Standalone thrillers from Harlan Coban and Joy Fielding hit shelves next week, as well as an embargoed new bio of Steve Jobs, already making headlines and two debut Y.A. titles that have caught Hollywood’s attention.
The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of March 23 2015.
The Stranger, Harlan Coben, (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)
Kirkus approves of this standalone thriller, saying, “This 100-proof nightmare ranks among his most potent.” PW completely disagrees, but adds, “Even when not at his best, Coben is very good, and readers won’t be disappointed.”
The Cavendon Women, Barbara Taylor Bradford, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)
A sequel to the Edwardian era Cavendon Hall, (2014), this title brings the family saga in to the 1920’s. Kirkus calls the books “Bradford’s answer to Downton Abbey.” Booklist considers it a “dishy continuation.”
Someone Is Watching, Joy Fielding, (RH/Ballantine; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike)
This standalone gets a star from Booklist, “Not geared to the faint of heart, Fielding’s story of one woman’s search for justice, understanding, and internal peace is nothing short of arresting.”
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader, Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli, (RH/Crown Business; RH & BOT Audio)
The book behind this week’s headlines that Tim Cook offered to donate a portion of his own liver to the dying Steve Jobs. It’s embargoed, but the media, always obsessed with Jobs, has picked over leaks, some of which come from the online version of the upcoming excerpt in Fast Company and others from Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature (since blocked). Another bit of news is that the authors, who will appear on ABC ‘s Good Morning America next week, portray their subject quite differently than Walter Isaacson did in his best seller, Steve Jobs, the basis for the movie that is currently filming. As the Fast Company headline, “Kind. Patient. Human. The Steve You Didn’t Know,” indicates, Becoming Steve Jobs could be considered a rebuttal to the earlier book.
YA Advance Attention
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One, Paige McKenzie, Alyssa Sheinmel, (Perseus/Weinstein Books; Recorded Books)
Media mogul Harvey Weinstein picked up rights to a book and movie series based on the YouTube series that averages 5 million views per month, catching the attention of the NY Post, which rarely covers books, let alone YA books, in a story headlined “Harvey Weinstein thinks he’s found the latest young adult hit.” The review media is also enthusiastic. Kirkus calls it “Suspenseful, exciting and endlessly entertaining” and SLJ says, “Readers who appreciated holly Black’s Doll Bones (2013) or Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones series should consider picking up this creepy debut.”
The author was featured on the Today Show:
We All Looked Up, Tommy Wallach, (S&S BYR; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)
A SF novel about four teenagers facing the arrival of a meteor that is likely to wipe out the earth, we first started hearing about it from YA Galley Chatters who were intrigued by both the the cover (be sure to click on it, above right, to see the larger version. It really doesn’t work as a thumbnail) and the blurb from Andrew Smith, “Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up is a triumphant debut—this generation’s The Stand. It is at once troubling, uplifting, scary, and heart-wrenching, and written with so much compassion for our fragile hold on the fleeting here and now. A glorious, wonderful, completely unforgettable novel.” It’s since received a string of superlative prepub reviews including stars from Kirkus and PW.
MTV News pulls out TV and film references to describe it, “Skins meets The Breakfast Club meets Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia.” Paramount nabbed the film rights.
The Precious One, Marisa de los Santos, (HarperCollins.Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio)
Both an Indie Next and a Library Reads pick:
Taisy hasn’t seen her father since he dumped her family and started another one 17 years ago. An unexpected invitation to write his biography returns her to her hometown, and gives her a rare chance to knit together a broken web of relationships. Like all de los Santos’ books, The Precious One features smart, funny characters who form an unconventional family. It’s luminous and heartwarming, without an ounce of sap. — Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC
A Reunion of Ghosts, Judith Claire Mitchell, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)
A GalleyChat favorite, this is also an Indie Next pick for March:
‘The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.’ These are the words that the Alter sisters live by and the reason they have chosen to die at their own hands. Lady, Vee, and Delph Alter have written a suicide note that turns out to be a family history. The sisters are descendants of Lenz, a chemist and the creator of the poison gas that was first used in WWI, and his wife, Iris, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and the first in the family to commit suicide. A Reunion of Ghosts is a captivating chronicle of a family and the weight of consequences that grow heavier with time.—Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir, Abigail Thomas, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)
People “Book of the Week” — “It’s no wonder Abigail Thomas is leery of what lies ahead. The accident that left her husband brain-damaged was the starting point for A Three Dog Life (2006); in her new book, she experiences a romantic betrayal that will leave you gasping. Mostly, though, she writes of the changes aging brings us all and of coping through love: of family, dogs, a well-turned phrase. She is superb company.”
Indie Next pick for April:
Like an honest talk with your wittiest friend, Thomas’ new memoir will have you both laughing out loud and on the verge of tears. Examining a life that has changed dramatically over the years and the friendship that has endured it all, What Comes Next and How to Like It reveals simple truths we can all recognize in our own lives. Thomas’ gentle humor is evident in every passage as she writes of struggling with aging, loyalty, and drinking after the death of her loving husband. What makes this all the more brilliant are the sparkling moments of insight, full of depth and emotion, that Thomas so beautifully shares with the reader. —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA