Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 29, 2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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Headed for best seller lists are the two peer picks for the week (see below), as well as Danielle Steel’s Rushing Waters, (PRH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio) which imagines a group of New Yorkers thrown together when a hurricane hits the city.  James Lee Burke continues his multigenerational saga about the Holland family in The Jealous Kind (S&S; S&S Audio).

9780765335623_96301Also coming is a new title in George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, High Stakes, (Macmillan/Tor). Martin announced last week that the series will follow Game of Thrones to television,  Says Publishers Weekly of the new title, “This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.”

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet,EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 29. 2916.

Consumer Media Picks

9781101984994_8f6a1People’s “Book of the Week” is a title that was introduced in our EarlyReads program (check out or chat with the author),  The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Published last week and also a LibraryReads pick,, People writes,  “Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”

Peer Picks

9781250022134_00385Thee #1 LibraryReads pick for August, A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Macmillan Audio ; OverDrive Sample) arrives next week.

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

Additional Buzz: It is also an IndieNext September pick and an all-star, earning nods from all four trade review sources. Kirkus writes it is “A chilling story that’s also filled with hope—a beloved Penny trademark.”

9781101946619_6e633The Nix, Nathan Hill (PRH/Knopf) also pubs this week, a bookseller favorite from the September Indie Next list.

“Hill’s debut is remarkable because it does both the little things and the big things right. It is an intimate novel of identity and loss, the story of a boy abandoned and the man now trying to recover. It also paints a vivid portrait of America and its politics from the 1960s to the present. The Nix overflows with unforgettable characters, but none more clearly rendered than Samuel Andersen-Anderson and his mother, Faye, both bewildered by life and struggling to repair the rift between them. From intimate whispers to American news cycles, this astounding novel of reclamation is guaranteed to sweep readers off their feet.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Additional Buzz: One of People magazine’s picks for the week, described  as being “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen,” it’s  received wide-spread attention.  Entertainment Weekly calls it the “Wildest Debut” and writes that it is a “sprawling, politically charged full-of-heart tale…” New York Magazine selects it as one of the “8 Books You Need to Read This August.”

Tie-ins

Two tie-ins appear this week:

9781632866219_b0720The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

Starring Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth and Oliver Platt the film explores the sinister happenings surrounding the life of a nine-year-old boy.

The adaptation of this supernatural thriller, a bestseller in print, opens on Sept. 2, 2016.

9780778330066_db8acFlowers on Main, Sherryl Woods (HC/Mira; OverDrive Sample).

The Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores series rolls on into late September, starring Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Treat Williams and Diane Ladd and will eventually span seven episodes in this first season.

The first in the series, The Inn at Eagle Point, has already been released as a tie-in. The second book in the series also gets the tie-in treatment this week.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

GalleyChatter Recommendations
For Your Labor Day Reading

Friday, August 26th, 2016

If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.

And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.
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Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.

For a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat, check the compiled Edelweiss list here.

And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:

May — Was Oprah listening? We picked Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, before she did (it hits #1 on the upcoming NYT best seller list)

June — Features The Woman in Cabin 10, which not only hit best seller lists, but has brought readers to Ruth Ware’s earlier title.

July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s. 

Chilling Thrillers

9781503937826_f77a7Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.

9780062427021_928fdPeter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”

9780735221086_bebf2I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”

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What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”

And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.

Epic Historical Fiction

Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.

9780544464056_a5b34Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”

9781631492242_9c71aWinston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”

9780812995152_7d0acThe Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”

Massimino Who?

9781101903544_6dd5aMany have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.

Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.

Holds Alert:
BLOOD IN THE WATER

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

9780375423222_1e3b7Check your orders, a new nonfiction account of the 1971 Attica Prison rebellion that led to a multi-day standoff, dozens of deaths, and a tense, politically charged aftermath, is making news and building a strong holds list.

Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) published this week is getting attention because, unlike previous authors and some news organizations, she names the officers she believes shot and killed inmates and, in friendly fire, the prison guards taken hostage during the standoff. CBS News reported the story, also highlighting Thompson’s discussion of then Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s “secret efforts afterward to establish an acceptable narrative of what happened.”

Calling it “remarkable” and “superb,” the NYT says “Not all works of history have something to say so directly to the present, but [this book] which deals with racial conflict, mass incarceration, police brutality and dissembling politicians, reads like it was special-ordered for the sweltering summer of 2016.”

Thompson’s account is also catching Hollywood’s attention. Variety reports it will make its way to movie theaters as TriStar Pictures just won a “heated bidding war” for film rights, with a production crew already named.

Libraries that bought it, ordered very few copies. Some are showing holds topping 5:1.

Bright Titles, Big Season

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

The fall reading season is about to begin, heralded by the  appearance of season previews. New York Magazine kicks it off with a list of 45 titles (UPDATE: The list is now available online as well as part of the “Entertainment Generator“).

9780374280024_431e4Included is a title destined to appear on many lists, Jonathan Safran Foer’a first work of fiction in over a decade, Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample), a domestic drama about a family in Washington, D.C. The author of Everything Is Illuminated, which made him a literary star at just 25, is a media darling. He was just profiled by Lev Grossman in Time. Earlier this summer, his email correspondence with Natalie Portman was published in the New York Times‘s style magazine, T.

9781631491344_48f16Also included is Alan Moore’s eagerly awaited Jerusalem (Norton/Liveright, Sept. 13). Moore is known for his graphic novels, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, but this new book is a non-graphic prose novel and a long one, ranging over 1200 pages. As the NYT explains, it is “centered on Northampton, England, Mr. Moore’s hometown [and] will combine historical fiction and fantasy. Mr. Moore has said the novel, which explores, among other subjects, the time-space continuum, is intended to ‘disprove the existence of death.'”

New York Magazine book critic, Christian Lorentzen, highlights his “5 Most Anticipated” :

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Against Everything: Essays, Mark Greif (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample; Sept. 6).

Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids, Nicholson Baker (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Sept. 6).

The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio/BOT; Sept. 20).

Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love, Emily Witt (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Oct. 11).

Swing Time, Zadie Smith (PRH/Penguin Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; Nov. 15).

See our catalog for a running list of the Fall picks as they are announced.

Live Chat with Katherine Arden, Author of THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Read our chat with Katherine, below.

Join us for the next live chat about The Most Danger Place on Earth byLindsey Lee Johnson on Setp. 28, 4 to 5 p.m., ET.

To join the program, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Katherine Arden – THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE
 

More Backman On The Way

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The author of the long-running trade paperback best seller, A Man Called Ove, and two LibraryReads picks, Britt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, (also currently a best seller in trade paperback), Fredrik Backman, has signed a deal to publish three new novels and a novella with S&S/Atria. Significantly, the news is reported by Deadline Hollywood, indicating the author has caught the attention of the U.S. movie business.

9781501160486_26853Coming first, on Nov. 1, is the novella, And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer (S&S/Atria; ISBN 9781501160486). Deadline says, like Ove, it “centers on an elderly man, who struggles to hold on to his memories, face his regrets and help his son and grandson prepare for his death.” It will be issued in a “small-format hardcover,” with illustrations.

The first of the three novels will be titled Beartown (S&S/Atria, May 2, 2017; ISBN 9781501160769). Deadline says “It concerns a depressed town whose hopes for a brighter future rest on its junior ice hockey team as it goes after the national title.”

MV5BMjE0NDUyOTc2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk2NzU3OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,679,1000_AL_Meanwhile, the Swedish-language film adaptation of A Man Called Ove will open in limited release on Sept. 30 (some sources list iy for release at the end of this month, but Sept. 30 now seems to be official).

Variety reviewed it when it was shown at the Goteborg Film Festival in February, calling the subtitled film “irresistible” and “A touching comic crowdpleaser,” commenting on the “terrific” cast and cinematography that makes it “a pleasure to watch.”

Cinema Scandinavia reports that in Sweden, where it was released late last year, Ove was a hit, topping the box office there and winning awards, including Best Actor for lead Rolf Lassgård.

Variety notes that Music Box Films won US distribution ights. Theyhave previously brought to the U.S. such Swedish imports as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

Fall Film Adaptations and Tie-ins

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

2332_top1Fall is on the way, as Entertainment Weekly‘s current double issue reminds us, with its previews of 104 major movie releases through December.

Many of those films, including the one on the cover,  had their beginnings as books, some with strong literary credentials, like Ang Lee’s adaptation of the  award winning Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk or major best seller status, like The Girl on the Train and The Light Between Oceans.

One of the most heavily anticipated movies, however is based on a lesser-known title, The Queen of Katwe (S&S/Scribner), the biography of an unlikely chess champion, a young girl from a poor family in Uganda. The Disney movie, directed by Mira Nair, is already being touted as a film to break through #OscarsSoWhite.

See our listings of upcoming adaptations, for the both big and small screens, as well as our complete listing of upcoming tie-ins.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 22, 2016

Friday, August 19th, 2016

9780812998481_fc792Keep your eye on Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue (Random House; PRH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) in the upcoming week.

This debut novel made news when it won a major deal in advance of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair (with a different title). At that time, the agent said that Mbue, who is from Cameroon and is now an American citizen living in Manhattan, is “part of the new generation of African writers just being discovered” that includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun, NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names, Teju Cole Open City, and Dinaw Mengestu How to Read the Air.

The author is profiled in the Wall Street Journal‘s Friday Arts section, with an excerpt from the book. She describes the story, below:

It is People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as a “page-turner about race, class and the Wall Street meltdown … Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating, but her message is pointed: American dreams can and do turn into nightmares.”

The Washington Post chief critic, Ron Charles, says that it comes at the right time, as it “illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse ” A review is also coming from the NYT Sunday Book Review.

9780679455691_2685aThe cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review is devoted to Caleb Carr’s new book, Surrender, New York (Random House; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reviewed by fellow crime novelist Michael Connelly. Unlike his most famous novel, The Alienist, which was set in 1896, this one says Connelly, is “an addictive contemporary crime procedural stuffed with observations on the manipulations of science and the particular societal ills of the moment. Call it mystery with multiple messages.” The book’s 600 plus pages require “more dedication (from the reader as well as the writer) than is usual for a crime novel,” but says Connelly, “This is a novel you set time aside for.”

The Washington Post‘s mystery and thriller reviewer, Patrick Anderson, is less willing to set the time aside, saying, Carr’s “descriptive passages can be elegant and informative but they go on endlessly, maddeningly … Carr’s plot is complex, sometimes bewildering, and the reader can become lost amid his epic digressions, no matter how well they read.”

Below are several other titles arriving next week to fanfare from the media as well as booksellers and librarians. For those, and other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 22, 2016

The Campaign in Books

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The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate, The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, came from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House earlier this month and is currently at #11 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list, up from #15 last week.

More on Trump and the campaign arrives next week:

Trump RevealedAn American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Washington Post assigned a team of their journalists to do a major investigation on the candidate, publishing stories in the paper leading to next week’s release, as well as an excerpt from the book. It is scheduled for heavy media attention from TV and radio:

CBS Face the Nation, August 21
• NPR All Things Considered, August 22
• MSNBC Morning Joe, August 23
• NPR Fresh Air, August 23
• CNN New Day,August 24
• MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, August 24

We’re Still Right, They’re Still Wrong: The Democrats’ Case for 2016, James Carville (PRH/Blue Rider; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The media may be obsessed with Trump, but there will surely be time for Democratic strategist Carville, who is adept at memorable sound bites (and has a few things to say about Trump, as the book’s jacket indicates).

In Trump We Trust : E Pluribus Awesome!, Ann Coulter (PRH/Sentinel; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Predictably, the tea party’s poster girl is publishing a pro-Trump book.

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads titles pub this week, including Fiona Davis’s debut which we featured in a live chat as part of the PRH EarlyReads Program.

9781101984994_8f6a1The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!” — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

It is also a B&N Summer reading selection.

9780062405616_8b799First Star I See Tonight, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book.” — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI

Additional Buzz: First Star receives stars from three pre-pub reviewing sources, Booklist, Kirkus and PW

9780735221086_bebf2The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena (PRH/Pamela Dorman Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed.” — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS

Tie-ins

MV5BNDU3MDk4NjE1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk5MTc0OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,631,1000_AL_The tie-in edition for one of the most anticipated moves from page to screen hits shelves this week, complete with a snazzy new cover and the long awaited release of a mass market edition, The Girl on the Train (Movie Tie-In), Paula Hawkins (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

The movie follows the dark and twisty tale of a woman who fantasizes about the life of others and sees something she was not supposed to see. As a missing person investigation spins out she becomes intimately involved in the case. It stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans and opens Oct. 7.

9781501106484_6d921Another big adaptation is The Light Between Oceans, starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender. The trade paperback tie in edition The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample; mass market) comes out this week.

The movie, about a couple living in a remote lighthouse who rescue an infant and keep her without informing the authorities, opens on Sept. 2, to capitalize on the long  Labor Day Weekend.

MV5BMTk2MjczMTQ4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzM4MzczOTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_The James Patterson machine rolls on with the film adaptation of Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample; in pbk as well).

Opening on Oct. 7, it tells the story of a middle schooler who decides to break all the rules and stars Lauren Graham, Thomas Barbusca, and Isabela Moner.

9781101972250_8a27aThe long anticipated Oliver Stone film on Edward Snowden hits screens on Sept. 16. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scott Eastwood, Shailene Woodley, and Nicolas Cage.

The film drew on several titles, one of them coming out as a tie-in  this week, The Snowden Files (Movie Tie In Edition): The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, Luke Harding (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Readers’ Advisory: OBELISK GATE

Friday, August 19th, 2016

9780316229265_28d13A rising star in the SF and fantasy world, N.K Jemisin just received a glowing review on NPR’s book site for the second in her Broken Earth trilogy, The Obelisk Gate (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample).

The new novel picks “up right where that first book left off” says NPR reviewer Amal El-Mohtart, “plunging us deep into the Evil Earth and all its machinations after the first” (The Fifth Season). She continues, it “pole-vaults over the expectations I had for what epic fantasy should be and stands in magnificent testimony to what it could be.”

The SF site, Tor.com has different take on the book, writing “The Obelisk Gate is small and safe where The Fifth Season was large and surprising.” It happens that El-Mohtart also writes for Tor.com and begins a short exchange with their reviewer in the comments section, helping RA librarians by speculating that reading both books back-to-back might affect a readers perception.

io9 sides with El-Mohtart regardless of reading order. They featured the book in their August list of “15 Must-Read” titles for the month.

The Fantasy fan world initially took note of the author when she won the Locus award in the first novel category for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Her profile rose even higher when The Fifth Season was shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. It also hit many best books lists for the year, including the New York Times and the Washington Post‘s.

Librarians new to Jemisin might want to read The Guardian‘s 2015 profile, which says her books “are about multicultural, complex worlds that stand out in a field that has been traditionally dominated by white men.”

She is known for elaborate world-building, her unique settings, far beyond the typical locales for Fantasy, and her strong point of view. As The Guardian puts it, “Stereotypical fantasy series like, say, The Lord of the Rings, usually present a virtuous status quo threatened by a dark and eventually defeated outsider. But Jemisin’s stories almost always involve a flawed order, and the efforts (also flawed) to overthrow it.”

The Invisible Zoo

Friday, August 19th, 2016

9780062368591_892eaI Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon after getting the Fresh Air bump, moving from #570 to now sitting firmly within the top 50 at #41.

Host Terry Gross talked with the author, Ed Yong, a writer at the The Atlantic and for National Geographic‘s “science salon,” Phenomena. The early part of the interview is a not-for-dinner-table conversation about fecal transplants and “fake poop.” It then moves to a more wide ranging and fascinating exploration of what the microbiome and its nearly countless numbers do.

One intriguing outtake is the fact that humans have evolved so that the sugars in breast milk feed the microbes in a baby’s stomach, sugars specifically meant for the microbe as the baby cannot digest them. Yong says “So breast milk isn’t just a way of nourishing an infant. It’s a way of nourishing babies’ first microbes. It’s really a way of engineering an entire world inside a baby’s body. You know, breastfeeding mother is a sculptor of ecosystems.”

There is also a microbe called Wolbachia that “allows some caterpillars that eat leaves to stop the leaves from turning yellow. It actually holds back the progress of fall so that … its hosts can have more to eat.”

To close the interview Gross asks Yong what he thinks about now that he knows about the microbiome multitudes and he says,

“all this biology which I thought I knew, all these creatures, these elephants and hawks and fish that I was fascinated by, these things I could see with my eyes, are actually deeply and profoundly influenced by things that I cannot see. And I know that if I go to a zoo now that every animal and every visitor in that zoo is in fact a zoo in its own right.”

Rowling Changes Her Mind

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Just last month, on the launch day for the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,  J.K. Rowling told the press that the story was now complete, saying, Potter “goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done.”

In what seems like a reversal, she announced yesterday that she is returning to the wizarding world with a series of spin-off ebooks featuring characters from Hogwarts.

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As The Guardian reports, starting on September 6, the tales will appear as short e-only editions, “Called Pottermore Presents, the series is a collection of Rowling’s writing for Pottermore.com, as well as new stories about characters including Potter’s potions master Horace Slughorn, Hogwarts headteacher Professor Minerva McGonagall and Ministry of Magic bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge.”

Pottermore calls them “a series of bite-sized eBooks that dig deep into the Harry Potter stories, with titbits taken from Pottermore’s archives and original writing from J.K. Rowling. The series offers Harry Potter fans added insights into the stories, settings and characters and were all lovingly curated by Pottermore.”

Variety reports they will cost three dollars and provides a brief summary of each title, including the news that the third title will feature “new information on McGonagall’s role in the second wizarding war.”

Potter more further teases, “for those who want to quench their thirst for more knowledge about the wizarding world, such as why the Black family bestow such odd names to their children, how a witch or wizard becomes a portrait, or what J.K. Rowling really thinks about Professor Umbridge, step right this way to find out.”

The titles are available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes but are not yet showing in library vendor systems.

Below is the bibliographic data from Kobo:

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106280)

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106297)

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106273)

ARRIVAL Trailer Arrives

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

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Ted Chiang has won a remarkable number of major science fiction awards. That is even more remarkable when you realize that his output has been relatively small, just 15 short stories, most of them originally published in magazines. A collected edition of some of his short stories, Stories Of Your Life And Others (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; OverDrive Sample), is called by the publisher “the most awarded collection in history” even though, technically, it’s not the collection that was awarded, but the stories in it.

In a recent interview in Electric Literature, Chiang’s work is described as managing to “capture the human drama behind philosophical questions, in clear and spare prose that seduces with its simplicity.”

That doesn’t sound like the type of science fiction that generally makes it to the big screen (in an interview last year, he dismissed movies like Star Wars as “adventure stories dressed up with lasers.”)

Nevertheless, a $50 million dollar adaptation of the title story from the collection,  Story of Your Life is headed to screens this fall, with the title Arrival.

Chiang says that, after he first got the idea to write about a woman trying to communicate with aliens and having her own life profoundly changed as a result, he studied linguistics for four years as preparation.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, the movie will arrive in theaters on November 11. The first trailer was just released.

Tie-in:
Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI)
Ted Chiang
PRH/Vintage: October 25, 2016

The Daily Show Bounce Is Back
for HOMEGOING

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

9781101947135_40918Trevor Noah took over hosting The Daily Show from Jon Stewart last year. His predecessor was beloved by publishers for the many writers he featured on the show and for the resulting bumps in sales of their books.

Noah has not followed in those footsteps. While he has featured writers, they have been the usual late show mix of well known comedians and politicians who just happen to have written books and those appearances have rarely produced noticeable sales bumps.

Last night’s guest was different. Noah interviewed novelist Yaa Gyasi and The Daily Show bump returned, sending her debut Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) shooting up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #315 to #62.


Noah is passionate about the book, calling  it “one of the most fantastic books I have read in a long time,” continuing that it is a “powerful … beautiful story … hopeful while at the same time being very realistic … you cry and you laugh as you are reading it.”

Gyasi says her visit to a slave fort in Ghana spurred her to write about the “diaspora as a family … if you go back far enough in time the thing that connects us … both African immigrants and African Americans … is the fact that we were all related … I wanted to bring it down to that most elemental level … to connect the family for all of us.” She also says that the story of slavery cannot be told without including the role played by African slave traders.

Noah closed the brief interview by reminding the audience that Gyasi’s novel is being hailed as “the new Roots of our generation” and saying he expects to be hearing more from her.

The million-dollar debut has been a hot title since before it even hit shelves, getting nods from librarians and booksellers, making multiple Summer reading lists, and Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “Best Fiction of 2016 So Far..” It spent a few weeks on the NYT bestseller extend list (getting as high as #15) but did best on the American Booksellers Association list which measures indie bookstore sales, reaching #5.

Circulation continues to be strong across libraries we checked with high hold numbers and turnover rates.

A Frontier Memoir Resurfaces

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

9780316341394_cdcc0A circuitous publishing path has brought new attention to a frontier memoir, recounting the hardscrabble life in Arkansas and on the Mississippi Delta during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, Mary Mann Hamilton (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, the book is rising on Amazon, leapfrogging over a thousand other books to move from #1,170 to #76.

Hamilton’s life story first saw the light of day when a neighbor urged her to enter her journal into a writing competition sponsored by publisher Little, Brown in 1933. It did not win and languished in a box kept under a bed, until the University Press of Mississippi published it to little fanfare in 1992 (although it was reviewed by the New York Times). Coming full circle, Little, Brown, has just  published a new edition.

NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan calls it a “standout,” with a “blunt voice” that makes vivid the world Hamilton occupied. Highlighting a racist passage, she warns some of the “sections are ugly and tough to read” but that ultimately the book is rewarding, revealing the wildness of that world and “just how easy it was to vanish in an earlier America.”

USA Today gave it three out of four stars, writing it “underscores the huge power of unvarnished storytelling.”

The Chicago Tribune writes vividly about the “backbreaking labor” and wilderness Hamilton existed within, offering a picture of a woman tough as nails. In an especially intense example: soon after Hamilton gave birth, her home was cut off by flood waters, she “shelters with her daughter and three-month-old baby on a tree stump while bears swim past in the flood, not knowing whether her husband is dead or alive.”

Similar to the unexpected success of another frontier memoir, Pioneer Girl, holds are growing and inventory is low. In libraries we checked some systems are showing hold figures as high as 6:1.

HIDDEN FIGURES, Hot Trailer

Monday, August 15th, 2016

9780062363596_b2357The publication of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe, Sept. 6) by Margot Lee Sheerly is heralded by not just a book trailer, but a full-fledged movie trailer for a major release, coming in January. As a result, the book jumped up Amazon’s sales rankings.

One of our GalleyChat titles for July, it was signed up back in 2015. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) was so taken with the script that he dropped out of the running to direct a Spiderman movie in favor of this one.

It stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA in Langley, Virginia on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell.

The book will be released in paperback in December. Two young readers editions, for ages 8 to 12,  are also scheduled, in hardcover and paperback.

9780316338929_25c22Earlier this year, another book on a different group of women in the space program was released, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, Nathalia Holt (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample). Also called ‘human computers” like the women in Langley, they worked in the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California in the 1960’s. One of them, Janez Lawson, was African American.