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

Pearl Power, Summer Reads

Friday, June 30th, 2017

“Librarian’s librarian” Nancy Pearl gives a boost to several titles on NPR’s Morning Edition this week, picking her favorite books from the spring list for summer reading.

Host Steve Inskeep begins by asking if the prolific reader is have any trouble focusing on books “in these news saturated times.” Pearl admits that she she finds her reading tastes are changing and she has abandoned her usual favorites, character-driven stories for page-turners

Her favorite is the debut, August Snow, (Soho Crime; Recorded Books). She says, “I’m not just saying that because I’m from Detroit and it’s set in Detroit.”

Prepub reviews dunned the book for veering into thriller cliches, but Kirkus noted, “it’s easy to overlook those flaws considering what this book gets right: a hugely likable hero who uses his wealth to bring his neighborhood back to life; a feel for the vitality and pride in run-down urban neighborhoods as good as George Pelecanos on Washington, D.C.; appealing supporting characters who give life to the book’s theme of the solace to be found in communities. It adds up to a very pleasurable read.”

By the end of the program, Inskeep observes, “we started out trying to get away from the news, but we’re actually getting fresh perspectives on the news of recent years … from urban struggle to rural areas that are losing population and economic vitality.”

Click here for the full list of titles and annotations.

New Attention for FLOWER MOON

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings again, after an appearance on ABC’s The View during which Grann enthralled the hosts with the story of a series of all but forgotten crimes perpetrated on a group of Native Americans.

The book has been on the NYT‘s Hardcover Nonfiction list for eight weeks, rising as high as #4, currently at #11. It is #2 on Entertainment Weekly’s “The 10 Best Books of the Year so Far.

LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick. it was on a number of best spring book lists. As we have previously posted, the film rights were sold in a hot auction for 5 million, roughly a year before the book hit shelves. Variety says it “was one of the highest prices paid for movie rights in recent memory.”

Holds Alert: THE RADIUM GIRLS

Monday, May 8th, 2017

9781492649359_ebafaKate Moore’s The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample) is catching on.

Holds are topping 7:1 ratios and spiking as high as 34:1. Bases on that, and Amazon’s sales rankings, it is headed for bestseller lists.

Already a hit with librarians, it is a LibraryReads selection for May and a GalleyChat title. Booksellers are on board as well, making it an Indie Next pick.

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT provided the LibraryReads annotation:

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.”

For GalleyChat, library director Nicole Steeves, Fox River Grove (IL), said the elements are perfect for readers’ advisory (readable non-fiction, women’s stories, and science writing) and would also recommend it to teens. She added, “It is also is a timely example of good research and careful attribution, relevant to librarians’ concerns about news literacy.”

Coverage is wide ranging. The Spectator introduces the book with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins.” BuzzFeed runs an illustrated feature written by Moore, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday has an interview, as do the NYT and Jezebel. Bustle, The Atlantic, the NY Post, and Nature offer stories, with Nature calling the book “harrowing.”

Possible TV Series: SHATTERED

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bOne of the autopsies of the 2016 election might be made into a limited TV series reports the NYT.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) has been optioned by Sony’s TriStar Television.

The paper says it has become “a mainstay in dinner-party chatter in political circles since its publication.” In library circles it is doing well too, as we reported earlier, holds soared on light ordering.

It hit the  NYT  Hardcover Nonfiction list at #1 last week, slipping to #2 this week, displaced by Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B

The daily NYT‘s chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling”and The Globe and Mail writes that the authors “may be credited with banging the first hot-tipped galvanized spiral-shank nail into her historical coffin … [it is] an unfavourable – no, an unforgiving – look inside the Clinton presidential campaign of 2016.” Staff from the Clinton campaign are pushing back.

Deadline Hollywood reports that this would make the fourth TV project focused on the election. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have a project with HBO. Annapurna and Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) have one in the works they are keeping under wraps, saying only it will be “Trump-centric.” Tomorrow Studios is making what they hope will become an ongoing series, called Trump: It Happened Here.

The NYT says of this newest project that no writers or stars have been chosen for the project and a network “is not yet attached.”

To TV: WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9781455588220_ced4bMindy Kaling has optioned the rights to Alyssa Mastromonaco’s recently released memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (Hachette/Twelve; OverDrive Sample) reports Deadline Hollywood. In it, she writes about her time as Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff for operations in the White House.

Plans are in the works to turn it into a TV series with Kaling producing. No word yet on who will star but Jezebel says that it “sounds like it’ll be right up Kaling’s alleyThe Mindy Project minus the doctor stuff with a dash of Veep, a hint of The West Wing, minus any House of Cards Underwood-ian touches.”

The publisher calls the book “less political diatribe than a gossip session with an older sister,” which is fitting as Mastromonaco and Kaling are friends, introduced, says Deadline, by Obama himself.

As we posted, the book spent two weeks on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list and got attention when it was published last month. People reviewed it, saying it is “brimming with … humorous, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, as well as up-close-and-personal moments with Obama that shed new light on who he is as a leader, man and friend.” New York Magazine ran an interview, as did USA Today.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE: Critic’s Rave

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780525435006_a03ffHulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986; tie-in ed., PRH/Anchor, 2017; OverDrive Sample) premiered Wednesday, to glowing reviews.

The NYT calls it “spectacular” and says that the show “argues — with an assist from current events — that progress is neither automatic nor irreversible.”

The Washington Post headlines, “The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t just timely, it’s essential viewing for our fractured culture.”

The Guardian writes “It’s a horror, and it’s a thriller, but it is, at its core, a warning, about how oppression can creep up on you, and what happens when women’s lives are no longer their own.”

NPR says it is “chilling … a horror show unveiled in slow motion … In a country where sexual harassment scandals regularly land on the front page, the patriarchy of The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t feel so far-fetched, which is the most horrific thing about it.”

Elle magazine takes an interesting approach to the book, asking a range of women authors how it shaped their “ideas of feminism, fairness, and dystopia.”

Louise O’Neill, author of Only Every Yours recalls reading when she was 15 and wondering “How is it possible that this book was written in 1985… and yet so little has changed in the last 15 years.” Reading it again this year, she’s asking the same question.

Sady Doyle, author of Trainwreck says the lessons of the book “set the table for how I would look at gender and power as an adult. I’m more glad than ever for the book as it’s become more necessary.”

Hitting Screens, Week of April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Several highly anticipated TV shows begin their runs this week, including Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

9780525435006_a03ffThe Handmaid’s Tale starts on April 26 and runs for ten episodes, staring Elisabeth Moss as Offred, the central character and a rarity in her world, a fertile woman, or ‘handmaid,” she becomes the property of the state, forced to conceive against her will. Joseph Fiennes stars as The Commander, to whom Offred is assigned.

Reviews are glowing. The A.V. Club headlines, “Praise be to the arresting, topical nightmare of The Handmaid’s Tale.” Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, writing it “plays like true prestige television: A masterfully unnerving vision of a near future … Moss is a brilliant muse, a fantastically unsettling alloy of fury and stillness; if this doesn’t earn her the Emmy she was robbed of for her years on Mad Men, the voting Academy should sue itself for gross negligence.” IndieWire says it is “The Scariest TV Show Ever Made, Because It Feels So Real.” Time calls it “masterful … hits exactly the right note … [and] The more you learn about Offred, the more she looks like TV’s great new heroine.” The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A thrillingly dystopian escape from our modern dystopia.”

The tie-in edition comes out this week, with an eerie photo of Elizabeth Moss on the cover: The Handmaid’s Tale (Movie Tie-in), Margaret Atwood (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample).

9780062572233_d8645American Gods starts its 8-episode run on April 30. It has an all-star cast including Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Gillian Anderson as Media, and Kristin Chenoweth as Easter.

Early reviews are largely positive. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-, with the reviewer writing that he was “consistently engrossed.” Den of Geek writes “The American Gods TV show is something special — for anyone who has ever believed in anything or simply questioned the structure of existence. This show is for you.”

However, Comics Beat headlines that it is “a beautiful mess” and says the show lacks a needed “sense of urgency” and that its “thematic superficiality is heartbreaking.”

The tie-ins hit shelves in late March: American Gods, Neil Gaiman (HC/William Morrow; also in mass market; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9781501171383_c1b1eGenius begins its 10-episode run on the National Geographic channel on April 25. It is the first scripted series from the cable network, reports Deadline Hollywood, and is part of a planned “anthology drama– telling the stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators.”

This opener is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe and stars Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush as Einstein. Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) plays the younger Einstein while Emily Watson (The Theory of Everything) is Elsa, his second wife. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are the series executive producers.

It is getting some good buzz. The NYT says “this is not your father’s biopic. It’s about time to meet the real guy behind the cuddly accent and the curvature of space-time … it’s a tense binge-worthy psychological thriller full of political and romantic melodrama.” Forbes writes the series may “inspire a new generation of thinkers and dreamers to expand our knowledge of the world” and calls it impressive and attention grabbing.

The tie-in came out in early April: Einstein TV Tie-In Edition: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9781410466822_e7e92 Only one theatrical film opens this week, The Circle, premiering on the 28th and starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and and John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). It is based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, who also co-wrote the script for the film.

There are no reviews yet but Entertainment Weekly ran a story recently, opening with a reminder that the plot of The Circle, about technology and privacy, is very timely:

“Imagine a world where everything you do is tracked online. Where privacy doesn’t exist. Where corporations have the government’s blessing to extract whatever information they want about you. Welcome to that world. Thanks to a recent party-line vote in Congress, you live in it.” They continue saying, “All of this makes the The Circle … look a lot less like a thriller and more like prophecy.”

Watson tells the magazine, “This is not a dystopian future that’s set in, you know, 2050 or something. This could basically be tomorrow. This is kind of an uncomfortably close film about where, if we aren’t careful, we could very easily go.”

There is no-tie in.

Bird Song

Monday, April 24th, 2017

9780316370899_08d68Mozart owned a pet starling bird, one he bought in 1784 just after finishing his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. It could sing part of his new composition.

The story of that bird and Mozart’s relation to it is one of the subjects of Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Haupt tells NPR that in researching the book she followed suit and adopted her own pet starling, rescuing a five-day-old from a nest about to be destroyed.

Haupt tells NPR that her bird Carmen, like Mozart is smart,  mischievous and an amazing mimic, anticipating the household routine,  “I wake up in the morning … and she looks at me and says, ‘Hi Carmen,’ which is the first thing I would say to her. And then the cat comes downstairs and she says ‘Meow.’ And then I go to make the coffee, and before I grind the beans she goes, ‘Rrrrr.'”

Mozart wrote an elegy for it upon its death and more than one musical critic believes at least one of his compositions is is based on the starling’s song.

In a starred review Booklist calls the book a “hard-to-put-down, charming blend of science, biography, and memoir.”

Some libraries we checked are running 5:1 hold ratios on light orders. Several others have not ordered it.

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 context of the recent popularity of post-apocalyptic novels, 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.”

Tie-ins

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. Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air is one, as she makes clear in her interview with the associate editor at Merriam-Webster’s about her 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:

Tie-ins

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:
MAKE YOUR BED

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:

ELEANOR OLIPHANT Tops LibraryReads

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.”