Debut. NY magazine’s Vulture writes in 18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer, “this phenomenal debut explores what happens when we make any number of decisions by rote and fail to see or question the bigger picture.” Adds BuzzFeed in “30 Summer Books To Get Excited About, “Ma’s language does so much in this book, and its precision, its purposeful specificity, implicates an entire generation.”
Debut. Entertainment Weekly, 7 inclusive novels that will make you think, “follows the lives of four friends as they drift apart and come back together, navigating adulthood as black men living with traumatic legacies who have been offered very different fortunes as they come of age. Holmes’ searing study in masculinity is offset by irresistible heart and biting humor. ”
Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, “A tale set in Ghana, where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.” McFadden is the author of 8 books, her previous, The Book Of Harlan, won the 2017 American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction) and was named a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016.
Praise Song for Butterflies is also mentioned in the new issue of Vanity Fair, which debuts a real books section, replacing the old Hot Type column, with its dizzying run-on list of titles. The welcome change is no surprise. The magazine’s new editor, Radhika Jones, was formerly at the NYT Book Review. Featured in the new issue’s book section is a profile of the owners of the “Trailblazing Black-Owned Bookstore,” D.C.’s Mahogany. Their favorite upcoming title is McFadden’s.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, — “The long friendship between Dores and Graça is forged through music. Based partly on the life of Carmen Miranda, this novel takes us from 1920 Brazilian sugar plantations to the urban samba scene of the 1930s.” Previous title, The Seamstress.
Asghar, Fatimah, If They Come for Us, (PRH/Random House/One World, August). Pbk. Original; DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley
The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Asghar, co-creator of the web/HBO series Brown Girls, writes through the eyes of a Pakistani woman who comes to America and discovers a very strange country indeed.”
As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.
My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.
We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):
This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.
As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.
While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying. I was intrigued by the collection Friday Blackby a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.
What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.
Reminder: Nominations are due for the June LibraryReads list in just a couple of days, by midnight, April 20th.
The just-released May LibraryReads list is remarkably homogenous. All the authors are white women, most of them have already published several books, and the majority of the titles are in the rapidly growing, some would say over-published, category of psychological suspense.
While readers advisors can happily read and recommend any of the titles, as Becky Spratford has often noted in her blog RA for All, they won’t expand readers’ horizons. She pointedly asks, “Why aren’t we all going out of way to look for titles that don’t get recognition?”
To help you do that, we’ve added “Debut” and “Diversity” columns to our spreadsheet of the nearly 200 titles mentioned during last week’s GalleyChat, GalleyChat Titles, April.
Below are are excerpts from the tweets about the June titles by non-white and LGBT authors. If you haven’t read them already, you probably won’t have time to do so before the deadline, but this may serve to remind you of titles beyond the familiar. As Becky says, “If every single one of [you] laid off of voting for the more mainstream titles and instead voted for a more diverse title, many of those mainstream titles would still get in, but maybe a few more marginalized voices would too.”
GalleyChatter: “Really fun, unique urban fantasy/postapoc blend with Indigenous characters & mythology!” —– ” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy with a Navajo cast of characters.”
“Rebecca Roanhorse is an Ohkay Owingeh/Black writer of Indigenous futurisms. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Her debut novel Trail of Lightning(Book One of the Sixth World series) is available summer 2018 from Saga Press, and her children’s book Race to the Sunis coming in 2019 from Rick Riordan Presents. Her short story ‘Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience‘ is on the 2017 Nebula Recommended Reading List.
There There: A novel, Tommy Orange, PRH/Knopf, June 5, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter: “a story of urban indigenous peoples. Got a big push at #pla2018” — Following up on that, PRH Library tweeted that it is a department favorite.
The New Yorker recently published a story that comes from the book, and an interview, in which the author explaind that he wrote There, There because, “I knew I wanted to write a multigenerational, multivoiced novel about Native people living in Oakland. My wanting to write it largely had to do with there not already being a novel about Native people who live in cities, and very few novels set in Oakland. Native people suffer from poor representation as it is, but having little representation in literature, as well as no (literary) version of our (urban Native) experience, was what made me want to write into that space, that void, and try to honor and express fully all that it entails to be Native and be from Oakland.”
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang, PRH/Berkley pbk original, June 5, 2018, DRC not listed
DEBUT Bustle headlines a story about the book, “The Kiss Quotient Is A Refreshing Own Voices Romance With A Heroine On The Autism Spectrum”
From the publisher:
“Key Selling Points
DEBUT AUTHOR who was discovered during Pitch Wars, an online contest with wide social media reach, where published authors match up with a mentee and work on pitch to catch an agent or editor’s eye; Helen was mentored by Brighton Walsh, a contemporary romance author published by Berkley and St. Martin’s Press
THE HEROINE HAS ASPERGER’S, as does the author, who is willing to discuss her personal experience
MULTICULTURAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: hero is half Vietnamese and the author, who is also part Vietnamese, seamlessly introduces cultural elements
AN OWN VOICES NOVEL: romance readers are clamoring for better representation in romances and this book speaks to the #OwnVoices social media movement”
History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Macmillan/FSG, June 19, 2018, DRC available
Gallleychatter: “…by the author of End of Eddy. Has a unique voice.”
From the publisher: “On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind.”
“Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.”
Ayiti, Roxane Gay, Grove/Atlantic, June 12, 2018, DRC available by request
Originally published in 2011 by the Artistically Declined Press, this new edition from Grove Press, according to the publisher, “includes several new stories,” which may qualify it for the LibraryReads list.
The Lost Vintage: A Novel, Ann Mah, HarperCollins/Morrow, June 19, 2018, DRC available
GalleyChatter comment, “Loved the LOST VINTAGE by Ann Mah- historical fiction with a mystery about a family member no one knew about, WWII & it’s set in a vineyard.”
Self-confessed childrens books “big mouth,” Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections.at the U. of Minn., and former EW Kids Correspondent, appeared recently on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss the best kids books of 2017. She is joined by St. Paul indie bookseller, Holly Weinkauf from the Red Balloon Bookshop. It’s worth a listen just for the infectious joy in their voices, not to mention the books they’ll make you want to pick up immediately. Lisa notes that they “discussed fifty-five books in less than an hour and didn’t even get to every one that we brought with us.” For the complete list go to No Kidding: The Best Kids’ Books to Give This Holiday Season.
They highlight cookbooks, giving special praise to Pizza, from Phaidon’s Cook in Book series, interactive titles that allow kids to virtually create recipes from scratch.
Lisa is blogging at the Blue Ox Review, the site she recently founded to “review books, give a heads up on upcoming titles that I am excited about, link to interesting news and events, and show off cool stuff from my collection. Of course, there will be an occasional rant.”
On the site, she is doing her annual “Books to give kids you don’t know very well,” (archive here) to help booksellers and librarians navigate the “maddening game” of recommending the exactly perfect gift for kids customers may see only once a year:
An astounding 750 titles were tweeted, with a total vote count of 1,625, 14.1% higher than #libfaves16. Link the full list here.
Thanks to GalleyChatters Robin Beerbower, Stephanie Chase and Linda Johns who began this project six years ago.
Thanks also to the those who helped with the vote counting,
P.J. Gardiner, Marlise Schiltz, Jane Jorgenson, Joe Jones. Vicki Nesting, Lucy Lockley, Jenna Friebel, Gregg Winsor, Susan Balla and Andrienne Cruz.
And thanks to all the librarians who joined in.
Special thanks to Janet Lockhart for her late night work in compiling the final list. We can now announce the top ten vote-getters.
One of the joys of the list is that it is not limited by age designation or format, so it offers opportunities to discover picture books, graphic novels, and YA titles. In fact, the number one title is the National Book Award longlist title for Young People Literature, The Hate U Give, which received nearly twice as many votes as the number two title, Celeste Ng’s novel for adults, Little Fires Everywhere. Close behind at #3 is Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.
1 — The Hate U Give, Thomas, Angie, (HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray) — 49 votes
We know it was torture for many to limit #libfaves17 picks to 10. Join us tomorrow to call out honorable mentions at #libfaves17HM. Please wait until tomorrow to do so. 2017 was a great year for books! Of course, I say that every year. Because it’s true. :-) pic.twitter.com/W7T4hnQfYS
Librarians! Library faves starts 12/4! Count down your 10 favorite books published in 2017, 1 per day. TITLE in caps, tag #libfaves17 PLS RT w/photo of one of your favorite readers. #ewgcpic.twitter.com/RJ4XR8Cr7z
But you can still get your own favorites recognized, via #libfaves17. The rules are simple — tweet your ten favorite titles of the year, one per day, beginning on Monday. We’ll round up all the titles after tweeting wraps on Dec. 14.
Hollywood is grappling with many upheavals, including a fundamental question, what makes a movie a movie. As streaming services grow and develop their own original films, should a “movie” still be defined as having been made for theaters? The Motion Picture Academy has assigned a committee to study whether to change their requirement that a movie opens in at least a limited number of theaters to qualify for Oscar nominations. Meanwhile, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who announced plans to release 80 movies next year, is campaigning hard to be released from that charade.
For those who are missing EarlyWord‘s daily book news coverage, there’s a new resource in town, Library Journal‘s “Book Pulse” column by Neal Wyatt, with the goal to “help collection development and readers’ advisory librarians navigate the never-ending wave of new books and book news.”
And that it does. Dozens of links each day offer a quick but thoughtful round up of the book coverage that will generate holds lists and give librarians new titles to recommend. Wyatt’s passion for readers advisory work and collection development shine through each day.
Watch the National Book Awards, hosted by Cynthia Nixon, live tonight on the National Book Foundation’s site.
The event is scheduled to begin at 7:20 ET, when Bill Clinton presents the Literarian Award to Dick Robinson, CEO of Scholastic, followed by Anne Hathaway presenting Annie Proulx with the Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. After a break for dinner, the book awards get rolling around 9:20 pm.
A glimpse of Spring/Summer 2018 season arrived via the November GalleyChat. Several titles carry over from previous chats, particularly A.J. Finn’s domestic thriller,The Woman in the Window, (HarperCollins/Morrow, January 2, 2018; LibraryReads nomination deadline, 11/20/17). It leads the list in terms of “Much Love” designations on Edelweiss, with 132.
Among the titles receiving particular GalleyChat passion is Tara Westover’s debut memoir, Educated, (PRH/Random House, February 20, 2018; LibraryReads nomination deadline, 12/20/17). By a woman who grew up in an abusive home, it is described as the “2018 version of Glass Castle.”
“Anna and her father Eddie arrive at the home of Dexter Styles on Manhattan Beach searching for a job during the Depression. After Eddie goes missing five years later, Anna supports her mother and sister by working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. One night, Anna approaches Styles for information about her father. They become involved, but he is still marked by his past relationship with Eddie. Egan’s description of New York in the 30s and 40s is so immersive that you feel like you’re waking up when you have to put the book down.” — Barbara Birenbaum, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Ellsberg will receive additional attention in December, with the release of Steven Spielberg’s film,The Post, about the Washington Post‘s decision to publish The Pentagon Papers, which were leaked by Ellsberg,
“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal grows with each passing hour. His name is in the process of being removed from the film company he co-founded with his brother, The Weinstein Company. Hachette has closed down the Weinstein book imprint, he has been removed as a producer from several projects, including the adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and BBC1’s TV series Les Miserables. While both projects will move forward without him, other adaptations will not. Apple has shut down a TWC Elvis series based on the book by Dave Marsh. Channing Tatum announced that he has withdrawn the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, saying “we will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC.”
Accusations against others are also surfacing. Shortly after Bob Weinstein castigated his brother as “depraved ” in an emotional interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he found himself facing similar accusations. Oliver Stone was also accused of harassment shortly after publicly stating he was “appalled” by the stories about Weinstein and commending the “courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape,”