News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Kakutani Likes THE GIRL

You may not expect the NYT’s literary-focused Michiko Kakutani to begin a review with references to Gone Girl or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, although, as a fan of the Millennium series, she has shown an appreciation for psychological thrillers.

9781612195001_a2c4eYet, her take on Kate Hamer’s indie press debut, The Girl in the Red Coat (Melville House; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), begins with references to both titles and goes on to applaud Harner’s character development, saying she has a “keen understanding of her two central characters … Both emerge as individuals depicted with sympathy but also with unsparing emotional precision.”

Those keeping track will remember that was Kakutani’s key praise of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as well.

It’s receiving appreciation from other quarters as well.  Amazon picked it as one of their Best Books of February and as their Featured Debut of the month. It is a LibraryReads selection, with Kim Dorman of the Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ observing:

“There is not much more terrifying than losing your child. There’s the terror, the guilt, and then the relentless and unending chasm left behind by your child. I am grateful to not know that pain, and yet what Beth, the main character of this book, went through, resonated with me. I have had so many things on my to-do list, and yet I found myself delaying laundry and dusting and research so that I could find out how this story would unfold.”

It is showing solid holds in libraries we checked, performing strongly enough to be pushing against a 3:1 ratio.


guernseyThe star of the movie version of Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike is in talks to star in the adaptation of another long-running best seller, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer (Random House, 2008) reports Deadline, which also notes that the movie “has previously attracted a string of high-profile actresses to consider the formidable lead role, including Kate Winslet, Lily James and Rebecca Ferguson.”

In addition, it once had Kenneth Branagh attached to direct, but he has since left the project, replaced by Harry Potter‘s Mike Newell.

HHhHPike is currently filming another adaptation,
this one based on a French historical novel,
HHhH, (Macmillan/Picador, 2012). When it was published here, the NYT Book Review called the debut “a gripping novel that brings us closer to history as it really happened. ” It was also it a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards  The movie is expected to be released
this year.

0786808012_197e5Branagh, who directed last year’s Cinderella, is now set to direct an adaptation of Artemis Fowl, based on the children’s book series by Eoin Colfer.

And Colfer recently completed an Iron Man book for Marvel, which, of course, could be turned into a movie.

That’s not the last link in this adaptation chain. Branagh will star in the final season of Wallander, on PBS Masterpiece Theater, May 8-22. It is based on the character in a series of books by Henning Mankell.

Tony Bennet’s Collaborator

Tony Bennett’s untitled memoir coming in August, is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s picks of the “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016.” So far, it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites, but now we know who will serve as Bennett’s co-write.

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon announced that he is taking a six-week leave to work with Bennett on the book, returning in late March.

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Bennett, who will  will turn 90 in August, published an earlier memoir when he was 72, The Good Life: The Autobiography Of Tony Bennett (S&S/Atria, 1998). The New York Times Book Review called it “as breezy as an evening listening to Bennett himself.”

He also published a book of the lessons he lives by, including anecdotes from his life, Life Is A Gift: The Zen of Bennett, (HarperCollins, 2012).

Catching Up With:
The SuperBowl Ads

If, like us,  you were watching the Puppy Bowl yesterday (featuring the Kitty Half Time Show), you missed the ads on that OTHER bowl.

No loss. you can do a little Monday morning ad watching, via NPR’s Morning Edition story on “The Best And The Worst Of Super Bowl Ads.”

Presumably not one of the best or one of the worst, the ad for Disney’s Jungle Book, based on the Rudyard Kipling classic, is not included in that story:

Another children’s movie, not based on a book, but with tie-ins, was neither a best or worst:

Tie-ins for both are are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Upcoming — Tie-ins.

You can watch ALL the SuperBowl ads here.

Holds Alert: ORIGINALS

Are you reading this through Firefox or Chrome? Your answer, says The Wharton School’s top-rated professor, Adam Grant, indicates how creative you might be. Intrigued?

9780525429562_1412fMany are as holds are soaring on his newest book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Grant, who also wrote the bestseller Give and Take and writes for The New York Times, addresses how to upend the status quo in business and other organizations with creative and new ideas. His research and case study examples offer insight on how to spot an original idea (as well as generate it or champion it), the power of timing in creating buy-in, and methods of working against groupthink.

Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg wrote a forward for the book, which is currently at #20 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Grant spoke on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, contributing the the surge in demand. Holds are currently very strong, and in libraries that bought few copies, they are far exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Titles to Know and Recommend,
The Week of 2/8/16

9780525954576_cda6d  9780399176142_d4f24  9780345539847_f6b62

The holds leader for the upcoming week is Find Her by Lisa Gardner (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). It’s also a LibraryReads pick. Allie Williams, of Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL, offers this on the 8th of the Det. D.D. Warren novels:

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

A distant second is Alex Berenson’s tenth novel featuring John Wells, The Wolves (PRH/Putnam).

Slightly behind The Wolves is the final book in Pierce Brown’s trilogy Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy, (PRH/ Del Rey). Entertainment Weekly calls it the series’ “devastating and inspiring final chapter” but says it “hasn’t gotten the acclaim it deserves since it’s 2014 debut.” That may change. Movie rights were bought by Universal last year.

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 2:8:16

Eye on: Translations

The Elegance of the Hedgehog9781609453152_24b77

Americans are famous for turning cold shoulders to books in translation, except for when they embrace them, and then they do so in a big way. Witness the continuing excitement over Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series (#ferrantefever) and the phenomenon of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a book that continues to be a reading group favorite seven years after publication. Both are published by Europa Editions, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. At the time, the NYT‘s T Magazine wrote that the publisher’s books have become “Objects of Desire,” and that bookstore customers come in “asking ‘What’s new from Europa?'”

This week, Europa is publishing Barbery’s third novel, The Life of Elves. Released last year in France, it has not enjoyed the amazing success of Hedgehog, but that would be difficult for anyone to replicate (the Independent reports that of Hedgehog‘s  first printing of 3,000, only 12 copies sold in France the first week but word of mouth took hold and it went on to sell millions). The first of a two-book saga, it’s received praise from Library Journal, Booklist and  Kirkus, which notes it is  “completely different [from Hedgehog]: a fairy story of parallel but connected human and elf worlds and of dark forces and extraordinary goodness clashing in an age-old battle.”

A profile of the author is expected in the NYT next week, with reviews scheduled in the NYT Book Review,  Entertainment Weekly and Time magazine, among others.

9780374240905_50ed9It happens that another French translation arrives with buzz next week. The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) is the first work by the award-winning  author to be published in translation by an American publisher. Spanning 24 hours, it traces  the many ripples caused when young surfer is killed in a car crash, the effect on his parents, doctors, organ donation experts, and the woman who desperately needs his heart. It was a hit in France and is impressing critics here as well. Both Booklist and PW have given it a star and it appears on several “Most Anticipated” lists, with Bustle giving it this glowing praise:

“This slim, heady book made my own heart both stop and swell at the same time … In stunning prose that cuts like a scalpel … It’s mesmerizing … I’ve simply never read anything like it.”

Media Attention

9781451635119_bdbd5And Then All Hell Broke LooseTwo Decades in the Middle East, Richard Engel, (S&S)

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, who has been reporting on the Middle East for 20 years, will be receiving media attention from fellow journalists. Booklist, in a starred review, calls his book, “Clear, candid, and concise, Engel’s overview of the ongoing battleground should be required reading for anyone desiring a thorough and informed portrait of what the past has created and what the future holds for the Middle East and the world at large.”

The author is scheduled for a string of appearances, including the Today Show, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on February 11, followed by HBO’s RealTime with Bill Maher the next day.

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads selections arrive this week, a debut and the next in a long-running series.

9780399174124_9316c Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase (PRH/ Putnam; Penguin Audio/Books on Tape; OverDrive Sample). Deborah Margeson, of Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO, says the following about Chase’s debut:

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”Seven IndieNext List books also hit the shelves this week.

See also the author’s recent First Flight’s chat with librarians.

9780062413314_b4081The Ramblers, Aidan Donnelley Rowley (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample).

“This charming book is an homage to families — both the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It follows three characters in their early 30s who are trying to take the next steps toward growing up, deciding who they really are, and what they really want to do with the rest of their lives. They are closely linked and surrounded by family members who are in turns supportive, destructive, and ultimately loving. As members of New York’s privileged, they are free to explore their options while enjoying the best the city has to offer. You will laugh, cry, and cheer these characters on as they come to terms with both their past and their future.” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC

9780425283783_50f46Breaking Wild, Diane Les Becquets (PRH/Berkley; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts will rejoice in Les Becquets’ debut novel. In the spectacular and unforgiving wilderness of northwestern Colorado, elk-hunter Amy Raye Latour goes missing in a snowstorm at the beginning of winter. A search-and-rescue operation is organized and ranger Pru Hathaway and her rescue dog go to look for the missing woman. With alternating chapters focusing on each woman, Les Becquets spins a thrilling story about two strong and mysterious female characters whose resourcefulness and determination help them tackle incredible adversity. Breaking Wild is an extraordinary adventure story whose ending is as tense and suspenseful as anything I have ever read.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Breaking Wild also got starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and PW.

9780525429661_4444bThe Arrangement, Ashley Warlick (PRH/Viking; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America’s first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband — his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781101875551_92053In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein (PRH/Knopf; BOT).

“Lahiri traces the origins, tribulations, and tiny victories that have fueled her decades-long courtship with the Italian language in a bilingual memoir that reads more like an intimate diary. The chapters and short stories offer a vivid timeline of Lahiri’s turbulent relationship with language, bouncing around from English to Bengali during her childhood, immersing herself in the Italian culture by moving her family overseas, and finally attempting to write a book in a new voice. In Other Words is much more than an attempt at self-reflection and reinvention, it’s a mastery.” —Carly Lenz, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

If you are curious to learn more about  Lahiri love of Italian , read her interview in the Wall Street Journal [may require subscription].

9781400069538_7a0f2Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, Dawn Tripp (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Georgia is as stunningly beautiful as the artwork that inspired it. With amazing insight, Tripp captures the personal and artistic relationships between two difficult, brilliant, and complex people: the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. This is an incredible read from beginning to end, a book that begs to be discussed!” —Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

It is also the Costco Book Pick for February.

9781501112461_2b028My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, Chris Offutt (S&S/Atria Books).

“This fascinating memoir of Offutt’s difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family’s income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father’s library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down.” —Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Chris Offutt is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

9781594633461_22eecSudden Death, by Álvaro Enrigue, translated by Natasha Wimmer (PRH/Riverhead Books).

Sudden Death is one of the most audacious, smart, and original books you will read this year. It is a literary triptych — part history lesson, part tennis match, and part hypermodern adventure. Daring and visceral with a cast that includes Thomas Cromwell, Mary Magdalene, Aztec emperors, and more, the limits of the novel in Enrigue’s hands seem boundless. No other author is taking chances like this with such gratifying results.” —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX


There are no tie-in this week but the coming weeks bring many, including an Allegiant movie tie-in edition.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 8

Today. we will learn if  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adapted from the book by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), overturns the box office curse that afflicted its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it’s a safe bet that the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Choice will open well and continue into Valentine’s Day weekend.

Two adaptations open next week:

9781501140648_4ff7f  9781501140525_6d31e
How to Be Single is a rom-com (with a stress on the com) that traces the fates of a group of singles on the dating scene in NYC. It stars Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, and Damon Wayans Jr.

It is loosely based (with a stress on “loosely”) on How to Be Single, Liz Tuccillo (S&S/Washington Square Press; OverDrive Sample – also in mass market). Tie-ins came out just a few weeks ago.

MV5BMjQyODg5Njc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExMjE3NzE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_The second movie is a big anti-Valentine’s Day play (note the poster).

Deadpool features the Marvel Comics character who has evolved from villain to antihero. Ryan Reynolds portrayed him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and reprises the role in this feature.

There is no an official tie-in, but the wise-cracking, super-skilled mercenary features in many comics, so many that Den of Geek provides a lengthy guide to reading the oeuvre.

On Most of 2016’s
Most Anticipated Lists

Just as the book award season ends, the most anticipated list begin to appear, fueling TBR piles and driving up holds queues.

Now that a number of lists have appeared, we can assess which titles fared the best. Looking at seven of the most influential lists, fifteen titles received the most nods.

Spring 2016 Previews — downloadable spreadsheet

A caution, since it’s early in the year, most of the list-makers haven’t yet read these books (Entertainment Weekly makes this clear, headlining their list “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016“), so they are based on buzz and author reputation, and are not guarantees of success. Also, most of the lists are by critics, so they tend to focus on literary titles and rarely include genre titles destined to become bestsellers.

9781501122729_8f332Innocents and Others, Dana Spiotta (S&S/Scribner; Mar. 8) makes it onto five of the seven lists we checked, with Entertainment Weekly writing“The Stone Arabia novelist’s anxiously awaited new work is about two best friends — both L.A. filmmakers — who tangle with a mysterious older woman who likes to seduce men over the phone.”

Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) and Emma Cline’s The Girls (Random House; Random House Audio; June 14) fared well too, making five of the lists.

9780812998603_d74db  9780618663026_49632

As we reported earlier, Chee’s book, published last week, has received significant review attention and is even one of those rarities, a literary author who appeared on a late night talk show.

Cline’s novel was picked as one of the featured titles in PW‘s “Booksellers Pick Their Top Early 2016 Books.” Unlike the critics’ list, which represent titles they expect to review, this one features titles booksellers expect to handsell. Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in Saint Louis, Mo. remarks that Cline’s novel about a murderous cult in the late 1960s (think Charles Manson) offers a “creative use of a historical incident to build a story [that] stays with you.”

Other titles that made the top 15 include two that librarians have been talking about on GalleyChat.

The Nest  9781400068326_8f573

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; Mar. 22) —  GALLEYCHATTER, November 2015, Winter Reading for 2016 Titles. Advance attention seems to doing the trick already, several libraries are developing holds queues.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House; April 19) —  GALLEYCHAT, December 2015, Eyes 2016 picks.



JUNGLE BOOK, Super Bowl Teaser

Super Bowl ads are super expensive and the smart money takes full advantage of them.

The marketing geniuses at Disney have released a teaser of their ad for The Jungle Book.

The teaser is introduced on People magazine by the movie’s young star, newcomer and native New Yorker Neel Sethi. Part of his interview, below:

The adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic debuts in theaters April 15. A full-length trailer was released in September.

Tie-ins (full list of tie-ins to upcoming adaptations here):

9781484725795_6102c 1484725786_c98cc
The Jungle Book: The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett, Zendaya, (Disney Press, March 1)

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Rainy Day, (Disney Press, April 8)


Christmas in CamelotIt’s amazing to realize that the popular childrens series, Magic Tree House has never been adapted for the screen. Today it was announced that Lionsgate has acquired film rights to all the books.

Work has already begun on the first in the live-action films which will be based on the 29th book in the series, Christmas in Camelot, (Random House BYR) reports Entertainment Weekly. Author Mary Pope Osborne will executive produce along with her husband, Will.


First BiteIf a woman eats garlic while she is pregnant, her child will be predisposed to enjoying garlic as an adult.

That is just one of the fascinating facts about how we develop taste revealed in Bee Wilson’s
First Bite: How We Learn to Eat  (Perseus/Basic Books) and in her interview today with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.

ART OF RACING Back on Track

The Art of Racing in the RainAfter becoming a long-running word-of-mouth best seller in 2008, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Harper) was acquired for adaptation as a movie by Universal in 2009,
Then things slowed down. In 2011, a star was announced (Patrick Dempsey, then in the hot show Grey’s Anatomy). In 2014, Dempsey
moved to a producing role and a director was named.

All of that has changed. Late last month, Disney picked up the rights and the script is in rewrite. The Hollywood Reporter notes, “The good news for Stein fans is that the material may be better suited at Disney, which has a long history of canine pics, ranging from Old Yeller to Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

Actually, the book’s fans are probably hoping the movie will be unlike either Old Yeller or Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

dogs purposeIn other canine movie news, Universal hasn’t given up on dogs. It was also announced that they have hired Lasse Hallström to direct A Dog’s Purpose, based on the bestselling book by W. Bruce Cameron, and have set a release date of Jan, 27, 2017.

ME BEFORE YOU Trailer Debuts


Sending the book it’s based on to number one on Amazon’s sales rankings, the trailer for Me Before You just debuted online.

The novel’s author, JoJo Moyes, who wrote the screenplay and, according to USA Today, was
“a constant fixture on the movie set” introduces it.

Directed by Thea Sharrock, it is her first feature film, after directing the BBC miniseries Call The Midwife.and The Hollow Crown.

Starring  Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Clafin (Hunger Games), it is set for release on June 3rd (briefly, it was rescheduled for March, but then switched back to the original date).

A movie-tie in edition will be released soon:

Me Before You: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by Jojo Moyes
PRH/Penguin Books, January 26, 2016
Also receiving a bump from the trailer is the book’s sequel, After You.

Up LATE, with Authors

Squeezed in among the celebrities, sports figures and musicians on yesterday’s late night talk shows were two authors.

Stephen Colbert mixed it up with Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; OverDrive Sample), stirring up the audience as well.

Seth Meyers featured novelist Alexander Chee, but the exchange didn’t give much of a feel for his new book The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio). It is getting wide review coverage, however, as we noted earlier.

In the second part of the interview, he talked about how he inadvertently started Amtrak’s “Writers in Residence” program:

Booksellers Picks for March

9780062105684_8c8afAt number one on the just-released March Indie Next List is Joshilyn Jackson’s The Opposite of Everyone, (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample), a novel that stars a minor character from Jackson’s previous novel, Someone Else’s Love Story.

In her recommendation, Annell Gerson, of Bookmiser, Roswell, GA, says:

“Paula Vauss, née Kali Jai, is complicated, with every right to be so. When she was a young girl, her mother landed in prison and Paula spent time in foster care. Kai, Paula’s Southern, bohemian, Hindu story-telling, boyfriend-hopping mother, loves her, but circumstances surrounding the separation permanently alter their unique love and each spends time trying to make life work again. This is a poignant story of hurt and forgiveness, of secrets and courage, and ultimately of allowing love and family to make one whole again. Jackson’s The Opposite of Everyone will remain in readers’ hearts long after the last line is read.”

9780143128489_16142Also making the list is 13 Ways of Looking
at a Fat Girl
, Mona Awad (PRH/Penguin Books; OverDrive Sample).

It was a LibraryReads pick in February and PW featured it in “Top Early 2016 Books.” In our online chat with Awad in December, she talked with librarians about the making of this literary debut (see also her video to librarians).

In her summary, bookseller Susan Hans O’Connor, of Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA, says:

“For anyone who has ever, at any moment of her life, felt inadequate, insecure, inferior, or inept, and turned to the LifeCycle for a bit of solace only to find herself feeling even worse, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl will resonate, rattle, and inspire. Mona Awad is an exciting new voice, both honest and hilarious, with the ability to face, with head held high, all of the obstacles we throw at ourselves that often stand in the way of our own happiness.”

Also among the booksellers picks is another title being compared to The Girl on the Train, The Widow, Fiona Barton (PRH/NAL; OverDrive Sample).

Annie B. Jones, of The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA, offers:

“Readers on the hunt for the newest, hottest thriller can take heart: Barton’s debut novel is impeccably paced and quietly terrifying, sure to fill any void left after reading The Girl on the Train. Jean Taylor is reeling over the loss of her husband, but the man she knows and the man the police know are two very different people. Told in alternating voices, The Widow is perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Tana French and will have readers on the edge of their seats.”

The full list is available online now. The March LibraryReads list comes out next week, on the 10th.