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Fall Previews

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Leading up to Labor Day, the media is offering their takes on the books of the fall. We covered O magazine’s list earlier, below are several new lists:

10 cool books to read this fall — USA Today

All the Most Thrilling Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming This Fall — io9

Fall books: 30 top titles for your night table  Seattle Times Fall Reading Preview: Books

One of the longer lists  is New York magazine, which suggests 46 titles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 2.02.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-26 at 2.01.05 PMUsefully arranged by month and then publication date, the suggestions start with Jonathan Franzen’s Purity (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) arriving on Tuesday and continue through the December 1 publication of Karine Tuil’s The Age of Reinvention (S&S/Atria).

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 2.03.14 PMBookended between are buzzy picks, big names, debuts, a graphic novel, and a children’s book.

Moving from cult favorite to full-blown media darling is Italian author Elena Ferrante with The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). On
New York magazine’s list as well as O magazine’s, and Amazon Editors Fall Favorites, it is on also the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review.

This is the the fourth and final book in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. Keep your eye on her earlier novels as new readers discover the author.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 2.04.50 PMThe Mare by Mary Gaitskill (Random/Pantheon; Blackstone Audiobooks) is one of the big names, and a long awaited one at that. New York contributor Christian Lorentzen says “Gaitskill’s first novel in ten years is about a poor city girl who goes to the country — but don’t expect anything heartwarming.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 2.29.44 PMCity of Clowns by Daniel Alarcón (author) and Sheila Alvarado (artist) (Penguin/Riverhead) is the graphic novel. Ian Epstein, who wrote the article on the 46 picks, says it is “about a Peruvian tabloid journalist who, mired in a long project about sad street clowns, is shaken up by his father’s death.”

Like the recently unveiled NYPL Staff Picks Tool, the magazine has also created The Fall Entertainment Generator: 308 Things to Watch, Hear, See and Do.

It offers users a chance to pick a genre and a feeling and then matches those desires to TV, movies, books, albums, theater, concerts, and art exhibits (some of which obviously work better for residents of the NYC-area). Genre choices are Indie, Blockbuster, Adventurous, and Trashy. Feeling choices are Inspired, Thrilled, Smart, Laugh, Scared, and Cry.

EVEREST, The Trailer

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

everest-imax-640x1014Get ready for the ice and fear (and the requests for books). The new adventure disaster film Everest is coming in September (on the 18th in IMAX 3-D and the 25th everywhere else). Click on the film poster, left,  to see the full version, but only if you have no fear of heights (the same applies to the trailer, below).

Based on the events of 1996 when eight people died in a blizzard on Mount Everest, the movie stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Contraband).

According to the British film magazine, Empire, the film is not based on any single title but draws from multiple sources as well as interviews with the survivors.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.18.33 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.26.50 PMStill, there are plenty of books on the disaster. Best known is Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. Others include Beck Weathers with Stephen G. Michaud’s Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest and Anatoli Boukreev’s The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest. In the film Brolin plays Weathers, Kelly plays Krakauer, and Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson plays Boukreev.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.18.10 PMThe only tie-in edition is an unofficial one for Left for Dead (Movie Tie-in Edition): My Journey Home from Everest (RH/Bantam; OverDrive Sample), which according to the publisher “will not feature official tie-in art but will reflect the look and feel of the feature film, and will feature a reading line to make the Everest movie connection.”

Kakutani Reviews in Rhyme

Monday, July 20th, 2015

9780553524260_6faefIn all the excitement over Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, some may have forgotten that earlier this year Theodor Geisel’s wife and his long time secretary found material for at least three new Dr. Seuss books as they were cleaning out Geisel’s office.

The first to be published arrives next week. What Pet Should I Get? (Random House Books for Young Readers; Listening Library.July 28, 2015) is believed to have been written between 1952 and 1962 and features the characters from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

At the time it was announced, Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles composed a poem in tongue-in-cheek disbelief. A sample:

“Book in Drawer”

Those yellowed notes,
Those yellowed notes,
I do not like those yellowed notes.

Will you read this ancient draft?

I will not read that ancient draft …

The New York Times’s chief book critic, Michiko Kakutani has read it and gets in to the act, with her own review in verse form.

Her conclusion?

Seuss never spoke down to his readers, no matter how small.
His tales were told with vim, vigor and zest.
What Pet Should I Get? entertains us just fine.
Who cares if this book’s not really his best?

For a comparison, listen to a clip from the audio:

An Eclectic Indie Next List for July

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 12.46.32 PMThe #1 Indie Next List pick for July is the nonfiction title The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio), which recounts the adventures of two modern day brothers as they set off in a wagon to follow what is left of the Oregon Trail.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 12.48.50 PMSeveral works of literary fiction are highlighted, including The Star Side of Bird Hill (Penguin Press) by Naomi Jackson. Jackson’s story of two sisters moving from Brooklyn to live with their grandmother in Barbados is also the most recent title in our  Penguin Debut Author program . Read our chat with the author here.

Three suspense novels make the list.

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As Night Falls (RH/BallantineBooks; Dreamscape Media) by Jenny Milchman is called a “great psychological thriller” and comes on the heels of the author’s well-reviewed title from last year, Ruin Falls.

The Hand That Feeds You (Scribner) by A.J. Rich is the debut collaboration between two authors known more for their literary chops than for suspense, Jill Ciment (Act of God and Heroic Measures, recently adapted as the film 5 Flights Up starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keeton) and short story writer Amy Hempel (The Dog of the Marriage). It is also one of the Wall Street Journal‘s list of “10 Books to Read This Summer described as “a thriller in tribute to [the authors’]  late friend, Katherine Russell Rich. The story, about a woman who discovers that her fiancé is not who he said he was, is inspired by a real-life experience of Ms. Rich.” By the way, the fiancé is mauled to death by the main character’s dogs — an unusual twist for two authors who are dog lovers.

The Truth and Other Lies (S&S/Atria Books; S&S Audio) by Sascha Arango is a darkly funny debut about a vain author whose world is about to spin out of control.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 12.55.47 PMA second NF title also made the list, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship (Random House; RH and BOT Audio) by Robert Kurson.

Kurson’s account is one of four titles on the list that overlap with the June Library Reads selections. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman are the others.

GalleyChat, BEA Edition,
Tues. May 5

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on Tues., June 2, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails)

WONDER, New Director

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Wonder Back in November of 2012, months after it began its slow and steady climb up the NYT Children’s Best Sellers list, Lionsgate bought the film rights to Wonder by R.J. Palacio, (RH/ Knopf Young Readers).

After announcing a director just this past fall, Lionsgate has a new one in place, Paddington director Paul King. The  book is #1 on the NYT Children’s Middle Grade best seller list after 125 weeks.

Eight Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 28

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Next week brings the second anniversary of the escape of three women who were abducted and held prisoner in a home in Cleveland, celebrated by the release of a new book about their ordeal. A struggle of a different sort is examined by literary favorite Karl Ove Knausgaard. Leading in holds is John Sanford’s new title in the Prey series, while indies, fellow librarians and Entertainment Weekly all herald favorites of the week.

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 April 27, 2015

Holds Leaders

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Gathering Prey, John Sandford, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

The 25th in the Prey series, this comes just six months after the author’s previous best seller, Deadline.

Your Next Breath, Iris Johansen, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Not to be outdone by prolific author Sanford, Johansen’s next also arrives six months after her previous title, The Perfect Witness

Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories, Mary Higgins Clark, (S&S; S&S/Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Much further down the holds lists, we love the title of the new collection of stories.

Media Attention

9780525427650_1b468-2Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

Two years ago, three women finally escaped from a home in Cleveland where they had been chained and repeatedly raped by their abductor. People magazine features an excerpt of a new book by two of those women in the new issue (not yet online, promo here) and Robin Roberts will do an hour-long ABC hour special with the authors on Tuesday.

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Finding MeMore is coming on the story.

On Saturday, May 2, Lifetime will air a movie, Cleveland Abduction based on a book published last year by the third  Cleveland captive, Michelle Knight, Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, (Perseus/Weinstein; OverDrive Sample).


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My Struggle: Book Four, Karl Ove Knausgaard, (Steerforth/Archipelago; OverDrive Sample)

Most of us are n9780914671176_e9ba7ot in on the cult surrounding Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard, called by some a “modern-day Proust” for his series of autobiographical novels. For an examination of the phenomenon, read the quote-peppered piece in this week’s New York Magazine, “The Very Public Saga of Karl Ove Knausgaard Writing About Himself.”

Further proving his cred as a writer’s writer, the latest title in the series is reviewed by Jeffrey Eugenides in the week’s NYT Book Review, who notes, “I may be the first reviewer of Knausgaard’s autobiographical works who has appeared in one of them,” putting him, he claims, in a position to “judge how [Knausgaard} uses the stuff of his life to fashion his stories.”

The result? Eugenides judges him no less than a great writer. The first three hardcovers have been released in trade paperback by Macmillan/FSG and Recorded Books is doing them in audio.


9780307700322_4dba0  9780316244725_d34a3  9781594204920_d9710

Early Warning, Jane Smiley, (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

“In the second book of the Langdon trilogy, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist follows the next generation of the unforgettable Iowa family introduced in Some Luck. Beginning with the death of the patriarch Walter in 1953, Smiley chronicles the social consciousness in America of the 1960s. The book goes up to events in the 1970s and early 1980s that touch each family member in unforeseen ways.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Smiley was interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show this week.

The Doll Maker, Richard Montanari, (Hachette/Mulholland; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Number three on the “Must List” in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly:
“The eighth installment in the popular Byrne and Balzano series sees the detectives investigating a string of gruesome murders. Children are killed then posed in public like dolls. Your pulse will race as they try to solve the case before another life is lost.”

The Last Bookaneer, Matthew Pearl, (Penguin Press; Penguin & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample)

The audio is narrated by Golden Voice Simon Vance. Treat yourself by giving it a listen:

Indie Next:
“An adventure, a mystery, an historical fiction — this exciting read defies categorization. With quirky and engaging characters who are at once villains, crooks, and heroes, along with exotic locations, literary figures, fast-paced action, and a surprise ending, this novel has something for everyone. Changing copyright laws spell the end of the line for career book thieves and spies, and a race against time and competitors makes for a story that is hard to put down. This will be another bestseller for Pearl!” —Coleen Colwell, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, CA

New David Mitchell Novel
Coming in October

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 9.26.34 AMDavid Mitchell’s next novel is Slade House (Random House; ISBN 9780812998689; $26), to be published on Oct. 27th.

The 272-page book, which is much shorter than a typically Mitchell tome, started out as a series of tweets and then, according to The LA Times “Jacket Copy,” “morphed, Mitchell-istically, into a five-part novel.”

Not much is known about the book as yet. The publisher information describes it as,

“a taut, intricately woven, spine-chilling, reality-warping novel. Set across five decades, beginning in 1979 and coming to its astonishing conclusion on October 31, 2015.”

The Guardian reports it is set in the same universe as The Bone Clocks.

Fans of Mitchell typically have to wait at least two years between titles, but Slade House will be in readers’ hands 13 months after most began reading The Bone Clocks.

In keeping with a move to create physically compelling print books, Slade House is in a smaller trim size than normal hardcovers and will be issued without a jacket so readers can appreciate the die cut cover and the peak-a-boo illustration beneath.


Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.32.03 AMGeorge R.R. Martin offers fans a glimpse into his upcoming novel, The Winds of Winter, with an excerpt featuring the character Alayne, better known as Sansa Stark.

The sneak peek, announced on Martin’s blog yesterday, reveals the once battered and cowed Sansa to be still at the Eyrie, hiding out as “Alayne,” the bastard daughter of Littlefinger, and caught up in another of his plots to seduce a man. Alayne seems to be more than holding her own now, telling her would-be suitor on the eve of a tourney, “I hope you joust better than you talk.”

Martin released another excerpt last year. It was so popular it crashed his site.

There is no firm news on when Martin hopes to complete The Winds of Winter but he has been clearing his schedule to devote more time to the long anticipated novel. Note: the cover we show here may not be the official one. It appears all over the internet, including on Entertainment Weekly’s site, but seems to have originated as fan art. UPDATE: We checked with the publisher, who confirms the cover is NOT official.

The showrunners of the HBO series based on his books recently announced that they will begin to outpace Martin’s story after the upcoming season, leaving fans to pick between spoiler-viewing or waiting for Martin to catch up.

The fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins on April 12.


Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The news that The Daily Show has a new host, Trevor Noah, occupied much of the media yesterday.

Noah joined the cast of The Daily Show as a contributor in 2014 and is an internationally known comic previously based in South Africa. There are no details in the widespread coverage (here, here, and here) to indicate that Noah will be as book-friendly as Jon Stewart (who, incidentally has no authors booked this week after his triple-header last week).

Among Stewart proteges, only Stephen Colbert shared the book bug (we’ll see what if that continues when he begins hosting The Late Show in September), but neither John Oliver nor Larry Wilmore has continued that tradition. Here’s hoping Noah surprises us (and who would have predicted, when Stewart began hosting the show, that he would become a major book champion?)

One of our favorite Jon Stewart moments proved he not only knows books, but also understands libraries. This may be the only time the Boston Public Library’s “Statement of Purpose” was quoted on national TV:

Women’s Prize for Fiction, Longlist

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The longlist for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), announced last week, includes several LibraryReads picks:

station eleven  Elizabeth is Missing  9781101874271_0ee2a

Bees  9780062227096_1ce94  9781594633119_8c400

Emily St. John Mandel,  Station Eleven (Picador; US, RH/Knopf) — a LibraryReads Top Ten Favorite for the year.

Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing (Viking; US, Harper, 6/10/14 ) — Number one LibraryReads pick for the month of June, 2014

Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus; US, RH/Knopf) — Number one LibraryReads pick for the month of Feb, 2015

Laline Paull, The Bees (Fourth Estate; US, Harper, 4/14/14) — LibraryReads pick for the month of May 2014

Sandra Newman, The Country of Ice Cream Star (Chatto & Windus; US, HarperCollins/Ecco, 1/22/15)  — LibraryReads pick for the month of Nov. 2014

Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests (Virago; US, Penguin/Riverhead, 9/18/14); LibraryReads pick for the month of September 2014

The other 14 titles on the list, with U.S. publication information, after the jump.


John Lewis on THE DAILY SHOW

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

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John Lewis was interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Congressman Lewis spoke about the first two books in his graphic novel trilogy, March: Book One (Top Shelf Productions, 2013; OverDrive Sample) and March: Book Two (Top Shelf Productions, 2015), sending both books up the Amazon sales charts.

During the interview Congressman Lewis described a childhood of discrimination and how his parents would tell him “don’t get in the way, don’t get in trouble.” When he met Dr. King he said he found a means to “get in the way” and to “get in good, necessary trouble.”

The graphic novels recount Mr. Lewis’s life and momentous events in the Civil Rights Movement, from sit-ins to the Freedom Riders. He told Stewart he decided to write the March books because he wanted to

“… inspire another generation of young people to get out there, push, and stand up, and speak up, and speak out, and get in the way the same way that my generation got in the way, good trouble, necessary trouble.”

March: Book One was a Coretta Scott King honor book for 2014 and appeared on a host of best of lists. March: Book Two, which came out earlier this year, got glowing reviews and wide acclaimThe Washington Post called  it “a must-read monument.”


Sunday, March 8th, 2015

dead-wakeErik Larson’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (RH/Crown; RH and BOT Audio; RH Large Print) has received heavy advance media attention. It got even more on Saturday with an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

The account of the sinking is currently #1 on Amazon’s sales rankingsLibrary holds are also growing.

The Maya Angelou Stamp

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The post office has just unveiled a stamp honoring Maya Angelou, which will be issued on April 7 and is now available for pre-order.

It seems particularly fitting that it is a “forever” stamp.



Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

9780307271037_b504aComing next week, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) appeared on all the “Most Anticipated” lists for the new year and is getting a great deal of advance review attention.

The NYT Book Review features it on the cover of the upcoming issue , with a review by Neil Gaiman (whose just released collection of stories and poems Trigger Warning, is also getting attention), in a review that indicates he had trouble nailing the book down, regretting his “inability to fall in love with it, much as I wanted to, ” and even after “reading it a second and third time … still finding  its characters and events and motives easier to understand, but even so, it guards its secrets and it world close.” He can’t let it go, however, because it “does what important books do: It remains in the mind long after it has been read, refusing to leave, forcing one to turn it over and over.”

The New York Times daily critic, Michiko Kakutani, has no problem dismissing it, calling it an “eccentric, ham-handed fairy tale with a jumble of story lines lifted from Beowulf, Arthurian legend and assorted folk traditions … recounted in stilted, formalistic language that’s presumably meant to evoke a bygone era.”

Among the novel’s fans are the Washington Post‘s former Book World editor, Marie Arana and booksellers, who picked it as an Indie Next title:

Ishiguro’s new novel is a work of wonder, transport, and beauty. A recurrent theme in his earlier books, always shown with great originality, is the matter of what happens after we have lost our way. In The Buried Giant, Ishiguro explores losing direction, memory, and certainty, as the primary characters cling to remnants of codes of behavior and belief. Which is the way through the forest? Where might our son be? And where is the dragon, and who shall seek to slay her? Set in the time just after King Arthur’s reign, Ishiguro’s tale, with striking, fable-like rhythm and narrative, shows how losing and finding our way runs long, deep, and to the core of things. — Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA