Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

New Book from Elizabeth Gilbert

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

BigMagicFinalEat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is publishing a new book in September on creativity, which may be why she gave the exclusive announcement to the Etsy blog, which is written for craftspeople and craft buyers.

Titled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, (Penguin/ Riverhead; 9781594634710), the announcement has been picked up by several news sources, including the New York Times (via the AP) and USA Today.


Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Girl on the TrainThe major debut of the season, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample), arrives today. Library holds continue to skyrocket, so check to make sure you’ve received your copies.

USA Today just added their review to the mix (as we’ve been tracking, Janet Maslin’s rave in the NYT piqued interest, cemented by attention from People and Entertainment Weekly).  Although USA Today gives it just 3 stars of 4, the final line is a clincher, “Train takes a while to get rolling, but once it does, hang on tight. You’ll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.”

Local papers are beginning to cover it; many feature a review by the Associated Press, “British journalist Paula Hawkins deftly imbues her debut psychological thriller with inventive twists and a shocking denouement.”

The book is currently at #15 on Amazon sales rankings, making it the #2 hardcover fiction title, after Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner). It’s a shoe-in for the NYT list.

Seven Titles to Know And Recommend, The Week of Jan. 12

Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Making history, the holds leader of the titles arriving next week is a debut, which is getting a flurry of advance reviewsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive 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.

Advance Attention

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The Magician’s LieGreer 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.

Media Hits

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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 EditionExpect more coverage in VogueO MagazineMarie 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 ClipOverDrive 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

LibraryReads for February:
Anne Tyler is #1

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Topping the February LibraryReads list of the month’s top 10 titles, chosen by library staff from across the country, is Anne Tyler’s latest novel,  A Spool of Blue Thread, (Knopf; RH Audio; 2/10).

Also on the list is GalleyChat favorite, A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; 2/17), a novel that features real-life screwball comedian, Carole Lombard, and My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; 2/10), also a much-discussed title on GalleyChat, (join us for a chat with the author on Jan. 21).

Check Edelweiss and NetGalley for digital ARC’s. They are generally available until publication day.

And don’t forget to nominate your favorite upcoming titles, with publication dates of March or later (how-to specifics here).

LibraryReads also provides FREE downloadable marketing materials so you can easily:


• Post online banner ads on your library’s website

• Include LibraryReads-recommended titles in your library’s newsletter

• Print copies of the monthly flyer to post on your community bulletin board and have available as handouts

• Print copies of the horizontal banner for patrons to use as bookmarks


Friday, January 9th, 2015

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More attention is on the way for America’s Bitter Pill, (Random House; OverDrive Sample), Steven Brill’s investigation into the health care system, the high cost of drugs, and the corruption systemic in the business of staying well. Featured on the cover of this Sunday’s New York Time’s Book Review, the author is scheduled for an appearance on this week’s CBS 60 Minutes.

After Brill’s appearance on Monday’s Daily Show, the book broke into Amazon’s top 100.

Holds are high in libraries that have bought modest quantities and many have yet to place orders. Fair warning: this is a book on the rise, and it may be destined to become a core title on health care for some years to come. As the Times puts it in their fairly glowing review, Brill “has pulled off something extraordinary — a thriller about market structure, government organization and billing practices, by turns optimistic and pessimistic, by turns superficial and insightful, but always interesting, and deadly important.”


Thursday, January 8th, 2015

9781594633669_dc9b1The novel that is shaping up to be the debut of the season The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample) continues to rack up holds after Janet Maslin’s NYT review on Monday.

Holds are likely to continue. The novel is on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” for the week at #9 (“a gripping down-the-rabbit-hole thriller”) and is a People pick (Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller … ends with a twist that no one … will see coming.”)

Expect to see The Girl on the Train on best seller lists in a couple of weeks.

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However, the book is not the top pick for either magazine. Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar RH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample; audio clip) is #3  on Entertainment Weekly‘s Must List. “Fiction and history merge seamlessly in this dazzling novel about an incredible circle of bohemian artists in early-20th-century London — particularly the rivalry between two famous sisters, writer Virginia Woolf and painter Vanessa Bell.” This coming Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, says “Parmar’s portrait brings Vanessa out of the shadows, into fully realized, shining visibility.” Both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick, it is showing holds, probably based on the author’s interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

People‘s Book of the Week is the weight-loss memoir by food blogger Andie Mitchell, It Was Me All Along, (RH/Clarkson Potter; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample; ). It is also covered by the New York Post and the Washington Post).

ANT-MAN Joins the Picnic

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

2332_top1The latest addition to the Marvel film universe is a tiny superhero, Ant-Man, featured on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.

In the role of the unlikely superhero is a somewhat unlikely comic actor, Paul Rudd (echoes of Chris Pratt in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy).

The first trailer for the live-action film adaptation, which opens July 17th, was shown at the end of the first episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC Tuesday night.

If you’re not fully conversant with Marvel comics, Entertainment Weekly offers a Ant-Man primer to help the uninitiated make sense of the  trailer.

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A dizzying number of tie-ins are on their way, including an Ant-Man “prose novel” (the NYT discovered “reverse adaptations” this week), as well as leveled readers and chapter books for kids and compilations of the original comics. See the full list in our catalog of media tie-ins on Edelweiss.

Gotta-Read-It Review: OUTLINE

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

9780374228347_44d65If anyone can make you want to read an unconventional literary novel, Dwight Garner can. His review of Rachel Cusk’s Outline,(Macmillan/FSG; Ebook; Blackstone Audio;1/13/15) in today’s New York Times makes you ready to throw caution aside and dive into a “a poised and cerebral novel that has little in the way of straightforward plot.”

The review alone is worth reading, if only for the quote from W. H. Auden, “Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation,” which is apt for a book that is described by the publisher as “a novel in ten conversations.”

If Garner’s review doesn’t convince you, consider the three starred prepub reviews (Kirkus is the holdout, but the review reads like someone just forgot to add the star).

Pelecanos On FRESH AIR

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015


George Pelecanos spoke for nearly 40 minutes on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday (listen here), about his new short story collection, The Martini Shot (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample). He begins by reading a gripping section of one of the stories, “String Music,” and goes on to discuss everything from his experiences writing for The Wire, adoption, and the day the cops called him and said “”Would you like to come in or would you like us to come arrest you?” after he pulled a crazy stupid stunt in a car.

Pelecanos’s website includes a story from the collection, “Miss Mary’s Room,” which first appeared in Playboy. In addition to it and “String Music,” The Martini Shot includes five other stories and a novella, two of which are new.

Holds are currently within reason, but Pelecanos’s name and rising media attention makes this a book to watch.

Readers Advisory: DESCENT

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015


In the Washington Post, Patrick Anderson gives high praise to Tim Johnston’s Descent, (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample; Jan 6), saying it is the most powerful thriller he’s read that uses the popular theme of a missing girl — more powerful than Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, or Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know. He adds, “The story unfolds brilliantly, always surprisingly, but the glory of Descent lies not in its plot but in the quality of the writing.”

On NPR’s web site, Alan Cheuse uses a different comparison, saying, “Tim Johnston has written a book that makes Gone Girl seem gimmicky and forced.”

Check your catalogs; several libraries have not yet ordered it. Those that have are showing holds, heavy in some areas.

The 2015 Crystal Ball

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Looking ahead to the new year, we want to know what the Washington Post‘s insightful critic, Ron Charles is anticipating.

He obliges us with a list of his top ten most anticipated novels, acknowledging that the book that eventually become his favorite of the year may not be on this list (for 2014, it was one he didn’t see coming, the debut, Fourth of July Creek, by Smith Henderson. These anticipatory lists, of necessity, focus on authors with already established reputations).

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He’s has us salivating for Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire, (Macmillan/FSG, 8/4/15), the final book in the Ibis trilogy about the opium trade in 19th-century India. He gives the series high praise, “The earlier books, Sea of Poppies (2008) and River of Smoke (2011), are among the most thrilling historical novels I’ve ever read.”

He also mentions two books coming in the fall but not yet listed on catalogs, Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, and John Irving’s Avenue of Mysteries.

The Millions has also just released a list of the titles that are ringing their bells for the new year. We have combined  the two newest lists with Entertainment Weekly’s “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015” and The Barnes &  Noble Review‘s selections of “the most enticing new books slated to arrive in the first half of 2015″ into an Edelweiss collection, a list of over 100 titles you can check for eGalleys, so you can be the first in your library to spot a winner.

Graphic Novels Audience Expands

Monday, January 5th, 2015

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The next wave of readers clamoring for more graphic novels might not be the stereotypical teenage boy but his sister instead. The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article exploring the rise in female graphic novel authors and illustrators, a new focus on female characters, and the expansion of female readers. Not only have graphic novel sales grown, “outpacing the overall trade-book market” according to the article, it seems, at least in part, that women are behind those figures, expanding the market and changing the graphic novel landscape.

The new attention might be behind the recent focus on female characters in superhero comics, a world long dominated by male figures. Not only has Wonder Woman gotten more attention in 2014, but She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, and Batgirl all saw an increase in their profiles. In the TV world, Agent Carter makes the point as well.

Female writers and artists are certainly changing the scene, offering new stories, characters, and approaches. The WSJ article features Raina Telgemeier, creator of Smile (Graphix, 2010; OverDrive Sample) and Sisters (Graphix, 2014; OverDrive Sample) and mentions Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury USA, 2014; OverDrive Sample), a finalist for the National Book Award and on many best books lists.

More to Consider

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Collection development and RA librarians seeking more examples might also consider This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (First Second, 2014), How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics, 2014), Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014; OverDrive Sample), and Gast by Carol Swain (Fantagraphics, 2014).

Heavy Holds Alert: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Monday, January 5th, 2015

9781594633669_dc9b1When the NYT‘s Janet Maslin reviews a debut ahead of publication, it signals that she sees a hit coming. In the case of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13), which Maslin reviews today, her expectation is further backed up by heavy holds in libraries, averaging 10:1.

A January LibraryReads pick, this debut began drawing attention from librarians on GalleyChat back in August. It is one of three titles Entertainment Weekly considers a possible successor to Gone Girl, along with the “buzzy” The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow, Feb. 3) and “the most understated an plausible of the three,” The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor, (Workman/Algonquin, May 5).

Maslin credits The Girl on the Train with having “more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl,” (which she also reviewed ahead of publication) and though she doesn’t find it as “clever or swift,” she expects it to also draw a “large, bedazzled readership.”

Fair warning to increase those orders.

Holds Alert: WHEN BOOKS

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

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A history about books, librarians, publishers, and war is making waves. Molly Guptill Manning’s When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; OverDrive Sample) tells the true story of how the book world helped boost morale by providing American soldiers with paperback editions of titles such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Great Gatsby.

Portable versions of these books allowed soldiers to read on their down time and reminded them of home and what they were fighting for.

Manning’s book is getting glowing coverage in an array of sources including USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and the Smithsonian. Such widespread attention triggers holds. Some libraries are showing a 5:1 ratio and on light ordering. The New York Times says that Manning’s book feels like “the bibliophile’s equivalent of It’s a Wonderful Life.” How can you beat that?

Holds Alert: Pearlman
Finally Breaks Through

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

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Two years ago when Edith Perlman’s Binocular Vision(Lookout Books, 2011)  won the National Book Critics Circle Award after being a finalist for the National Book Award, The Millions explored why readers might view the author as an “overnight sensation,”even though she had published over 250 works of short fiction and four collections.

Even today, Pearlman remains an author many people might compare to George Saunders, in the sense that they are about to wonder why they had not heard of her before.

Pearlman’s newest book, Honeydew, (Hachette/Little Brown, Jan. 2015; OverDrive Sample), has made the jump to a major publishing house and is dominating book coverage this week, days in advance of the book’s release date.

The New York Times Book Review features Pearlman as their cover story. Not to be outdone, the daily NYT runs a glowing portrait titled, “For Writer, Talent Finally Succeeds Where Chance Failed.” In it, her editor offers perhaps the best praise possible for a writer of character-centered fiction, “When I finish reading one of her stories, I always feel understood and somehow forgiven for being human.”

In addition, The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe all have posted reviews, following stars from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Checking orders and holds around the country reveals that some libraries have not yet ordered it and others have ordered too lightly, with holds ratios over 5:1.

It is difficult for short story collections to gain traction, but Pearlman might have finally joined the ranks of George Saunders, Karen Russell, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro.