Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Predicting the Future:
Eleven Books to Watch

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Editor’s Note: Robin Beerbower is EarlyWord‘s regular “GalleyChatter” columnist. In her day job, Robin is the readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. Enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication, she tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her an authority on what to read next. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). Below is her latest:

Three titles that garnered rave reviews during past GalleyChats also recently received top accolades from People (Laird’s Neverhome, Hachette/Little, Brown and St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, RH/Knopf) and Entertainment Weekly (Station Eleven and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests, Penguin/Riverhead). Also, Station Eleven made the National Book Award Longlist! Are there a few crystal balls in library offices? No, we’re just a group of librarians with discerning eyes as to what will popular with readers.

What will the critics and the public be raving about in a few months? To find out, check out the following top titles from the September 9 chat. For a complete Edelweiss list of what was discussed, check here. Many are available in as egalleys; read them and remember to nominate your favorites on LibraryReads.

Storytelling at Its Best

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There’s nothing like a good story to keep us reading and three titles stood out for their gripping plots.

A couple of us were so excited to chat about Greer Macallister’s The Magician’s Lie (Sourcebooks Landmark, January), we could hardly wait until the official chat time began. The story of a female illusionist in the early 1900s who flees her show after her husband is found hacked to death and is caught by the local constable kept us enthralled. Sharron Smith said the tale was hypnotic and the eerie dark tone reminded me of Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife.

Judging from the excited responses when I mentioned Fiercombe Manor, Kate Riordan (Harper, February), the gothic novel is alive and well. With its English manor setting, threads of madness, and hints of hauntings, it’s an obvious homage to Kate Morton, Victoria Holt, Sarah Waters, and Daphne du Maurier. Before reading, Google “Owlpen Manor” to see the house that inspired the setting.

Maria Dueñas’s first book, The Time In Between was a beautifully told epic story, and her follow-up, The Heart Has Its Reasons (S&S/Atria, November) is another clear winner. Beth Mills (New Rochelle Public Library) said this story of a female professor moving from Madrid to San Francisco and becoming obsessed with an exiled writer who died years before is “an absorbing read—it ties in academic politics, 20th century Spanish history and early California history.”

Character Studies

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It’s unanimous that GalleyChatters love Stewart O’Nan’s ability to build sympathetic characters and his next book, West of Sunset (Penguin/Viking, January) with its focus on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood doesn’t disappoint. In her Edelweiss review Darien Library’s Collection Development manager Jennifer Dayton said “This is a portrait of a man drowning in longing for lost chances, lost loves and lost worlds. I loved it.”

Appearing on the Booker Man 2014 longlist (but alas, not the shortlist), Us, David Nicholls (Harper, October), the witty story of a man trying to save his marriage of 30 years after his wife announces she wants a divorce, was very popular with readers. According to Janet Lockhart (Wake County Libraries, NC), Nicholls “blends humor and sadness with great dialog and engaging characters.”

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Virginia Woolf is hot again — in the publishing world anyway. She’s featured in two new novels. Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) is anticipating Vanessa and her Sister, (RH/Ballantine,December), a “biofic” about Virginia Woolf and her sister, saying “I’m very much looking forward to this as I’m addicted to Virginia Woolf & all things Bloomsbury.” Then Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf, Norah Vincent (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April), the imagined story of the events prior to Woolf’s suicide was posted on Edelweiss after our GalleyChat .

The Rest of What We Loved

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Back in May Jill LePore impressed the audience with her spirited presentation at the BEA librarians’ breakfast and since then anticipation has been building for The Secret History of Wonder Woman (RH/Knopf, October), the amazing account of how Wonder Woman came into existence along with a crucial bit of feminism history.

I haven’t read many graphic novels but I am now addicted to Lucy Knisley’s series of personal experiences that started with Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and continued with An Age of License. Her latest, Displacement (WW Norton/Fantagraphics, February), received high praise from collection development librarian Janet Lockhart who said “Knisley is single handedly turning me into a graphic novel reader.”

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I loved Michael Kardos’s The Three-Day Affair (2012) and was sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved, so I’m keeping fingers crossed his newest, Before He Finds Her  (Grove Atlantic, Mysterious Press) will find a bigger audience of thriller lovers in February. This fast moving plot about a man who murdered his wife and may be looking for his missing daughter is told from multiple viewpoints and is perfect for Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay readers.

Comparisons to Jacqueline Mitchard’s Deep End of the Ocean is enough to make most of us want to read Tim Johnston’s Descent (Workman/Algonquin, January) but Kaite Stover goes further, saying it is “moving, absorbing, and lyrical in telling the story of a family’s anguish at the disappearance of a child.” And nine other Edelweiss users agree giving it “much love.” Oprah, are you paying attention?

So what is destined to become hits with both the critics and the public? We shall see. In the meantime, if you want to test your psychic skills, join our next GalleyChat on October 7 from 4:00-5:00, Eastern, (more details here), and if you want to keep up on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, “friend me.”

WOLF HALL Coming to Broadway

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780312429980   Bring Up the Bodies (Booker Winner)

Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s Tudor trilogy, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, has been a has been a hit in London and is now set to make its American debut on Broadway April 9 next year. The production is over 5 1/2 hours long, which can be viewed in two consecutive parts (with a dinner break), or on separate days.

Perhaps feeling some competition,  the executive producer of the upcoming BBC TV adaptation of Wolf Hall, commented in a recent essay in The Guardian, “I would like to clarify that the BBC commissioned the six-hour mini-series long before it was produced for the stage.” Starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis (Homeland) as Henry VIII, filming was under way in various historic British locations this summer. No release dates have been announced.

The author is at work on third book in the series, The Mirror and The Light, (she and the stage play’s producer both say they hope it will also be adapted). No publication date has been announced, but some sources say it is due next year.

The stage adaptation will be released in book form this coming February. According to the publisher, it  also”contains a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any reader looking for an even deeper understanding of Mantel’s historical creations.”

9781250064172_e247aWolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies: The Stage Adaptation,  (Macmillan/Picador)
Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton (adapted by)
Macmillan/Picador: February 24, 2015
9781250064172, 1250064171
Trade Paperback
$16.00 USD

Another Reason to Read Galleys

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780062377180_f631cCurious about how authors respond to copy edits?

The advance readers copy of Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty (Harper, 12/9/14) accidentally includes some testy exchanges. The New York Times details a few of them in yesterday’s Arts Beat blog, adding, that, although amusing, “It is no big deal: Mr. Horowitz did not use unsavory language, abuse the copy editors, or expose some fantastic dispute between himself and his publishers. At most, there is firm authorial pushback. ”

The book, the followup to the author’s popular The House of Silk,(Hachette/Mulholland, 2011) has not yet been reviewed in library review sources (it is noted in LJ‘s “Prepub Alert“).

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, got her hands on a galley. She also found the copy editing comments hilarious, but, as she says in a readers advisory to the branch staff, there are many more reasons to read it:

Anthony Horowitz has held young thriller fans in thrall with his popular Alex Rider series for a long time. He’s also turned his considerable talents to adult books and to one of my favorites — the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes canon. If you missed it, 2011’s The House of Silk was his first effort at a Holmesian mystery, and it was first rate. It would still be a superb recommend for your traditional mystery fans.

This year, he’s back with Moriarity. I was very much hoping he’d assume Watson’s voice again, but he’s done things very differently in this book. First of all, it opens at Reichenbach Falls, and we all know what happened there. I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated by the denouement, which he seems to spring on the reader, with few clues leading up to it.  It is, nonetheless, a terrific read.

Rising Holds: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

Monday, September 29th, 2014

9780812994995_3dc2d-2Lena Dunham was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air today about her book, Not That Kind of GirlA Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” (Random House; RH Audio). Listen to the interview here.

Tomorrow, she will appear on  ABC’s Good Morning America, followed by the Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday.

Holds are rising rapidly in libraries on modest ordering. Holds are also rising on the audio, which Dunham narrates.

Ahead of the Game:
Titles to Know, The Week of 9/29

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Books have been doing plenty of crossover into TV, but this week sees the reverse. B.J. Novak, of The Office, is publishing a book for kids and Lena Dunham, of Girls, is Not That Kind of Girl  … the #1 LibraryReads pick for October arrives, Garth Stein’s next novel after his long-time best seller, The Art of Racing in the Rain (no dogs this time) … and Hilary Mantel has already stirred up attention for her new book, a collection of short stories.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord, New Title Radar, Week of 9/29.

Holds Leaders

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Burn, James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, (Hachette/Little,Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio) — The newest Detective Bennet thriller (Patterson’s next Alex Cross book, Hope to Die, is right around the corner — coming Nov 24).

The Lost Key, Catherine Coulter, J. T. Ellison, (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio)

The Perfect Witness, Iris Johansen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Brilliance Audio)

Advance Attention

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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories, Hilary Mantel, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio)

Short stories rarely cause controversy, but the title story of this collection is making waves in Great Britain. As is clear from that title, this has little to do with the world of the  author’s famous Wolf Hall series. It was reviewed by Janet Maslin in the New York Times this week.

The Wonder of All Things, Jason Mott, (Harlequin/Mira; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print); OverDrive Sample

Mott’s previous book, his debut, The Returned, is the basis for the ABC series Resurrection. which begins its second season on 9/28/14. This new novel has already been optioned by Lionsgate. Mott is profiled this week in USA Today.

LibraryReads Pick

9781439187036_61f0d-2A Sudden Light, Garth Stein, (Simon and Schuster);  OverDrive Sample

The #1 pick for October., with this recommendation:

“Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses.” — Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

Media

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All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid, Matt Bai, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

About the scandal that ended Gary Hart’s run for the Presidency. It was excerpted as the NYT Magazine 9/21 cover story, “How Gary Hart’s Downfall Forever Changed American Politics.”

Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, (S&S/Scribner)

The former Congresswoman, who was shot in 2011 and nearly died, writes about her efforts, along with her husband Mark Kelly, to promote responsible gun ownership. It will be getting media coverage:

• Parade “Picks,” September 28 issue
• USA Today feature, September 29
• MSNBC-TV/”Morning Joe,” Sept 30
• CNN-TV/”The Lead with Jake Tapper,” September 30
• MSNBC-TV/”Andrea Mitchell Reports,” October 1

Celebs

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Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, Lena Dunham, (Random House; RH Audio)

Now that Michiko Kakutani has given the thumbs up on Dunham’s first book, she can relax and enjoy her upcoming interviews (she was already on the cover of the 9/14 NYT Magazine):

NPR Fresh Air – interview – 9/29
ABC Good Morning America – interview – 9/30
Comedy Central Daily Show – 10/1

The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak, (Penguin/Dial)

The actor and writer for The Office, writes his first kids book (his first was for adults, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories). He is profiled in The Atlantic.

Tie-ins

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Horns Movie Tie-In Edition, Joe Hill, (HarperCollins/Morrow paperback, Harper mass market)

Movie opens on Halloween

Mockingjay: Movie Tie-In Edition, Suzanne Collins, (Scholastic)

Mockingjay, Part 1, the movie, opens 11/21/14

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson, (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio)

The companion to Johnson’s PBS series premiering Oct. 15. The author appeared on the Daily Show on Thursday.

Young Adult

9780525423058_093edBelzhar, Meg Wolitzer, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile; RH/Listening Library); OverDrive Sample

The author’s first Y.A. title.

Audio sample:

Readers Advisory: Historical Fiction and the “Ick” Factor

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

9780062335944_2516fKaty Simpson Smith has received enviable attention for her first novel, The Story of Land and Sea, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio, 8/26/14 ). Vogue magazine profiled the author, under the headline, “Katy Simpson Smith’s Luminous Novel Is Set to Be the Debut of the Year.”

The Washington Post saw in the novel echoes of Hilary Mantel‘s Wolf Hall series, in that it “works to breathe life into history using the immediacy of the present tense. Its finely wrought (sometimes overwrought) language blends startling details of the everyday with a dreamy, aphoristic quality. The effect is to root the novel in its historical moment but to reach toward the universal in its exploration of love and grief.”

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, agrees that those details of daily life are “startling,” but not necessarily in a good way. She opened a discussion with branch staff about the book, via the following comments on the staff intranet.

Have you noticed the trend toward Realism with a capital “R” that has been hitting historical fiction? I get that living in 1793 was no picnic, but seriously, leave the ick factor to my imagination, okay?

I first noticed this with last year’s Longbourn by Jo Baker, a book I loved, but if there had been one more paragraph about chamber pots, I swear I’d have pitched it across the room. And Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Great book as a long as you aren’t depressed when you start it, because trust me, you will be when you finish it. Did I really need to know how grungy Iceland was in 1829? I have been blessed with a great imagination. Oh, Writer. Trust your readers. We could have figured it out.

And now along comes The Story of Land and Sea, an excellent historical novel with lots of good historical detail woven in, lots of examination of how people in 1793 North Carolina thought and believed and therefore behaved differently than we do, which is superbly done, but ugh—when you get to the part about yellow fever. Again, Oh, Writer, I can color in those details myself.

I wonder if this is part of a larger cultural change. Are people so accustomed to visual entertainment that writers have to literally give us the gory details to make it real for people used to getting their mental pictures drawn for them on Xbox and HBO?

If your customers like extremely well written historical novels with carefully crafted character development, they’ll love The Story of Land and Sea, but if they are more to the Gentle Reader side of the scale, they’d be happier with Light Between the Oceans or The Invention of Wings.

Several of Cuyahoga staff members responded that they like those details, including Susan Levinsohn, who wrote,

I think we are more tolerant than we were even 10 yrs. ago for the reasons you mentioned above. Senior ladies are not asking for cozies like they used to and don’t mind reading the more graphic fiction. I also think many people that read historical fiction (including myself) like to read background information that does represent the times. I like to get a “feel” for the times and the people of the era as well as the story woven around it. I think if part of the appeal for the reader is the history then the details, however “icky” are more likely taken in as just true to the times. I like Miss Marple but I’ll take Burial Rites too.

As Wendy says, it’s important to understand your customers preferences when making recommendations.

Read the first chapter here.

After Sleep, You Gotta Eat

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

First there was:

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This fall there’s:

YouHavetoFuckingEat-800x600

Like the first book, this one will be published by Brooklyn indie press, Akashic Books, 978-1617753787, 11/27/14 (ship date, 10/27/14).

The official announcement is being covered widely by the press, including Entertainment Weekly, ABC News, and the L.A. Times

Michiko Likes It: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

9780812994995_3dc2dGiven how famously insecure Lena Dunham is, we can’t help but think she was nervous when she learned that her forthcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl, (Random House; RH/BOT Audio; 9/30) was going to be reviewed in advance of publication, by the daily NYT‘s famously stringent Pulitzer Prize winning reviewer, Michiko Kakutani.

She may have even made the following video, one of a series, to address such reviewers.

She need not have worried. Michiko likes it, a LOT.

Dunham, of course, narrates the audiobook (RH/BOT). A short sample here.

Holds Alert: THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

9781476731902_eae47After a glowing, gotta-read-the-book review on the cover of the 9/21 New York Times Book Review, Jeff Hobbs, the author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League,  (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio) was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday.

Library holds are rising on modest ordering.

Read a sample via OverDrive.

Holds Alert: THE PAYING GUESTS

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

watersOn NPR’s All Things Considered today, Maureen Corrigan calls Sarah Waters’ new novel, The Paying Guests, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT, read by Juliet Stevenson), “a knockout.”

A September LibraryReads pick, it also received a strong review in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review and the daily NYT has profiled the author.

The book #3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” of “The Top 10 Thing We Love This Week.” which calls it, “One of the year’s most engrossing and suspenseful novels.”

Holds are growing in the libraries we checked.

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook plans to adapt Waters’ earlier novel, Fingersmith, (Penguin/: Riverhead, 2002) as a feature film (Variety calls that one a “sexy crime story“).

OverDrive Sample

8 Titles To Make You An R.A. Guru, Week of 9/22/14

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Get ready for the following books, arriving next week.

All the titles listed here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet,New Title Radar, Week of 9/22/14.

Leading the Holds Lists

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Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs, (RH/Bantam; RH Audio; RH Large Print); OverDrive Sample

Reichs, a forensic anthropologist, made the general public aware that there is such a thing through her Bones series featuring, Temperance Brennan. She appears in two forms next week, in the 17th title in the book series, as well as in the tenth season of Bones, which begins on Fox this coming Thursday.

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General, Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard,  (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; Wheeler L.P.) OverDrive Sample

This is that rare exception, a book of history that gets coverage in Page Six of the New York Post.

National Book Award Nominee

9780375870514_6d9d7Skink–No Surrender, Carl Hiaasen, (RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers; RH/Listening Library) OverDrive Sample

Hiassen transitions well. An investigative reporter, he began writing novels for adults with a humorous twist that went on to become best sellers. His first novel for kids, Hoot, 2002, won the Newbery Medal. This, his first novel for teens, is on the longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s literature. Many adult readers are familiar with Skink, who appeared in six books, beginning with Double Whammy. In the one, he helps a teen find his missing cousin.

LibraryReads Picks

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Rooms, Lauren Oliver, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio)

LibraryReads recommendation:

“A family comes to terms with their estranged father’s death in Oliver’s first novel for adults. Told from the perspective of two ghosts living in the old house, this unique story weaves characters and explores their various past connections. Great book!” — Rachel Fewell, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

Horrorstor, Grady Hendrix, (Quirk Books; Blackstone Audio)

LibraryReads recommendation:

“You know how some horror movies would work better as novels? Horrorstor is that book, perfectly capturing everything that is terrific about the horror genre. In its catalog-style pages, you’ll find a hefty dose of satire, as a Scandinavian furniture store is transformed overnight into a prison. With characters that you’re rooting for and terror that creeps up on you, Horrorstor will keep you up all night in the best possible way.” — Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

If you have a hard time imaging a novel in the form of a catalog, it may be even harder to imagine that novel as an audiobook, but the Blackstone sample indicates that they’ve pulled it off.

Horrorstor was one of EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek’s discoveries at Book Expo this year, It also became a GalleyChat favorite and was recently featured in the blog Boing Boing.

In the Media

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A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention, Matt Richtel, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio), OverDrive Sample

If you heard Richtel speak at this year’s BEA/AAP Librarians Lunch, you won’t forget his quiet passion about the dangers of texting and driving, as illustrated by one young man’s life that was ruined by a moment’s inattention. The basis for the book is Richtel’s New York Times articles about “distracted driving,” which won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2010. This week, his article, “Trying to Hit the Brake on Texting While Driving” appeared in the business section, as did a second one, “A Texting Driver’s Education,” excerpted from the book.

How to Build a Girl, Caitlin Moran, (Harper; HarperAudio), OverDrive Sample

“A British version of Almost Famous, delivered from a female perspective and set two decades later … dirtier and funnier … it’s a sexual coming-of-age story as much as anything else — and one that, crucially, has a hard, glowing kernel of class awareness,” says Dwight Garner in a review in the NYT this week.  Lena Dunham, to whom Moran has also been compared, contributes a blurb, featured in a bright pink spot on the cover,  “I have so much love for Caitlin Moran.” Dunham’s own book, Not That Kind of Girl, (Random House; RH Audio), arrives in a couple of weeks.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, Jeff Hobbs, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), OverDrive Sample

One of the titles that New York magazine dubbed, “the hottest of Book Expo 2014,” (all but one of which has gone on to receive major attention), this is the true story of the author’s former Yale roommate, who seemed to be on the path to success after a rocky start. It gets a gotta-read-it cover review in the 9/21 New York Times Book Review and the author is slated for an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition on Tuesday.

Nat’l Book Award Nominee on FRESH AIR

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

9780374292089_d4ec8The founder of the indie rock band The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle, was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. He is also the author of Wolf in White Van, (Macmillan/FSG), released on Monday and just announced as one of the titles on the National Book Awards longlist. The interview begins with Darnielle reading from the opening of the book. Listen here.

The book is also reviewed on NPR’s web site.

The author is also interviewed in the new issue of  New York Magazine.

OverDrive Sample

Note: Some sources say this is Darnielle’s first novel, but it’s actually his second, after Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, (2008), which is still available from Bloomsbury/Continiuum and is on several library catalogs.

NPR Loves BROKEN MONSTERS

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

9780316216821_1f1ebWe had to invent a new category, “Hard to Call,”  for Lauren Beukes’s new title, Broken Monsters, (Hachette/Mulholland Books) in our look-ahead to books arriving this week. Its graphic murder scenes and “grotesque and perpetual sense of doom,” as Entertainment Weekly says, may put off readers.

NPR’s reviewer has no such problem saying, “You could say that she’s as edgy as James Ellroy, as creepy as Stephen King and as darkly funny as Kurt Vonnegut, but Beukes is an author whose work is resistant to easy comparisons. Broken Monsters is one of the most remarkable books of the year, and one of the best suspense novels you’ll read in quite some time.” Stephen King himself tweeted that it’s “Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn’t put it down.”

Buekes’s 2013 title, The Shining Girls, (Hachette/Mulholland), was dubbed  “a strong contender for the role of this summer’s universal beach read,”  by the NYT‘s Janet Maslin. While it didn’t achieve that status, it received some strong reviews and hit #13 on the L.A. Times best seller list.

If you want to judge this one for yourself, you can read the grisly first chapter in the OverDrive Sample. Tell us what you think in the comments.

FACTORY MAN Headed to HBO

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9780316231435_f1fc7Beth Macy’s nonfiction debut, Factory Man, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 7/15), which received media attention when it was published this summer, is being developed by Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, for an HBO mini-series, reports Deadline.

The book’s subtitle outlines the story, How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local–And Helped Save An American Town. It received strong support from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, who called it “in a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down.”  The author was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air in July (read the first three chapters via OverDrive).

The book debuted at #10 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-fiction Best Sellers list during its first week on sale, remained on the main list for 3 weeks, and continued on the extended list for 4 more weeks.

Playtone is also producing the upcoming Olive Kitteridge miniseries for HBO, to debut Nov. 2, and is set to begin production on another mini series adaptation, based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s book about Lewis and Clark, Undaunted Courage, (S&S, 1997), with Casey Affleck in the role of  Meriwether Lewis.

BONE CLOCKS Best Seller

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9781400065677_611e9-2Many were surprised that David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, (Random House, 9/2/14; Recorded Books) didn’t make the transition from the Booker longlist to the shortlist, but Mitchell can take solace in the fact that it debuts at #3 on the 9/21 NYT Hardcover Fiction best Seller list, the highest spot so far for any of the published longlist titles.

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, is a fan. She alerted branch staff last week,

I love it when the customers are ahead of me! David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) has come roaring back with yet another spendidly written, mind-bending read. I thought The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet was brilliant, but this book is astounding, and the customers have snatched every last copy.

The heroine — if you can call her that — is Holly Sykes (Holly, as in GoLightly? Sykes as in Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist?) David Mitchell loves nothing more than to keep you wondering, and wonder you will. He’s also one of the most evocative writers I’ve ever read, literally painting pictures with words — it’s no wonder Hollywood is tempted to make films of his books. To say he enjoys playing with the timeline, and your reality, is an understatement, and of course, that’s his plan. It’s your job to relax and enjoy the ride.

You don’t really read Mitchell, so much as experience him. If you haven’t read Mitchell, this is the perfect novel with which to start.

Happy Experiencing!

You can read the first chapter via OverDrive.