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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 24, 2017

Friday, April 21st, 2017

9780399184574_ac3ba9781250075840_719c3The holds leader for the upcoming week is John Sandford’s Golden Prey (PRH/Putnam; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), which has also received strong prepub reviews.

A distant second is Iris Johansen’s No Easy Target (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), in which one of the supporting characters from her best selling Eve Duncan books gets her own book.

The titles covered 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 April 24, 2017

Advance Attention 

9780374115241_f1ca2-2Borne, Jeff VanderMeer (Macmillan/MCD; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The new book by the author of the award-winning dystopian Southern Reach Trilogy arrives with three starred prepub reviews (Kirkus calls it an “odd, atmospheric, and decidedly dark fable for our time“) and film rights already sold to Paramount. In addition, in late March, CinemaCon attendees were treated to footage of the adaptation of Annihilation, the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. Directed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, it stars Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac, release is expected in 2018.

UPDATE: Laura Miller gives Borne a thoughtful review in the New Yorker.

Media Magnets

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Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT).

The COO of Facebook, famous for her book on women in the workplace, Lean In, writes about what she learned after the sudden, unexpected death of her husband in 2015 at age 47. She will be featured on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend, in a segment that promoted today on CBS This Morning. More will follow, with appearances on Good Morning America, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

The Secrets of My Life, Caitlyn Jenner (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio).

Excerpts in People magazine are making headlines in the gossip mags. It seems that Jenner’s daughters feel that the section about her gender surgery is TMI, even for them.

Peer Pick,

Two LibraryReads selections come out this week:

9780812989403_3b3daAnything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is the #1 Library Reads selection for April:

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: It is a February GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick and has made the Spring Reading Lists of New York magazine, The Washington Post, the Amazon Editor’s Top 20 titles, and Vogue‘s “The Must-Read Books of Spring 2017.” All four prepub review sources star, with Kirkus calling it “radiant” and PW deeming it “masterful.” The Millions features it in their “Most Anticipated (The Month),” Elle says it is one of “7 Great Books to Read in April,” and InStyle calls it one of “5 Totally Brilliant Books You Need to Read in April 2017.”

9781501160769_be090Beartown, Fredrik Backman (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: It is one of our GalleyChat picks and an Indie Next selection. AARP includes it on their list of “Spring Books for Gownups.”

9781250108944_a50d1The Standard Grand, Jay Baron Nicorvo (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample) is another Indie Next pick hitting shelves:

“Jay Baron Nicorvo’s novel envelops you in a world most civilians never know, where homeless veterans gather to work on regaining their hearts and minds. The reader is a listener, learning about these characters through each of their voices, accents, idioms, and military jargon — sometimes mean and ugly, sometimes only vaguely understood. Even in their hidden Catskills retreat, there is a realization that they are not beyond the reach of a sinister corporate world waging another, more personal war for oil. The Standard Grand is sculpture, a work of art with every word, every detail, perfect.” —Diane Marie Steggerda, The Bookman, Grand Haven, MI

Additional Buzz: Booklist stars itwith reviewer Bill Kelly writing “Alongside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) and Yellow Birds (2012), The Standard Grand is an important and deeply human contribution to the national conversation.” LJ counts it among its picks of the “Great First Acts: Debut Novels.”


9781338196566_12edfJust one tie-in comes out this week, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample). The animated film is based on the beloved book series of the same name, written by Dav Pilkey.

It stars Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Kristen Schaal and opens on June 2, just in time to delight kids looking forward to summer vacation.

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

More Attention To WORD BY WORD

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

9781101870945_9cd32Kory Stamper has something of a following. Add Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air, to that list. She makes that clear in her interview with the associate editor at Merriam-Webster’s on Wednesday, about Stamper’s book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (PRH/Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

This is the second wave of attention for the book. As we posted in March, detailed coverage by the NYT sent the book soaring on Amazon‘s sales rankings. The Fresh Air interview does that again, sending the book back up in to the Top 100.

Most libraries are now on top of demand, but the interview is great fun for any word nerd.

SHATTERED Examines the Clinton Campaign

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bHeavy media attention is sending an account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign soaring up the Amazon’s sales rankings to #3, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

In today’s NYT, chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling” and says “Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in ‘Shattered’— and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating … and while it’s clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.”

Most other media sources assigned they political reporter to the book.  Having been closer to the campaign on a day-by-day basis, they offer a different take. NPR’s Washington desk correspondent, Ron Elving, says “There is no Big Reveal, no shocking secret answer. Instead we get a slow-building case against the concept and execution of the Clinton campaign, with plenty of fault falling squarely on the candidate herself.”

A Washington Post piece by senior politics editor Steven Ginsberg is even less positive: “the quick-fire version proves too limiting” he says noting there will  “surely be many books about what really happened inside the 2016 campaigns. Going first has its advantages — perhaps in sales and attention.”

Will Shattered be the next Game Change, the best selling analysis of the 2008 campaign by Mark Halperin and John Heinemann? Elving does not think so, saying the personalities involved in that campaign, Obama, John Edwards, John McCain, and Sarah Palin were “more compelling and telegenic, calling out to turn themselves into the TV movie they became,” adding, “Ultimately, Allen and Parnes get inside the campaign but not inside the mind of Hillary Clinton. Much the same seems to have been true for most of her staff and, ultimately, the voters.”

Halperin and Heinemann are working on their own book on the campaign, following up on their successful Showtime series, “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth,” now in its third season, covering Trump’s first 100 days in office. As yet untitled, the book is expected to be published early next year. HBO has already acquired the rights to it.

Clinton will publish her own memoir in September. Described as a collection of her personal reflections on quotes and stories that have helped her “celebrate the good times, laugh at the absurd times, persevere during the hard times,” it doesn’t sound like it will delve deeply into the campaign.

There were no prepub reviews for Shattered, indicating it was embargoed, and libraries have ordered it very lightly, with some systems facing 5:1 ratios.

Hitting Screens, Week of April 17, 2017

Monday, April 17th, 2017

The adaptation of David Grann’s The Lost City of Z debuted in just four theaters over the weekend, but it made plenty of noise with critics who are raving about it (the one hold out is the Wall Street Journal‘s critic). It expands to 400 theaters this coming weekend.

Two small screen adaptations make their debuts in the coming week.

9780804190107_26921HBO’s adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s long-running bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Oprah Winfrey stars as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter. Rose Byrne (Damages) plays Skloot. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) plays Henrietta and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) plays con artist Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield. The Broadway superstar and Tony winning George C. Wolfe (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) wrote the screenplay and directs.

Winfrey tells the NYT that she took the role because she wanted to work with the director, “Audra McDonald said, ‘It will change your life and change you as an actress to work with George.’ And she’s right. He was the person who was able to take a script that felt overridden by the science and re-adapt that into a story about a woman in search of her identity through her mother. That’s why it happened.”

The Baltimore Sun praises Winfrey’s performance, saying she “plays the role sky-high, wide open and without a safety net.”

Anticipation for the series has brought the book back on to best seller lists after a brief absence. It is currently #6 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction list. The tie-in was released two weeks ago, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

9780316469708_0f5dbAlso coming to TV is Famous in Love, an adaptation of Rebecca Serle’s 2014 novel of the same name. It will air on Freeform, reports Deadline Hollywood, following Pretty Little Liars.

Bella Thorne (The DUFF) plays Paige, a college student who becomes a major Hollywood star and It Girl almost overnight. Kirkus said the book was a “frothy but not frivolous … wish fulfillment for any teen who wants to feel the thrill of celebrity and love.”

The A.V. Club reports that Marlene King (who created Pretty Little Liars) and Serle worked on the scripts together.

The show start on April 18th at 9 p.m.

Tie-in: Famous in Love, Rebecca Serle (Hachette/Poppy; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 17, 2017

Friday, April 14th, 2017

9781478969655_f14ae  9780385534246_0b8dc

Several series authors arrive next week to long holds lists, including David Baldacci, with the third in a new series featuring an Ohio State football player who suffered a head injury in this first and only NFL game. The injury has an unusual result, useful in his new career as a police detective, he remembers everything. Appropriately, the first book in the series was titled Memory Man. The new title, The Fix (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), is heralded by a pricey two-page ad in the NYT Book Review.

The biggest nonfiction release of the week is David Grann’s new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT).

In a great piece of timing, it arrives on the heels of the release of the star-laden adaptation of his previous title, The Lost City of Z. The film is receiving glowing reviews, with the New Yorker claiming it “Resuscitates Cinema’s Classic Adventure Tale.” There’s many more Grann adaptations in the pipeline, as Entertainment Weekly details in their profile of the author as “the man Hollywood can’t stop reading.”

Reviewing the new book, the NYT‘s Dwight Garner holds it up to the impossibly high standards of the previous title, which, he says, is “deservedly regarded as one of the prize nonfiction specimens of this century.” He writes that regretfully, while he enjoyed the new book, it “didn’t set its hooks in me in the same way.” Grann is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

It is both an Indie Next and a LibraryRead’s pick:

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The titles highlighted in this column 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 17, 2017.

Media Magnets

9781250120618_caadf 9781501174216_ac582

Politics continue dominate the media. Elizabeth Warren, who has been vocal on her opposition to the new administration, via her Twitter exchanges with Trump, is making headline for her embargoed title, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Most focus on her admitting that she considered a run for president in 2016. The Washington Examiner focuses on other issues, including that she is no fan of Bill Clinton, accusing him of actions that lead to the 2007 financial crisis.

Taking a longer view, historian David McCullough, who has written best sellers about John Adams and the Wright Brothers among others, tells the Wall Street Journal that “the past can serve as an antidote to self-importance and self-pity,” as outlined in his new book, a collection of speeches, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (Simon & Schuster). He is scheduled to appear this Sunday on Face the Nation and the following day on CBS This Morning. On May 3rd, he will be the recipient of the “Ken Burns American Heritage Prize.”

Peer Picks

In addition to Killers of the Flower Moon, two other Library Reads arrive this week.

9780385350907_39c50The Stars Are Fire, Anita Shreve (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.” — Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR

Additional Buzz: Both an Indie Next and a GalleyChat pick, The Washington Post selects it as one of their suggested spring reads.

9780399585012_dd84cGone Without a Trace, Mary Torjussen (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.” — Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Additional Buzz: Bustle features it with an excerpt of two chapters.

9780316316163_de541One additional Indie Next choice comes out, Spoils, Brian Van Reet (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Borne of his experience fighting in Iraq, Brian Van Reet’s Spoils is a clear-eyed, gritty, and tension-filled story of young soldiers caught up in impossible circumstances. At the heart of the story is Cassandra, a 19-year-old machine gunner who is captured by the enemy. Her ordeal as a captive along with two fellow soldiers is harrowing, but also provides insight into the character of soldiers and their captors. Recent and current conflicts have inspired some excellent fiction and Spoils ranks with the best of it.” —Mark Laframboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: Harper’s Bazaar includes it in their list of “14 New Books You Need To Read in April,” writing “Van Reet’s grim but skillfully-told story is an urgent reflection on one of the most consequential conflicts in modern history.”

Van Reet offers a video introduction:


Seeming to reflect current fears, Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin) hit best seller lists again, further boosted by the of news of the forthcoming Hulu series adaptation. The tie-in edition comes out this week, with an eerie photo of star Elizabeth Moss on the cover: The Handmaid’s Tale (Movie Tie-in), Margaret Atwood (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample).

Atwood is in the news this week for her sly hints that there might be a sequel to her iconic dystopian novel.

The series begins on April 26.

9781302904685_e7f72Another tie-in for the much-anticipated SF film comes out this week, adding to the many already published: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, Marvel Comics (Hachette/Marvel).

The show starts May 5 and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell – plus a buzzy soundtrack.

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

Best Selling Advice:

Friday, April 14th, 2017

9781455570249_48b56A book aimed at graduates landed at #1 on the  newest NYT Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Best Sellers list, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven (Hachette/Grand Central; Grand Central Audio; OverDrive Sample).

In it, McRaven, a four star admiral who is credited with overseeing the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, offers surprisingly simple advice, based on his training as a Navy SEAL, such as make your bed, never give up, stand up to bullies, and offer hope to others. The author also includes stories of his time in the SEALs and in Special Operations leadership.

Although it’s a best seller, few libraries are showing heavy holds ratios, indicating most copies are being bought as graduation gifts.

A media draw, the book was a topic on FOX & Friends, USA Today calls it a “powerful book,” The Washington Post says it “is ostensibly about leadership, but it’s full of captivating personal anecdotes from inside the national security vault,” and The Wall Street Journal has featured it several times, including in a video interview.

The entire speech is on YouTube:


Thursday, April 13th, 2017

9780735220683_fcd46LibraryReads-FavoriteA debut novel is the number one library pick this April, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

Additional Buzz: Honeyman is an EarlyReads author and spotted early by GalleyChatters in February. The Guardian profiles her in their introduction to the “new faces of fiction for 2017.” The book was the subject of a fierce auction fight, landing Honeyman over seven figures (in the US alone). PW reports it was one of the biggest books of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.” Booklist stars, writing “Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.”It is an Indie Next pick for May.

9780062651259_9040aAnother debut making the list is The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperLuxe).

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.” — Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY

Additional Buzz: Not to be confused with The Austen Project, a series of modern retellings of Austen, such as Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, this time travel novel made Flavorwire‘s Staff Picks back in February.

9781492649359_ebafaA nonfiction choice is The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, Kate Moore (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for May. Coverage is wide ranging, from The Atlantic to the NY Post to The Spectator to Nature. The Spectator leads with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins,” while Nature calls the book “harrowing.”



Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

9781476763828_13cfbIn the 1970s over 900 people died because they followed the religious figure turned cult leader, Jim Jones, to the jungles of Guyana where they, voluntarily or not, drank poison in a final act of devotion.

Jeff Guinn, known for his true crime bestsellers, investigates the history of Jones and his doomed followers in The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple (S&S; S&S Audio).

It has been covered by two high-profile outlets. Terry Gross interviews Guinn today on NPR’s Fresh Air and the Today show used the story last week to launch a “series examining some of the biggest crimes and cults of the 20th century.”

Guinn tells Gross that Jones was a “tremendous performer” who displayed “the classic tendencies of the demagogue … [he] would take current events and exaggerate them to create a sense of fear and urgency. He drew his followers to Guyana by convincing them that America was facing imminent threats of martial law, concentration camps and nuclear war … [he] epitomizes the worst that can happen when we let one person dictate what we hear [and] what we believe.”

The aftermath was so horrifying that the Guyanese army, coming to confront Jones, start screaming as they arrive on site, “because there are bodies everywhere, almost more than they can count, and they’re so horrified.”

Today details the event that triggered the final mass suicide, Jones’s order to open fire on a Congressman there to investigate, a trip filmed by NBC news in which three NBC staff were also murdered.

Newspapers such as The San Francisco Chronicle, the Star-Telegram (Texas), and The Dallas Morning News review it. USA Today names it one of their “New and noteworthy” titles. Salon headlines their coverage with “Jim Jones was who Charlie Manson wanted to be.” Men’s Journal names it one of “The 7 Best Books of April.” Vice offers an interview with Guinn.

Library holds are light at this point, but keep your eye on it.

Bottoms Up

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

9780143128090_055ecCheck your holds for Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste, Bianca Bosker (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), which is being compared to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Bill Buford’s Heat.

It debuted this week on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction list at #5 and is getting media attention, causing holds to spike at several libraries we checked, as high as 11:1.

The NYT reviews it, writing “Bosker’s journey … is thrilling, and she tells her story with gonzo élan.” The Washington Post says it is “a funny, thought-provoking and at times frightening look at the sublime tastes, enormous egos and curious rules of a profession that is both insanely rigorous and occasionally ridiculous.”

NPR’s The Salt features it as well, mixing descriptions of the book with descriptions of wine. Eater‘s editor-in-chief calls it “incredibly well written, intelligent, witty, and highly entertaining, and if I’m being frank, it’s the first book I’ve been excited to come home to in the last 12 months.”

WineEnthusiast offers an interview while both Slate and The Atlantic feature Bosker in their podcasts.

LibraryReads To Crit Pick

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

9780812989885_a1476Pete Hamill reviews Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (PRH/The Dial Press; RH Large Type; OverDrive Sample) for the forthcoming NYT Sunday Book Review, (not yet available online) calling it a “strikingly symphonic novel” and saying readers will keep turning pages “carried by Tinti’s seductive prose.”

Librarians saw it coming. It was the #1 LibraryReads pick in March:

The novel has received so much attention, that the review aggregator LitHub lists it as both one of the “Hottest Books of the Season” and the “Most Talked About Books.”

Booksellers also love it, picking it as an Indie Next selection for April 2017 and as we noted in Titles To Know, it was previewed on a number of monthly or seasonal best lists, including those by the BBC, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Elle, and InStyle. Much earlier in the year it was included in The MillionsThe Great 2017 Book Preview.”

The Rolling Stone says “Tinti has established herself as one of our great storytellers. She draws you in with this book, and it’s really difficult to get away.” Ron Charles reviews it for The Washington Post, as a “thriller with heart” and give it the “The Totally Hip Video Book Reviewer” treatment:

Tinti was interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday in late March:

Holds are generally high. A few libraries we checked bought few copies and are facing ratios approaching 10:1. Others have ordered more copies to meet demand.


Hitting Screens, Week of April 10, 2017

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Boss Baby continued to rule the box office over the weekend, happily beating out another movie aimed at kids, the formulaic Smurfs: Lost Village. On TV, the adaptation of Jay Asher’s best-selling 2007 YA novel 13 Reasons Why is a hit for Netflix and is stirring up controversy about whether there should be a second season.

Two adaptations come to screens this week.

9780525434658_325e0Having received much advance attention for its star studded cast, The Lost City of Z finally hits theaters in a limited run at the end of this week, expanding to more theaters next week. Based on David Gann’s nonfiction account of Percy Fawcett’s search for a fabled lost city, it stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland.

Already released in the UK, The Telegraph says it is “Transporting and profound … an instant classic.Business Insider says it is “the best movie of 2017 so far” and director James Gray’s “magnum opus.” The Wrap says it “blends knock-out visual beauty, tender feminism, overall personal inter-connectedness, and something else, too, something yearning and just out of reach … [it] feels like a clear artistic advance for Gray, who proves himself here as one of our finest and most distinctive living filmmakers.”

Reviewing it after its NY Film Festival debut, Variety called it “Apocalypse Now meets Masterpiece Theater … a finely crafted, elegantly shot, sharply sincere movie that is more absorbing than powerful.”

The book received raves. The NYT critic Michiko Kakutani wrote it is at “once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd … it reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.”

It topped most of the year’s best books lists the year it was published. Grann is now back in the news for a new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT).

Tie-in: The Lost City of Z (Movie Tie-In): A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

9781501174926_7136bOn cable The White Princess begins on April 16, about the long-running War of the Roses.

It’s the sequel to The White Queen, which aired on Starz in 2013, based on the first four books in Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War series and earned both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

The new series adapts Gregory’s fifth title in the historical saga and relates the story of Princess Elizabeth of York, forced to marry into the house of her enemy. Gregory outlines the chronology of the novels on her website.

It stars Jodie Comer as Princess Elizabeth, Essie Davis as Elizabeth Woodville, Joanne Whalley as the Duchesss of Burgundy, Michelle Fairley as Margaret Beaufort, Jacob Collins-Levy as Henry VII, and Suki Waterhouse as Cecily of York.

One of the few reviews out thus far says “if it’s melodrama you want, The White Princess delivers – serving up a steamy soup of bitchy, backstabbing, corseted women plotting each other’s doom.”

Vanity Fair offers an interview with the stars.

Tie-in: The White Princess, Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 10, 2017

Friday, April 7th, 2017

9781455536375_64d10  9781250099563_3fe1a  9780316468909_eceaf

Next week, Jeffery Deaver’s character Lincoln Rhymes returns in his lucky 13th outing in The Burial Hour (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). In terms of holds for titles arriving next week, it is running neck and neck with a new standalone from Lisa Scottoline, One Perfect Lie (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

On the other hand, there are surprisingly few holds for James Patterson’s Two from the Heart (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is under his imprint BookShots, which seems to be going through a reevaluation. Announced last year as a series of short original paperbacks, most upcoming titles are now showing on wholesaler sites as cancelled. This title is a hardcover and may be a compilation of two titles originally planned for the paperback series.

9781501107993_ffd5bIt’s not high on holds lists yet, but keep your eye on the thriller, The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (S&S; S&S Audio). Word of mouth continues for her title from last year, All the Missing Girls, propelling the paperback edition on to the NYT best seller list, where it is currently #10, after five weeks, down from a high of #7. A full-page ad in this week’s New York Times Book Review overstates that a bit, calling Missing a “runaway New York Times bestseller.” Most prepub reviews are strong for Stranger, with PW suggesting it for fans of Gillian Flynn, Chevy Stevens, and Jennifer McMahon.

9780143130628_63a15Also getting a full-page ad in this week’s New York Times Book Review, in a shocking shade of pink which sets off the cover, is Jojo Moyes’ The Horse Dancer (Penguin Books; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). After the author’s big success here with her most recent titles, the publisher is reaching in to her backlist to bring her earlier novels to the US in trade paperback, branded to remind her fans of the success of Me Before YouBooklist warns that this release, a coming of age story “differs sharply” from the author’s later romances.

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 10, 2017

Media Magnets

9781594206757_89b0bAn American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, Elisabeth Rosenthal (PRH/Penguin Press; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

This timely new book, featured on the cover of this week’s NYT BR, is by former physician, now journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal. As a reporter for The New York Times, she wrote the prize-winning series “Paying Till It Hurts.”

9781476795447_aabbb-2Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, Barbara Lynch (S&S/Atria).

Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch’s rags-to-ricotta memoir, is called by Kirkus, “A rugged tale of a self-made woman in a high-stress profession.” Profiled in 2012 by the NYT, she clearly has a fascinating backstory, so it’s not surprising that the host of the Food Network program “Giada at Home” has already optioned the book for a possible TV series. Lynch is scheduled to appear on this week’s NPR Weekend Edition Sunday.

Peer Picks

One LibraryReads title comes out this week:

9780345527868_54068The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova (PRH/ Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.” — Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Additional Buzz: Also an Indie Next pick, it is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s “13 books you need to read in April.” It also makes Signature‘s list of monthly reads and the April rundown of newly released titles that look good to Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

Four additional Indie Next titles publish this week:

9780451494481_a485aHourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, Dani Shapiro (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“As I consider the themes of memory and marriage in my own life, I realize that Dani Shapiro has reached across time to touch me with her insight and candor, and this is how Hourglass will touch every reader who is lucky enough to find this special little gem of a book. What a particular and original voice she has shared, reflecting on questions like, how are relationships formed? How does love burn and transform you? How does marriage, that age-old subject, play out between creators in the race against time? Through fragments, touching bits of memory, and poetic flights of fancy, this memoir honors the genre and elevates the form. I couldn’t put it down and devoured it in one sitting.” —Cristina Nosti, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Additional Buzz: Elle picks it as one of their “7 Great Books to Read in April,” saying “If you’re in the mood for a Calder mobile–like memoir that spins on its own inventive, beautifully crafted apparatus, [this] is that work of art.” NYLON picks it as well, “reading Shapiro’s magical reflection on love and aging and family and self [is] akin to reading a diary instead of a memoir, so intimate are the thoughts and experiences that unfold within.” Literary Hub includes it on their list of 16 April choices, saying it “might already be a classic.” PW and Kirkus star; Cheryl Strayed and Jenny Offill blurb.

9781771961394_96e86The Redemption of Galen Pike, Carys Davies (Consortium/Biblioasis; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the most beautiful collection of short stories I have read in a long time. Each story feels perfect. The writing, the topic, and the resolution all left me completely satisfied. Their connecting theme is solitude or isolation and the struggle to move through it. The collection reminds me of some of Kevin Brockmeier’s writing: beautiful, sometimes disturbing, and always memorable.” —Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, AR

Additional Buzz: Sharp also appeared on Minnesota Public Radio to talk about the book, saying the stories are “always a little bit dark, a little bit odd, always absolutely beautiful and hard to forget.”

9780062434876_af67aSunshine State: Essays, Sarah Gerard (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Sarah Gerard is a Southern writer for the 21st century. In Sunshine State, the sacred lies right next to the profane; the weird is always inextricable from its own beauty. These essays reach out toward the people and places of Gerard’s childhood, family, and history while also reaching within to examine her own complicity in the creation of her life’s story. You’ll want to linger in these strange, quiet corners with her, and you will struggle, as she does, to understand the mysteries that motivate the people we love.” —Elizabeth Anderson, Charis Books & More, Atlanta, GA

Additional Buzz: The NYT reviews it calling it “striking.” It also makes a number of best of the month lists including LitHub, NYLON, and BuzzFeed, which says it is “entertaining and engaging throughout.” It is also one of The MillionsMost Anticipated” for 2017. Local coverage via The Miami Rail: “Gerard publicizes the private and privatizes the public. Though complex and intricate, her exceptional writing cuts with a surgeon’s care.”

9780062560292_8deb4The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“In this story, the devil is, indeed, in the details. You think you’re being distracted, only to learn that Rader-Day is actually building layers of evidence for the reader, connecting a framework of apparent incidentals to reach a pinnacle of suspense. Almost anyone can be guilty, but only one is a villain. You unexpectedly feel sympathy for certain characters, partly because they’re so genuine. I neglected things because I HAD to finish this book. You will, too.” —Tracy Aleksy, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, IL


9781501171383_51799Advertising is beginning to hit for the National Geographic series which begins airing on April 25 and the tie-in is releasing this week, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). The series portrays Albert as a young man, his personal life, and rise in scientific circles. Based on Isaacson’s book, it stars Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) Johnny Flynn (Clouds of Sils Maria) and Emily Watson (The Book Thief). Ron Howard directs, in his first effort at scripted television.

The series will span 10 episodes.

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

Shattuck Breaks Out

Friday, April 7th, 2017

9780062563668_1bcb5The third time’s a charm for Jessica Shattuck. Her third novel, The Women in the Castle (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), debuts at #6 on this week’s NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list.

Press coverage has been very good. The NYT features it in their “World War II Fiction: The Home Front” round-up, writing “Her achievement — beyond unfolding a plot that surprises and devastates — is in her subtle exploration of what a moral righteousness [looks] like … in the aftermath of war.”

USA Today adds. “World War II has inspired dozens of unforgettable novels, but Jessica Shattuck offers a mesmerizing new look.” People calls it a “masterful epic” (review not available online), and Bustle says it is “Riveting and emotional … a WWII story like you’ve never seen before.”

Librarians were on board early. It is a LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat choice. Holds are strong in everywhere we checked, with some spiking as high as 15:1.

As we noted earlier in Titles to Know, the story has personal resonance, as Shattuck reveals in a NYT Op/Ed piece titled, “I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.”

Order Alert: AND THEN

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

9780143108443_3b9e5The “gleefully gruesome” And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over Niagara by Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) outlines the most outlandish ways of dying. Naturally, it’s getting attention.

A reddit discussion yesterday drew thousands of participants. Fun fact: apparently eating too many pickles in one session can make your stomach explode (and then you ARE dead).

Popular Science ran a story yesterday as well, pointing out the grisly appeal of learning about “someone else’s totally hypothetical, totally bizarre death … You know you want all the details.”

The book was featured on the popular NPR show, Science Friday, and on April Fool’s Day in the New York Post.

Prepub reviews are scant. Only Booklist covered it, giving it a star and calling the book an “arch, brainy volume … With bite-size morsels of astonishing science and the perfect combination of smart-alecky writing and black humor, this page-turner will surely debunk any misapprehension that science is dull.”

Libraries we checked have either not purchased or bought lightly. Where purchased, holds ratios are topping 7:1.

Avian Artistry

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

9780300222739_0b0ff“When you see an owl … you feel that you’ve seen something special, almost secret.”

Mike Unwin tells the NYT that part of their allure is that they look more human than most birds and are hidden from our sight by their nocturnal habits. It is a rare and special moment for many to see one.

Unwin is the author of a new lavishly photographed guide: The Enigma of the Owl: An Illustrated Natural History (Yale UP).

The NYT says it “explores the diversity, beauty and ecological importance [of owls and] introduces readers to 53 of the world’s 200 to 250 species … organizing the birds by continent and including well-known … as well as rare, more enigmatic ones.”

The StarTribune also reviews it, writing the text has “the right measure of starchy erudition: the springy, high camp of Jeeves, with a faithfulness to scientific inquiry” and that “not one of the 200 photographs is unworthy of a museum home.”

LJ gave the book a star, calling it a “most worthy addition” to the collection and an “authoritative, beautiful title.”

This follows an earlier high-profile book on owls, Tony Angell’s 2015 The House of Owls. Angell provides an introduction to Unwin’s work.