Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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


Friday, December 26th, 2014

In Great Britain, people are celebrating Boxing Day while  analyzing the various Christmas specials, including the conclusion to Downton Abbey, season five.

Here in the U.S., season five begins on PBS Sunday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. To tide us over, we have a delicious spoof of the series, created as a fund raiser for the U.K. charity Text Santa:

Season six is likely to begin in the U.K. in September. No news on whether it will be the final one, but British news is atwitter with the possibility of a Downton Abbey movie.

The INTERVIEW To Be Screened

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Following dozens of protests over canceling the release of the movie The Interview due to threats from hackers, Sony did an about face on Monday, and announced they would authorize screenings.

The movie is currently scheduled for release in 292 theaters on Christmas Day, followed by 91 more after the New Year (far fewer than the 2,000 originally planned). The four largest chains, however — Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmke — are still refusing to show it, reports the New York Times.

PEN recently released a letter signed by nearly 50 authors, including Salman Rushdie and Neil Gaiman, as well as several publishers, urging Sony to “demonstrate the power of free expression by denying the cowards who made these threats the satisfaction of thinking they have succeeded,” and saying, “The attack on Sony Pictures is an assault on the wider creative community; one that must be met with unity and resolve.”

FRESH OFF THE BOAT Series Premiere

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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ABC’s new comedy Fresh Off the Boat will premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 4  before moving to its regular timeslot on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET.

Based on restaurateur and food show host Eddie Huang’s memoir of his childhood, Fresh Off the Boat, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; BOT), this will be the first Asian American family sitcom since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl.

The show stars Hudson Yang as the young Huang with Randall Park and Constance Wu as his parents. The show’s producer, the actual Eddie Huang, will do the voiceover narration.

The trailer for the show’s pilot, below:


Monday, December 8th, 2014

9781618931276_ee539The seven-year run of FX’s  Sons of Anarchy ends tomorrow night, but it seems some fans already know the ending because of an unauthorized release of the tie-in (see the story in Entertainment Weekly’s TV blog).

No problem for libraries; the few that ordered it haven’t received their copies yet.


Sons of Anarchy : The Official Collector’s Edition
Tara Bennett
Time Home Entertainment: December 10, 2014
9781618931276, 161893127X
$29.95 USD

Live Chat with Debut Author,
Brooke Davis

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Live Blog Live Chat with Brooke Davis, LOST & FOUND


Monday, November 24th, 2014

Editor’s Note: Our intrepid GalleyChatter (some call her the “Galley Whisperer”) Robin Beerbower, wrangled the many titles librarians were enthusiastic about during the most recent session of GalleyChat, to give you titles to add to your own TBR pile (remember to nominate your favorites for LibraryReads). Many of these are available for free download via Edelweiss and NetGalley.


This month’s GalleyChat became hot and heavy when the discussion turned to romance novels. The resulting list of forthcoming titles, along with the authors’ backlists, will help collection development librarians keep romance loving patrons satisfied.

From romance, we then turned to a more sinister subjects, learning about some compelling stories of murder and conspiracies.

If you missed the chat or couldn’t keep up with the 300 plus tweets, check here for the complete list of books discussed.

Romance, Mostly Regency

Deb Margeson (Douglas County Librariers, CO) a Regency romance fan, was enthusiastic about her latest find, also a November LibraryReads pick,  Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean (HarperCollins/Avon, November), saying it was “great escapist fun.” MacLean is clearly an author to know. Her earlier book, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished was the #1 Dec. 2013 LibraryReads pick.

Another Regency fan, Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library chimed in with her new favorite,  It Started With a Scandal, by Julie Anne Long (HarperCollins/Avon, March), the tenth in The Pennyroyal Green series, set during the long-running fictional feud of two wealthy families in Sussex.

Vicki Nesting (St. Charles Parish Library, LA) is now hooked on the sub-genre and her latest find is the sequel Tessa Dare’s Say Yes to the Marquess, (HarperCollins/Avon, December), the sequel to Romancing the Duke. That discovery is seconded by many librarians from around the country, showing massive love on Edelweiss for this title. Vicki also enjoyed Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen (Sourcebooks/Casablanca, February). And to round out our round-up of regency romances, Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro Public Library, Oregon) recommended books by two big names in the field, Julia Quinn’s The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, and Eloisa James’ Four Nights with the Duke (HarperCollins/Avon, March). A side note of interest, James, an English lit professor, is the daughter of poet Robert Bly and short-story author Carol Bly and is married to an Italian knight.

For a modern vibe, Grace Burrowes, who usually writes historical romances, has three titles in the Sweetest Kisses series coming out in early 2015. New Rochelle (NY) Public Library’s Beth Mills said she enjoyed the first, A Single Kiss (Sourcebooks/Casablanca, January) so much that she immediately downloaded the next two, First Kiss and Kiss Me Hello.

The Darker Side

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But then the conversation turned to the darker side of love. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Hausfrau (RH, March) is centered around a wife and mother who is falling apart despite having the perfect life. Last August Elliott Bay Bookstore staff member Kenny Coble teased us saying, “It is brave and vulnerable and a little inappropriate (don’t tell mom),” and Jenne Bergstrom from San Diego County Library said “it grabbed onto me HARD.” Another book about desire and obsession receiving attention is Jan Ellison’s A Small Indiscretion (RH, January).  Adrienne Cruz, librarian from Azusa (CA) Library says, “Annie is a complex character. The narration is written as if she were talking to her comatose son — a confessional almost. The treatment coupled with bold and richly-layered characters result in a satisfying debut.”

Murder and Mayhem

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On to murder and mayhem. Inspired by a true event in a Utah Mormon community, The Bishop’s Wife, by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Crime, December) has seen much love over the past few GalleyChats. Vicki Nesting said,While not strictly a mystery, this book will appeal to readers who enjoyed the introspective investigation at the heart of Reconstructing Amelia.

Robin Nesbitt, readers’ advisor at Metropolis Columbia (OH) Library loved A Murder of Magpies, Judith Flanders (Macmillan/Minotaur, February), saying “What’s not to love – mystery, publishing, London!  Judith Flanders nails it with a funny protagonist who happens to be a book editor in London.  Bibliophiles will love this.” J.A. Jance is well known for her two series featuring J. P. Beaumont and Johanna Brady, but the lesser known Ali Reynolds series is starting to gain ground. Beth Mills was pleased that Jance is in her usual great form with Cold Betrayal (S&S/Touchstone, March), the tenth entry in the Reynolds series.

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Two exceptional espionage titles were mentioned, All the Old Knives, Olen Steinhauer (Macmillan/Minotaur, March), and The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell (S&S, March).  “A fun and twisty read” is Janet Lockhart’s  (Wake County Public Libraries, NC) description of the Steinhauer story about former lovers who reunite to reminisce about old times as spies. Caldwell’s Vatican-based thriller was compared to those by Dan Brown, Daniel Silva and Iain Pears.

For more raves about forthcoming titles, join our next chat on December 2, 4:00-5:00 (EST). To keep up with what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please “friend me.”

Quammen on Ebola

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

In her Library News email last week, Golda Rademacher, Norton’s Library Marketing Manager, alerted librarians to the following drop-in title:

9780393351552_5bc5bEbola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus
9780393351552, pbk, $13.95
NORTON, 10/20/14

With all the news about Ebola lately, we had a lot of requests for the Ebola chapter from David Quammen’s Spillover. We’ve pulled the chapter out and are publishing it as a paperback with some updates and a new introduction by the author.

In today’s New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviews it, saying that Quammen warns readers not to take Richard Preston’s “lurid descriptions of Ebola’s consequences literally” in his best selling book, The Hot Zone. Nevertheless, Quammen ” shows in these pages that the reality of the virus is horrifying without any apocalyptic embellishment.”

Kakutani also mention journalist Laurie Garrett’s  “illuminating and encyclopedic book The Coming Plague” (Penguin Books).


Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

We’ve become so used to the goofy Steve Carrell, on full display in theaters now as the dad in Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, that it may be difficult to believe that same guy plays billionaire John du Pont in this trailer.

The movie, which opens on Nov. 14, is generating Oscar buzz, (read what the cast members, including Vanessa Redgrave, have to say about it here).


It is based on the forthcoming hardcover

Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, by Mark Schultz, and David Thomas

(Penguin/Dutton, 11/18)

WONDER Has Director

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Wonder Lionsgate has announced that John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings, 2013) will direct the film adaptation of the word-of-mouth debut hit Wonder, R.J. Palacio, (RH/ Knopf Young Readers)

The book is still #1 on the NYT Middle Grade Best Sellers list after 96 weeks. Entertainment Weekly predicts the movie will also be successful, saying it’s “bound to be the latest in a string of enormously successful YA adaptations,” (presumably, referring to what Hollywood now calls “grounded” Y.A. adaptations, like The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay, rather than the dystopian hits).

The big question: how will the movie deal with the main character’s facial deformity?

The trailer for the book avoided the issue:

8 Titles to Make You An R.A. Guru — Week of 8/18

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The watchword for next week is “family sagas” as  two heavily-promoted titles arrive, one a debut and the other by a veteran returning to the genre she abandoned for decades.  Also on their way are several more to recommend, including 3 LibraryReads picks.

NOTE: To make you even more knowledgable, now you can read samples of these books via our links to OverDrive’s new Readbox system

The titles listed here, plus several other notable books arriving next week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 8/18, with ordering information as well as alternative formats.

Family Sagas

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Bittersweet, Colleen McCullough, (S&S) — OverDrive Sample

Back in the late ’70’s, Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds, became a best seller, propelled to further success by a blockbuster TV series. A generational saga set in Australia, the author drew on her own family background for the story.

She has written over 20 books since, a series of historical novels set in classical Rome and another series of detective stories, but, as the 76-year-old author told an interviewer last year, she was uncomfortable returning to the genre that won her the most success. She’s overcome that for her new book, being promoted as her “first epic romantic novel since Thorn Birds” (you can almost hear the publisher cheering). McCullough, however, insists the two stories are not at all alike.  Prepub reviews are strong, and People magazine chooses it as their “Book of the Week.” Holds are relatively light.

We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas,  (S&S; S&S Audio)
— OverDrive Sample

A debut, this novel was heavily promoted at Book Expo. It’s the featured title in the book section of the new issue of  Entertainment Weekly, with the reviewer calling it an “absolutely devastating family saga … the best I’ve read since The Corrections.”  EW goes on to chart “25 First-Rate Family Sagas” beginning with War and Peace, through The Thorn Birds, and ending with Philipp Meyer’s The Son(HarperCollins/Ecco, 2013).

LibraryReads Picks

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One Kick, Chelsea Cain, (S&S) — OverDrive Sample

The #1 LibraryReads pick for August:

“Kick Lannigan survived being kidnapped as a child. Now, at twenty-one, determined never to be a victim again, she has reinvented herself. Martial arts and weapons handling are just a few of the skills she has learned over the years. Kick catches the attention of John Bishop, a mystery man with access to unlimited funds, and together they go after a cabal of child pornographers. A read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.” — Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

The Story Hour, Thrity Umrigar, (Harper; Dreamscape audio) — OverDrive sample

“Another beautifully written novel by Thrity Umrigar. A relationship develops between Maggie, a psychologist, and Lakshmi, a troubled Indian woman. As their stories develop, it is hard to figure out which woman does more to impact the other’s life. Highly recommended.” Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe) — OverDrive sample

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’” — Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

This also gets an A-, in Entertainment Weekly.

Lisa Von Drasek’s Adult Pick

9780385538138_7ec07-2Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher, (RH Doubleday; BOT) — OverDrive sample

As we reported earlier, EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek is a big fan of this humorous novel told in the form of letters of recommendation written by one world-weary academic. NPR backs her up, calling it “hilarious.” Try the OverDrive sample; you’ll find yourself reading it aloud to anyone who will listen (and even to those who won’t).

In the Media

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Sticker from The Colbert Report web site

Colbert Bump

Sweetness #9 , Stephan Eirik Clark, (Hachette/Little, Brown) — OverDrive sample

After making a NYT best seller of Edan Lepucki’s California, Stephen Colbert urges readers to buy this debut published by Hachette, just not from Amazon.

Entertainment Weekly gives it just a B-, but the Huffington Post picks it as “The Book We’re Talking About” this week.

NYT Book Review cover

Kill My Mother : A Graphic Novel, Jules Feiffer, (Norton/Liveright)

Reviewed by Laura Lippman in Sunday’s NYT BR, this is also an NPR “Exclusive First Read