Making history, the holds leader of the titles arriving next week is a debut, which is getting a flurry of advance reviews, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample). If you’re thinking that the many Gone Girl comparisons may lead to a movie, you are correct. Film rights were won by Dreamworks prior to publication.
Close behind Hawkins is Tami Hoag’s next psychological thriller, Cold, Cold Heart (Penguin/Dutton).
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 1/12/15.
The Magician’s Lie, Greer Macallister, (Sourcebooks Landmark; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)
Arriving with three major picks — IndieNext, this week’s People magazine, (a “richly imagined thriller”) and LibraryReads, which gives it the following recommendation:
“Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder–or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.” — Paula Jones, Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA
West of Sunset, Stewart O’Nan, (Penguin/Viking; OverDrive Sample)
A favorite on GalleyChat in September, O’Nan’s latest focuses on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood. 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.” It is also the lead review in this issue of Entertainment Weekly, with a solid B+ and is an IndieNext Pick:
“This novel begins after F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda have streaked across the Jazz Age sky like bright, shiny shooting stars. Scott is in Hollywood working as a script doctor and shakily holding on to sobriety; Zelda is in a mental hospital clinging to sanity just as tenuously. Unaccustomed to the workaday world, Scott struggles to prove his worth in Hollywood by showing up to work on time, paying his bills, and living a life of quiet desperation. Gone are the days of wine and roses; Scott must now learn to live as if there is a tomorrow. O’Nan offers a subtle portrait of an American icon as an ordinary man attempting to redefine himself after nearly losing it all.” — Kerry Spaulding, University Book Store, Mill Creek, WA
Outline, Rachel Cusk, (Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio OverDrive Sample)
We already noted the killer advance review from Dwight Garner in the NYT. It is being followed by another in Sunday’s NYT Book Review.
The First Bad Man, Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio)
The minimalist cover signals something unusual (the back cover is more conventional, filled with quotes from Lena Dunham, Dave Eggers, Hilton Als and A.M. Homes). Several libraries have not ordered it, probably because the pre-pub reviews, while strong, made it sound challenging, or even peculiar (“will delight the open-minded reader looking for something new,” LJ). Those libraries that have bought are showing holds.
Miranda July, experimental artist, filmmaker, and writer, is a media darling who even has a handbag named after her. A feature in the current issue of Elle magazine calls her a “polymath” (a characteristic parodied by The Onion two years ago in a piece titled “Miranda July Called Before Congress To Explain Exactly What Her Whole Thing Is“). Don’t check her online calendar if you’re prone to wondering what you’re doing with your own life. She is also profiled in this Sunday’s NYT Book Review and is scheduled for a feature on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Expect more coverage in Vogue, O Magazine, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar. UPDATE: the daily NYT has joined in, with a review by Michiko Kakutani, saying that the book’s scenes are described in “deliberately grotesque, even repellent terms,” and with a their own profile. This is the link to Sunday’s NPR Weekend Edition interview.
The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters, Wes Moore, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample)
In 2010, the author published The Other Wes Moore, a parallel look at his own life and the life of another black man, also living in Baltimore and also named Wes Moore. While the author of the book went from fatherless delinquent to becoming an investment banker, Rhodes scholar, and an aide to Condoleezza Rice, the other Wes Moore ended up in prison. That book received media attention, as will the follow up:
Comedy Central Daily Show – some time this month
MSNBC Morning Joe – 1/12
HBO Real Time with Bill Mahr – 1/16