Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category


Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMThe buzzy memoir Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster; ebook, 9781476762722) is falling victim to the truth squad with questions arising about the events in the book and its timeline.

According to The New York Times, publisher S&S plans to add a note to future editions as well as the eBook, saying “It is a common narrative technique in memoirs for some names, identifying characteristics and chronologies to be adjusted or disguised, and that is the case with Primates of Park Avenue. A clarifying note will be added to the e-book and to subsequent print editions.”

After early juicy reporting pre-publication, questions have been raised by the New York Post about how accurate the stories are. Reviewing it, Janet Maslin in the daily New York Times includes whoppers such as “Ms. Martin’s description of her book as a ‘stranger-than-fiction story’ is fair — but only because fiction usually makes sense” and “someone has a book to fill and a theme to stick to, regardless of whether it has any point.” On the other hand, Vanessa Grigoriadis in the NYT Sunday Book Review, someone who knows the territory, wasn’t bothered if a few things are suspect, “the sociology rings true, even if the codification can be off (a common practice among stay-at-home moms and their working husbands in a flush year called ‘presents under the Christmas tree’ is here designated a ‘wife bonus’). ”

On track to hit best seller lists this week, the attention is likely to only add to the interest, following the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Titles for RA Gurus,
The Week of June 8

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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New books from familiar best selling names arrive next week ) — Barbara Delinsky, Dorothea Benton Frank, Laurell K. Hamilton and Sophie Kinsella, writing a YA novel this time (click on the covers, above, for more information on each) — but none of them have generated long holds lists.

There are gems among the librarian and bookseller picks, including Erika Johansen’s second in the Tearling series. Sure to get media attention is Jimmy Fallon for writing (huh?) a picture book.

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 June 8, 2915

Peer Picks

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The Invasion of the Tearling, Erika Johansen, (Harper; HarperLuxe)
This sequel to The Queen of the Tearling, gets an unequivocal A from Entertainment Weekly, this is also an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick:
The Mort are coming! Johansen introduces new characters and enticing bits of history, with the second volume of her intriguing tale of fantasy, mystery and royal politics. Kelsea, the new Tearling Queen, has broken the Red Queen’s treaty and prepares to suffer the consequences as her nation is about to be invaded. Readers will be eager for the final volume in the Tearling saga. — Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO
The Truth According to Us, Annie Barrows, (RH/Dial; BOT & RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Barrows is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show next week. Her book is a pick for both Indie Next and LibraryReads:

It is 1938 in a rural West Virginia town and a young woman arrives to write the town’s history. Layla doesn’t really know what to expect from the town, and the town doesn’t know what to make of her. This is the heart of the South, the soul of small towns, where everyone looks out for you and knows your history. Sweet story tailor-made for fans of Billie Letts, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Language Arts, Stephanie Kallos, (HMH; Recorded Books)
The art of communication is the major theme of this story, and Kallos employs all of its variations — whether spoken nuances and innuendos, written assumptions and dissonance, or the fractured and difficult ways of being known that those with autism experience. This is the story of a marriage, of a father and his son, and of how a man’s childhood shapes his life. Readers will be absorbed, challenged, puzzled, and ultimately satisfied by this wise and soulful book. —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

In the Media

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Second Life, S. J. Watson, (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

We could create a reading club based just on the books that Reese Witherspoon has optioned. Following in the footsteps of her producing partner, Niclole Kidman, who starred in the a movie of Watson’s 2011 best selling debut, Before I Go To Sleep, Witherspoon is a fan of the author, having recently optioned this, his second book.

Happily Ali After: And Other Fairly True Tales, Ali Wentworth, (Harper; HarperAudio)

#3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s Must List for the week:

In the hilarious follow-up to Ali In Wonderland, the actress and ccomedian takes inspirational tweets as self-improvement mantras in an ill-fated quest for happiness as she approaches the age of 50. Her glass isn’t half full — it’s ’empty and cracked.’

The Jezebel Remedy, Martin Clark, (RH/Knopf; Recorded Books)

One of Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 Great Summer Thrillers” in the new issue:

Clark is, hands down, our finest legal-thriller writer, and this latest, about husband-and-wife attorneys whose client has made a huge pharmaceutical discovery does not disappoint.


Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA, Jimmy Fallon, Miguel Ordóñez (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends; also a board book)

Fallon is scheduled for the Today Show, on Tuesday and more is likely to follow. As far as the picture book itself, it sounds like Kirkus and Publishers Weekly read two different books:

“Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it”  — Kirkus

“A punchy and deceptively simple story that will make for some fun readalouds” — PW

At the Movies

9780143108382_47e4dOpening today, is Testament of Youth based on the 1933 memoir by Vera Brittain, recently released as a tie-in (Penguin). The movie stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Hayley Atwell and Dominic West.

The  NYT review is more respectful than passionate. “Testament of Youth Recalls the Great War With Little Nostalgia.” The AV Club doesn’t mince words, headlining their review, “Famous wartime memoir Testament Of Youth gets a boring BBC adaptation.”

Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.25.02 AMAli Smith’s How to Be Both (RH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The novel has garnered much attention. It won the Costa Novel Award and The Goldsmiths Prize and was a shortlist title for the Man Booker.

Comparing it to “what it felt like reading Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, all of the greats,” the award committee chair tells The Guardian, “this is not a good book, this is a great book, and people are going to be reading it long after I’m dead.”

The book was printed in two versions. One begins with the story of George, a young modern woman coping with the death of her mother who becomes enthralled by the paintings of the 15th century Renaissance artist Francesco del Costa. The other begins with the story of Francesco. Each edition contains both sections and were distributed in a random mix.

Reviews at the time of publication (Dec. 2014) were largely admiring if a bit nervous about its unusual structure.

Ron Charles wrote in The Washington Post: “Ali Smith’s playfully brilliant new novel makes me both excited and wary of recommending it. This gender-blending, genre-blurring story, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, bounces across centuries, tossing off profound reflections on art and grief, without getting tangled in its own postmodern wires. It’s the sort of death-defying storytelling acrobatics that don’t seem entirely possible — How did she get here from there? — but you’ve got to be willing to hang on.”

Janet Maslin told her readers in The New York Times: “Never judge a book by its structure. How to Be Both has a lot more allure than its overall rigor suggests, thanks to the obvious pleasure Ms. Smith takes in creating her peculiar parallels and exploring the questions they raise.”

Formerly known as the Orange Prize, the Baileys Award celebrates excellence in women’s writing from around the world. The shortlist included Rachel Cusk’s Outline, Laline Paull’s The Bees, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests.


Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.23.25 AMHolds are growing on Janice P. Nimura’s Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey From East to West and Back (Norton. 5/4/15) with ratios well over 3:1 in many libraries we checked.

The nonfiction account has gotten steady coverage in papers such as The Seattle Times and The Wall Street Journal‘s “Speakeasy” blog.

About a group of young Japanese girls, each the daughter of a samurai, sent to America to live, study and  try to figure out what makes America so strong and forward thinking, The New York Times Sunday Book Review calls the book “beautifully written” and says it “begins like a fairy tale, with three clueless children charged with an impossible task by an empress: They must go to the United States and return with the knowledge needed to educate the women of Japan in the ways of the modern world.”

Nimura describes the story in the book trailer.

RA Alert: FRESH AIR’s Summer Reading Suggestions

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan, author of So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures, offers a collection of early summer reading suggestions during a segment on NPR’s Fresh Air.

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She begins with Vendela Vida’s new novel, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty (HarperCollins/Ecco; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample). A traveler loses her wallet and passport and “What ensues is a kind of existential suspense tale in which our heroine is at first paralyzed by the theft and then emboldened to borrow other women’s documents and identities.”

Corrigan calls Patricia Park’s debut novel Re Jane (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books; OverDrive Sample) “a wickedly inventive updating of Jane Eyre.”

Two nonfiction works round out her picks.

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Deborah Lutz’s The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (W.W. Norton) examines objects important to the Brontë sisters, including a dog collar, a writing desk, and an amethyst bracelet.

In No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival In WWII (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample), Robert Weintraub tells the story of the only official American canine POW, a dog named Judy who survived the horrors of a Japanese interment camp.

Corrigan says each of her picks “begin in familiar territory and then surprise us readers by going off into places we could never anticipate.” Read on indeed!


Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 11.07.10 AMAn unlikely title has moved into the top 100 Amazon sales rankings, James Rebanks’s The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches From an Ancient Landscape (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; OverDrive Sample).

About his life as a shepherd in the wild landscape of the Lake District area of England, it celebrates the deep-rooted legacy of family farming that Rebanks can trace back through multiple generations.

That might sound overly specialized, but like H is for Hawk before it, Rebanks’s memoir seems poised to capture a large audience that appreciates fine writing and a sharp eye for detail and place.

For a sense of the landscape and work Rebanks describes, take a look at his book video (he is a man who understands the modern as well as the past, starting his book as a Twitter feed (@herdyshepherd1 which has garnered 63.8 thousand followers to date).

Certainly reviewers are taking note.

The New York Times offers:

“Expertise — and explanations of the craft and clockwork behind the ticktock of a profession — is hugely compelling when described with ardor and élan, and Mr. Rebanks brings both to his account … at once, a memoir, a portrait of his family’s world and an evocative depiction of his vocation as a shepherd.”

The Guardian glows:

“told with perfect pitch, in prose that flows as easily as speech, cleaves hungrily to the particular, and shifts without strain between the workaday and the imaginative.”

The Seattle Times says simply:

“It is as moving, truthful and at times poetic as anything you’re likely to read.”

Readers have gotten on board. Holds are growing with many lists exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Hot Titles Arriving Today

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

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Tuesday is the traditional release day for major titles and several are hitting this week with fanfare.

Judy Blume seems to be having a great time promoting her title for adults, In the Unlikely Event (RH.Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

Stephen King’s Finders Keepers (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike) is enjoying an appreciative reception, from the daily NYT (“One of the pleasures of Finders Keepers is watching Mr. King’s ways of making pages turn”) to USA Today (4 of 4 stars).

Other titles receiving attention:

9781476789255_6eadfEight Hundred Grapes, Laura Dave, (S&S; S&S Audio)

A GalleyChat favorite in February. this is the LibraryReads #1 pick for June:

“Take your time and savor the family dynamics. Enjoy the romantic twists in this tale of a career-minded young woman circling back to her roots at a California winery. The appeal is broader than that of a romance since it delves into the complexities of various relationships — parent to parent, parents and children, even winery and owner. This is an excellent summer read!” — Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park, NJ

9781455599899_acfa2Saint Mazie, Jami Attenberg, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive sample)

A favorite of Jen Dayton’s, Darien Public Library, she brought this one up during the Shout ‘n’ Share program at BEA. If you’ve read Attenberg’s first book, The Middlesteins, says Dayton, this one is quite different. Set in the Depression, it is inspired by a true story from Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel, of a woman who opened her NYC movie theater to those who needed a place to “feel human.”

It is an Amazon June spotlight pick, one of ten books on the Wall Street Journal‘s Summer Reading preview as well as one of  Entertainment Weekly‘s 10 big fat beach reads to look out for this summer (it’s not THAT fat, it’s more of a middle weight at 356 pages).

Palace of9781476793740_9ff55 Treason, Jason Matthews, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)

Profiled in the New York Times last week, Matthews a retired spy turned novelist. His first book Red Sparrow came out in 2013 and hit the USA Today best seller list at #101 for one week. Film rights were bought by Fox and a screenwriter was announced a year ago. This is the sequel.

The NYT describes both novels as “old school” and Matthews tells the interviewer, “A lot of new thrillers are written by people who have not lived the life, and a lot of them seem to be about a bipolar Agency guy, helped by his bipolar girlfriend, trying to chase a bipolar terrorist who has a briefcase nuke, and there’s 12 hours left to go. My book is all fiction, but it’s an amalgam of people I’ve known, of things I’ve done, of stuff I’ve lived.”

It’s featured in Entertainment Weekly‘s summer reading preview, USA Today’s 25 hot books for summer and an Indie Next pick.

9781632861122_883d0The Sunlit Night, Rebecca Dinerstein, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive sample)

After reading so many stories in U.S. newspapers about the next hot book coming from the U.K., it’s refreshing to read this headline in The Telegraph, “The Latest Us Literary Sensation” applied to Dinerstein’s debut. It is also an Indie Next pick:

The endless daylight of a Norwegian summer is the perfect backdrop for this warm and quirky debut filled with unusual characters and situations, a setting that is real yet somehow out of time, visual and precise writing, emotional warmth, and faith in the healing power of love. This tale of Frances and Yasha, their families, and their companions during a transformative summer in perpetual Arctic light is a perfect read for fans of Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love or Bill Forsyth’s classic movie, Local Hero.” —Anmiryan Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

9780451469601_679c6-2A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, Alexandra Petri, (Penguin/NAL; OverDrive sample)

Washington Post columnist Petri,  says Dave Barry in the cover blurb, “is the funniest person in Washington. This is all the more impressive when you consider that Congress is also located there.”  As proof, her column this week is titled, “Christian Grey’s perspective is the only thing that could make Fifty Shades of Grey worse.” This book is a memoir.


Eeny Meeny, M. J. Arlidge, (Penguin/NAL, trade pbk original; Penguin Audio; OverDrive sample)

One of the titles in our Penguin Debut Authors program, this thriller was mentioned at BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share as “making you want to lock all your doors and windows.” It was recently optioned for a TV series.


Our spreadsheet of other notable titles arriving this week, with ordering information and alternate formats, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 1, 2015


Monday, June 1st, 2015

GreyAnother Grey is on its way, Titled simply Grey, it’s Fifty Shades told from Christian’s point of view.

Author E. L. James announced on Instagram today that the book will be published on June 18th and the story has been picked up widely, from USA Today to the Wall Street Journal.

According to Amazon, it will be published by RH/Vintage in trade paperback with the ISBN is 978-1101946343, but it is not yet listed on Edelweiss or wholesaler catalogs (UPDATE: it is now listed on some wholesaler catalogs).

In a press release, Tony Chirico, President of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group indicates this was a surprise release (in other words, you were not living under a rock if you haven’t heard of it), “Given the secrecy and immediacy of the publication, we’ve worked hard to ensure that the book will be well represented in the retail marketplace on June 18th.”

Thanks to Janet Lockhart, Collection Development Librarian at Wake County Public Libraries for the alert!

ALA/AAP Author Events, 2015 —

Monday, June 1st, 2015

If you are going to ALA in San Francisco at the end of the month, the AAP has some great book and author events scheduled.

Fellow procrastinators, don’t delay, these events are free but most require registration and they fill up quickly, (links to registration below):

Thursday, June 25th, 2015 from 8:00am-5:00pm
San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level
100 Larkin Street , San Francisco, CA 94102

Join the AAP Children’s and Adult Library Marketing Committees for an all-day AAP San Francisco Book Buzz. Children’s and Teen titles will be buzzed from 8:30am-12:30pm, and Adult titles will be buzzed from 1:30-5:00pm with a lunch in between, provided by the publishers.

ON THE CHILDREN’S SIDE, HEAR FROM: HarperCollins Children’s Books, Albert Whitman, Macmillan Children’s, Sterling Children’s Books, Starscape & Tor Teen, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Little Bee Books, Algonquin Young Readers, Perseus Books Group, Penguin Young Readers Group, National Geographic Kids, New York Review Children’s, Harlequin TEEN, Random House Children’s Books, Sourcebooks, Quirk Books, Scholastic, Soho Teen, W.W. Norton & Co., and Simon & Schuster!

ON THE ADULT SIDE, HEAR FROM: Simon & Schuster, Perseus Books Group, New York Review Books, Hachette Book Group, Sterling, W.W. Norton & Co., Quirk Books, Random House, Workman, Sourcebooks, Macmillan, Soho Press, National Geographic, Melville House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Penguin!



Saturday, June 27th, 2015 from 8:30am-10:00am
Marriott Marquis San Francisco (Golden Gate B)
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Hear from authors:

  • Charles Belfoure, author of House of Thieves (Sourcebooks Landmark)
  • Anthony Marra, author of The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth)
  • Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Books)
  • Nnedi Okorafor, author of Lagoon (Simon & Schuster/Saga Press)
  • Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches (Little, Brown & Co.)
  • Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed (Picador/Macmillan)


 Space is limited. Please SIGN UP HERE TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN ATTENDING by Friday, June 19th. We will send you a confirmation if we can accommodate your request.

Formal invitation (with book covers) here: ALA 2015 Book-a-Licious Breakfast invite



Saturday, June 27th from 3:00-4:00pm
Marriott Marquis San Francisco (Golden Gate B)
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

  • Elana ArnoldThe Question of Miracles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
  • Kathleen BaldwinA School for Unusual Girls (Tor/Forge Books/Tor Teen)
  • Lizi BoydBig Bear little chair (Chronicle Books)
  • Martha BrockenbroughThe Game of Love and Death (Arthur A. Levine Books)
  • Monica BrownLola Levine is Not Mean! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  •  Soman ChainaniThe School for Good and Evil #3: The Last Ever After   (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Bruce CovillDiary of a Mad Brownie (Random House Children’s Books)
  • Joshua DavisSpare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Macmillan)
  • Tania del RioWarren the 13th (Quirk Books)
  • Matt FaulknerGaijin: American Prisoner of War (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Kim GriswellRufus Goes to Sea (Sterling Children’s Books)
  • Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Stephen T. JohnsonAlphabet School (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
  • Estelle LaureThis Raging Light (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Amy LukavicsDaughter Unto Devils (Harlequin TEEN)
  • Paige McKenzieThe Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One (Weinstein Books/The Perseus Books Group)
  • Sebastian MeschenmoserMr. Squirrel and the Moon (NorthSouth Books)
  • Yvonne Prinz, If You’re Lucky (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Debbie Ridpath OhiWhere Are My Books? (Simon & Schuster/ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Lev RosenWoundabout (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Barney SaltzbergRedbird: Friends Come in Different Sizes (Workman)
  • Allan StrattonThe Dogs (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Craig ThompsonSpace Dumplins (Scholastic)
  • Steve “The Dirtmeister” TomecekDirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, & Even Dirt! (National Geographic Kids Books)


You will receive an email with your table number closer to the event.


Monday, June 29th, 2015 from 9:00-10:00am
Moscone Convention Center, Room 122 (N)

Everyone gets excited by the new ARCs available at conference. Come hear six collection development specialists rave about their favorite titles gathered from the exhibit floor. This lively panel, co-organized by Booklist and the AAP, will feature librarians Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro Public); Naphtali Faris (KCPL); Alene Moroni (King County); Kaite Mediatore Stover (KCPL); Stephen Sposato (Chicago Public); and David Wright (Seattle Public). Moderated by Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist’s editor for Reference and Collection Management.




Monday, June 29th, 2015 from 10:30-11:30am
Moscone Convention Center, Room 122 (N)

Hear from authors:

  • Cara Black, author of Murder on the Champ de Mars (Soho Crime)
  • Allison Brennan, author of Compulsion (Minotaur Books/Macmillan)
  • John Katzenbach, author of The Dead Student (Mysterious Press)
  • Keith McCafferty, author of Crazy Mountain Kiss (Viking)
  • Kate White, author of The Wrong Man (Harper Paperbacks)


Space is limited. Please SIGN UP HERE TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN ATTENDING by Friday, June 19th. We will send you a confirmation if we can accommodate your request.

Formal invitation, with book jackets, here,:ALA 2015 Mystery Authors Panel invite

Titles for R.A. Gurus, Week of June 1

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Next week two hotly anticipated titles arrive, Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event (which. she recently told People magazine, may be her last book. It is their “Book of the Week” in the new issue) and Stephen King’s Finders Keepers.

We’re a bit distracted by Book Expo America today, so we will publish a fuller rundown of titles on Monday.

Meanwhile, you can download our spreadsheet of notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 1, 2015

Order Alert: DO NO HARM

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.25.18 AMNeurosurgeon Henry Marsh, who was the subject of an award winning film, has written a memoir about the high-risk work of operating on the brain, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Marsh appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross yesterday and described how he relies upon a quarter ton microscope to see inside the jelly-like substance of the brain and uses a microscopic vacuum cleaner called a sucker to remove tumors.

The memoir made multiple shortlists for a range of awards in Britain including the Guardian First Book Prize and the Costa Book Award.

The Guardian review was glowing:

Why has no one ever written a book like this before? It simply tells the stories, with great tenderness, insight and self-doubt, of a phenomenal neurosurgeon who has been at the height of his specialism for decades and now has chosen, with retirement looming, to write an honest book. Why haven’t more surgeons written books, especially of this prosaic beauty? Of blood and doubts, mistakes, decisions: were they all so unable to descend into the mire of Grub Street, unless it was with black or, worse, “wry” humour? Well, thank God for Henry Marsh.

On this side of the ocean, the memoir has received strong coverage in The New York Times Sunday Book Review and by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT Books section. Sam Kean reviews it for The Wall Street Journal and it is one of The Washington Post’s picks of the best memoirs for the month. It is also rising on Amazon.

Holds are strong on light ordering.

Order Alert: PRIMATES

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMMaking the wives of the 1% nervous, a tell-all memoir set in the lavish world of the NYC elite, Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster), is racing up the Amazon rankings ahead of next week’s publication date.

Martin, a social researcher who moved with her financier husband and toddler son to the Upper East Side, turns her trained eye (she has a PhD from Yale) on the women who lunch – at charity benefits that can cost $10,000 a table.

She found herself bemused at the culture until she framed the quest for the newest “it” bag and the preschool hierarchy through the lens of anthropology, both befriending and observing the women of her new circle and collecting their stories.

The women who told their tales, as the NY Post’s “Page Six” reports, are now feeling exposed, “a guessing game has emerged about which glossy, manicured moms are included as stories in the book.”

Martin wrote an essay for the NYT which has drawn plenty of attention and commentary. Some of the attention-getting tidbits include upper-crust husbands granting wives year end bonuses, parents paying obscene amounts of money for their babies to have food coaches and sending toddlers to tutoring sessions to learn to interact well in play dates.

The guessing game of who does what, along with the gossipy and avid reading, is a scene straight out of the The Help.

The predictable controversy and mommy-shaming is more like the 2011 backlash against Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

It all adds up to a juicy summer read and a fair bit of schadenfreude.

Check your orders. Many libraries have yet to order it and those that have show growing holds.

Nancy Pearl’s Under-the-Radar Summer Picks

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Librarian Nancy Pearl announces her list of summer reading titles on NPR, picking six midlist under-the-radar novels.

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Talking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Nancy begins with The Revolutions by Felix Gilman (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample), which she calls a “21st-century example of Victorian science fiction … with a little bit of steam punk.”

A thriller The Swimmer by Joakim Zander (Harper; HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) gets high marks for its fast pace and involving story while Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (Simon & Schuster; OverDrive Sample) makes the list for its description of character.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.29.46 AMThe Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample) clearly captures Inskeep’s love of history (he just published a book on American history, Jacksonland), prompting him to break into Nancy’s summary to share a bit about the history of the East India Company. Set in India in 1837, it involves a new member of that company and a mysterious agent on the hunt for a notorious writer.

Two titles that did not make it into the on-air discussion are included in the online article:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.28.13 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.29.09 AMThe Half Brother by Holly LeCraw (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample) explores how “much coincidence is possible in our lives.”

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is evocatively described as opening “with a lie.” It was a feature in our Penguin Debut Authors program, First Flights.

Eight Titles for RA Gurus,
Week of May 25

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

DeMille  9780399167324_f0541

Two best selling authors returning next week, Nelson DeMille with his first book since 2012, Radiant Angel, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) and Clive Cussler with the 10th in his Oregon Files series, Piranha, (Penguin/ Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print). A debut gets a leg up from Entertainment Weekly and the NYT Book Review in the contest for The Book of Summer 2015, Kent Haruf’s final novel arrives, as well as several other titles with strong  recommendations from peers in libraries and bookstores.

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 May 25, 2015

Advance Attention


Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People, Matthew Diffee, (S&S/Scribner)

New Yorker cartoonist Diffee does well with rejection. In 2011, he edited (or “rescued”), The Best Of The Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker (Workman). Now he does the same for some of his own rejected cartoons, as well as several that actually made it (sometimes after many tries). He was interviewed by NPR earlier this month. 

Review Attention


The Rocks, Peter Nichols, (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

This gets double coverage in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on the “Must List; the Top 10 Things We Love This Week”  (“heartbreaking yet funny”),  it is reviewed in the issue. It’s also reviewed by Kate Christensen in the upcoming  NYT Book Review.


Starred by PW and Kirkus, it also is an Indie Next pick:

This enchanting tale set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean is a bittersweet double love story told in reverse. The Rocks begins with a dramatic, shocking event and then moves backward in time to reveal the 60-year-old secret that caused the unraveling of a marriage and forever altered the lives of the two families involved. A page-turning family saga with a mystery at its core, this is the perfect book to usher in a summer of great reading!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick‘s, La Jolla, CA

Peer Picks

9781101875896_69c40Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf, (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio)

An Indie Next #1 and LibraryReads pick, this is the author’s final book, published after his death last year. As the Wall Street Journal reports, he knew he was dying as he wrote it. “Normally, it took him six years or more to write a novel. But in a rush of creative energy, he wrote a chapter a day.”  He finished it in 45 days.

LibraryReads recommendation:

Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed. — Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR


The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi, (RH/Knopf; Brilliance Audio)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick (plus stars from PW & LJ)

Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.– Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ


Dietland, Sarai Walker, (HMH; Highbridge Audio)

Indie Next, stars from Kirkus & LJ

“Meet Plum, a woman who has forever defined herself by her obesity and who gets through her daily routine by looking forward to the life that will come after her weight-loss surgery. When Plum discovers that she is being followed by a strange girl, her life is changed forever. While Plum embarks on her journey of self-acceptance, a violent feminist crusade takes the world by storm. As the two storylines converge, readers witness an unexpected transformation. This is a fun, no-apologies-offered debut!” —Tess Fahlgren, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT


Of the movie and TV tie-ins releasing this week (for a list of all upcoming movie/tv ties-ins, check our Edelweiss collection), the adaptation that’s making the most impact is based on Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, (Abrams, 2012). As a result of the buzz, the book hit the NYT YA best seller9781419719462_e562f list for the first time last week and continues this week.

The hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the screening won a standing ovation, the Audience Award for best drama, as well as the Grand Jury Prize, over-the-top reviews and Oscar predictions (see our list of other book adaptations in the early Oscars pool). The movie opens in limited release on June 12.

Tie-in: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Tie-in Edition), Jesse Andrews, (Abrams/Amulet Paperbacks)

A second trailer was released this week:

Summer Tea Leaves

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Memorial Day weekend signals the kick-off of one of our favorite literary games, predicting which title will become THE book of the summer.

Two early candidates have just been released and you can join the game. The library marketing departments of both Random House and Simon and Schuster have agreed to offer copies. We just ask you to tell us what you think by posting your reviews on Edelweiss. Scroll down to the end of this post to find out how to enter.

Luckiest Girl AliveHitting best seller lists this week, in the footsteps of several other “girls” is Luckiest Girl Alive (S&S; S&S Audio). People calls it “the perfect page turner to start your summer,” naming it a “Book of the Week.” It’s had several endorsements, from EarlyWord GalleyChatters to Reese Witherspoon, who has announced plans to adapt it as a movie for Lionsgate.


Entertainment Weekly calls I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio), the “first big beach read of the season”  and a “hilarious debut.”  Sister publication People backs that up by making it a “Pick of the Week.” It’s been likened to a big book of another summer, Where’s You Go Bernadette (with the reference slyly underscored by a similar minimal cover). Curiously, there is a Gone Girl connection for this title; both were edited by Lindsay Sagnette.

GalleyChatter Janet Schneider (Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY) recommends it in her Edelweiss review:

If it were possible to cross the complex, shifting morals of Gloria Wandrous from Butterfield 8 with the wacky decency of Bernadette Fox from Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’d come up with Lily Wilder from Eliza Kennedy’s timely, thought-provoking page-turner I Take You. Lily is an amazing character–she has had a rocky emotional past and made some questionable choices–and her current dilemma about how to move forward in her relationship with fiance Will takes some unexpected yet realistic turns. I Take You. is a book for grown ups–who are looking for a fresh and frisky heroine to root for, with some genuine insights into the true meaning of fidelity along the way.

To get you in the mood for summer, Random House Library Marketing is offering a Summer Reading Poster that includes I Take You.
Download it here
, or request a printed copy here.