Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from last month’s chat below.
Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.
Please join us for the next GalleyChat, tomorrow, Tuesday,
April 4, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
Summer is here, at least in publishing land, and GalleyChatters recommend many new titles that will be perfect for summertime readers. Most are available as DRCs from Edelweiss, those available only from NetGalley are noted.
Topping many lists this month (including mine) was the perfect domestic thriller, The Breakdown by B. A. Paris (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, July; DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: May 20). Cass’s brewing personal breakdown is not only the result of her early onset dementia symptoms but also guilt over bypassing a car breakdown on a rainy night only to discover later the occupant was murdered. This “tilt-a-whirl” of a plot will keep readers guessing. Andrienne Cruz says it’s “maddingly awesome.” Jennifer Winberry adds, “High tension and an urgency to the narrative keeps pages turning to the shocking conclusion in this second novel from the author of Behind Closed Doors.” This is perfect for readers who liked A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife and Clare Mackintosh’s thrillers.
With its lighter tone than most recent thrillers, readers who can’t get enough of Mary Higgins Clark will enjoy Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know, Dear (HarperCollins/Morrow, May). Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) gave it a nice shout out, saying, “A freak accident that injures her mother and grandmother brings Vanessa back to her childhood home and straight into a family mystery. Kidnapping, deception and revenge all have a place in this novel. Oh, and dolls. Lifelike porcelain dolls. Made with real hair and made to resemble their owners. This is creepy but not over the top.”
With a cover blurb from Stephen King, “The first great thriller of 2017 is here,” the novel Final Girls by Riley Sager (PRH/Dutton, July; LibraryReads deadline: May 20), has a lot to live up to, but GalleyChatters are also enthusiastic, saying this suspense thriller with a bit of horror will appeal to those who like Karin Slaughter and Chevy Stevens. Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City (CA) Library said, “Slow buildup and picks up fast, this is a satisfying take on the slasher movies that were popular in the 90s with a twist that will astound.”
Readers who are biting their nails waiting for the next Diana Gabaldon title may temporarily quench their longing by reading The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack (Macmillan/Picador, June; LibraryReads deadline: April 20). With dual timelines, one present and one ancient, this book involving antiquities, ancient libraries, librarians, tarot cards, suspense, and a mysterious love interest is perfect beach reading.
J. Courtney Sullivan’s previous books, Maine and The Engagements, were popular, and early praise indicates Saints for All Occasions (PRH/Knopf, May) could be another heart-tugging winner. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, didn’t want it to end and admits she still thinks about it and continues, “Families and the secrets they keep is what this book is all about. When an untimely death brings the sisters together for the first time in many years, will the closely guarded and potentially life altering secrets come to light? I loved this novel about how families make do with what they are given and learn to love in spite of it.”
One of the first books to receive a solid entry on my best of 2017 list is Laura McBride’s ‘Round Midnight (S&S/Touchstone, May), a novel set in Las Vegas with multiple points-of-view. Janet Lockhart says it best, “Spanning six decades, against the transformation of Las Vegas from a dusty desert town into a glittering tourist mecca, this is the tale of four women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. A big-hearted story with small and large emotional payoffs, it is recommended for fans of Anna Quindlen, Fredrik Backman, and Ann Patchett.” I would add Wally Lamb readers to Janet’s list.
One of my favorite travel narrative/memoir combos of 2017 is Tim Bauerschmidt’s Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living (HarperCollins/HarperOne, May). Heather Bistyga, ILL/Periodicals Librarian from Anderson, SC, also loved it, “Driving Miss Norma is the heartwarming story of a 90-year-old woman who was brave enough to say ‘no’ to medical treatment for cancer, and the family brave enough to take her on the road for the adventure of a lifetime before she was able to die with dignity. I laughed and cried with Tim, Ramie, Miss Norma and Ringo [the family dog] on their trip around the country, and I hope to have the courage to support my loved ones as Norma’s family supported her.” Yes, you may ugly cry but you won’t forget Norma.
Finally, a word to the wise, stock up on The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Macmillan/Flatiron; May), It is a readers’ advisors’ dream. An intimate memoir, it’s a compelling and page-turning true crime that legal thriller fans will love. If that isn’t enough, it is also beautifully written. Andrienne Cruz said it was “harrowing – devastating, resolute, meticulous, gut-wrenching and masterful.”
Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, April 4, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.