Archive for the ‘2015/16 — Winter/Spring’ Category

George Saunders on Audio

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

9780812995343_73f0aThe literary world is eagerly awaiting the debut novel from George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Feb. 14).

Audiobook fans should start the countdown as well.

Time magazine reports it will be an event, an audiobook with 166 narrators, each reading a single character. So many readers will contribute, in fact, that Time says Penguin Random House Audio is applying for a Guinness World Record.

The cast for the production looks like a Hollywood red carpet. Nick Offerman, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, and Don Cheadle all have parts. So do Jeffrey Tambor, Bradley Whitford, and Megan Mullally.

Authors David Sedaris, Mary Karr, and Miranda July narrate, as does Saunders himself. Award-winning professional narrators Kirby Heyborne and Cassandra Campbell participate as well.

Saunders tells Time, “This was a really gratifying artistic venture … I love the way that the variety of contemporary American voices mimics and underscores the feeling I tried to evoke in the book: a sort of American chorale.”

Readers and listeners might want to keep the concept of a chorale in mind. Early reviews point out the complexity of the reading. As Booklist puts it the “surreal action … resembles a play, or a prose variation on Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology (1915), as [the multiple characters] tell their stories.”

A clip of the recording gives a taste of the mix of voices:

Readers’ Advisory:
THE VIOLET HOUR

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

9780385343596_d7d4aDuring her weekly radio appearance on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW, librarian Nancy Pearl recommends The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End, Katie Roiphe (PRH/The Dial Press; OverDrive Sample).

Nancy says that it is a “fascinating” exploration of how five different writers, Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, Maurice Sendak, and James Salter, approach death and “how their impending death affected their life.” She calls it a collection of “mini biographies” that make readers interested in the writer’s work, even more than each subject’s ending.

When it came out last March, the book received a flurry of media attention.

The LA Times connected it to the current in interest in books on death and dying, associating it with recent titles by Oliver Sacks and Paul Kalanithi, as well as older titles by Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion.

USA Today said the book contained “subtle brilliance” and gave it 3.5 stars out of a possible 4. It was a People magazine pick, reviewed in the daily NYT and in the Sunday Book Review, where reviewer and author Olivia Laing said “The intensity of these passages — the depth of research, the acute sensitivity for declarative moments — is deeply beguiling.”

A Banking Book “To Save Us All”

Friday, May 6th, 2016

9780393247022_82724Skyrocketing up the Amazon charts to a high of #57 on the strength of a Michael Lewis review in Bloomberg View is The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy, Mervyn King (Norton).

King, a former governor of the Bank of England, offers a plan to create transparency and stability in high stakes banking, the kind that lead to the crash of 2008.

Lewis (Flash Boys) writes under the headline “The Book That Will Save Banking From Itself” says if King’s book “gets the attention it deserves, it might just save the world.”

King’s plan is to:

“Separate the boring bits of banking (providing a safe place to deposit money, facilitating payments) from the exciting ones (trading) … the riskier assets from which banks stand most to gain (and lose) would then be vetted by the central bank, in advance of any crisis, to determine what it would be willing to lend against them in a pinch if posted as collateral.”

This process would determine if a bank were solvent or not and prevent it from betting with taxpayer money rather than its own.

Showing strong circulation on low ordering at libraries we checked, The End of Alchemy has the potential to take off like Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, (Harvard/Belknap Press, 3/12/14) as readers have proven their interest in serious books on very serious subjects.

Reading Lewis’s review offers a reminder of why his own nonfiction is so readable. He shares a telling anecdote about King, who was his professor at the London School of Economics:

“I’d been working at the London office of Salomon Brothers for maybe six months when one of my bosses came to me with a big eye roll and said, ‘We have this academic who wants to sit in with a salesman for a day: Can we stick him with you?’ And in walked Professor King … He took the seat next to me and the spare phone that allowed him to listen in on my sales calls. After an hour or so, he put down the phone. ‘So, Michael, how much are they paying you to do this?’ he asked, or something like it. When I told him, he said something like, ‘This really should be against the law.’”

The NYT’s Other Take On ELIGIBLE

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

9781400068326_8f573If someone mentions the NYT review of Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample), be sure to ask them which one.

After daily NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani rained all over the Austen homage, the NYT Book Review just released their take, days ahead of the issue coming out this Sunday. Not only is it  far more positive, it’s a rave.

NYT contributor Sarah Lyall sums up her review with “Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition” and writes that the novel is “very much the best” of the titles in the Austen Project and “not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted.”

Firmly planting herself in the “read this” camp, Lyall says:

“Sittenfeld, whose four previous novels include the extraordinary American Wife, a devastating portrait of a Laura Bush-like first lady, is the ideal modern-day reinterpreter. Her special skill lies not just in her clear, clean writing, but in her general amusement about the world, her arch, pithy, dropped-mike observations about behavior, character and motivation. She can spot hypocrisy, cant, self-contradiction and absurdity 10 miles away. She’s the one you want to leave the party with, so she can explain what really happened.”

Based on growing holds in libraries and Amazon sales rankings, the book is headed for best seller lists, which may be the reason the NYT released this review early.

The Smartest Animals

Monday, April 25th, 2016

9781594205217_9b364Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds (PRH/Penguin; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample) is taking flight on Amazon’s sales rankings, rising on the strong coverage in The Wall Street Journal [may require subscription], which calls it “a gloriously provocative and highly entertaining book [and] a work of wonder and an affirmation of the astonishing complexity of our world.”

Exploring bird cognition, Ackerman says that we will have to count them among the smartest of animals – so move over dolphins – and humans. As the paper relays, Ackerman has found that even the most common of birds have outperformed humans (even those trained as mathematicians) in statistical tests. Tool-making, impressive memories, bird song, and the ability to plot and plan with the best of them further prove our feathered friend’s intellectual capacity.

Ackerman has also been featured on NPR’s “On Point,” Audubon ran an interview and  Scientific American granted its recommendation.

Holds are strong on light ordering.

Bad-Ass Librarians On NPR

Monday, April 25th, 2016

9781476777405_4f5a6On Saturday’s edition of All Things Considered Joshua Hammer talked about his new book, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (Simon & Schuster; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample). As a result, the book soared up the Amazon’s sales rankings.

Hammer talks about the librarian and adventurer, Abdel Kader Haidara, who gathered ancient manuscripts together in a splendid library, why the manuscripts are so critical, and how they were saved from militant Islamists.

He describes a modern day Indiana Jones, traveling “on camels across the Sahara, on riverboats, going to small villages” in search of lost and forgotten manuscripts that “portrayed Islam as practiced in this corner of the world as a blend of the secular and the religious — or they showed that the two could coexist beautifully.”

Once Timbuktu, a city on edge of the Sahara desert, was sized by hardline Islamists backed by al-Qaida the manuscripts, some 350,000 thousand of them were under threat and the bad-ass librarians went to work to smuggle them out of danger.

The LibraryReads pick is getting wide coverage, including from The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal (which has a photo of the librarian and manuscripts). The National Archives will live stream a program with Hammer on 4/25.

Holds are strong on light ordering across libraries we checked.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 25, 2016

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

9781250075826_f661d 9780399176050_05beb  9780778319306_234e7

Eager fans have been placing holds for marquee authors appearing next week, John Sandford (Extreme Prey, PRH/Putnam) and Iris Johansen, Hide Away (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).

Harlequin’s Mira imprint is betting on Meghann Foye’s debut, Meternity with a 100,000 copy first printing. By an editor at Redbook, it is about an editor at a NYC magazine who thinks faking a pregnancy might be a great way to get perks, only to learn the truth of Shakespeare’s adage about weaving deceitful webs. Prepub reviews are all positive, with LJ enthusing, “Full of moments that will leave readers in suspense, gasping at consequences, and rooting for the heroine … perfect for fans of Candace Bushnell.”

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 April 25, 2016

People Picks 

9780062342843_08b3d  9780393246186_e9740  9780316337519_6ec95
Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, Michael Schulman (Harper; HarperLuxe).

People Book of the Week.

meryl-streep-brigitte-lacombe-april-2016-coverStreep is featured on the cover of the new issue of Vanity Fair, with an excerpt from the book, “How Meryl Streep Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar.” If you read that, you’re guaranteed to want to read the book.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?Frans de Waal (Norton).

People pick — “an astonishing study of animal intelligence has the makings of a classic — and is one fascinating read.”

Catastrophic Happiness : Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years, Catherine Newman (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio).

People pick — ‘The exhaustion, tenderness and terror of parenthood are captured by blogger Newman in a front-line report — she’s the mother of two — that’s both winsome and funny. Topics include tantrums, playing with food and (because she take us to the joyous-disastrous brink of adolescence) the sex talk.’

Media Magnets

9780812998856_69549  9781501135910_89621

Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power, Mark Landler (PRH/Random House; Recorded Books).

Landler’s book gets double coverage, an except in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk” plus coverage of the excerpt in the New Yorker. The author is also scheduled for an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

The founder of Nike will appear on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. Next week, he is scheduled for Good Morning AmericaThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Charlie Rose show on PBS.

Peer Picks

9780373789764_41857One April LibraryReads selection comes out this week, the next in the long running Fools Gold series by the ever popular Susan Mallery, Best of My Love (Harlequin/HQN; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Jenelle Klavenga, of Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA writes this summary:

“Shelby has a plan to help herself overcome her relationship issues: asking Aiden to be her friend. Aiden agrees, because he realizes that he does not treat women very well and wants to learn how to treat them right, even though he doesn’t want to get married. The situation seems to work well for both Aiden and Shelby, until they realize they feel much more than friendship for each other. Mallery never fails to deliver a great story full of love and friendship. Another fantastic read.”

Four Indie Next picks from the May list arrive as well.

9780062408945_adcfaFather’s Day, Simon Van Booy (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Van Booy’s delicate touch is turned to the relationship between orphaned Harvey and her uncle, Jason, a man no one could expect to be the right choice as guardian. Van Booy uses the plot structure of a series of Father’s Day gifts given to Jason from the now adult Harvey to reveal more than either of them realized about the life they have shared as adoptive father and daughter, as well as the heartbreaking truth of how they came to be a part of each other’s lives. Father’s Day is Van Booy at his most poignant, showing how redemption can arise from heartbreaking circumstances.” —Don Luckham, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH

9780847848287_942faJulia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long, Julia Reed (PRH/Rizzoli).

“Any time Julia Reed publishes a new book is a good excuse for a party. And now, with Julia Reed’s South, she even gives readers the blueprint for how to do it. What a gift to us all! This book is filled with wonderful ideas for entertaining, fabulous recipes, gorgeous photographs, a host of characters, and of course, killer cocktails. No one gets the South like Julia, and no matter where you live you’ll find inspiration in these pages to make your next gathering unforgettable.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

9781101886694_60102Sleeping Giants, Sylvain Neuvel (PRH/Del Rey; Random House Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Sleeping Giants reads like a military dossier, interview after interview given with the serious intent of laying out a scientific tale of discovered history that will change everyone’s lives forever. At the age of 10, Rose falls through a hole in the ground and lands in a large metal hand that had been buried. Seventeen years later, she is on the research team that seeks answers to the relic’s source and the meaning behind its existence. Is it a weapon? Is it a threat to humanity? Or is it simply a mystery that will remain unsolved? Whatever it is, readers will enjoy this Prometheus-like look into our distant past and the excitement of forecasting the potential future of the human race.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Media Coverage:  The Wall Street Journal writes that the movie rights for this originally self-published book were snapped up by Sony Pictures after a rave in Kirkus.

9781938235214_583feOver the Plain Houses, Franks, Julia (John F. Blair/Hub City Press).

“Tense and atmospheric, this novel is set in Depression-era North Carolina but confronts a number of issues that are relevant today. I consider it one of the best historical fiction titles I’ve read lately—what must have been intensive research blends seamlessly with unforgettable characters and vibrant depictions of mountain caves, mining towns, and struggling farms. The book brilliantly takes readers back to a bygone era while subtly showing that it is an era whose darkness could soon fall again. Fans of Claire Fuller and Ron Rash won’t want to miss it.” —Elizabeth Weber, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

Tie-ins

9780143109464_5923dThe big tie-in news this week is the release of the adaptation of  Me Before You,by Jojo Moyes (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample; also in Mass Market). The film comes out on 6/3/16 and already the previews have driven the book straight up Amazon’s sales rankings. First, the teaser trailer shot the book to #1 and then the full trailer sent both Me Before You and its sequel, After You, climbing again.

Here is the preview that is selling so many books:

Also releasing this week is 9781476763491_07df5The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan, Robert Kanigel (S&S/Washington Square Press; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). The movie arrives next week — see our coverage in Hitting Screens, Week of April 25.

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

The Corrigan Bump

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan covered two new novels on Fresh Air yesterday, causing both to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings.

9780374106683_8bdbdCorrigan describes The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (Macmillan/Sarah Crichton Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) as being about “the eerie powers of art and the long reach of the past” and that it “masterfully juggles three places and time periods … Amsterdam during the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, New York City during one of its own golden ages in the 1950s and, at novel’s end, Sydney, Australia at the dawn of the 21st century.”

An Indie Next selection and People pick, it’s also gotten love from Nancy Pearl on Seattle public radio, KUOW. Calling it a work you “can’t quite pigeonhole” she says she appreciates Smith’s wonderful writing and hopes the book finds a readership. NYT, Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly all gave it strong reviews .

9781627795944_087b6Corrigan is also enthusiastic about The North Water by Ian McGuire (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample), a debut set on a 19th century whaling ship headed to the Arctic with a killer on board. Corrigan says that it is “the poetic precision of McGuire’s harsh vision of the past that makes his novel such a standout” and that readers will be “swept along on what turns out to be a voyage of the damned.”

Featured on the cover of the  NYT‘s Sunday Book Review, writer Colm Tóibín agrees, saying it is “a riveting and darkly brilliant novel” and that “McGuire has an extraordinary talent for picturing a moment, offering precise, sharp, cinematic details. When he has to describe complex action, he manages the physicality with immense clarity … [and] the tone throughout remains somber, direct, tense, fierce.”

Serial King

Monday, April 18th, 2016

cvr9780743210898_9780743210898_hrDownton writer Julian Fellowes isn’t the only one harking back to the retro form of serial publication (even if the technology fails).

Stephen King published his Bram Stoker award-winning novel The Green Mile in six serial paperback parts 20 years ago. The story recounted the magical powers of John Coffey, a death row inmate in Georgia.

Eventually, the series was together and issued as a single book and then adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks.

To mark the 20th anniversary of The Green Mile, King’s publisher, S&S/Scribner, is about to un-do that process and re-release the segments in serial form once again, this time as digital chapters.

{0901F36E-27A0-4A35-BC37-78B91113380D}Img400  {15A6BEDE-CB24-47F5-8FC1-4D55AB7344A4}Img400  {92DBAE4B-0275-462A-BAC7-13C6950FE7BD}Img400

Entertainment Weekly reports that “the first volume, The Two Dead Girls, is available now. The Mouse on the Mile will follow April 26, then Coffey’s Hands on May 10, The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix on May 24, Night Journey on June 7, and Coffey on the Mile June 21.” OverDrive offers a sample of the first volume.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 18, 2016

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Two quite different titles arrive to remarkably similar fanfare next week. Each has been selected for Indie Next and/or LibraryReads, and has received advance media attention and great prepub reviews. Despite all this, both were excoriated by the daily NYT reviewers.

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 April 18, 2016

9781400068326_8f573Of the two, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample) is receiving the most advance attention. An update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, set in Cincinnati no less, it is the number one LibraryReads for April (see below), an Indie Next selection, People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” and is reviewed appreciatively by Entertainment Weekly. The author is featured on NPR’s  Weekend Edition Sunday and profiled in the New York Times, but the daily NYT‘s reviewer Michiko Kakutani rains all over it in an early and particularly savage review (“reads less like a homage or reimagining of Austen’s classic than a heavy-handed and deeply unfunny parody.”).

In terms of holds for books coming out next week, it’s currently neck and neck with Amanda Quick’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample), also a LibraryReads pick. Both are far behind the holds leader, David Baldacci’s Last Mile.(Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), his next thriller featuring detective Amos Decker after Memory Man.

9780399184260_5f8e2The NYT‘s Janet Maslin does a hatchet job on another heavily anticipated novel, Maestra, L.S. Hilton (PRH/Putnam; BOT; OverDrive Sample), an Indie Next pick for April (see below). Marlin calls it “a pornographic shopathon travelogue thriller.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a more positive spin, saying it’s “a sensual, sweat-suffused thriller … engaging throughout, but [main character] Judith remains frustratingly distant, and that mires the novel in the realm of macabre wish fulfillment.”

Booklist ‘s starred review calls it “a gift for readers who delight in vengeful female protagonists.”

It is currently being adapted for Sony Pictures by screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson, described in a profile in the Wall Street Journal this week as “the new go-to voice for female-driven movie thrillers.”

It’s showing about half the number of holds as those for Eligible on similar ordering.

Darkest CornersFor readers who like twisty dark psychological thrillers, but with a bit less edge, take them to the new books shelves in YA for The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (PRH/Delacorte; Listening Library), Bustle recommends it, because it “explores the nature of truth, childhood friendships, and the unreliability of memory in shocking ways. Fans of authors like Gillian Flynn and books like The Girl On The Train and Luckiest Girl Alive won’t be able to resist this YA thriller.”

People Magazine Picks

9780374106683_8bdbd  9781481447874_731fa-2 9781250071316_0dcba

People magazines “Book of the Week” is Sittenfeld’s Eligible. The other two recommendations are:

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos (Macmillan/ FSG; Macmillan Audio) —  “This beautiful mediation on love and loss and art is as luminous as a Vermeer.” Also an Indie Next pick.

Girl About Town (S&S; Atheneum Books for Young Readers) — a classic whodunit by Dancer-director Shankman (Hairspray). People calls it a “Nostalgic gun.”

Also in the magazine is an excerpt of the bio, Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming, (Macmillan; Macmillan Audio)

Peer Picks

Three of the ten April LibraryReads pick hits shelves this week.

9781400068326_8f573The #1 pick is Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Leslie DeLooze, of Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NYLibraryReads introduces this next re-telling in the Austen Project:

“Love, sex, and relationships in contemporary Cincinnati provide an incisive social commentary set in the framework of Pride and Prejudice. Sittenfeld’s inclusion of a Bachelor-like reality show is a brilliant parallel to the scrutiny placed on characters in the neighborhood balls of Jane Austen’s novel, and readers will have no question about the crass nature of the younger Bennets, or the pride—and prejudice—of the heroine.”

Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the “10 books you have to read in April,” saying: “Clear your afternoon and finish it in one gulp.” It is also an Indie Next pick for May and a GalleyChat favorite.

Sharon Layburn, of South 9780399174469_3aecfHuntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY calls the newest Amanda Quick novel, ‘Til Death Do Us Part (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample) a “tour de force” in her inviting annotation:

“Gothic atmosphere meets tender romance in Quick’s latest Victorian era tour de force. Calista Langley asks crime novelist Trent Hastings for assistance in unmasking a twisted secret admirer that seems to have singled her out, and the two become tangled up in more than just an investigation. Quick perfectly balances setting, characters, plot, and relationship development–the end result being a story that will delight her legion of fans, as well as earn her new ones.”

A title sure to warm any librarian’s heart, 9781476777405_b96a6The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, Joshua Hammer (Simon & Schuster; HighBridge Audio) also hits shelves.

Marika Zemke, of Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, MI offers this introduction:

“For centuries, Arabic manuscripts were collected by private households in Mali, particularly Timbuktu: gilded manuscripts painted with real gold, showing vibrantly colored illustrations of nature. These highly valued manuscripts were handed down within families who acted as caretakers. As radicalized Muslim leaders came into power, the manuscripts were seen as corruptions of true Islam, requiring intervention. History and adventure at its best.”

Three Indie Next May selections also hit shelves.

9780393249095_33edaLife Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family, Diana Abu-Jaber (W. W. Norton & Company).

“Is it any wonder that memoir is the richest genre? The stories we live are far more fanciful, heartbreaking, and ridiculous than the ones we create with our imagination. We have no control over them. They unfold in spite of our best efforts in a clumsy, unsettled mess that becomes our life. In Life Without a Recipe, Abu-Jaber stops along the way to consider the terrain. She can’t control the events, but she controls the words with tight, perfect sentences. There’s a beauty and elegance to the prose that elevates this story of the author’s search for identity that results in a warm and wise delicacy to be savored.” —Terry Nebeker, One More Page, Arlington, VA

Entertainment Weekly lists it as one of the “10 books you have to read in April.”

9780399184260_5f8e2Maestra, L.S. Hilton (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Get ready to tear through this hedonistic and refreshingly sex-positive thriller that hits all the right notes. Hilton sets her amoral heroine, Judith, amidst the shallow elegance of the European art world. While Judith is deeply enamored with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, she is also a razor-sharp critic of bad taste and human softness, sniffing out and exploiting male weakness with gusto. She is utterly void of empathy, yet oddly sympathetic. I’ll be recommending this novel to everyone I know with a strong constitution and an appreciation for intensity!” —Seija Emerson, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

9781101947524_00f6fMothering Sunday: A Romance, Graham Swift (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample).

“A beautiful afternoon on Mothering Sunday — now known as Mother’s Day — in 1924 provides the backdrop for this exquisite tale of love, longing, and memory. Jane Fairchild, a house maid, has been the long-time lover to the heir-apparent at the estate next door. Their final cataclysmic afternoon together will alter the course of her destiny in ways that she never contemplated. Told in flashbacks by the nonagenarian Jane, this rare gem of a novella will haunt readers long after they turn the final pages. Superb!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

It also made Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 books you have to read in April” listing: “‘Save some tissues for Graham Swift’s latest, an exquisite, emotionally resonant romance.”

Tie-ins

Two tie-ins come out this week, another in support of what Marvel hopes will be a blockbuster movie and a different kind of big film, the next starring Tom Hanks.

9781302900199_ba512Last week we wrote about the Junior novel tie-in for the superhero film Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. This week sees a re-print of the graphic novel itself: Civil War Movie Edition, Mark Millar and illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel).

Captain America: Civil War opens 5/6/16.

9781101973776_f4117A Hologram for the King (MTI), Dave Eggers (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample) also comes out this week, tying in to the April 22nd opening of the new Tom Hanks movie directed by Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas), also starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt, and Sarita Choudhury.

Eggers’s 2012 novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and tells the story of a down-on-his-luck American salesman who hopes a deal made in Saudi Arabia will change his fortunes.

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

Media Spotlight: LOVE THAT BOY

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

9780804140485_211c0Ron Fournier is a frequent face on cable news shows. Yesterday, he made the rounds not to talk politics but to discuss his new book Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations (PRH/Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

In a non-partisan move, he appeared on FoxBloomberg and MSNBC. As a result the title, on parenting a child with Asperger’s syndrome, is soaring on Amazon, jumping to #16 from #1,077.

Fournier is also promoting the book in print, with essays in Time and USA TODAY and Frank Bruni wrote about it in his NYT SundayReview Op-Ed, “Building a Better Father.”

Expect more coverage. According to the publisher, he is scheduled for an appearance on NPR’s Weekend Edition this Saturday, an upcoming Meet The Press segment and another on the Today show.

In libraries we checked holds are currently in keeping with orders.

Best Sellers: Hitting New Highs

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Two repeat authors hit new highs on the week’s best seller lists.

9780062388148_26b12Julia Quinn’s Because of Miss Bridgerton (Harper/Avon; HarperAudio) hits #2 on the NYT‘s Paperback Mass-Market list, as many of her previous titles have, but that masks its true success.

The USA TODAY list reveals it is #2 in sales regardless of format or genres, a large jump from the author’s previous title, which debuted #48 and dropped off from there.

Because of Miss Bridgerton, a March LibraryReads pick, is the 10th in the series but a prequel to those already published. It tells the story of an aunt (on their father’s side) to all those Bridgerton siblings readers have followed for years.

9780062220608_f90b8Jacqueline Winspear can celebrate as well. Her newest, Journey to Munich (Harper/ HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), hits its highest spot on the USA TODAY list, landing at #6, which reflects library holds, as we noted in an earlier Titles to Know.

This is the 12th book in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series and USA TODAY has tracked its rise, reporting the “series has steadily been building a fan base. An Incomplete Revenge, the first to make USA TODAY’s list, peaked at No. 134 in 2008; last year’s A Dangerous Place landed at No. 13.”

 

Titles to Know and Recommend,
Week of April 11, 2016

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Next week brings a range of titles for readers’ advisors, plus the return of many big names, including Nora Roberts (a LibraryReads pick, see below) and Lisa Scottoline (an Indie Next pick, also below).

Alert, Angry Birds fanatics, a movie is coming, along with tie-ins. For Broadway fans, the tie-in to Hamilton also arrives.

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 April 11, 2016

People magazine Picks

9780062399557_081b8  9781501121043_8927c  9780812996081_8ec38

CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Power of Their First Celebrity Crush, Cathy Alter, Dave Singleton (HarperCollins/Morrow).

Book of the Week: A collection of author’s recollections of their first crushes (Jodi Picot’s was Donny Osmond): “these first passions are hilarious, yes, but also an arrow to the heart.”

The other two picks were both covered in Titles to Know last week.

Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss, (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press): “The gritty New York art scene of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s pulsed with creative energy and so does this engaging novel.”

Miller’s Valley, Anna Quindlen, (PRH/RandomHouse): “a Vietnam-era look at how the true meaning of home can long outlast the structures we grow up in.”

Peer Picks

Two LibraryRead April picks hit shelves this week, a debut and the newest by Nora Roberts.

9781605989747_e0084Julie McElwain’s debut, A Murder in Time (Norton/Pegasus; OverDrive Sample), sends a 26-year old FBI agent back in time to 1815 – where her training stands her in good stead, as there is a serial killer on the loose. Randee J Bybee, of Upland Public Library, Upland, CA, introduces readers to the central character:

“Kendra is a smart, confident protagonist who is familiar with the hustle it takes to stay afloat in a male-dominated profession. Thrown into a situation completely alien to her, she manages to assimilate to her surroundings, albeit roughly, while using her wits to catch a ruthless killer. She can be abrasive, and I found myself cringing, curling my toes, and muttering out loud. It will be fun to watch her mature in future books. McElwain has created a highly entertaining story.”

9780399175169_f43e0Nora Roberts’ newest also has a serial killer thread. Marilyn Sieb, of L. D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI, says this of The Obsession (PRH/Berkley; Brilliance Audio):

“Readers who love romantic thrillers will be mesmerized by the latest Roberts offering. The suspense kept me up all night! Naomi Carson, a successful young photographer, has moved across the country and fallen in love. She thinks she has escaped her past, but instead finds that the sins of her father have become an obsession. The serial killer premise makes it a tough read for the faint-hearted, but sticking with it leads to a thrilling conclusion.”

The Indie Next selections for the week mirror LibraryReads in that one is a debut and the other is a return of a reader favorite.

9781101979891_74505Daredevils, Shawn Vestal (Penguin Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) is the debut. NOTE: Read our chat with the author here.

“Gooding, Idaho, 1975: Loretta, Jason, and Boyd, three teenagers each trapped in their own way, find each other and plot their escape. Vestal lays out the history and complexity of their lives and their Mormon community, from Loretta’s becoming an unwilling ‘sister wife’ in a zealous household to Jason’s struggle to identify himself while at odds with his family and hometown. Surreal interludes of ‘Evel Knievel Addresses an Adoring Nation’ showcasing the fevered stunt driver waxing poetic, demonstrate Vestal’s strength with language as a reeling Knievel appears like a vision of cowboy extremism, becoming the off-kilter savior the teenagers have been seeking.” —Julia Sinn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

9781250010131_71064Lisa Scottoline returns with Most Wanted (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“An infertile couple decides to use a sperm donor to create the perfect family they have always wanted. When the wife sees a picture of a man who looks very similar to their donor on the evening news, the story is set in motion. Could their donor be a serial killer? Christine will stop at nothing to find out who the biological father is, even if it means the end of her marriage. This latest novel of suspense from the bestselling Scottoline is fast-paced and will keep readers guessing until the end!” —Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, WI

Tie-ins

9781455539741_0d3dcHamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, (Hachette/Grand Central).

Likely to be the first Broadway script to become a best seller, this goes beyond the script to being a tie-in, with photos of the production, cast interviews, and annotations of the lyrics by Miranda.

The show will be featured on PBS Great Performances this fall.

MV5BMTc2NjExMTIyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjg0OTIwODE@._V1_SX214_AL_Tim Burton takes on Alice again, this time in Alice Through the Looking Glass and there are three tie-ins connected to the new movie.

First is Alice Through the Looking Glass, Kari Sutherland (Hachette/Disney Press), a 9781484729601_cd0f3novelization of the film. Also on the way is Alice Through the Looking Glass: A Matter of Time, Carla Jablonski with illustrations by Olga Mosqueda, Vivien Wu, Richard Tuzon, and Jeff Thomas (Hachette/Disney Press). It is a “choose-your-own-path” story following different characters through both the familiar Alice story and the film. Finally, the novelization Alice in Wonderland (Based on the motion picture directed by Tim Burton) (Hachette/Disney Press) will be re-issued.

The movie releases May 27th.

MV5BMjQ0MTgyNjAxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzMDkyODE@._V1_SX214_AL_9780316271417_bf1c1Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War film also has a tie-in. Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; in paperback as well).

The strong opening of Batman v. Superman stumped critics, but box office receipts fell off after the first week, as word of mouth began to counteract heavy marketing. Marvel/Disney have their fingers crossed that their Iron Man and Captain America dust up will not follow in the footsteps of DC Comics/Warner Bros.

There is plenty of news surrounding the film already with the Black Panther set to make his big-screen debut (Chadwick Boseman plays the superhero monarch) and Spiderman also putting in an appearance. The movie opens May 6.

9781401260910_239daMV5BOTY1MzU1MDQ1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjAzMjY3NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Although Batman v. Superman has shaken DC Comics, they will be trying their luck again with an adaptation of John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.

A new release, Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Sea of Troubles, (PRH/DC Comics), arrives leading up to the film starring Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, and Cara Delevingne.

Previous collections are:

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial by Fire 

Suicide Squad Vol. 2: The Nightshade Odyssey.

Forthcoming is Suicide Squad Vol. 4: The Janus Directive

The film opens Aug. 5th.

9780062453365_60ff3The animated movie adaptation of the video game Angry Birds has seven more tie-ins forthcoming, on top of the one from last week.

The Angry Birds Movie: The Junior Novel, Chris Cerasi (HC/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample) is the biggest title connected to the movie this week, but there is also:

The Angry Birds Movie: Meet the Angry Birds [Series: I Can Read Level 2], Chris Cerasi (HarperCollins).

The Angry Birds Movie: Too Many Pigs [Series: I Can Read Level 2], Chris Cerasi (HarperCollins).

The Angry Birds Movie Official Guidebook, Chris Cerasi (HC/HarperFestival).

The Angry Birds Movie: Seeing Red, Sarah Stephens (HC/HarperFestival).

The Angry Birds Movie: Big Trouble on Bird Island, Sarah Stephens (HC/HarperFestival).

The Angry Birds Movie: Laughtastic Joke Book, Courtney Carbone (HC/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample).

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 April 11

Friday, April 8th, 2016

9780399177682_fbce6The big news of the week for book-to-screen fans is the Sunday airing of Outlander season two on STARZ.

It has already received fairly strong reviews, based on the opening episodes critics were sent. Entertainment Weekly offered the least glowing praise, accompanied by a B grade. Variety and A.V. Club liked it much more, both deeming it important television.

For this week there are two adaptations to watch.

MV5BMTU1NjIwNTI0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODQ3MDI0ODE@._V1_SX214_AL_Hunters premieres on Syfy April 11th. The show combines thriller and SF in an alien conspiracy story, where the aliens are terrorists. Nathan Phillips (Snakes on a Plane) and Britne Oldford (American Horror Story: Asylum) star.9780765378699_dc28f

The 13-episode series is based on the Whitley Strieber novels. The first in the set, Alien Hunter, came out in a tie-in edition entitled Hunters (Macmillan/Tor Books) in late Feb. The second in the series is Alien Hunter: Underworld and the third, Alien Hunter: The White House, published on April 5th.

MV5BMTc3NTUzNTI4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU0NjU5NzE@._V1_SX214_AL_The Jungle Book, Disney’s live action/CGI adaptation, hits screens on April 15th. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story collection, this is Disney’s second take on the story. The animated version came out in 1967 and was the last film Walt worked on.

Reviews are already in and they are strong. Variety says director “Jon Favreau brings a welcome lightness of touch to this visually immersive adventure story … the studio should have a substantial hit on its hands.”

Forbes calls it “a remarkable achievement” and says it is “every bit as visually splendid as you’re hoping it would be.”

The Telegraph says “Favreau’s film is a sincere and full-hearted adaptation that returns to Kipling for fresh inspiration, but also knows which elements of the animation are basically now gospel, and comes up with a respectful reconciliation of the two.”

There are three tie-ins thus far:

1484725786_7fd00The Jungle Book: The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett, Zendaya, (Disney Press, March 1).

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Rainy Day, (Disney Press, April 8).

The Art of The Jungle Book, Ellen Wolff (Perseus/PGW/Insight Editions, April 15).

Granny Nanny

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

9780399168154_4dce4There’s a new job title in town, “Granny Nanny” and CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl is hard at work promoting it, via her new book, Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) and multiple media appearances.


Both Parade magazine and CBS Sunday Morning feature Stahl explaining that today’s job demands and the high cost of child-care leave most parents in need of a trusted, not to also mention, free alternative. so grandparents are stepping in.

Holds are not yet topping orders at most libraries we checked. The book goes on sale today.