Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Holds Alert: THE DRY

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

9781250105608_46ab1Jane Harper’s debut thriller, The Dry (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), has already captured the attention of librarians, making the January LibraryReads list and leading our summary of titles that interested GalleyChatters back in October.

That enthusiasm it spreading. Hold ratios well exceed 3:1, as high as 7:1, in libraries.

In a strong review for the NYT, Janet Maslin writes Harper “has jampacked her swift debut thriller with sneaky moves that the reader has to track with care … it’s hard to believe this is her first novel … [it is] a book with a secret on every page [and] threats blooming everywhere, too.”

The thriller is rising on Amazon, moving to #166 from #734.

Prior to publication, Reese Witherspoon optioned the film rights and the book earned stars from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. It is also an Indie Next selection.

A Less Private IDAHO

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

9780812994049_c7c00The debut novel by O.Henry Prize-winner Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho (PRH/Random House, Jan. 3; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) is getting glowing reviews from a wide range of sources, from major outlets to local newspapers, from print and online, and from one coast to another.

The Dallas News, reprinting the Kirkus starred review, offers the novel “opens to the strains of a literary thriller but transforms into a lyrical meditation on memory, loss, and grief in the American West.”

The San Francisco Chronicle says it is “shatteringly original” and will upturn “everything you think you know about [the] story.”

The NYT writes “With an act of unspeakable violence at its heart … [it] is about not only loss, grief and redemption, but also, most interestingly, the brutal disruptions of memory.”

The Huffington Post ‘s headline is  “What Does A Literary Novel For The True Crime Era Look Like?” while The A.V. Club calls it “Poetic and razor sharp.”

It also tops the list of “15 Must-Read Books in January” as selected by Flavorwire and is the #1 pick by Real Simple of “The Best New Books To Read This Month.”

Holds are respectable on low orders thus far, making it available to readers advisors.

GENIUS Gets A Trailer

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Just released is the first brief preview of a new series based on the life of Albert Einstein, set to air on the National Geographic Channel in April.

Genius, the first scripted series from the cable network, reports Deadline Hollywood, is part of a planned “anthology drama– telling the stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators,”

The Einstein series is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush stars as Einstein. Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) plays the younger Einstein while Emily Watson (The Theory of Everything) is Elsa, his second wife. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are the series executive producers.

9781501171383_84698The tie-in, with new cover art not yet final, is set for release on April 4th:

Einstein TV Tie-In Edition:
His Life and Universe
, Walter Isaacson
(S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Finding the DIRTY PARTS

Monday, January 9th, 2017

all-the-dirty-partsDaniel Handler, currently in the news for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of  A Series of Unfortunate Events, is also getting attention for his new book, to be released this summer, All the Dirty Parts (Bloomsbury USA; ISBN 9781632868046; Aug. 29, 2017).

Featured in a “first look” by Entertainment Weekly, the main character, Cole, is described as “a sex-obsessed high school student,” who knows a bit about his favorite topic. As Handler tells EW, Cole is not the “familiar stock character — the inadequate, fumbling, inexperienced young man, often a subject of derision or humor. Meanwhile, of course, many young men are having a fantastic and fascinating time in non-virginity, and that’s where I saw an opportunity for a story that’s universally recognizable but rarely talked about, or at least not honestly.”

Handler says he wrote the book after being “asked to give a talk on encouraging reading and teenage boys, who often fall off the literary bandwagon,” Looking back towards the books he loved at that age, he realized they had one thing in common, “they had a lot of sex.” Asked whether he worries about his Lemony Snicket fans finding this book, he replies, “It’s funny, isn’t it, that we worry about young people reading about sex, instead of, say, people shooting each other with laser beams. This anxiety is precisely what led to the novel.”

There will be one impediment to their finding All the Dirty Parts, however. The publisher classifies it as adult fiction. As a result, it not included on  EW ‘s  list of the “35 most anticipated YA novels of 2017,” but on the adult list, “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017.”

A Real Life Indiana Jones

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

9781455540006_1130dCBS Sunday Morning features Douglas Preston and his new book The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The book relates his adventures while searching for a legendary lost city in the rain forests of Mosquitia, which spans Honduras and Nicaragua. Preston tells reporter Lee Cowan that on that trip, he picked up  a parasite that requires a painful therapy.

The White City, or, as some call it, the City of the Monkey God, is a sacred place fabled to hold boundless treasure. “The legend is there was a great city in the mountains that was struck by a series of catastrophes, and the inhabitants thought the gods were angry at them, and [they] left, leaving all their belongings behind,” Preston says.

Using advances in laser mapping technology, explorer Steve Elkins and his team, which included Preston, found the city, braving pit vipers, mud, and foliage so thick they could not even see the site once they were upon it.

The team was jubilant, however, after they discovered rare artifacts, including carved figures left by a 16th-century citizenry who, as CBS notes, “fled the city in a desperate attempt to escape European disease and slavery.”

A National Geographic documentary about the expedition is also in the works.

Wonder Woman By The Book

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

9781785653780_1ff69The June 2nd debut of the new Wonder Woman film is just six months away making it high time, according to  PopSugar to “Brush Up on Her Story From the Comics.” It may also be a good time to create virtual and actual displays.

There’s much to choose from. As PopSugar points out, the warrior princess has her roots in the 1940s so there is a long list of print titles detailing her adventures. WorldCat shows over 4,000 titles in libraries. For introductions and reading guides to the various series, turn to Comic Book Herald and Den of Geek! 

It’s also a good time to pull out the 2014 title,  The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) which received strong reviews, including those from Entertainment Weekly and the NYT .

EW gave in an A, saying it is “a great read. It has nearly everything you might want in a page-turner: tales of S&M, skeletons in the closet, a believe-it-or-not weirdness in its biographical details, and something else that secretly powers even the most ”serious” feminist history — fun.”

Tie-in editions are upcoming

Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization, Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books, June 6, 2017). Following what has become a tradition for superhero movies, the novelization arrives after the movie release, to avoid spoilers.

Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film, Sharon Gosling (PRH/Titan Books, May 30, 2017).

Wonder Woman Movie Deluxe Junior Novel, Steve Korte (HC/HarperFestival, May 2, 2017) as well as several leveled readers (see our catalog of tie-ins for a full list).

Titles To Know and Recommend, Week of January 9, 2017

Friday, January 6th, 2017

9781101988688_97b04It’s big week for readers’ advisors, with a dozen librarian and bookseller picks arriving. In addition, a series often mentioned as a librarian favorite, the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman returns with The Burning Page: An Invisible Library Novel (PRH/ROC; OverDrive Sample). The first (The Invisible Library) and second (The Masked City) were both LibraryReads picks (and here).

The titles highlighted below, 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 Jan. 9, 2017

Media Attention

Furious GeorgeFurious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection, George Karl, Curt Sampson (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

The subtitle says it all. George Karl is a no-hold-barred former NBA coach. Excerpts from the book began making headlines at the end of last month, including the New York Post‘s “George Karl sounds more deranged every day.”

9780062569035_85486Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission. Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

The author is the host of Fox News Special Report, recently ranked as the third most-watched cable news show, giving him a ready platform to promote his book. It focuses on Eisenhower’s farewell address, which famously warned of the dangers of the “the military-industrial complex.” Kirkus calls it “A focused and timely study of Eisenhower’s significant speech and the sticky transition to JFK’s inherited new world.”

9780451494092_dec89A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, Ayelet Waldman (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample).

Waldman, who successfully treated her mood swings with small doses of LSD, is set to be interviewed on ABC’s Nightline on Jan. 18. Her book is a People Pick this week, “Her entertaining journal interweaves drug-related research … with scenes from her famous marriage to writer Michael Chabon.” It will also be reviewed widely.

9780307594907_106d9A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (PRH/Knopf; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Ulrich, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and a MacArthur Fellow, is scheduled to be interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air on Jan 17. 1. Kirkus says her “deeply researched, well-informed history [draws] on a rich trove of diaries and letters [and] the author follows many Mormon families as they confronted poverty, illness, privations, and persecution in their quest to establish a community where they could practice their faith and enact their social vision.”

Peer Picks

Five LibraryReads picks come out this week.

9781101885932_5b5b3The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next pick and a GalleyChat selection. We featured Arden as part of our PRH EarlyReads Author chats. The debut has earned a rare four-star pre-pub sweep, with glowing reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

9781250105608_46ab1The Dry, Jane Harper (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself. At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat title. Reese Witherspoon optioned it in advance of publication. It got three pre-pub stars, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. The Guardian features the book in a column on Australian fiction.

9781616205812_6c626The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers (Workman/Algonquin Books; HighBridge Audio).

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Additional Buzz: Another book to get triple nods, it is an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat pick. Rivers is getting focused local attention (and here) so librarians in North Carolina should take particular note.

9780062427021_928fdHer Every Fear, Peter Swanson (HC/William Morrow; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Kate Priddy is moving to Boston to swap apartments with her cousin. Haunted by an abusive ex, she wants to leave behind her previous life. But when her neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is murdered, Kate is drawn into a web of fear even darker than her past. Varying points of view add new perspectives to the narrative as the book goes on; the mystery of what really happened to Audrey is just a part of the intrigue as we delve into the minds of imperfect, broken people. As a fan of Swanson’s previous work, I was not disappointed.” — Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH

Additional Buzz: It too is an Indie Next title and a GalleyChat pick.

9780812997279_069c6The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, Lindsey Lee Johnson (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Not for the faint of heart, Johnson’s first book is a beautifully crafted work that delves into the perils of teen-dom in a wealthy, insulated California neighborhood. The story opens with the suicide of an outcast middle-school boy. Fast forward to high school, where seemingly minor struggles of both teens and adults expose themselves to be deeply ominous, leaving few untouched by the ensuing tragedies. As the plot slowly builds, the intricate web of relationships that intertwine the lives of characters and the events that they experience become apparent, ultimately returning full circle.” — Amy Christiansen, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO

Additional Buzz: In the new issue of People as the “Book of the Week,” called a “stunning debut [that] … explores the fallout among a group of teens … who prove, in the end, less entitled than simply empty and searching. An eye-opener.” It is also an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat title. Librarians recently chatted with the author as part of our  PRH EarlyReads Author chat program.

Seven additional Indie Next picks also hit shelves:

9780062475466_a895eThe Midnight Cool, Lydia Peelle (HC; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“The journey of middle-aged swindler Billy and his young, idealistic partner Charles is a journey into the history and heart of the oft-maligned American dream. As the nation considers whether it will join World War I, Billy and Charles must weigh the merits of freedom against patriotic obligation, their life on the road against the temptation of putting down roots, and their diverging desires against the love and loyalty they bear for each other. As Billy says, ‘I reckon that’s the beauty and the shame of it, all at once.’ Peelle’s exploration of this beauty and shame is exquisitely wrought, richly populated, and ultimately devastating. I finished the novel in tears.” —Mairead Small Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

9780385538916_d5713The Sleepwalker, Chris Bohjalian (PRH/ Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Once again, master storyteller Bohjalian has crafted a thoughtful, suspenseful novel that grabs hold and doesn’t let go until the end. Exploring the world of sleepwalking and parasomnia, he recounts the story of the night Liana’s mother disappeared. At turns a harrowing mystery and a heartbreaking tale of a family coping with their mother’s affliction, The Sleepwalker is filled with beautiful prose that culminates in a twist readers never see coming.” —Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post, in an early and rave review, calls it a “spooky thriller … a dark, Hitchcockian novel … Like many of Bohjalian’s novels, this neo-New England gothic ends with a surprising and most satisfying twist. It was so deliciously dark that I reread The Sleepwalker to pick up on all the subtle clues this clever novelist dropped with poetically perfect precision throughout.”

It is heralded by an appropriately creepy book trailer:

9781492639732_6459bTwo Days Gone, Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the perfect dead-of-winter read! Ryan DeMarco is shocked to learn that his friend Thomas Huston, an internationally bestselling author, has disappeared into the woods, leaving his slaughtered family behind in their once-serene home. How could a man who has it all – perfect career, perfect wife, perfect kids — become such a monster? This is the question DeMarco sets out to answer, all while on a wild chase to track down Huston before he freezes to death in the harsh northern Pennsylvania winter.” —Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

9780399174575_1dc74Burning Bright, Nick Petrie (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Burning Bright solidifies Petrie’s place among the best thriller writers working today. His hero, Peter Ash, wanders from town to town, living outdoors because his PTSD will not allow him to remain inside walls for very long. When he discovers a woman on the run from shadowy killers, Ash knows he must help her in spite of his near-crippling claustrophobia. Petrie gives us characters we love, warts and all, and there is a true sense of forward propulsion to his action-packed tale. Peter Ash is a hero for today and Burning Bright puts Petrie in the company of Lee Child and Robert Ludlum.” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781501143199_67347The River at Night, Erica Ferencik (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio).

“What would you do to save the lives of your friends? In this debut novel, Winifred and her three friends are about to find out. Instead of a trip to a comfortable, fancy resort in some exotic destination, they embark on an excursion to the Allagash wilderness in upstate Maine. What happens next is everyone’s nightmare, yet it leads to the kind of wisdom few people ever achieve. This is a tense, disturbing, yet satisfying story of the strength of friendship in the face of a severe challenge.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

9780399184598_87183Fever Dream, Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Haunting, foreboding, eerie, and ominous, Schweblin’s Fever Dream is the first of the Argentine author’s books to appear in English. Despite its brevity, Fever Dream throbs with a quickened pulse, as heightening tension is its most effective quality. An intriguing yet purposefully vague plot adds to the story’s mystique, one of peril, poison, and the unexplained terror of worms. Metaphorical in scope, Schweblin’s impressively constructed tale leaves much to the imagination but is all the richer for doing so. Unsettling and compelling, this is a delirious, potent novel not to be overlooked.” —Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Additional Buzz: The New Yorker has a review, writing “Hundreds of novels have flooded me with heartbreak or compassion, but very few—maybe none—have made me feel libidinous or spooked. No previous book, at least, has filled me with unease the way Fever Dream did.

9781101982242_8f898Lucky Boy, Shanthi Sekaran (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Soli is an 18-year-old Mexican girl who enters the U.S. illegally and gives birth to a baby boy. Rashi and Kavya Reddy are an Indian-American couple in Berkeley who have unsuccessfully tried to have children. Their stories intersect when Soli is arrested and her baby is taken from her by Child Protective Services and given into foster care with the Reddys, who become attached to baby Ignacio and want to adopt him. Sekaran does a good job describing the trials and tribulations of illegal immigrants, and Soli’s hope of regaining custody rings true. A compelling read that examines very topical parental rights and immigration issues.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Additional Buzz: It earned three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Among several other books listed here, Bustle picks it as one of “17 Of January 2017’s Best Fiction Books To Bring An Electrifying Start to Your New Year.”

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.

2017 Previews

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The new year will be “a feast” for books, according to The Millions in their just-released “Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2017 Book Preview.” 

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Their choices tend towards the literary, but they include many authors with a ready audience, including Dan Chaon, Ill Will (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio; March 7), Joshua Ferris, The Dinner Party (Hachette/Little, Brown; May 2), and Elizabeth Strout, Anything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio; April 25).

Haruki Murakami, Richard Russo, George Saunders, Roxane Gay, J.M. Coetzee, Jesmyn Ward, and Cormac McCarthy are also part of the gathering.

9780735211209_a3de49781101985137_a7fd5Not on that list is the expected blockbuster of the summer, the second novel by Paula Hawkins, Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; May 2). As we noted earlier, Entertainment Weekly includes it in their picks of “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017,” 

EW also features All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample; Feb, 7.), a debut about “A man from a utopian parallel universe [who] ends up in our 2016 after a time-travel mishap.” The book is also the number one title on the February Indie Next list.

Join our online chat with the author on Jan. 11.

Links to both lists are posted on the right, under the header “Season Previews.” We add links as new lists arrive.

Under the Radar: CONCLAVE

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

9780451493446_b9ef1Robert Harris’s newest novel, Conclave (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample), about the political and personal machinations of electing a pope, is getting rave reviews, so glowing, it just appeared on BookMark‘s list of “Most Talked About Books.”


Many readers’ advisors who consider Harris a favorite will not be surprised. Harris writes bestselling historical fiction such as Pompeii and Fatherland as well as contemporary works, such as The Ghost (which was adapted into the feature film The Ghost Writer starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan). Conclave is a contemporary thriller set in the Vatican.

The Guardian opens its review with this gripping lure:

“I am about to use a word I have never knowingly used in any review of any book ever. During my 25-odd years of writing about books I have done my best to avoid cliches, slipshod summaries, oracular pronouncements and indeed anything else that might appear emblazoned on a book jacket. Nonetheless, there is only one possible word to describe Robert Harris’s new novel, and it is this: unputdownable.”

The NYT says that its culminating denouement is “so provocatively scandalous” it “could become a Catholic version of The Satanic Verses.”

The SF Chronicle writes “you eavesdrop on clandestine intrigues and late-night missions that play out in the shadows of the Vatican labyrinth … the author’s strong writing freshens the familiar with color, and his keen sense of character humanizes the baroque proceedings.”

WSJ says “Robert Harris is a master storyteller and accomplished craftsman who, like Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham, marries a searching moral imagination to his rare ability to tell a compelling tale. He understands that people read novels for pleasure, not under compulsion.” (subscription may be required)

Despite the strong reviews and Harris’s auto-buy reputation, holds are light at libraries we checked. That might be due to the timing of the book (it came out just a few weeks after the election) and its subject matter (a contentious, heated battle for power). It has not appeared on best seller lists.

As a result, readers’ advisory librarians may be able to put this book into patron’s hands. Based on the reviews, it’s a good bet to hand-sell.

Health Book Gets A Bounce

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

9781455541713_6cc32At this time of the year, with all the new titles released on health and fitness, some of which are based on questionable information, it’s refreshing to learn about one  by a Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist and a health psychologist. Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel appeared on CBS This Morning yesterday to discuss their new book The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

As a result, the book is racing up the Amazon charts, jumping from #3,292 to #10.

A telomere is like the cap end of a shoelace that keeps it from fraying. Telomeres protect chromosomes and “can help reduce chronic disease and improve wellbeing, all the way down to our cells and all the way through our lives.”

The authors say that specific lifestyle changes, such as eating better, sleeping a bit more, getting exercise, and having a good frame of mind strengthens telomeres. Certain styles of thinking, such as pessimism and hostility, weaken them by exaggerating stress responses.  “Telomeres are listening to your thoughts” and are responding in kind, they say. All manner of toxic situations impact telomeres, from suffering discrimination to exposure to toxic chemicals.

Demand in libraries has not yet caught up with Amazon and holds are generally under a 3:1 ratio.

Running Start: HISTORY OF WOLVES

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

9780802125873_cb9d6Emily Fridlund’s debut novel, History of Wolves (Atlantic Monthly Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), just got a rave review on NPR’s web site.

Calling it “electrifying,” reviewer Michael Schaub says it “isn’t a typical thriller any more than it’s a typical coming-of-age novel; Fridlund does a remarkable job transcending genres without sacrificing the suspense that builds steadily in the book … History of Wolves is as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it’s set, and with her first book, Fridlund has already proven herself to be a singular talent.”

Among other buzz, it is an Amazon best of the month title as well as their featured debut for January. As we pointed out in Titles to Know for the week, People magazines picks it in the new issue, calling it, “a compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world.” It is also the #1 Indie Pick this month.

Holds are growing, ranging from 3:1 to 12:1 where ordering is light. One library we checked has a 25:1 ratio, triggering a large second order. 

Hitting Screens, Week of Jan 2, 2017

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Two high-profile film adaptations expand nationwide this week, Hidden Figures and A Monster Calls (see our coverage from their Oscar-qualifying opening week).

mv5bmtk5nta1nzkynv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzk1mdm3mdi-_v1_On NBC, a new series based on The Wizard of Oz begins.

Emerald City is billed as a “modern reimagining” of the backstory of L. Frank Baum’s famous tale.

After a rocky path to the screen, involving delays and major changes in the lead team, it finally premieres Jan. 6 at 9 EST and will run for 10 episodes in its opening season. Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror, Self/less) directs. Shaun Cassidy (Cold Case) serves as executive producer.

Deadline Hollywood says the show is “gunning for” the Game of Thrones label, writing it offers a “dark new take” in which “Dorothy [is] transported by tornado along with a K9 police dog into a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy.”

ScreenCrush calls it an “ultra-ultra-ultra-gritty take” and details the cast: “Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale (complete with K9 police dog Toto), Dracula star Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Scarecrow-type Lucas, Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the East, Joely Richardson as Glinda, [and] Vincent D’Onofrio as the Wizard of Oz.”

The Obscure Revealed

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

What better topic for a New Years Day segment than a book about the strangest places on earth? Featured on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday were the enviable adventures of the pair behind the best seller Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras (Workman, Sept.; OverDrive Sample).

Check your holds. Some libraries are showing heavy ratios.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of January 2, 2017

Friday, December 30th, 2016

9780399573972_cba9e 9780345531117_2b104 9780316317269_2fc9f

Stuart Woods and Danielle Steel kick off the new year with new titles. But these high-output authors are relative slackers, publishing just one title each. James Patterson beats them all with four new BookShots titles (he does have help, however).

As we’ve noted before, the most popular BookShots titles are those that tie in to well-established Patterson characters, but format is also worth examining. Sno-Isle’s Collection Developments blog recently posted “Bookshots a Better Bet for Audio?” As Darren Nelson points out, the audio versions are circulating better than print for the system and that makes sense, “the typical BookShots audiobook … is probably a great fit for [those] … searching for a bite-sized audiobook they can actually finish in one long trip or a week’s worth of commutes.” All four of the new BookShots titles are available in audio. 

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Jan.2, 2016

More Bold-Faced Names

9781250126535_8f394-2Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life, Oprah Winfrey, (Macmillan/Flatiron/Oprah; OverDrive Sample)

No reviews  for this one yet.  Oprah is giving herself the exclusive with an excerpt in her magazine and on Oprah.com. There’s no indication whether the book promotes Weight Watchers  Oprah is currently featured in ads for the company, and is also a major investor. [UPDATE: USA Today reviewing the book on Tuesday, notes her financial investment in the company, but adds, ” while there are SmartPoints listed for each recipe, this is not a Weight Watchers book.” In her first appearance for the book with pal Gayle King on CBS This Morning, she talks about her relationship with Weight Watchers].

9781455540006_1130dThe Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, Douglas Preston, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

In addition to co-writing best selling novels, Preston is an explorer. In this book, he expands on articles he wrote for National Geographic and the New Yorker (may require subscription; it was also featured in a story on NPR) about an expedition to Honduras to search for a legendary lost city. The expedition was organized by documentary film maker Steve Elkins, so it’s no surprise that a documentary film is also in the works. The book received strong pre-pub reviews, including one from Kirkus, “A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary–trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner.” It is also reviewed today in the Boston Globe

Peer Picks

9780802125873_cb9d6Six peer picks arrive this week, all Indie Next selections from their January list, including their #1 pick for the month, History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (Atlantic Monthly Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“A lonely teenager in rural northern Minnesota, Linda is desperate for connection and obsessed with both her enigmatic new neighbors and a classmate entangled in a scandalous relationship with a teacher. Narrating these seemingly disparate story threads is the adult Linda, who may have been villain, victim, or bystander in at least one tragedy. With lyrical prose and precise pacing, debut author Fridlund builds tension and weaves a complex, multilayered morality tale rich in metaphor and symbolism. This haunting, meticulously crafted novel will inspire lengthy rumination on topics ranging from the meaning of the title to the power of belief. Perfect for reading groups!” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

Additional Buzz: People magazines picks it in the new issue, calling it, “a compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world” The author won the McGinnis-Ritchie Award in 2013 for the first chapter and the full novel has gone on to earn three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Kirkus calls it “a literary tour de force.”

9780802125392_db20bDifficult Women, Roxane Gay (Grove Press; OverDrive Sample).

“A ‘difficult woman’ has become shorthand for one who speaks her mind, who questions patriarchal power, and who refuses to be defined by a standard of femininity. The women who populate Gay’s story collection are all difficult in their own ways — mothers, sisters, lovers, some married and some single, most of flesh and one of glass — yet they are all searching for understanding, for identity, and for ways to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical, cruel world. Some of Gay’s stories are graphic, some are allegorical, and all are important commentaries on what being female looks and feels like in modern America.” —Becky Gilmer, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR

Additional Buzz: Bustle lists it as one of “15 of 2017’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books” and Nylon counts it as one of “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017.”

9780399158254_85fadLeopard at the Door, Jennifer McVeigh (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Leopard at the Door is a beautifully layered coming-of-age novel set in a Kenya still under the yoke of colonial British rule. Rachel, whose beloved mother died when she was 12, returns to the country she loves after six years in England. She struggles against the expectations of her father and his new partner, Susan, whom Rachel has a difficult time accepting. Fine writing weaves Rachel’s story with the essence of Kenya, the treatment of its people, and the uprising of the Mau Mau who seek independence. This is a thrillingly taut novel — with a clever title, too!” —Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

9780802125866_7358dThe Old Man, Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Dan Chase is a wealthy old man living a quiet life after the death of his wife and his daughter’s move to another part of the country. But wait — he is being followed, and then his house is broken into and he has to kill the intruder. Next, the old man turns to his ‘go’ bag as it seems he has many identities, stashes of currency, and a plan to disappear. There are secrets to be discovered all throughout this tale and Perry keeps readers wondering what will come next. This is definitely one of Perry’s best!” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books to Go, South Portland, ME

9781501123429_40180Everything You Want Me to Be, Mindy Mejia (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books; S&S Audio).

“To some extent we are all chameleons. We fit ourselves to the situations we find ourselves in, act differently around our boss than with our family, and tell little white lies out of kindness. But what if that’s all you did? Hattie Hoffman is just a teenager, but she has already mastered the art of observing the people around her, assessing their desires and expectations and molding herself accordingly. Everything You Want Me to Be is a chilling mystery that explores the mutability of identity through the eyes of three very different people. If you’re looking for the next captivating thriller that everyone will be comparing to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, this is it!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Additional Buzz: A People magazine pick for the week, “A talented young girl set on ditching Minnesota for New York is murdered, and Del, the local sheriff, sets out to find her killer. This time-shifting novel … could have been pure cliche; instead, Mejia’s well-drawn protagonist brings the rural community alive and imbues the narrative with delightful, dry humor.”

9781555977603_ac1f0Freebird, Jon Raymond (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This multigenerational story is a road-trip novel, an ecological disaster drama, and a harrowing post-Iraq War PTSD portrait all rolled into one highly readable, gorgeously written book. Raymond tells this story peering over the shoulders of three strong characters, each of whom have to reconcile feelings of love — both romantic and familial — with the brutal realities of life during wartime. Despite its dark turns, Freebird is a book filled with hope for its characters as well as love for the real world it ably attempts to recreate and offer respite from.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: It gets a mixed review in the NYT, which calls it “uneven” but also says it “offers plenty of memorable moments.”

Tie-ins

A number of tie-ins come out this week, getting ready for the post-holiday film season.

9780525431886_2b7baFifty Shades Darker (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, EL James (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) also in Spanish Cincuenta sombras más oscuras (Movie Tie-In): Fifty Shades Darker MTI – Spanish-language edition, E L James (PRH/Vintage Espanol).

The second film in the expected trilogy adapting E.L. James’s novels comes out on Feb. 10.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote join the cast as Grey’s ex-lovers.

When the trailer came out in September it prompted a storm of stories, such as those in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

As we noted at the time, Variety reported that the second film as well as the upcoming third film of the trilogy (shot back-to-back) is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Cards). He replaces Sam Taylor-Johnson with whom James clashed during the filming of the first movie. The screenplays for the final two films will be written by E. L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard.

9780399178450_2bb3bRogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novelization of the newest Star Wars film finally hits after the movie’s release (on Dec. 16), delayed in an effort to prevent spoilers.

Three tie-ins related to the March 17th premiere of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast come out this week:

9780736435925_c18be  9780736435949_0a8f5  9781484767207_08b44

Belle’s Story (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).

Beauty and the Beast Deluxe Step into Reading (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).

Beauty and the Beast: The Story of Belle, (Hachette/Disney Press; OverDrive Sample).

Expect more to come and follow the tie-in link below for additional titles already announced but publishing later.

9780718080549_d4aa1Same Kind of Different As Me Movie Edition:
A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
, Ron Hall, Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent (HC/Thomas Nelson; OverDrive Sample).

The inspirational film has been pushed back from its original April 2016 slot and will now open on Feb. 3. It stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund.

It had a rocky introduction when the preview aired in August, with The Guardian writing “Renée Zellweger and Greg Kinnear’s aggressive condecension; Djimon Hounsou’s Jar Jar Binks accent; the set designer’s antler fetish … this film does not look good.”

9780399558702_b33f0A late tie-in for Trolls is Poppy and Branch’s Big Adventure (DreamWorks Trolls), Mona Miller (Random House Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

The DreamWorks animated movie came out on Nov. 4th. Read our earlier coverage here and here.

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

GalleyChatter, Signs of Spring

Friday, December 30th, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our latest chat below.

Some of these titles can still be nominated for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
Jan. 3, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
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GalleyChatters’ favorite season is upon us, late winter and early spring, when publishers take advantage of a quiet time to introduce new or under-the-radar talent.

It’s a good time to introduce more people to our get-togethers, so we’re asking regular GalleyChatters to “Bring a Pal” to Tuesday’s session and expose them to the wonderful world of advance reading. We know they will thank you.

Below are some highlights of the December chat. Check here for a list of all titles that came up.

Hearts and Minds

9780399162107_7f864Alex George’s debut novel, A Good American, was well loved by many and his next book, Setting Free the Kites (PRH/Putnam, February) is just as impressive. Set in a small town in Maine during the mid-1970s, this moving story of a beautiful friendship between two middle school boys will have you emptying the tissue box as you read late into the night. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library said, “This is the perfect coming of age story and one that is destined to be placed on the shelf with To Kill a Mockingbird and Stand by Me.” [NOTE: Check out EarlyWord’s recent chat with the author here.]

9780062356260_bd19cChosen for over fifty “One Book, One Read” programs, Orphan Train was a breakout hit for Christina Baker Kline. Her next book, A Piece of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow, February), a novel based on the relationship between Andrew Wyeth and his inspiration for “Christina’s World” is destined by be as popular. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, was smitten saying, “Christina Olson is probably one of the most iconic women of the 20th century who we literally know nothing about. You will come to love and admire the woman who graces one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century.”

9780062469687_ecca3One of GalleyChat’s most prolific readers, Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City Library, is a fan of the coming-of-age novel Hearts of Men, by Nikolas Butler (HarperCollins/Ecco, Feburary).  Calling it a “memorable book,” Andrienne also says, “This story is about sons, about values, about what it is to be a good man. It follows the lives of Nelson and Jonathan, the former bullied and friendless; the latter a popular all-American kid from a wealthy family. Their friendship is chronicled amidst a backdrop of growing up, going to war, falling in love, and choosing what men normally hold dear to their hearts.”

Thriller Time

9781101988299_bbe9bGalleyChatters loved Clare Mackintosh’s breakout psychological suspense title I Let You Go, and we’re pleased to report her followup, I See You (PRH/Berkley, February) is just as readable. Set in London, Zoe Walker tries to get help from law enforcement after she realizes advertisements with her face and others have become crime victims. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) loved it, saying, “This taut thriller has one surprise after another until at last, it seems all has been uncovered…or has it? A shocking last revelation will have readers turning back to see what clues were missed.”

And the Winners Might Be…

We polished our crystal balls and two titles emerged that are contenders for the year’s literary awards.

9780735212176_8834cTwo GalleyChatters raved about Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (PRH/Riverhead, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20) a gorgeously written story about immigration, and judging from the Edelweiss “much love” response, they aren’t alone. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) sums it up, “A touch of magical realism, immigrant narrative, beautiful imagery.” Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library echoed Gregg saying, “It is a beautifully written, unique book about what we do to protect ourselves, what we do to connect with others, and how we as human beings move through time and space. This work is truly a masterpiece.”

9780812989403_3b3daElizabeth Strout has a knack for creating unforgettable characters, such as Olive Kittredge and Lucy Barton, and her newest novel, Anything is Possible (PRH/Random House, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20) is already accumulating accolades. Janet Lockhart of Wake County Public Libraries (NC) has already called this a favorite of 2017 and continues, “The residents of Lucy Barton’s hometown get their say in the latest book from the author of Olive Kittredge. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different person and they leap off the page in all their flawed glory. Strout’s compassion for her characters permeates the book.”

Debut Fiction

9781616204747_2a472New galleychatter Lisa Hollander, readers’ services librarian from Syosset Public Library, NY, recommends The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister (Workman/Algonquin, January), saying it was a “romantic comedy, which is strange when you think that the topic is a man grieving over his wife dying young. It was a nice distraction from real life.  Highly recommend.”

A Book about Books

9780062412317_31a41Librarians adore books about books and so we noticed when Joe Jones of Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) enthused about Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History, Rebecca Romney, J. P. Romney (HarperCollins/Harper, February). Joe recommends this for readers who say they don’t like nonfiction and also said, “Sometimes we get lucky and find an author who can not only educate us, but also entertain us as well. Rebecca and J.P. had me laughing as I learned things I had never knew before about Shakespeare, Johannes Gutenberg, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Franklin just to name a few of the characters included in these pages. “

Please join us for the first GalleyChat of the new year, on Tuesday, January 2, 4:00 (ET), and remember to bring friends and please introduce them during  the virtual pre-chat virtual cocktails which begins at 3:30.