GalleyChat regulars fell like proud parents when one of the books they spotted months ago begin to gain attention and head for best seller lists. That seems to be happening for one of the titles highlighted in December, debut author M.O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample; BOT Audio Clip). It went on to become both a LibraryReads pick and an IndieNext pick and has gotten the love from Entertainment Weekly (#3 on the “Must List” for the week, with a compelling review) and sister publication People picks it this week (“wrenching and wondrous … a mystery, a Louisiana mash note and a deeply compassionate, clear-eyed take on the addled teen-boy mind.”)
You could become a proud parent, too. Many of the titles highlighted below from the Feb. 3 GalleyChat are available as eGalleys on Edelweiss and/or NetGalley. Download the ones that appeal to you and let us know what you think during the next chat or in the comments section below (and don’t forget to nominate for your favorites for LibraryReads).
If you missed the Feb. 3 chat or simply couldn’t keep up (most of us can’t), click here for the complete list of titles mentioned. If you would like to see what books I’m anticipating, “friend me” on Edelweiss.
The accolades for A God in Ruins (Hachette/Little Brown, May), Kate Atkinson’s sequel to the masterful Life After Life, arrived fast and furious with Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro Public Library, Oregon) calling it “An almost perfect book.” Atkinson’s sequel picks up on the life of Teddy, the little brother of the main character in Life. In her Edelweiss review, Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, commented, “At times funny and at others heartbreaking, Atkinson revels in the beauty and horror of life in all its messiness.” In addition to stocking up on this, librarians may want to buy extra copies of Life After Life.
When GalleyChat’s discerning readers start raving about book by an unknown author, calling it one of the best books of the year, and even the best book ever (Jessica Woodbury, blogger and Book Riot contributor), we take notice. A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday/Random House, March), covers the decades long friendship of four men in Manhattan, although it’s much more than that. Jessica also said that even though it’s not an easy read, and long (over 700 pages), “This is a book about love and what it means and what it can do and it is the humanity of its characters and their love for each other that will stick with me.” Could it be the next The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)?
In Judith Clare Mitchell’s A Reunion of Ghosts (HarperCollins/Harper, March), three sisters agree to commit suicide by the year 2000 even though they have overcome a dark family past. Three GalleyChatters agreed it was wonderful with Janet Lockhart’s short but succinct review, “Gorgeous writing. Highlighted whole pages.” Another book that received raves was James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods (Hachette/Little Brown, March), the tale of a son searching for his drug-addicted mother who was lured to a remote farm by a food company. This quirky story had Kelly Griffin, Collection Development Librarian from Chicago Public Library, saying, “Audacious, dark, funny and sometimes narrated by crack-cocaine. I have never read a book quite like this.”
Fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner may want to watch for Eight Hundred Grapes, Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster, June), a contemporary story of a woman returning to her family’s Sonoma vineyard after her fiancé’s explosive secret is revealed. Andrienne Cruz of Azusa City (CA) Library said, ”Eight Hundred Grapes is your typical domestic fiction, part love story, part family drama and Georgia’s witty retorts make for a juicy read.”
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen was such a juggernaut that her next book At the Water’s Edge (RH/Spiegel & Grau/March), is highly anticipated by readers. Taking place during WWII, Maddie, her husband, and a friend search for the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, and according to Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT), “This novel is part drama, part romance, and part mystery. Maddie’s reawakening to what is really important in life is the focus of this story…” Readers might be also be intrigued by the publisher’s description, “Think Scottish Downton Abbey.”
Can’t Resist A Few Good Crime Novels:
With the fabulous setting of New Hebrides and the intriguing plot of a twin daughter dying only to have the surviving twin tell the parents the wrong girl was buried, S. K. Tremayne’s Ice Twins (Hachette/Grand Central, May) is sure to be a hit. Jessica Moyer, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin said, “Gripping! In a disturbing way, could not put it down once I started. Reminds me of SJ [Sharon] Bolton’s early works.”
A new Maisie Dobbs mystery is always cause for celebration and the eleventh entry in the series A Dangerous Place (Harper, March), is billed as her best yet. Stephanie Chase said it’s terrific and “features an unusual setting in Gibraltar at the time of the Spanish Civil War as well as a tender and nuanced look into the inner life of our heroine. Heartbreaking and intriguing.” DRC’s are available as of today.
For those of you whose patrons are clamoring for a Winspear readalike, suggest the new Ian Rutledge title by Charles Todd, A Fine Summer’s Day (HarperCollins/Morrow, Jan) the next in a series also set in the World War I era, along with Todd’s other series featuring Bess Crawford.
If you would like to join the fun, the next GalleyChat is Tuesday, March 3, 4:00-5:00 p.m. (EST).