News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

LibraryReads, January:
Flavia is #1

The first LibraryReads list of the new year has just been released.

9780345539939_6fe24The number one pick is the most recent Flavia de Luce novel, As Chimney Sweepers Come
to Dust, Alan Bradley, (RH/Delacorte; BOT Audio — go behind the scenes of the audio recording here).

Also on the list of ten titles are two follow ups to book that have been popular with librarians, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (S&S; S&S Audio) and Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, (RH/Del Rey; Thorndike; Recorded Books) and a debut that has been heavily buzzed on EarlyWord‘s GalleyChat, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Penguin/Riverhead; Penguin Audio).

PEOPLE Does Best Books

People magazine cut back their review coverage this year, so we wondered if they were going to do a best books list this year.

Those fears were unfounded. This week’s year-end roundup includes People’s picks of the Top Ten Books. This late in the game, most of the titles have already received multiple best books nods, but with a few differences.

Roz Chast gets her first #1 pick for her National Book Award finalist, the graphic novel, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

9780374280444_2ea69At number two is a book of essays that has been on only one other list, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, by Meghan Daum. Published in mid-November, it has received significant but belated attention this week . It is reviewed in Wednesday’s New York Times, and in the upcoming NYT Book Review. It is #10 on  Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Best Nonfiction list. The reviews universally praise Daum’s lead essay on her mother’s death, “Matricide.” An edited version is available in The Guardian.

The full list:

1)   Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast(Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

2)  The Unspeakable : And Other Subjects of Discussion, Meghan Daum, (Macmillan/FSG; Dreamscape Audio)

3) Not That Kind of GirlA Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, Lena Dunham, (Random House; RH Audio)

4) Redeployment, Phil  Klay, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio)

5)  Love, NinaA Nanny Writes Home, Nina Stibbe (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) — a LibraryReads pick, it did not appear on other  best books lists

6)  All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner, May 2014; Audio exclusive from Midwest Tape)

7)  The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT, read by Juliet Stevenson)

8)  What if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Question , Randall  Munroe, (HMH; Blackstone Audio)

9)  Nora Webster, Colm Toibin, (S&S/Scribner)

10)  Big Little Lies, (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn; Penguin Audio; Recorded Books; Thorndike)


9780307720658_161d8Last night was the premiere of The Interview, a satire about an assassination attempt on the leader of North Korea. Recently, through a series of hacked emails, it’s been revealed that Sony ordered that the movie be toned down due to fears about reactions from North Korea.

The night before, Jon Stewart’s audience gained some perspective on the North Korean culture from Suki Kim, author of Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite,  (RH/Crown; BOTOverDrive Sample). As a teacher in a private school, Kim saw how the future leaders of the country are being trained.  “All their lives are about ‘The Great Leader’ — they took ‘Great Leader’ classes every day. They did ‘Great Leader Duties’.” She says they had no knowledge of the outside world and her students didn’t have access to computers and hadn’t even heard of the internet.

Stewart ended the interview with, “It’s a book like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s a look into a society, a culture but objective and humanizing and terrifying. Really, an amazing book.”

Libraries we checked are showing heavy holds on light orders.

#LibFaves14 — The Votes are In!

For the past ten days librarians have been doing their own year-end roundup of the best books by tweeting their favorites. The votes have now been tallied and EarlyWord can exclusively announce the results (eat your heart out, Entertainment Weekly!).

There were over 1,000 total votes for over 600 titles, just another indicator of how widely librarians read. As opposed to other best books lists, the titles on this list reflect librarians’ appreciation for the genres, particularly science fiction, and Young Adult titles.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  9780804139021_6602f

With the number of titles, there was little overlap, but the number one title, also the number one LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites, is Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, (Workman/Algonquin Books; Highbridge Audio, OverDrive Sample) a book librarians embraced early on. Close behind it is a book that began as a self-published science fiction title and has since made its way to on multiple best books llists,  The Martian, Andy Weir, (RH/Crown) OverDrive Sample.

But the real fun of exploring this list is the amazing range of titles (how many have you even heard of, yet alone read?).

Thanks to the librarians who started this project three years ago, Stephanie Chase, Robin Beerbower and Linda Johns, it has now grown by leaps and bounds. And thanks to the people who helped with the vote counting, Janet Lockhart, Vicki Nesting, Melissa Samora and Gregg Winsor.

We urge you to take a look at  the full list to make your own discoveries (please let us know about them in the comments section); #LibFaves14 — Full List

To see the actual tweets, with some great 140 character recommendations, e.g., “WOMEN IN CLOTHES. I want 2 roll around in the book like it was money & I was Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal,”, check our Storify transcripts:

Days 1 through 7

Day 8 

Day 9

Day 10


9780525951650  9780525952923   9780525953098_399e7

Following on the success of the STARZ 2010 adaption of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, ABC is planning a 10-episode series based on the first book in the author’s Century TrilogyFall of Giants, (Penguin/Dutton, 2010).

According to The Hollywood Reporterif it does well, the other two books in the trilogy, Winter of the World (Penguin/Dutton, 2012) and Edge of Eternity, (Penguin/Dutton, 2014) will each get their own series.

The script is being written by Ann Peacock, who will also executive produce. She wrote the adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers, (S&S/Scribner tie-in, 3/17/15) for Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, which is set to air on March 31 and April 1 on CBS.

First look, below (Downey’s dove seems a bit anxious).

Rainbow Rowell’s Next Is


Announcing her next book via a tweet, picked up by Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” column, Rainbow Rowell says,

She adds the following details on Tumblr:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

In another tweet, Rowell teases that more news is coming.

Fans, of course will be speculating. Could it be a movie? Film rights have been picked up for Eleanor & Park, but there have been no announcements for  Fangirl (don’t be confused by that Meg Ryan movie in the works, Fan Girl. It is not an adaptation, but an original script).

UPDATE: Turns out the news is about the special collector’s edition which we noted below.

Ordering information for Carry On won’t be available until early spring. A sneak peek will be featured in a new “collector’s edition” of Fangirl,  coming in May, described as including “Fan Art, a ribbon bookmark, an exclusive author Q&A, and an excerpt from her upcoming book Carry On.

9781250073808_39862Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

St. Martin’s Griffin: May 12, 2015

9781250073808, 1250073804

Hardcover; $18.99 USD


MTV’s Adaptation of
R.L. Stine’s EYE CANDY

The latest trailer for the MTV adaptation of R.L. Stine’s standalone adult novel, Eye Candy (RH/Ballantine, 2004) was just released. The 10-episode series begins on Monday, January 12.

Our preference is for the previous trailer, which focuses on the darker side of social media (that hasn’t stopped MTV from doing an Eye Candy Facebook page, however).

Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke is the executive producer of the series that stars Victoria Justice.


The $6.99 mass market paperback (cover at left) is still available.

The film version of Stine’s famous series for kids, Goosebumps, starring Jack Black, is scheduled for release on August 7, 2015.

Stills from it were recently released.

Stephen King’s IT To Begin Filming

It_coverThe film adaptation of Stephen King’s It just moved from “In Development” to “Pre-production.”
Vulture reports that the project’s producer Dan Lin confirmed It will be his next project, with filming planned for this summer.

As first announced in 2012, before he he became a household name for True DetectiveCary Fukunaga will direct at least the first of the planned series of two movies.

Lin says King gave the thumbs-up on the script, saying “This is the version the studio should make.”

In addition, last month it was announced that another of King’s books The Stand is being planned as four films, directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) directing, with Matthew McConaughey rumored to star.

New Best Books Lists

If you need an antidote to all the best books list, check Entertainment Weekly‘s Worst Books of 2014.

We’ve updated our downloadable spreadsheet, 2014-Best-Books-Adult-Fiction-V-5 with the following,

Entertainment Weekly, Top Ten

National Public Radio Staff Picks

New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books

Time Magazine, Top Ten, Fiction

Meanwhile, two more best books lists have arrived. We’ll update our Nonfiction and Children’s lists with those titles this week.

Horn Book Fanfare

Kirkus Best Nonfiction


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

Ernest Cline, Movie Rumors,
Next Book

Ready Player OneWe’ve been talking about Librarian Favorites of the year. The number one title for 2011 was the debut science fiction novel, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (RH/Crown), a book that was also a Librarian’s BEA Shout ‘n’ Share pick that year (good going, Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH).

Rumors were swirling last week that Warner Brothers, who bought the film rights prior to publication, are courting  Intersteller director Christopher Nolan to tackle this one. Other sites scoffed at the idea (Nolan doesn’t do adaptations), but then Ain’t It Cook News reported that Nolan is just one of many the studio is considering, including Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright and Matthew Vaughn.

The only thing that seems certain is that a script has been submitted. The rumors may indicate that it’s been accepted.

9780804149112_319ecCline’s second novel Armada was sold to RH/Crown in 2012 and Universal quickly snapped up the film rights.

The audio version is listed on Edelweiss for release on September 29, 2015. The hardcover is noted on an  accompanying “Comp. Title” list, from Crown, with the same release date and ISBN 9780804137256.  Below is the publisher description:

A cinematic, inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure from the best-selling author of Ready Player One.

Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the hightech dropship lands in his school’s courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he’s sure he’s still dreaming. But the dream is all too real; the people of earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he’s been playing obsessively for years isn’t just a game; it’s part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they’ll need to defend earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.

Soon Zack and and a handful of top gamers find themselves in a bunker beneath the Pentagon, hearing about our planet’s vast secret history over the last forty years-ever since a NASA probe first discovered evidence of intelligent life in our solar system, hidden beneath the ice of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he’ll uncover the truth about the alien Europans, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he’s been thrown into.

Tweet Your Favorites of the Year

Librarians are tweeting their favorites titles of the year in a countdown that ends on Wednesday. It’s not too late to join in.  The rules are simple:

Count down your top 10 fave books of 2014, one per day. TITLE in caps, tag #libfaves14.

If you haven’t started yet, you can “cheat” and tweet your #10 through #3 picks today and pick up with #2 tomorrow.

We’ve Storified the 799 tweets that have arrived through this morning (scroll through them, not only for title recommendations, but to see how creatively librarians use 140 characters or fewer)

See the latest tweets here.

The roundups of the previous year’s tweets result in some fascinating lists, quite different from the critics’ picks for those years:

Year Three, 2013

Year Two, 2012

Year One, 2011

Four Titles to Know & Recommend, The Week of Dec. 8

In the midst of all the assessments of the best books of the year, it’s refreshing to look forward to some new titles coming out next week.

All the titles covered here, and a few other notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Dec. 8, 2014

 9781439199350_c6496-2The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike)

Diamant’s fifth novel arrives just after the airing of a Lifetime two-part series based on her first and most well-known novel, The Red Tent.  The author is profiled in the Boston Globe (unfortunately, a review of Lifetime‘s adaptation, in the same issue is not positive). The story of a Jewish immigrant growing up in early-20th-century Boston, as told by her 85-year-old self to her granddaughter. Booklist, calls it, a “graphic, page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century” and it has a significant amount of “love” on Edelweiss.

Here, Ric0375406506_60ed3hard McGuire, (RH/Pantheon)

McGuire broke new ground when his 1989 comic strip was first published in Art Spiegelman’s Raw magazine. This new book-length version is being celebrated with an exhibit at the Morgan library, which has been covered in the Atlantic magazine and in the New York Times. An interview with the author is coming on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

9780062377180_e0c5dMoriarty, Anthony Horowitz, (Harper)

We urged you back in October to read the galley of this book. It is People’s Book of the Week, 12/15/14 and an IndieNext pick:

“I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches for 20 years, but I’ve never read anything as devious as this! After the famous encounter between Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, Inspector Athelney Jones and Pinkerton Agent Frederick Chase are thrown together to combat the rising shadow of an American crime boss looking to take over Moriarty’s empire. Horowitz wisely does not try to imitate Doyle’s style, but instead comes up with a unique voice with several parallels to the Holmes and Watson dynamic. As soon as you finish, you’ll want to read it again with a new appreciation for Horowitz’s masterful plotting. Exquisitely done!” —Steven Sautter, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

9781623658007_c5405Irene: The Commandant Camille Verhoeven Trilogy, Pierre Lemaitre, (Quercus/MacLehose)

IndieNext, Dec — “This extremely suspenseful, fast-paced crime novel is not for the fainthearted. Its graphic violence may turn some readers away, but those who stick through the opening scenes will be richly rewarded by following Commander Verhoeven’s pursuit of a monstrous serial killer who models his gruesome crimes on scenes from classic crime novels. The intense action is enriched by scenes from Verhoeven’s domestic life, as well as the interactions among the distinct personalities of his Paris detective squad.” —Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

The Jimmy Fallon Bump


The cover boy for Entertainment Weekly‘s year-end wrap up was asked to comment on his favorites of the year.

Waxing eloquent about 9781439177723_b60cfhis favorite book, I Am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes (S&S/ Atria/Emily Bestler, 5/27; trade paperback just released), he said,

”Dude, freak out. That’s my new Gone Girl. Gone Girl was the last book that I couldn’t put down. Seriously, email me when you read it. You’ll be five chapters in, and you’ll look up and be like, ‘Dude!”’

The next title in the series is coming in June.

Watch for galleys, Dude!

9781439177754_aefefThe Year of the Locust

S&S/ Atria/Emily Bestler Books

June 2, 2015

9781439177754, 1439177759

Number One Books of 2014

Now that most of the adult best books lists have appeared (still to come in January, the various ALA lists and Booklist‘s picks), we can put them all together for a “Best of the Bests (So Far).”

If you’re itching to get your favorite books recognized, tweet them using the hashtag #libfaves14.

Based on the various top ten lists — NYT Book Review, Entertainment Weekly  (list not online; titles on this downloadable spreadsheet, Ent. Wkly Top Ten Best Books), Time magazine, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and the Amazon editors (who rank their entire list of 100 titles — imagine those discussions) — plus other best books picks, we’ve come up with a ranked list (please don’t question us on our method; it combines art and science) of the top 55 titles of the year, 2014-Best-Books-Ranked, allowing us to announce the #1 book of the year.

First, a review of those publications who had the guts to declare #1 titles.

Number One Picks, By Publication:

Entertaiment Weekly  — #1 Book of the Year

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven, (RH/Knopf; BOT), OverDrive Sample

Time Magazine — #1 Fiction

Tana French, The Secret Place (Penguin/Viking; BOT)), OverDrive Sample

Time Magazine — #1 Nonfiction

Helen Thorpe,  Soldier Girls, (S&S/Scribner; Dreamscape Audio), OverDrive Sample

Time Magazine,  #1 YA Book

We Were Liars, E. Lockhart, (RH/Delacorte; Listening Library), OverDrive Sample

Amazon Editors, #1 Book of the Year

Celeste Ng,  Everything I Never Told You, (Penguin Press; Blackstone Audio), OverDrive Sample

LibraryReads #1 Favorite of Favorites

Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, (Workman/Algonquin Books; Highbridge Audio), OverDrive Sample

As a result of weighing all the lists, we are able to declare the …

Overall Number One Book of the Year:

Phil  Klay, Redeployment, (Penguin Press; Penguin Audio), OverDrive Sample