Archive for the ‘2016/17 — Winter/Spring’ Category

THE WHITE PRINCESS
Release Date Set

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

9781501174926_7136bStarz’s The White Princess will premiere on April 16. The sequel to The White Queen, which aired on Starz in 2013, it is based on the first four books in Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War series, which chronicles the long-running War of the Roses, The adaptation won both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

The new series adapts the fifth title and final volume in the historical fiction series. Gregory outlines the chronology of the novels on her website.

Deadline notes “The White Princess picks up three days after the conclusion of The White Queen, as a new generation ascends to the throne … The historical drama is told from the perspective of the women waging the ongoing battle for the English throne.”

The tie-in cover depicts Princess Elizabeth of York’s bloody hands gripping a white rose, the symbol of the House of York. In the book she is forced to marry into the House of Tudor.

A trade paperback tie-in will be released on March 28: The White Princess, Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 20, 2017

Monday, February 20th, 2017

It’s a light week for adaptations in theaters, as the movie business focuses on Sunday’s Academy Awards.

9780316334754_94cdfThe Girl With All the Gifts, a zombie horror film based on M. R. Carey’s novel of the same title, opens in theaters and on VOD on Friday, after having already aired on DirecTV.

The film stars Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Dominique Tipper, and Glenn Close. It is directed by Colm McCarthy (Sherlock, Doctor Who).

Reviews are widely mixed.

The Hollywood Reporter was not impressed, writing it is “rather dreary … A runaway success like 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead, this is not.” Variety agrees, writing it is “A tired attempt to board the zombie bandwagon.”
However, The Guardian was enthusiastic, saying it is a “fiercely intelligent British chiller … [that] breathes new life into age-old horror tropes, taking familiar fears of zombies, the apocalypse and eerie children and spinning them in surprising ways.”

9780316300339_f8d05io9 goes further, saying it “Has Joined the Horde of All-Time Great Zombie Films … It’s the rare zombie film that innovates the genre with skill and excitement.”

There is no tie-in but the timing is good for Carey. He is writing a prequel, The Boy on the Bridge (Hachette/Orbit), due out May 2.

 

9780385334921_4d720It’s deja vu all over again for Tulip Fever, which was scheduled to open this weekend. Based on the historical novel by Deborah Moggach, it was suddenly pulled from its original July 2016 opening. Now, just days before it was to open on its new date, it has been postponed yet again, this time to an unspecified date.

The Playlist says it was “at one time perceived as a big-ticket project. But somewhere along the way, it seems it was a promise that couldn’t be lived up to Tulip Fever is starting to smell like another recent star-studded Weinstein picture that mostly flamed out: last year’s restaurant drama Burnt.”

For those getting the feeling that the film will never air, IndieWire notes the studio “has a history with these kind of recurring delays. Most recently, the company also moved the release date back twice for The Founder, the Michael Keaton-starring McDonald’s origin story … The decision to push Tulip Fever comes after a tough year for virtually all independent distributors in the theatrical marketplace.”

There is no official tie-in. Moggach has had success with adaptations of her novels before. She wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Reviews Swell for
THE DARK FLOOD RISES

Monday, February 20th, 2017

9780374134952_139acThe focus of critical attention, Margaret Drabble’s newest novel, The Dark Flood Rises (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) explores death and old age, but is enlivened by humor and enriched by deeply dimensional characters. The central figure is 70-something Fran who spends her time examining retirement homes for those older and more infirmed than she. The novel follows her circle of friends and family, all suffering in their own ways.

NPR’s reviewer says the novel “is a beautiful rumination on what it means to grow old [populated by] an unforgettable character [Fran], steely but likable … This isn’t a sentimental book, but it’s a deeply emotional one [asking readers] to consider how sad, how funny, how genuinely absurd aging is.”

The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles says “Margaret Drabble has written a novel about aging and death, which for American readers should make it as popular as a colostomy bag. That’s a pity because Drabble, 77, is as clear-eyed and witty a guide to the undiscovered country as you’ll find.” He continues, “the novel’s humor vaccinates it from chronic bleakness.”

The Guardian says “With their echoes of Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett, this quiet meditation on old age seethes with apocalyptic intent” and continues, that while not much happens in terms of plot, the characters are “brilliantly drawn.”

In its front page NYT Sunday Book Review, Cynthia Ozick calls it “humane and masterly.”

Perhaps fulfilling Ron Charles’s prediction, holds are light in most of the libraries we checked, but Salon points out the grimness of the topic is not the point of the novel, “A vein of black humor pulses in Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises, which, thankfully, makes the novel’s reflections on how we age and die as entertaining as a conversation with a dear friend.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 20, 2017

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Coming next week, James Patterson releases a dystopian thriller aimed at adults, the number one LibraryReads pick, Clare Mackintosh’s psychological thriller, I See You is picking up holds and Christina Baker Kline follows up her long-running best seller, Orphan Train with a new title.

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 Feb 10, 2017

Holds Leader

9780316269957_16aaaHumans, Bow Down, James Patterson, Emily Raymond, illus. by Alexander Ovchinnikov,  (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio: Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

No reviews are available yet for this title, so we have to rely on the publisher’s breathless description,  “GENRE-BENDING THRILLER … an innovative, illustrated thriller for adults … DYSTOPIAN APPEAL: Set in a future that is at once both recognizable and horrifying, the book will appeal to readers and viewers of dystopian adventure stories.”

Patterson recently announced that he was jumping on the YA dystopian bandwagon with a novel coming May 22, Crazy House (Hachette/Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio).

Holds are lower than expected for a Patterson title.

Media Magnets

9780062464316_26b39  9780804136549_40cbd

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

Harare’s second book after his best selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is reviewed in the daily NYT this week, somewhat dismissively, “I do not mean to knock the handiwork of a gifted thinker and a precocious mind. But I do mean to caution against the easy charms of potted history.” Check your holds. Easy charms have fans.

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing, Damion Searls, (PRH/ Crown; OverDrive Sample)

Only 37 when he died, this bio explores how Rorshach’s famous test was used and abused.  The author is interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Friday, 2/17.

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads books come to shelves this week, including the #1 pick for February:

9781101988299_1278a I See You, Clare Mackintosh (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website. At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Additional Buzz: The StarTribune names it one of “7 mysteries to chill your soul on a wintry night.” The author’s debut, I Let You Go, was a best seller in the UK. and won a strong review from the NYT BR Crime columnist. Several libraries are showing holds on this new one. 

9780062356260_bd19cA Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio).

“Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” would immortalize a young woman. This is the story of Christina and her life. After almost dying as a child of an undiagnosed illness, her legs are twisted, making her stumble as she walks. As she ages, the effects of this illness get much worse leaving her with a shrinking world. This book immerses us in the life on her farm and into the heart of a young woman. A fantastic, and touching story by this author that brings to life the story behind a painting and the life of a young girl who always wanted more than she was given, but accomplished so much despite her handicap.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Additional Buzz: Kline’s previous title, Orphan Train, was a word-of-mouth best seller, eventually climbing to #1 on the NYT Paperback list.  Her new title is an Indie Next pick for March and it makes a number of other lists as well, including those selected by Flavorwire and Bustle. The BBC names it as one of “Ten Books You Should Read in February, calling it a “beautifully rendered portrait.” Real Simple calls it “a gorgeous read” and O Magazine says “Kline’s gift is to dispense with the fustiness and fact-clogged drama of some historical novels to tell a pure, powerful story of suffering met with a fight.” Here is a link to the painting. It is held at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

9780399162107_7f864Setting Free the Kites, Alex George (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Robert stands watching the demolition of the old paper mill that stood in the center of town and served as a constant reminder of his friend, Nathan. The reader is transported from present day to 1970s Maine, where Robbie finds his friendship with Nathan a literal escape from the bullying at school, and a figurative way of coping with his brother’s struggle with muscular dystrophy. The portrayal of family dynamics in the wake of tragedy is reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng but with an anchoring of boyhood friendship in this coming of age tale.” — Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO

Additional Buzz: An EarlyReads title, see the chat here, it is also an Indie Next pick for March.

One additional Indie Next pick arrives this week,

9781250077752_2af8bThe Mother’s Promise, Sally Hepworth (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Mother’s Promise is an emotional story of a mother’s love for her teenage daughter, who is struggling with severe social anxiety. Alice and her daughter, Zoe, cope with their problems until Alice becomes critically ill and is faced with a heartbreaking prognosis. She turns to two strangers for help with Zoe and her future. As the relationship among Zoe and these women evolves, they all confront their own personal problems and secrets. This beautifully written story will move readers to tears of grief, compassion, and, at its conclusion, hope.” —Fran Duke, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

Tie-ins

Four tie-ins hit shelves, three for the manga film adaptation,  The Ghost in the Shell.

9781632364210_cc21f9781632364227_e0a789781632364234_f949f

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghost in the Shell 1 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). The publisher says it features “the original, right-to-left format with Japanese sound effects for the first time!”

The Ghost in the Shell 1.5 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). It contains “lost” Ghost in the Shell stories, such as “Fat Cat,” “Drive Slave,” “Mines of Mind,” and “Lost Past.”

Also coming is the sequel, The Ghost in the Shell 2 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics).

The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It opens on March 31.

There is another tie-in, published in late January, The Ghost in the Shell 1 Movie Tie-In Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). See our previous story for more details.

1484782925_69f5cA late edition to the Moana tie-in collection is Moana: The Mighty Maui Makes a Friend, Kalikolehua Hurley, illustrated by Mehrdad Isvandi (Hachette/Disney Press). It is a storybook for grades 1-3. Blu-ray and DVDs arrives March 7.

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

A Lost Southern Cookbook, Rediscovered

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

9780847858422_c9ab1Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook: A Mouth-Watering Treasury of Afro-American Recipes by Pamela Strobel, Matt Lee, Ted Lee (Rizzoli) is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings after NPR’s All Things Considered featured the newly rediscovered cookbook. It jumped from #6,945 to #94.

In the 1960s Pamela Strobel was an early version of a celebrity chef. Her NYC restaurant, Little Kitchen, was a such a hit she was featured on TV and published a cookbook. NPR reports the restaurant “was basically a speakeasy. You had to know to ring the bell to be let in.” She did not let just anyone in.

Between then and now, the restaurant closed, Strobel’s fame faded, and the cookbook went out of print.

Now it is back, because Ted and Matt Lee “found a ragged copy at a vintage booksellers.” The Lee brothers are the force behind several cookbooks, including the 2007 James Beard Cook Book of the Year, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners.

They met Strobel long ago when they were starting up their business selling Southern food via mail order. Matt Lee tells NPR:

“we knocked on her door. It said please knock. It was always locked, and she peeled back the curtain and sized us up, cracked the door open. And we gave our pitch, and she was like no, thanks and closed the door. And that was our one experience with the great Princess Pamela.”

After they found her book they spent years working on her story. Where she is now and what happened to her is a mystery. Even a private detective has been unable to locate her or determine what became of her.

She is no mystery to the cooking world, however. Confirming her star power, Carla Hall, Ruth Reichl, and Marcus Samuellson offer blurbs.

The cookbook is the first of a new imprint, the Lee Brothers Library Series, and is published complete with the poetry Strobel included with nearly every recipe.

Best Seller Debut: UNIVERSAL HARVESTER

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

9780374282103_b809eJohn Darnielle’s second novel debuts on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #10.

Universal Harvester (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) received strong advance publicity, including two starred prepub reviews and listed as a most anticipated novel by sources as diverse as The Millions, Tor.com, and Bustle.

The author is also known as the singer/songwriter for the cult indie rock group Mountain Goats. His debut novel, Wolf in White Van (Macmillan/FSG, 2014), was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction.

Set in the Midwest, his new novel opens with a horror novel premise, someone has spliced creepy footage into mainstream movies rented from the local video store. But after that, it turns into something far more subtle, filled with shifting questions, taking place over multiple time periods, and ending as the Spin reviewer puts it, “in a more tender place than I could’ve anticipated.”

Booklist says the “masterfully disturbing [novel] reads like several Twilight Zone scripts cut together by a poet.”

NPR says it is full of “knife-jab sentences” and is “a fairy tale — an old, un-Disney-fied one — filtered through the fragrant, dusty Iowan air; a ghost story that’s all too real; a detective story with no simple solution.”

More from Darnielle is on the way. Publishers Weekly reports in a profile of the author, that “FSG has already signed Darnielle for two more novels” and they plan to “release a limited vinyl edition of the Harvester audiobook, with the author narrating and providing original instrumental music.”

NORSE MYTHOLOGY A Best Seller

Friday, February 17th, 2017

9780393609097_a8601Neil Gaiman lands at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction bestseller list for his newest work, Norse Mythology (Norton; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). It is also doing very well against other formats and categories, debuting at #2 on the USA Today list.

The strong sales track alongside high demand in libraries and largely glowing reviews. The Guardian says “The halls of Valhalla have been crying out for Neil Gaiman to tell their stories to a new audience. Hopefully this collection will be just the beginning.” Tor.com calls it a must read.”

The book marks something of a full circle for the bestselling author. Last summer he told the NYT that the stories “have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done.”

Gaiman discusses the book with NYT Book Review editor, Pamela Paul, on the “Inside the New York Times Book Review” podcast.

Colbert Loves Saunders

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

9780812995343_73f0aCalling him “quite possibly my favorite living author,” Stephen Colbert hosted George Saunders on The Late Show yesterday to discuss his debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Overdrive Sample).

Colbert asks why, after a successful career writing short stories, Saunders wanted to write a novel. He decided to try his hand, he replies, because he had heard a story about president Lincoln holding the body of his dead son in a graveyard crypt and could not get it out of his mind. 

Colbert calls the novel “heartbreaking” even as he jokes about all the white space on the page, caused by the line breaks between the 166 speakers in the novel (which led to the audio with a celebrity-studded cast of an equal number of narrators. In addition, the NYT has created a virtual reality adaptation).

The two also talk about the concept of the bardo, a space of transition where. Saunders explains. all the regrets, issues, and concerns one has while living are magnified and must be worked through before a soul can move on.

The book  been racking up an impressive number of rave reviews, as tracked by Book Marks. In a NYT Book Review cover piece Colson Whitehead says:

“It’s a very pleasing thing to watch a writer you have enjoyed for years reach an even higher level of achievement … George Saunders pulled that off with The Tenth Of December, his 2013 book of short stories. How gratifying and unexpected that he has repeated the feat with Lincoln in the Bardo, his first novel and a luminous feat of generosity and humanism.’’

Check your holds. After a slow start they are climbing in several systems.

Finding Pho

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

9781607749585_fca3dA favorite dish from Vietnam has found wide press coverage in the US thanks to The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodle by Andrea Nguyen (PRH/Ten Speed Press; OverDrive Sample).

The NYT highlights the book in Florence Fabricant’s “Front Burner” column, WSJ runs a piece by Nguyen exploring its many variations, and foodie sites such as Lucky Peach, Epicurious, and Chowhound have also featured it.

Nguyen is considered one of the foremost experts on Vietnamese cookery. In a recent interview on San Francisco’s public radio station she shared her philosophy about teaching others to cook, “There’s so much intimidation about this. I try to take a certain Home Depot approach, like ‘You can do it, and I can help!’ As a cookbook author, you’re really just there to coach people along. If they’re happy, I’m thrilled.”

Her book is getting stellar reviews. Food & Wine writes “Nguyen is a master teacher when it comes to Vietnam’s national dish, and in her new book she provides meticulously clear instructions for every imaginable variety—we recommend you cook through every chapter.”

Proving Pho’s entry into the wider foodie culture, Target carries the book.

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 13, 2017

Monday, February 13th, 2017

As expected, Fifty Shades Darker was a strong box office draw over the weekend, but it was shut out at #1 by the Lego Batman movie.

The movie has propelled the book back up best seller lists. It is currently #18 on the USA Today list, but is beat out the by Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron at #3  Hidden Figures at #4 and the Swedish import, A Man Called Ove,at #5. The Swedish-language adaptation was recently released on demand and DVD,  Readers are anticipating upcoming adaptations, as well, sending The Shack back up USA Today’s list where it is currently at #8.

9780399587191_29e1eAlso rising in anticipation of HBO’s adaptation is Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, Starring  Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley, the series begins airing on February 19th. 

Dubbed the “Murderous Moms of Monterey,” by Deadline Hollywood, it is getting mixed reviews. Variety calls it “a bonfire of the vanities for this faux-progressive, self-satisfied set” and writes it “unfolds its mystery like a delicate flower, with teased hints that are sometimes flashbacks, sometimes flash-forwards, and sometimes glimpses of imagined fantasy.”

IndieWire says “Not since True Detective (Season 1) has an HBO limited series built a mystery this compelling.”

However, The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “soapy melodrama … more annoying than entertaining.”

9780143039631_ac32fIn Dubious Battle, the adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, opens in limited release and on VOD on Feb. 17, starring James Franco, who also directs, and Selena Gomez.

The direct to VOD release indicates the studio does not have high hopes for it, although the theatrical release gives it the opportunity to qualify for the Oscars.

Reviews so far largely confirm the studio’s take. The Guardian says, “This admirably-intentioned adaptation of the 1936 industrial strife novel suffers from a tin ear, flat feet and overweening vanity.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes it is “a shame that Franco’s dreams and ideas for this film weren’t as big as those of his protagonists.”

However, Variety is on board, if damning with faint praise, writing it is “Franco’s first watchable dramatic feature.”

The film, about the formation of the labor movement in 1930s California, has a notable ensemble cast, including Zach Braff, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Sam Shepard.

The Penguin classics edition has a sticker announcing it is now a “Major Motion Picture.”

Skald Stories

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

9780393609097_a8601Neil Gaiman’s newest work, Norse Mythology (Norton; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is actually very old. It is a re-telling of the 13th century myths that, as he told the NYT, “have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done.”

Now the 4th bestselling title on Amazon, it is also in demand in libraries. Several systems are showing holds ratios of 6:1. In libraries that bought it more heavily, all copies are in circulation.

Reviews range from glowing to puzzled. The Guardian says “The halls of Valhalla have been crying out for Neil Gaiman to tell their stories to a new audience. Hopefully this collection will be just the beginning.”

Tor.com says “This evocative and lyrical book is a must read … While the stories are ancient, Gaiman makes them fresh and lively, as if the antics of the gods and giants only just happened … you’ll be hard-pressed to finish it and not feel just as inspired.”

However, the LA Times is not as enthusiastic, writing that the publication “seems oddly superfluous … it’s the equivalent of going to see a rock band you like and finding that they’re just playing a set of Chuck Berry covers that night: great material, yes, and executed nicely, but less than the inventiveness we go to him for.”

In the book trailer, Gaiman makes his own strong case:

BEHIND HER EYES Getting Looks

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

9781250111173_74e10Positioned as her breakout title Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) has fulfilled expectations by making the author a New York Times best seller for the first time. The book arrives at #15 on this week’s list.

The British author has written over 20 YA and fantasy novels, few of which have been released in the US. Her first foray into the hot genre of domestic thrillers, it was a hot commodity at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. Reviewing it her most recent NYT BR Crime column. Marilyn Stasio calls it “an eerie thriller calculated to creep you out … [a] terrifying mind game.”

The Guardian reports the much hyped plot twists deliver, “When the first of her twists is revealed, it is fantastically creepy, if not entirely unexpected. The second twist turns the creepy factor up to 11 and is a total wrong-footer. #WTFthatending indeed – the sort that makes you go back to the beginning to check if it all pans out. And it does.”

That hashtag was developed by the publisher to promote the book but has been adopted by others. It was even applied to the outcome of the Super Bowl.

Librarians were early adopters. It was a January LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat title. Holds are strong in most libraries we checked, with some topping 4:1 ratios.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 13, 2017

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo  9780345541437_00dfb

The literary world is holding its collective breath for the publication on Tuesday of George Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, as we reported earlier. At that time, we were surprised to find that holds were relatively low. They have been growing since and more will come, as Saunders has several media appearances coming up, including the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday. More on the title below, under Peer Picks.

The holds leader for the is week Heartbreak HotelJonathan Kellerman, (PRH/Ballantine; OverDrive Sample).

The next in the best selling series featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware series, prepub reviewers were not impressed. Publisher Weekly says, “The psychological insights Alex typically displays are few and barely relevant to the inquiry or its solution.”

The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 13, 2017

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads titles hit shelves this week.

9780399563089_060d5We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can. How this group of people manages to survive years of persecution and imprisonment is astounding. It is an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.” — Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT

Additional Buzz: Glamour picks it as one of the “Best Books to Read in 2017,” writing “Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.” Bustle says Hunter is one of “15 New Authors You’re Going To Be Obsessed With This Year.”

9780425284155_56ff4Gilded Cage, Vic James (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Welcome to a world where magic grants you access to all the benefits of wealth and power. This is the story of two families, one from magic and one not. When Abi comes up with a plan to help her family by having them serve one of the most powerful magical families, she thinks it will save them. But when her brother is sent to one of the harshest work camps, the plan seems less likely to keep them alive. Her brother must face the dangers of slavery while Abi and the others will see grandeur and wealth but also see the rotten core that is gilded in gold.” — Suzanne Christensen, Spanish Fork Public Library, Spanish Fork, UT

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post says it is one of the “Best science fiction and fantasy books to read in February,” writing “one can’t help but anticipate the next novel in the series.The Guardian lists it in their SFF roundup, saying “Beautifully characterised and compellingly plotted, Gilded Cage is an impressive debut.”

9781101906750_0e369The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, Jennifer Ryan (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a powerful story of both hope and despair. Told through diary entries, this is a wonderful glimpse into life in a small British town during WWII. Ryan is a skilled writer who gives each diary entry a clear voice: Mrs. Paltry is dishonest and scheming, Venetia, the self-centered young woman in love with a mysterious man, Kitty, the love struck teenager with big dreams, and Mrs. Tilling, the midwife and moral compass of the town. Through their entries, you really see them grow. The power of music brings them strength that they didn’t know that they had.” — Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI

Additional Buzz: Based on holds, word seems to have leaked about this debut which was a success in the UK. Prepub reviews were not positive, so libraries have ordered cautiously. Kirkus, damns it with faint praise, calling it, “Mildly entertaining, Ryan’s debut novel seems overfamiliar and too intent on warming the heart,” but nevertheless says that  “readers may find themselves furiously turning pages even if they can easily predict what’s coming next.” Proving that, it is also an Indie Next selection for February.

9780812995343_73f0aBooksellers add to the critical anticipation for Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) by making it an Indie Next for the month.

“Saunders’ first novel has a steep entry curve. It’s not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you’ll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln’s dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It’s a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.” —Jason Vanhee, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Additional Buzz: It is an all-star, receiving starred reviews from all four trade sources. As we wrote earlier, it is getting wide attention. On this week’s NYT Book Review Podcast, Saunders says that he originally wrote it as a play, which makes it particularly appropriate that the audio version features 166 narrators, many of them well-known Hollywood names. Saunders is scheduled to be interviewed on tomorrow’s NPR Weekend Edition Saturday and on Wednesday on the Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert.

Tie-ins

Four tie-ins come out this week.

9780062414915_fa53cTheir Finest, Lissa Evans (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is the tie-in edition for the film of the same name. The novel was originally published as Their Finest Hour and a Half.

The film stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, and Bill Nighy and is set in London during WWII. It features filmmakers creating patriotic flicks during the war.

Critics are glowing. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “stealth charmer” and Variety says it is “a relentlessly charming romantic comedy … the sort of crowd-pleaser that knows the difference between satisfying its viewers and flattering them, all the while showcasing surprising performances from Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin, and an entirely unsurprising one from Bill Nighy — a master scene-stealer pulling off yet another brazen heist.” Entertainment Weekly says it is “Comedic, poignant, and delightful.”

The movie opens April 7.

9781302904630_9cee2Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel; OverDrive Sample) arriving this week ties in to the March 3 movie, Logan, the 10th X-Men film and the final Wolverine solo film. It is not a pure adaptation of the comics, but rather inspired by them.

There are few reviews yet but CinemaBlend loved the trailer, writing it is “Brutal, Vicious, and Outstanding.”

9781465456618_f8ed3The LEGO® Batman Movie: The Making of the Movie, DK (PRH/DK Children).

One of the best characters from the animated LEGO Movie gets his own feature in the next installment of the Batman saga.

Critics are raving. RollingStone calls it “a superfun time,” USA Today says it is “joyously bonkers,” and The Washington Post says it is better than the first one, writing “it is that rare sequel that outdoes the original.”

The film stars the voice work of Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders.

It opens Feb. 10. Expect more tie-ins to come.

9781481491709_22e6fThe Boss Baby Junior Novelization, Tracey West (S&S/Simon Spotlight; also trade paperback) is is a novelization of the movie script.

The movie is described as “inspired” by Marla Frazee’s picture book Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010) and adds several story lines.

As we posted, it screened at the Annecy International Animation Festival in the French Alps where it was a huge success. Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praised the director’s use of CGI to mimic classic hand drawn cartoons. Variety reports that the screening “had the audience in stitches” and brought “whoops of applause.”

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar). it features Alec Baldwin as the voice of the Baby, with Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow playing as his parents.

It opens March 31.

THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

9780812989885_852c4LibraryReads-FavoriteAlex Award-winner Hannah Tinti’s second novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (PRH/The Dial Press), is the number one pick by librarians for the March LibraryReads list.

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter. Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood. And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.” — Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX

Additional Buzz: Elle names it as one of the “25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017” and it makes The MillionsThe Great 2017 Book Preview” as well. In the UK, CultureFly includes it on their list of “10 Books To Look Forward To In 2017.”

9780062563668_1bcb5The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck (HC/William Morrow).

“Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, this book is narrated by each of the women, giving us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. This story examines the human side of war, where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Additional Buzz: Book trailer, below:

9780399574634_410d5The Wanderers, Meg Howrey (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.” — Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick. The publisher is calling it “Station Eleven meets The Martian.” Both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus give it starred reviews. Kirkus says it is “A lyrical and subtle space opera.”

The full list of ten picks is available now.

Elizabeth Warren Will Not Be Silenced

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

9781250120625Drawing attention to a Senate vote this week to force her to stop talking, Elizabeth Warren announces that she will publish a new book, due April 18, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books).

The Associated Press reports “It will offer a mini-history of the American middle class, from the New Deal of the 1930s to what the publisher calls President Donald Trump’s ‘phony promises’ that endanger it now.”

It will also include, says the publisher, “eye-opening stories about her battles in the Senate and vividly describes the experiences of hard-working Americans who have too often been given the short end of the stick.”

As Fortune points out, potential presidential candidates “often write books about their experiences to burnish their credentials prior to a presidential run. Former President Barack Obama wrote Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote Hard Choices in 2014.” All were bestsellers.

Warren has written other books, including her 2014 title, A Fighting Chance, which became a bestseller.