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.
If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.
And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.
Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.
Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.
For a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat, check the compiled Edelweiss list here.
And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:
July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s.
Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.
Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”
I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”
And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.
Epic Historical Fiction
Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.
Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”
Winston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”
The Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”
Many have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe(PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.
Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.
Check your orders, a new nonfiction account of the 1971 Attica Prison rebellion that led to a multi-day standoff, dozens of deaths, and a tense, politically charged aftermath, is making news and building a strong holds list.
Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) published this week is getting attention because, unlike previous authors and some news organizations, she names the officers she believes shot and killed inmates and, in friendly fire, the prison guards taken hostage during the standoff. CBS News reported the story, also highlighting Thompson’s discussion of then Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s “secret efforts afterward to establish an acceptable narrative of what happened.”
Thompson’s account is also catching Hollywood’s attention. Variety reports it will make its way to movie theaters as TriStar Pictures just won a “heated bidding war” for film rights, with a production crew already named.
Libraries that bought it, ordered very few copies. Some are showing holds topping 5:1.
The fall reading season is about to begin, heralded by the appearance of season previews. New York Magazine kicks it off with a list of 45 titles (UPDATE: The list is now available online as well as part of the “Entertainment Generator“).
Also included is Alan Moore’s eagerly awaited Jerusalem (Norton/Liveright, Sept. 13). Moore is known for his graphic novels, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, but this new book is a non-graphic prose novel and a long one, ranging over 1200 pages. As the NYT explains, it is “centered on Northampton, England, Mr. Moore’s hometown [and] will combine historical fiction and fantasy. Mr. Moore has said the novel, which explores, among other subjects, the time-space continuum, is intended to ‘disprove the existence of death.'”
The author of the long-running trade paperback best seller, A Man Called Ove, and two LibraryReads picks, Britt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, (also currently a best seller in trade paperback), Fredrik Backman, has signed a deal to publish three new novels and a novella with S&S/Atria. Significantly, the news is reported by Deadline Hollywood, indicating the author has caught the attention of the U.S. movie business.
Coming first, on Nov. 1, is the novella, And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer(S&S/Atria; ISBN 9781501160486). Deadline says, like Ove, it “centers on an elderly man, who struggles to hold on to his memories, face his regrets and help his son and grandson prepare for his death.” It will be issued in a “small-format hardcover,” with illustrations.
The first of the three novels will be titled Beartown (S&S/Atria, May 2, 2017; ISBN 9781501160769). Deadline says “It concerns a depressed town whose hopes for a brighter future rest on its junior ice hockey team as it goes after the national title.”
Meanwhile, the Swedish-language film adaptation of A Man Called Ove will open in limited release on Sept. 30 (some sources list iy for release at the end of this month, but Sept. 30 now seems to be official).
Variety reviewed it when it was shown at the Goteborg Film Festival in February, calling the subtitled film “irresistible” and “A touching comic crowdpleaser,” commenting on the “terrific” cast and cinematography that makes it “a pleasure to watch.”
Variety notes that Music Box Films won US distribution ights. Theyhave previously brought to the U.S. such Swedish imports as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
Fall is on the way, as Entertainment Weekly‘s current double issue reminds us, with its previews of 104 major movie releases through December.
Many of those films, including the one on the cover, had their beginnings as books, some with strong literary credentials, like Ang Lee’s adaptation of the award winning Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk or major best seller status, like The Girl on the Train and The Light Between Oceans.
One of the most heavily anticipated movies, however is based on a lesser-known title,The Queen of Katwe(S&S/Scribner), the biography of an unlikely chess champion, a young girl from a poor family in Uganda. The Disney movie, directed by Mira Nair, is already being touted as a film to break through #OscarsSoWhite.
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.
The new novel picks “up right where that first book left off” says NPR reviewer Amal El-Mohtart, “plunging us deep into the Evil Earth and all its machinations after the first” (The Fifth Season). She continues, it “pole-vaults over the expectations I had for what epic fantasy should be and stands in magnificent testimony to what it could be.”
The SF site, Tor.com has different take on the book, writing “The Obelisk Gate is small and safe where The Fifth Season was large and surprising.” It happens that El-Mohtart also writes for Tor.com and begins a short exchange with their reviewer in the comments section, helping RA librarians by speculating that reading both books back-to-back might affect a readers perception.
io9 sides with El-Mohtart regardless of reading order. They featured the book in their August list of “15 Must-Read” titles for the month.
The Fantasy fan world initially took note of the author when she won the Locus award in the first novel category for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Her profile rose even higher when The Fifth Season was shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. It also hit many best books lists for the year, including the New York Times and the Washington Post‘s.
She is known for elaborate world-building, her unique settings, far beyond the typical locales for Fantasy, and her strong point of view. As The Guardian puts it, “Stereotypical fantasy series like, say, The Lord of the Rings, usually present a virtuous status quo threatened by a dark and eventually defeated outsider. But Jemisin’s stories almost always involve a flawed order, and the efforts (also flawed) to overthrow it.”
Host Terry Gross talked with the author, Ed Yong, a writer at the The Atlantic and for National Geographic‘s “science salon,” Phenomena. The early part of the interview is a not-for-dinner-table conversation about fecal transplants and “fake poop.” It then moves to a more wide ranging and fascinating exploration of what the microbiome and its nearly countless numbers do.
One intriguing outtake is the fact that humans have evolved so that the sugars in breast milk feed the microbes in a baby’s stomach, sugars specifically meant for the microbe as the baby cannot digest them. Yong says “So breast milk isn’t just a way of nourishing an infant. It’s a way of nourishing babies’ first microbes. It’s really a way of engineering an entire world inside a baby’s body. You know, breastfeeding mother is a sculptor of ecosystems.”
There is also a microbe called Wolbachia that “allows some caterpillars that eat leaves to stop the leaves from turning yellow. It actually holds back the progress of fall so that … its hosts can have more to eat.”
To close the interview Gross asks Yong what he thinks about now that he knows about the microbiome multitudes and he says,
“all this biology which I thought I knew, all these creatures, these elephants and hawks and fish that I was fascinated by, these things I could see with my eyes, are actually deeply and profoundly influenced by things that I cannot see. And I know that if I go to a zoo now that every animal and every visitor in that zoo is in fact a zoo in its own right.”
Just last month, on the launch day for the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling told the press that the story was now complete, saying, Potter “goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done.”
In what seems like a reversal, she announced yesterday that she is returning to the wizarding world with a series of spin-off ebooks featuring characters from Hogwarts.
As The Guardian reports, starting on September 6, the tales will appear as short e-only editions, “Called Pottermore Presents, the series is a collection of Rowling’s writing for Pottermore.com, as well as new stories about characters including Potter’s potions master Horace Slughorn, Hogwarts headteacher Professor Minerva McGonagall and Ministry of Magic bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge.”
Pottermore calls them “a series of bite-sized eBooks that dig deep into the Harry Potter stories, with titbits taken from Pottermore’s archives and original writing from J.K. Rowling. The series offers Harry Potter fans added insights into the stories, settings and characters and were all lovingly curated by Pottermore.”
Potter more further teases, “for those who want to quench their thirst for more knowledge about the wizarding world, such as why the Black family bestow such odd names to their children, how a witch or wizard becomes a portrait, or what J.K. Rowling really thinks about Professor Umbridge, step right this way to find out.”
The titles are available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes but are not yet showing in library vendor systems.
Ted Chiang has won a remarkable number of major science fiction awards. That is even more remarkable when you realize that his output has been relatively small, just 15 short stories, most of them originally published in magazines. A collected edition of some of his short stories, Stories Of Your Life And Others (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; OverDrive Sample), is called by the publisher “the most awarded collection in history” even though, technically, it’s not the collection that was awarded, but the stories in it.
In a recent interview in Electric Literature, Chiang’s work is described as managing to “capture the human drama behind philosophical questions, in clear and spare prose that seduces with its simplicity.”
That doesn’t sound like the type of science fiction that generally makes it to the big screen (in an interview last year, he dismissed movies like Star Wars as “adventure stories dressed up with lasers.”)
Nevertheless, a $50 million dollar adaptation of the title story from the collection, Story of Your Life is headed to screens this fall, with the title Arrival.
Chiang says that, after he first got the idea to write about a woman trying to communicate with aliens and having her own life profoundly changed as a result, he studied linguistics for four years as preparation.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, the movie will arrive in theaters on November 11. The first trailer was just released.
Trevor Noah took over hosting The Daily Show from Jon Stewart last year. His predecessor was beloved by publishers for the many writers he featured on the show and for the resulting bumps in sales of their books.
Noah has not followed in those footsteps. While he has featured writers, they have been the usual late show mix of well known comedians and politicians who just happen to have written books and those appearances have rarely produced noticeable sales bumps.
Noah is passionate about the book, calling it “one of the most fantastic books I have read in a long time,” continuing that it is a “powerful … beautiful story … hopeful while at the same time being very realistic … you cry and you laugh as you are reading it.”
Gyasi says her visit to a slave fort in Ghana spurred her to write about the “diaspora as a family … if you go back far enough in time the thing that connects us … both African immigrants and African Americans … is the fact that we were all related … I wanted to bring it down to that most elemental level … to connect the family for all of us.” She also says that the story of slavery cannot be told without including the role played by African slave traders.
Noah closed the brief interview by reminding the audience that Gyasi’s novel is being hailed as “the new Roots of our generation” and saying he expects to be hearing more from her.
A circuitous publishing path has brought new attention to a frontier memoir, recounting the hardscrabble life in Arkansas and on the Mississippi Delta during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, Mary Mann Hamilton (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, the book is rising on Amazon, leapfrogging over a thousand other books to move from #1,170 to #76.
Hamilton’s life story first saw the light of day when a neighbor urged her to enter her journal into a writing competition sponsored by publisher Little, Brown in 1933. It did not win and languished in a box kept under a bed, until the University Press of Mississippi published it to little fanfare in 1992 (although it was reviewed by the New York Times). Coming full circle, Little, Brown, has just published a new edition.
NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan calls it a “standout,” with a “blunt voice” that makes vivid the world Hamilton occupied. Highlighting a racist passage, she warns some of the “sections are ugly and tough to read” but that ultimately the book is rewarding, revealing the wildness of that world and “just how easy it was to vanish in an earlier America.”
USA Today gave it three out of four stars, writing it “underscores the huge power of unvarnished storytelling.”
The Chicago Tribune writes vividly about the “backbreaking labor” and wilderness Hamilton existed within, offering a picture of a woman tough as nails. In an especially intense example: soon after Hamilton gave birth, her home was cut off by flood waters, she “shelters with her daughter and three-month-old baby on a tree stump while bears swim past in the flood, not knowing whether her husband is dead or alive.”
Similar to the unexpected success of another frontier memoir, Pioneer Girl, holds are growing and inventory is low. In libraries we checked some systems are showing hold figures as high as 6:1.
The publication of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe, Sept. 6) by Margot Lee Sheerly is heralded by not just a book trailer, but a full-fledged movie trailer for a major release, coming in January. As a result, the book jumped up Amazon’s sales rankings.
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.
Earlier this year, another book on a different group of women in the space program was released, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, Nathalia Holt (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample). Also called ‘human computers” like the women in Langley, they worked in the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California in the 1960’s. One of them, Janez Lawson, was African American.