. Just one month after the previous handover bearing his name, comes the 14th Deadly Sin, the next in the Women’s Murder Club series written with Maxine Paetro. Big surprise, it’s the holds leader for the week.

On the other hand, we are surprised that one of the most heavily anticipated books of the year, A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson isn’t showing heavy holds. As with her previous title, holds they may build with word of mouth.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 4, 2015.

Heavily Anticipated

Life After Life  9780316176538_e515b

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio)

After the big success of her eighth novel Life After Life  (2013), Kate Atkinson faces a daunting prospect with a follow up. The NYT‘s Janet Maslin, one of the early proponents of the previous title, reviews it today. While she’s clearly a fan, she gives us no quotable one liner. Leading off Entertainment Weekly‘s review section, it gets a B+ , saying it is  “cautiously dubbed a ‘companion piece’ even though the book stands, often stunningly on its own.”

It’s also a LibraryReads pick for the month:

In A God in Ruins, we become reacquainted with Teddy Todd, the beloved little brother of Ursula from Atkinson’s last book. As with Life After Life, this novel skims back and forth in time, and we see the last half of the 20th century through Ted’s eyes and the eyes of his loved ones. At times funny and at others heartbreaking, Atkinson revels in the beauty and horror of life in all its messiness. — Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

Media Attention, Memoirs

9781101903827_c8f37  9780062398086_2008c-2  9781476772905_0958a

The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers, (RH/Crown Archetype; RH Audio)

Excerpted in People, 5/1/15

NBC Today Show – 5/4
NBC Today Show – live in 4th hour – 5/5
MSNBC Morning Joe – 5/5

American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal, Taya Kyle, Jim DeFelice, (HarperCollins/Morrow/Thomas Nelson; HarperLuxe)

By the widow of Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper, the basis for Clint Eastwood’s successful movie. It was excerpted in People back in March, and featured on the cover. Robin Roberts interviews Kyle today on both Good Morning America and 20/20. 

More coming from ABC:

Saturday, May 2, ABC/Good Morning America Weekend
Monday, May 4, ABC/Good Morning America, Live in studio (Times Square Jumbotron to show cover of AMERICAN WIFE)
Monday, May 4, ABC/The View, Live in studio
Monday, May 4, ABC/World News

And Fox:

Tuesday, May 5, Fox News Channel, Fox & Friends, Live in studio
Tuesday, May 5, Fox News Channel, Hannity
Wednesday, May 6, Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends
Wednesday, May 6, Fox News Channel, The Real Story w/Gretchen Carlson


Tuesday, May 5, Entertainment Tonight
Wednesday, May 6, Access Hollywood Live, NY City
Wednesday, May 6, CNN, Jake Tapper
Wednesday, May 6, Inside Edition
Wednesday, May 13, Glenn Beck Radio
Monday, May 25, Glenn Beck Radio, Memorial Day Special

Print review also coming from the Washington Post

When the Balls Drop, Brad Garrett, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

• NBC-TV/’Today,’ May 4
• ABC-TV/’The View,’ May 5
• ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ May 5

Media Attention, Nonfiction

9781476728742_a9b5d  9781476724218_a25d7

The Wright Brothers
, David McCullough, (S&S; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

This has been optioned for an HBO series co-produced by Tom Hanks’s company, Playtone. There are a couple of other projects in the company’s queue, so it may be a while before it comes to fruition.

The author is scheduled for interviews:

• CBS-TV/”CBS Sunday Morning,” May 3
• NPR-Radio/”The Diane Rehm Show,” May 11

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor, Mark Schatzker, (S&S; S&S Audio)

This book caught our eye via a fascinating essay in the WSJ. We’re looking forward to hearing more from the author:

• CBS-TV/”CBS This Morning,” May 5
• Nationally Syndicated/”The Dr. Oz Show,” May 5
• NPR/”Marketplace,” May 5

Hot YA

9780062349859_b3458  9780451474704_73376

The Heir (The Selection), Kiera Cass, (HarperTeen; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The fourth book in the series. As we noted this week, The Selection has been optioned for a movie, after several attempts to turn it into a TV series

Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen, (Penguin/Viking; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample)

Peer Picks

9781492615385_3386f-2  9780062367556_75108

Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir, Melissa Cistaro, (Sourcebooks; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

Cistaro’s story begins with the last days of her mother’s life, 35 years after she abandoned her children and husband with no explanation. Cistaro is still seeking the truth and the one answer that she feels she needs most desperately — why did her mother leave? What is most impressive about this memoir is the honesty with which the author details her own anxieties, and readers will relate to her and cheer her on when she makes an important, life-changing decision. This is an amazing story of forgiveness, connection, understanding, and grace. —Lynn Riehl, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Church of Marvels, Leslie Parry, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

Indie Next:

In this page-turner of a debut very little is what it first appears to be. Set in Coney Island and Manhattan at the end of the 19th century, Church of Marvelsis populated with carnival folk and others living on the edge of society with either much to hide or much to discover. The characters are richly drawn and their circumstances exceptionally intriguing as they seek and find the complicated truths of their lives in the dark underbelly of New York. —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Media Picks

9780553417821_f7b70 9780399173394_553b8-2  9781590517291_9652b-2

I Take You, Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio)

Called the “first big beach read of the season,”  and a “hilarious debut,” this is on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” for the week and is also a People pick.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, Anna North, (Penguin/Blue Rider Press; OverDrive Sample) — coming May 19

Entertainment Weekly “Must List,” #3

Filmmaker Sophie Stark is a creative genius who exploits the lives of friends and family for her art, ignoring the wreckage she leaves in her wake. Told from the perspectives of those loves ones, North’s novel explores the limits of eccentricity.

The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay, Andrea Gillies, (Other Press)

Huffington Post, ‘The Book We’re Talking About

Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir, Benilde Little, (S&S/Atria)

9781476751955_de94e-2A People pick for the week:

‘Benilde Little (Good Hair) has a doting husband, beautiful kids, friends and a career. Then her force-of-nature mother dies, and she falls into a depression so deep she’s sure she can’t recover. Revisiting her past helps her build a sunnier future. An eminently readable memoir about turning darkness back into light.”

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

Friday, April 17th, 2015

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

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 21, 2015

Holds Leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Advance Attention

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

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

Upcoming Media Attention

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

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

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


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

The #1 IndieNext pick for May:

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

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

Friday, April 10th, 2015

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

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 13, 2015

Holds Leaders

9780399170867_15d84  9781250010117_2e3ab

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

Readers, she married a liar and only finds out after he dies. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Roberts excels at effectively incorporating lots of domestic details about her heroine’s life in a slow-burning fuse of a plot that ultimately explodes in a nail-biting conclusion.”

Every Fifteen Minutes, Lisa Scottoline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Aurio; Thorndike, OverDrive Sample)

Starred reviews from all four trade publications

Advance Attention

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

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

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 6, 2015

Holds Leaders

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

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

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

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

Stepping Out of Character 

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

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

Critics Favorites

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

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

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, (Grove Press)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Seven Titles For RA Gurus, Week of March 30

Friday, March 27th, 2015

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

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 30, 2015

Holds Leaders

At the Water's Edge  9781250056238_d0a76  9780553391350_f3ae7

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

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

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

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

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

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

Critics’ Favorite

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

Already getting attention from major critics:

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

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

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

Upcoming Media Attention

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Titles To Know and Recommend, The Week of March 23

Friday, March 20th, 2015

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

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

Holds Leaders

9780525953500_2544c  9781250032386_defd7  9780553390636_18d0f

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Attention

9780385347402_p0_v7_s260x420   Jobs Fast Company

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

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

YA Advance Attention

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

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

The author was featured on the Today Show:

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

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

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


9780061670893_9cfa5  9780062355881_4a305  9781476785059_2afe6

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

Both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indie Next pick for April:

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