We’ve long touted GalleyChat as a great way for librarians to prioritize their TBR lists. During last week’s chat, we learned that it’s also useful for anticipating public demand. As one librarian put it, “Honestly, just buy everything recommended here. These people read!” Another added, ” …librarians who don’t have time for a lot of acquisitions work could just go straight down the #ewgc list & not go wrong.”
Keep that in mind as you review the summaries of the titles discussed duing last week’s chat, in two versions:
— EarlyWord GalleyChat, Jan. 2019— downloadable spreadsheet, with info. on which are available as DRCs through Edelweiss and/or NetGalley, notes from the tweets and LibraryReads deadlines
— Edelweiss catalog — Same titles as above, but with covers and full publisher marketing information
Check your holds on the following soon to be released titles, one a debut and the other a second novel, a potential breakout. Heed comparisons to The Woman in the Window (which, by the way, was also touted early on GalleyChat),
A debut that has had GalleyChatters buzzing for months, comparing it to The Woman In The Window. The author was just featured as a “hot-tipped” authors for 2019 by Ithe UK’s Observer. UPDATE: More librarians have chimed in. The Silent Patient is the favorite title on the LibraryReads list for February.
Holds are “going crazy” in some areas for this title, also with The Woman In The Window comparisons.
You may not be familiar with the author, whose first book, The Making of June, appeared 17 years ago. As Publishers Weekly notes in its inspiring story about how the second novel cam to be, the first “fared as many debut novels do: good reviews, few sales.” On the other hand, the new book sparked a heated bidding war, which then continued to Hollywood. Film rights were acquired in Sept, The author will be featured at ALA in Seattle, United for Libraries Gala Author Tea, Sunday, January 27, 2–4 p.m.
Join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 4 to 5 pm ET (3:30 for virtual cocktails). Details here.
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Now that we’re firmly into the new year, Janus has turned his head from favorite books of 2018 to the most anticipated of 2019, featuring over 150 titles by authors of color and/or LBGTQ+ authors, allowing us to update our spreadsheet of Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Considerationwith new discoveries and quotes from the lists (thanks to Neal Wyatt for her comprehensive tracking of the lists in her column, LJ‘s BookPulse. All are now linked on our blogroll)..
Many of the authors are well-known, having won awards for their previous books, but several debuts receive multiple shoutouts:
Kim, Angie, Miracle Creek, (Macmillan/Sarah Crichton Books, 4/16/19; DRC available from Edelweiss & NetGalley)
This debut, previously titled Miracle Submarine, has been getting positive response from librarians on GalleyChat ever since August (“…it’s so great.A courtroom drama where each chapter reveals something new about the characters and changes my mind about who did it!”). The author is set to appear at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (UPDATE: The debut panel does not require registration, as we reported earlier). Crime Reads Most Anticipated describes the novel as, “Angie Kim’s masterpiece of grief, hope, and recrimination takes place in the small town of Miracle Creek, wherein an oxygen tank said to cure everything from autism to male infertility goes from a refuge to an inferno after an arsonist seals the fate of those seeking treatment inside. A complex novel of parenting, prejudice, and putting blame where blame’s due, this one is not to be missed.”
Serpell, Namwali, The Old Drift, (PRH/Random House/Hogarth 3/26/19; DRC available from NetGalley)
On several Most Anticipated lists, including Bustle, “This epic debut novel from Zambian author Namwali Serpell tells the story of a three families over three generations. It begins in 1904, a few miles from Victoria Falls, in a small colonial settlement called The Old Drift. But one mistake sets off a major rift between a black family, a brown family, and a white family that ripples across the next century.” The author will appear, along iwth Angie Kim (above) at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (unfortunately, for those who haven’t signed up already, registration closed this week).
Washington, Bryan, Lot, (PRH/Penguin Riverhead Books, 3/19/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)
Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated, “This eagerly awaited short-story collection, excerpted in The New Yorker to much fanfare, depicts its author’s hometown of Houston with empathy, tragedy, and exceptional specificity.” HuffPost, “Washington’s debut collection, set in his hometown of Houston, has been preceded by a cacophony of buzz. The stories revolve around a boy coming to grips with his own identity — and sexuality — but they depict his whole world, his complicated family, the neighborhoods they live in and what makes these communities hold together or break apart
Benz, Chanelle,The Gone Dead, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 6/25/19; DRC available from Edelweiss)
Appearances on several Most Anticipated lists caught GalleyChatter’s eyes. Crime Reads says, “Chanelle Benz’s 2017 story collection, The Man
Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, was one of fiction’s most arresting and promising in some time, and now Benz is back with her first, eagerly awaited novel, The Gone Dead. The story centers on Billie James, a woman who returns to the family homestead in Mississippi after a long absence to find a troubling legacy, namely the whispers about her father’s death, and how she disappeared the same day. The Gone Dead promises all the moral and social complexity of Benz’s shorter works, thick with atmospherics and a deep, shuddering sense of humanity.” The LA Times includes Benz in their list of “11 Authors To Watch In 2019.”
On several Most Anticipated lists, including Entertainment Weekly‘s, “The poet stirred up enormous interest for his debut novel, a lyrical tracing of refugee life that confronts themes of masculinity and sexuality. Will it live up to the hype?”
Ramos, Joanne, The Farm (PRH/Random House, 5/7/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)
The November LibraryReads list is the most inclusive so far, with 6 of the 10 titles on the main list by authors who are African/American, Mexican/American, Asian American or Japanese. The number one title is by a Nigerian author.
Celebrating LibraryReads’ fifth anniversary, the Steering Committee has introduced several changes, including the new Hall of Fame for titles by authors who have appeared on LibraryReads twice before. This opens the main list of ten to more new authors.
Diversifying the list is only part of the job. The second, even more important step is up to you, in getting to know these books so you can recommend them to readers. To add to the LibraryReads annotations, below are the inclusive titles, with notes from GalleyChatters and on recent media attention. Most are still available as DRCs, so you can download and sample them.
The next deadline for LibraryReads is a month away, Dec. 1 (voting deadlines are now the first of the month, making them easier to remember). When considering titles, please check out our list of eligible inclusive titles.
Popular on GalleyChat,ever since it was first mentioned back in June.— Andrienne. “set in Lagos, Nigeria that is kind of satire and crazy, but I loved the ending.”— Joe Jones. The sister bond is really tested in this dark tale set in Nigeria. Caught me by surprise in how much I enjoyed it!” It is on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of 20 Books You Need to Read This Season, “This slim, scathingly black comedy delves into two sisters’ tenuous dynamic — heightened since one of them is, erm, a serial killer. Such morbidity only sharpens the book’s comic edge, which emerges via Braithwaite’s deadpan prose. She admits, ‘It was fun to write — even though people were dying.’ ” It’s already caught the attnetion of Hollywood. Film rights were acquired, by what Deadline terms the “U.K. production dynamo” Working Title.
Carrasco, Katrina, The Best Bad Things, Macmillan/MCD– DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley
Sept GalleyChat — Joe Jones (who also wrote the LR annotation), “wow was that fun! Alma is such an amazing character in this historical mystery set in the Pacific Northwest.” Washington Post, “The 10 books to read in November “– “Love crime fiction? Love historical fiction? Have I got a book for you! Meet Alma Rosales, a Mexican American, bisexual, cross-dressing, defrocked Pinkerton detective whose hunt for stolen opium on behalf of her boss and sometimes-lover Delphine Beaumond will keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe even wondering if you’ve lost your mind. Sexy, fun, serious and unputdownable.”
Higashino, Keigo Newcomer, Macmillan/Minotaur Books — DRC available for 60 days after downloading; on Edelweiss and NetGalley
GalleyChat, Vicki Nesting. “I recently read Keigo Higashino’s upcoming mystery NEWCOMER and loved the way it was structured so the detective solved one small mystery in each chapter, leading him to the solution to the murder. Brilliant!” — Joe Jones, “Told from multiple points of view we slowly weed out the possible suspects in a murder set in a small neighborhood in Japan.“ This is the author’s second LR pick — the first was in 2014 for Malice,. Many of the author’s novels have been made into movies and TV series in Japan.
GalleyChatters gasped at having missed this, the first collection of short stories by one of their favorite fantasy writers. Jemisin is not only the first African/American to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, but the first person to win the prize three years in a row. Entertainment Weekly profiling the author, writes that the books in The Broken Earth trilogy are “a prescient allegory of racial and political tensions” and are currently in development as a TNT series.
LJ Prepub Alert, Sophisticated Reads, “Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.” Picks up where the author’s previous title, The Calligrapher’s Daughter ended.
Suri, Tasha, Empire of Sand, Hachette/Orbit; DRC on Edelweiss and NetGalley
Popular on GalleyChat — Lucy Lockley. “Fascinating desert world, complex characthers, social/cultural/religious persecution due to magical blood plus a romance!” — Publisher, “a captivating epic fantasy inspired by Mughal-Indian history. If you loved City Of Brass, Uprooted, or The Wrath & The Dawn, Empire Of Sand Is your new must-read.”
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Thanks to all of you who made Fruit of the Drunken Tree, by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, (PRH/Random House/Doubleday) a LibraryReads pick. This debut about two young Colombian girls, close friends from very different backgrounds, shows how political upheaval dramatically changes lives. The characters of the two girls are so clearly defined that you continue to wonder how thier lives evolved long after finishing the book.
We love when the list brings us such discvoeries. Please do it again. For this Fourth of July holiday, check our recently updated list of upcomg Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration. download the DRC’s for those that interest you (the Notes section gives background on each title), read them and vote for your favorites.
From the September list (votes due by July 20) we recommend Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, (PRH/Knopf), about a young Barbados slave named ironically for the first US president. A sympathetic while man discovers that Wash has talents useful to him in scientific studies and brings him to the Arctic. Ghanian-Canadian author Edugyan, the first Black woman to win Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, describes the Arctic cold so vividly that you may find yourself shivering.
If the heat makes you want to reach for something on the ligher side, try GalleyChat favorite, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory, (PRH/Berkley; the author was featured in NPR’s recent story, “Beach Reads by Authors of Color.” This is an October title) or Ian Smith’s twisty Harvard-set mystery, The Ancient Nine. (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).
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.