Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of August 15

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

 

MV5BMzQ2MDI3Mzg1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTM5MzI4Nw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,772,1000_AL_9781496411051_52382One of the new movies opening this week is a blast from the past, Ben-Hur.

NY Magazine writes that the book it is based on “was a best seller on release, surpassing Uncle Tom’s Cabin as the most-purchased American book in history, and holding that record for an astounding 56 years (Gone With the Wind unseated it).”

Forbes reviews the re-make, saying “the pitch here is basically 300: Rise of an Empire … with cheaper looking costumes, the same CGI and editing, and Morgan Freeman, whose performance as God in Bruce Almighty and as a divine narrator in so many other things helps subtly sell the godly aspect.”

The biblical epic is executive produced by Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and husband Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Apprentice). It stars Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman and opens Aug. 19.

There is a tie-in: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Carol Wallace (Tyndale House; also in trade paperback and in Spanish).

9781451667608_3a26fWar Dogs opens on August 19 and stars Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas and J. B. Blanc.

As we wrote earlier, it is based on a nonfiction account originally titled Arms and the Dudes. It tells the unlikely story about winning a $300 million US government contract to supply weapons for the war in Afghanistan.

A tie-in came out in late July: War Dogs: The True Story of How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, Guy Lawson (S&S; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

MV5BMjA2Mzg2NDMzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjcwODUzOTE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_Also heading to theaters is Kubo and the Two Strings by Oregon’s stop-motion animation house Laika (the operation behind Coraline and The Boxtrolls).

As we wrote when the preview lit up the Internet, the the fantasy-adventure is set in Japan and features the voices of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, George Takei and Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones). It debuts in theaters on 8/19/16.

There are multiple tie-ins:

9781452153155_b2a16Kubo and the Two Strings: Meet Kubo, R. R. Busse (Hachette/Little, Brown YR; pbk.; Passport to Reading, Level 2, Ages 4 to 8).

Kubo and the Two Strings: The Junior NovelSadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown YR.; pbk.; Ages 4 to 8).

The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings, Emily Haynes, Travis Knight (Chronicle).

MV5BMjIyNzk2MTY0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExNTA2OTE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_9780156032520_72c98Opening in limited release is A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut (she acts in the film as well). It is based on the memoir of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz.

Variety calls the film “well-meaning but dreary,” but Esquire headlines it as “the Most Revolutionary Jewish Movie Since Schindler’s List” and goes on to say it “is urgently relevant and unlike anything else.”

There is no tie-in but the book is available in paperback: A Tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange (HMH/Mariner Books).

Taking Off Like An Express Train

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

9780385537032_9b0d7From the President to RWA’s Librarian of the Year, people are on board for Oprah’s latest pick, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT). It debuts at #4 on the NYT Best Seller Hardback Fiction list, is the #6 best selling book on Amazon, and is #10 on the USA Today best- seller list.

Reviewers were caught off guard when the book, originally scheduled for publication in September, was published early due to the Oprah pick. A few newspapers managed to rush their reviews into print including The Washington Post and The New York Times. Since then there have been many more assessments, all of them glowing.

The book is featured on the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review. Author Juan Gabriel Vásquez  calls it “striking and imaginative … carefully built and stunningly daring; it is also, both in expected and unexpected ways, dense, substantial and important.” Whitehead himself is interviewed by NYT BR editor Pamela Paul on the weekly podcast.

NPR‘s book reviewer goes so far as to say, “With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America’s greatest authors — his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroad is an American masterpiece.”

Laura Miller of Slate wonders “How does an ironist write about slavery?” and makes some unexpected comparisons, “The Underground Railroad makes it clear that Whitehead’s omnivorous cultural appetite has devoured narratives of every variety and made them his own. This novel, like much of his work, has the flavor of [Ralph] Ellison’s skepticism—but it’s also redolent of the propulsive, quasi-allegorical quest plot of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Think of The Underground Railroad as the novel where the spirits of two great American storytellers meet in a third.”

USA Today gives it 3.5 out of four stars, saying that the novel is “masterful, urgent,” full of “immense vitality,” and “one of the finest novels written about our country’s still unabsolved original sin.” WSJ writes “on every page of The Underground Railroad is evidence of a mature writer in full control of his talent and ambition.” People calls it “Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember.”

As for the President and the librarian, Mr. Obama includes the book on his just released Summer Reading List while Robin Bradford, Collection Development Librarian for Timberland Regional Library and the 2016 RWA Librarian of the Year, prophetically said during a podcast from the romance book site, Smart Bitches/Trashy Books, recorded before Oprah made her pick, “everyone will be talking about it when it comes out, and you’ll hear so much about it that you’ll think, it can’t be that good, [but] it’s one of those life-changing books …  I can’t shut up about that book.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 15, 2016

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Another BrooklynIt’s Jacqueline Woodson Week. Review attention has already begun for her anticipated adult novel, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amisted; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), arriving on Tuesday (CORRECTION: It actually arrived LAST Tuesday, as Elaine points out in the comments, but we are still declaring this her week, as the reviews continue to pour in). It’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as “a lovely, mournful portrait of a sensitive girl growing up, forging life-sustaining friendships and eventually finding her way.” The L.A. Times calls it “a powerful adult tale of girlhood friendships.” The author was interviewed on NPR’s All Thing Considered this week.

It is also the #1 Indie Next Pick for August:

“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!”  —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

In addition to the books highlighted here, new titles are coming from holds leaders  Janet IvanovichLisa Scottoline, mystery favorite Michael  Koryta and  an important new name in science fiction, N K, Jemisin,  For those, and several other notable titles arriving next week, with ordering information and alternate formats, check on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 15, 2016

Media Focus

9781501139888_f5a53The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer,  (S&S Gallery Books; S&S Audio)

Schumer’s memoir has received advance attention. The media focus will continue news week:
8/16 ABC Good Morning America
8/17 NPR Morning Edition
8/17 CBS This Morning
8/22 CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Consumer Media Picks

9780812988901_3bd70 9780385540650_63c2b 9780399177651_d1461

The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore, (Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). 

At #4 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List — The Top 10 Things We Love this Week,” this novel is a thriller about an unlikely subject, Thomas Edison’s lawsuit against George Westinghouse about his light bulb patent. Moore is well-known to the entertainment media as the winner of the Academy Award for the screenplay of The Imitation Game, starring Eddie Redmayne [CORRECTION: the star was Benedict Cumberbatch, as our alert readers point out in the comments]. The director of that movie will begin shooting an adaptation of The Last Days of Night in January, with Redmayne starring reports Deadline.

The Wall Street Journal features the book today, with background on Moore’s research. The author is set to appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show next week.

All at Sea, Decca Aitkenhead (PRH/Nan A. Talese).

People magazine pick, this is a  memoir by a journalist whose partner, Tony, died while saving their 4-year-old son from drowning. People calls it a “heart-wrenching tale of race, unlikely love (Tony was a former criminal) and how grief changes everything. It’s unforgettable.”

Cooking for Picasso, Camille Aubray (PRH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Published last week, this book is also a People pick, a novel about a woman who learns that her grandmother did what the book’s title says. She then heads to the South of France to look for the painting the artist supposedly gave her gran. Naturally, she falls in love along the way. People calls it “delicious, atmospheric.”

9781609453329_cb92fThe Golden Age, Joan London, (Europa Editions, Trade Paperback)

GalleyChat favorite, this is the lead title for the season from Europa Editions, a publisher that has opened American eyes to some of the best writing from other countries and created a best selling phenomenon here with Elena Ferrante’s novels.

Both pre-pub sources that reviewed The Golden Age gave it a star.  Set in an Australian children’s polio clinic after WW II, “Every character, however minor, comes to life in these pages … London is a virtuoso.” writes Kirkus.

Peer Picks

In addition to the #1 Indie Next pick, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyncovered above, 3 more picks are being published this week, two from the September list and one from the August list.

9780062449689_6a76dA House Without Windows, Nadia Hashimi (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Hashimi sets her layered and suspenseful novel at the crossroads of tradition and modernity in present-day Afghanistan. Her nuanced and well-paced tale tells the story of Zeba, who is accused of murdering her husband. In the Chil Mahtab prison, where Zeba awaits her trial and sentencing, she comes to know a colorful cast of female inmates, many of whom are ordinary women who have been snared in various traps of family honor and have been cast away by their families and by society. This is a compassionately written and moving page-turner.” —Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

9780399562631_00086The Gentleman, Forrest Leo (PRH/Penguin).

“Fast-paced, funny, and extremely enjoyable, The Gentleman has fantastic elements and intriguing characters tied together with smart dialogue and timing reminiscent of a Baz Luhrman film. Badly behaved Victorian ladies, indolent poets, an exasperated editor, intrepid British adventurers, steampunk inventors, omniscient butlers, a genteel Devil, and a number of cunning plans combine to make this debut novel exciting and amusing.” —Jennifer Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, NJ

9781555977467_a8d29Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, Angela Palm (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; OverDrive Sample).

“Haunting and surprising yet immediately relatable, Palm’s striking memoir sinks its roots deep into readers and holds fast. Everything ordinary, Palm reveals, is extraordinary — tragic, profound, amusing, brutal — when examined up close. In reflecting on her own formative years, growing up ‘between points on the map’ in small-town Indiana, Palm paints a measured, unforgettable portrait of the forces that break us free of our origins and those that inevitably call us back.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

It is also a summer reading pick by the Chicago Tribune: “A memoir of memory, place and burgeoning personhood [recalling] her childhood on the banks of a river in rural Indiana and the next-door boy, once the secret object of her affection, now serving life in prison for a brutal murder.”

Tie-ins

There are no tie-ins this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Born To Be Read

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Born to Run (S&S; S&S Audio; Sept. 27), is rising on Amazon, jumping to #178, up from #525. The leap coincides with the release of a music filled book trailer:

The 500+ page book is expected to be a candid memoir covering the span of the musician’s career. As the NY Daily News reported when the book deal went public, Springsteen said “Writing about yourself is a funny business … But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”

RollingStone, quoting from publisher statements, reports “the book will chronicle Springsteen’s life from growing up in Freehold, New Jersey amid ‘poetry, danger and darkness’ and how it inspired him to become a musician.”

BrucechapterandverseThe book is timed to a new companion album release, Chapter & Verse. It will include five previously unreleased tracks. Springsteen’s website says the musician picked the songs on the album “to reflect the themes and sections” of his memoir: “The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenaged Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s ‘Wrecking Ball.’”

The album will be released four days before the memoir.

LEAVE ME Tops September LibraryReads List

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

9781616206178_34018The #1 LibraryReads pick for September is Leave Me, Gayle Forman (Algonquin; Sept. 6).

“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” — Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Additional Buzz: This is the YA author’s first adult novel. Her teen novel, If I Stay, was a NYT bestseller and adapted into a movie of the same name. Her adult turn is also an Indie Next pick for September.

Also on the list of ten titles are the following:

9780062491794_46ce0Commonwealth, Ann Patchett (Harper; Aug. 24).

“The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families’ stories revealed in a way they couldn’t possibly expect. Patchett has written a family drama that perfectly captures both the absurdity and the heartbreak of domestic life.” — Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

Additional Buzz: It is the #1 Indie Next pick for September and received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

9781101988664_08c4eThe Masked City: An Invisible Library Novel, Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc; Sept. 6).

“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.” — Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC

Additional Buzz: This is the second in a quickly published series and is by one of our PRH EarlyReads authors. The first book in the series was also selected as a librarian favorite.

ANOTHER BROOKLYN Soars

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

9780062359988_42588Jacqueline Woodson’s first novel for adults in two decades, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amistad; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is racing up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #1,678 to #346.

The jump is a result of Woodson’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, where she talks with host Terry Gross about poetry, sex, gender, homosexuality, and how growing up in a deeply religious family fueled her creativity and instilled in her a confidence that she had “a right to say what I believe in.”

USA Today reviewed the coming of age novel Tuesday, giving it 3 out of 4 stars and writing “it’s a story about adolescence as a feat of survival … alert to the confluences of dramas that a teen absorbs all at once, from racism to sexual abuse to the loss of family members.”

It is the #1 Indie Pick for August and earned rare all-star status from the four trade review journals. As we wrote earlier, it is on the majority of the summer reading lists and is sure to be heavily reviewed.

Chat with Tahereh Mafi
Author of FURTHERMORE

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Read our chat with Tahereh, below.

Join us for the next live chat on September 14, 5 to 6 p.m., ET with Rachel Hawkins the author of the Rebel Belle series and the New York Times bestselling Hex Hall series, to discuss her upcoming book, Journey’s End.

To join the program, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Tahereh Mafi – FURTHERMORE
 

Mysteries of the Brain

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Patient H.M.

One of the most-reviled medical practices of the last century is the lobotomy. In a book published this week,  Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT), Luke Dittrich examines one of the practitioners, a neurosurgeon who lobotomized Patient H.M. in an effort to solve his epilepsy. As a result, the patient emerged from the operation unable to create new memories and, in a time when “the lines between medical practice and medical research were blurry”  became the “most important research subject in the history of brain science.” Dittrich says he finds the story personally shocking, particularly because the neurosurgeon was his grandfather.

He was interviewed on the PBS NewsHour last night.

An excerpt titled, “The Brain That Couldn’t Remember: The untold story of the fight over the legacy of ‘H.M.’ — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory” is the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine.

UPDATE: A letter of protest sent to the NYT (but, oddly, not to the book’s publisher), signed by 200 members of the scientific community, most of them from MIT, protests parts of the story that are critical of MIT professor Suzanne Corkin.

Crystal Ball: YOU WILL KNOW ME

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

9780316231077_73720With her 8th novel, a dark thriller about a young female gymnast, You Will Know Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), author Megan Abbott is poised to break out,

It got the NPR bounce on Amazon (rising to #145) after Maureen Corrigan reviewed it on yesterday’s Fresh Air, using gymnast metaphors to describe it as a “terrific new psychological suspense novel [with] a plot that somersaults and back flips whenever a safe landing seems in sight.”

It’s been racking up positive reviews, with the daily NYT ‘s critic Jennifer Senior enthusing that Abbott “is in top form in this novel … filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn.”

The timing of the release conveniently ties in to the Summer Olympics.  Interviewed by  Entertainment Weekly  Abbott says that the inspiration for the parents in the novel came directly from US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who recently pulled off a nail bitter to qualify for the women’s all-around finals. Abbott references video footage that went viral in 2012, but Aly’s mom and dad are also getting noticed this year (see video below).

Holds are soaring, with some libraries we checked running as high as 5:1.

Hitting Screens, Week of August 8

Monday, August 8th, 2016

In spite of some pretty damning reviews. the comics-based movie, Suicide Squad had what Deadline characterizes as a “huge” opening this weekend. They credit that success in part to the diverse cast of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Viola Davis.

Opening this week is MV5BMjE5MjIwNTMxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTA1MDcxOTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_ Pete’s Dragon, the next in the Disney run of remakes of their earlier successes (Jungle Book, Cinderella), creating a new story from the 1977 original. Debuting Aug. 12, it stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, and Robert Redford.

IndieWire calls it “a warm, wistful, and wholly wonderful remake.” Variety says it is one “of the year’s most delightful moviegoing surprises, a quality family film that rewards young people’s imaginations and reminds us of a time when the term ‘Disney movie; meant something: namely, wholesome entertainment that inspired confidence in parents and reinforced solid American values.”

The Hollywood Reporter disagrees, calling it “dismayingly dull,” while The Guardian says it “is part ET, part Jungle Book, part Peanuts. It’s sweet and soulful and Spielberg-ish, but with a bitter streak.”

9781484749920_4b2f0  9781484750292_86e8a  9781484749937_82ab6

As we wrote earlier there are tie-ins, including a novelization, Pete’s Dragon Junior Novel: With 8 Pages of Photos From The Movie!, Disney Book Group (Hachette/Disney Press). Also available is another middle-grade novel,  Pete’s Dragon: The Lost Years, Elizabeth Rudnick with illustrations by Nicholas Kole (Hachette/Disney Press) and a picture book featured in the film  Pete’s Dragon: Elliot Gets Lost by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks, illustrated by Benjamin Lowery (Hachette/Disney Press),

MV5BMTk3MzU4ODk1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc5MzE2OTE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_A very different film premieres as well, the Mel Gibson vehicle Blood Father, a “rescue-and-revenge thriller,” as Variety calls it, featuring Gibson as a very, very down-on-his-luck father who takes on all comers to save his daughter. It is based on the 2005 book of the same name by Peter Craig (no tie-in has been released).

The Guardian, calls the film “a muscular and deliriously entertaining B-movie that is sure to play like gangbusters with genre aficionados,” continuing “As comeback projects go, Blood Father is stellar. It’s a wonder Quentin Tarantino, the king of career resurrection, didn’t get to Gibson first.”

Variety agrees, saying it is a “a perfect platform to launch the comeback of Mel Gibson … a way to remind people that Gibson, if given the chance, could juice up a serious movie.” About the film itself, they call it “a grimy little pulp action thriller … a scuzzy-bloody B-movie … way down on the totem pole of respectability.”

Indiewire was less impressed saying “Gibson now solidifies his new stature as a B-movie star, fated to anchor discardable material readymade for the bottom-of-the-barrel VOD treatment.”

9780778330042_b885dOn the small screen comes Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Channel adaptation of Sherryl Woods’s ten-book series of the same name. The first episodes follow events from The Inn at Eagle Point, Sherryl Woods (HC/MIRA; OverDrive Sample).

As Deadline describes the story, “It centers on the O’Brien clan—a large Irish-American family living on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in a town designed and founded by three O’Brien brothers. The television series focuses on the drama that ensues when the O’Brien family reunites after years apart to face the memories from their past and learn the importance of reconciliation.” It debuts on August 14 and stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, and Diane Ladd.

Several sneak peeks are available on Hallmark’s show site.

Slate Audio Book Club Tackles The CURSED CHILD

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Cursed ChildThe Slate Audiobook Club is generally a rather highbrow, New Yorker version of a book club.  Not so  in their latest, as the conversation about the boy who lived, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine),  quickly becomes closer to a version of a Big Bang Theory geek-out about the best Superman movie.

Slate contributors Katy Waldman, Dan Kois, and L.V. Anderson each have issues with the play script, Kois most of all, who cannot bring himself in the end to actually recommend the play in print form to new readers (see his review here). Anderson mourns the loss of motivations, emotions, and personality missing from the play’s scant information (it is almost entirely dialogue) but does, in the end, suggest it to readers. Waldman, far less invested in the story than her panelists, liked it and thinks it is great fun.

Their conversation centers around what the play does well (introduce interesting new characters and provide rewarding tidbits about those readers already know and adore) and very poorly (it lacks, they say, world building, internal logic, and is far too beholden to fan fiction).

While not as useful as previous discussions for book group leaders, the conversation provides insight into the widely varying reviews and fan reactions.

Voices of the Other Percenters

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

9780307339379  Hillbilly Elegy  9780670785971_39370

Poor white Americans tend to vote against their own interests, a phenomenon that has long perplexed political observers. For the 2008 election, a touchstone book was  Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War by Joe Bageant (PRH/Crown).

This year, journalists are turning to two new books to try to understand the issue.

Debuting on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list this week at #9 is Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which we first wrote about last week, as holds began to soar, based on media coverage.

Immediately behind it is White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (PRH/Viking; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample), at #10 after six weeks. The author was interviewed a few days ago on the Bill Moyer’s website, noting:

“Since voters who feel unrepresented don’t expect anything new from practiced politicians, they have become convinced that Trump is talking to and not about them … They’re hearing his anger, an anger they recognize.”

When we checked in June, library holds were minimal, but that has changed. It is now topping a 4:1 ratio in most libraries.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 8, 2016

Friday, August 5th, 2016

August is technically the beginning of the fall publishing season, so things quiet down a bit before the onslaught of the big fall titles. Nevertheless, librarians and booksellers still managed to find 10 titles coming out next week to recommend (see Peer Picks, below).

Cursed ChildThe major book news of next week will still be the books of this week, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) which just hit the USA Today best seller list at #1. No surprise there, except that, because of the timing of the list, that represents just one day of sales. This week, it’s a People pick (“Spectacular magic and disturbing violence make this a dramatic entry into Harry’s enchanted but troubled world.”)

9780385537032_9b0d7The Oprah pick, The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT), caught the review media by surprise since the book was not scheduled for publication until September. Many reviewers are playing catch up. As we reported, it was reviewed on the day of the announcement by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT and Ron Charles in the Washington Post. It’s one of the three People picks of the week (but not THE pick, which went to HP). The NYT Book Review‘s take is available online and will be in next week’s issue and is set for serialization by the NYT Magazine. The author is scheduled for interviews on NPR’s Weekend Edition and on Fresh Air on Monday.

The titles covered here, 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 Aug. 8, 2016.

Advance Attention

9781250087102_af9bdAdnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial, Rabia Chaudry, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The first SERIAL podcast was a major phenomenon. It focused on the 20-year old case that put Adnan Syed in prison for the murder of his high school girlfriend. The woman who brought the case to the producers’ attention is Rabia Chaudry, who has worked tirelessly to free Adnan. This is her story. A new trial was recently ordered so the case is in the news once again. People covers the book under the headline, ‘Adnan Syed is Innocent and I Can Prove It: Lawyer Rabia Chaudry.‘ The L.A. Times just published a review.

9780062359988_42588Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson (HarperCollins/Amistad; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

One of the titles on the majority of the summer reading lists, this is sure to be heavily reviewed. Based on advance holds, it appears that most libraries have underbought this one. It is also the IndieNext #1 pick for the month (see Peer Picks, below)

9780804189064_9ddaaThe Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerney’s (PRH/Crown/Archetype; Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Irish author McInerney’s debut won the UK’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Marilyn Stasio, in her most recent New York Times Book Review “Crime” column, says she has a “wonderfully offbeat voice … Not only is McInerney’s prose ripe with foul language and blasphemous ­curses delivered in the impenetrable local idiom, but her style is so flamboyantly colorful it can’t always be contained.”

Media Focus

9780812992731_64b89Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, Luke Dittrich, (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT).

An excerpt titled, “The Brain That Couldn’t Remember: The untold story of the fight over the legacy of  ‘H.M.’ — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory” is the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine. The author was interviewed on Wednesday on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and will be featured on PBS NewsHour next week. Kirkus assesses it as, “Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine’s darker hours.”

Consumer Media Picks

9780316272926_1ef80In addition to the new Harry Potter and the latest Oprah pick, People also gives the love to a less well-known title, Lucy Foley’s The Invitation (Hachette/Little,Brown; OverDrive Sample) a romance set on a yacht sailing to Cannes in 1953. People recommends that readers “Pop this tale of love, secrets and obsession right into your beach bag.”

9781101904220_ee938Entertainment Weekly focuses on Dark Matter (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), Blake Crouch’s novel that arrived last week to much fanfare. It arrived on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, but just barely, at #14. EW rates it a B+.

9781476739335_1ee06EW‘s head critic, Tina Jordan gives the less anticipated Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) an A (review not yet online). In this nonfiction title, the author investigates how to fake her own death to solve her student-loan debt and discovers a weird underground that includes a morgue in the Philippines that sells bogus death certificates.

Peer Picks

Ten recommendations from librarians and booksellers hit shelves this week, including four on the August LibraryReads list:

9780812996395_cd012Arrowood, Laura McHugh (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

It is also an August Indie Next pick.

9781250121004_9c076Behind Closed Doors, B. A. Paris (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end.” — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

Also selected by booksellers for the August Indie Next list.

9781101981207_962a3The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, Louise Miller (PRH/Pamela Dorman Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

Miller’s debut made WSJ guide to summer books about food [subscription maybe required] and the August Indie Next list.

9780393241655_3db1aThe Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood (Norton).

“A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY

It is an Indie Next selection as well as a B&N summer reading choice.

9780062359988_42588The #1 Indie Next pick for August comes out this week, Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson (HC/Amistad; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken. Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future. Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our day, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!” —Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

It is on six summer reading lists: B&N, Buzzfeed, Elle, People, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Wall Street Journal [subscription maybe required].

Other Indie Next choices hitting shelves this week are:

9781101984543_5be0bTextbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Amy Krouse Rosenthal (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the most fun and unique book I have held in my hands in a long time. It is a ‘non-linear memoir’ consisting of a quiz, random thoughts, poetry, essays, text message communications, family photos, and the captured moments of any given day. This textbook is an education in seeing the world through Rosenthal’s magical viewpoint — necessary for all who want to appreciate life’s little gifts.” —Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

B&N selected it for their summer reading list.

9781250081865_45daeThe Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko, Scott Stambach (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko has spent his entire life in a cloistered world, but he possesses a keen intellect and an understanding of humanity that far exceeds the confines of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Severely physically handicapped due to radiation poisoning, Ivan has never had a friend beyond his caregivers at the hospital — until Polina is admitted. The two teens form a fast and indelible bond that will leave readers in awe of the tenacity of their commitment. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

9781501118852_7c9fcThe Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman, Mamen Sánchez (S&S/Atria Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Full of quirky characters, passionate lovers, and literary references, this novel takes the reader on a playful romp through both Spain and the human soul. You know how a sprinkle of salt makes chocolate taste sweeter? This book seems all the more timeless for the dashes of modernity throughout — the Spanish detective who references CSI, the wedding band that plays Lady Gaga — all against the intoxicating backdrop of Madrid and Granada. Delightful!” —Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

9781627794268_c30a4I Will Send Rain, Rae Meadows (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“As I read I Will Send Rain, I was transported to the West of the 1930s as the Dust Bowl storms began. Annie Bell is struggling to keep her home, body, and family free of the layers of dust that reappear as fast as they are wiped clean. Her husband has constant dreams of rain; her teenage daughter is blinded by love; her young son suffers from dust pneumonia; and now an admirer is forcing Annie to question her own ethics and being. I was moved by the characters, the historical background, the heartache, and the simultaneous longing and complacency that make this a beautiful and powerful story.” —Lori Fazio, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

9781632860934_f0292Mr. Eternity, Aaron Thier (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

“Clever, smart, and brilliantly comic as it deals with our humanity, our resilient spirit, and the tremendous challenges that demand our cooperative attention, Mr. Eternity is a delight. Who can resist the tale of a 560-year-old American man named Daniel Defoe, who has much wisdom to offer the world and its people. This genre-bending page-turner is a blast to read!” —Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA

Tie-ins

9780062561206_f3864The biographical film Sully comes out on September 9 with some very big names attached. Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, and Aaron Eckhart all star while Clint Eastwood directs.

It recounts the story of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger and the day he saved the passengers and crew of flight 155, by safely landing the plane after a bird strike on the Hudson River.

A tie-in comes out this week, Sully: My Search for What Really Matters, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, Jeffrey Zaslow (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

MV5BMTQ3MjQyODc3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDM3NDc0OTE@._V1_SY1000_SX658_AL_9781302901943_a5edfThe new series Luke Cage, a spin-off of the Jessica Jones show and the next in the comics collaboration between Marvel and Netflix, debuts on Sept. 20. It follows the adventures of Cage, a man with unbreakable skin and super strength, who freelances as a superhero.

A new collected edition is being released this week: Luke Cage: Avenger, Mike Benson et al. (Hachette/Marvel).

MV5BODcxYTc5NmQtZTZjNS00MjRiLTgxMjQtN2VhYjY2YjdmMzYzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjUwNzk3NDc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,849,1000_AL_9781401263645_79381With the many forms of distribution now available, timing can get very weird for movie releases. Batman: The Killing Joke, is an animated movie based on the iconic graphic novel (still at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Graphic Books list after 215 weeks), created in direct response to a petition from fans, The studio didn’t seem to have much faith in it, doing a very limited theatrical release (which  was so successful, as one site suggests, that it may bring more DC animation to theaters) as well as streaming it, after a debut at Comic-Con.

Timed to coordinate with its released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, is a special, oversized black and white edition,  Batman Noir: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (PRH/DC Comics; OverDrive Sample).

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

TRULY MADLY GUILTY
A Best-Seller

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Truly Madly GuiltyLiane Moriarty’s latest Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), which, as we reported, has been showing large holds lists, hits the USA Today‘s best seller list at #2, the highest debut Morality has ever achieved reports the paper, right behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The buzz has also powered her 2012 novel The Hypnotist’s Love Story onto the list at No. 47.

Her publisher is delighted, telling USA Today, “We are thrilled that Liane has debuted the highest she ever has … And if we can’t be No. 1, I can’t think of anyone we’d rather be behind than the boy wizard.”

According to USA Today, Moriarty first made their best-seller list in “2013 with The Husband’s Secret, entering the list at 32 and rising as high as No. 3. She followed that up the next year with a No. 3 debut for Big Little Lies in 2014. This year, her earlier books The Last Anniversary rose to No. 15 and What Alice Forgot peaked at No. 27.”

Reviews for Truly Madly, however, have been uneven. USA Today gave it 2.5 stars out of a possible 4, calling it “a summer bummer” and The New York Times gave it a less than stellar early review. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B, saying “it begins to feel like a very special, very frustrating episode of CSI: BBQ … [but] what sets Moriarty’s writing apart in the genre generally dismissed as chick lit has as much to do with her canny insights into human nature as her clever plotting … for Moriarty’s many fans, that should be truly, madly good enough.” The Washington Post has the most positive take.

CURSED CHILD Wins Sales, Loses Some Fans

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) has already landed on top of the USA Today best-seller list. Because of the list’s timing. it just one day of sales. Those midnight release parties must have been pretty effective.

But not all is rosy in the wizarding world. Even as the script-book debuted, Rowling announced that Harry Potter is now over, saying “I think we’re done … This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realised so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

The script-book is also getting some push back after its initial glowing reviews. The NYT reports, “While many readers were ecstatic about the chance to have more material on Harry and his friends, others have faulted Ms. Rowling for licensing out her story and characters. Some fans have lashed out online, saying they feel they were duped and misled by the prominence of Ms. Rowling’s name on the cover.”

The Independent reports fans are having trouble with the format (despite being told in advance it was a script and not a novel and not by Rowling herself) and are vocal about their disappointment. The paper quotes some very unhappy Amazon readers, one who calls it “poorly planned fan fiction” and another who wrote “Rowling, you owe your fans a BOOK! I like to rename this Harry Potter and the great scam.”