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
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.
Uprooted, 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
Seveneves, 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
Mislaid: 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
The Knockoff, Lucy Sykes, Jo Piazza (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio)
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
The Ghost Fields, Elly Griffiths, (HMH)
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
Little Black Lies : A Novel, Sharon Bolton, aka, S. J. Bolton (Macmillan/Minotaur)
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
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).