Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Titles for R.A. Gurus, Week of June 1

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Next week two hotly anticipated titles arrive, Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event (which. she recently told People magazine, may be her last book. It is their”Book of the Week” in the new issue) and Stephen King’s Finders Keepers.

We’re a bit distracted by Book Expo America today, so we will publish a fuller rundown of titles on Monday.

Meanwhile, you can download our spreadsheet of notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 1, 2015

Order Alert: DO NO HARM

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.25.18 AMNeurosurgeon Henry Marsh, who was the subject of an award winning film, has written a memoir about the high-risk work of operating on the brain, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Marsh appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross yesterday and described how he relies upon a quarter ton microscope to see inside the jelly-like substance of the brain and uses a microscopic vacuum cleaner called a sucker to remove tumors.

The memoir made multiple shortlists for a range of awards in Britain including the Guardian First Book Prize and the Costa Book Award.

The Guardian review was glowing:

Why has no one ever written a book like this before? It simply tells the stories, with great tenderness, insight and self-doubt, of a phenomenal neurosurgeon who has been at the height of his specialism for decades and now has chosen, with retirement looming, to write an honest book. Why haven’t more surgeons written books, especially of this prosaic beauty? Of blood and doubts, mistakes, decisions: were they all so unable to descend into the mire of Grub Street, unless it was with black or, worse, “wry” humour? Well, thank God for Henry Marsh.

On this side of the ocean, the memoir has received strong coverage in The New York Times Sunday Book Review and by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT Books section. Sam Kean reviews it for The Wall Street Journal and it is one of The Washington Post’s picks of the best memoirs for the month. It is also rising on Amazon.

Holds are strong on light ordering.

Order Alert: PRIMATES
OF PARK AVENUE

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMMaking the wives of the 1% nervous, a tell-all memoir set in the lavish world of the NYC elite, Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster), is racing up the Amazon rankings ahead of next week’s publication date.

Martin, a social researcher who moved with her financier husband and toddler son to the Upper East Side, turns her trained eye (she has a PhD from Yale) on the women who lunch – at charity benefits that can cost $10,000 a table.

She found herself bemused at the culture until she framed the quest for the newest “it” bag and the preschool hierarchy through the lens of anthropology, both befriending and observing the women of her new circle and collecting their stories.

The women who told their tales, as the NY Post’s “Page Six” reports, are now feeling exposed, “a guessing game has emerged about which glossy, manicured moms are included as stories in the book.”

Martin wrote an essay for the NYT which has drawn plenty of attention and commentary. Some of the attention-getting tidbits include upper-crust husbands granting wives year end bonuses, parents paying obscene amounts of money for their babies to have food coaches and sending toddlers to tutoring sessions to learn to interact well in play dates.

The guessing game of who does what, along with the gossipy and avid reading, is a scene straight out of the The Help.

The predictable controversy and mommy-shaming is more like the 2011 backlash against Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

It all adds up to a juicy summer read and a fair bit of schadenfreude.

Check your orders. Many libraries have yet to order it and those that have show growing holds.

Nancy Pearl’s Under-the-Radar Summer Picks

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Librarian Nancy Pearl announces her list of summer reading titles on NPR, picking six midlist under-the-radar novels.

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Talking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Nancy begins with The Revolutions by Felix Gilman (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample), which she calls a “21st-century example of Victorian science fiction … with a little bit of steam punk.”

A thriller The Swimmer by Joakim Zander (Harper; HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) gets high marks for its fast pace and involving story while Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (Simon & Schuster; OverDrive Sample) makes the list for its description of character.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.29.46 AMThe Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample) clearly captures Inskeep’s love of history (he just published a book on American history, Jacksonland), prompting him to break into Nancy’s summary to share a bit about the history of the East India Company. Set in India in 1837, it involves a new member of that company and a mysterious agent on the hunt for a notorious writer.

Two titles that did not make it into the on-air discussion are included in the online article:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.28.13 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.29.09 AMThe Half Brother by Holly LeCraw (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample) explores how “much coincidence is possible in our lives.”

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is evocatively described as opening “with a lie.” It was a feature in our Penguin Debut Authors program, First Flights.

Eight Titles for RA Gurus,
Week of May 25

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

DeMille  9780399167324_f0541

Two best selling authors returning next week, Nelson DeMille with his first book since 2012, Radiant Angel, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) and Clive Cussler with the 10th in his Oregon Files series, Piranha, (Penguin/ Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print). A debut gets a leg up from Entertainment Weekly and the NYT Book Review in the contest for The Book of Summer 2015, Kent Haruf’s final novel arrives, as well as several other titles with strong  recommendations from peers in libraries and bookstores.

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 May 25, 2015

Advance Attention

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Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People, Matthew Diffee, (S&S/Scribner)

New Yorker cartoonist Diffee does well with rejection. In 2011, he edited (or “rescued”), The Best Of The Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker (Workman). Now he does the same for some of his own rejected cartoons, as well as several that actually made it (sometimes after many tries). He was interviewed by NPR earlier this month. 

Review Attention

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The Rocks, Peter Nichols, (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

This gets double coverage in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on the “Must List; the Top 10 Things We Love This Week”  (“heartbreaking yet funny”),  it is reviewed in the issue. It’s also reviewed by Kate Christensen in the upcoming  NYT Book Review.

 

Starred by PW and Kirkus, it also is an Indie Next pick:

This enchanting tale set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean is a bittersweet double love story told in reverse. The Rocks begins with a dramatic, shocking event and then moves backward in time to reveal the 60-year-old secret that caused the unraveling of a marriage and forever altered the lives of the two families involved. A page-turning family saga with a mystery at its core, this is the perfect book to usher in a summer of great reading!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick‘s, La Jolla, CA

Peer Picks

9781101875896_69c40Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf, (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio)

An Indie Next #1 and LibraryReads pick, this is the author’s final book, published after his death last year. As the Wall Street Journal reports, he knew he was dying as he wrote it. “Normally, it took him six years or more to write a novel. But in a rush of creative energy, he wrote a chapter a day.”  He finished it in 45 days.

LibraryReads recommendation:

Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed. — Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

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The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi, (RH/Knopf; Brilliance Audio)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick (plus stars from PW & LJ)

Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.– Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

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Dietland, Sarai Walker, (HMH; Highbridge Audio)

Indie Next, stars from Kirkus & LJ

“Meet Plum, a woman who has forever defined herself by her obesity and who gets through her daily routine by looking forward to the life that will come after her weight-loss surgery. When Plum discovers that she is being followed by a strange girl, her life is changed forever. While Plum embarks on her journey of self-acceptance, a violent feminist crusade takes the world by storm. As the two storylines converge, readers witness an unexpected transformation. This is a fun, no-apologies-offered debut!” —Tess Fahlgren, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT

Tie-ins

Of the movie and TV tie-ins releasing this week (for a list of all upcoming movie/tv ties-ins, check our Edelweiss collection), the adaptation that’s making the most impact is based on Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, (Abrams, 2012). As a result of the buzz, the book hit the NYT YA best seller9781419719462_e562f list for the first time last week and continues this week.

The hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the screening won a standing ovation, the Audience Award for best drama, as well as the Grand Jury Prize, over-the-top reviews and Oscar predictions (see our list of other book adaptations in the early Oscars pool). The movie opens in limited release on June 12.

Official Sitemeandearlmovie.com
Tie-in: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Tie-in Edition), Jesse Andrews, (Abrams/Amulet Paperbacks)

A second trailer was released this week:

Summer Tea Leaves

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Memorial Day weekend signals the kick-off of one of our favorite literary games, predicting which title will become THE book of the summer.

Two early candidates have just been released and you can join the game. The library marketing departments of both Random House and Simon and Schuster have agreed to offer copies. We just ask you to tell us what you think by posting your reviews on Edelweiss. Scroll down to the end of this post to find out how to enter.

Luckiest Girl AliveHitting best seller lists this week, in the footsteps of several other “girls” is Luckiest Girl Alive (S&S; S&S Audio). People calls it “the perfect page turner to start your summer,” naming it a “Book of the Week.” It’s had several endorsements, from EarlyWord GalleyChatters to Reese Witherspoon, who has announced plans to adapt it as a movie for Lionsgate.

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Entertainment Weekly calls I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio), the “first big beach read of the season”  and a “hilarious debut.”  Sister publication People backs that up by making it a “Pick of the Week.” It’s been likened to a big book of another summer, Where’s You Go Bernadette (with the reference slyly underscored by a similar minimal cover). Curiously, there is a Gone Girl connection for this title; both were edited by Lindsay Sagnette.

GalleyChatter Janet Schneider’s (Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY) recommends it in her Edelweiss review:

If it were possible to cross the complex, shifting morals of Gloria Wandrous from Butterfield 8 with the wacky decency of Bernadette Fox from Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’d come up with Lily Wilder from Eliza Kennedy’s timely, thought-provoking page-turner I Take You. Lily is an amazing character–she has had a rocky emotional past and made some questionable choices–and her current dilemma about how to move forward in her relationship with fiance Will takes some unexpected yet realistic turns. I Take You. is a book for grown ups–who are looking for a fresh and frisky heroine to root for, with some genuine insights into the true meaning of fidelity along the way.

To get you in the mood for summer, Random House Library Marketing is offering a Summer Reading Poster.
Download it here
, or request a printed copy here.

SBF Ten

 

Enter for a chance to win the Luckiest Girl Alive  and/or  I Take You, below. You must work in a library and the offer is limited to U.S. residents only. This offer ends midnight, Wednesday, May 27.

Signup for the Giveaway!











Order Alert: Chelsea Clinton
Writes for Kids

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.18.16 AMChelsea Clinton will publish a book this September: It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! (Penguin Young Readers/Philomel; Sept. 15; ISBN 978-0399176128).

Her debut effort is aimed at younger readers in the tween and teen set. “That’s the age when I started tuning in more to issues I cared about and trying to make a difference,” Clinton tells People magazine, “I loved the book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and remember wishing there were books like that on other issues I cared about. This book is my attempt to do that for kids today.”

Penguin Young Readers has created a dedicated web page for the book, including a “Letter from Chelsea” that further describes the idea behind the book:

In It’s Your World, I try to explain what I think are some of the biggest challenges facing our world today, particularly for young people … I also explore some of the solutions to those challenges and share stories of inspiring kids and teenagers doing amazing work to help people and our planet have brighter and healthier futures. My hope is that the book will inspire readers to realize that they can start making a difference now, in their own way, for their family, their community, and our world.

Stephenson’s SEVENEVES

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.02.48 AMNeal Stephenson’s Seveneves (Harper/William Morrow; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), published yesterday, offers a door-stopper of post-apocalyptic SF and has already reached #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

The plot sounds like a winner. The moon explodes for reasons unknown and before scientists can figure out why, they realize it hardly matters as a “hard rain” of debris will soon destroy the Earth. Obviously it is time to leave and a space station is adapted as a global ark, for the very lucky and the very few.

Reviews are mixed for the 880-page tome, however, and holds vary widely.

Both LibraryReads and Amazon picked it as one of the best books of May with Keith Hayes of Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC saying:

Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.

Steven Poole writing for The Guardian is less convinced, praising many of Stevenson’s ideas but ending his review with the comment that the book put him to sleep:

…in the novel’s snail-paced last third, there are lots and lots of lavish descriptions of imaginary machines: city-sized orbiting habitats, giant pendulums reaching down into the Earth’s atmosphere, “sky trains”. After scores of pages of this, my eyelids were succumbing to a powerful gravitational force. And I quite like giant space gadgets.

A similar story is playing out in requests for Seveneves across the country. Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering while others have low queues on light ordering. In Stevenson’s hometown holds are skyrocketing and The Seattle Times offers a strong review.

Inskeep’s JACKSONLAND

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.18.35 AMSteve Inskeep’s Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross and a Great American Land Grab (Penguin; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) rises to #51 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the author’s appearances on Morning Edition (where he is the co-host) and on PBS NewsHour.

Inskeep’s history explores Jackson’s role in the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation as well as the brilliant efforts of Chief John Ross to stop him, using the tools of democracy and politics to protect Cherokee land. He sought white allies, brought suit in the United States Supreme Court (and won), and published stories in newspapers. Nothing, however, could stop the relentless expansion Jackson and white farmers sought.

In recognition of this history, Inskeep argues in an OpEd piece in the New York Times, that Chief Ross’s image should replace Jackson’s  on the $20 bill.

Inskeep discusses his book with NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff at Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant/bookstore in Washington D.C.

WONDERSTRUCK To Movies

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

9780545027892Director Todd Haynes is currently the toast of Cannes, where the director’s movie Carol, based on the book by Patricia Highscmith, is expected to win the Palme d”Or.

So attention is turning to his next projects. Screen Daily reports that, for one of them, he will again turn to books, a childrens book this time, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011).

9780545448680_e1f05If it comes to pass, this will be Selznick’s second book to be adapted by a celebrated director, after Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, based on The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.

Don’t hold your breath though, Haynes has some other projects on his plate, including a biopic about Peggy Lee starring Reese Witherspoon as well as a new TV series (he directed the 2011 HBO series Mildred Pierce).

Closer on the horizon is Selznick’s next book, The Marvels (Scholastic), set for publication on 9/15/15. There are no reviews yet. The following is from the publishers’ description:

Two seemingly unrelated stories — one in words, the other in pictures — come together … The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.

Buzz for Blume

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.19.23 AMJudy Blume’s first novel for adults in 17 years, In the Unlikely Event (RH/Knopf; BOT and Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample) is getting advance attention from the many grownup fans of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

CBS Sunday Morning devoted a segment to Blume over the weekend, with Rita Braver. Chloe Sevigny chats with Blume for Harper’s Bazaar.

The upcoming  NYT Magazine features Blume as the cover story, providing a wide-ranging interview touching everything from her anxiety over germs to John Green’s admiration. Blume offers this take on her career:

“I’m a storyteller — you know what I mean — an inventor of people … and their relationships. It’s not that I love the words — that’s not the kind of writer I am. So I’m not” — she made a furious scribbling motion with her right hand — “I’m not a great writer. But maybe I’m a really good storyteller.”

Indeed. Just ask the millions of readers who have read Blume devotedly since they were tweens. Her newest addresses that most familiar audience as well as her adult readers, offering a generation-spanning story set in Elizabeth, NJ when three planes crashed in little over 3 months in the early 1950s.

To promote the book, Blume will set off on a celebrity-studded tour starting with BookCon on the 31st, where Jennifer Weiner will host an interview. After that, she will be featured in conversations with Meg Wolitzer, Walter Mayes, Molly Ringwald, Ridley Pearson, and Curtis Sittenfeld. She will visit with Nancy Pearl on June 11th.

Holds are strong on strong ordering.

Neurosurgery’s Boswell

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

9781250065810_f4331-2British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book, Do No Harm  Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio, 5/25/15), “gives us an extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening understanding of his vocation. He writes with uncommon power and frankness,” according to critic Michiko Kakutani in today’s New York Times.  The New Yorker also gives the book high marks  saying Marsh “writes like a novelist—he thinks in terms of scenes, patterns, and contrasts,” comparing him to Ian McEwan, who provides the book’s cover blurb,

Neurosurgery has met its Boswell in Henry Marsh. Painfully honest about the mistakes that can “wreck” a brain, exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient, and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine’s most difficult art and lifts our spirits. It’s a superb achievement.

Marsh is more interested in his failures than his successes, and therefore, as Kakutani says, the book can make unsettling reading. However, given the number of books by physicians that have found their way to best seller lists recently, that may not be a deter readers. Check your holds.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
Gets a Sequel

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.04.36 AMAlmost instantly joining a group of writers that includes Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, YA author Sabaa Tahir is having a great few months.

Her debut An Ember in the Ashes (Penguin/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) came out on April 28th and hit the NYT Best Seller list the week of May 17th at the no. 2 spot sandwiched between two John Green novels. Tough as it is to break through the John Green logjam, which has dominated the top three spots for month, it is even more so for a debut. This week established YA best sellers Sarah Maas and Sarah Dessen managed to hit #2 and #3, moving Tahir’s novel to #6.

Now comes news, reported bythe NYT that Penguin has acquired a sequel from Tahir, due out sometime in 2016.

Tahir’s fantasy got rave reviews, most often stressing its strong storytelling and worldbuilding.

Bradley Campbell of Public Radio International (PRI) compares the book to both Hunger Games and JK Rowling in a radio interview, saying:

Her new book kept me up at night. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not the only one. It seems as though anyone who touches the book cannot stop reading until the story ends. It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.

Laura M. Bell of The Huffington Post offers:

One thing I can say for sure: this is a page-turner. There comes a moment when it’s impossible to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is a strong writer, but most of all, she’s a great storyteller…Even when the story is squarely anchored in traditional YA dystopian tropes, many of the twists and turns are difficult to predict. The story is complex, encompassing political scheming, betrayal, and supernatural forces, and the different threads entwine effectively.

Author Marie Rutkoski, writing for the NYT Book Review, says:

The novel thrusts its readers into a world marred by violence and oppression, yet does so with simple prose that can offer moments of loveliness in its clarity. This complexity makes “Ember” a worthy novel — and one as brave as its characters.

Holds are currently steady on moderate ordering but this one is worth keeping your eye on.

Controversy Sells;
CLINTON CASH

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 9.26.35 AMProving once again that there’s nothing like controversy to help sell a book, Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer (Harper; HarperCollins audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the NYT Best Seller List at #2 for the week of May 24.

The book accuses the Clintons of selling influence to foreign governments and individuals through the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton campaign has fought back by identifying several factual errors. As a result, Harper has changed the Kindle version to delete passages or revise sections. As reported in Politico, Amazon sent purchasers a notice that “significant revisions have been made” to their electronic copies, which Harper then said were just  “7-8 factual corrections.”

Undaunted, Schweizer continues roiling up controversy. In the new issue of USA Today, he objects to his testy interview with George Stephanopoulos in April, saying he should get a do-over because the broadcaster did not reveal that he personally donated $75,000 to the Clinton campaign in 2012.

Thirteen Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles, the Week of May 18

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Several best selling names return next week, but none of them with major holds lists, a surprising comment when James Patterson is one of the names. His latest, however, is not an adult title, but the ninth and final in his YA series, Maximum Ride. Also returning are Clive Barker and Stephen Hunter.

It’s a big week for recommendations by librarians and booksellers, with six new titles for consideration and three other titles are already getting advance attention.

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 May 18, 2015

Advance Attention

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio)

The subject of this book has taken to Twitter to refute its claims, with the unintended consequence of causing the book’s sales to rise on Amazon. It is reviewed in both the daily New York Times and the NYT Book Review, 5/13/15

Disclaimer: A Novel, Renée Knight, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)

“The Latest Buzzy Thriller From England,”  as the Wall Street Journal‘s headline describes it, is a domestic noir first novel told in alternating chapters and is, you guessed it, compared to both Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. Film rights have been sold to 20th Century Fox

War of the Encyclopaedists, Christopher Robinson, Gavin Kovite, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

An early review by Michiko Kakutani in the daily New York Times signals a book with literary buzz. Co-written by two friends, this novel portrays two men with backgrounds similar to their own. Separated when one of them is called up by his National Guard unit, they stay in touch by editing a Wikipedia entry. Of that curious construction, Kakutani says, “The plotting of this novel can feel ad hoc and overly stage-managed at the same time, but in a breezy, intimate sort of way,” and concludes that the result is ” a captivating coming-of-age novel that is, by turns, funny and sad and elegiac.” An interview in the Wall Street Journal delves into the complex writing collaboration.

Peer Picks

9780804179034_f4113Uprooted, Naomi Novik, (RH/Del Rey)

LibraryReads #1 pick and Indie Next

A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches. Fast-paced, with magic, mystery and romance, Novik’s stand-alone novel is a fairy tale for adults. — Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO

9780062190376_9ac29Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, (HarperCollins/Morrow)

Indie Next and LibraryReads:

Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers. — Keith Hayes, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

9780062364777_3d492Mislaid: A Novel, Nell Zink, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HighBridge Audio)

After the critical success of her first book, The Walllcreeper, you can expect many reviews for this one. Already weighing in is Ron Charles in The Washington Post and the author is profiled in the New Yorker.

Mislaid is also a June Indie Next pick:

Where Zink’s debut novel, The Wallcreeper, defied easy plot summary, Mislaid is arguably even more hilariously audacious by shouting its plot so loudly. Peggy knows from an early age that she is a lesbian. Lust being a strange thing, however, she sometimes ends up pregnant by way of her gay poetry professor, Lee. Zink presses every button we’re often conditioned to avoid regarding gender, sex, and race and revels in the fluidity of our sense of self. It may very well be the case that the famously elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon has finally been revealed — and he is in fact an American female expat living outside Berlin named Nell Zink. —Brad Johnson, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

9780385539586_65e98The Knockoff, Lucy Sykes, Jo Piazza (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio)

LibraryReads:

The Knockoff is a digital-age mash-up of old-school movies The Women and All About Eve, set in the Devil Wears Prada world of a high fashion magazine. I absolutely loved this fresh, charming, addictive and ultimately heroic story of 40-something cancer survivor Imogen’s quest to rescue and rebuild her career, despite the machinations of a younger tech-wiz rival. — Janet Schneider, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY

 

9780544330146_88b09The Ghost Fields, Elly Griffiths, (HMH)

LibraryReads:

Griffiths has written another strong entry in her excellent Ruth Galloway series. Here, Ruth is called in when a World War II plane is excavated, complete with pilot–but the pilot is in the wrong plane. Strong characters combine with an absorbing puzzle to create a hard-to-put-down mystery. — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

 

9781250028594_1a15aLittle Black Lies : A Novel, Sharon Bolton, aka, S. J. Bolton (Macmillan/Minotaur)

LibraryReads:

Set in the Falkland Islands, this novel grabs you from the opening paragraph. A child is missing, and he’s not the first. The incident sets off a chain of events leading to multiple characters confessing to murder. Accustomed to living in an idyllic community, fear and anger escalate among the locals. Bolton has created a page-turner of a story with a surprise ending. — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

In the Media

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The host of NPR’s Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep, will have a natural platform to discuss his new book, Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio).