Archive for the ‘2017/18 — Winter/Spring’ Category

Meet A.J. Finn, the Author of
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

 

For several months, GalleyChatters have been talking about A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window, (HarperCollins/Morrow, Jan 2, 2018), predicting it will be the hot debut of 2018.

Below, we chat with the author.

       

GalleyChatters Predict:
Fall/Winter Reading Trends

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

The trend for psychological thrillers has had amazing longevity. With so many new titles published in the genre, fans are becoming more and more demanding.

Two titles were mentioned most often during last week’s GalleyChat as the best of the upcoming crop:

 

The Woman in the Window, (HarperCollins/Morrow, Jan 2, 2018) — please join us for a chat with the author, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 4 to 5 pm. ET, Chat window will be posted at 3 pm on EarlyWord.com

Sometimes I Lie, Alice Feeney, (Macmillan/Flatiron, March 13, 2018) — this one is SO twisty, that it lost several readers. The title itself warns readers that this is they’re dealing with the ultimate in unreliable narrators.

Nods also went to:

   

The Last Mrs. Parrish, Liv Constantine, (Harper, October 17)

Poison, Galt Niederhoffer, (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s, November 21)

The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, January 9, 2018)

If you’re not a fan of the genre, or just need a palate cleanser, there’s much to tempt you from the nearly 130 titles getting enthusiastic endorsements (see the Edelweiss catalog here).

For those hoping to sniff out the next trend, Marika Zemke of Commerce Twp. (MI) Public Library makes a strong case for medical narratives and survival stories, saying people crave them these days. With hurricanes and fires raging and a chaotic federal government, that seems to make sense. She offers  the following as examples:

     

The Encore: A Memoir in Three Acts, Charity Tillemann-Dick, (S&S/Atria, October 3) — an opera singer continues her career despite having BOTH lungs transplanted.

Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesia, Henry Jay Przybylo, (Norton, November 14), — “takes you past the forbidden operating room doors into the O.R.”

In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope, Rana Awdish, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, October 24)  — A doctor learns first hand the flaws in current medical practice when she nearly dies herself.

The Cookie Cure: A Mother/Daughter Memoir of Cookies and Cancer, Susan Stachler, Laura Stachler, (Sourcebooks, February 1, 2018)   — “an almost unbelievable story of medical coincidence.”

Some of you may remember an earlier time when medical narratives were all the rage. GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower says they’ve never gone out of style for her. She remembers, “Back in the late 70s I read Elder’s And I Alone Survived, which fueled my obsession with survival stories. My medical obsession started in the early 1970s with James Kerr’s soap opera-ish novel The Clinic and, of course, Hailey’s Diagnosis. About 30 years ago Echo Heron published Intensive Care, about her stint as a nurse, along with Carol Gino’s The Nurse’s Story. Like many library patrons, I couldn’t get enough of these kinds of stories.”

Below is a transcript. If it does not load, or you prefer reading it in story form, link here.

Green’s TURTLES

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

As promised, John Green devoted yesterday’s vlogbrothers video to his forthcoming book, Turtles All the Way Down (PRH/Dutton YR; Oct 10; cover art to come), his first novel since 2012’s The Fault in Our Stars.

He doesn’t reveal anything about the book’s content, talking instead about the special ISBN for signed copies, causing pre-orders for that edition to spike. Along the way, he explains what ISBN’s are, knowledge he gained while working at Booklist.

GALLEYCHATTER, June 2017, BookExpo SPECIAL EDITION

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Editors Note: 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 this month’s chat below.
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During the post-Book Expo GalleyChat, those who had just returned from the show were eager to share newly discovered galleys they had lugged home. As we head in to the Fourth of July holiday, consider downloading digital review copies of these titles from Edelweiss or NetGalley.

If you fall in love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for  LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles that can still be nominated.

For a complete list of the 148 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.

Librarians’ Lunch Standouts

The AAP/LibraryReads lunch for librarians at Book Expo was a sold out affair with the usual stellar line-up of authors. The MC was “America’s Librarian” Nancy Pearl, who has written her first novel, George and Lizzie (S&S/Touchstone, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) about the meeting and marriage of sweet, practical George and the always dissatisfied Lizzie. Stephanie Chase, director of Hillsboro (OR) Public Library says, “Lizzie will jump out at you from the beginning, and whether you immediately love her, as I did, or hate her, you must give her a chance, for along the way, you’ll meet the wonderful Marla and James, and George’s fantastic parents, Lizzie’s not-so-fantastic parents, and George, of course.”

Gabrielle Zevin also charmed the audience. Her first book for adults, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry was a hit with readers. Her next, Young Jane Young (Workman/Algonquin, August), a novel about reinvention after an indiscretion, is quickly gathering fans. Jennifer Winberry from says, “After having an affair with the local congressman for whom she is interning, Aviva Grossman finds herself unable to show her face in her Florida town and get a job.  Aviva changes her name and flees for a small town in Maine where she and her daughter live a relatively quiet life until she decides to run for local office and her past is dredged up. Told in alternating voices, families, relationships, and double standards all come to light making this a great choice for book groups.”

Buzz-Worthy Titles

Word spread fast about Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (PRH/Penguin Press, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) causing galleys to fly out of the publisher’s booth. Frequent GalleyChat contributor Cynthia Baskin is an early admirer and says, “This terrific sophomore effort is about two dysfunctional families whose lives intersect and overlap in healthy and not-so-healthy ways. Although the main event is known from the beginning, the story builds tension slowly as Ng very deliberately peels away the characters’ interpersonal layers.  If you like domestic dramas, I highly recommend this book!”

Another galley that was difficult to find due to pre-pub buzz was Brendan Mathews family saga, World of Tomorrow (Hachette/Little, Brown, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20; DRC on NetGalley). Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, wasted no time before reading it. She reports, “Set over a week in June of 1939, we follow three Irish brothers as they interact with a cast of characters that include a member of the IRA, a Hungarian refugee, the ghost of Yeats, a Deb on the make and her plotting mother, and a ward boss looking for just a little respect.  But the true star of this novel is New York City in all her prewar glitz, glitter and grit.”

Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists (PRH/Putnam’s, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20; DRC on NetGalley), touted during Book Expo’s Book Buzz, is the story of a family’s life based on a psychic’s predicted death dates of each sibling. Andrienne Cruz predicts it will be a hit saying, “Four siblings dared to find out when they will die and face the consequence of this knowledge. This novel is filled with rich characters who seamlessly inhabit the pages. I am reminded of Pat Conroy’s books-with unflinching honesty and an electrifying setting in various decades set in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco.” This is also a good candidate for those who want to read about family dysfunction similar to Hilma Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Cynthia Sweeney’s The Nest.

Set in the mountains and small towns of Oregon, Rene Denfeld’s The Child Finder (HarperColllins/Harper, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) is poised to be a big hit. Denfeld has taken a topic that could be disturbing and has made the characters believable and empathetic, even the ones that don’t appear to deserve any compassion. Meeting the author was a BEA highlight. Remember the words “radical empathy.” Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis Community Library (TX) also loved it saying, “Naomi, also known as The Child Finder, is in search of a little girl who is lost in the woods – three years ago. Not only did the ‘snow child’ survive but she may not feel like a captive. We see through Naomi’s eyes that the circumstances of all the missing may take many forms. This multi-layered novel is quiet and heartbreaking and violent all at once.”

Death Becomes Her

Mortician Caitlin Doughty’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory was one of my 2015 favorite books and I am pleased to say From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death (Norton, October; LibraryReads deadline: August 20) should prove to be just as popular. Journeying to various countries to research the ways cultures handle their dead might not be everybody’s idea for an adventure vacation but Caitlin is dedicated to ensuring that death is not only handled with respect but also endeavors to erase the stigma and fear of dead bodies. This is perfect for fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff.

Thrillers We Can’t Wait to Recommend

Three psychological suspense novels stood out with mentions by several presenters at the annual Book Expo Librarians’ Shout ‘n Share.

The first to receive multiple mentions was The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins/Morrow, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov 20) and even though it won’t be published until January, it is already garnering “much love” on Edelweiss (31 votes as of 6/21/17). Everyone of us who has read this marvelous piece of suspense want to start recommending it to readers now. Marika Zemke, Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI), says, “Psychologist Anna Fox suffers from agoraphobia, and spends her days watching old, classic movies and drinking too much wine. She also watches her neighbors through her camera and one night as she’s spying on the new neighbors she sees something unthinkable. Or did she? This novel has the perfect number of twists that will keep readers guessing, from the very first page, until they close the book.” Expect high demand for this one.

Another domestic thriller that received multiple “shouts” was Liv Constantine’s The Last Mrs. Parrish (HarperCollins, October; LibraryReads deadline: August 20), a twisty novel about a plain nobody who worms her way into a wealthy woman’s life, only to find her careful plan in danger of collapsing. Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro (OR) Library’s library director, forecasts, “This is the successor to Gone Girl: sex, intrigue, and deceit.”

Galleys of The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20) were plentiful and response has already been enthusiastic with some reporting the book bears being read twice in order to catch missed clues.  Jenna Friebel from Oak Park Public Library (IL) exclaimed, “Just one big twist after the other– impossible to put down. I loved that this is set up to seem like a clichéd jealous ex-wife novel but then turns out to be so much different.”

Holds Alert:
SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

The author of one of the season’s most heavily anticipated new cookbooks, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking (S&S; OverDrive Sample), Samin Nosrat was featured yesterday on NPR’s food show The Salt. Libraries are seeing holds ratios well over 3:1 for the book, in one case 8:1.

Nosrat became known as the chef who taught Michael Pollan to cook after he featured her in both his book Cooked and his Netflix show of the same name. In turn, she learned her craft under the eagle eye of legendary cook Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse.

She tells The Salt that “The key to good cooking … is learning to balance [salt, fat, acid, and heat] and trust your instincts, rather than just follow recipes.”

In this, her first book, she seeks to revolutionize standard cookbook formats, Saving all of the recipes for the end, the first half teaches readers the basics of cooking so they can learn to trust their own senses. Nosrat also uses illustrations, rather than staged photographs so readers won’t “feel bound to my one image of a perfect dish in a perfect moment and feel like that was what you had to make … I didn’t want you to feel like you had to live up to my version of perfection.”

Reviews attest to the success of her approach. Cooking Light says it “amounts to an incredibly engaging master class that helps free you from recipes so you can improvise like a pro.” The Atlantic‘s reviewer calls it the book he is “most likely to recommend to a beginning cook.”

In addition to the NPR audio (below), Nosrat has released several videos, including the following:

Technically a Best Seller

Monday, May 15th, 2017

9780735211322_f4e1cPresidential aide Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, (PRH/Portfolio; Penguin Audio/BOT) is technically a #1 best seller, having hit that number on the Wall Street Journal‘s Business Book list. Other numbers are not so sunny. It debuts on the USA Today general list at #53.

The Huffington Post reveals just how bad the sales are, reporting “In the book’s first five days on the market, Trump sold 10,445 print copies,” comparing that to Sheryl Sandberg’s book on female empowerment, Lean In(PRH/Knopf) which sold 74,176 print copies in its first week, going on to sell many more and become a recognized catch phrase as well as a movement.

Reviews have been universally scathing. In this case, negative press may not be better than no press at all.

Moth Power

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

9781101904404_c9867The wildly popular storytelling site,The Moth, distributed through a podcast, YouTube, and the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Houris also available in print form, The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown, Catherine Burns (PRH/Crown; OverDrive Sample).

Attesting to The Moth’s power in the literary world, Neil Gaiman provides a forward for the book and Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer contribute stories. It also has pop culture cred, having been featured on an episode of HBO’s The Girls.

The site’s fan are propelling this 20th anniversary collection of 45 stories up Amazon’s sales rankings, where it is currently in the top 100, at #75.

The NYT‘s chief critic Michiko Kakutani, is a fan, calling it a collection of “remarkable emotional depth and sincerity … by turns, raw, wry, rueful, comic, elliptical and confiding.” The Moth is playing that up on social media, highlighting it on both Twitter and Facebook for their 100,000+ followers.

This is the second collection, following The Moth, ed. by Catherine Burns (Hachette, 2013).

Partisan Politics

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

9780812993523_c1502Rising to #75 on Amazon’s sales rankings today is the book We Do Our Part: Toward a Fairer and More Equal America by Charles Peters (PRH/RH; OverDrive Sample),

On the PBS News Hour last night Peters, a life-long democrat, a founder of the Peace Corps, and the founding editor of the nonprofit political magazine, The Washington Monthly, tells Judy Woodruff the book grew out of his worry that snobbery and greed have split the country. He blames his own party for becoming too involved in making money and too interested in status.

The book has also gotten coverage in the NYT, which calls it “a desperate plea to his country and party to resist the temptations of greed, materialism and elitism — vices he believes have corroded the civic culture and led to the Democrats’ failure last year.” The Atlantic says “it fills in a missing part in our current political discussion.”

Finding THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9781101875681_5fe86When he was in his 20s Christopher Thomas Knight became a hermit, living in self-imposed isolation in the Maine woods for close to 30 years. His story, and that of his arrest for a string of robberies, is the subject of the new book The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

It debuts on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list at #11 this week, having been both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick and is receiving some belated critical attention.

The NYT reviews it, saying it will have “mass appeal … It’s campfire-friendly and thermos-ready, easily drained in one warm, rummy slug. It also raises a variety of profound questions — about the role of solitude, about the value of suffering, about the diversity of human needs.”

The Atlantic says that Knight “avoided humanity with the guile of a samurai … He entered the woods like a suicide, leaving his keys inside the car. He had no destination, nor a map; he carried a tent but had never spent a night in one before. Most of his family members and friends assumed he had died. In one sense they were right.”

USA Today gives it three out of four stars and writes it is an “intriguing account of Knight’s capture and confessions, and while it amasses the inventive details of Knight’s solitary life, it can’t quite explain the man himself. Knight is opaque — more than a loner, hardly a lunatic.”

The 2014 GQ story that launched the book is the magazine’s most-read story ever. They now offer an interview with Finkel.

The Guardian runs an illustrated extract.

Holds vary widely across the systems we checked, with a high of 8:1 and a low below 1:1. However, if the GQ article is any guide, this is the kind of book that grows an audience over time.

Game Changer

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Donald Trump’s election is sure to fuel many political “what happened” books but one of the most anticipated is by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the authors who wrote the 2010 title, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (Harper).

Entertainment Weekly reports Halperin and Heilemann’s take on the 2016 election, as yet untitled, will be published by Penguin in early 2018.

HBO has already bought the film rights for a mini series adaptation to air shortly after the book hits shelves.

Heilemann tells the NYT in an interview that in the book, “We’ll be looking at all the big unanswered questions of the race, some of them are obvious, some of them are less obvious, but of course we’re interested in breaking news.”

9780061733642_9a340Game Change was turned into a popular HBO movie of the same name, starring Julianne Moore (as Sarah Palin), Woody Harrelson (as campaign strategist Steve Schmidt), and Ed Harris (as John McCain).

The pair also created the Showtime series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth which ran during 2016 and will return on March 19 for a second series focused on Trump’s first 100 days in office. Stephen Colbert interviewed Halperin and Heilemann on his show last night.

Halperin and Heilemann followed Game Change with Double Down (PRH/Penguin), about the 2012 election.

The NYT lists some of the other titles forthcoming about the 2016 election, including “Katy Tur of NBC News, who is writing a book about covering the Trump campaign, and Amy Chozick of The New York Times, who is working on a memoir of her years covering Hillary Clinton.” In addition, Melville House is publishing The Destruction of Hillary Clinton by Susan Bordo in April.

Disappointing many, Halperin and Heilemann tell the NYT that Alec Baldwin is not in the running to play Trump in the HBO adaptation. No mention was made about the possibility of Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton.

Louisa Clark Returns

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9780143130154_50bd2Jojo Moyes is writing a third novel starring her beloved character Louisa Clark, reports USA Today. Lou first charmed readers in the international bestseller Me Before You as she cared for and eventually fell in love with the paralyzed and bitter Will Traynor. That book became the successful film with the same title, earning over $200 million worldwide.

In the sequel After You, Lou tries to move on after Will’s death, finds new love, and a job in New York City. In the yet-to-be-titled third novel, according to USA Today, “Lou must decide if her personal Brexit should be permanent.” It will be published sometime in spring 2018.

In a statement, Moyes said:

“I always knew that once I committed to write the sequel to Me Before You, I would also write a third book; I saw it quite clearly as a trilogy. Revisiting Lou has been a joy, as I push her into a completely new country, a brand new world, and a house full of secrets. With her usual blend of humor and emotion she has to ask herself some pretty fundamental questions — not least, which side of the Atlantic does she really belong?”

9780143130628_63a15Meanwhile Moyes is publishing a new paperback original on April 11, The Horse Dancer (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT).

According to the publisher, it is “A quintessential Jojo Moyes novel about a lost girl and her horse, the enduring strength of friendship, and how even the smallest choices can change everything.”