Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 15, 2016

Friday, February 12th, 2016

9781250091789_42c57  9780385354202_2f527

The most heavily anticipated titles this week, as demonstrated by hold queues, are Jeffrey Archer’s Cometh the Hour, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) and Jo Nesbo’s Midnight Sun (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print: RH Audio).

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 Feb. 15, 2016

GIRL Successors


After a string of books with “Girl” in the title, it’s a relief to hear of a successor that uses a more grownup name. The Widow, Fiona Barton (PRH/NAL; OverDrive Sample) is a People pick for the week, “a twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.” Entertainment Weekly’s review invokes comparisons to those Girl books, adding, “Barton’s debut, already a best-seller in her native U.K., might have more of a right to the comparison than most.”

Booksellers made it an Indie Next pick:

“Readers on the hunt for the newest, hottest thriller can take heart: Barton’s debut novel is impeccably paced and quietly terrifying, sure to fill any void left after reading The Girl on the Train. Jean Taylor is reeling over the loss of her husband, but the man she knows and the man the police know are two very different people. Told in alternating voices, The Widow is perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Tana French and will have readers on the edge of their seats.” —Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA.

Prepub reviews were generally strong, with PW giving it a star. Kirkus was more mixed, “The idea of a woman who stands beside an alleged monster is an intriguing one, and very nearly well-executed here, if it weren’t bogged down with other too-familiar plotlines.”

Most libraries ordered it cautiously. A few are showing holds. Watch this one; you may need to order more.

Girl in the Red CoatBut we’re not escaping girls completely. Kate Hamer’s debut, The Girl in the Red Coat
(Melville House; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample) has already been hailed by the NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani, who also invoked the girl comparisons (as Entertainment Weekly says, “Apparently, the first rule of Gone Girl Club is: Never stop talking about Gone Girl.”).

It is also a LibraryRead pick. Kim Dorman of the Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ says:

“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”

It comes with an impressive three stars from the prepub review media.

Check your holds; they are high on modest orders in many areas.

Media Magnets

9781101902752_e76d6A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold, Andrew Solomon, (PRH/Crown)

To be featured tonight on an ABC Prime Time Special with Diane Sawyer, it is  promoted on Good Morning America today.

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Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, William Shatner, (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne; Macmillan Audio)

No news yet on media coverage, but given the subject and the author, we’re sure to be hearing about it.

Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir,
Joel Grey, (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio)

Grey was interviewed by Terry Gross on Monday’s Fresh Air about his memoir, which is also a People pick this week, “as much about his struggle coming out of the closet as it is about the theate …this is a refreshingly honest look back at an actor’s life, regrets and all.”

Peer Picks

In addition to the “Girl Successors” above, more LibraryReads and Indie Next picks hit the shelves.


Joshilyn Jackson’s The Opposite of Everyone (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample)  is the #1 IndieNext pick for March as well as a LibraryReads selection.

Beth Mills of New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY offers this take:

“Fans of Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story will be pleased to see William’s acerbic friend Paula take center stage. A successful divorce lawyer, Paula’s carefully constructed life starts to fracture when family secrets come to light, forcing her to try to come to terms with the power of her story to hurt and heal, and a growing need for family connections. A wonderful cast of offbeat, memorable characters make this book a winner.”

More IndieNext picks coming this week:

9781400068265_2faeaA Doubter’s Almanac, Ethan Canin (Random House; OverDrive Sample).

“I love settling into a novel where I meet smart yet conflicted protagonists and get right into their skin. In A Doubter’s Almanac, Milo Andret’s mathematical genius is as much a burden as it is a gift. He makes a series of choices — damaging to both himself and his family — that would seem to unravel any empathy readers might have for him, but Canin’s eloquent prose brings out the humanity in even the most flawed individuals. This is a novel filled with characters whose struggles with intellect, family, and vulnerability I won’t soon forget.” —Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS.

It is also People magazine’s “Book of the Week”

“Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind — at times almost unbearably painful. But Canin also shows how families can work through their divisions, making a kind of peace with even the most abhorrent behavior. Surprising and beautifully written, this hefty book is a gem.”

9781632863386_71710Hide, Matthew Griffin (Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

“On the outer edge of a struggling small town in North Carolina lives a long-married — in name, if not in fact — couple, Frank and Wendell. For all the decades they have been together they have hidden from the world to protect themselves, but now Frank’s health is failing. The poignancy of Wendell’s struggle to keep Frank safe is heartbreaking. These are not characters we see often in fiction — poor and rural and gay and old — but Griffin draws them so honestly and well that we quickly know them and come to care deeply for them.” —Michael Barnard, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA.

9781492615354_834bcAll the Winters After, Seré Prince Halverson (Sourcebooks Landmark; Brilliance Audio).

“This is the compelling story of a damaged young woman, Nadia, who has taken refuge in a cabin in the Alaskan woods for the last 10 years after escaping an abusive marriage. Kachemak Winkel, the cabin’s owner, returns to Alaska after a long absence, still mourning for his parents and older brother who lost their lives in a plane crash 20 years earlier. Two young, damaged souls are at the heart of this beautifully written novel, and the wild and dangerous beauty of Alaska is present throughout. Perfect for book groups!” —Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, MO.


The tie-ins arriving this week are connected to three very popular series.

9780062420084_337b7Veronica Roth sees the third adaptation of her Divergent series hit the screens on March 18.  Allegiant Movie Tie-in Edition (Harper/Katherine Tegen Books; HarperCollins Audio) comes out Tuesday in this hardback edition as well as a paperback version.

The film series stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James (the same actor who played Kemal Pamuk on Downton Abbey – Lady Mary’s first season indiscretion).

Holy Catnip, Batman! Super Heroes collide in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, it opens March 25th.

9780545916301_2be49A junior novel tie-in comes out this week.
Billed as a companion novel, it tells a new story but riffs off the movie, Cross Fire: An Original Companion Novel (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Michael Kogge (Scholastic Inc.; OverDive Sample).

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Finally, two more Star Wars books arrive, seemingly late to the party since the movie debuted in December. The first is the junior novelization of The Force Awakens film. The novelization for adults was delayed in print for weeks after the movie opened and it is only now that kids are able to get their hands on a version of their own.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Junior Novel, Michael Kogge (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press; Blackstone Audio).

Also out this week is a Chapter Book focused on the female star, Rey: Star Wars The Force Awakens: Rey’s Story, Elizabeth Schaefer (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press).

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


Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 15

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Blame it on the Super Bowl, but last week’s new movies failed to perform, with Variety reporting that both The Choice and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did not do well at the box office.

There are more hopes for Deadpool. opening today even though it’s not your normal superhero movie. Entertainment Weekly lauds it  for having “the balls to mess with the formula and have some naughty, hard-R fun. It’s a superhero film for the wise-asses shooting spitballs in the back of the school bus.”

There are no tie-ins, but collected editions of the comics are available in book form. Wired recommends “The 5 Comics You Have to Read Before Seeing Deadpool.”

The comedy How to Be Single, very loosely based on the book by Liz Tuccillo, will be taking aim at those opting out of Valentine’s Day.

On TV, only one new adaptation airs in the upcoming week, a Hulu special series based on Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; OverDrive 9781501120602_36daeSample).

An alternative history about a man traveling through time to prevent the assassination of JFK, it has big names attached, produced by  J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens, Lost) and starring  James Franco the time traveler.  However, Entertainment Weekly gives it a lowly C+.

The attention has brought the novel back to best seller lists. It is #6 on the 2/21 NYT Paperback Mass-Market Fiction list. In late January, it came out in both mass market and trade with a sticker linking it to the adaptation.

The eight-part series premiers on President’s Day, Feb. 15.


Born to Sell

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Born to Run SpringsteenAfter yesterday’s announcement that the Boss will publish a memoir in September, the book instantly rose to #1 on Amazon sales rankings, indicating it may be worth the reported $10 million advance.

Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen
S&S, September 27, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1501141515

PAX Rising

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

A middle-grade novel exploring the effects of war and the bonds of love between pets and humans is getting media attention.

9780062377012_0e913Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Harper/Balzer + Bray; OverDrive Sample) is about a twelve-year-old boy who has a pet fox named Pax. Separated by war, the two seek to find each other again, each telling their part of the story.

Pennypacker was on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday and today her book rose to #10 spot on Amazon’s sales ranking. UPDATE: The book debuts at #2 on the 2/21 NYT Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Best Sellers list.

During the conversation she describes how smart foxes are (they can communicate with other species) and her take how children see the world, saying:

“I wanted to … celebrate this extraordinary sense of no boundaries — it’s kind of a boundary issue where kids don’t realize there are boundaries and I love that! They’re right, they’re correct! Why can’t they love an animal, a wild animal or a pet? Why can’t they? … Humans sort of get narrow as they age and I think the older we get, the less we’re able to see we can have real relationships with more of life.”

The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have devoted attention to it as well. The novel received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and SLJ.

Top LibraryReads March Pick:

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

9780812993103_f08deThe #1 pick on the just-released LibraryReads list for March is The Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson (PRH/Random House; Random House Audio; BOT). This is only Simonson’s second novel; her first was the bestselling Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.

Paulette Brooks of Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI says the following in her annotation:

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

9780399169496_dec56Another fan-favorite author, Lyndsay Faye, makes the list with Jane Steele (PRH/Putnam; BOT), an historical crime novel using Charlotte Brontë’s
Jane Eyre as a launching pad.

Abbey Stroop of Herrick District Library, Holland,
MI describes it:

Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!”

9781451686630_0a0baLisa Lutz, who grabbed readers with her Spellman Files books takes a turn to thrillers, in The Passenger (Simon & Schuster).

Beth DeGeer of Bartlesville Public Library, Bartlesville, OK writes:

“This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman who has to keep switching identities and stay on the run. Is she a reliable narrator or not? What was the original event that sent her on the run? There is a lot of action and suspense as she tries to survive and evade the law while trying to keep her moral center intact. Unlike Lutz’s Spellman books, this reads more like a Charles Portis road novel, though considerably more serious and dangerous. Highly recommended.”

9781616205027_7fcfeNovelist Lee Smith takes a turn to nonfiction in
her memoir Dimestore: A Writer’s Life (Workman/Algonquin Books).

Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ writes:

“Evenly divided between a book about Smith’s process and her life, first as a Southern mountain child and, later, as the parent of a schizophrenic child, this book is interesting and compelling. Despite being surrounded by loving family and being blessed with an active imagination, Lee copes with a mentally ill mother. Later, her son’s mental illness and early death brings her to the breaking point but she is saved by her writing. This is a read-alike for Karr’s The Liars Club. It desperately needs a cinematic translation for it’s elegant and evocative writing.”

Two debuts make the list, The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Harper/Ecco; HarperAudio) and The Madwoman Upstairs, Catherine Lowell (S&S/Touchstone; Blackstone Audio).

9780062414212_2b722 Mary Kinser of Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham, WA says the following about Sweeney’s debut, which is also a top 15 Most Anticipated title:

“If you think your family is dysfunctional, move over, because here come the Plumbs. Suddenly faced with the dismantling of the nest egg they’ve counted on to solve their financial woes, the four Plumb siblings have to grow up, and fast. But though they all do some terrible things in the name of ambition, there’s something lovable about the Plumbs. You can’t fail to be moved by the beating heart of this novel, which seems to say that family, for good or ill, unites us all.”

9781501124211_01013Kristen McCallum, Algonquin Area Public Library, Algonquin, IL offers this recommendation for The Madwoman Upstairs, another riff on Jane Eyre:

“Meet Samantha Whipple, a descendant of the Bronte family, who arrives at Oxford to study literature, as her father did before her. She receives a copy of Jane Eyre – a volume that she thought was destroyed in the fire that took her father’s life. When a second Bronte novel belonging to her father turns up, she is convinced he has staged an elaborate treasure hunt for her promised inheritance. Enlisting the help of her sexy, young professor, Samantha sets out on a quest to find buried treasure and learns the value of friendship and courage along the way.”

The full list of suggestions is available beginning today.

Our GalleyChatters were also fans of many of these books (see here, here, and here).

HARRY POTTER Announcements

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

38452-1A news release from is setting the internet ablaze.

Announcing an “exciting publishing program,” it confirms the expected news that the script for the upcoming play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be released in book form.

It will be released in the U.S. by Scholastic at 12:01 a.m. on July 31st. The play begins its run at London’s Palace Theatre the day before.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child :Parts I & II  (ISBN 978-1-338-09913-3; $29.99 U.S. and $39.99 Canada; simultaneous eBook from Pottermore).

The play, and the book catch up with Harry as an adult with children of his own (reminding us that it’s been nearly twenty years since HP first appeared on the scene).

Also released today are photos of Universal Studio’s theme park, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” set to open April 7th.

Parental Aid

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Untangled“Meanness peaks in the 7th grade,” says psychologist Lisa Damour, interviewed yesterday on CBS This Morning about her new book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, (PRH/Ballantine; BOT/RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

As a result of the interview, the book shot up Amazon’s sales rankings and is now at #8. Holds are rising in many libraries.

The Washington Post‘s reviewer calls it, “the most down-to-earth, readable parenting book I’ve come across in a long time.”

Short Stories and the
SLATE Book Club

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

9780374202392_4fb99This month the Slate Audio Book Club discusses Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample), a book that got a lot of attention very quickly last fall and landed on a majority of the best books lists.

As we reported Entertainment Weekly, O magazine, and The New Yorker we all on board the bandwagon celebrating this under appreciated author’s 400+ page short story collection.

Now Slate critics Christina Cauterucci, Mark Harris, and Katy Waldman take on both the stories and the concept of short story collections themselves.

The most interesting parts of their conversation center on various ways to read short stories. They suggest reading this collection from beginning to end and not skipping around.

Another high note is the way they discuss Berlin ability to put readers right into the heart of the moment. At one point the panelists note that all the stories drop readers directly into the middle of the tale, without the least bit of warmup. At another they discuss Berlin’s economy as a writer, saying that she excels at implication and is masterful about noting what is just outside the reader’s line of sight.

All three enjoyed the collection and recommend it to readers.

Next month the club will discuss Better Living Through Criticism. (PRH/Penguin, Feb. 9), by the NYT‘s film critic A.O. Scott, a book currently receiving wide-spread attention, including reviews in the Atlantic, Slate, and, of course, the New York Times.

Holds Alert: WEST OF EDEN

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

When reviewers differ, how do readers decide? It can all depend on how the book is positioned.

9780812998405_08179A case in point is Jean Stein’s newest oral history, about the Golden Age of Hollywood glitterati, West of Eden: An American Place (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Janet Maslin clearly did not like it. She writes in her cutting NYT review that is its, “strangely unfocused … chopped into a few chapters about seemingly arbitrarily chosen families.”

However, the review in the LA Times by author Judith Freeman is far more compelling, saying that reading the book is:

“like being at an insider’s cocktail party where the most delicious gossip about the rich and powerful is being dished by smart people, such as Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Arthur Miller and Dennis Hopper. The result is a mesmerizing book … compulsively readable, capturing not just a vibrant part of the history of Los Angeles … but also the real drama of this town, as reflected in the lives of some of its most powerful players.”

Those players include the Dohenys, the Warners, Jane Garland, Jennifer Jones, and the Steins (big figures in movies, money, and real estate), each with a seemingly more grand, outrageous, tragic, or dysfunctional story to tell than the next.

Readers are clearly weighing in on the side of the cocktail party take. Strong demand is driving holds over a 3:1 ratio at nearly every library we checked, which has resulted in several systems ordering extra copies after buying very low.

Kakutani Likes THE GIRL

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

You may not expect the NYT’s literary-focused Michiko Kakutani to begin a review with references to Gone Girl or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, although, as a fan of the Millennium series, she has shown an appreciation for psychological thrillers.

9781612195001_a2c4eYet, her take on Kate Hamer’s indie press debut, The Girl in the Red Coat (Melville House; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), begins with references to both titles and goes on to applaud Harner’s character development, saying she has a “keen understanding of her two central characters … Both emerge as individuals depicted with sympathy but also with unsparing emotional precision.”

Those keeping track will remember that was Kakutani’s key praise of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as well.

It’s receiving appreciation from other quarters as well.  Amazon picked it as one of their Best Books of February and as their Featured Debut of the month. It is a LibraryReads selection, with Kim Dorman of the Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ observing:

“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”

It is showing solid holds in libraries we checked, performing strongly enough to be pushing against a 3:1 ratio.

Tony Bennet’s Collaborator

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Tony Bennett’s untitled memoir coming in August, is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of the “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016.” So far, it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites, but now we know who will serve as Bennett’s co-write.

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon announced that he is taking a six-week leave to work with Bennett on the book, returning in late March.

9781416573661_p0_v1_s192x300 9780062207067

Bennett, who will  will turn 90 in August, published an earlier memoir when he was 72, The Good Life: The Autobiography Of Tony Bennett (S&S/Atria, 1998). The New York Times Book Review called it “as breezy as an evening listening to Bennett himself.”

He also published a book of the lessons he lives by, including anecdotes from his life, Life Is A Gift: The Zen of Bennett, (HarperCollins, 2012).

Holds Alert: ORIGINALS

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Are you reading this through Firefox or Chrome? Your answer, says The Wharton School’s top-rated professor, Adam Grant, indicates how creative you might be. Intrigued?

9780525429562_1412fMany are as holds are soaring on his newest book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Grant, who also wrote the bestseller Give and Take and writes for The New York Times, addresses how to upend the status quo in business and other organizations with creative and new ideas. His research and case study examples offer insight on how to spot an original idea (as well as generate it or champion it), the power of timing in creating buy-in, and methods of working against groupthink.

Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg wrote a forward for the book, which is currently at #20 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Grant spoke on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, contributing the the surge in demand. Holds are currently very strong, and in libraries that bought few copies, they are far exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Titles to Know and Recommend,
The Week of 2/8/16

Friday, February 5th, 2016

9780525954576_cda6d  9780399176142_d4f24  9780345539847_f6b62

The holds leader for the upcoming week is Find Her by Lisa Gardner (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). It’s also a LibraryReads pick. Allie Williams, of Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL, offers this on the 8th of the Det. D.D. Warren novels:

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

A distant second is Alex Berenson’s tenth novel featuring John Wells, The Wolves (PRH/Putnam).

Slightly behind The Wolves is the final book in Pierce Brown’s trilogy Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy, (PRH/ Del Rey). Entertainment Weekly calls it the series’ “devastating and inspiring final chapter” but says it “hasn’t gotten the acclaim it deserves since it’s 2014 debut.” That may change. Movie rights were bought by Universal last year.

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 2:8:16

Eye on: Translations

The Elegance of the Hedgehog9781609453152_24b77

Americans are famous for turning cold shoulders to books in translation, except for when they embrace them, and then they do so in a big way. Witness the continuing excitement over Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series (#ferrantefever) and the phenomenon of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a book that continues to be a reading group favorite seven years after publication. Both are published by Europa Editions, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. At the time, the NYT‘s T Magazine wrote that the publisher’s books have become “Objects of Desire,” and that bookstore customers come in “asking ‘What’s new from Europa?'”

This week, Europa is publishing Barbery’s third novel, The Life of Elves. Released last year in France, it has not enjoyed the amazing success of Hedgehog, but that would be difficult for anyone to replicate (the Independent reports that of Hedgehog‘s  first printing of 3,000, only 12 copies sold in France the first week but word of mouth took hold and it went on to sell millions). The first of a two-book saga, it’s received praise from Library Journal, Booklist and  Kirkus, which notes it is  “completely different [from Hedgehog]: a fairy story of parallel but connected human and elf worlds and of dark forces and extraordinary goodness clashing in an age-old battle.”

A profile of the author is expected in the NYT next week, with reviews scheduled in the NYT Book Review,  Entertainment Weekly and Time magazine, among others.

9780374240905_50ed9It happens that another French translation arrives with buzz next week. The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) is the first work by the award-winning  author to be published in translation by an American publisher. Spanning 24 hours, it traces  the many ripples caused when young surfer is killed in a car crash, the effect on his parents, doctors, organ donation experts, and the woman who desperately needs his heart. It was a hit in France and is impressing critics here as well. Both Booklist and PW have given it a star and it appears on several “Most Anticipated” lists, with Bustle giving it this glowing praise:

“This slim, heady book made my own heart both stop and swell at the same time … In stunning prose that cuts like a scalpel … It’s mesmerizing … I’ve simply never read anything like it.”

Media Attention

9781451635119_bdbd5And Then All Hell Broke LooseTwo Decades in the Middle East, Richard Engel, (S&S)

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, who has been reporting on the Middle East for 20 years, will be receiving media attention from fellow journalists. Booklist, in a starred review, calls his book, “Clear, candid, and concise, Engel’s overview of the ongoing battleground should be required reading for anyone desiring a thorough and informed portrait of what the past has created and what the future holds for the Middle East and the world at large.”

The author is scheduled for a string of appearances, including the Today Show, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on February 11, followed by HBO’s RealTime with Bill Maher the next day.

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads selections arrive this week, a debut and the next in a long-running series.

9780399174124_9316c Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase (PRH/ Putnam; Penguin Audio/Books on Tape; OverDrive Sample). Deborah Margeson, of Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO, says the following about Chase’s debut:

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”Seven IndieNext List books also hit the shelves this week.

See also the author’s recent First Flight’s chat with librarians.

9780062413314_b4081The Ramblers, Aidan Donnelley Rowley (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample).

“This charming book is an homage to families — both the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It follows three characters in their early 30s who are trying to take the next steps toward growing up, deciding who they really are, and what they really want to do with the rest of their lives. They are closely linked and surrounded by family members who are in turns supportive, destructive, and ultimately loving. As members of New York’s privileged, they are free to explore their options while enjoying the best the city has to offer. You will laugh, cry, and cheer these characters on as they come to terms with both their past and their future.” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC

9780425283783_50f46Breaking Wild, Diane Les Becquets (PRH/Berkley; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts will rejoice in Les Becquets’ debut novel. In the spectacular and unforgiving wilderness of northwestern Colorado, elk-hunter Amy Raye Latour goes missing in a snowstorm at the beginning of winter. A search-and-rescue operation is organized and ranger Pru Hathaway and her rescue dog go to look for the missing woman. With alternating chapters focusing on each woman, Les Becquets spins a thrilling story about two strong and mysterious female characters whose resourcefulness and determination help them tackle incredible adversity. Breaking Wild is an extraordinary adventure story whose ending is as tense and suspenseful as anything I have ever read.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Breaking Wild also got starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and PW.

9780525429661_4444bThe Arrangement, Ashley Warlick (PRH/Viking; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America’s first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband — his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781101875551_92053In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein (PRH/Knopf; BOT).

“Lahiri traces the origins, tribulations, and tiny victories that have fueled her decades-long courtship with the Italian language in a bilingual memoir that reads more like an intimate diary. The chapters and short stories offer a vivid timeline of Lahiri’s turbulent relationship with language, bouncing around from English to Bengali during her childhood, immersing herself in the Italian culture by moving her family overseas, and finally attempting to write a book in a new voice. In Other Words is much more than an attempt at self-reflection and reinvention, it’s a mastery.” —Carly Lenz, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

If you are curious to learn more about  Lahiri love of Italian , read her interview in the Wall Street Journal [may require subscription].

9781400069538_7a0f2Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, Dawn Tripp (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Georgia is as stunningly beautiful as the artwork that inspired it. With amazing insight, Tripp captures the personal and artistic relationships between two difficult, brilliant, and complex people: the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. This is an incredible read from beginning to end, a book that begs to be discussed!” —Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

It is also the Costco Book Pick for February.

9781501112461_2b028My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, Chris Offutt (S&S/Atria Books).

“This fascinating memoir of Offutt’s difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family’s income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father’s library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down.” —Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Chris Offutt is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

9781594633461_22eecSudden Death, by Álvaro Enrigue, translated by Natasha Wimmer (PRH/Riverhead Books).

Sudden Death is one of the most audacious, smart, and original books you will read this year. It is a literary triptych — part history lesson, part tennis match, and part hypermodern adventure. Daring and visceral with a cast that includes Thomas Cromwell, Mary Magdalene, Aztec emperors, and more, the limits of the novel in Enrigue’s hands seem boundless. No other author is taking chances like this with such gratifying results.” —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX


There are no tie-in this week but the coming weeks bring many, including an Allegiant movie tie-in edition.

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

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 8

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Today. we will learn if  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adapted from the book by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), overturns the box office curse that afflicted its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it’s a safe bet that the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Choice will open well and continue into Valentine’s Day weekend.

Two adaptations open next week:

9781501140648_4ff7f  9781501140525_6d31e
How to Be Single is a rom-com (with a stress on the com) that traces the fates of a group of singles on the dating scene in NYC. It stars Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, and Damon Wayans Jr.

It is loosely based (with a stress on “loosely”) on How to Be Single, Liz Tuccillo (S&S/Washington Square Press; OverDrive Sample – also in mass market). Tie-ins came out just a few weeks ago.

MV5BMjQyODg5Njc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExMjE3NzE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_The second movie is a big anti-Valentine’s Day play (note the poster).

Deadpool features the Marvel Comics character who has evolved from villain to antihero. Ryan Reynolds portrayed him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and reprises the role in this feature.

There is no an official tie-in, but the wise-cracking, super-skilled mercenary features in many comics, so many that Den of Geek provides a lengthy guide to reading the oeuvre.

On Most of 2016’s
Most Anticipated Lists

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Just as the book award season ends, the most anticipated list begin to appear, fueling TBR piles and driving up holds queues.

Now that a number of lists have appeared, we can assess which titles fared the best. Looking at seven of the most influential lists, fifteen titles received the most nods.

Spring 2016 Previews — downloadable spreadsheet

A caution, since it’s early in the year, most of the list-makers haven’t yet read these books (Entertainment Weekly makes this clear, headlining their list “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016“), so they are based on buzz and author reputation, and are not guarantees of success. Also, most of the lists are by critics, so they tend to focus on literary titles and rarely include genre titles destined to become bestsellers.

9781501122729_8f332Innocents and Others, Dana Spiotta (S&S/Scribner; Mar. 8) makes it onto five of the seven lists we checked, with Entertainment Weekly writing“The Stone Arabia novelist’s anxiously awaited new work is about two best friends — both L.A. filmmakers — who tangle with a mysterious older woman who likes to seduce men over the phone.”

Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) and Emma Cline’s The Girls (Random House; Random House Audio; June 14) fared well too, making five of the lists.

9780812998603_d74db  9780618663026_49632

As we reported earlier, Chee’s book, published last week, has received significant review attention and is even one of those rarities, a literary author who appeared on a late night talk show.

Cline’s novel was picked as one of the featured titles in PW‘s “Booksellers Pick Their Top Early 2016 Books.” Unlike the critics’ list, which represent titles they expect to review, this one features titles booksellers expect to handsell. Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in Saint Louis, Mo. remarks that Cline’s novel about a murderous cult in the late 1960s (think Charles Manson) offers a “creative use of a historical incident to build a story [that] stays with you.”

Other titles that made the top 15 include two that librarians have been talking about on GalleyChat.

The Nest  9781400068326_8f573

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; Mar. 22) —  GALLEYCHATTER, November 2015, Winter Reading for 2016 Titles. Advance attention seems to doing the trick already, several libraries are developing holds queues.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House; April 19) —  GALLEYCHAT, December 2015, Eyes 2016 picks.