Palliative care nurse (and former English professor) Theresa Brown talked with Terry Gross yesterday on NPR, discussing her new book tracing the fates of four patients over 12 hours in a cancer ward.
The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives (Workman/Algonquin) is a moving and riveting medical account of struggle, hope, fear, and the daily demands of nursing.
Holds are heavy in some libraries and the book is on the verge of breaking into Amazon’s top 100.
Brown previously worked in a hospital’s oncology unit but now spends her time in home-based hospice care. Her first book, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between (Harper) was highly regarded and has been adopted as a textbook in nursing schools.
Brown and Gross discuss the challenges of nursing, the stress of time and work pressures that cost patients the care they need, the desire for honesty in diagnosis, and the experience of home care.
Costco’s book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello has recently featured well-known titles as her influential monthly “Pennie’s Pcks” (Me Before You, Circling The Sun, and The Girl On The Train were the July, August, and September selections).
The novel explores a little-known aspect of WWII, the fierce fighting between Japanese and U.S.soldiers on Alaska’s Aleutians islands. The trade paperback edition features a cover that focuses on the relationship in the novel, underscored by a blurb from the USA Today review, “a haunting love story,” over the WWII survival story.
This month’s Costco Connection interviews Payton. In a sidebar Ianniciello says the novel is “so much more than a history lesson, this is a beautiful story about the way loss can affect people.”
Keep your eye on this one; Pennie’s Picks often have a widespread effect.
Here’s your chance to test your book knowledge against the librarians on the committee for the Andrew Carnegie Medal. The 2016 Longlist has been released including some expected titles, big hitters, committee favorites, and a few esoteric choices.
Among the 20 fiction selections is former winner Anne Enright’s The Green Road (Norton), also on this year’s Booker longlist but not on the shortlist.
On the fiction list, titles that have already received widespread attention are Jonathan Franzen’s Purity(Macmillan/FSG), Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (RH/Doubleday), and Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread (RH/Knopf).
In nonfiction the 20 choices largely highlight big names such as Patti Smith’s M Train (RH/Knopf coming next week), the memoir by the recently departed Oliver Sacks, On the Move (RH/Knopf), Ta-Nehisi Coates’s best selling Between the World and Me (RH/Spiegel & Grau), Simon Winchester’s Pacific (Harper, coming Oct. 27), and Helen Macdonald’sH is for Hawk (Grove), which received wide acclaim earlier this year.
The forty titles will be winnowed down to a shortlist on October 19.
The Carnegie committee, a joint project between RUSA and Booklist, is chaired this year by Nancy Pearl Nancy Pearl (who also chaired the first awards committee in 2012). The medals are part of the line up of book awards presented by RUSA which also includes The Notable Book List and The Reading List. All three awards, as well as the many others that RUSA bestows, will be announced during ALA’s Midwinter meeting at RUSA’s Book and Media Awards reception on January 10.
The next iteration of The Daily Show starts this evening as Trevor Noah takes over the chair made famous by Jon Stewart.
While political junkies and comedy fans wait to see how Noah will do (Salon has grave doubts), those in the book business want to know how (or if) he will cover authors.
The opening line-up does not look good for the book world.
An actor, a musician, the CEO of a dating app, and Chris Christie, one of the few GOP candidates who has not written a book, fill the first week.
Based on an interview in Rolling Stone, Noah says week one will set the table for the show: “The first episode will be a reintroduction of the show, but you can’t just go off one … you’re building a relationship. So what we’re doing is dividing the first week into a four-part miniseries that will set the tone for what we hope the show will be.”
However, it generally takes hosts a while to establish their style. As we wrote earlier, it was several years before Jon Stewart began featuring serious authors on The Daily Show.
While neither host fully takes up the slack left in the wake of Stewart’s focus on authors (or Colbert’s on the Colbert Report), at least there is a bookish presence on TV to remind readers, and maybe even Noah, that books fuel fascinating conversations.
Last week Colbert interviewed Malala Yousafzai, author of I Am Malala, (Hachette/Little, Brown) and subject of the documentary, He Named Me Malala, which opens on Oct. 2.
This may be the first time in history that a Nobel laureate has been challenged to do card tricks.
It is also exceeding a 3:1 holds ratio at most libraries we checked, with some placing second orders for additional copies.
The NYT’s features Fates and Furies in the Sunday Book Review “Inside the List” section as well, where Gregory Cowles, the paper’s preview editor and best-seller columnist, compares it to Gone Girl, “minus the murderous psychopathology.”
In a highly share-worthy summary, Cowles goes on to say “both tell the story of a marriage first from the husband’s somewhat complacent perspective, then change course midway to reveal a wife far more active and vengeful than expected.”
If the rest of the reading public is anything like librarians, they will be delighted to see Jojo Moyes follow-up to her hit Me Before You, titled, of course, After You (Penguin/Pamela Dorman), arrive on shelves next week. It is a Library Reads pick (see below) as is Karin Slaughters’ Pretty Girls (also below).
Slaughter’s 2012 Atlantic magazine article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” was viewed as a corrective to Sheryl Sandberg’s exhortation to women to Lean In and climb the corporate ladder. It is now expanded to book length and is featured on the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Review.
Adding more fuel to likely media interest, Slaughter’s husband just published an article about ‘lead parenting’ in the Atlantic. ‘Why I Put My Wife’s Career First.
My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl (Random House)
The former editor of Gourmet writes about her painful year that followed the closing of her beloved magazine.
Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held On to Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour, Amy Robach, (RH/Ballantine)
The News Anchor for Good Morning America reluctantly agreed to have a mammogram on air in 2013. The results revealed she had breast cancer. In this book, she chronicles her year after that diagnosis.
The title is, of course, ironic. The singer, model, and actress will be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, September 29, followed by CBS This Morning,October 9 and ABC’s Entertainment Tonight,’October 9.
Slaughter was a hit at the AAP/LibraryReads Dinner at BEA. as she talked hilariously and forthrightly about her rivalry with her sister, which clearly influences this novel. It is an Indie Next pick:
“I was grabbed from the first page of Slaughter’s latest and roped in on the second. Boldly written and at times very raw, this psychological thriller is as suspenseful as it is scary. Dangerous secrets reunite two sisters who have been estranged since their older sister went missing 20 years earlier. As they search to discover what happened, they uncover evidence of her brutal murder and true evil. It is a gifted writer who can make you adore a character at the beginning of a book and loathe the same character at the end. Slaughter, author of both the Grant County and Will Trent series, has done just that in her newest stand-alone thriller.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
LibraryReads, Oct: “The premise of Atwood’s latest is interesting, grounded strongly in current social and economic issues. The writing is as elegant and beautiful, as always with Atwood. I recommend this book because it is a wonderful and thought-provoking novel. People who have enjoyed other Atwood works should definitely take a look at this one.” Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ
After You by Jojo Moyes (PRH/Pamela Dorman Books; Penguin Audio).
LibraryReads, Oct: “I loved Me Before You and thought it ended in the perfect place, but any doubts I had about continuing the story were quickly erased when I started this sequel. Jojo Moyes is a master at tugging on your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried, and I nearly threw my Kindle against the wall at one point. Give this to anyone in your life who has experienced a tragic loss. With a box of tissues.” Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH
LibraryReads, Oct: “Great new mystery set in the atmospheric Peak District of England. When a woman’s suicide is found to be related to an unsolved case of a missing girl, the police must reinvestigate a long cold case. I hope this book will be the first in a new series!” Pamela Wiggins, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC
Also a BEA Librarians’ Shout ‘n’ Share pick — ‘Your next hand sell for fans of Sharon Bolton. About a cold case, the puzzle of the story keeps you hooked until the end. Perfect for fans of Louise Penny, Sharon Bolton, and Elizabeth George.”– Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Indie Next: “Exquisite and elegant, Ryan’s collection of short stories highlights his talents as a writer of note. Each piece evokes the Irish people — the spirit, the voice, the culture — as the characters confront the pain of life. The beauty of the stories comes from the almost musical quality of Ryan’s writing. His sentences flow with an ebullient tone that appreciates the good and bad in equal measure, and readers are caught by the lyrical rhythms and inner harmonies, which bring them to a deeper understanding of other people. These stories will make you cry, shake your head in shock, and ponder the great gulfs between men, which are rooted in our own humanity in all its beauty and roughness.” —Raul Chapa, BookPeople, Austin, TX
Indie Next: “Watkins’ depiction of a sun-scorched, drought-plagued West is a hypnotic and terrifying vision of an otherworldly and, perhaps most frightening of all, not-too-distant future. Part J.G. Ballard, part Joan Didion, Gold Fame Citrus explores the complexities of human relationships in the face of environmental catastrophe. Loneliness, jealousy, heartbreak, love, loyalty — even in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, people are still people, though just what sort of people is another thing altogether. Haunting and hallucinatory, the world crafted by Watkins is a dream of the future that will not soon be forgotten.” —Emily Ballaine, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA
Indie Next: “You don’t need to be familiar with Chesnutt’s or Hersh’s work to appreciate this phenomenal book, but you will undoubtedly want to be once you’ve finished it. Hersh is a writer of intense and subtle beauty, and she will make you cry and feel a hundred other things with the power of her style alone. Through the tragic story of her close friend and tourmate, Chesnutt, Hersh evokes the torture of all that artistic genius encapsulates and makes that pain sing in a voice both opaque and elegant, grimy and pristine. Ultimately, this is a deeply affecting meditation on one’s thrust toward ‘important art’ and on how music is a necessary expression of sadness and loneliness but also one of intense and inimitable beauty.” —Donovan Swift, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Indie Next: “Surely an unspoken fear of parents is that they will discover that their child has some dark secret, that their normal, well-adjusted, happy child is hiding something. McPherson introduces us to just such a family in a whodunit with many layers of psychological intrigue, secrets, and unspoken emotion. Alex and Millicent and their son, Max, find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation and what was once taken for granted begins to unravel around them. This is a must-read for anyone who loves being in the clutches of a brilliant thriller with anything but a straight line to the conclusion.” —Linda Schaefer, The Learned Owl Book Shop, Hudson, OH
Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession by Elizabeth Benedict (Workman/Algonquin Books)
A BEA Librarians “Shout ‘n’ Share pick by Charlene Rue. NYPL Book Ops.
Indie Next: “Twenty-seven authors share stories about hair and all its meanings in this revelatory collection. Hair can represent class, race, a period in history, health, neuroses, and more. What a wonderful way to ponder our life histories and traumas and still keep a sense of humor as we are invited to remember what hairstyles we were wearing at key times in our lives. Through the focus on hair, this book leads us to consider our stories in both a fun and oddly serious way.” —Rona Brinlee, The BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL
This is one of the few weeks when there are no book adaptations debuting on either the large or the small screens. However, tie-ins announce two upcoming TV adaptations:
Exhibiting an uncanny ability to ferret out titles that readers will be talking about in the coming months, GalleyChatters discussed their recent favorites earlier this month.
A couple of titles received such enthusiastic recommendations that many rushed to download DRCs immediately. Check here for the complete list of titles mentioned during the chat to discover more titles for your TBR pile.
— Robin Beerbower, EarlyWord GalleyChat columnist.
A Little Quirky
Regular chatter Jennifer Dayton, collection development specialist for Darien, CT Library, has a good eye for popular novels that have an element of “quirkiness.” When she raves about books, we listen (after all, she was the first to spot Fates and Furies). One of her recent finds is American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis (RH/Doubleday, January). She says, “Ellis picks up the rock of American domesticity and shows us what’s underneath, and while it’s not always pretty it is pretty hilarious in the darkest, most twisted of ways. “ A fan of the novel The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild (RH/Knopf, November), told from the viewpoint of a piece of art, she thinks it will appeal to those who liked Me Before You (JoJo Moyes), saying, “Aspiring chef, Annie McDee takes home a painting she found in a secondhand shop having no idea that she has stumbled upon an ‘Important Work’ that will upend the London Art scene. This is a wonderful tale of art, food, love, war and the power of beauty.”
David Mitchell’s Slade House (Random House, October), a companion to The Bone Clocks, a mind-bending collection of unsettling and spooky stories about vanishing guests, is being compared to Stephen King. Adrienne Cruz (Azusa, CA, City Library) found the stories terrifying and said “The book was short and on point, all you have are the chills with no slow bits. I would easily recommend this to folks who want an engaging story and the slim tome is an easy sell for those who are impatient or pressed for time.”
Thrillers generally get kudos each month on GalleyChat, and September was no exception. My favorite was Gillian Macmillan’s What She Knew (HarperCollins/Morrow, December). The author has taken the somewhat worn plot of a missing child with the ensuing chaos and angst and made it into a realistic and believable page-turner. This is definitely a cut above the abundance of Gone Girlreadalikes that have emerged over the past few years.
With comparisons to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series American Blood by Ben Sanders (Macmillan/Minotaur, November) is poised to be a sure-fire pleaser. Elizabeth Kanouse (Denville, NJ, Public Library) says of this mystery featuring a retired detective endangering his witness protection status by searching for a missing girl, “Sanders has crafted a superb thriller set in the deserts and cities of New Mexico. You’ll be guessing the outcome right up until the final, surprising pages.”It has powerful fans in Hollywood. Last year, Warner Bros. acquired it for a screen adaptation, with plans for Bradley Cooper to star. There’s been no news on in since, however.
New espionage titles are always welcome and Janet Lockhart from Wake Co Library (NC) said Simon Mawer’s Tightrope (Other Press, November), the sequel to Trapeze, is a worthy follow-up. She said, “Loved the writing and twists and turns of the plot. I would recommend this to readers who love Le Carre, Ludlum, et al.”
If you read After You, the sequel to JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You, and have leftover tissues, put them to good use by reading Sally Hepworth’s The Things We Keep (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, January). Marika Zemke from Commerce Township Public Library stayed up all night to finish this moving story of a 38-year-old woman with early onset Alzheimer’s who falls in love with another care home resident. Marika said “What follows is a story about all types of love…romantic love, mother/daughter love, compassionate love and more.” I’ll add reading this gave me the same feeling as when I first read Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.
A Life Story
Narrated at a breakneck pace, Ruth Wariner’s mesmerizing and believable Sound of Gravel(Macmillan/Flatiron, January) is a very impressive memoir. Raised in a polygamous household in Mexico, Wariner escaped as a teen and went on to raise three younger sisters. Book groups will clamor for this memoir that is a cross between of Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castleand Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club with a smidge of Betty Mahmoody’s Not Without My Daughter. It’s also a good bet for older teens who want a readalike for Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It.
Please join us Tuesday, October 6 at 4:00 ET (3:30 for virtual happy hour) for more surprises. If you wish to keep up with my favorites on Edelweiss, please friend me.
Describing the major developments in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment over recent years, Dr. Elisa Port, a surgeon who specializes in the disease, talked to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air this week.
Her book, The New Generation Breast Cancer Book: How to Navigate Your Diagnosis and Treatment Options-and Remain Optimistic-in an Age of Information Overload (RH/Ballantine; OverDrive Sample) is getting widespread attention from sources as diverse as InStyle magazine and Woman’s Day and is likely to get more as Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins in October.
Port discusses new treatments, drugs, and care routines for those diagnosed with the disease as well as some of the current hot topic issues such as genetic testing and 3-D mammograms.
She tells Gross she wrote the book due to the amazing change in access to information for patients:
Thirty years ago no one even used the words “breast cancer” in public. Twenty years ago you couldn’t even find an advertisement with the word “breast” in it, and you flash forward to times like today, where there’s absolutely no shortage of information out there and the problem no longer is lack of information, it’s actually too much information. [Patients] were coming [into my office] inundated, defeated, completely perplexed by all the information out there and how to navigate it, whether it was emails from friends, whether it was websites they needed to read. I thought there was a need for a new type of book, a new generation of book for a new generation — the age of information overload.
A book on an unglamorous subject, how to make use of items that might ordinarily go right into the garbage, like sour milk, is rising on Amazon sales rankings.
The ideas behind Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food by Dana Gunders (Chronicle Books; OverDrive Sample) got a big boast from the PBS News Hour‘s occasional series “Food Glorious Food” which featured a Michelin star chef who is making “garbage to plate” palatable. NPR.org posted the video on their food site, The Salt.referring to Gunders’s book for those who want apply the principles at home.
Claiming that “The typical American family tosses out about $1,500 of food yearly. All this wasted food is the largest component of solid waste in our landfills, and when it rots, it emits methane — a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change, ” author Gunders is out to change that with a handbook that offers readers easy methods to keep food longer and to use it all.
Libraries that own the book show holds ratios of 3:1.
NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed children’s book author Kevin Henkes on Tuesday about his new book Waiting (Harper/Greenwillow Books), causing the book to rise to #22 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
Henkes says reading is important for creating a sense of the world. “I think books … can open one’s eyes to what else is in the world, but it’s also nice if one can see oneself. I think as a boy I liked both kinds of books — I liked books that let me see that the world was wide and large but I also loved books where a character might have the same feeling that I had about something — that makes one feel like one is not alone in the world.”.
Based on the memoir by 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes, Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power, the movie Truth tells the story of the news team reporting on allegations that then President George Bush had avoided military service. It was later proved that the story was based on faulty documents. Those involved were fired and CBS News anchor Dan Rather stepped down.
The movie stars Robert Redford as Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mapes. The trailer was just released for the movie that opens in a limited number of theaters on Oct. 16, followed by a wider release.
National Book Award nominee Ta-Nehisi Coates is a comic book superfan, particularly of the Marvel Comics universe.
According to The New York Times, it has been a childhood dream of Coates to write comics and he gets his chance with Black Panther, the first black superhero, introduced in 1966. T’Challa, Black Panther’s real name, was born in Wakanda, a fictional African country. According to the Marvel site, his superhuman powers were enhanced by a heart-shaped herb. Coates’s version is expected next spring.
As Entertainment Weekly reports, diversity is a focus of Marvel and the new Black Panther series “will launch as part of the All-New All-Different Marvel initiative, which promises to bring changes and shake-ups with numerous new titles, including an Sam Wilson as Captain America, Kamala Khan as an Avenger, and the recently announced Asian-American Hulk by Greg Pak and Frank Cho.”
Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel, told the NYT that Black Panther “has the baddest costume in comics and is a dude who is smarter and better than everyone.”
Not only is the comic being written by a National Book Award nominee, but it may be the first comic inspired by a Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, a history of the black political struggle in the U.S., A Nation Under Our Feet by Steven Hahn (Belknap Press).
“It’s going to be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers,” Mr. Alonso told the NYT, “It really moves him forward.”
USA Today bestows one of its rare negative reviews on the just-released Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Macmillan/Henry Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), calling it a “misfire for franchise.”
Reviewer Ray Locker points out that, although it is part of O’Reilly’s Killing series no one is actually killed in this one and points to Del Quentin Wilber’s Rawhide Down as a more detailed account of the assassination attempt.
Locker says that Killing Reagan:
… deals more with Reagan’s gradual descent into dementia … the authors contend, contrary to the claims by Reagan loyalists, that Reagan exhibited signs of the illness during his presidency … [they] delve into his extramarital affairs in Hollywood, indifferent parenting, disputes with his second wife, Nancy, and the multiple instances in which Reagan appeared to be not quite there.
The negative review aside, The National Geographic Channel and Ridely Scott’s Scott Free Productions are partnering once again on the TV adaptation.
According to Variety, “The Scott Free-produced versions of the three previous books in the series — Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus — were the network’s three most-watched programs in history. Both “Kennedy” and “Jesus” received Emmy nominations for outstanding TV movie.”