“Highly anticipated” is the catch phrase for next week, with new titles from Toni Morrison, David Baldacci and Jon Krakauer, but don’t let those big names cause you to overlook a memoir by poet Elizabeth Alexander.
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 April 21, 2015
David Baldacci, Memory Man, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)
The honorary chair for National Library Week introduces a new series with this book. The “memory man” is Amos Decker, a former football player with a head injury that has a strange result. He forgets nothing. Now a small town P.I., he investigates a school shooting. Kirkus calls the character a “a quirky, original antihero.”
The trailer for the movie based on one of Baldacci’s earlier titles, Wish You Well, has just been released. It goes straight to DVD and On Demand in June.
Greg Iles, The Bone Tree, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)
Two tragedies, a serious car accident and the loss of his father, caused author Greg Iles to think differently about his writing. After 13 books he realized, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in [my next] book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”
The result was last year’s Natchez Burning. The first in a trilogy, it arrived to fanfare from librarians and debuted at #2 on the NYT best seller list, Iles’s highest ranking on that list to date. It’s now been on the paperback list for two weeks in a row, setting readers up for the next title, The Bone Tree.
It is both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick.
“Based on a real series of unsolved murders from the civil rights era in Louisiana, and the crusading journalist who uncovered the story, Iles’ novel shines a bright light of truth upon one of America’s darkest secrets. Iles’ compelling writing makes this complex tale of good versus evil a must-read for those who love thrillers, and those who want to learn a little bit of American history not normally taught in school.” — Ellen Jennings, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL
Amanda Quick, Garden of Lies, (Penguin/Putnam; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)
This standalone mystery by Jayne Ann Krentz, writing under one of her pseudonyms, is set in Victorian London. Kirkus approves, “A lady with a secret to hide and a gentleman reputed to be mad make a dandy investigative team.”
Toni Morrison, God Help the Child, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)
Morrison’s latest can easily be called the most hotly anticipated novel of the season, having appeared on all the seasonal previews. Morrison gets the New York Times trifecta, the cover of last week’s NYT Magazine, the cover of the upcoming NYT Book Review, plus the Friday review by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT. It is also reviewed by Ron Charles, the Washington Post, today. Sad to say, however, the reviewers find the book a let down. Morrison is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.
Upcoming Media Attention
Jon Krakauer, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (RH/Doubleday; RH & BOT Audio; RH Large Print)
Best-selling nonfiction author Krakauer is known for writing about disturbing subjects, such as his personal account of a disastrous attempt to climb Mt. Everest, Into Thin Air (the movie Everest, to be released on Sept. 18, features Michael Kelly as Krakauer). In his new book, he turns his attention to a series of rapes at the University of Montana. The book is embargoed, so no reviews have appeared yet [UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal just released an interview with the author that has some details on the book} and the city of Missoula is bracing itself.
The author is scheduled to appear on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, followed by the CBS Early Show on Wednesday and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show the next day.
Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World: A Memoir, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)
The #1 IndieNext pick for May:
“It is hard to find the right words to do justice to this very special book. Yes, it is by one of our greatest contemporary poets, Elizabeth Alexander, who wrote ‘Praise Song for the Day’ for President Obama’s first inauguration, so the language is gorgeous. And yes, it is a memoir of losing her husband at a young age and so it is, in parts, gut-wrenchingly sad. And yes, it is an ode to an extraordinary man we come to feel we know as an artist, chef, father, friend, and lover. But, above all, it is as beautiful a love story as I have ever read, and it lifts readers up and gives us hope and makes us believe. I will urge it on everyone I know.” — Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA