In its review, PW says, “Rice exhibits tremendous skill in making the impossible seem not only possible but logical. She sets up a nail-biting dilemma involving the continued existence of vampires.” Rice just announced plans for a TV series.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), Lauren Graham, (PRH/Ballantine; RH/BOT Audio).
If you weren’t one of the people who got up early on Friday for the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, you may not understand the title of the memoir by one of the show’s stars, known for her fast dialog.
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, David France, (PRH/Knopf; RH/BOT Audio).
“Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer’s sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best.” — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
Additional Buzz: This is the leading title in holds for the week.
“It’s been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about–community, leadership, the use and abuse of power–and makes me want to reread all three books.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“This book will leave you nostalgic for simpler times and craving a homemade piece of pie! Flagg offers an absolutely lovely story about a small Missouri town from its founding in 1889 through the present and beyond, told through narrative, letters, and a gossip column. I will be joyfully recommending this charming and wonderful story to all readers!” —Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
“Societal constraints and expectations of the time impede the love affair of Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier from the moment they meet in a hot air balloon above the Champ de Mars in 1886. Émile’s ailing mother is pressuring him to marry, start a family, and take over the family business even as he is facing both public and professional stress as co-designer of the Eiffel Tower. Cait is a young Scottish widow forced to work as a chaperone to a wealthy brother and sister. Cait’s and Émile’s paths cross and crisscross as Colin vividly captures the sights and sounds of La Belle Epoque in this quiet, atmospheric novel.” —Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
“Moran is a British journalist whose columns are known for covering a broad range of topics, from feminism and politics to fashion and TV. Some of those columns are reprinted in Moranifesto, a hilarious collection of opinion pieces that are Moran’s personal manifesto for changing the world. The collection covers topics as diverse as the Syrian refugee crisis, cystitis, David Bowie, and why she no longer wears heels. As dissimilar as these themes may be, they are all tackled with the blunt humor for which Moran is known. Moranifesto is gloriously funny, feminist, and timely.” —Agnes Galvin, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY
The second season of Syfy’s The Magicians begins on Jan. 25, 2017. There is a new tie-in edition of the second novel in Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy series out this week to push the show.
As IGN reports, season one offered a moderately successful beginning, writing “It had a bumpy start in its first few episodes, but it showed from the beginning that it knows how to have a good hook, and it wasn’t afraid to go big … There’s definitely room for growth going forward. Season 1 worked out the storytelling kinks as it went along, and as long as the writers have learned from those experiences and experiments moving ahead, we’re in for an amazing Season 2.”
Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition, Margot Lee Shetterly (HC/HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample; also in paperback). While not an actual tie-in, this edition specially written for young readers offers a different text tied to the expected popularity (and teaching opportunity) of the upcoming film of the same name.
As we have written previously, it stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA in Langley, Virginia on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell.
The paperback edition of the current hardback (adult) edition, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/William Morrow), comes out on December 6. The film comes out on Jan. 6, 2017.
Leading up to the traditional Black Friday, James Patterson publishes the next in his biggest-selling series, Cross the Line (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample). Under his kids imprint, he’s publishing a book in collaboration with Bill O’Reilly, Give Please a Chance (Hachette/jimmy patterson), a title that seems out of synch with the Fox News host’s general demeanor.
In nonfiction, holds are growing for Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by the popular NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio). The book offers solutions to those who feel the pace of technology is just too damned fast. His columns since the election indicate that his optimism is being put to the test.
The Daily Show (the Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests, Chris Smith, Jon Stewart, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Type; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Stewart has already begun the media rounds, with an appearance yesterday on CBS This Morning, where he was easily lead away from talking about the book to talking about the election.
Janet Maslin reviews it today in the New York Times. The less-than-glowing review suggests the book only works for Stewart fans. There’s obviously plenty of them, the book is already at #33 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
The long-suspected story of the affair Carrie Fisher had with the then-married Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars is now out. Promoting an excerpt from the book, the new issue of People magazine blares on the cover, “Carrie Fisher Exclusive My Secret Fling with Harrison Ford.” The Washington Post advises, “Move quickly over the bad jokes and the awkward writing, and you have a readable and eye-opening account of a sad but strong princess who has always been her own woman.” The title refers to the fact that Fisher wrote the book based on a diary she kept at the time.
Not allergic to media attention, Griffin began promoting this book two weeks ago on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This week, the NY Post’s “Page Six” ran a story about a run-in with Britney Spears. Let’s hope the other stories in the book have more bite.
Moonglow, Michael Chabon (HC/Harper; Harper Audio).
“A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
“I’ll Take You Thereis delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars. Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era. She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society.” — Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, WI
Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, Julia Baird (PRH/Random House
“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.” — Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC
In addition to the peer pick title above, Queen Victoria is getting attention in the form of a PBS series, to air next year. The series is created by Daisy Goodwin (The American Heiress), who wrote this novel simultaneously with the screenplay. Although it is not billed as a tie-in, the cover notes that the author is “the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS.”
Marvel’s Doctor Strange: The Art of the Movie, Jacob Johnson (Hachette/Marvel) offers a look at the visual landscape of the superhero movie, with concept artwork and commentary. A fitting book for a film New York Magazine calls “freaking gorgeous.”
Settle for More, Megyn Kelly, (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)
Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly has been making news of her own, even being called an “unlikely feminist icon.” Media sources have been eager to get their hands on her memoir to see if she spills any dirt on her interactions with Trump and on her recently fired boss at Fox, Roger Ailes. The NYT was the first to break the embargo on the book. Kelly immediately disputed elements of the review via Twitter, reports USA Today. The AP also got their hands on a copy, reporting that Kelly says Trump tried to bribe her, as well as other journalists, in their pre-election coverage by offering them gifts. Vanity Fair‘s headline on the story asserts, that, by holding this information until after the election, Kelly “Blew The Goodwill She’s Built,”
Having lost his bid to be the Democrat’s candidate for President, and then his effort to keep Trump from being elected, Sanders is continuing his fight and even sees some common ground with Trump. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, he says they both appealed to voters who criticize the establishment, adding, “If Mr. Trump in fact has the courage to take on Wall Street, to take on the drug companies, to try to go forward to create a better life for working people we will work with him on issue by issue. But if his presidency is going to be about discrimination, if it’s going to be about scapegoating immigrants or scapegoating African Americans or Muslims, we will oppose him vigorously.” Among other media appearances, Sanders is scheduled to appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday.
The NYT BR annotation reads, “The wealthy, selfish Lord Cat lives in wasteful luxury high on a mountain and treats his servants with contempt, until a drought brings hunger and he is forced to change his ways. With complex collages that mix photographs, torn paper, string and other materials, Young creates a stunning visual symphony with a surprising and unsettling emotional power.”
The NYT BR annotation reads, “This factual account of polar bears’ biology and habitat also features the story of a curious little girl who gets lost in reading a book about polar bears and visits one in her imagination. Desmond’s varied illustrations combine watercolors, acrylic paint, pencil, crayon and printmaking techniques to create ever-changing moods and spectacular scenes of Arctic life.”
There are six titles publishing this week earning votes from librarians and booksellers:
“Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith’s new novel is a charming account of one woman’s coming-of-age. Smith’s unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child lives in one of London’s many low-end housing units. She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and “brown” in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey’s final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction.” — Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN
“To sit down with Absolutely on Music is to sit down with two maestros — acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami, in a way you’ve never experienced him before, and famed conductor Seiji Ozawa who lives and breathes classical music. This book is the result of several conversations over two years between the two friends that focused on the music they both love, on writing, and on how the two connect. Written by Murakami in a question-and-answer format, Absolutely on Music offers note-by-note talks about classical music and about Ozawa’s and Murakami’s lives and the intricacies of both. Readers will hear the music!” —Terry Tazioli, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
“Noah’s perspective of growing up as the son of a black woman and white man in South Africa during apartheid, mixed with his trademark humor, is both insightful and poignant. We in the U.S. are often presented with what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has termed ‘the danger of the single story,’ which depicts history only from the point of view of the oppressors. It is refreshing and enlightening to learn history from someone directly affected by the heinousness of the apartheid laws.” —Karena Fagan, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“This is a great, fun book by Ward, a correspondent for NPR’s All Things Considered and one of the founders of the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW). Covering the period of 1920 to 1963, almost every chapter in the book is devoted to a single year and the songs that were recorded and/or released during that year. This is a broad overview that substitutes breadth for depth but doesn’t spare the entertainment factor. Ward’s sweeping survey reads like the 400-plus page liner notes for a 1,000-song box set and, as a music nerd, that is one of the best compliments I can give!” —Joe Turner, BookPeople, Austin, TX
“Scrappy Little Nobody is less outsider-looking-in as it is insider-looking-out. Kendrick’s anecdotes, experiences, and her initiation as a working youth breaking into Hollywood reflect her social awkwardness and self-deprecation as the product of a blue-collar family and a dogged work ethic. Humble and hilarious, Kendrick’s lack of the knack for celebrity life allows for an unapologetic ‘so-it-goes,’ bluntness that makes her book relatable and heartwarmingly familiar. Never too funny to not be serious and never too serious to not be personable, Scrappy Little Nobody is filled with genuine thoughtfulness, a life’s worth of intelligence, and Kendrick’s impossible charm.” —Nolan Fellows, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID
“This is a powerful meditation on the life of Louis Till, the father of Emmett Till whose brutal murder in 1955 spurred the Civil Rights Movement forward. It is not common knowledge today that Louis Till was convicted of a crime and executed in Italy while serving in the Army during World War II. Wideman was 14 years old — the same age as Emmett when he died — the year he saw pictures of Emmett Till’s body in Jet magazine. When he found out decades later about Louis Till’s fate, Wideman set out to investigate the tragic lives of both father and son. The result is a profound and moving exploration of race, manhood, violence, and injustice in our society.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
This edition is the second pass at the story. The original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Scholastic; 9780545850568), a faux Hogwarts textbook, is currently out of print an only available from used book retailers. Expect even more spin offs for the film opening on Nov. 18. Three hit shelves this week:
Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ian Nathan (HC/Harper Design).
It seems each week leading up to the big gift-giving season is dedicated to one big-name author. This week, it’s Lee Child for Night School, picked by both LibraryReads and Indie Next (see below under “Peer Picks”). As a testament to his status, Janet Maslin steps out of semi-retirement to assess it in the context of the 20 titles that have come before it for the daily New York Times. This new title shakes things up by reaching back in time to when Reacher was a mere lad of 30. Good thing, says Maslin, because his previous title, Make Me, “wandered so far down into the dark web that an about-face was clearly needed.” Maslin appreciates this return to an old-fashioned spy story.
This Was a Man, Jeffrey Archer (Macmillan/St. Martins; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Archer finishes out his popular Clifton Chronicles with this, the 7th volume in the series, which brings the family into the Thatcher era.
Well-known YA author Stephenie Meyer publishes an adult spy novel, The Chemist (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company; Hachette Audio). Announcing it in a press release this summer, she said it “is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross. I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain.”
Another Meyer, Marissa, writes her first stand-alone YA novel since her very popular Lunar Chronicles series, Heartless (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, about the Queen of Hearts. She talks about the catalysts for the book in a recent interview. It has a moody trailer:
On the Carnegie Medal Longlist, this book explores the current vogue for older technologies (it’s not nostalgia, it’s passion). It’s not surprising that this speaks to librarians who have been forced to live with multiple technologies as they fade in and out of fashion. Booklist, which is one of the sources of titles for the Carnegie list, starred it, saying “Here is a compulsively readable book after a Luddite’s heart.”
“Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can’t get past what they see because Julia’s face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be “other,” to always be on the outside looking in.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
“Child goes back to the well and gives readers another glimpse into Jack Reacher’s past as a military cop — and what a worthwhile trip it is. It’s 1996 — after Reacher receives a Legion of Merit medal, he’s sent to “Night School” with two other men, one from the FBI and another from the CIA. Soon the trio learns that they’ve been selected for a covert mission. Child layers his page-turning story with careful and sometimes dryly humorous details. This suspense series keeps getting better — it’s a joy to read.” — Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY
The other two offerings are in the less-successful BookShots Flames series, Dazzling: The Diamond Trilogy, Part I, Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Bodyguard, Jessica Linden, James Patterson (Hachette/BookShots; OverDrive Sample).
Also arriving is a second work by Ferrante, this one, amazingly, for kids, The Beach at Night (PRH/Europa). The Washington Post calls it “The latest Elena Ferrante controversy” because, as reviewer Nora Krug puts it, “Though compelling and vivid, the book is also deeply chilling, and its vaguely sexual undertones are troubling.”
The Sun Is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) arrives this week. It is one of five finalists in the Young People’s Lit category for the National Book Awards (winner to be announced in two weeks, on Nov. 16).
Between Two Worlds: Lessons from the Other Side, Tyler Henry (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample). A memoir by the star of E!’s reality series Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. Expect a small media wave with appearances on Nightline and E! News Daily.
“With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY
“Bored, anchorless, and alone, a man leaves Berlin for a tiny Andalusian fishing village where he plans to write a novel. Instead, he encounters a cranky hotelier, green tomatoes, an Englishman who acts like an American, an American who acts like an Englishman, a very quiet bartender, a mysterious cat, and, possibly, the meaning of everything — or lack thereof. This slim, playful novel will speak to anyone who has ever questioned the path they were on — or whether there is a path at all.” —Sam Kaas, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
As we have previously written, it is a memoir of an amazing journey of loss and recovery originally titled A Long Way Home, (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015).
In the book, Brierley recounts how he was separated from his family in rural India at age 4, when he climbed aboard a train and was carried over a thousand miles away to a city he did not know. He wound up in an orphanage, was adopted and relocated to Tasmania.
The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham. They join a cast of actors well-known in India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The inspirational tear-jerker is directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake).
It debuts in the Friday after Thanksgiving time slot which is not just prime time to attract families looking for entertainment, but also good timing for awards. Vanity Fair reports the film is “Already on Awards-Season Short Lists.”
Fans of the hit TV show Mr. Robot can read Elliot Alderson’s personal journal with MR. ROBOT: Red Wheelbarrow: (eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt), Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney (Abrams).
The last tie-in of the week is for a work not yet in post-production, the start of a crime trilogy that will form the basis of an upcoming TV series.
Entertainment Weekly says it features “Ravi Chandra Singh, a London private investigator who handles “cases so high-profile that they never make the headlines” with his bevy of happily corrupt colleagues, like a hacker from Hong Konk, a Nigerian lawyer, and a brilliant stoner. When Ravi starts to see visions of Hindu gods as he becomes overwhelmed by his complex cases, he has to figure out if he’s completely delusional — or if he might actually be a modern day shaman.”
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) is signed to star in the still-in-development adaptation, EW reports.
The latest John Grisham thriller, The Whistler (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT), arrives this week. As a result, it’s a week avoided by most other big name authors. Even James Patterson has only one title arriving and it’s for kids, Middle School: Dog’s Best Friend(Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample), which hits shelves while the film adaptation of the first book is still in theaters. Grisham will appear on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning and, on the day of publication, on CBS This Morning.
In picture books, Nanette’s Baguette by the Caldecott-honor recipient Mo Willems (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion), is set in a French village, where a young frog is entrusted with buying bread for her mother for the first time. Expect a host of rhymes on the title, of course.
These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 24.
The musician will be profiled on the upcoming CBS Sunday Morning. He is also set for appearances next week on The View, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and TheDaily Show w/ Trevor Noah as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered (date not yet set).
A collection of pieces by the author who died earlier this year, it is a Parade Pick, with an online excerpt.
It’s the big cookbook season and several titles featured in the “Best of the Rest” addendum to the NYT‘s The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016 arrive. Ina Garten will receive media attention for Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (RH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample) including appearances on the Today Show and even Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Anthony Bourdain releases his first cookbook in over ten years, Appetites (HC/Ecco) and Dorie Greenspan turns her attention to a deceptively simple delicacy in Dorie’s Cookies(HMH/Rux Martin; OverDrive Sample).
Popular food blogger Mimi Thorisson lived out many people’s fantasies by restoring a large house in the French countryside and creating a life that allows Thorisson and her husband to pursue their passions, hers for cooking, his for photography and their shared passion for restoring old houses. This book, which follows last year’sA Kitchen in France, is as much a travel book as a cookbook, will be featured in the NYT Travel section. She has already been profiled in the Wall Street Journal [subscription maybe required].
“In the early 1990s, a grand experiment began in the Arizona desert to determine if human life could be sustained in an engineered, sealed ecological system. The mission failed spectacularly, but fiction gives it another chance in this riveting story of eight scientists who commit to live under glass for two years. They battle hunger, fatigue, and isolation, but the real drama is personal. The story is told through the voices of three distinct narrators — two heating things up on the inside and one nursing resentments outside the glass walls. Master storyteller Boyle entertains, but never slips into schlock. He writes with wit and perspicacity on both human relations and ecology, and this novel is among his best.” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI
“This slender tome began as a social media viral sensation. Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, a husband and father wrote an open letter to the perpetrators of those attacks, stating time and again that they would not have his hate, despite the fact that he lost his wife and the mother of their infant son. This memoir closely follows the hours after the attack, chronicling Leiris’ thoughts and emotions for the next several days up through the funeral for his wife. Though brief, this is a powerful meditation on grief and resilience and the importance of building a legacy of forgiveness for his son.” —Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
“This debut novel is a page-turner from the very beginning. In a story of a family filled with pain, deceit, lies, and dark secrets across generations, Everhart allows readers to feel everything her young narrator, Dixie, must endure. For me, the mark of a good book is that I find myself thinking about it after I have finished reading, and The Education of Dixie Dupree will be with me for a long while.” —Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, Peter Orner (Catapult).
“From beloved novelist and short-story writer Peter Orner comes a collection of essays on the reading life. Orner considers Chekhov in a hospital cafeteria, Welty on a remote island. He also throws Julian Barnes out the window of a moving car — after all, who would trust a man who only talked about what he loved? Behind and around and between these meditations flit the ghosts of the author’s life: his late father, his lost marriage, his self-deprecating take on his own career. The result is a book overflowing with charm — wry, delectable, and laugh-out-loud funny. Orner is a writer’s writer, but he is also a reader’s reader. Am I Alone Here? is an absolute treasure.” —Mairead Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
The story follows a homeless man who adopts a street cat. In turn, the cat helps him turn his life around. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob the cat along with Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), and Anthony Head, it opens Nov. 11, 2016.
The holds leader among the titles that arrive in the upcoming week is the next in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series, Escape Clause, (PRH/Putnam; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Close behind in holds is Jojo Moyes’s Paris for One and Other Stories (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). It is a People pick for the week: “Moyes in in fine, cheeky form in this collection of short fiction, deploying the wit and charm that animates Me Before You and her other popular novels.”
James Patterson comes up with a new twist on his BookShots series of short original paperbacks next week, collecting four of the titles into a hardcover edition, Kill or Be Killed: Thrillers (Hachette/BookShots Series; OverDrive Sample) also available in large print, the first time any BookShots titles have been available in that format.
Jay Asher’s second YA novel, after the very popular Thirteen Reasons Why, is also a Christmas novel, What Light (Penguin Young Readers/Razorbill; Penguin Audio/Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a girl whose family owns a Christmas tree farm. Booklist calls it a “surprising change of direction … a frothy, peppermint-in-hot-cocoa romance … Certain to please readers seeking an escapist, feel-good holiday read.” The Netflix adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why is currently in production. Asher recently spoke to the students in the California high school where filming recently wrapped.
These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, Earlyword New Title Radar Week of Oct 17.
The hosts of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper hit the cover of People magazine for their first book. The show returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, November 29th. Another HGTV star, Nicole Curtis, host of Rehab Addict, is also releasing a book this week, Better Than New: Lessons I’ve Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me) (PRH/Artisan; OverDrive Sample).
The fall season has brought many new books by and about musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and the Beach Boys. People‘s “Book of the Week” is about another artist from the same era, Paul Simon. They write, “This touching biography details the singer’s Queens youth, his beginnings with Art Garfunkel and the road to stardom. … Pure pleasure.”
The last of the Man Booker finalists to be published in the US, this title was originally published by the tiny 2-person Scottish house Saraband (see our earlier coverage). The novel earned praise from The Guardian, which said “The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus.”
“Thrilled for another opportunity to enjoy DI Stephens and Max Mephisto joining forces against crime and intrigue. It may appear light hearted with its theatrical/magician twist, but these detective stories are full of dark happenings. Solving the gruesome murder of two local children dampens the holiday spirit in this small town. The lead characters are very enjoyable and the theater setting so unique. I enjoyed the love interest/overprotected daughter story line as well! Very much looking forward to the next installment.” — Carol Ward, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Solon, OH
“Einstein. Just hearing that name likely brings a smile to your face, as you picture the mischievous wild-haired scientist with the twinkle in his eye. In The Other Einstein, readers get a view of the woman behind the genius, his first wife Mileva Maric, a strong willed and brilliant physics student who refused to let society dictate her life’s path, but who lost her way when love came on the scene. Benedict has penned an engaging tale that will likely inspire readers to investigate the true story behind Maric’s genius and her personal and professional relationship with Einstein.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY
Selections from book sellers span their October and November Indie Next lists. One more from October is Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South, Beth Macy (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).
“In the early 20th century, Albino African American brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but also tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the height of the Jim Crow South, when black lives didn’t matter and lynching was at its peak. The mother’s persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup her sons’ wages and achieve a better standard of living is at the heart of this true story, an inside look at the historical depths of American racism.” —Joan Grenier, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
“It’s a familiar cast of characters: a single mom raising a spunky kid; an older woman descending into Alzheimer’s; the inhabitants of a small town; a nice eligible man. And then comes the twist: the single mom and the older woman aren’t related by blood, but connected through the older woman’s now deceased daughter. With humor and heart, long-held secrets come to light and special bonds are formed. Inheriting Edith is both entertaining and poignant.” —Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK
“I came to this book expecting to be entertained, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. But in the wise and observant ways of Prose, Mister Monkey is more than just a protracted joke. The story begins in the narrow spaces of a theater so to be demolished for condos and widens as Prose shifts points of view from actor to costume designer to writer to waiter to Hindu deity and back to the stage. Adolescent rage, loneliness, divinity, the end of the world, the beginning of love, the way we fail to live up to our dreams for ourselves, the fear of our own mediocrity, the unexpected victories that are the grace that fills the spaces made by disappointment: these are the soul of this novel with an agile, monkey heart. Both deeply moving and light, this is one of my favorite novels of the year.” —Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC
“IQ is the nickname of Isaiah Quintabe, who, despite being a high-school dropout, is absolutely brilliant and has amazing deductive skills. Living on the rough side of Long Beach, California, he is an underground detective who takes on cases in the city’s ghettoes that the LAPD refuses to handle. Beginning with a kidnapping and moving to a case involving the assassination attempt on a famous rapper, IQ represents a positive influence in this tough environment of gang warfare, drugs, murders, and prostitution. A mixture of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, the craziness of Don Winslow’s Savages, and the classic mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, this debut will spark interest and open up this particular world to new readers.” —Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA
“The Gambler vs. the House. Alexander Bruno’s journey as a psychically abled, top-notch backgammon player illuminates themes of reward and loss, purpose and fulfillment in this engaging, thought-provoking yarn. Lethem’s prose is on point, and his allusions and references resonate strongly. His description of this world — fast, oddly comical, sardonic, and, at most times, without sense or reason — is poignant and heavy-hitting, full of breath without being overly winded. Another winner from Lethem, who has established himself firmly amongst the top dogs of intelligent contemporary literary fiction.” —Blake Smith, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL
Additional Buzz: It’s reviewed by Kurt Anderson on the cover of the New York TimesSunday Book Review, as well as a daily review by Dwight Garner (as part of the new direction, with both the daily and Sunday review reporting to Pamela Paul, this is not an accident, but indicates that the book was considered important enough for double coverage). Anderson notes this is Lethem’s tenth novel, making him “among the most prolific of the name-brand literary novelists of his generation,” and that “Lethem has said that after ending his youthful sci-fi phase and becoming a certified big deal, he felt pressure to ‘stay major!’ . . . to only write books as long, sorrowful and wide-screen as The Fortress of Solitude, but that he chose instead to write ‘other kinds of books.’ A Gambler’s Anatomy is the best so far of those other kinds of books.”
Garner, however, goes ahead and compares this new book to the author’s earlier efforts to write The Great American novel, and finds that, in comparison, that this is a “fluky novel, not among Mr. Lethem’s very best. Its themes are underdeveloped, and it moves in zigs and zags, like a squirrel in headlights,” amusingly saying “it plays at its best like a Twilight Zone episode filmed by the Coen brothers.”
‘This is a grueling, soul-searching study of memory and personal pain written in the most soaring prose. To some extent, most of us think we came from dysfunctional families, but this memoir is going to become the calibration standard for dysfunction. How Slouka survived his parents and their scarred Czech pasts, their humiliating years as refugees, and their years of unhappy marriage in America is a small miracle. What’s left are some large emotional holes that Slouka attempts to patch up in front of the reader. An absolutely mesmerizing read.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
“The Fall Guy, which starts innocently enough, introduces its three main characters as they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a calm summer sojourn upstate. Things take a Lynchian turn when Charlie and Chloe’s guest, Charlie’s cousin Matthew, notices what appears to be duplicitous behavior within and outside their home. Lasdun does an incredible job of slowly ratcheting up the suspense, earning the reader’s trust with his spare, pitch-perfect language, and upending expectations on every page. Morally complex characters, a sly and inventive take on the guilt and shame of modern-day banking, and prose as sensuous as some of the novel’s sexiest scenes are just a few of the many rewards of Lasdun’s latest, and greatest, novel.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
The Next: A Novel Of Love, Revenge and a Ghost Who Can’t Let Go by Stephanie Gangi (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).
“With only hours left before cancer kills her, Joanna DeAngelis is dying badly. Instead of focusing on saying goodbye to her daughters and her beloved dog, she spends her last day cyber-stalking her ex-boyfriend and his Internet-famous new girlfriend. When Joanna draws her last breath, mysterious heavenly powers decide that she needs to resolve a few things before moving on to the next world. What happens when ghost-Joanna returns to New York City bent on revenge is terrifying, funny, and, finally, break-out-the-tissues touching. A gorgeous book about love in all its forms: familial, canine, romantic, lost and found again.” —Hillary Nelson, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
“Fans of Gorky Park and other Arkady Renko mysteries are about to be surprised. The Girl From Venice is not a mystery, and it takes place in Venice at the end of WWII, not in countries of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. The pace is still taut, however, and the characters still fascinating. Italy in the last days of the war, with the Germans retreating and everyone hedging their bets, is a complicated place to be, one where every future is uncertain and one very fitting for a master of subtlety like Smith.” —Olga Onal, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA
“On May 13, 1939, the S.S. St. Louis set sail from Germany to Cuba with many Jewish passengers fleeing Hitler. Despite all best efforts, they were turned away from Cuba, the U.S., and Canada, forcing the ship to return to Europe, where many of the passengers would die in Hitler’s death camps. Correa puts a human face on this shameful episode. Hannah Rosenthal, the daughter of wealthy aristocrats, was 12 when she boarded the St. Louis. Seven decades later, Anna Rosen receives a package from an unknown relative in Cuba that inspires her and her mother to travel to Cuba to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past. A masterful debut!” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR
Additional Buzz:People gives a nod the author, the editor in chief People en Espanyol, making it a pick of the week, saying it “brings the refugee experience alive in the timely must-read.” Sister publication Entertainment Weekly features an interview with the author.
The Spanish-language edition, La niña alemana will receive attention on Spanish-language TV and, of course, in People en Espanol.
• CNN en Espanol-TV/’Camilo,’ October 17
• Univision-Radio/’Maria Marin,’ October 17
• Telemundo-TV/’Un Nueva Dia,’ October 18
• Univision-TV/’Despierta America,’ October 18
• November issue of People en Espanol
One tie-in this week, The Making of Outlander: The Series: The Official Guide to Seasons One & Two, Tara Bennett (PRH/Delacorte Press; OverDrive Sample). It is a behind-the-scenes account of what it took to create the series as well as a guide to the two seasons aired thus far.
Ever attuned to trends, James Patterson releases his first true crime title next week, complete with two co-authors and a double subtitle, Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein, with John Connolly and Tim Malloy (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). In picture books, Jon Klassen ends his hat trilogy (I Want My Hat Back, 2011, and This Is Not My Hat, 2012) with a story about two turtle friends who find their relationship threatened when they both covet a white cowboy hat, We Found a Hat (Candlewick). Reviews promise a surprising twist at the end. In YA, a popular trilogy also concludes with Marie Lu’s The Midnight Star (PRH/Putnam Young Readers; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).
The description of the newest Oprah pick sounded so much like her own upcoming book that Jennifer Weiner happily prepared to see the magic sticker on the cover of her new book. Her hopes were dashed when the pick actually turned out to be Love Warrior. As Jezebel.com reports, she tweeted her disappointment, and later withdrew it, apologizing for being “petty.” She said she’d been going through a rough time because a film deal recently fell through (she doesn’t name the deal. Perhaps it is the one that was recently reported by Hollywood trades, for her just released middle-grade book, The Littlest Big Foot).
On the Man Booker shortlist as well as the Carnegie Medal longlist, and, just recently announced, the lists for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award and Giller Prize, the author’s third novel is just being released in the US. There have been no consumer press reviews here yet (in a pre-pub review, Publishers Weekly gave it a star). Earlier this summer, Canada’s The Globe and Mail wrote that the book “cements Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists” and that the story is a “gorgeous intergenerational saga, stretching as far back at the 1940s and traversing China” told from the perspective of a woman living in present-day Vancouver, who begins the book with the story of her father’s suicide.
After last week’s overflow of peer recommendations, October 10th brings just four, but they include two October LibraryReads selections: one of the buzziest debuts of the year and the return of a reader-favorite.
“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothersasks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO
“Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who is both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not one iota of love for anyone but herself. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of take-your-breath-away writing, and Ari joins the ranks of heroines who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.” —Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, CA
“Occasionally tragic and always tender, Constantine’s novel is a moving exploration of the ways in which we relate to the people we love. After the death of her husband, Katrin — a literary biographer who has dedicated her career to recording the lives of obscure and largely unsuccessful writers — finds herself drawn to a new project: telling the story of the early life and first love of the man she would later marry. A remarkable story of grief, rediscovery, and reconciliation.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
This new take on Grimms’ fairy tales earns the coveted all-star status this week, getting starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. It is also a Fall Reading pick from Amazon’s Editors.
Two additional tie-ins for Trolls arrive this week:
Both of the week’s holds leaders are by authors returning to popular series after a pause.
Harlan Coben again features sports agent Myron Bolitar in Home, (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; RH Large Type; OverDrive Sample) which gets a 2-page ad in this week’s NYT BR. Bolitar’s last outing as the main character was in 2011’s Live Wire,
After two standalone, Karin Slaughter returns to Will Trent, agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in Kept Woman, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe) which gets a starred review from Booklist. It is also a an Indie Next bookseller pick (see “Peer Picks” below).
Library ordering is low for Atlas Obscura (Workman; OverDrive Sample). So far, holds are also minimal, but in this case we think you should ignore holds. This title is sure to do well from the new book shelves and is likely to pick up media attention. Entertainment Weekly features it on their “Must List” at #3, writing,”In this gorgeous collection, the celebrated Atlas Obscura website is condensed into 480 pages of awe-inspiring destinations. For lovers of history and exploration, the striking color photographs will spark immediate wanderlust.”
The author writes that this book about the founder of the travel site Kayak.com is “a sequel of sorts” to his 1981 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Soul of the New Machine. Jennifer Senior questions that in her advance review in Monday’s NYT, but says it is actually more fascinating as a portrayal of a man with bipolar disease. Of course, with Kidder’s reputation, it will receive more media attention, including reviews in the Washington Post and the Sunday New York Times Book Review.
It’s been 25 years since Magic Johnson revealed that he is HIV-positive. The British tabloid, the Daily Mail got its hands on this embargoed memoir by his wife and blares, “EXCLUSIVE: Wife reveals the night basketball superstar Magic Johnson locked himself in a room after HIV diagnosis to call his ex-lovers because he always had unprotected sex.” The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, on The View, and Nightline.
“Phillips digs into the history of a series of events in his hometown in Georgia. After a series of crimes were blamed on some of the area’s young black men, the citizens of the town saw fit to run off the entire African American population. Phillips researches the crimes and the mob mentality that followed, and shows how certain citizens of Forsyth County continued to intimidate and assault African Americans who wandered across their border for almost eighty years. This is the type of history that is far too important ever to forget.” — Amy Hall, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO
“Flavia deLuce has returned from Canada to find her father in the hospital and her sisters distant. When she is sent to deliver a message for the vicar’s wife, she steps into another mystery – one she is determined to solve, preferably before Inspector Hewitt can do the same. Flavia is once again a fun, science-loving protagonist. Flavia arrives at a turning point in her life and how she handles what happens next will tell much about the path that she will take into adulthood. This series entry ends on a note that begs for the next story.” — Chris Andersen, Stow Munroe Falls Public Library, Stow, OH
Additional Buzz: The eighth Flavia De Luce mystery is one of the Amazon’s Editors Fall Reading picks.
“Despite losing her job as a librarian who liked to put the right book into a patron’s hands, Nina continues her mission by moving to rural Scotland, purchasing a van, converting it into a bookmobile, and taking to the road. The plot revolves around the romance of the road, the romance of books and reading, and just plain old romance. Another marvelous book by Colgan! A gem of a book!” — Virginia Holsten, Vinton Public Library, Vinton, IA
“Another great book from Bolton! Convicted serial killer Hamish Wolfe has proclaimed his innocence from the beginning and has solicited the help of lawyer Maggie Rose who is known for her ability to get convictions overturned. The story unfolds in alternating chapters from the past to the present and keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a twist you won’t see coming! Highly recommended!” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT
“Lib Wright, a protégé of Florence Nightingale and a nursing veteran of the Crimean War, is dispatched from London to a remote Irish village to keep watch on Anna O’Donnell, a young girl who is rumored to have refrained from eating for four months yet continues to thrive. Miracle or hoax? Lib is determined to uncover the truth, but the truth is never simple. In this beautiful, haunting novel, Donoghue weaves a tale of misguided faith and duty, exploited innocence, and redemptive love. What is the secret behind Anna’s mysterious ability to survive? The truth is uncovered as The Wonder propels readers to a shocking conclusion.” — Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT).
“No one was more certain that he was destined for greatness than Winston Churchill and he let nothing deter or discourage him from achieving that goal. The young Churchill saw his path to prominence and power through fearless exploits in the British Army and as a war correspondent. England’s brutal war with the Boer rebels in southern Africa would prove to be his crucible. Millard’s exciting chronicle of Churchill’s experiences there, both daring and humbling, is a fitting tribute to a man whose early dreams of glory proved to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.” — Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
Additional Buzz: Starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Fall Reading: Amazon’s Editors,WSJ, and USA Today. The Wall Street Journal offers an interview and an excerpt. (subscription may be required). Reviews are upcoming from the Washington Post, the daily New York Times and USA Today.
The Kept Woman, Karin Slaughter (HC/William Morrow; Blackstone Audio).
“The Kept Womanfeatures Georgia detective Will Trent in a compelling mystery involving a superstar sports figure, his wife, and a rape. The athlete had already been cleared of the rape allegations when a dead man is found in a building he is making into a high-end club with other wealthy investors. At the scene, blood is found that doesn’t match that of the dead man, indicating that there is a second victim — a woman — in dire trouble. Another suspenseful tour de force from Slaughter.” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books To Go, South Portland, ME
Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why, Sady Doyle (PRH/Melville House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
“At its best, pop culture criticism forces us to reconsider a familiar product by placing it in a new context and, in doing so, imbuing it with new meaning. Trainwreck is just that. Doyle effectively and entertainingly litigates her case: that Western culture’s fascination with ‘fallen’ female starlets — aka trainwrecks — is simply a modern form of the patriarchal silencing and marginalization of women that has been going for centuries. With sly humor and lively prose, Doyle systematically punches through all the familiar straw-man arguments and convincingly illustrates that the ‘harmless fun’ of Internet clickbait and TMZ gossip are merely modern forms of public shaming. A must-read.” — Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
Additional Buzz: Fall Reading: Amazon’s Editors. New York Times Book Review, 9/25.
“With direct and forceful narrative and a translation as smooth and peaceful as the quiet narrator himself, this book takes the reader on a days-long search for the past and the present in modern day Bogotá. A prominent political cartoonist is shaken when a forgotten uncertainty from the past resurfaces. This psychological study of the concept that what we believe makes us who we are is a masterpiece!” — Nicole Magistro, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO
Ron Howard again directs, with Tom Hanks starring as Langdon, a Harvard symbologist constantly embroiled in trouble. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Omar Sy (The Intouchables), and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) also join the cast. David Koepp (Indiana Jones/Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons, Jurassic Park) wrote the screenplay.
The book of the week, at least among reviewers, is Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth (Harper; HarperAudio), arriving on Tuesday. It’s already received coverage, and it’s likely to get more attention in the upcoming week (see Peer Picks, below). It also comes with the news that her breakout title, Bel Canto, is being developed as a movie, starring Julianne Moore. Check your holds, some libraries are showning ratios of ten to one.
As we’ve written, Ta-Nehisi Coates followed up his long-running nonfiction best seller with a comic featuring the Black Panther, with illustrations by Brian Stelfreeze. The first four issues are being released in book form as Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1.WSJinterviews him about the series this week.
Jennifer Weiner makes her children’s debut with a middle grade novel, the first in a trilogy, The Littlest Bigfoot (S&S/Aladdin; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). She also publishes her first book of essays in October, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).
USA Today – Fall Books Preview – 9/4
ABC-TV – Live! with Kelly – Interview – 9/13
Bravo TV – Watch What Happens Live – Taped Interview – 9/13 Entertainment Tonight – Interview – 9/13 Today Show – 8AM & 10AM appearances – 9/13 Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon – Guest appearance – 9/13 The Rachael Ray Show – Guest appearance – 9/13
Alan Cumming follows up on his well-received memoir from 2014, Not My Father’s Son, with another life tale, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life in Stories and Pictures, Alan Cumming (Rizzoli; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Expect a media attention, including:
Vanity Fair – 9/1 W Magazine – 9/1
CBS-TV / Late Show With Stephen Colbert – 9/9
ABC-TV / The Chew – 9/13
CBS-TV/Late Late Show with James Corden – 9/20
Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Joe Conason (S&S; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) provides an inside look at the second career and world-wide brand of Bill Clinton. The book was the basis for a news story in The Washington Post this week.
Expect more attention to follow, including:
CNN-TV/ Newsroom, September 13
MSNBC-TV/ Morning Joe, September 13
CNBS-TV/ Squawk Box, September 14
WNYC-Radio/ Brian Lehrer Show, September 15
Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, Dan Slater (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). The publisher offers a sure-bet hook for this true crime tale, “The story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by a Mexican-American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unwinnable.”
There is a media wave for it as well:
New Yorker, 9/12/16
NPR-Radio/ Weekend All Things Considered, September 10 New York Times Book Review, September 11
C-SPAN Book TV/ AfterWords, September 20
Consumer Media Picks
In addition to Ann Patchett’s novel, People picks:
I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, Luvvie Ajayi (Macmillan/Holt Paperback original; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) — “blogger Ajayi might make you rethink some assumptions about meant and women. At the very least, she’ll make you laugh.”
Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon. Kelley French and Thomas French (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) — “The Frenches, both journalists, eloquently chronicle the terrifying, heroic first six months of their daughter Juniper’s life … tender, fierce and breathtaking.”
Unfortunately, Entertainment Weekly‘s book section was pre-empted this week by their extensive preview of the fall TV season, but Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth is #6 on their “Must List” for the week.
“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.” — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
“When Gwendolyn Hooper comes to Ceylon as a young bride, she has no idea that she’s entering a region on the cusp of political upheaval or that she’s living with a widower and his secret-filled past. The Tea Planter’s Wife has all of the elements that I’m looking for in historical fiction: compelling characters, an evocative setting, a leisurely pace, and a plot that unfolds like the petals of a flower, or, in this case, the tea plant.” — Amy Lapointe, Amherst Town Library, Amherst, NH
“A charming mystery introduces Laetitia Rodd, a widow who moonlights as a sleuth in 1850s London. She’s tapped to help uncover the mysterious past of a prospective bride, but the more Laetitia digs, the more certain individuals want to keep their secrets buried. And when those secrets turn deadly, Laetitia may be in danger herself. Saunders nails the raucous world of Victorian London, capturing the Dickens-like characters from the lowest of society to the lofty ranks of the wealthy. A fine read for those who love vivid settings and memorable characters.” — Katie Hanson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI
“In Atlanta in the late 1940s, the integration of black police officers into the force is proving to be challenging. White civilians don’t respect their authority, and black civilians don’t trust that they can protect them. Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith are men with heavy burdens on their shoulders. Every move they make is examined. When the body of a young black woman is found, they will put everything on the line to gain justice for a woman who turns into a symbol of all that is wrong with their town. Despite its historical setting, so many elements of this tale seem timely, and readers will have much to think about after turning the last page.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY
“Andreas Egger lived his whole life with nature as his most trusted companion. When humans, war, and debilitating events threatened him, he quietly climbed mountains, bathed in icy streams, watched the sun streak its intense color into the sky, and then put his head down and forged ahead. He lived eight decades, mostly alone, and faced death and privation with heroism, stoicism, and a depth of character rarely seen in the ‘modern’ 20th century. In this short novel, Seethaler has poetically created a character and a way of looking at the natural world that readers will never forget.” —Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
“Silver turns the oral tradition into fine literature with Little Nothing, a masterful work of fairy tale and folklore. Pavla, a dwarf born in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, is a survivor who magically adapts time and again in order to overcome cruelty. Danilo loves her and is obsessed only with protecting her. This is a story of the power of transformation and the gift of finding the love we need, if not the love we seek.” —Maureen Stinger, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
“David Federman, a gifted student who is both socially awkward and emotionally immature, is trying to find his place as a Harvard freshman. Enter the beautiful and sophisticated Veronica Wells, and David is hopelessly, obsessively in love for the first time. Suffice it to say this is not a match made in heaven, and it ends badly for everyone when David starts stalking Veronica and violates the school’s honor code — the first steps down a slippery slope towards a violent and tragic ending. David is by turns sympathetic and repellent, and Loner is a complex portrayal of alienation, gender politics, and class at the highest echelons of American academic life.” —Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
Additional Buzz: It is a New York Magazine Fall Reading pick. The author is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow and a review is scheduled for the New York Times Book Review, September 25. People magazine will also review.
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Greystone Books).
“The Hidden Life of Trees reads like a 250-page epiphany. Wohlleben knows trees inside and out, and his revelatory examination of the inner lives of forests provides evidence of what many sensitive nature-lovers long suspected: that trees form friendships, sustain one another, and should be viewed as more than a natural resource. This is the kind of writing that can profoundly affect the way we live on this planet.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Trolls. Film opens on Nov. 4, 2016. Directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn (both of whom worked on various Shrek movies). Starring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, and Gwen Stefani.
The start of fall is not only signaled by Labor Day, but by the increased number of titles by well-known authors coming your way next week, from Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel, Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample), to John le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani describes as more of “a collection of reminiscences” and continues that the section on his childhood, adapted from a longer New Yorker piece, is “the rawest, most emotional part of this book, and its psychological spine.”
In addition, the next Oprah pick arrives, breathtakingly quickly after her selection of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad. The title has not been announced yet, so speculation has been rife with heavy odds on Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), even though it is a memoir and the Oprah pick is classified as fiction (red herring, perhaps?).
Another guess, quickly shot down by the author, is Jonathan Safran Foer’s next novel Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). A literary darling, you can expect to see it reviewed in all the major consumer book reviews, beginning with the L.A. Times, under the less than compelling headline, “With joyless prose about joyless people, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am is kitsch at best.”
It’s also a big week for the James Patterson Bookshops series, with four new titles being released. This is the third group of titles released in the series, and it’s become clear that all BookShots are not equal. Readers prefer those that continue established Patterson series, which this month’s titles do not. Two are in the erotic romance sub-series, BookShots Flames. Patterson is not the co-author on these titles, but supplies an introduction to each. Still, it’s amusing to see the Patterson name emblazoned in script across a typical romance cover.
The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 9/5/16
“Nathan Hill’s sad, funny, endlessly inventive debut feels like exactly the kind of novel Septembers are made for: a big fat cinder block of a book brainy enough to wipe away the last SPF-smeared vestiges of a lazy summer but so immediately engaging, too, that it makes the transition feel like a reward, not homework.”
Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering.
People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is a tribute to the late Nora Ephron by her friend Richard Cohen, She Made Me Laugh (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) calling it, “both complex and moving — and [Cohen’s] depiction of the literary and journalistic circles of the era isn’t stingy on the gossip, either. Nora would be pleased.”
People‘s other two picks this week are also peer picks, Gayle Forman’s first title for adults and the debut, Mischling (see below).
Two LibraryReads titles appear next week, including the #1 librarian pick for September:
“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” — Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.” — Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC
“The most overused cliché in the book business is ‘page-turner,’ so I will ask indulgence when I declare that The Risen by Ron Rash is a page-turner in the truest sense of the phrase. The Risen explores a young boy’s coming of age, sibling rivalry, a decades-old mystery, and extreme life choices. It is an exciting read for all who appreciate literature at its finest.” —Jake Reiss, Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL
“Sisters Stasha and Pearl are accustomed to the imaginative interior life they share as twins, but in Josef Mengele’s ‘Zoo’ at Auschwitz they must find refuge in that life in order to survive. Readers descend into the violence and despair of the Holocaust as experienced through the eyes of the twins but are protected by an innocence that is also urbane and by a sardonic playfulness that does not shy from horrors but transforms them into fortitude and resilience. Konar has achieved the unlikely — Mischling simultaneously haunts and inspires.” —Kelly Pickerill, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
Additional Buzz: A People pick this week, it earned starred reviews from Booklist, LJ, and PW, which calls it “a brutally beautiful novel.”
“Welcome back to Southern Florida! In the land of flimflam artists, illegal substances, and scantily clad women, disgraced detective Andrew Yancy is just trying to get his job back. Merry Mansfield, master of the car crash scam, insinuates herself into Yancy’s life with brazen confidence. As it turns out, he needs her more than he could ever anticipate. Reality TV stars, redneck kidnappers, mobsters, and corrupt developers cross paths throughout this novel in hilarious, nonstop action. Hiassen is at the top of his game with quirky characters, rapid-fire banter, and Wodehouse-like plotting.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY
Additional Buzz: Reviewed in TheWashington Post as a “raucous new novel.” More reviews are coming, from NPR and the NYT‘s Janet Maslin.
“At a time of talk about building walls and isolationism, Davies offers a look at American history through the lives of a group of people who have helped to forge this nation — Chinese-Americans. Davies presents characters for whom the American dream is as elusive or as real as it would be to any others. Set in the California Gold Rush, 1930s Hollywood, and the present day, Davies’ tale is artfully told with passion and conviction, and readers will empathize fully with each generation of ‘outsiders.’” —Jessie Martin, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
“Stewart’s follow-up to Girl Waits With Gun is equally fascinating. Based on the life of Constance Kopp, the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey, this tale takes readers from rural New Jersey to the mean streets of New York City in 1915. With grit, smarts, and utter determination, Constance tracks a convict who escaped her custody. Despite the astounding restrictions on a woman’s life in the early 20th century, Constance takes every risk to capture her suspect. Complemented by the historical notes that Stewart provides, Lady Cop is both informative and loads of fun.” —Kathy Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov’s ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carré in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man’s determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!” —Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT
“Pancakes and Paris make for a winning combination in this charming memoir. Readers will cheer for Carlson as he follows his dream of opening a restaurant in nother country. He faces many challenges, but perseveres until he reaches his goal. Thanks to Carlson it is now possible to get hearty pancakes and other treats at Breakfast in America, the first American-style diner in Paris. This is a perfect read for armchair travelers or for Francophiles planning their next trip to the City of Lights.” —Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA
“Boggs tackles a variety of challenging topics throughout this cohesive collection of essays. With a knowledgeable, considerate, and honest mind, Boggs is somehow able to transform the clinical and sedate language of infertility treatments into a beautiful song of hope and transformation. The metaphors Boggs finds for her travails sing, and the patient quality of her narration stuns. The candidness of her voice, combined with her ability to find the perfect words to sum up data, studies, statistics, and personal experience, make The Art of Waiting a gift for all readers.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Headed for best seller lists are the two peer picks for the week (see below), as well as Danielle Steel’s Rushing Waters, (PRH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio) which imagines a group of New Yorkers thrown together when a hurricane hits the city. James Lee Burke continues his multigenerational saga about the Holland family in The Jealous Kind(S&S; S&S Audio).
Also coming is a new title in George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, High Stakes, (Macmillan/Tor). Martin announced last week that the series will follow Game of Thronesto television, Says Publishers Weekly of the new title, “This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.”
People’s “Book of the Week” is a title that was introduced in our EarlyReads program (check out or chat with the author), The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Published last week and also a LibraryReads pick,, People writes, “Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”
“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC
“Hill’s debut is remarkable because it does both the little things and the big things right. It is an intimate novel of identity and loss, the story of a boy abandoned and the man now trying to recover. It also paints a vivid portrait of America and its politics from the 1960s to the present. The Nix overflows with unforgettable characters, but none more clearly rendered than Samuel Andersen-Anderson and his mother, Faye, both bewildered by life and struggling to repair the rift between them. From intimate whispers to American news cycles, this astounding novel of reclamation is guaranteed to sweep readers off their feet.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Additional Buzz: One of People magazine’s picks for the week, described as being “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen,” it’s received wide-spread attention. Entertainment Weekly calls it the “Wildest Debut” and writes that it is a “sprawling, politically charged full-of-heart tale…” New York Magazine selects it as one of the “8 Books You Need to Read This August.”
The Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores series rolls on into late September, starring Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Treat Williams and Diane Ladd and will eventually span seven episodes in this first season.
The first in the series, The Inn at Eagle Point, has already been released as a tie-in. The second book in the series also gets the tie-in treatment this week.
This debut novel made news when it won a major deal in advance of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair (with a different title). At that time, the agent said that Mbue, who is from Cameroon and is now an American citizen living in Manhattan, is “part of the new generation of African writers just being discovered” that includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun, NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names, Teju Cole Open City, and Dinaw Mengestu How to Read the Air.
It is People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as a “page-turner about race, class and the Wall Street meltdown … Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating, but her message is pointed: American dreams can and do turn into nightmares.”
The Washington Post chief critic, Ron Charles, says that it comes at the right time, as it “illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse ” A review is also coming from the NYT Sunday Book Review.
The cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review is devoted to Caleb Carr’s new book, Surrender, New York (Random House; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reviewed by fellow crime novelist Michael Connelly. Unlike his most famous novel, The Alienist, which was set in 1896, this one says Connelly, is “an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment. Call it mystery with multiple messages.” The book’s 600 plus pages require “more dedication (from the reader as well as the writer) than is usual for a crime novel,” but says Connelly, “This is a novel you set time aside for.”
The Washington Post‘s mystery and thriller reviewer, Patrick Anderson, is less willing to set the time aside, saying, Carr’s “descriptive passages can be elegant and informative but they go on endlessly, maddeningly … Carr’s plot is complex, sometimes bewildering, and the reader can become lost amid his epic digressions, no matter how well they read.”
Below are several other titles arriving next week to fanfare from the media as well as booksellers and librarians. For those, and other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 22, 2016
The Campaign in Books
The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate, The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, came from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House earlier this month and is currently at #11 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list, up from #15 last week.
The media may be obsessed with Trump, but there will surely be time for Democratic strategist Carville, who is adept at memorable sound bites (and has a few things to say about Trump, as the book’s jacket indicates).
“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!” — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY
“First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.” — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI
Additional Buzz: First Star receives stars from three pre-pub reviewing sources, Booklist, Kirkus and PW
“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.” — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS
The tie-in edition for one of the most anticipated moves from page to screen hits shelves this week, complete with a snazzy new cover and the long awaited release of a mass market edition, The Girl on the Train (Movie Tie-In), Paula Hawkins (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).
The movie follows the dark and twisty tale of a woman who fantasizes about the life of others and sees something she was not supposed to see. As a missing person investigation spins out she becomes intimately involved in the case. It stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans and opens Oct. 7.
It’s Jacqueline Woodson Week. Review attention has already begun for her anticipated adult novel, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amisted; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), arriving on Tuesday (CORRECTION: It actually arrived LAST Tuesday, as Elaine points out in the comments, but we are still declaring this her week, as the reviews continue to pour in). It’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as “a lovely, mournful portrait of a sensitive girl growing up, forging life-sustaining friendships and eventually finding her way.” The L.A. Times calls it “a powerful adult tale of girlhood friendships.” The author was interviewed on NPR’s All Thing Considered this week.
“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!” —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
In addition to the books highlighted here, new titles are coming from holds leaders Janet Ivanovich, Lisa Scottoline, mystery favorite Michael Koryta and an important new name in science fiction, N K, Jemisin, For those, and several other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 15, 2016
Schumer’s memoir has received advance attention. The media focus will continue news week:
8/16 ABC Good Morning America
8/17 NPR Morning Edition
8/17 CBS This Morning
8/22 CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert
At #4 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List — The Top 10 Things We Love this Week,” this novel is a thriller about an unlikely subject, Thomas Edison’s lawsuit against George Westinghouse about his light bulb patent. Moore is well-known to the entertainment media as the winner of the Academy Award for the screenplay of The Imitation Game, starring Eddie Redmayne [CORRECTION: the star was Benedict Cumberbatch, as our alert readers point out in the comments]. The director of that movie will begin shooting an adaptation of The Last Days of Night in January, with Redmayne starring reports Deadline.
A People magazine pick, this is a memoir by a journalist whose partner, Tony, died while saving their 4-year-old son from drowning. People calls it a “heart-wrenching tale of race, unlikely love (Tony was a former criminal) and how grief changes everything. It’s unforgettable.”
Published last week, this book is also a People pick, a novel about a woman who learns that her grandmother did what the book’s title says. She then heads to the South of France to look for the painting the artist supposedly gave her gran. Naturally, she falls in love along the way. People calls it “delicious, atmospheric.”
A GalleyChat favorite, this is the lead title for the season from Europa Editions, a publisher that has opened American eyes to some of the best writing from other countries and created a best selling phenomenon here with Elena Ferrante’s novels.
Both pre-pub sources that reviewed The Golden Age gave it a star. Set in an Australian children’s polio clinic after WW II, “Every character, however minor, comes to life in these pages … London is a virtuoso.” writes Kirkus.
“Hashimi sets her layered and suspenseful novel at the crossroads of tradition and modernity in present-day Afghanistan. Her nuanced and well-paced tale tells the story of Zeba, who is accused of murdering her husband. In the Chil Mahtab prison, where Zeba awaits her trial and sentencing, she comes to know a colorful cast of female inmates, many of whom are ordinary women who have been snared in various traps of family honor and have been cast away by their families and by society. This is a compassionately written and moving page-turner.” —Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO
“Fast-paced, funny, and extremely enjoyable, The Gentleman has fantastic elements and intriguing characters tied together with smart dialogue and timing reminiscent of a Baz Luhrman film. Badly behaved Victorian ladies, indolent poets, an exasperated editor, intrepid British adventurers, steampunk inventors, omniscient butlers, a genteel Devil, and a number of cunning plans combine to make this debut novel exciting and amusing.” —Jennifer Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, NJ
“Haunting and surprising yet immediately relatable, Palm’s striking memoir sinks its roots deep into readers and holds fast. Everything ordinary, Palm reveals, is extraordinary — tragic, profound, amusing, brutal — when examined up close. In reflecting on her own formative years, growing up ‘between points on the map’ in small-town Indiana, Palm paints a measured, unforgettable portrait of the forces that break us free of our origins and those that inevitably call us back.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
It is also a summer reading pick by the Chicago Tribune: “A memoir of memory, place and burgeoning personhood [recalling] her childhood on the banks of a river in rural Indiana and the next-door boy, once the secret object of her affection, now serving life in prison for a brutal murder.”
August is technically the beginning of the fall publishing season, so things quiet down a bit before the onslaught of the big fall titles. Nevertheless, librarians and booksellers still managed to find 10 titles coming out next week to recommend (see Peer Picks, below).
The major book news of next week will still be the books of this week, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) which just hit the USA Today best seller list at #1. No surprise there, except that, because of the timing of the list, that represents just one day of sales. This week, it’s a People pick (“Spectacular magic and disturbing violence make this a dramatic entry into Harry’s enchanted but troubled world.”)
The first SERIAL podcast was a major phenomenon. It focused on the 20-year old case that put Adnan Syed in prison for the murder of his high school girlfriend. The woman who brought the case to the producers’ attention is Rabia Chaudry, who has worked tirelessly to free Adnan. This is her story. A new trial was recently ordered so the case is in the news once again. People covers the book under the headline, ‘Adnan Syed is Innocent and I Can Prove It: Lawyer Rabia Chaudry.‘ The L.A. Times just published a review.
One of the titles on the majority of the summer reading lists, this is sure to be heavily reviewed. Based on advance holds, it appears that most libraries have underbought this one. It is also the IndieNext #1 pick for the month (see Peer Picks, below)
Irish author McInerney’s debut won the UK’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Marilyn Stasio, in her most recent New York Times Book Review “Crime” column, says she has a “wonderfully offbeat voice … Not only is McInerney’s prose ripe with foul language and blasphemous curses delivered in the impenetrable local idiom, but her style is so flamboyantly colorful it can’t always be contained.”
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, Luke Dittrich, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT).
An excerpt titled, “The Brain That Couldn’t Remember: The untold story of the fight over the legacy of ‘H.M.’ — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory” is the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine. The author was interviewed on Wednesday on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and will be featured on PBS NewsHour next week. Kirkus assesses it as, “Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine’s darker hours.”
Consumer Media Picks
In addition to the new Harry Potter and the latest Oprah pick, People also gives the love to a less well-known title, Lucy Foley’s The Invitation(Hachette/Little,Brown; OverDrive Sample) a romance set on a yacht sailing to Cannes in 1953. People recommends that readers “Pop this tale of love, secrets and obsession right into your beach bag.”
Entertainment Weekly focuses on Dark Matter (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), Blake Crouch’s novel that arrived last week to much fanfare. It arrived on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, but just barely, at #14. EW rates it a B+.
EW‘s head critic, Tina Jordan gives the less anticipated Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) an A (review not yet online). In this nonfiction title, the author investigates how to fake her own death to solve her student-loan debt and discovers a weird underground that includes a morgue in the Philippines that sells bogus death certificates.
Ten recommendations from librarians and booksellers hit shelves this week, including four on the August LibraryReads list:
“Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end.” — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI
“Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Miller’s debut made WSJ guide to summer books about food [subscription maybe required] and the August Indie Next list.
“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY
It is an Indie Next selection as well as a B&N summer reading choice.
“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!” —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
“This is the most fun and unique book I have held in my hands in a long time. It is a ‘non-linear memoir’ consisting of a quiz, random thoughts, poetry, essays, text message communications, family photos, and the captured moments of any given day. This textbook is an education in seeing the world through Rosenthal’s magical viewpoint — necessary for all who want to appreciate life’s little gifts.” —Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
“Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko has spent his entire life in a cloistered world, but he possesses a keen intellect and an understanding of humanity that far exceeds the confines of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Severely physically handicapped due to radiation poisoning, Ivan has never had a friend beyond his caregivers at the hospital — until Polina is admitted. The two teens form a fast and indelible bond that will leave readers in awe of the tenacity of their commitment. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN
“Full of quirky characters, passionate lovers, and literary references, this novel takes the reader on a playful romp through both Spain and the human soul. You know how a sprinkle of salt makes chocolate taste sweeter? This book seems all the more timeless for the dashes of modernity throughout — the Spanish detective who references CSI, the wedding band that plays Lady Gaga — all against the intoxicating backdrop of Madrid and Granada. Delightful!” —Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“As I read I Will Send Rain, I was transported to the West of the 1930s as the Dust Bowl storms began. Annie Bell is struggling to keep her home, body, and family free of the layers of dust that reappear as fast as they are wiped clean. Her husband has constant dreams of rain; her teenage daughter is blinded by love; her young son suffers from dust pneumonia; and now an admirer is forcing Annie to question her own ethics and being. I was moved by the characters, the historical background, the heartache, and the simultaneous longing and complacency that make this a beautiful and powerful story.” —Lori Fazio, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
“Clever, smart, and brilliantly comic as it deals with our humanity, our resilient spirit, and the tremendous challenges that demand our cooperative attention, Mr. Eternity is a delight. Who can resist the tale of a 560-year-old American man named Daniel Defoe, who has much wisdom to offer the world and its people. This genre-bending page-turner is a blast to read!” —Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
The biographical film Sully comes out on September 9 with some very big names attached. Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, and Aaron Eckhart all star while Clint Eastwood directs.
It recounts the story of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger and the day he saved the passengers and crew of flight 155, by safely landing the plane after a bird strike on the Hudson River.
A tie-in comes out this week, Sully: My Search for What Really Matters, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, Jeffrey Zaslow (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).
The new series Luke Cage, a spin-off of the Jessica Jones show and the next in the comics collaboration between Marvel and Netflix, debuts on Sept. 20. It follows the adventures of Cage, a man with unbreakable skin and super strength, who freelances as a superhero.
A new collected edition is being released this week:Luke Cage: Avenger, Mike Benson et al. (Hachette/Marvel).
Timed to coordinate with its released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, is a special, oversized black and white edition, Batman Noir: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (PRH/DC Comics; OverDrive Sample).