Next week, Elin Hilderbrand trades in sand for snow as she jumps on the Christmas-themed novel band wagon. The setting is still the familiar Nantucket … fitting with the holiday theme, a book of short stories by Y.A. authors will also intrigue adults … blasts from the past include Norman Lear’s memoir and Cary Ewes’s story of the making of The Princess Bride.
All the titles highlighted 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 10/13.
Leaving Time, (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; Thorndike, 11/5), OverDrive Sample
The number one holds leader for the week, and in a tie with next week’s Gray Mountain by John Grisham, is also a LibraryReads pick:
“Leaving Time is a love story – love between mother and child, love between soulmates, and love between elephants. The story is told from a variety of narrators, all of whom are broken and lost. Jenna is searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother, and seeks the help of a retired police detective and a psychic. Alice, Jenna’s mom, disappeared after a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary, and her work with the elephants is fascinating and touching. The book is an ode to motherhood in all its forms–the good, bad and the ugly–and it is brilliant.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Winter Street, Elin Hilderbrand, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print); OverDrive Sample
Kirkus notes, “increasingly, best-selling authors are producing Christmas novels, family dramas in which the Christmas Spirit prevails. They often seem like rushed marketing ploys, though occasionally they hold up to the author’s own standards. Hilderbrand’s falls somewhere in between; her skill at creating character is present, but the plot feels constrained and a little predictable.” Both Booklist and LJ were more forgiving.
The Life We Bury, Allen Eskens, (Prometheus Books/Seventh Street Books); OverDrive Sample
An original trade paperback from indie publisher Prometheus Books’ new mystery imprint (the name refers to the address of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia).
“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI
Even This I Get to Experience, Norman Lear, (Penguin; Penguin Audio); OverDrive Sample
The media has already jumped on this, beginning with yesterday’s interview on front page of the NYT arts section. Giving it just a B-, Entertainment Weekly calls it, “sharply written, always entertaining, yet surprisingly shallow autobiography.”
Choose Your Own Autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris, (RH/Crown Archetype; RH Audio); OverDrive Sample
Harris, who plays a creepy character in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, here writes his autobiography in the form of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you have trouble imagining that, check the OverDrive Sample. Harris, of course, also narrates the audio (the publisher assures us that it won’t force us to try to jump around). UPDATE: Harris is interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio)
Elwes, featured on the Today Show this morning (read an excerpt of the book on the site), is scheduled for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered this Sunday (UPDATE: Listen to the interview here) as well as Fox News’s Fox & Friends on Tuesday. As in the book, the audio includes reminiscences from other stars of the show, including Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, and Rob Reiner.
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig (Norton)
The author was already interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air this week and the book is covered in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. The review includes this tidbit, “Eig notes that when [birth control pioneer Margaret] Sanger gave an interview to Mike Wallace she was asked, ‘Could it be that women in the United States have become too independent — that they followed the lead of women like Margaret Sanger by neglecting family life for a career?’ The year was 1957.” You can view that interview on C-Span.
Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow, (S&S/Howard)
Fox TV, of course, will be all over this one:
• Hannity, October 14
• Fox & Friends, October 15
• Lou Dobbs Tonight, October 15
• Fox News-TV/Fox & Friends, October 18
• The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, October 15
• Fox & Friends, October 18
• America’s News HQ, October 19
My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, and more, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin’ Listening Library); OverDrive Sample
Leave it to Y.A. authors to bring a thoughtful twist to holiday-themed books. Says Kirkus of these twelve stories, “Rich language and careful, efficient character development make the collection an absorbing and sophisticated read, each story surprisingly fresh despite the constraints of a shared theme.”
The Listening Library sample is from Rainbow Rowell’s story (the embed code is not working, link to it here); read it in full via the OverDrive Sample.