Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Holds Alert:
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 10.00.32 AMRacing up the Amazon rankings is a book on raising kids that tells parents to stop hovering and take a chill pill.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, who once worked as the Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University, enters the crowded and heated child-rearing fray with How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample).

Published last month, it was featured on the cover of the June 21 NYT Sunday Book Review where reviewer Heather Havrilesky said that its “bleak portrait may just be the Black Hawk Down of helicopter parenting” and went on to link the book to others such as David MuCullough, Jr.’s You Are Not Special and Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun.

The book, excerpted in Slate this week under the catchy headline “Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out,” is also seeing a rise in holds on very conservative ordering.

NPR Offers RA Assistance

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Author and NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan, who last month offered a summer reading book list came back to Fresh Air yesterday with four more suggestions, this time suspense novels she says are all “deadly accurate in their aim to entertain.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.58.49 PMFirst up is Innocence; Or, Murder on Steep Street (Soho; OverDrive Sample) by Heda Margolius Kovaly, translated by Alex Zucker. Kovaly is a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and communist rule in Czechoslovakia. She died in 2010, leaving behind a number of works including this novel set in 1950s Prague, just a few years after the close of WWII. It centers on a movie theater usher trying desperately to save her husband who has been imprisoned and accused of espionage. Corrigan says “the great draw is the menacing view it gives us of communist Prague.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.00.29 PMS.J. Watson’s Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), also featured in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, is Corrigan’s second pick. She calls it a “nuanced” and “erotic psychological thriller.” The story follows a woman who falls down the rabbit hole of the “online demimonde.” Corrigan promises readers will never see the end coming.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.02.20 PMThe third pick is Run You Down (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Julia Dahl, (following Dahl’s Edgar-nominated debut, Invisible City). It again features the reporter Rebekah Roberts as the central character, who is once again drawn into the world of Hasidic Jews – this time when she starts poking into the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Roseville, N.Y. where a woman has been found dead in a bathtub. Corrigan ends her summary with this useful take: “Though the plot becomes a bit formulaic at the end, Dahl is an evocative writer, never more so than when she’s describing the nascent yearnings of those younger members of that religious community — gay, vaguely feminist, simply different — who can’t quite fit in, but can’t quite leave.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.02.52 PMClosing out her picks is The Last Taxi Ride (Macmillan/Minotaur; OverDrive Sample) by A.X. Ahmad, the follow-up to The Caretaker. Here Ranjit Singh, an ex-army captain and Sikh immigrant from India, has become a taxi driver and is accused of murdering a Bollywood film icon. In her summary of what it feels like to read the book Corrigan offers the very high praise, that in a period when “we’ve lost both P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, it’s cheering to stumble upon an emerging detective like Ranjit, who feels utterly authentic and original.”

GO SET A WATCHMAN, Sneak Peek

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Go Set a WatchmanThe Wall Street Journal will post the first chapter of Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman, plus a sample of Reese Witherspoon reading the audiobook, this Friday, four days in advance of the book’s publication. In the U.K., the excerpts will be published by the Guardian.

The chapter will also be discussed on the WSJ Book Club Facebook page.

For an amusing take on the promotion campaign for the book, check out the discussion between Peter Bart, Variety’s former editor-in-chief and Mike Fleming, also formerly of Variety and now at Deadline. Says Bart,  “How do you sell a (sort of) sequel to the great To Kill a Mockingbird when you have no star to promote it (Gregory Peck is long gone) and Harper Lee, age 89, hasn’t been seen in public in sixty years.”

It may seem hopelessly old-fashioned to the Hollywood crowd, but, according to the New York Times, bookstore promotions include “read-a-thons, midnight openings, film screenings, Southern food and discussion groups.”

Crime Report

Monday, July 6th, 2015

9781476795553_70309This week’s NYT Sunday Book Review offers a rundown of crime stories starting with Joseph Finder’s review of Sascha Arango’s The Truth and Other Lies (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is an antihero novel about a man pretending to write the very successful crime novels his wife actually pens.

After pointing out that “we’re in something of a golden age of the sociopathic antihero, on the page and on screen, from Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter to the passionate borderlines of Gillian ­Flynn and Paula Hawkins,” Finder calls this a strong example of the genre:

Arango, a German television writer, has constructed a clever plot that always surprises, told with dark humor and dry wit and bustling with aperçus that show no signs of jet lag from Imogen Taylor’s clean translation.

Trade reviews are very strong and it is a July Indie Next pick.

Reviewer Marilyn Stasio’s crime roundup column in the same issue highlights four further titles.

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.44.57 PMLeah Stewart returns to her suspense roots in The New Neighbor (S&S/Touchstone; Dreamscape; OverDrive Sample). The secret-filled novel centers on two reclusive women who begin a fraught relationship after they exchange grudging waves from the decks of their isolated houses. As the story unfolds, Margaret, an abrasive 90-year-old, decides to play detective, prying into the past of Jennifer, a much younger woman with a 4-year-old son.

Stasio tantalizingly ends her review with “Stewart never relaxes her tight focus on these complex characters…but even as they begin to break through each other’s defenses, you can’t help thinking it might have been better for Jennifer if she’d never returned that first wave.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.45.31 PMS.J. Watson’s sophomore novel, Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which follows his breakout debut Before I Go To Sleep, is the story of middle-aged and bored Julia who discovers her murdered sister was involved in cybersex. As she investigates further a man who could well be her sister’s killer pulls her into his thrall.

Stasio describes it as “a discreetly sexy novel [that] should have a “Beach Candy” sticker on its cover… [the] romantic suspense story pairs high concept with low literary value. But the plot is a pip.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.46.25 PM Clearly a fan of David Mark, Stasio calls him a “craft-conscious author” and his Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy mysteries “robust police procedurals.” Her review of the newest, Taking Pity (Penguin/Blue Rider Press; OverDrive Sample), in which McAvoy is involved in two cases, a mass murder from 1966 and a present day crime ring, offers a strong pitch to start the series now and keep reading until caught up.

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.47.12 PMNot so well received is Tom Wright’s Blackbird (Europa; OverDrive Sample). While praising the style, “Wright is one of those regional authors who can out-sing the birds with his lyrical descriptions of his home place,” Stasio has issues with the plotting, “he keeps running away from his own story.” Still, it is getting great trade reviews and is the follow-up to his well-received debut What Dies In Summer.

A LOT of Titles for RA Gurus, the Week of July 6

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

It’s a good thing it’s a long weekend, because we have a very long list of titles for you. We suspect that publishers are cramning books into the pipeline before Go Set a Watchman hits shelves the following week.

9781501115639_38cefNext week, the media will be focused on Jimmy Carter’s memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, beginning with  NPR’s Weekend Edition tomorrow, followed by:

• MSNBC-TV/”Morning Joe,” July 7
• MSNBC-TV/”Hardball with Chris Matthews,” July 7
• CNN-TV/”The Lead with Jake Tapper,” July 8
• NPR-Radio/”Diane Rehm,” July 9
• PBS-TV/”Newshour,” July 9
• Radio Satellite Tour, July 10
• ABC-TV/”This Week,” July 11
• CBS-TV/”CBS This Morning,” week of July 13
AARP Magazine, June/July issue

9780399171277_e292b  9781476717159_5a93d

The leading titles in holds are Nemesis by Catherine Coulter, (Penguin/Putnam) and Code of Conduct: A Thriller by Brad Thor (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books).

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 7:6:15

Consumer Media Picks

9780062339584_e339d

The Swede, Robert Karjel (Harper)

The publisher clearly thinks this, the Swedish author’s first book in English, is a potential best seller, having spent handsomely for the rights and backing it with a full-page ad in last week’s NYT BR.

Entertainment Weekly featured it as the lede review last week, giving it a strong B+.

The Wall Street Journal interviewsed the author in 2013 whenFox picked up the rights for a TV series, under the headline,”Homeland + The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’= ”

Libraries have ordered it cautiously, however, despite a very strong review in Publishers Weekly, “Filled with rich characterization and unforeseeable twists and revelations, this mesmerizing first in a planned series will leave readers gasping for breath”

9780812995220_dd7ff  9780802123916_66134  9781250058188_81fae

Among the Ten Thousand ThingsJulia Pierpont (Random House)

On Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” for this week at #19, it is also also reviewed in the issue, where it gets a straight A.

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime, Val McDermid, (Grove Press)

On Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of “Brainy & Brilliant Beach Books“– link is to our Edelweiss collection

One Way or Another, Elizabeth Adler, (Macmillan/Minotaur)

On People magazine’s Summer’s Best Beach Books” from last week— link is to our collection on Edelweiss

Peer Picks

9780062364838_a4cd3

Crooked Heart, Lissa Evans (Harper)

LibraryReads:

Crooked Heart is a rewarding, addictive read. Orphaned ten-year-old bookworm Noel, sent away to rural St. Albans, finds himself under the reluctant guardianship of Vee, aka Mrs. Vera Sledge. Amidst a chaotic background of bombings and uncertain futures, Vee and Noel gradually form a powerful bond. I recommend this darkly humorous, honest, and complex story. It is book club heaven.” — Janet Schneider, Oceanside Library, Oceanside, NY

NOTE: this was also on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist. A movie of the author’s 2009 novel Their Finest Hour and a Half, is in the works with Lone Scherfig directing  (One Day, An Education)

9781476776880_533cf

Maybe in Another Life, Taylor Jenkins Reid (S&S/Washington Square Press, original trade pbk)

Reviewed in People magazine this week, it is also a LibraryReads pick:

“Hannah Martin has just moved back to LA after ending a relationship. Her best friend, Gabby, takes her out to a bar on her first night home. Enter Ethan, the One Who Got Away, and suddenly, Hannah has to decide if she’ll leave with Ethan or Gabby. We follow Hannah after choosing both options, alternating chapters to explore the consequences of each. A must for anyone who loves a hankie with their books!” — Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC

9781250034588_0c877

Those Girls, Chevy Stevens, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)

LibraryReads

Those Girls follows the lives of the Campbell sisters. After running away from their alcoholic father, they find themselves caught in a worse situation when they are kidnapped. As events spiral out of control, they manage to escape and create new lives. This is a tale that will captivate readers and show just how strong the bond between family members can be.” — Annice Sevett, Willmar Public Library, Willmar, Minnesota

9780062391193_bdc8f

Speak, Louisa Hall, (HarperCollins/Ecco)

Indie Next:

“This is an amazingly complex novel that explores humanity, time, memory, communication, love, and the fear of losing what once was. Introducing five different narratives that at first seem unconnected, Hall creates a shimmering spiderweb of a story: delicately crafted, fragile, and infinitely beautiful, uncovering humanity’s most elusive and abstract thoughts. Hall impresses upon the reader the importance of speaking not just in order to move forward, but also in order to retain the past: ‘They are all in me, in the words that I speak, as long as I am still speaking.’” — Nancy Solberg, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

9780385352642_22dfe

Vanishing Games, Roger Hobbs, (RH/Knopf)

GalleyChat, April:

” In 2013 Roger Hobbs had a hit with the first Jack White title, Ghostman, (even Michiko liked it!) and the second one is—if possible—even more intense. Set in the fascinating location of Macau, ‘Jack’ reunites with his mentor, Angela, to find a missing treasure while trying to stay one step ahead of multiple bad guys. Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro Public Library (OR), said this is “a fast-paced and thrilling high-stakes caper that is enjoyable from start to finish.”

9781250066640_a1336

The Last Pilot, Benjamin Johncock, (Macmillan/Picador)

Reviewed this week in People (“Ingeniously plotted, deftly written and engrossing”), this is also an Indie Next pick:

“Filled with dialogue that cuts like a knife, The Last Pilot is a riveting time capsule of a novel that tells the gripping story of Jim Harrison, an Air Force test pilot working at NASA during the glory years of the 1950s. The dangers and magnitude of space exploration pale in comparison to Harrison’s life-on-earth challenges — including the death of his young daughter — which haunt and threaten to destroy him. An emotionally raw, riveting read.” —Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

9781476774589_8e85b

The Hand That Feeds You, A.J. Rich, (S&S/Scribner)

On both Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer Reading previews as well as and the Wall Street Journal‘s, it got slapped by an absolutely  terrible review from PW., but booksellers went for it an named it an Indie Next pick:

“Morgan is living the good life until the day she returns home to find her fiance mauled to death and her dogs covered in blood. She had rescued her dogs from a shelter, wanting to do something good, and now a man is dead. As time moves forward, the ground under Morgan shifts. She doesn’t understand why her dogs, loving animals, would have done such a thing. And the victim is not all he seemed either — his job, his home, nothing is as he said, and then there is the discovery of other fiances. This edge-of-your-seat mystery has twists and turns that will keep you guessing. A.J. Rich is the pseudonym of award winners Jill Ciment and Amy Hempel, writing as a team.” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books and Music, Sunriver, OR

9781492608332_b71a5

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, Kelli Estes, (Sourcebooks Landmark)

Indie Next:

“In 1886, a young Chinese woman is forced out of the only home she has ever known in Seattle. Liu Mei Lin must overcome prejudices and terror while struggling to keep the traditional beliefs that are close to her heart. On contemporary Orcas Island, Inara deals with an overbearing father who will throw up every roadblock he can to get her to do what he wants. As Inara prepares to turn a family home into a hotel, she finds an embroidered silk sleeve hidden below a stair step. Wanting to learn more about the sleeve and the figures depicted on it, she begins a search to find out more about the woman who made it. This story is compelling, heart-wrenching, and an absolutely beautiful read.” —Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

9781616956264_9e9d7

Down Among the Dead Men, Peter Lovesey, (Soho Crime)

Indie Next:

“Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond has been called off his current case load to join his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, on an internal investigation. A detective is accused of failing to follow up on DNA evidence that could link her niece to a murder. It’s an ethical violation case, but the evidence came to light three years ago and only now is she being accused. Diamond expects that more is happening than meets the eye. Meanwhile, a teacher from a private girls’ school has gone missing and now the schoolgirl who was looking for her has disappeared as well. It’s going to take a bit of doing to unravel what is happening in Sussex. If you’ve never read an Inspector Diamond book, this one is a great place to start.” —Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, IN – See more at:

9781627792677_779e5

Bell Weather, Dennis Mahoney, (Macmillan/Holt)

)Indie Next:

“Set in a fantastical 18th century world where rain falls up and color storms wash the land with bright hues, Bell Weather is, at its core, the story of a spirited young woman fighting for the freedom to choose her own path. Although Molly tells the townsfolk of Root almost nothing of her past, readers learn about her childhood with an overbearing governess, a cold father, and a brilliant, cunning brother who will stop at nothing to ensure that he and Molly are together and unbridled. Mahoney has created a marvelous world that readers will want to visit again and again.” —Amelia Stymacks, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

9780399173967_d9949

Bull Mountain, Brian Panowich, (Penguin/Putnam)

An Indies Introduce title with as killer quote from Wiley Cash, “Brian Panowich stamps words on the page as if they’ve been blasted from the barrel of a shotgun, and as with a shotgun blast, no one is safe from the scattered fragments of history that impale the people of Bull Mountain.”

Wild Card

9781476799087_e9973

 

 

As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew, Jen Chaney, (Touchstone, original trade pbk)

Even with all the titles above, we just had to mention this one. Few libraries have ordered it, but this celebration of the best take ever on Jane Austen is guaranteed to circulate like crazy from the new book shelves.

GO SET A WATCHMAN:
Discovery Story Questioned

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Go Set a WatchmanIt seemed that the controversies about the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman had been laid to rest, but this afternoon the New York Times reports that questions have come up about  whether the manuscript was a “stumbled on” last August as had been claimed, or if it was actually discovered in 2011.

The timing is important to those that fear that Lee, now 89 and nearly deaf and blind, was manipulated into agreeing to the book’s publication. In 2011, Lee’s sister and protector Alice was still alive. If the discovery been revealed, she may have taken steps to prevent its publication.

It’s unlikely this will have any impact on the book’s release, set for July 14. The state of Alabama has already ruled against complaints that Lee was coerced and reported that she was in fact happy to hear so many people are interested in reading the book.

RA Alert: THE DIVER’S CLOTHES LIE EMPTY

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.34.31 AMOn Fresh Air yesterday author Vendela Vida spoke with Terry Gross about her new novel The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty (Harper/Ecco; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample), one of the show’s early summer reading picks.

The novel, about a woman’s unraveling identity, has received admiring reviews in local and national papers, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Cleveland Plain Dealer to the daily New York Times and the Sunday Book Review.

As a result, holds are spiking in some places and are generally outpacing fairly light ordering.

If you need a way to describe the story, check out these takes:

  • Entertainment Weekly, which gave the book a B+, offers a bang-up summary: “Vida’s twisting, feverish novel may be slim, but it’s full of intrigue, betrayal, and enough mysterious doppelgängers to overwhelm even Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany.”
  • The Huffington Post’s “Bottom Line” says it is for readers “interested in feminist literature, funny stories, and spare plots that’ll make your heart race.”

Silva Summer: THE ENGLISH SPY

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.05.17 AMSeveral things happen around this time of year: the heat intensifies, humidity blooms, and Daniel Silva releases another Gabriel Allon thriller.

This time it is The English Spy (Harper; HarperAudio) which comes out tomorrow.

In this new title, Silva’s character, Israel’s super spy Allon, finds himself torn between the past and future as he is forced to leave his pregnant wife to fulfill a longstanding vendetta. It is a quest that will ensnare his British cohort Christopher Keller (who first appeared in The English Assassin) and a number of other old friends and enemies.

Making the book tour rounds, Silva appeared this morning on the Today Show to talk about how he borrows from the headlines, politics, and current events to create the background for his plots.

He was also on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday where he offered brief comments on politics and writing. While there are a number of complications in writing a political series (and his series  is very political, with a conservative point of view about Israel and Middle Eastern and Russian politics) he says it is those complications that give his Allon books their edge. He also discussed the burdens of writing a successful franchise, revealing that he has numerous blue note cards full of stories that do not feature Allon, but feels that his fans would revolt if his next book didn’t continue the series.

For now, Allon reigns supreme but fans might one day meet a new Silva character.

Best Beach Books

Friday, June 26th, 2015

1370-cover  cover-768

With the Fourth of July holiday ahead, sister publications People and Entertainment Weekly offer recommendations of titles to take to the beach:

People — “Summer’s Best Beach Books” — not available online, link is to our collection on Edelweiss

Entertainment Weekly — “Brainy & Brilliant Beach Books“– link is to our Edelweiss collection

Titles on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” for the week:

#3 — Sick in the Head : Conversations About Life and Comedy, Judd Apatow, (Random House); has been getting media coverage, of course. The author has appeared on several shows, including NPR’s Fresh Air and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The book has even been covered by The New Yorker.

#9 — Day Four, Sara Lotz (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio: eBook) —  also gets a B+ review in the previous issue’s review section saying this “eerie tale contains freaky spooks … You’ll turn the pages curiously, hungry for clues, until the ending, told through newspaper clippings and CIA files, kicks you in the stomach.” The Guardian agrees crediting “Lotz’s expertise at orchestrating the mounting tension as the story builds to a wonderfully ambiguous, though satisfying and unusual, denouement.”

Titles Know and Recommend, the Week of 6/29

Friday, June 26th, 2015

9780062320131_9f0ce  9780785192664_a3125

Leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, The English Spy by Daniel Silva, (Harper) is the holds leader among books arriving next week. Also, arriving is one of tie-ins to Marvel’s big summer release, Ant-man (full list of titles in our collection Upcoming — Tie-ins) and an audio-only title from Stephen King.

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 6:29:15

Media Attention

9781442389649_aba55Drunken Fireworks, Stephen King, read by Tim Sample, (Simon & Schuster Audio; 3 minute excerpt)

Stephen King brought attention to eBooks when he released an eBook-only title, Riding the Bullet. He now brings attention to CBS’s on-demand audio platform by releasing this audiobook-only title. About a fireworks rivalry that gets out of hand, the audio is also available on CD and via audio download.

In early November the short story will be released in print as part of a new King collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (S&S/Scribner; Nov 3).

Media:

The New York Times, author and narrator interview (upcoming)

CBS/Play.It, live stream, July 1 and 2

9781455530373_69a37

Killing Monica, Candace Bushnell, (Hachette/Grand Central)

Candace Bushnell wrote a series of columns for the New York Observer, which became the book Sex and the City, which became the HBO series starring Sarah Jessica Parker. In Busnell’s new book, she writes about an author of a series of best selling books that becomes a popular TV series starring an actress need SondraBeth Schnowzer. The author ends up being so identified with the character that, well, the title seems to serve as a spoiler.

In multiple interviews, including one with The New York Observer, Bushnell denies that this book bears any similarity to her life or to her relationship with SJP. Not that it much matters; interest in SATC has been dimmed by time and two disastrous movies (even so, Parker recently hinted that a third is on the way. We’ll believe it when we see it). As USA Today indicates, the book has little going for it on its own.

Peer Picks

9781451659160_68cd4

The Oregon Trail : A New American Journey, Rinker Buck, (Simon & Schuster)

Indie Next #1 Pick:

“Inspired by a family trip in a covered wagon in the 1950s, Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set out by wagon to discover what remains of the Oregon Trail between Missouri and Oregon. Along the way, readers learn about wagon design, mule heritage, and what pioneers needed to endure traveling west in the 19th century. This is also a moving personal story of brotherhood, endurance, and the kindness of strangers. Buck weaves fact, action, and reflection together into a page-turning delight that history buffs and fans of contemporary nonfiction will not want to miss.” —Dick Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY

Reviewed in the daily New York Times by Dwight Garner, it was also on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Summer Reading Preview,”5/16/15.

In the trailer, author Rinker Buck explains what made him deiced to take such a crazy journey:

9781476786506_f3669

The Mountain Story, Lori Lansens, (Simon & Schuster)

One of our GalleyChat picks back in December:

“Lori Lansens’ story of conjoined twins, The Girls, is a perennial library favorite and The Mountain Story (S&S/Gallery), her latest book about a group of strangers who get stranded in the woods above Palm Springs, California, is already receiving attention. Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro, OR, Public Library) said it’s ‘a deeply moving story of survival, and of the choices we make in our lives. Lansens does a wonderful job of weaving in the stories of the four characters, and moving between the current desperate situation and events in the past.’ ”

9781594205958_d99d2-3

The Star Side of Bird Hill, Naomi Jackson, Penguin Press

Featured in our Penguin Debut Authors series, this is an Indie Next pick:

“In the summer of 1989, sisters Dionne and Phaedra — aged 16 and 10, respectively — are shuttled from their Brooklyn life to their grandmother Hyacinth’s home in Barbados. Dionne is filled with palpable teenage angst and the desire for romance, while Phaedra prefers to experience the mysteries of Bird Hill with her grandmother. Both girls have a tentative curiosity about their mother’s early life on the island, but it is not until their father shows up unexpectedly that they question their very identities and what it means to be ‘home.’ Reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid, Jackson’s coming-of-age tale makes Barbados spring from the page with humor, beauty, and heartbreak.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The author speaks to librarians, below:

9780373780129_ba3d9

Kiss Me, Susan Mallery, (Harlequin)

LibraryReads:

“As always, Ms. Mallery has given us a fantastic read. As soon as I pick up her titles, I can’t put them down until I have finished them. They are feel-good, heartwarming — I need more synonyms. I love seeing all the previous characters, the friendships and families that have formed since Chasing Perfect came out five years ago. Thanks, Ms. Mallery, for another amazing read.” — Jenelle Klavenga, Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA

A Dozen Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of 6/22/15

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Some big name authors publish new titles next week, but consumer reviews are focused on a debut collection of short stories. Among the titles chosen by peers are several with a bookish theme as well as a title billed as a “great psychological thriller.”

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 6/22 (Note:Also included are media tie-ins to the Marvel movie Ant-Man, releasing July 17),

Holds Leaders

9780553392715_00234  9780316407014_0e0c6  9781476749112_7dca6

This week, the holds leaders in a tight race, are:

Janet Evanovich, Wicked Charms (Random House; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

James Patterson and Howard Roughan, Truth Or Die (Hachette/Little Brown)

Mary Higgins Clark, The Melody Lingers On (S&S)

The Guardian recently called Clark “The anti-Gone Girl” because her heroines are always likable, also noting that, at 88, Clark is not slowing down. She will publish 3 books (Death Wears a Beauty Mask is already out. Coming in November, All Dressed in White, the second in the series with Alafair Burke).

She is also set for media appearances next week:

• NBC-TV/’The Today Show, June 22
• CNBC-TV/‘Closing Bell, June 24
• WNYW-TV/Good Day New York, June 25
AARP Magazine, June/July issue

Consumer Media Picks

9781101874998_a2daaThe Cartel, Don Winslow (Random House)

The daily NYT’s critic Janet Maslin picked this as part of the Summer Reading Rreview last month. Today, she follows up with a strong advance review, including this over-the-top line, “The Cartel culminates in a near-symphonic array of lethal coups de grace, written with such hallucinatory intensity that the whole book seems to have turned into a synchronized fireworks display.”

Winslow also wrote Savages, the basis for the movie by director Oliver Stone. So, naturally, there are movie plans, as reported by Deadline, which also noted that this is the first of Winslow’s books edited by Knopf’s legendary head, Sonny Mehta “since he won back Winslow from S&S.”

9780385352819_e8c4bIn the Country: Stories. Mia Alvar, (RH/Knopf)

It’s no surprise to see a collection of short stories reviewed respectfully in the New York Times Book Review (as this one is this Sunday), but it is a surprise to see one featured on both Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” (and very prominently, at #3, sandwiched between the animated movie Inside Out and the video game Lego Jurassic World) and one of the three titles on People‘s Picks section, saying “In these profound, trenchant short stories centered around the Filipino diaspora, startling truths are revealed.”

9780385539081_6eac6China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan, (RH/Doubleday)

People Book of the Week — ‘Take a Jane Austen novel, combine it with Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous and set it in the glittering capitals of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. What have you got? This deliciously fun follow-up to Kwan’s bestselling Crazy Rich Asians. On the eve of her wedding to one of China’s most eligible men, Rachel Chu, a young professor, discovers her birth father — and a new world of unexpected choices. Her story is both field guide to Asia’s uberwealthy echelon and comic satire at its best.”

Entertainment Weekly is less enthusiastic, giving it just a B and comparing it unfavorably to the first book.

9781455554591_04146Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, Sarah Hepola (Hachette/Grand Central)

A memoir about the hot-button issue of women and alcoholism, expect to hear about this next week, particularly since, as a writer for Salon, the author has media connections. The L.A. Times gives it an advance review, saying it is, “both a riveting coming-of-age story and an important contribution to the growing body of writing about women and drinking” and, “For all the wresting with hard truths, Hepola is a funny writer, and the book is shot through with a black humor that will be familiar to her readers on Salon.com where she is the personal essays editor.” UPDATE: The author appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Peer Picks

9780553418774_590ebThe Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George, (RH/Crown)

Indie Next and LibraryReads

“Quirky and delightful, Nina George’s book focuses on Jean Perdu, owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn’t know he needed.” Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

9781250054807_372c8The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)

Indie Next and LibraryReads:

“A roller coaster of a read! This is the story of a librarian from a splintered family with a tragic past who is gifted a mysterious book that leads him to dive deep into his family’s history, all while his present life seems to be falling to pieces around him. If you loved Morgenstern’s The Night Circus or Kostova’s The Historian, this is a book for you.”– Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

9780374139667_ba8a0Death and Mr. Pickwicl, Stephen Jarvis, (Macmillan/FSG)

Indie Next:

“This rollicking great novel, brimming with vivid characters, takes the position that Charles Dickens did not create his first, and arguably greatest, novel on his own. Two historians struggle through documents and incidents, sending the reader through a cartwheel tour of Victorian London. Not only is there the main plot about Dickens and illustrator Robert Seymour, but also back-alley trips to drunken sports clubs, gay meeting places, taverns, and even the courtroom where the prime minister is standing trial. It’s a delightful story, full of wit and sardonic humor, but with true emotion at the heart of it all, which elevates the entire read. A delight!” —Bill Carl, Booksellers on Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH

9781476795553_70309The Truth and Other Lies, Sascha Arango, (S&S/Atria)

Indie Next:
“Henry Hayden has it all: loving wife, faithful dog, money, fame, and the respect of those lucky enough to be called his friends. Henry is actually someone who will go to extreme lengths to protect the one thing that truly matters to him: himself. When his mistress tells Henry that she is pregnant, the news sets off a chain of events that causes Henry to commit the biggest mistake of his life and forces him to stay one step ahead of the law. Arango’s novel is twisty, cynical, and brilliant.” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

9780553394818_d4bbaAs Night Falls, Jenny Milchman, (RH/Ballantine)

Indie Next:

“If you want to experience a great psychological thriller, you must read As Night Falls. Sandy has tried to leave her past behind and start a new life, but it comes crashing in on her in a vicious way. Two convicts break into her house, and that is just the beginning of the terror as Sandy must try to face the past and save her family. I could not put this book down!” —Melissa Wade, Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, FL

 

Post-BEA Report:
Unexpected Gems

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

In our most recent GalleyChatter column, we highlighted the titles we expected to be hearing about at Book Expo America. We’re happy to report our predictions were accurate, but the real fun of the show is the unexpected gems.

During the post-BEA GalleyChat, those who had just returned from the show were so eager to share newly discovered titles that it was difficult to wait until the 4:00 pm start time. Below are titles that were most heavily buzzed. For a complete list of the 110 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.

Editors Note: Several publishers are making digital ARC’s of the books that ended up being “sold out” at BEA easily available to EarlyWord readers. Register here.

Unconventional Memoirs

Little Victories  9781501107832_cf508

Wall Street Journal sports writer Jason Gay’s presentation at the Penguin Random House breakfast was so delightful even non-sports fans left clutching the galley. Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living (RH/Doubleday, November), a collection of essays on “rules to live by,” doesn’t dictate but suggests in a humorous, wise, and entertaining way how to behave in the world today, and also includes a few snippets about Gay’s own personal struggles.

Mary-Louise Parker charmed the BEA lunch audience by calling librarians “bad-asses” and her memoir Dear Mr. You (S&S/Scribner, November) is now attracting readers. Tracy Babiasz (acquisitions manager, Chapel Hill Library, NC) says, “Parker’s unique approach to memoir, a collection of letters to the men who have impacted her life, showcases her talent for imaginative, and sometimes stream-of-consciousness writing. It should be read slowly, savoring the carefully chosen language that offer the reader a peek into Parker’s life.”

Book Group Worthy

9781631490477_1c402  9780062390547_07f37  9781594634475_68932

Eli Gottlieb’s Best Boy (Norton/Liveright, August) has already received top marks from two GalleyChat regulars. Vicki Nesting (St. Charles Parish Library, LA) calls it “A brilliantly imagined and insightful story narrated by Todd, an autistic man in his 50s whose very orderly world is thrown into chaos when a new resident and a malevolent new staff member arrive at Payton Living Center.  This remarkable book will remain with readers long after they have turned the last page.” Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) also endorsed it by adding it is “heartfelt and achingly beautiful.”

HarperCollins’ Virginia Stanley has been tirelessly advocating Melissa DeCarlo’s The Art of Crash Landing (Harper Paperbacks/HC, September) and it is now one of my favorite books of the year and a top choice for book groups. Pregnant and broke, and wearing a huge chip on her shoulder, Mattie flees Florida for Oklahoma, hoping to collect on her grandmother’s estate but ends up trying to unravel her deceased mother’s mysterious background. Mattie’s voice could come across as biting and annoying, but DeCarlo has made her funny and appealing.

Jennifer Dayton (Darien Library, CT) couldn’t stop talking about Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Penguin/Riverhead, September), the story of Mathilde and Lotto’s 20-plus year marriage as told from both points of view. Jennifer adds, “Be aware however that, as in life, there are always two sides to every story and be prepared for the literary whiplash that will be coming your way.”

The Best of Genre Fiction

9780451466808_74bb2Jim Butcher’s newest title is the first in the Cinder Spires fantasy series, The Aeronaut’s Windlass (Penguin/Roc, September). It got a big shout out during BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share from Kristi Chadwick (Advisor, Massachusetts Library System)  who is excited that the author is returning to “pure fantasy.” Now that she’s finished reading the book she reports, “Definitely first-in-a-series world-building, but with an excellent pace and action. I am looking forward to the next one (alas, so far, far away). Oh, and it has sentient cats. ‘Nuff said.” (For a full list of the titles mentioned at Shout ‘n’ Share, download our spreadsheet, BEA 2015 Shout ‘n’ Share, or link to our Edelweiss collection, BEA 2015 Shout ‘n’ Share).

An unexpected find for many was the thriller After the Crash, Michel Bussi (Hachette Books, January; NOTE, cover is not final, so we are not showing it). Collection development librarian Patty Sussmann (Newburgh Free Library, NY) reports, “For lovers of a thrill ride, this is a page turning thriller that offers twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end.” During her Speed Dating session, Hachette’s marketing rep Melissa Nicholas immediately hooked us by simply saying, “First there was Girl on the Train, this is Baby on the Plane.”

9781501112317_b21ccDuring her BEA interview, author Ruth Ware was quick to point out that her marriage is just fine and in no way resembled the impending nuptials in her debut psychological suspense thriller In a Dark, Dark, Wood  (S&S/Galley/Scout Press, August).  After crime writer Nora wakes up in the hospital, all she can remember is running through the icy woods covered in blood after attending a “hen” party (English version of a bachelorette party). Only after being questioned by a detective investigating a murder do the details start to emerge. And yes, this is perfect as a Girl on the Train readalike.

Keep an eye on these titles. Given librarians’ reactions, they are likely to take off with the public.

Please join the next GalleyChat on July 7, 4:00-5:00 (ET) with virtual cocktails at 3:30.

Order Alert:
THE SEVEN GOOD YEARS

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.15.55 AMWith so many memoirs coming out each season, it’s difficult to predict which ones will take off. Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years: A Memoir (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is moving up Amazon’s sales rankings after the author’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. And no wonder. Portrayed by trade reviews as a diffuse collection of parenting stories set in war-torn Israel, it comes across quite differently in the interview.  Host Terry Gross introduces it as a collection of funny and moving tales by a contributor to This American Life focused on war, religion, and history.

It is titled The Seven Good Years because that is the time period between the birth of Keret’s son and the death of his father.

Keret appears wry and rueful with an odd sense of charm, as this excerpt illustrates:

As a 5-year-old I asked my father, “What’s a prostitute?” He said to me, “A prostitute is somebody who makes a living by listening to other people’s problems.”

I asked him, “What’s a mafia guy?” He says, “A mafia guy is like a landlord but he collects money from houses that he doesn’t own.”

And I asked him “What’s a drunk person?” He said, “It’s somebody who has a physical condition that the more liquids he drinks, the happier he becomes.”

At that stage I couldn’t really decide if when I grow up I want to become a drunk prostitute or a drunk mafia guy, but [both] options seemed very attractive.

In addition to the NPR coverage, Keret’s book is one of  Amazon’s “Best Books of June” and made Esquire’s Summer Reading List.

Ordering is light, but where copies are available holds are strong.

Bound For Best Seller Lists: MODERN ROMANCE

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 11.18.53 AMOn the heels of fellow Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman hitting the best seller lists with  Gumption, Aziz Ansari is doing well with his book,  Modern Romance (Penguin; BOT and Penguin Audio) co-written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg.

A blend of humor and social science examining the dating scene in all its modern Match.com/Tinder wonder, the book is currently at the #11 spot on Amazon, indicating it will appear on next week’s best seller lists.

Modern Romance is also getting attention from a who’s who of media including NPR’s All Things Considered, Vanity Fair, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Slate.

Ansari appeared yesterday on Good Morning America.


ABC US News | World News

Libraries have ordered the book very lightly. Where copies are available holds are exceed 3:1 ratios.

PRIMATES OF PARK AVE.
Movie Deal

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMFirst the buzz, then the questions about accuracy and now the possible movie.

After a competitive auction, according to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM has won the film rights to the recently published Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster; ebook, 9781476762722).

It hit the NYT Combined Nonfiction Best Sellers list at #2 this week.