Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of October 17, 2016

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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The holds leader among the titles that arrive in the upcoming week is the next in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series, Escape Clause, (PRH/Putnam; Penguin Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample). Close behind in holds is Jojo Moyes’s Paris for One and Other Stories (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample). It is a People pick for the week: “Moyes in in fine, cheeky form in this collection of short fiction, deploying the wit and charm that animates Me Before You and her other popular novels.”

James Patterson comes up with a new twist on his BookShots series of short original paperbacks next week, collecting four of the titles into a hardcover edition, Kill or Be Killed: Thrillers (Hachette/BookShots Series; OverDrive Sample) also available in large print, the first time any BookShots titles have been available in that format.

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More Christmas novels also arrive, with two authors trying their hand at them for the first time: David Rosenfelt’s The Twelve Dogs of Christmas: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Beth Harbison’s A Shoe Addict’s Christmas (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Jay Asher’s second YA novel, after the very popular Thirteen Reasons Why, is also a Christmas novel, What Light (Penguin Young Readers/Razorbill; Penguin Audio/Listening LibraryOverDrive Sample), about a girl whose family owns a Christmas tree farm. Booklist calls it a “surprising change of direction … a frothy, peppermint-in-hot-cocoa romance … Certain to please readers seeking an escapist, feel-good holiday read.” The Netflix adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why is currently in production. Asher recently spoke to the students in the California high school where filming recently wrapped.

These titles, and those highlighted below, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, Earlyword New Title Radar Week of Oct 17.

Media Attention

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The Magnolia Story, Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines (Thomas Nelson; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The hosts of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper hit the cover of People magazine for their first book. The show returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, November 29th. Another HGTV star, Nicole Curtis, host of Rehab Addict, is also releasing a book this week, Better Than NewLessons I’ve Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me) (PRH/Artisan; OverDrive Sample).

9781627790345_3039fHomeward Bound: The Life Of Paul Simon (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The fall season has brought many new books by and about musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and the Beach Boys. People‘s “Book of the Week” is about another artist from the same era, Paul Simon. They write, “This touching biography details the singer’s Queens youth, his beginnings with Art Garfunkel and the road to stardom. … Pure pleasure.”

Best Cookbooks 

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Two titles from the NYT‘s selection of The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016, arrive this week:

Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead, Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs (PRH/Ten Speed; OverDrive Sample). It was also reviewed separately in the NYT with the headline “Practical Magic for the Modern Cook.”

The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, Marcus Samuelson (HMH/Rux Martin; OverDrive Sample). Also reviewed separately in the NYT.

Award Contender

9781510719217_57c57His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, Graeme MaCrae Burnet (Skyhorse Publishing; OverDrive Sample).

The last of the Man Booker finalists to be published in the US, this title was originally published by the tiny 2-person Scottish house Saraband (see our earlier coverage). The novel earned praise from The Guardian, which said “The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus.”

Peer Picks

It is another very busy publishing week with twelve new peer picks hitting shelves, including two Library Reads selections from the October list:

9780544527959_2fdc4Smoke and Mirrors, Elly Griffiths (HMH; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Thrilled for another opportunity to enjoy DI Stephens and Max Mephisto joining forces against crime and intrigue. It may appear light hearted with its theatrical/magician twist, but these detective stories are full of dark happenings. Solving the gruesome murder of two local children dampens the holiday spirit in this small town. The lead characters are very enjoyable and the theater setting so unique. I enjoyed the love interest/overprotected daughter story line as well! Very much looking forward to the next installment.” — Carol Ward, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Solon, OH

9781492637257_07f82The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Einstein. Just hearing that name likely brings a smile to your face, as you picture the mischievous wild-haired scientist with the twinkle in his eye. In The Other Einstein, readers get a view of the woman behind the genius, his first wife Mileva Maric, a strong willed and brilliant physics student who refused to let society dictate her life’s path, but who lost her way when love came on the scene. Benedict has penned an engaging tale that will likely inspire readers to investigate the true story behind Maric’s genius and her personal and professional relationship with Einstein.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next pick for October and Canadian librarians made it a LoanStar October pick. It tops Bustle‘s list of “12 New Novels Every History Buff Needs To Read” and Popsugar included it among their “25 Books You’re Going to Want to Curl Up With This Fall.”

Selections from book sellers span their October and November Indie Next lists. One more from October is 9780316337540_bff94Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South, Beth Macy (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“In the early 20th century, Albino African American brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but also tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the height of the Jim Crow South, when black lives didn’t matter and lynching was at its peak. The mother’s persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup her sons’ wages and achieve a better standard of living is at the heart of this true story, an inside look at the historical depths of American racism.” —Joan Grenier, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Additional Buzz: It is a Kirkus Prize Finalist and a Carnegie Medal Longlist selection. Entertainment Weekly picked it as one of their fall reading choices. The author will be part of C-SPAN’s coverage of the 28th annual Southern Festival of Books in Nashville this weekend.

The remaining selections are from the Indie Next November list:

9780062378743_3f5f1Inheriting Edith, Zoe Fishman (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“It’s a familiar cast of characters: a single mom raising a spunky kid; an older woman descending into Alzheimer’s; the inhabitants of a small town; a nice eligible man. And then comes the twist: the single mom and the older woman aren’t related by blood, but connected through the older woman’s now deceased daughter. With humor and heart, long-held secrets come to light and special bonds are formed. Inheriting Edith is both entertaining and poignant.” —Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

9780062397836_9fed7Mister Monkey, Francine Prose (HC/Harper; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“I came to this book expecting to be entertained, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. But in the wise and observant ways of Prose, Mister Monkey is more than just a protracted joke. The story begins in the narrow spaces of a theater so to be demolished for condos and widens as Prose shifts points of view from actor to costume designer to writer to waiter to Hindu deity and back to the stage. Adolescent rage, loneliness, divinity, the end of the world, the beginning of love, the way we fail to live up to our dreams for ourselves, the fear of our own mediocrity, the unexpected victories that are the grace that fills the spaces made by disappointment: these are the soul of this novel with an agile, monkey heart. Both deeply moving and light, this is one of my favorite novels of the year.” —Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

Additional Buzz: It is a Carnegie Medal Longlist selection and made the Fall Reading list of the New York Magazine and WSJ. Bustle picked it as one of the “12 Best New Fiction Out In October To Read On A Cozy Fall Day.”

9780316267724_1a04aIQ, Joe Ide (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“IQ is the nickname of Isaiah Quintabe, who, despite being a high-school dropout, is absolutely brilliant and has amazing deductive skills. Living on the rough side of Long Beach, California, he is an underground detective who takes on cases in the city’s ghettoes that the LAPD refuses to handle. Beginning with a kidnapping and moving to a case involving the assassination attempt on a famous rapper, IQ represents a positive influence in this tough environment of gang warfare, drugs, murders, and prostitution. A mixture of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, the craziness of Don Winslow’s Savages, and the classic mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, this debut will spark interest and open up this particular world to new readers.” —Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Additional Buzz: Deadline Hollywood reports that the rights sold in a seven-way bidding war for developed into a drama series. The Washington Post review calls it “One of the most original thrillers of the year.” It is one of Literary Hub‘s “18 Books You Should Read This October,The Hollywood Reporter picks it as one of “20 Must-Reads” of the season, and Entertainment Weekly counts it among the “8 mysteries and thrillers to chill you this fall.”

9780385539906_12849A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The Gambler vs. the House. Alexander Bruno’s journey as a psychically abled, top-notch backgammon player illuminates themes of reward and loss, purpose and fulfillment in this engaging, thought-provoking yarn. Lethem’s prose is on point, and his allusions and references resonate strongly. His description of this world — fast, oddly comical, sardonic, and, at most times, without sense or reason — is poignant and heavy-hitting, full of breath without being overly winded. Another winner from Lethem, who has established himself firmly amongst the top dogs of intelligent contemporary literary fiction.” —Blake Smith, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

Additional Buzz: It’s reviewed by Kurt Anderson on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Book Review, as well as a daily review by Dwight Garner (as part of the new direction, with both the daily and Sunday review reporting to Pamela Paul, this is not an accident, but indicates that the book was considered important enough for double coverage). Anderson notes this is Lethem’s  tenth novel, making him “among the most prolific of the name-brand literary novelists of his generation,” and that “Lethem has said that after ending his youthful sci-fi phase and becoming a certified big deal, he felt pressure to  ‘stay major!’ . . . to only write books as long, sorrowful and wide-screen as The Fortress of Solitude, but that he chose instead to write ‘other kinds of books.’ A Gambler’s Anatomy is the best so far of those other kinds of books.”

Garner, however, goes ahead and compares this new book  to the author’s earlier efforts to write The Great American novel, and finds that, in comparison, that this is a “fluky novel, not among Mr. Lethem’s very best. Its themes are underdeveloped, and it moves in zigs and zags, like a squirrel in headlights,” amusingly saying “it plays at its best like a Twilight Zone episode filmed by the Coen brothers.”

The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles gives a rundown of the story (his print review is here).

9780393292305_15aacNobody’s Son: A Memoir, Mark Slouka (W. W. Norton & Company; OverDrive Sample).

‘This is a grueling, soul-searching study of memory and personal pain written in the most soaring prose. To some extent, most of us think we came from dysfunctional families, but this memoir is going to become the calibration standard for dysfunction. How Slouka survived his parents and their scarred Czech pasts, their humiliating years as refugees, and their years of unhappy marriage in America is a small miracle. What’s left are some large emotional holes that Slouka attempts to patch up in front of the reader. An absolutely mesmerizing read.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

9780393292329_f9284The Fall Guy, James Lasdun (Norton; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Fall Guy, which starts innocently enough, introduces its three main characters as they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a calm summer sojourn upstate. Things take a Lynchian turn when Charlie and Chloe’s guest, Charlie’s cousin Matthew, notices what appears to be duplicitous behavior within and outside their home. Lasdun does an incredible job of slowly ratcheting up the suspense, earning the reader’s trust with his spare, pitch-perfect language, and upending expectations on every page. Morally complex characters, a sly and inventive take on the guilt and shame of modern-day banking, and prose as sensuous as some of the novel’s sexiest scenes are just a few of the many rewards of Lasdun’s latest, and greatest, novel.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: It is on the Fall Reading list made by Entertainment Weekly.

9781250110565_bf671The Next: A Novel Of Love, Revenge and a Ghost Who Can’t Let Go by Stephanie Gangi (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“With only hours left before cancer kills her, Joanna DeAngelis is dying badly. Instead of focusing on saying goodbye to her daughters and her beloved dog, she spends her last day cyber-stalking her ex-boyfriend and his Internet-famous new girlfriend. When Joanna draws her last breath, mysterious heavenly powers decide that she needs to resolve a few things before moving on to the next world. What happens when ghost-Joanna returns to New York City bent on revenge is terrifying, funny, and, finally, break-out-the-tissues touching. A gorgeous book about love in all its forms: familial, canine, romantic, lost and found again.” —Hillary Nelson, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH

Additional Buzz: Popsugar names it one of “12 Books to Binge On Before the Girl on the Train Movie” and Bustle list is among “21 Novels By Women To Add to Your TBR Pile This Fall.”

9781439140239_045adThe Girl from Venice, Martin Cruz Smith (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Fans of Gorky Park and other Arkady Renko mysteries are about to be surprised. The Girl From Venice is not a mystery, and it takes place in Venice at the end of WWII, not in countries of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. The pace is still taut, however, and the characters still fascinating. Italy in the last days of the war, with the Germans retreating and everyone hedging their bets, is a complicated place to be, one where every future is uncertain and one very fitting for a master of subtlety like Smith.” —Olga Onal, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

9781501121142_2703cThe German Girl, Armando Lucas Correa (S&S/Atria Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“On May 13, 1939, the S.S. St. Louis set sail from Germany to Cuba with many Jewish passengers fleeing Hitler. Despite all best efforts, they were turned away from Cuba, the U.S., and Canada, forcing the ship to return to Europe, where many of the passengers would die in Hitler’s death camps. Correa puts a human face on this shameful episode. Hannah Rosenthal, the daughter of wealthy aristocrats, was 12 when she boarded the St. Louis. Seven decades later, Anna Rosen receives a package from an unknown relative in Cuba that inspires her and her mother to travel to Cuba to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past. A masterful debut!” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

Additional Buzz: People gives a nod the author, the editor in chief People en Espanyol, making it a pick of the week, saying it “brings the refugee experience alive in the timely must-read.” Sister publication Entertainment Weekly features an interview with the author.

The Spanish-language edition, La niña alemana  will receive attention on Spanish-language TV and, of course, in People en Espanol.

• CNN en Espanol-TV/’Camilo,’ October 17
• Univision-Radio/’Maria Marin,’ October 17
• Telemundo-TV/’Un Nueva Dia,’ October 18
• Univision-TV/’Despierta America,’ October 18
• November issue of People en Espanol


9781101884164_9b0c3One tie-in this week, The Making of Outlander: The Series: The Official Guide to Seasons One & Two, Tara Bennett (PRH/Delacorte Press; OverDrive Sample). It is a behind-the-scenes account of what it took to create the series as well as a guide to the two seasons aired thus far.

No air date has been set for season three, but Den of Geek offers a run down of what is known about the upcoming show.

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

Vegging Out

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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Vegan cooking got a huge boost yesterday from NPR’s Fresh Air.

The lauded chefs and owners of Philadelphia’s Vedge and V Street restaurants, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, join host Terry Gross in a lengthy interview that sent both of their books, each named after their eateries, soaring up the Amazon rankings.

Their newest book, V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking (HarperCollins/Morrow Cookbooks) rose from #1,703 to #12 while their 2013 title, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking (Workman/The Experiment), rose from #56,116 to #334.

Gross opens the show by introducing the married couple as “two vegan chefs who are working to redefine cooking with vegetables to make the food exciting and satisfying, even for meat eaters.”

Landau says, “I’ve told people for years it’s not really meat that tastes so good. It’s what chefs do to it that tastes so good. And we’re trying to put that same attention into vegetables.”

Asked about the story behind V Street,”inspired by street food from around the world” Jacoby says they have found “really interesting cultural food experiences that complemented the fine dining” they experienced while travelling. The couple has been drawn to Japanese food, finding it the most seasonal, and also to Moroccan dishes.

Landau says “The flavors were just so amazing. It was kind of like Indian food in the sense that they used all these spices, and yet, you never really tasted one spice in the final dish. You tasted this kind of … great symbiosis of all these spices working together to make one final beautiful flavor.”

The entire conversation ranges from eating vegan on the road, to allergies, to food porn, to the value of creating food you believe in.

Eater gives a sense of the foodie world’s reception to the couple’s approach.

ROGUE One, Final Trailer

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One debuted today on CBS This Morning.

9780345511492_69ed9The two and a half minute trailer is examined for clues to the story line by The Verge noting, “Disney has been careful to downplay its expectations for Rogue One. It’s the first major film set outside of the traditional saga, and has been characterized as ‘an experiment’ by the company’s CEO, Bob Iger.”

There are several tie-ins, of course but, following the precedent set by The Force Awakens, the official novelizations for Rogue One will not be released until after the film premieres on Dec. 16, 2016, to avoid spoilers.

Arriving ahead of the movie is a prequel, the Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel, (PRH/Del Rey, Nov. 15, 2016) written by James Luceno, the author of a number of earlier Star Wars titles.

See our downloadable list here. Our full list of upcoming tie-ins here.

FAITHFUL Tops LibraryReads List

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

9781476799209_1971cLibraryReads-FavoriteThe number one pick by librarians this November is Faithful by Alice Hoffman (S&S; S&S Audio), at the top of the just released LibraryReads list of monthly favorites.

“With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also the #1 pick by booksellers, topping the November Indie Next List. It also impressed Canadian librarians, featuring on their Loan Stars list.

Below is a sample of some of the other books on the ten-title list:

9781400069880_cde2eVictoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, Julia Baird (PRH/Random House).

“When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird’s compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird’s research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained.” — Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

Additional Buzz: Victoria is about to be a hot topic with the debut of an 8-part TV series focused on the early years of her reign. Victoria will run in January on PBS Masterpiece in the same time slot Downton Abbey once occupied. Additionally Daisy Goodwin will publish a novel about the queen this November, Victoria (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press).

9780374534974_d88abNormal, Warren Ellis (Macmillan/FSG Originals).

“Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that ‘we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.’ Witty and insightful, Ellis’s writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: The techno-thriller first published as an e-serial. Wired reports on Ellis’s experimentation and the growing trend of digital serialization as “the next step in binge-friendly reading.” has an interview and there are several reports on the attention Ellis receives as a groundbreaking graphic novelist. Moviepilot writes about the forthcoming TV adaption of his series Trees and The Hollywood Reporter writes about his new “pop-up imprint” with DC comics.

9780385541527_eaf86Orphans of the Carnival, Carol Birch (PRH/Doubleday).

“Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can’t get past what they see because Julia’s face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be “other,” to always be on the outside looking in.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Additional Buzz: Also a November Indie Next selection. The Guardian review was not strong but they praised it on Twitter, excerpting their strongest line: “Roll up, roll up, for a beautifully written novel about the poignant inner life of 19th-century touring freakshow attraction.”

Live Chat Today with Author Heather Bouwman, 5 to 6 p.m., ET

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

To ask a question or make a comment click on the box below, enter your name, then hit “Set.”

The chat is moderated. You can send your questions through at any time. They’ll go into a queue, and we’ll submit as many of them as we can to Heather before the end of the chat.

Live Blog Live Chat with H. M. Bouwman – A CRACK IN THE SEA

Take Every Road

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

169565Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle (HC/HarperOne; Harper Audio) is an inspirational travel story about a 90-year-old woman facing a cancer diagnosis who took to the road with her son and daughter-in-law in an RV.

It will not be on bookshelves until May 2, 2017 but it is already in Amazon’s Top 100, catapulting up those rankings more than a hundred thousand places to move from #103,745 to #98.

That giant leap coincides with a brief story on All Things Considered about learning to live in the moment.

Shortly after becoming a widow, Norma learned she had cancer. Rather than spend the time left to her in hospitals and treatment rooms, Norma told her doctor, “Nope, I’m not doing any of that,” and spent her last year on a great adventure.

She discovered she loved key lime pie, and traveled to places, even those near by, she had never seen.

The book is born out of blog that her daughter-in-law kept that recounts the travels and character of Norma as she lived her last year to the fullest.

She died last week at 91, celebrated by her family “on the other side of the country from where her RV adventures began.”

Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living:
• ISBN: 9780062664327
• ISBN 10: 0062664328
• Imprint: HarperOne
• On Sale: 05/02/2017

N.K. Jemisin on Peter S. Beagle and New SFF

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

The 2016 Hugo Award-winning novelist, N.K. Jemisin, returns with another of her NYT‘s columns focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy.

As we have written, she is a demanding and discriminating consumer of fiction. As a critic she is vibrantly engaged and is not willing to let much slide. As a reader she is interested in meaningful content rather than plot, values beautiful language, and appreciates in-depth characterizations. Since last December she has been sharing her views on Science Fiction and Fantasy in the NYT book review column “Otherwordly,” a bi-monthly roundup.

This month she takes on four works, a space opera, a graphic novel, the return of a beloved voice in Fantasy, and creepy speculative fiction.

9781616962449_ff216The work she clearly likes best is the long awaited return of Peter S. Beagle, a favorite of Fantasy readers for books such as The Last Unicorn. His newest novel in 17 years is Summerlong (Tachyon Publications), a contemporary take on the Persephone myth.

Jemisin writes that the characters are “fully textured,” the story is about “how ordinary people change, and are changed by, the numinous,” and the setting is beautifully realized:

“It’s a rare story of summer that feels like the summer — like dreamy intense passions rising and arcing and then spinning away; like beauty underlaid with a tinge of sadness because it is ephemeral. Beagle has captured that seasonal warmth here, beautifully, magically.”

9781632156945_bb8a6She also writes favorably about Pretty Deadly Volume 2: The Bear by Kelly Sue De Connick with art by Emma Ríos (Image Comics; OverDrive Sample), saying at its core it is “a masterpiece of mythopoeism that many literary fantasists struggle to emulate.”

She describes the story as a “weird western saga [that] gleefully, dreamily fuses a Greek chorus, spaghetti westerns, American trickster tales and creepy Japanese shoujo (girls’) manga.”

She is not a complete fan of the coloring in the comic, but says “This is a minor flaw. Every other element of this tale is a perfectly balanced mixture of the macabre with pure human poignancy. New readers will need Volume 1 too, but the return on investment is more than worthwhile.”

Vol.1 is Pretty Deadly: The Shrike (Image Comics; OverDrive Sample).

The full column is online. it ran in last week’s Sunday Book Review.


Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

9780345544957_b58a3Jodi Picoult appeared today on CBS This Morning to talk about her new novel Small Great Things (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Host Gayle King opened the interview by saying the book is “thought-provoking … interesting … and so timely” and asked Picoult how a “white woman of privilege” writes a book confronting racism.

Picoult acknowledged it “was not her story to tell” and said she met with a group of women of color for over 100 hours and had them vet the voice of the character Ruth. She also met with two former skinheads to learn “why they went into a life of hate and how they came out of a life of hate.”

Asked about the title, Picoult says it is from a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and means that racism is perpetuated and dismantled by individual acts.

Charlie Rose asked her how to engage in a meaningful conversations about race. Picoult answers that, while it is hard to have such discussions without offending someone, choosing not to talk about racism in itself perpetuates the issue.

Saying that racism is not just about prejudice but also about power, she talks about the headwinds of racism that impede success but also the tailwinds of racism that power the success of the privileged.

Hitting Screens,
Week of Oct 10, 2016

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Despite fears about Hurricane Matthew closing many theaters, Girl on the Train rolled to its expected major box office opening over the weekend. On the other hand, The Birth of a Nation, about a slave uprising, considered a major Oscar contender, did not do as well as expected.

mv5bmjiyoty0mjcxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxmte5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Next week, two film adaptations open, one in theaters and the other on TV, and a new BBC series begins on PBS Masterpiece.

Set in Montana and opening in limited release on Oct. 14 is Certain Women, which the Toronto Film Festival site describes as “a tripartite portrait of striving, independent women whose lives intersect in suggestive and powerful ways.”

It is getting strong reviews. Calling the director among the “great American filmmakers,” Variety said few “can do quite as much with quiet as Kelly Reichardt. Superficially empty soundscapes are layered so intricately with the rustle of nature, the brooding of weather and the breathing of preoccupied people that her films come to seem positively noisy to a sympathetic ear. So it is in the marvelous Certain Women, where the storytelling has a similarly latent impact.”

It stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Lily Gladstone and is based on short stories from Maile Meloy’s collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (PRH/Riverhead, 2009), specifically, says Variety “Tome,” “Native Sandstone” and “Travis B.”

A tie-in edition has not been released.

mv5bnzq3zjm1ntctognjzc00mgywltkwodatnwu3ndmyytywotnixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntezmzqznzq-_v1_sy1000_cr0010371000_al_Coming to Masterpiece, The Durrells in Corfu. It is a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels says PBS.

It airs Sundays, October 16th through November 20th and stars Keeley Hawes from Upstairs Downstairs “as the an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21.”

A hit across the pond, ITV reports the show will run in the UK for its second season.

There is a tie-in:
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell (PRH/Penguin).

mv5bmtcznzk2mzawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwntkxmtu5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_Also airing on TV is The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, based on the Charlaine Harris character of a crime-solving librarian. The series began in 2007 with Real Murders, the most recent is the 2016 title All the Little Liars.

Hallmark has previously aired episodes based on the first three novels in the series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse.

The newest adapts the fourth novel, The Julius House. All star Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure.

New tie-ins have not been issued.


Picoult Rising

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

9780345544957_b58a3Already high on Amazon’s sales rankings Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), jumped even higher, rising from #54 to #36 on the strength of NPR Weekend Edition Saturday‘s feature.

Interviews by Scott Simon, the author of the LibraryReads pick which addresses the insidious effect of racism, opens with a gripping plot summary:

“Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Connecticut … is barred from tending to a newborn baby by the baby’s parents. Ruth Jefferson is African-American. Brittany and Turk Bauer are white supremacists. But Davis, their baby, goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is on duty, briefly alone in the nursery. Should she disobey the order she’s been given by the hospital or touch the baby to try to save him? And does her slight hesitation doom the newborn boy?”

Picoult says the story was inspired by a Flint, Michigan case and her desire to tell the story from different points of view,  “the African-American nurse, the white public defender and the skinhead father, as they all confronted their beliefs about power and privilege and race.”

Simon asks about the timeliness of the novel and Picoult responds “any time in the past 200 years would have been timely.”

All Rise for RBG

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

9781501145247_4fd79The Supreme Court Justice who has become an unlikely cultural icon, complete with her own Rap nick name, the Notorious RBG (also the title of a  best selling book), has published  My Own Words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is a collection of writings and speeches on a wide range of legal and social issues, such as gender equality, but also her life, such as her love of opera and being Jewish.

Jane Pauley, who just taken over as the hots of CBS Sunday Morning, interviews the justice, calling her life one of “achievement and loss.” Just two days before she graduated from high school her mother died, leaving Ginsburg with advice she has never forgotten, “She said two things: Be a lady and be independent. Be a lady meant don’t give way to emotions that sap your energy, like anger. Take a deep breath and speak calmly.”

Perhaps part of being a lady as well are the collars RBG is so famous for wearing. She shows Pauley a few, including her “dissenting collar — It’s black and grim.”

After graduating first in her class from Columbia law school she got no job offers. She says, quoting another overlooked female law expert, “my dear colleague, Sandra Day O’Connor, put that very well. She said, ‘If Ruth and I came of age at a time when there was no discrimination against women, we would be retired partners in a major law firm.’”

Her achievements are many but her first national test came in 1972 when she wrote the first Supreme Court brief on gender discrimination. She is also remarkably collegial. She calls the Court the most collegial place she has ever worked and is famous for her friendship with the late Antonin Scalia.

A workaholic, she says “I will do this job as long as I feel that I can do it full steam. At my age, you have to take it year by year. So this year I know I’m fine. What will be next year or the next year? I can’t predict.”

Ginsburg will also be featured on CBS This Morning, PBS’s Newshour, and Charlie Rose.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of October 10, 2016

Friday, October 7th, 2016

9780316274050_f69e2  9780763656003_b7def  9780399167850_12b6b

Ever attuned to trends, James Patterson releases his first true crime title next week, complete with two co-authors and a double subtitle, Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein, with John Connolly and Tim Malloy (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). In picture books, Jon Klassen ends his hat trilogy (I Want My Hat Back, 2011, and This Is Not My Hat, 2012) with a story about two turtle friends who find their relationship threatened when they both covet a white cowboy hat, We Found a Hat (Candlewick). Reviews promise a surprising twist at the end. In YA, a popular trilogy also concludes with Marie Lu’s The Midnight Star (PRH/Putnam Young Readers; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

In addition, Vince Flynn releases a new thriller and Laurell K. Hamilton the next title in her vampire series. All these titles, along with other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 10, 2016.

Media Attention

9781476723402_8577dHungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing, Jennifer Weiner (S&S/Atria, S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The description of the newest Oprah pick sounded so much like her own upcoming book that Jennifer Weiner happily prepared to see the magic sticker on the cover of her new book. Her hopes were dashed when the pick actually turned out to be Love Warrior. As reports, she tweeted her disappointment, and later withdrew it, apologizing for being “petty.” She said she’d been going through a rough time because a film deal recently fell through (she doesn’t name the deal. Perhaps it is the one that was recently reported by Hollywood trades, for her just released middle-grade book, The Littlest Big Foot).

People magazine has covered aspects of the book, including, “Why Author Jennifer Weiner Chose to Reveal Her Father Died from a Drug Overdose” and “Author Jennifer Weiner Reveals Why She Had Weight Loss Surgery.” She is scheduled to appear on CBS This Morning on Monday.

Award Contender


Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien, (Norton; OverDrive Sample; Recorded Books audio coming in April).

On the Man Booker shortlist as well as the Carnegie Medal longlist, and, just recently announced, the lists for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award and Giller Prize, the author’s third novel is just being released in the US. There have been no consumer press reviews here yet (in a pre-pub review, Publishers Weekly gave it a star). Earlier this summer, Canada’s The Globe and Mail wrote that the book “cements Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists” and that the story is a “gorgeous intergenerational saga, stretching as far back at the 1940s and traversing China” told from the perspective of a woman living in present-day Vancouver, who begins the book with the story of her father’s suicide.

Peer Picks

After last week’s overflow of peer recommendations, October 10th brings just four, but they include two October LibraryReads selections: one of the buzziest debuts of the year and the return of a reader-favorite.

9780399184512_1ca7cThe Mothers, Brit Bennett (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothers asks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

Additional Buzz: Bennett was recently named one of The National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35,” selected by Jacqueline Woodson, writing that Britt’s debut is “a stellar novel — moving, thoughtful. Stunning … [she is] the real thing.” It is the #1 Indie Next pick for October, with Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL, writing “The Mothers is an honest, modern, and triumphant book.” Essence says “Bennett’s hypnotic writing hooks you from the very beginning and never lets you go in this spine-tingling study of destiny.BuzzFeed ran an excerpt and Vogue ran a profile. It earned starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly and made the Fall Reading lists of Amazon’s Editors, BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, and WSJ.

9780345544957_b58a3Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“A black neonatal nurse is charged with causing the death of a white supremacist’s newborn baby. The story is told from the points of view of the nurse, her attorney, and the baby’s heartbroken father. As always, Picoult’s attention to legal, organizational, and medical details help the tale ring true. What sets this book apart, though, are the uncomfortable points it makes about racism. The novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, and will surely spark conversations among friends, families and book clubs.” — Laurie Van Court, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

Additional Buzz: It is an October Indie Next selection and a Fall Reading pick by Amazon’s Editors and USA Today. In Style selected it as one of the “5 Books You Need to Read in October 2016” and Canadian librarians picked it as one of their Loan Stars titles. The author is scheduled for an interview tomorrow on NPR’ss Weekend Edition Saturday and many reviews are in the works.

Two additional Indie Next picks also pub this week:

9781770413030_4acceThe Clay Girl, Heather Tucker (ECW Press).

“Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who is both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not one iota of love for anyone but herself. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of take-your-breath-away writing, and Ari joins the ranks of heroines who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.” —Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, CA

9781771961011_bd079The Life-Writer, David Constantine (Consortium/Biblioasis; OverDrive Sample).

“Occasionally tragic and always tender, Constantine’s novel is a moving exploration of the ways in which we relate to the people we love. After the death of her husband, Katrin — a literary biographer who has dedicated her career to recording the lives of obscure and largely unsuccessful writers — finds herself drawn to a new project: telling the story of the early life and first love of the man she would later marry. A remarkable story of grief, rediscovery, and reconciliation.” —Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

9780545946124_15ddcThe Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).

This new take on Grimms’ fairy tales earns the coveted all-star status this week, getting starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. It is also a Fall Reading pick from Amazon’s Editors.



Two additional tie-ins for Trolls arrive this week:







Trolls Graphic Novels #1: Hugs & Friends, Dave Scheidt, Tini Howard, and Kathryn Hudson (Macmillan/Papercutz; also in trade paperback).

The Art of Trolls, Jerry Schmitz (PGW and Legato/Cameron + Company).

The movie opens Nov. 4.

Read our earlier coverage here and here and follow the tie-in link below for an extensive list of additional titles.

9781484743584_af29fThere is also a new tie-in for Moana:

The Story of Moana: A Tale of Courage and Adventure, Disney Book Group (Hachette/Disney Press).

The newest Disney animated film opens Nov. 23.

Read our earlier coverage here and here and find an extensive list of additional titles by following the tie-in link below.

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


Thursday, October 6th, 2016

9780544319592_8a3dc“Some Pig” declared Charlotte the spider in E.B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Web. Melissa Sweet, a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator, borrows that line to title her new biography of the beloved author, Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White (HMH Books for Young Readers).

The title is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping from #1,275 to #160, the result of coverage on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Sweet, a collage artist, created the booking letters, manuscript drafts, photos, illustrations, and more, offering readers, young and old, layered, detailed, and colorful images to investigate.

All Things Considered calls it “delightful” and outlines how White came up with his two most famous story ideas, “Stuart Little came to him in a dream,” says Sweet, “one he had on a train. He woke up and wrote it all down … The beginning of Charlotte’s Web was because he had a sick pig that died and E.B. White wanted redemption. He wanted to find a way to save the pig’s life.”

The book, which Sweet calls a “176-page picture book biography” earned starred reviews from Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.

The NPR page features some of the wonderful illustrations, more can be seen in the book video below and in this feature by PW.

Live Chat with
Lindsey Lee Johnson,
Author of

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The live chat has now ended. You can read it below.

Join us for the next live chat with Alex George, author of Setting Free the Kites, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4 to 5 p.m., ET.

To join the program, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Lindsey Lee Johnson – THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH


Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

9781476795997_dc7e6Dogs have the ability to create “a picture of the world through smell” says Alexandra Horowitz in her new book Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings after a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air, bounding up the charts to #94 from #8,258.

During the program Horowitz discusses how dog’s snouts work, that they can smell what time of day it is, and their work conducting search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and cancer diagnosis. They can even smell electronics law officers want to locate. So amazing is their ability that they can smell a trace sent at a measurement of a trillionth of a gram.

Horowitz explains that dogs breathe differently than humans and their exhale, through the side of their nose, helps them hold onto scents longer, “It’s like a circular breathing of smelling. It also creates a little puff on the ground, a puff of air that might actually allow more odor molecules to come up toward their nose to be sniffed.”

She also discusses how important dog’s interactions with different smells are, warning, says NPR, “that pulling dogs away from smell-rich environments, such as fire hydrants and tree trunks, can cause them to lose their predisposition to smell.”

When we force dogs away from their smelling time and into the visual world we recognize, Horowitz says dogs “start attending to our pointing and our gestures and our facial expressions more, and less to smells.” She continues:

“I really am trying to counter what I and lots of owners have done our whole lives, which is discourage smelling. In fact, instead I’m trying to embrace it. So on a ‘smell walk,’ I just let the dog choose what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, and how long we’re going to stay there. … I just let the dog take charge. Sometimes our walks are pretty much standing around, actually, but I think the dog is enjoying himself.”

9781416583431The interview connected with listeners, so much so that an older book by Horowitz also saw a jump. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (S&S/Scribner; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample). It  rose from #8,761 all the way to #302 on Amazon’s rankings.

For those who prefer cats, a report published yesterday in the The Wall Street Journal [subscription may be required] says watching cute cat videos makes people feel “significantly happier, more content and more energized … as well as less anxious, less annoyed and less sad.” Do yourself a favor and watch this:

Back to the dogs, here is the Fresh Air interview: