Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

PEOPLE Magazine’s Book Picks

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

jimmy-fallon-300As we noted last week, People magazine’s redesign under new Editorial Director, Jess Cagle, subsumes book reviews into the new upfront “People Picks” section.

In the second week of the new design, “The Best New Books” rate a bit higher than last — they are now at #6, up from #9, and feature 3 titles that are slightly more below the radar than last week’s, plus three books by “celebrities” (including “Twitter phenom” Jenny Mollen’s book of essays, I Like You Just the Way I Am; former Days of Our Lives star Alison Sweeney’s’ novel, Scared Scriptless and Fox News anchor Bret Aailer’s memoir about dealing with his son’s congenital heart disease, Special Heart).

But you can’t keep books out of popular culture; they sneak into some of the other picks:

#2 MovieHow to Train Your Dragon 2. Book Connection: Based on the kids series by Cressida Cowell, the movie opens this week (see our roundup of tie-ins). Variety calls it, “DreamWorks Animation’s strongest sequel yet — one that breathes fresh fire into the franchise, instead of merely rehashing the original. Braver than Brave, more fun than Frozen and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers.”

#3 TV Drama: PBS Masterpiece Mystery miniseries, The Escape Artist. Book Connection: Show creator David Wolstencroft wrote two spy novels, Good News, Bad News and Contact ZeroWorldCat shows copies are still in many library collections.

#5 Pop Single: Rita Ora I Will Never Let You Down.  Book Connection: This one is admittedly very tenuous. Ora plays Mia, Christian’s sister, in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

#8 TV Series: Episode 10 in the new season of Game of Thrones. Book Connection: Obvious.

The actual books, at #6 are:

I'm Having So Much Fun 9780374141042_36437  Euphoria

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Courtney Maum, (S&S/Touchstone) — This debut is a LibraryReads pick for June and People’s “Book of the Week.”

Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked, Paul Raeburn, (Macmillan/Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux) — We’re guessing that the answer is “Yes.” This is one of the issue’s many nods (including the cover story) to Father’s Day.

EuphoriaLily King, (Grove/Atlantic, June) —  Librarians have buzzed this one on GalleyChat, recommending it for fans of Horan’s Loving Frank and McLain’s The Paris Wife. It’s loosely based on Margaret Mead’s journals (if a novel based on the anthropologist’s life doesn’t sound like a promising readalike, consider that it involves a love triangle). People calls it “transporting.” Early readers we trust say, “King’s language is as lush as the landscape.”

When GriefBooks also sneak into the features features, in the form of an interview with  Mary Rockefeller Morgan, the twin of Michael Rockefeller, who disappeared in New Guinea in the early sixties. She recently updated her book about the loss, an eBook from a devision of Open Road Media, When Grief Calls Forth the Healing.

Open Road ebooks are available for library lending.

Another book on the story (which Morgan say prompted her to update her book), Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman, (HarperCollins/Morrow), was published in March.

July LibraryReads List

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Landline   Dollbaby   9780316250818_1a106

The just-released LibraryReads list of the ten books arriving in July that librarian love, offers some great readers advisory titles (over half are debuts). It’s also a reminder to nominate titles for upcoming lists (how-to here).

At BEA, the LibraryReads panel gave some helpful tips on how to use these lists:

1) You no longer have to admit “I haven’t read anything great lately,” your colleagues have. Each LibraryReads annotation is a readers advisory handsell you can steal.

2) The lists began in September, so there are now over 100 titles you can recommend. Check out our downloadable list —  LibraryReads-All-Lists-Through-July-2014. sort it by category and you have an instant list for creating displays, or to use when you’re stuck trying to recommend a recent book in a particular category.

2) The lists are handy R.A. training tools which demonstrate how to quickly communicate why you love a title.

On the July list, librarian favorite Rainbow Rowell gets her second #1 LibraryReads pick with Landline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike), after her YA novel, Fangirl, was the pick for the inaugural September list. Excitement has spread to booksellers, who also include it on their Indie Next July list.

Among the five debuts on the list, is Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books). You can join us for a live chat with the author next week, as part of our Penguin First Flights Debut Author program.. Below is the LibraryReads annotation:

“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.” —  Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Also among the debuts is the book Stephen Colbert and fellow Amazon victim Sherman Alexie recently urged people to buy, via Powell’s, rather than Amazon, California by Edan Lepucki (Hachette/Little, Brown, July 8; audio from Dreamscape).

“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.” — Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Holds Alert: THE VACATIONERS

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The VactionersHolds are growing on the novel that is being called the smart beach read of the summer, The Vacationers by Emma Straub, (Penguin/Riverhead).

The NYT Book Review gives it a succinct rave in its “Short Takes” section, “Straub may be an heir to Laurie Colwin, crafting characters that are smart, addictively charming, delightfully misanthropic and fun,” ending with the ultimate praise, “When I turned the last page, I felt as I often do when a vacation is over: grateful for the trip and mourning its end.”

In a lead review, People magazine gave it its highest rating, 4 of 4 stars and called it a “delicious, deceptively traditional domestic drama … offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”

Not everyone is completely in love. Several reviewers, like the daily NYT‘s Janet Maslin, feel the book’s ending is too pat, but admit, like the U.K.’s Independent,  that, “The Vacationers is a holiday read in every way with a gently witty narrative that slips down as easily as a beachside cocktail.”

Most libraries ordered it modestly and are showing holds as high as 25 to 1.

More Summer Reading, 2014

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Parade's Picks

After the shock of discovering that People magazine is cutting back its book review coverage, it may be some comfort that Parade has not abandoned its annual picks of the best books of the summer (well, actually, the selections were made by Amazon’s editors. Interestingly, in spite of the Amazon’s fight with Hachette, the list includes some Hachette titles).

The 20 selections range from the expected (Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes; J.K. Rowling’s The Silkworm, a Hachette title) to heavily promoted debuts (I Am Pilgrim, by screenwriter Terry Hayes; the international bestseller, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, by Swiss writer Joel Dicker and the beginning of a new fantasy series, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen) to the book that has been dubbed The Smart Beach Read of Summer 2014, complete with a jacket blurb from the author of 2012’s smart beach read, Maria Semple, (The Vacationers by Emma Straub).

The New York Times Book Review has also released its annual Summer Reading Issue, an odd assortment of categories, just three of them fiction (science fiction, thrillers and horror; the humor roundup, for some reason, focuses on nonfiction), while its West Coast rival, The L.A. Times selects many more titles in a broader range of categories, including audio, sports, Y.A. and children’s books.

Links to the summer reading lists are at right, under “Season Previews.”

Ten Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles for the Week of 6/9/14

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The Matchmaker   Written in My Own Heart's Blood   9780385537094_5a2aa

You know summer is arriving when a new novel set in Nantucket, with an appropriately beachy cover, appears from Elin Hilderbrand. Next week, her 13th title, The Matchmaker, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), heralds the new season in expected style.

Fans of Diana Gabaldon have had a longer wait. The most recent volume in her Outlander series came out in 2009. Arriving next week is the 8th in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (RH/Delacorte; Recorded Books). The books will get even more attention when the 16-episode STARZ Outlander series begins on Aug. 9.

Speaking of series, Daniel Wilson has spawned a sequel to his popular Robopocalypse, a novel, if you couldn’t guess from the title, about humanity’s battle to save the species from a robot uprising. It read like a standalone, but along comes the sequel (perhaps a sign that Spielberg will move ahead with plans for the movie?), Robogenesis, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio). Booklist says the first book was good but this one is “superior in every way.” Kirkus rains on that parade, “A satisfying but perfunctory installment that suffers from a bit of second-act similarity.”

All the titles mentioned here, with full ordering information, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 6:9:14.

Media Attention

Hard Choices  image-223x300  Animal Madness

Dominating the media next week will be Hillary Clinton’s embargoed memoir, Hard Choices. Just a preview of her cover photo for this week’s People magazine caused Twitter to light up with questions on what she is leaning on (no, it’s NOT a walker). You’ll see her in all the expected places, including an ABC-TV/Primetime Special with Diane Sawyer. And, yes, the embargo has been broken (by CBS News).

Attention will also shine on scientist Laurel Braitman who argues that we are not wrong to anthropomorphize animals and that we can learn a lot from their emotional lives in Animal Madness; How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. People magazine included it in their roundup of a dozen Great Summer Reads. The Wall Street Journal will run an excerpt this weekend and the author, who as a TED fellow, has media cred, is scheduled to appear on Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline.

LibraryReads Picks

Elizabeth is Missing   Ice Cream Queen   I'm Having So Much Fun

Elizabeth Is Missing, Emma Healey, HarperCollins/Harper

The number one pick for the month of June:

“Maude sinks into a confusing world in this gripping psychological mystery written in the voice of an aging woman with Alzheimer’s. She can’t remember what she’s doing or where she is, but she is obsessed with one thought–her good friend Elizabeth is missing. Book groups will enjoy this satisfying and entertaining read!” — Mary Campanelli, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, Susan Jane Gilman, Hachette/Grand Central

This is the first novel by a memoirist whose acerbic humor is telegraphed by her titles, Hypocrite In A Pouffy White Dress and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven,. Given her previous books, it’s surprising to find her writing a historical family saga, set in NYC’s tenements. It’s already found two important audiences, having been picked by both librarians and indy booksellers as a favorite of the month.

LibraryReads annotation:

“In the tenements of old New York, a young Russian Jewish immigrant woman is taken in by an Italian family who sells ice. Through sheer persistence and strong will, she manages to build an ice cream empire. Lillian Dunkle is a complex character who will both make you cheer even as you are dismayed. Have ice cream on hand when you read this book!”~~Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Courtney Maum, S&S/Touchstone

LibraryReads annotation (also an IndieNext pick):

“Set mainly in Paris, this love story for grown-ups tells the story of a decent man who almost ruins his life and then goes to great lengths to restore his marriage. If your path to a happy marriage has been straight-forward, you may not appreciate this book – but it’s perfect for the rest of us!” — Laurel Best, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, AL

TV Series Tie-in

Leftovers Tie-inThe Leftovers (TV tie-in edition), Tom Perrotta, Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin

The 10-episode series begins on HBO June 29th.

In interviews, show runner Damon Lindelof has had to assure people that it will not end like Lost.

 

Small Press Title Wins Women’s Prize for Fiction

Friday, June 6th, 2014

A Girl is a Half-Formed ThingPublished by a very small press in Great Britain (it was only their second book) and coming in September from Coffee House Press in the U.S., A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, the author’s debut novel, won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, announced in London last night.

The book, which the 37-year-old author wrote ten years ago, was initially rejected by agents and publishers who considered it too difficult to sell. The author put it away until she tried again with Galley Beggar Press, a start-up in the author’s home town of Norwich. It received glowing reviews that acknowledged the book’s unconventional language, described by the Guardian as “devoid of commas, a fractured, poetic, pre-conscious voice, pregnant with full stops and half rhymes … But it actually feels like language anyone could read and understand. Its subject matter is the real difficulty, the story of a young girl, struggling to deal with her older brother’s illness – a brain tumour – and the abuse she experiences.” It went on to win the newly-created Goldsmith’s Prize for Literature and was published in paperback by Macmillan/Faber & Faber.

McBride won over competition from several literary heavy weighs, including Donna Tartt, for The Goldfinch. She says she has “nearly finished” a second novel.

Colbert Gives Amazon the Finger

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

When Amazon began their fight with publisher Hachette, they may not have taken into account the fact that Stephen Colbert is published by Hachette.

Colbert explains the situation below and shows Bezos what he thinks of it.

Colbert brings on “fellow Amazon victim,” Sherman Alexie, who is also published by Hachette.

Since debut authors are most at risk from Amazon’s tactics, Alexie helps one of them by recommending viewers pre-order California, by Edan Lapucki, (Hachette/Little, Brown, July 8; audio from Dreamscape) via Powells.

9780316250818_1a106

The book has appeared earlier on summer reading lists, including the Pittsburgh Post Gazette‘s, with the following recommendation,

When the American economy collapses and anarchy reigns in the land, a couple from Los Angeles head for the hills where they have to forage for food and improvise shelter. They are quickly confronted by stark choices and must figure out whether reconnecting with other survivors would be worth the aggravation that comes with being a part of civilization.

Ripped From the Headlines

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The DirectorIf your readers want to understand how the internet has opened the government to security leaks, but can’t get their hands on Glenn Greenwald’s best seller, No Place to Hide, you can offer them a new novel released yesterday.

David Ignatius’s The Director(W.W. Norton), provides, according to NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani, “a harrowing sense of the vulnerability of governments and ordinary people alike to cybercrime, surveillance and digital warfare in this day when almost anything and everything can be stolen or destroyed with some malicious pieces of code and a couple clicks of a mouse.”

Ignatius knows the territory; he has covered the CIA for The Washington Post for over 25 years.

The Director also gets high praise from NPR reviewer Alan Cheuse, who says the author, in this his 9th novel,  provides “yet another deeply engaging spy thriller, rooted at that point where the intricacies of the intelligence community and the everyday world of civilians converge.”

Did fact inspire fiction? No, says Ignatius, in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, He began working on the novel months before the news about Snowden broke. But he seems happy with “ripped from the headlines” comments. As he reminds listeners, “Snowden, before he worked for the NSA, worked for the CIA.”

Oliver Stone To Film Snowden Story

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

No Place to Hide   Snowden Files

Sony’s movie version of Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio) now has competition. Oliver Stone just announced plans to film another book on the story, Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, (RH/Vintage), published as an original trade paperback in the U.S. in February.

There’s a rivalry between the books’ authors as well. Greenwald worked for The Guardian when he broke his stories about the extent of the NSA’s surveillance on private citizens. After he left to co-found The Intercept, Harding,  one of The Guardian’s  foreign correspondents, published The Snowden Files. In an interview in the Financial Times, Greenwald dismissed it as a “bullshit book … written by someone who has never met or even spoken to Edward Snowden.

In the New York Times, Michikio Kakutani saw movie potential in Harding’s book, calling it “a fast-paced, almost novelistic narrative that is part bildungsroman and part cinematic thriller.” She also reviewed Greenwald’s book, mostly favorably, but objected to his portrayal of  “the establishment media,” and its “glaring subservience to political power.”

Stone plans to begin shooting before the end of the year. In an interview last year, the director told The Guardian (which is cooperating with him on the film), “To me, Snowden is a hero. He revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the fourth amendment.”

Four Titles To Have On the Tip of Your Tongue, Week of May 26

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Welcome to summer! Next week offers not only books from a multitude of Big Names, but two major debuts,  a second novel that is set to outshine the author’s well-received debut, as well as an intriguing LibraryRead pick.

All the titles mentioned here and more coming next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of May 26.

Heavily Promoted Debuts

quebertThe Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, Joel Dicker, (Penguin Books, trade paperback, $18; Blackstone Audio; Turtleback library binding)

A mystery novel, set in the U.S, written in French by a Swiss Law School grad, it was published in Europe in 2012 and sold 2 million copies. A hot property at the Frankfurt Book Fair, U.S. rights were won by Penguin. Adding extra sizzle, film rights were bought last month by Ron Howard (he may have noticed that, in France, it outsold another book he is adapting, Dan Brown’s Inferno).

It’s being promoted as the book of the summer, which is why it’s getting advance attention in the consumer media.The Washington Post was the first, last week with a middling review by novelist Dan Strachey (aka Richard Stevenson). He begins by calling it a  “Big Gulp of a pop novel that’s kind of enjoyable in a corn-syrupy way,” goes on to enumerate all that is wrong with it, but ends by admitting,

As maladroit as this novel is in so many ways, it churns along at such a good clip and is rendered with such high emotion and apparent deep conviction that it’s easy to see why it was a bestseller in Europe. It’s likely to be one in this country, too, where in the land of bestsellerdom, earnest lardiness counts for a lot.”

More middling reviews have followed (the lead in Entertainment Weekly’s Books section, it gets a resounding C). Today’s Wall Street Journal looks at its chances for success here (arriving at no real conclusion) and notes that it also received tepid reviews in the U.K., where it was released on May 1 but is now #1 on the best seller lists of both the Times of London and the Telegraph.

Curiously for such a major launch, Penguin has decided to publish the book in trade paperback (with French flaps, of course), perhaps to overcome price resistance to such a long novel (656 pages). It’s a hit with EarlyWord’s GalleyChatter, Robin Beerbower, which is good enough for us. By the way, author Joel Dicker is speaking at the AAP Librarian Dinner next week during BEA.

Fourth of JulyFourth of July Creek, Smith Henderson, HarperCollins/Ecco

Another big summer debut arriving this week, it is getting more positive critical response than Harry Quebert. The Wall Street Journal today quotes editor Lee Boudreaux, describing it as “writing by Richard Ford, characters by Richard Russo.” It gets a solid A in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly and was picked by booksellers for the June IndieNext list.

Poised To Breakout

The VactionersThe Vacationers, Emma Straub, Penguin/Riverhead

Following her 2012 debut, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, which Janet Maslin dismissed in her NYT Summer Reading preview as “a benign but mannered Hollywood period piece,“ but praises this second effort as a total departure. It’s the lead review in People Magazine, with 4 of 4 stars; a ‘delicious, deceptively traditional domestic drama…[that] offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.” Entertainment Weekly has it at #9 on the week’s “Must List,” saying, it “has all the hallmarks of a typical family-vacation romp; marital strife, a sunny location, long-held secrets exposed… What set the novel apart are it’s careful observations and poignant humor. Completely guilt-free resort reading.”

Library Reads Pick

The Lobster KingsThe Lobster Kings, Alexi Zentner, W.W. Norton

LibraryReads June Pick: “This well-crafted story truly captures the beauty and brutality of living by the sea. The characters show what it’s like to have saltwater in your veins and commitment to family and community. Zentner depicts a way of life that is fast disappearing. Perfect for summer reading.”  — Lisa Marie Joyce, Portland Public Library & South Portland Public Library, Portland, ME

Summer Previews Begin

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

jessica-alba-entertainment-weekly-cover-leadWith Memorial Day Weekend upon us, it’s time for summer previews.

Entertaiment Weekly‘s “Summer Must List” issue looks at what will be big this season in movies, tv, music and supposedly in books, but they give them short shrift (too bad, that cover is going to sell copies, but maybe not to the book reader demo), fitting them awkwardly into various categories — “Sin” (amazingly, no books in this section), “Destruction” (Chesea Cain’s One Kick, S&S, 8/8, clearly belongs here), “Love” (featuring Diana Gabaldon, as much for the upcoming Outlander series adaptation on Starz, as for her forthcoming Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, 6/10). The category of “Survival” is broadly interpreted to include 6 titles, such as Amy Sohn’s The Actress, S&S, July 5 and Rufi Thorpe’s The Girls from Corona Del Mar, RH/Knopf, 7/8

In today’s NYT, critic Janet Maslin casts her eye on 14 summer titles (and goes to lengths to avoid the phrase “beach read”), commenting, “if there’s one overriding motif, it’s this: the crazier, the better.” She is luke warm about most of the titles she mentions except for The Fever by Megan Abbott (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 6/17), “a hot new entrant in the ‘Is it the next Gone Girl’?’ sweepstakes,”, the ” astringent wit of Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 5/13) and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, (Penguin/Riverhead, 5/29), “a scrappy portrait of a family bringing its Upper West Side troubles to Mallorca for repair,”

Her favorite is the nonfiction debut, Factory Man, (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 7/15) by Beth Macy, which Maslin calls “a big surprise” for finding “a terrifically rich subject” in “a family-run Virginia furniture company that was being put out of business by cheap Chinese knockoffs, and happened to find an owner determined to fight back.”

We’ll let you know as more previews arrive.

Hot in Cleveland

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

When Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, has a gut feeling about a title, she buys it in quantity, to be ahead of the demand curve. She lets the staff in on her thinking through her “Hot Title Thursdays” posts on the staff intranet, a clever way of ensuring the success of these titles, as staff in turn recommends them.

Conversely, Wendy relies on staff response when she just doesn’t see the potential in some heavily-promoted title (not a fan of The Night Circus when it was first announced, she asked staff to read galleys to tell her if she was nuts. They told her she was. She ordered more. Good thing; it went on to be a best seller).

We’ve asked Wendy to begin sharing her Hot Title Thursdays posts on EarlyWord. Below is the first, about a book that’s also been generating enthusiasm on GalleyChat. It’s coming out the end of July and is now available via NetGalley and Edelweiss (sounds perfect for the Memorial Day weekend).

Fortune HunterThe Fortune Hunter, Daisy Goodwin, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike)

Wanna find out how the 1% lived back in the day?

Here’s your chance!

If you don’t think “gossipy page turner” when you think of historical fiction, you clearly haven’t read Daisy Goodwin. Her previous title, a debut novel, The American Heiress also did very well for us.

I’m happy to report that her new novel, The Fortune Hunter, is even stronger, particularly in terms of pacing, and will again appeal to a wide range of readers, from romance to historical fiction, to royal watchers, to the Downton Abbey crowd, and even to people who love travel.

Part of the fascination is that Goodwin has based the novel on actual historical figures in Victorian-era Europe, including Victoria herself. The main characters are Elizabeth “Sisi” Winterhalter, the Empress of Austria, Bay Middleton (yes, a distant relative of the current Princess of Wales), the Earl of Spencer, as in Diana’s great-great-grandfather……..you get the idea. Sisi, a legendary beauty, travels Europe to alleviate her boredom. (The cocaine mixture administered by the Hungarian lady-in-waiting doesn’t hurt either.) She decides she wants handsome Bay Middleton, the best rider in England, to be her personal assistant for hunting season. But Middleton is in love with the heiress to the Lennox fortune—a young woman not wise at all in the ways of the world. It’s a love triangle, but also a clash of societal roles, classes and cultures. Fun, fun, fun. I read it in two sittings.

This one has a street date of July 29th. Get those holds in now! ENJOY!

MOST DANGEROUS Publicity

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

The Most Dangerous AnimalIf you were blindsided by the news about a book published on Tuesday, The Most Dangerous Animal of All, by Gary L. Stewart (Harper), you’re not alone.  As Newsweek reports, HarperCollins worked to keep the story under wraps.

If that was an effort to insure that all the publicity hits at once, it’s working. The news about the author’s search for his biological father, which led to the chilling discovery of a man, now dead, who might have been the infamous Zodiac Killer, first broke in New York magazine’s “Intellingencer” blog and was picked up by dozens of other news media. Next up, it is featured in the new issue of People magazine (on newsstands tomorrow; available digitally now).

The Zodiac Killer was believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least five people in the San Francisco area in the late 1960’s. That story was the basis of David Fincher’s 2007 movie, Zodiac.

One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time

Monday, May 19th, 2014

I Remember YouCalling a new book “One of the Great Horror Novels of All Time” is high praise. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s influential reviewer Laura DeMarco applies it to a novel by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir, saying, “I have read a lot of horror fiction, and a lot of psychological suspense books, and I Remember You, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, also in trade pbk, both, March 25), ranks among the scariest, right up there with the best of Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s that good. And that scary. And, ultimately, that moving.”

Sigurdardottir, known for her mysteries, makes a departure in this standalone, which, says DeMarco, “chills with sounds and smells and shadows, not blood.”

DeMarco mentions that the covers of the American and U.K. editions were changed from the original, which Icelanic fans complained was too terrifying. Link here to see it on the Candian version (Icelanders must be sensitive).

Gotta Read: ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT SEA

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Another Great DayWe’re always on the look out for reviews that make our mouths water. Laura Miller did it for us yesterday in Salon with her review of Geoff Dyer’s Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, (RH/Pantheon), a book we neglected to include in our highlights for the week. Not only did she make us want to read that book, but every other book Dyer has written.

As she says, the very concept is brilliant,

The notion of installing a writer of Dyer’s baroquely sensitive and self-conscious temperament aboard an American aircraft carrier stationed in the Persian Gulf is obviously a stroke of genius. In fact, Dyer’s two-week writer-in-residency stint on the USS George H.W. Bush was his own idea…

She wanders off for a paragraph about the book not being what she had expected, a failing of many reviewers, but quickly gets it back on track and offers great stuff for readers advisors to steal.