Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Nine Titles to Know,
The Week of Feb. 2

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The ground hog should come out of hibernation next week to read new titles by Kristin Hannah, Lisa Gardner, and Nick Hornby and to see if yet another in the list of anticipated heirs to Gone Girl’s mantle lives up to expectations.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable books arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 2, 2015

Holds Leaders

9780312577223_c0c47  9780525954569_b8b58

One of the holds leaders of the week, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio, OverDrive Sample) is getting love from a wide range of sources. It’s been a favorite of librarians on GalleyChat, picked by independent booksellers as the #1 Indie Next title for February, and by Pennie Clark Ianniciello, the book buyer for Costco’s,  with a feature in this month’s Costco Connection. A full-page ad in the 2/1 NYT BR follows one for the title that is neck and neck in number of holds, Lisa Gardner’s Crash & Burn.(Penguin/Dutton, OverDrive Sample)

Advance Attention

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Funny Girl, Nick Hornby, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT; OverDrive Sample)

In an advance review in yesterday’s New York Times, Janet Maslin says Hornby’s latest “packs in lots of laughs, but it’s also got more heft than Mr. Hornby’s readers may expect.”  This is the first book in five years for the author, who divides his time between writing novels and screenplays (Wild and the forthcoming Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín). He’s also been writing a comedy series for the BBC, so it is no surprise that this novel, set in the ’60s, is about a young woman who wants to become the next Lucile Ball.

People magazine’s current “Book of the Week,” if it brings a run on Hornby’s previous titles, they have been re-released in trade paperback, as the full-page ad in the NYT announces, with a “stunning new look.”

The Sculptor, Scott McCloud, (Macmillan/First Second)

As we wrote earlier, McCloud’s magnum opus graphic novel has been getting major buzz in the comics world. This week, it gets an early review in ComicBook.com, “juxtaposes fantastical imagery with small human moments, both clarifying why this story could only be told as a comic and constructing a deeply compassionate story”and Paste magazine, “McCloud marries [his] rigorous academia to an evocative epic that explores the metaphysics and emotions of creation. Drafted over five years, this 500-page tome chronicles David, an abrasive, obsessive artist, in his journey to create a masterpiece that will survive his own mortality.” NPR chimes in with an “exclusive first read” on their site.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, Paul Fischer, (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Talk about timing. This true story comes right on the heels of The Interview controversy, which brought early coverage in the NYT (Dec. 31), followed by an interview with the author this week in the Wall Street Journal and is the source for an in-depth opinion piece in a Washington Post blog.

Picks

Kind worth  9780062316899_93d95  9781608196883_b44f3

The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower is an early fan of Swanson’s second novel. Weary of comparing each new psychological suspense novel to Gone Girl, she says this is the next Girl on the Train because, “The sympathetic characters were are and far between and the twists and turns didn’t stop until the perfect ending.” She adds,  “Get lots of copies so you’ll have a ‘sure-bet’ handy for your patrons.”  She’s clearly been spreading the word, of the books coming out this week, it gets the most  librarian “love” on Edelweiss. She’s backed up by Entertainment Weekly, which lists it in their 2015 preview  of “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015,” as one of three successors to Gone Girl, along with The Girl On The Train and The Daylight Marriage(Algonquin, May, eARCs available from Edelweiss and NetGalley). Swanson won high praise for his first novel, which came out just a year ago,  The Girl With a Clock for a Heart.

A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers, Hazel Gaynor (HarperCollins/ Morrow trade paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

A Galley Chat favorite in December, described as, “a historical novel based on actual events, an interesting look at a sad time in London history when many homeless children were required to sell flowers and watercress on the streets by day and sleep in doorways by night.”

We Are Pirates, Daniel Handler, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

An Indie Next pick for February, it gets a strong blurb from Neil Gaiman,  “Honest and funny, dark and painful, We Are Pirates reads like the result of a nightmarish mating experiment between Joseph Heller and Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s the strangest, most brilliant offering yet from the mind behind Lemony Snicket.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9781476755717_54862-2Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, Bill Browder, (S&S; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

An exposé about the 2009 torture and murder of a Russian whistle-blower in a Moscow prison, the author is set to appear on several FOX News shows as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

————

Lisbeth Returns

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

13014080_O_1   Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The fourth book in The Millennial series, which began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, (Swedish cover on the left, above, next to the familiar American cover) will be published in August, as originally announced at the end of 2013, confirms the Swedish publisher Norstedts. Titled That Which Does Not Kill, it is written by the Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz.

There’s not much information available on the content of the book. As The Guardian comments, “the author remained tight-lipped about the meaning of the title or what direction the action-packed political thriller – 500 pages long in Swedish – will take,” telling the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, simply “What I wanted to make use of in the book was the vast mythology that Stieg Larsson left behind, the world he created.” When the project was first announced, the publisher said it has nothing to do with the manuscript that Larsson left unfinished when he died in 2004 (the series was originally planned as ten books and there is a legal dispute over ownership of the rights to the unfinished manuscript).

There’s no news yet on which company will publish the book in the U.S. and the possible contenders represent a tale of modern publishing consolidation. The previous titles in The Millennial series were published in the U.K. by Quercus and in the U.S. by RH/Knopf. Since then, Quercus opened offices in the U.S., launching in 2013 with a collection of Larsson’s articles, The Expo Files. After financial struggles, the entire company was acquired by Hachette last September and, according to  PW,  a new publisher of the U.S. division was named just a couple of weeks ago, reporting to the Little, Brown imprint. So, the Swedish publisher may have followed tradition and sold the rights to the Quercus division Hachette in the U.K., followed by RH/Knopf in the U.S., or they may have sold both the U.S. and U.K. rights to Hachette.

Then again, they maybe going with another publisher entirely. There also remains the question of whether a Stieg Larsson book without Stieg Larsson will attract readers.

Science Confirms, Teen Brains Are Different

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

9780062067845_67a89On NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Terry Gross interviewed neuroscientist Frances Jensen, the author of The Teenage Brain, (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Jensen confirms with remarkable clarity what many parents have observed, that it takes a long time for the human brain to fully mature and develop the ability to control impulses.

Zillow Book: A Hot Property

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.40.40 AMThe CEO of the online site that many check regularly to find out the value of their homes, Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, appeared  on CBS This Morning to promote his new book  Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The book, which offers a new – and often contrary – take on common real estate myths (today, “location, location, location” can be further refined to “close to a Starbucks”), is zooming up Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently at #8. Many libraries have not yet ordered it.

A Two-Author Week on Jon Stewart

Monday, January 26th, 2015

After a several weeks of an author drought, The Daily Show ramps up its book coverage with two authors appearing this week: Jill Leovy, on Tuesday, and Sarah Chayes on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 12.11.33 PMAs we reported last week, Leovy’s Ghettoside (RH/Spiegel & Grau; OverDrive Sample), a gripping journalistic investigation into the murder of a young black man in Los Angeles, is getting strong coverage in The New York Times and on NPR. The author’s appearance with Stewart should bring her to the attention of an even wider readership. Holdings and holds vary across the country with some libraries yet to buy, some with light holds, and others with holds as high as 11:1. Fair warning: Ghettoside seems destined to be an important book on an important conversation that will continue for years to come. As The New York Times put it in their Sunday cover, “Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights — and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter,’ showing how the ‘system’s failure to catch killers effectively made black lives cheap.’”

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 12.10.47 PMSarah Chayes’s Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, (W. W. Norton) has gotten far less media attention although NPR’s All Things Considered did a story on Jan. 16th and The Washington Post gave the book a generally favorable review on the same day. Holds are light in libraries we checked, but Stewart can be relied upon to create at least a short-term bump in demand. Certainly Chayes’s book, which identifies corruption as the link between a number of political hotspots spiraling out of control, provides Stewart with a wind-up pitch he can hit out of the park.

A Tale of Two #1 Best Sellers

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fulfilling rumors from yesterday, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample), is an instant #1 NYT best seller, debuting during its first week on sale. In a slight adjustment to the rumor, it arrives at #1 on the Combined Fiction list, but not on the Hardcover Fiction list. On that list, the number one spot is still held by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), on the list after 37 weeks, representing another unusual trajectory, the slow and steady rise.

Is The Girl on the Train actually a debut, as is widely claimed? Not according to Gregory Cowles in the NYT‘s “Inside the List” column, it can only be counted as a debut thriller, since, as Hawkins herself says in an NPR interview, she previously published romantic fiction under a pseudonym (The Wall Street Journal identifies her alias as Amy Silver; WorldCat lists all three of Silver’s titles as only published in the U.K. and only held in U.K. libraries).

Still, a book by an author with no identifiable track record arriving at #1 during it’s first week on sale is a major feat (it wasn’t until “debut” author Robert Galbraith was revealed as actually being the famous writer of a certain series of childrens book that The Cuckoo’s Calling hit best seller lists, several months after publication).

As we noted earlier, to our knowledge, there’s been only one debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale, Elizabeth Kostova’s first book, The Historian, (Hachette/Little, Brown). It debuted on the hardcover list in 2005, back before there was an ebook list, so technically, that record still holds.

If you look at other lists, the story is different. On the PW/BookScan list,  The Girl on the Train is #2, after Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (RH/Bantam) and All the Light We Cannot See is at #3.

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The other debut novel on the new hardcover fiction list is The First Bad Man by Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), arriving at #6, after a barrage of media attention, not all of it positive. The best seller list annotation makes it sound like Fifty Shades of Grey, “A houseguest forces a passive woman into a bizarre but liberating sexual relationship.” Reviewing it, the NYT’s Michiko Kakutani said, “The novel starts off tentatively, veers into derivative and willfully sensational theater-of-the-absurd drama — part Pinter, part Genet — and then mutates, miraculously, into an immensely moving portrait of motherhood and what it means to take care of a child.” A few libraries are showing heavy holds.

On the Combined Nonfiction list, Ghost BoyThe Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius (Simon & Schuster, 2011; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #5, long after its original publication, due to attention from the new NPR show, Invisibilia, (see our earlier story). Several libraries have ordered additional copies (it is now available in trade paperback) because of  heavy holds.

Debuting on the Combined Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list at #8, is a title that some libraries have not yet ordered, Picture Your Prosperity, by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, (Penguin/Portfolio; Penguin Audio, 1/13/15). It’s been covered in the business press (the NYT Business section, and in Forbes).

Books Set to Explode,
Week of Jan 26

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Arriving next week are two explosive books. Ghettoside, by L.A. Times journalist Jill Leovy, investigates how our criminal justice system fails African Americans and is already making headlines. The other, James Patterson’s latest, is literally exploding as part of a promotional stunt.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 26.

Holds Leader

9780316211130_dcb2dPrivate Vegas, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio)

In most libraries, the holds leader for this week is still lagging behind the holds leader from last week. In most libraries, the debut phenomenon, The Girl on the Train tops Private Vegas.

Perhaps feeling the heat, Patterson has crafted a new promotion. Private Vegas will literally explode, for the fan willing to pay $300,000 for the privilege (also included, a trip to Vegas and dinner with Patterson). The less well heeled can sign up for a chance to win a self-destructing eBook. Others can get a similar thrill by checking out library eBooks.

Media Attention

9780385529983_bd29dGhettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill Leovy, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Michael Connelly’s cover blurb, “Gritty, heart-wrenching … Everyone needs to read this book, ” is one you might expect to find on a novel, but this book is nonfiction, an investigation into the murder of a young black man in Los Angeles by an L.A. Times reporter. Flavorwire picks it as one of “10 Nonfiction Books That Will Define the Conversation in 2015″ and it seems to be doing just that, with advance coverage that includes:

New York Timesreview by Dwight Garner – Jan. 22

L.A. Times — Review, “Ghettoside focuses on one L.A. murder to make case for more policing” – Jan. 22

New York Times Book Review Cover review – Jan. 25

Features are also planned on NPR:

NPR Weekend Edition – 1/24

NPR Fresh Air – 1/26 or 1/27

Picks of the Week

9780062072948_439b2The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, Julia Quinn, (HarperCollins/Avon; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

A February LibraryReads Pick:

“At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy’s eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard’s motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping.” — Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT

9781627791991_67ddbThe Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, Sharma Shields, (Macmillan/Holt paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

On O magazine’s list of “10 books to pick up now” (link not available) and Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” (it also gets an A in the review section):

“A young boy grows up obsessed with the creatures known as Bigfoots — understandable, considering his mother ran away with one — and goes on to raise a very unusual family in this wildly fantastical debut novel.”

9780451471475_c55f3I Was Here, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile; OverDrive Sample; Listening Library)

A People pick (note, it is a YA title, which People doesn’t mention, attesting to its crossover appeal)

“‘It’s not your fault.’ So ends Meg’s suicide note to Cody. Still, Cody can’t help but feel guilty — how could she not have known that her best friend was suicidal? But when Cody goes to Meg’s college to pack up her things, she realizes there’s a lot she didn’t know. A heartbreaking novel about coping with loss from the bestselling author of If I Stay.’

9780544315495_b2fafThe Jaguar’s Children, John Vaillant, (HMH; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Reviewed by Alan Cheese on All Things Considered, 1/20/15

IndieNext pick:

“Vaillant has established his reputation as an accomplished writer of nonfiction, and he now brings his considerable talent to this debut novel. There are no easy moments in this story told by Hector, a young man engaged in an illegal border crossing inside a sealed tanker truck. Vaillant uses Hector’s narration to bring the frequent brutality of the illegal immigration experience to light in visceral detail, engaging both the reader’s sympathy and revulsion, which linger long after the last page is turned.” — Fran Keilty, The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT

9781602862524_57e05Wolf Winter, Cecilia Ekbäck, (Perseus/Weinstein; Recorded Books)

IndieNext pick:

“Maija, her husband, Paavo, and their daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, leave Finland to settle in Lapland in the beautiful area near Blackasen Mountain. One day, Frederika discovers the body of one of the villagers. Was he killed by wolves or was he murdered? What powers does the mountain have? The harsh ‘wolf winter’ brings the settlers together to survive, but what tragedies, secrets, customs, and vengeance are they hiding? When Maija and her family arrived at the mountain, readers were told, ‘This was the kind of land that didn’t know how to let go.’ Ekb?ck’s intriguing tale of Swedish Lapland in 1717 gives insight into the land and people of the far north and is also hard to let go.” — Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT 

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is #1

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Girl on the TrainWe’re hearing rumors that the debut rapidly racking up holds in libraries, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample), will hit the tomorrow’s NYT best seller list at #1.

UPDATE: EarlyWord just received confirmation from the publisher that it is indeed an instant best seller, debuting on the Feb. 1st list, to be released online tomorrow.

This makes it only the second debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale (the record was set in 2005 by Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian).

The book it is often compared to, Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s third novel, also made its debut on the list at #1 in June, 2012.

Author Paul Hawkins is one of the speakers at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting, on the LibraryReads/AAP panel (sorry, that event is now completely booked). She will also sign in Penguin Booth #4823 on Jan. 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

Making Headlines:
GUANTÁNAMO DIARY

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Guantanamo DiaryBook news is currently dominated by Guantánamo Diary  (Hachette/Little, Brown), a memoir by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Larry Siems. The author, who is still being held at the prison, details the tortures he has endured there. Featured on yesterday’s Morning Edition, the host noted, “The Pentagon confirmed to NPR that for a brief period at Guantanamo in 2003, a ‘special interrogation plan’ was designed for Slahi, and it was outside the military’s own standard interrogation procedures.”

Excerpts are published in People magazine, it will be on the cover of the Feb. 15 NYT Book Review (online now, three weeks ahead of the print version, presumably to coincide with the publication), is featured in the L.A. Times, reviewed by The Washington Post. and the basis for a NYT Op-Ed piece.

The Guardian. which is serializing the book, features a documentary about it on their Web site:

In the U.K., celebrities, including Colin Firth, Jude Law, Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Cave are supporting the “Free Slahi” campaign.

Check your orders. Most libraries have ordered conservatively and holds are light so far, but we expect them to surge as the story creates even more headlines.

UPDATE: coverage is expected on Friday’s PBS Newshour. ABC This Week is planning coverage, TBA, and the daily NYT is also planning a review. The book was embargoed, so no advance reviews. LJ noted it in Prepub Alert in July and  Kirkus  just posted their review online.

Guantánamo Diary
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, edited by Larry Siems,
Hachette/Little, Brown,  January 20, 2015
Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio,  9781478986942
E-Book, 9780316328609

NPR Book Club Wraps

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

9780374280604_abe23The new NPR Morning Edition book club wrapped up today with a discussion of the first selection, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct), picked in December by bookstore owner and author Ann Patchett.

The book, which has hit the lower rungs of the NYT best seller list as a result of the section, is also one of five finalists for the NBCC Nonfiction Award, announced yesterday and  has been made into a movie, titled The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Gabriel Byrne. Currently in post-production, the release date has not yet been announced.

The next title in the club will be announced soon; we will let you know when it is.

Buy Alert: MARCH, BOOK TWO

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

marchbookone_softcover_lg  march_book_two_72dpi_lg

The second book of the award-winning graphic memoir by Congressman John Lewis, the next in a planned trilogy, arrives today.

Featured today in Entertainment Weekly ‘s “Shelf Life” column, the story notes that Book One, “took the world by surprise. Acclaimed by the comics press and social justice activists alike, it was an engaging and accessible work of nonfiction about one of the most important moments in American history.” It also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, one of YALSA’s Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens and was on multiple best books list for the year.

Book Two may have taken the library world by surprise. Reviewed last week in Kirkus and yesterday in SLJ‘s “Good Comics for Kids” column, it does not appear on library catalogs we checked.

March: Book Two
Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Top Shelf; January 20, 2015

m00eIn a  feature about the books on CNN in July, Lewis said he used the comic format because many in his generation in the ’60s were deeply inspired by a comic book called Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story (watch the video to the end, for a story about libraries).

Top Shelf Comics has republished that comic book in print as well as in a digital bundle with Book One.

RA Alert: Scott McCloud’s
THE SCULPTOR

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 5.07.12 PM

The book on many a comics readers’ mind in the next few weeks (and maybe all year) will be Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor (Macmillan/First Second, Feb. 3), a massive 496 page graphic novel that Cory Doctorow called McCloud’s “magnum opus” back in April. Due out on February 3rd, it is the story of a washed up young artist who makes a deal with Death to create art that will be remembered – but he only gets to live 200 days to do so.

The comic book scene is buzzing with anticipation and Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015.” For advisors who need a bit of backstory, McCloud is a writer/artist that readers treasure for his nonfiction books (drawn, of course) explaining how comics work (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics - all published by William Morrow). The Sculptor is his first graphic novel in over a decade and follows in the wake of his cult favorite title Zot! (which HarperCollins reprinted in 2008). McCloud discussed creating the book, which took five years, in USA Today last June, sharing that he wanted to make a book that was “an engrossing read — a page-turner from beginning to end.”

Macmillan offers a look at McCloud’s innovative page design, use of perspective, and his color palette of pale blues and deep blacks. First Second provides more images as well as a glimpse of the cover and the spine – showing just how big a book The Sculptor is.

Many libraries have yet to order it, in spite of glowing reviews and stars from library trade journals and the long-simmering publicity.

Pierce Brown, Best Seller

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Red Rising  golden-sun

Debuting on the Jan. 25 NYT hardcover fiction best seller list at #6 is the second in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), surpassing the first book, which spent three weeks on the extended list.

Librarians have been big supporters of the series, making the first title the #1 LibraryRead pick last February. Golden Son is on the current list, with the following recommendation:

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”

Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD

Entertainment Weekly calls it the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut.”

It is the lead in this week’s NYT BR “Inside the List” column.

“Unexpected” Best Seller Continues

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

9781476746586_95d5dThe Jan. 25 New York Times best seller lists are studded with new titles, but the real surprise is a book that has already been on the hardcover fiction list for 36 weeks. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio) is not only remarkable for its tenure on the list, but for its gradual rise to number one.

In December, the New York Times examined the factors that went in to making this “unexpected breakout bestseller.” At that point, it had just climbed from #6 to #2. As S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy observed, “An awful lot of titles drop off the best-seller list after four months, and it’s a miracle if it lasts more than four months,” but even more surprising, this one, “not only kept going, but the longer it went, the bigger it got.”

The book emerged last February as a favorite among librarians on GalleyChat, and went on to become a May LibraryReads pick and a LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites.

Many libraries continue to show heavy holds (we issued a holds alert for it back in April last year). One large system expects interest to continue, having just entered a substantial reorder. The trade paperback is currently scheduled to release in June, but don’t count on that if the hardcover continues selling.

Next week, we’ll see if it continues at number one, or whether The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead) takes that spot.

A Dozen Titles for Readers Advisors, Week of Jan. 19

Friday, January 16th, 2015

With no blockbuster names arriving next week, readers advisors can concentrate on the many picks by colleagues.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan. 26, 2015

Advance Attention

9781594205866_67fe3  9780312622954_970fa  9780393244076_89390

Leaving Before the Rains Come, Alexandra Fuller, (Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Fans of Fuller’s previous autobiographies, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, will want to know whether this new one is as good. Entertainment Weekly‘s top book critic Tina Jordan, clearly a Fuller fan, says in the new issue’s lead review it is even better than the others and gives it a resounding A. It also received an early review in last week’s NYT BR, and the author is profiled in Home & Garden section.

It is also an Indie Next pick:

“Fans of Fuller’s African adventures will be thrilled to find she is back with another engaging memoir, and new readers will want to read her previous works. In Leaving Before the Rains Come, Fuller tells of her unraveling marriage and her realization that she is a person truly between countries, living in the U.S. with her husband and children while her heart and soul remain in Africa. Her experiences in the States change her, and when she returns to Africa she discovers that she no longer fits in as she previously had. Fuller must face some tough questions about who she is and where she belongs, and she does so with her usual intelligence and wit.” —Liz Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, AK

Fear the Darkness: A Thriller, Becky Masterman, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample);

Janet Maslin gives Fear the Darkness early attention in the daily NYT this week. Clearly expecting a winner, based on the authors previous title, Rage Against the Dying, she calls this one “another strong display of the author’s ingenuity” but seems let down by the book’s “involving, if not electrifying, first half.”  In the end, however, she says the “book’s later stages are easily its best and well worth waiting for.”

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner, (Norton)

The NYT covers this book by the Pulitzer Prize winner in a story that should fascinate anyone interested in research.

People Picks 

9781476755670_38252  9780316373807_9d3b9  9780374223953_a0268

Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper, (S&S; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick of the Week, 1/26/15;  ” … a lovely book you’ll want to linger over.”

Also an Indie Next pick:

“Eighty-three-year-old Etta Vogel quietly sets out one day to walk 3,200 kilometers to the coast of Canada for her first view of the ocean. As Etta travels, author Hooper gently and poignantly reveals a lifetime of morally charged events that shaped Etta as well as her husband, Otto, and her lifelong friend, Russell. This is a beautiful and sometimes hauntingly stark portrait of three WWII-generation lives, sprinkled with the wise counsel of a loyal coyote named James. I loved it!” — Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

See How Small, Scott Blackwood, (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

‘This strange and mesmerizing novel begins with the murder of three teenage girls in an Austin ice-cream shop, then traces the crime’s impact on survivors, including a mother, a witness and an accomplice to the crime. In lyrical, often dream-like prose, Blackwood illuminates the nature of grief and the connections among the living and the dead.”

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adam, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

People Pick, 1/26/15:

”One day David Adam was a regular guy; the next he scraped himself on a screw and panicked that he’d contracted AIDS. For more than a decade that thought dominated his life. Part memoir, part exploration of the science behind OCD, The Man Who Couldn’t stop is an obsessive read and one with heart.’

LibraryReads Pick

First 9781250019837_9abf8Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample)

Both a LibraryReads and Indie Next pick

LibraryReads recommendation:

First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.” — Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ

GalleyChat Pick

9780802123190_da341Before He Finds Her, Michael Kardos, (Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press)

GalleyChat Fave, Sept:

“I loved Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair (2012) and was sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved, so I’m keeping fingers crossed that his newest will find a bigger audience. This fast moving plot about a man who murdered his wife and may be looking for his missing daughter is told from multiple viewpoints and is perfect for Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay readers.” — Robin Beerbower, EarlyWord

Indie Next Picks

9780871407900_0d56aSweetland, Michael Crummey, (Norton/Liveright)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Crummey takes readers into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland. Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland’s family founded the town, and he is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate to the mainland that is effective only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.” —Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

9780062346032_d56d4Migratory Animals, Mary Helen Specht, (Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next recommendation:

“Specht’s novel weaves together stories of science and art, friends faraway and family returned. Migratory Animals is a coming-of-age tale for grown-ups, a reminder that growing pains don’t stop as we age and change and become who we’re supposed to be — or who we hope to be. Flannery and her friends will grab hold of you and not let go until the last page has been turned.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780525427506_43541Unbecoming, Rebecca Scherm, (Penguin/Viking, BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Julie rents a room in a dilapidated house outside of Paris. She repairs antiques, mostly things no one else wants, and is a loner with no friends or social life. In her room at night, she reads the news from Garland, Tennessee, her hometown, where two men are about to be let out on parole for a crime for which she was the mastermind. Julie is terrified of being found and is just trying to survive. This is an exhilarating page-turner with multi-layered characters and several good twists. Once you hit the halfway point, it’s a race to the finish to find out what’s going to happen.” —Amanda Skelton, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN – See also, our chat with the author, Rebecca Scherm. 

9781616954277_51a87Morte, Robert Repino, (Penguin/Viking; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“Ants conquer the world and pets overthrow their masters in this smart, gripping novel. House cat Sebastian becomes Mort(e), a fearsome warrior for the animal cause. Battling across a dystopian landscape, flushing out the few human survivors, Mort(e) can never quite forget his domesticated past and lost friend, the dog Sheba. A crisis of conscience ensues. What is good? Who is evil? Are the dictatorial ants truly better than the humans with their germ warfare? Laced with humor, this action-packed thriller is thought-provoking.” — Mariga Temple-West, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA