Editors Note: GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower is off this month and we’re grateful to one of our go-to readers advisors, Jennifer Dayton of Darien (CT) Public Library for rounding up the titles from the most recent GalleyChat.
It may be summertime and the living may be easy, but GalleyChatters are relentless in their quest for the next great thing. During the most recent chat, women’s history was a strong theme on the non-fiction side, balanced by serious escape reading on the fiction side.
We hope you will be inspired to download and read the eGalleys of the titles highlighted here. If you love them as much as we do, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles still eligible for nomination.
For a list of all 138 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.
Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, Oct.; LibraryReads deadline: Aug. 20) by Anne Sebba takes a long hard look at a piece of history that is often looked at through the rosy haze of time. Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (Ariz.) Public Library, says, “ In Les Parisiennes, Anne Sebba examines what life was like for Parisian women under Nazi occupation during WWII. Using stories gleaned from interviews and primary sources, she documents the everyday hardships and life-changing tragedies suffered by these resilient women. Women from all walks of life were forced to adapt to food shortages, the disappearance of family members, and potential capture or unwanted attention from German soldiers. How they chose to respond to these challenges often determined the fate of generations. Sebba’s lavish use of detail and her graceful, sympathetic writing add to this book’s powerful depiction of an era that still fascinates us today.”
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow, Sept. 6) by Margot Lee Shetterly is the compelling story of the African-American women who were the secret backbone of NASA in its infancy. Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La., says, that it’s “a fascinating book about black female mathematicians (or ‘computers’) who worked for the space program back in the 50s and 60s. A movie based on the book is scheduled for release in January, starring Octavia Spenser, Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson.:
I am an evangelist for Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire (PRH/Random House, Nov. 29; LibraryReads deadline: Sept. 20) by Julia Baird. This is a totally engrossing look at a woman who we all think we know: staid, button-upped, humor-less. With newly found scholarship (yeah Librarians!), we learn that this woman who was a mere 18 years old when she ascended the throne was in fact a passionate leader who loved as fiercely as she ruled. I think that this wonderfully readable book may just become the new standard in Victoria bios.
There was lots of excitement for The Golden Age (Europa, Aug. 16) by Joan London. Janet Lockhart, Collection Development Librarian, Wake County, N.C., sums it up, “Young Frank Gold and his family escaped from WWII Europe to Australia, only for him to fall victim to polio. He is sent to recover at The Golden Age, a children’s hospital in 1950s Australia, where he meets and falls in love with Elsa, to the consternation of the adults. A moving story of displacement and recovery with wonderfully drawn characters and setting.”
Robin Beerbower, GalleyChat Wrangler Extraordinaire, was not alone in her love for The Bookshop on the Corner (HarperCollins/Morrow, Sept. 20) by Jenny Colgan and while she does have some reservations, her enthusiasm shines through. “I loved this book about a librarian getting laid off from her readers’ advisory job and opening a ‘bookshop-on-wheels’ in Scotland. A tad predictable but so what? It was a fun journey.”
Perennial GalleyChat favorite Carl Hiassen’s forthcoming book is Razor Girl(PRH/Knopf, Sept. 6). While he needs no “help” from us, it is clear that there is a reason he is a favorite go-to pick for readers advisors. Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, Mich., says, “All of the best things about Carl Hiaasen are on full display in his new book Razor Girl: crazy plot twists mixed with quirky characters ranging from the mob to a Duck Dynasty-esque reality TV star. Andrew Yancy, from Sick Puppy, is back, still working Roach Patrol and trying to get his detective badge back when he gets involved with Merry Mansfield, a woman hired by the New York mob to create convenient traffic crashes. Sexy hilarity ensues alongside clumsy extortion plots the way only Hiaasen can manage.”
Small Admissions (S&S/Atria, Dec. 27; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20) by Amy Poeppel is a debut novel for which Beth Mills of New Rochelle (N.Y.) Public Library, gave a serious shout-out. “When twenty-something Kate, devastated at being dumped by her Parisian boyfriend, finally starts getting her life together she finds herself launched into the high-pressure world of a NYC private school admissions office. Hyper parents, over-privileged kids, eccentric relatives and well-meaning friends–some of whom are harboring explosive secrets–keep the story moving briskly and provide more than a few laughs along the way.”
Please join us on Aug. 2 at 4:00 ET with virtual happy hour at 3:30 for our next Chat! See you all then!
The first teaser trailer for BBC America’s adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was featured during a panel at Comic-Con this weekend.
The 8-episode series will debut on BBC America on Oct. 22. Variety describes it as being about “the surreal adventures of a highly unconventional detective, Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood ). Together they navigate one big metaphysical mystery per season.”
Adams, best-known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, published two titles featuring Gently, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,and Dirk Gently’s Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul, He had plans for a third novel, which he did not finish before his death. The incomplete novel was included in the posthumous collection, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time.
The film, starring Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, as well as Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston. is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films. It is scheduled to release on November 18, 2016.
The screenplay, written by Rowling, will be released as a book the day after the movie debuts, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).
Anticipation is particularly high, as indicated by holds, for two titles arriving next week.
Releasing on Sunday, July 31st, the day after the play debuts in London, is the script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine). No news yet on when it will hit Broadway, but the NY Post reports it may arrive as early as next season. Holds are heavy, and libraries have ordered enough copies to keep pace with demand.
After her major success with Big Little Lies (an HBO series adaptation is set to premiere next year), Liane Moriarty’s latest arrives Tuesday, Truly Madly Guilty(Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Holds are outstripping orders in many places by ratios as high as 8:1. A LibraryReads pick, it is reviewed in advance by the NYT‘s now retired maven of popular fiction, Janet Maslin, who occasionally steps in to write about major releases. However, she finds it not as compelling as Moriarty’s previous three novels.
Nonetheless, it is a People pick for the week, described as “a vivid tale” and on the LibraryReads list for the month:
“A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one pivotal moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. In trademark Moriarty style, the story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences, creating a delicious momentum for the reader as the tension builds and the pieces fall into place. Moriarty has another sure-fire winner with this look at the complexities of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC
Published last week, this is People magazine’s “Book of the Week” — “In this beguiling novel, three generations of articulate, self-aware women fall to pieces … With a fine understanding of women and a delicate wit, Nadler shepherds all three through grief and humiliation and out the other side.”
“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” — Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY
Crouch is the author of the Wayward Pines series, adapted as a Fox TV series.
In addition to the #1 pick and Truly Madly Guilty, noted above, a third LibraryReads pick arrives this week.
“The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. The core of the novel explores the relationship between Ada and her scientist father David. When a tragedy upends their routine lives, Ada embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will eventually lead her to new truths. Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book.” — Janie Hermann, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ
“Burton’s follow-up to The Miniaturist also takes place in the art world, but this time the settings alternate between London in the 1960s and pre-Civil War Spain in the 1930s. In 1967, a long-lost work by a dead Spanish painter turns up in London. Is it really an original Isaac Robles? Or is there a more complicated story behind the intriguing painting? A fun read with interesting meditations on the purpose and making of art.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
“There are hundreds of coming-of-age stories, but the one told in The Summer That Melted Everything is unique. In the summer of 1984, a series of disturbing events in Breathed, Ohio, are attributed to the arrival of a 13-year-old boy named Sal who claims to be the devil. Gossip and superstitions, exacerbated by the sweltering heat, turn the villagers against Sal. Only the family of the local prosecutor welcomes the boy, who is befriended by their son, Fielding. Through beautiful imagery and rich characters, McDaniel offers an original meditation on what is right and wrong, good and evil, in a magical, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable novel.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI
Deadline outlines the plot, “It centers on the O’Brien clan—a large Irish-American family living on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in a town designed and founded by three O’Brien brothers. The television series focuses on the drama that ensues when the O’Brien family reunites after years apart to face the memories from their past and learn the importance of reconciliation.”
It premieres on August 14 and stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, and Diane Ladd. Several sneak peeks are available on Hallmark’s show site.
War Dogs: The True Story of How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, Guy Lawson (S&S; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market) will open on August 19 and stars Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas and J. B. Blanc.
It is based on nonfiction account by Lawson, originally titled Arms and the Dudes, and tells the unlikely story about winning a $300 million US government contract to supply weapons for the war in Afghanistan.
USA Today offered a sneak peek in March. Below is the trailer.
Walker Books in the UK, along with Candlewick Press in the US, announce plans for a series of novelty and interactive children’s books based on J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, reports The Bookseller.
Karen Lotz of the Walker Group says the books will offer “unique and beautifully presented content and innovative play value.”
There are no details yet on titles which are set to release this October.
As we noted earlier, there is also an agreement in place with Scholastic to “publish children’s movie tie-in books for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequels, as well as tie-in books based on the original eight Harry Potter films.” Harper Collins has adult tie-in rights and plans to offer titles that “delve into, and behind the scenes of, the richly textured film and its sequels to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the new stories. Books will include details about how the films were made, the process of art and design, interviews with the cast and crew, and interactive formats such as colouring and postcard books.”
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. However, the screenplay of the movie will be published on Nov. 19, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).
Another script is also about to be released, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine), timed to debut a day after the premiere of the London stage production on July 30th.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is written by Rowling and stars Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, it opens on November 18. It also stars Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston and is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films.
We posted the trailer previously, below is a featurette with commentary by Rowling:
Girls’ soccer gets the spotlight from Amazon Studios, which just announced the launch of a new series based on the middle grade novls by U.S. Women’s National Team star player Alex Morgan. Like the books, the series is titled The Kicks. The pilot, which was released last year as part of Amazon’s kids pilot season, is still available on Amazon. All nine live-action episodes will be avail on Aug. 26 for Prime members.
Morgan introduces the series in the trailer:
Proclaims lead character, Devin Burke, played by newcomer Sixx Orange, “I am NOT a princess, I am a soccer BEAST!”
Delia Ephron’s latest, Siracusa (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) may bring her to a new level of popularity. The novel is getting strong media attention and is rising on Amazon, currently just outside the top 100. Deadline Hollywood reports a film deal is in the works.
However, says the reviewer, “Siracusa takes a more expansive look at matrimony and its discontents,” adding,
“For much of the way, Siracusa is a sophisticated, elegantly written, delightfully cynical look at four middle-aged Americans, not unlike people most of us know, as they struggle to make sense of their lives. Then, abruptly, the story darkens. All readers may not share my admiration for its shocking conclusion, but it’s that sudden glimpse of tragedy, even of evil, that gives Ephron’s novel the feel of a classic.”
The LA Times says it is “skillfully wrought,” comparing it to “Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon … Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 modernist masterpiece The Good Soldier and Showtime’s ongoing dramatic series The Affair. There’s even an echo of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement about passion, guilt and how writers distort lives for literary ends.”
However, the review adds a note of caution, saying “In the end, Siracusa, like life, is a tad disappointing, its culminating disaster coming as something of an anticlimax.”
The book was featured on multiple summer reading lists. Ephron was recently interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.
Holds are spiking at the majority of libraries we checked, some topping 7:1 ratios.
“The Chemistis 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.”
It will be the first thriller by the author most famous for her YA Twilight saga novels and will her second adult novel after her SF novel, 2008’s The Host.
The rise coincides with a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. In a long conversation host Terry Gross asks Schine about her newest book and how it reflects the novelist’s own life.
Their conversation centers upon the difficulties of middle-age kids dealing with their aging and ill parents and the feelings of guilt that arise from living far away from them.
The publicity for the book paints it as far more comedic than the interview suggests, a take many reviews reinforce. NPR’s book critic Maureen Corrigan asked, “who needs a novel about colostomy bags and grief? … you do if you’re a reader who relishes acute psychological perceptions and lots of laughs to leaven the existential grimness.”
Author Penelope Lively, reviewing for the NYT BR, says the novel “combines black comedy with shrewd observation of family dynamics,” continuing that “Despite its subject matter [it] is a very funny novel.”
Entertainment Weekly gave it a strong B+, writing that the “deliciously quirky multigenerational novel … manages to be funny and heartbreaking at the same time; Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.”
Even more Stars Wars related titles are being released, as outlined by Comicbook.com.
A special, not yet public clip featured at the just-concluded “Star Wars Celebration” fan conference held in London, confirms that Darth Vader is in the film, reports Deadline Hollywood, (not a big surprise, since he is listed in the credits). Below is the recently released “Celebration” trailer (sans Vadar).
It follows the first teaser trailer, released in April:
It is a popular point-and-click video horror game in which the player takes the role of a night security guard trying to stay alive while a gang of roaming animatronic creatures, possessed by the ghosts of murdered children, stalk the hallways of a pizza parlor.
The game will also have book and potentially movie components. In late June, Scholastic announced plans to start a new series based on the game. In 2015, Entertainment Weekly reported that Warner Bros. optioned the games for a possible film project. Mashup master Seth Grahame-Smith is involved as a producer and told The Hollywood Reporter that he is looking forward to making “an insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable movie.” Deadline Hollywood had news about a year ago that Gil Kenan (in charge of the remake of Poltergeist) is on board to direct. GameNGuide updated the story at the start of this month, speculating a 2018 air date.
The first book based on the series, a 2015 self-published novel titled Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon, is currently soaring on Amazon, sitting just outside the top 100, moving up from a sales rank of 2,226. It will be re-issued by Scholastic in late September and is set ten years after the murders as a group of teens return to the boarded up pizza parlor.
Several libraries bought the self-pub edition and currently show hold ratios hovering around 3:1.
The major theatrical release this week is the family movie Ice Age: Collision Course, opening Friday July 22. The fifth in the series, it features all the usual characters, plus a few more, as they try to save the world from an asteroid collision (and do battle at the box office with The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory).
Also coming is Into the Forrest, an adaptation of Jean Hegland’s 1996 novel about two sisters trying to survive after a massive power outage. When it premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival Variety called it “heartfelt but under-realized,” and did not think much of its commercial prospects. It did not get picked up for a major release. Instead it premieres on DirectTV on June 23 (and in NY/LA theaters) before opening in wider release at the end of the month.