News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GalleyChat, Tues. Feb. 2

February’s chat has now ended.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tuesday, March 1, 4 to 5 p.m., Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails!)

More info on how to join here.


9780618663026_49632Seth Meyers continues his Late Night literary salon on Wednesday, featuring Alexander Chee.

The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) is Chee’s second novel (coming out over a decade after the Whiting Award–winning Edinburgh). It is set during the Second Empire and Belle Epoque Paris and features historic and fictional characters.

As Slate summarizes it, the novel’s main character is:

“Lilliet Berne, a clever, glamorous opera superstar … she sweeps into balls singing show-stopping arias to thunderous applause, yet never speaks a word in public. Lilliet is offered a role written specifically for her by an anonymous composer—an enormous compliment, until she realizes that the opera is based on her own shadowy past … Only four people know her true story, and it must have been one of them who betrayed her. As she hunts for each of the four in turn, she recounts the picaresque sequence of transformations that brought her to the pinnacle of Paris.”

Chee’s appearance follows a round of advance publicity. As we reported earlier, it is an IndieNext pick this month. It has also been selected as one of the year’s “most anticipated” novels by Bustle, Entertainment Weekly, FlavorWire, HuffPost, and The Millions.

NPR calls it “sprawling, soaring, bawdy and plotted like a fine embroidery,” and featured Chee on a recent Weekend Edition Saturday show.

Even Vogue has gotten in on the praise and featured Chee in an interview that highlights, in part, the novel’s lavish detail to the fashion of the era.

All the attention aside, in libraries we checked holds developing but few locales are topping a 3:1 ratio. Meyers may give the book the nudge it seems it still needs to break through.





American GirlsVanity Fair columnist Nancy Jo Sales set off a tweet storm over the summer with her story, “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’.” In a new book, Sales looks further in to how social media is affecting the lives of girls coming of age today (more specifically, as the publisher puts it, “how it is influencing their experience of adolescence and sexuality, and wrecking their self-esteem”), titled American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, (PRH/Knopf; BOT and RH Audio)

Set for publication on February 23, it’s a last-minute addition drop-in title has not yet received reviews from the pre-pub media.

Below are highlights of confirmed upcoming media coverage:

· ABC-TV, Good Morning America (scheduled for 2/23)
· ABC-TV, Nightline (week of publication)
· Megyn Kelly, Fox News
· NPR, including Fresh Air (airs 2/29)


Stephen Colbert continues to sneak authors on to The Late Show.

9780316387804_c4316First up is Harvard professor and TED Talk hit, Amy Cuddy, set to appear tonight. She is the author of the bestselling Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample). Her book has been featured on the cover of the NYT Book Review and was a People magazine “Book of the Week.” Skeptics will enjoy a recent Slate article that calls Cuddy’s work an “example of scientific overreach.”

Currently t at #3 on the NYT Advice Best Sellers list after five weeks, it has strong holds at many libraries we checked.

9780544387669_be015On Wednesday night Michael Eric Dyson has his turn with Colbert. His newest book (out tomorrow) is The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; OverDrive Sample), in which he explores how President Obama has navigated and responded to issues of race over the last eight years, taking a largely critical stance.

Also on the schedule are several actors promoting FX’s upcoming American Crime Story series on O.J. Simpson, including John Travolta and Courtney B. Vance tonight and David Schwimmer tomorrow. The show debuts tomorrow night and is based onJ effrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. A tie-in edition (Random House) was released in September..


9780691147727_f2647Paul Krugman’s cover review for this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review, available online since Monday, is fueling demand for a university press title about how America has changed, and failed to change, since the last age of great invention. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (Princeton University Press) is racking up holds and causing some libraries to add more copies to shore up initial low buys.

Krugman says the book is “a magisterial combination of deep technological history, vivid portraits of daily life over the past six generations and careful economic analysis” and goes on to say it “will challenge your views about the future; it will definitely transform how you see the past.”


9781771642484On the strength of an article in Saturday’s New York Times, a book on forests and trees soared up the Amazon sales rankings to #22.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben (PGW/Perseus/Greystone Books; ISBN: 9781771642484;09/13/2016) explores the wonders of trees and the ways they communicate with, and care for, each other – through their own version of a social network.

Already a surprise best seller in Germany where it remains atop the German news magazine Spiegel’s nonfiction list sixth months after publication, it has the potential to become a hit here as well, caught not only in the wake of interest in wild spaces in general, but also in books that present personal views of nature such as H Is for Hawk and The Shepherd’s Life and nature/science books such as The Soul of an Octopus.

The NYT’s feature reports how Wohlleben’s book has enchanted and intrigued readers in Germany:

“The matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.”

Canada’s Greystone Books (distributed in the US by Publishers Group West/Perseus) will publish an English version in September. It is listed on wholesaler catalogs.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 1, 2016

9780399170898_c5402  9780345541406_34305

Among the titles arriving next week, the leader in both holds and number of copies ordered is Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb (PRH/Berkley; Brilliance Audio) followed by Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel, by Jonathan Kellerman (PRH/Ballantine; PRH/BOT Audio; PRH Large Print).

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet,EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 1, 2016

Media Attention

9780804139540_3f356  9781101875285_db30c

United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, Peter Bergen, (PRH/Crown)

This book was not reviewed in the pre-pub media, probably due to an embergo in anticipation of an interview with the author Tuesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. As a result, ibraries have ordered it lightly. The NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani reviewed it earlier this week, saying “Mr. Bergen’s detailed accounts of terror plots (both executed, foiled or failed) make for chilling reading,”

On My Own, Diane Rehm, (PRH/ Random House; BOT/RH Audio; RH Large Print)

The host of the popular and book-friendly Diane Rehm Show on NPR (who recently announced her retirement as of the end of the 2016 Presidential election) writes about her husband’s death from Parkinson’s and her resulting commitment to the right to die movement. She will appear in a live interview with Scott Simon tomorrow on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday .

Peer Picks

9780399160301_6d8b1The #1 LibraryRead pick for February hits shelves this week: Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys (PRH/Philomel Books; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

Jennifer Asimakopoulos of Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL says:

Titanic. Lusitania. Wilhelm Gustloff. All major maritime disasters, yet the last is virtually unknown. Ruta Sepetys changes that in her gripping historical novel. Told in short snippets, Salt to the Sea rotates between four narrators attempting to escape various tragedies in 1945 Europe. Powerful and haunting, heartbreaking and hopeful–a must read.”

Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal each gave it a starred review.

Another LibraryReads pick comes out as well, 9780062413710_4cbaaBe Frank With Me, Julia Claiborne Johnson (Harper/William Morrow; HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Marika Zemke of Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, MI invites readers to:

“Meet Frank. Frank is an odd 9-year-old boy who has a higher IQ than Einstein’s and dresses as if he were on a movie set in the early 1920s–and he is someone with whom you are sure to fall in love. Frank’s reclusive mother is an author whose publisher has just sent Alice Whitley to serve as an assistant and ensure the next book is completed. The relationship between Frank and Alice is magical. Readers will devour this book and want more. Just magical.”

Be Frank With Me is also an IndieNext pick for February and joins five more titles from that list coming out this week.

9780062400826_5478aSweetgirl, Travis Mulhauser (Harper/Ecco; HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“When her addict mother goes missing, Percy James is determined to find her before a winter storm descends upon their rural Michigan town. When Percy arrives at the drug dealer’s house, the smells and clutter don’t surprise her, but the discovery of a screaming infant does. Percy grabs the child and sets out to find help for her, no matter what the cost. Determined to save this little girl, Percy takes risks she never thought she could assume, and through the journey she finds she can save herself as well. Fans of Ron Rash will fall in love with Percy in Mulhauser’s debut!” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

9780618663026_49632The Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio).

“This historical novel about an opera singer is as grand and theatrical as opera itself. It is the story of a legendary soprano who looks back at her past to solve a mystery, but it is also a story of an artist and the road she takes to become one. Chee attempts the seemingly impossible — to describe a soprano voice with words — and he succeeds brilliantly, creating a tale that is vivid, intricate, and rich. Throw in cameos by figures like Verdi and George Sand, fascinating details about royal fashions, 19th century Paris, theater, and a circus, and the result is a perfect novel.” —Anton Bogomazov, Politics & Prose, Washington, DC

9780778318651_16f01Missing Pieces, Heather Gudenkauf (Harlequin/MIRA; Brilliance Audio).

“Gudenkauf once again weaves her magic, drawing readers into her latest work. Missing Pieces is a story of dark family secrets that have multiplied over the years, eroding the trust and love between husbands and wives, siblings, parents, and children. Gudenkauf uses deliberate pacing, skillful character development, and even the old nursery rhyme ‘Three Blind Mice’ to bring this thriller to a perfect, stunning ending.” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

9781250076427_e5bd5The Forgetting Time, Sharon Guskin (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio).

Also People‘ magazine’s  “Book of the Week” in the new issue.

“Psychologist Dr. Jerry Anderson is literally losing his mind — aphasia is taking away his memory and his ability to communicate — when he is introduced to the severe behavior problems of four-year-old Noah. From the few clues, it seems Noah has lived a previous life. Anderson fights to keep his lucidity long enough to complete this final investigation of his career, trying to make sense of this young boy while also attempting to make sense of his own life. A compelling, dynamic, and intriguing debut novel.” —Allen Murphey, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

9781250079039_90308The Yid, Paul Goldberg (Macmillan/Picador).

“When Solomon Levinson escapes arrest in the final days of Joseph Stalin’s regime, he embarks on a quixotic attempt to kill the leader of the Soviet Union. Along with Friederich Lewis, an African American who has left Omaha for the Soviet Union, and a ragtag crew of Soviet dissenters, Levinson races to thwart a monstrous plan to unleash a second Holocaust against the Jews of Russia. The Yid is a very serious farce, a philosophical novel larded with pitch black comedy. Fans of City of Thieves and Absurdistan will love Goldberg’s ambitious new novel.” —David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN

9781476797380_c89f1The Flood Girls, Richard Fifield (S&S/Gallery Books; Blackstone Audio).

“Rachel Flood moves back home to a rural anywhere town: Quinn, Montana. In Quinn, dirty bars breed dirty people, and Rachel struggles to find kindness in a place that kindness seems to have abandoned. These are the ’90s, and these are the women — crude and unapologetic — who carry Fifield’s debut to its shocking, though perhaps necessary, end with the harsh winds that slam across Montana’s eastern prairie. Booze, softball, western wildlife, bar fights — and the clothes! The music!” —Lauren Korn, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT


Based on the novels by Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale, SundanceTV debuts a new original series, Hap and Leonard, on March 2nd. The show stars James Purefoy (The Following), Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).

9780316329408_4b78bThe Texas-set crime series currently contains nine novels and several shorter works. The most recent book in the series, Honky Tonk Samurai (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio), comes out this week, with a cover tie-in to the TV show. It was widely praised in reviews, racking up stars in Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

Netflix begins a new season of Ever After High episodes starting on Jan. 29. The show supports a Mattel doll franchise in which Manga/Barbiesque dolls, based on fairy tale stories, have adventures.

9780316270458_bae1dTie-ins include Ever After High: Dragon Games: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Mattel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and the leveled reader, Ever After High: Let the Dragon Games Begin!, Margaret Green (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

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

Hitting Screens, Feb. 1 thru 7

Debuting in theaters today is Disney’s big budget, The Finest Hours, based on the true rescue story written for young adults by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman (see our earlier story).

The big kids animated movie opening is Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda 3. Check our list of tie-ins.

The upcoming week brings several adaptations for TV as well as for a high-profile movie.

American_Crime_Story_Season_1_PosterThe People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is the first in a new series on FX, produced, in part, by Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story).

The 10-part project premiers Feb. 2, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O. J. Simpson, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, and Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey.

9780812988543_6d385It is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. The tie-in edition (Random House; OverDrive Sample) went on sale last September.

The series is getting strong reviews for its intimate, 360 degree take on the crime that kept viewers glued to their TV screens twenty years ago.

Riffing off the popularity of Serial and Netflix’s Making a Murderer, FX’s plans for American Crime Story to re-create other true life stories. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the events of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath will be the subject of a second season.

As we reported earlier, on Feb. 3, ABC will begin airing a miniseries detailing the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme with Richard Dreyfuss playing Madoff and Blythe Danner playing his wife, Ruth.

9781484752692_9fce2The show is based on the 2009 book by ABC News’s chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, The Madoff Chronicles (Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth) (Kingswell; OverDrive Sample). A tie-in edition came out earlier this month.

Taking aim at the Valentine’s Day crowd (who last year crowded theaters to see Fifty Shades of Grey), Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice hits theaters a bit ahead of the holiday, on Feb. 5.

The film stars Teresa Palmer and Tom Welling and tells the story of two neighbors in a small town who fall in love when one moves next door to the other.

9781455588985_c9307The tie-in came out in late December, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), starring Lily James (CinderellaDownton Abbey) as Elizabeth Bennett, Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy and Bella Heathcote as Elizabeth’s sister opens on Feb. 5th as well.

9781594748899_966e2The tie-in edition came out in mid-December: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Movie Tie-in Edition), Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books; OverDrive Sample).

As we reported, it has been a bit of a rocky road getting the film made but with star Lily James set to return to Downton Abbey in upcoming episodes of the final season (with strong hints that her character, Lady Rose is pregnant) the many shifts in lead actresses ended up with a hot star. Now the producers hope audiences will forget that an earlier mashup adaptation, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, was a major flop.

For more books to movies and TV, see our list of upcoming book adaptations, as well as our list of tie-ins.


A Bookish Sundance

revised-fundamentalsThe Sundance Film Festival’s Closing Night Film premiers tonight, The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez.

Acquired by Netflix in advance of the Festival, the movie reflects two major trends in the film business today — book adaptations are big (this one is adapted from Jonathan Evison’s The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving) and streaming services are shelling out big money for them. Also reflecting those trends is another buzzy Park City title, the adaptation of a little-known Jane Austen novella (see our previous story).

On a panel yesterday, Fundamental‘s director Rob Burnett noted that the novel’s subject matter may seem grim. Sorting through several potential books, he joked,  “I said I’d like to buy the one where the guy kills his child by mistake and takes care of a guy with muscular dystrophy” but added that he saw something in it that “I thought I could make funny and inspirational.”

To see the full range of books being adapted to movies, check our list of  Upcoming Movie & TV Adaptations as well as our list of Upcoming Tie-ins.

Austen Adaptation Set for Release

On a buying spree at the Sundance Film FestivalAmazon acquired the buzzed-about Love and Friendship, based on an unfinished early novella by Jane Austen. Originally untitled, it was published in 1871, after Austen’s death, as Lady Susan. (available in several editions, including one from Penguin Classics). To make things more confusing, the movie uses the title of a different work by Austen, an early short story.

The movie is directed by Whit Stillman, described in an interview with Vanity Fair last week as “The cult director of contemporary and contemporary-ish Austen-inflected fare” (including Metropolitan and The last Days of Disco). It stars  Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, with Xavier Samuel and Stephen Fry.

It will first be released in theaters, followed a month later by streaming via Amazon Prime. One source lists the release date as May 13.

The tie-in is written by the director:

Love & Friendship

Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stillman, (Hachette/Little, Brown).

The reviews of the screening at Sundance have been warm, as exemplified by those from Vanity Fair, “Love & Friendship: A Cream Puff of a Movie” and the Guardian, “Kate Beckinsale is a devious delight.”

Nancy Pearl Interviews Elizabeth Strout

Librarian Nancy Pearl sits down with Elizabeth Strout to talk about writing and reading in the latest episode of herr Book Lust author interview show for the local Seattle channel.

9781400067695_a388eStrout, whose newest book is My Name Is Lucy Barton (Random House; Random House Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), says that writing for her is a long and messy process.

She begins by sketching out pieces of scenes, by hand, on paper, and moves them around on her desk until some shape starts to form.

She always searches for the voice of the character, never writes from beginning to end, and focuses on characterization always.

In fact, she says that, for her,  everything starts and ends with character, and that even a description of a setting makes her think about how a character would respond to seeing it.

9780143120490Pearl and Strout end the conversation with a lovefest about Stewart O’Nan and his books they have both treasured, including West of Sunset (PRH/Viking, 2015) and Emily, Alone (PRH/Viking, 2011).

9780375705199Of Strout’s books, Pearl urged readers especially to pick up Amy and Isabelle (Random House, 1998) as well as Olive Kitteridge (Random House, 2008).

LiveChat with Author Camille Perri

The chat has now ended — read the transcript below.

To join First Flight and receive advance galleys of titles from debut authors, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Camille Perri : THE ASSISTANTS

THE FOOD LAB On The Rise – Again

9780393081084_5fb39The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, J. Kenji López-Alt (W. W. Norton, 2015; OverDrive Sample) was a New York Times bestseller when it came out last year. It was also considered one of the best cookbooks of the year by both LJ and Amazon.

Gaining renewed attention, it moved up Amazon’s sales ranking from just outside the top 100 to #4.

The author tweeted he would be on The Chew yesterday:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.42.22 PM

The show did not post the video, but they did post his recipe.

Holds are still strong in libraries we checked.

Readers Advisory: ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY

9780765379948_59f81The editor-in-chief of the science fiction site io9.com, Charlie Jane Anders, is receiving critical attention for her new novel  All the Birds in the Sky (Macmillan/Tor Books; OverDrive Sample), which is an example of the rich possibilities along the crossroads of genre.

As we reported last week, it is a Feb. Indie Next pick. In addition praising the story, characters, and writing, reviewers say Anders is re-examining the genre.

The Los Angeles Times offers:

“[A] brilliant, cross-genre novel [that has all] the hallmarks of an instant classic. It’s a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving … Like the work of other 21st century writers — Kelly Link and Lev Grossman come immediately to mind — All the Birds in the Sky serves as both a celebration of and corrective to the standard tropes of genre fiction.”

Cory Doctorow agrees, writing on Boing Boing that the novel is “smartass, soulful … everything you could ask for … a fresh look at science fiction’s most cherished memes, ruthlessly shredded and lovingly reassembled.”

The Guardian echoes those thoughts, saying that the novel “subverts genres … coming up with something greater than the sum of its parts … the result is a weird and charming read.”

Finally, Jason Heller, reviewing for NPR, says:

Anders has been writing with passion and insight about science fiction and fantasy for years — so it only makes sense that … she’s melded the two genres in a way that opens a profound, poetic new perspective on each … With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”

All the attention has yet to transfer into large hold queues but this is certainly a book to watch as award season comes around again.

Today on io9, in the essay “What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century,” she describes how the process of writing the book led to her believe that “There is a huge opportunity, in 2016, for authors (and creators of all kinds) to scrape off the accumulated layers of meta from old story ideas—and to come up with brand new story ideas as well.”

Anders also recently gave a Harvard TedX presentation.