As we noted last week, People magazine’s redesign under new Editorial Director, Jess Cagle, subsumes book reviews into the new upfront “People Picks” section.
In the second week of the new design, “The Best New Books” rate a bit higher than last — they are now at #6, up from #9, and feature 3 titles that are slightly more below the radar than last week’s, plus three books by “celebrities” (including “Twitter phenom” Jenny Mollen’s book of essays, I Like You Just the Way I Am; former Days of Our Lives star Alison Sweeney’s’ novel, Scared Scriptless and Fox News anchor Bret Aailer’s memoir about dealing with his son’s congenital heart disease, Special Heart).
But you can’t keep books out of popular culture; they sneak into some of the other picks:
#2 Movie: How to Train Your Dragon 2. Book Connection: Based on the kids series by Cressida Cowell, the movie opens this week (see our roundup of tie-ins). Variety calls it, “DreamWorks Animation’s strongest sequel yet — one that breathes fresh fire into the franchise, instead of merely rehashing the original. Braver than Brave, more fun than Frozen and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers.”
#3 TV Drama: PBS Masterpiece Mystery miniseries, The Escape Artist. Book Connection: Show creator David Wolstencroft wrote two spy novels, Good News, Bad News and Contact Zero. WorldCat shows copies are still in many library collections.
#5 Pop Single: Rita Ora I Will Never Let You Down. Book Connection: This one is admittedly very tenuous. Ora plays Mia, Christian’s sister, in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.
#8 TV Series: Episode 10 in the new season of Game of Thrones. Book Connection: Obvious.
The actual books, at #6 are:
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Courtney Maum, (S&S/Touchstone) — This debut is a LibraryReads pick for June and People’s “Book of the Week.”
Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked, Paul Raeburn, (Macmillan/Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux) — We’re guessing that the answer is “Yes.” This is one of the issue’s many nods (including the cover story) to Father’s Day.
Euphoria, Lily King, (Grove/Atlantic, June) — Librarians have buzzed this one on GalleyChat, recommending it for fans of Horan’s Loving Frank and McLain’s The Paris Wife. It’s loosely based on Margaret Mead’s journals (if a novel based on the anthropologist’s life doesn’t sound like a promising readalike, consider that it involves a love triangle). People calls it “transporting.” Early readers we trust say, “King’s language is as lush as the landscape.”
Books also sneak into the features features, in the form of an interview with Mary Rockefeller Morgan, the twin of Michael Rockefeller, who disappeared in New Guinea in the early sixties. She recently updated her book about the loss, an eBook from a devision of Open Road Media, When Grief Calls Forth the Healing.
Open Road ebooks are available for library lending.
Another book on the story (which Morgan say prompted her to update her book), Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman, (HarperCollins/Morrow), was published in March.