News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Get Ready: 5 Titles You Need To Know Next Week

Titles arriving next week with guaranteed spots on the best seller list are Lisa Scottoline’s Keep Quiet and Stuart Woods’ Carnal Curiosity. Below are five others you need to know.

These titles and several more arriving next week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet with full ordering information and alternate formats.

The Opposite of LonelinessThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, Marina Keegan, S&S/Scribner; Tantor Audio

Who wouldn’t tear up, reading this from a student as she faces graduation, “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” Those words becomes even more poignant when you learn that their talented writer, Marina Keegan, died in a car accident just before she was set to begin a dream job at the New Yorker. Her final column for the Yale Daily News, became an internet hit after her death. It and several other writings that Keegan left behind are brought together in this book, featured as the lead review in People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars.

Family LifeFamily Life, Akhil Sharma, Norton

This LibraryReads pick is featured on the cover of NYT Book Review this week. Also on Entertainment Weekly‘s “must list,” it is described as an “autobiographic novel about an immigrant family derailed by an accident. It’s beautifully evocative and — tragedy notwithstanding — surprisingly funny.” It will  be featured on NBC’s Weekend Today Show.

Love Life RoweLove Life, Rob Lowe, S&S; S&S Audio

Lowe already proved himself an entertaining memoirist with Stories I Only Tell My Friends. This follow up gets a nod from Entertainment Weekly, which says Lowe, “Goes out of his way not to tread the same ground he did in hits first memoir … this book is just as breezily enjoyable as its predecessor.”
Astonish MeAstonish Me, Maggie Shipstead, RH/Knopf; RH Audio

The author’s debut, Seating Arrangements, was a favorite among librarians and booksellers and her new title is an Indie Next pick. The Huffington Post also picks it as “The Book We’re Taling About” this week (even though they are not completely taken with this “leaping departure” from the author’s previous title). Jen Dayton at Darien Public Library, who was the first to alert us to Seating Arrangements, long before it become a best seller, reviews it on Edelweiss, saying it is, “a fascinating look into the lives of professional dancers and the damage that secrets can do. Book groups could have a field day with this one.”

In ParadiseIn Paradise, Peter Matthiessen, Penguin/Riverhead

Matthiessen is known as a nonfiction writer, but considers himself a novelist who “writes other things,” as a long profile of his fascinating life in Sunday’s NYT Magazine details (unfortunately for Matthiessen, the author of the profile is not taken with his fiction). Wendy Bartlett, Cuyahoga Public Library, recommends In Paradise to librarians, saying this “book about a professor of Holocaust history who joins a spiritual retreat at Auschwitz and what he discovers about himself as he confronts a history he believes he already understands, is universal and personal at the same time … Matthiessen also explores how the Holocaust resonates for various countries and cultures by peopling the retreat with characters from all parts of the world. It’s a masterful and incredibly thought provoking construct” making it one to get “for your smart book discussion members.”

Early April Kids Books to Love

We’re being showered with some great kids books this month. Below are some new arrivals that caught my eye (for my picks of YA titles, click here).

The Pigeon Needs a BathThe Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Mo Willems, Hachette, Disney-Hyperion

Over ten years ago four-year-olds everywhere screamed, denied, and prevented a small blue pigeon from driving a bus. Pigeon has found a hotdog, wanted a puppy, longed for a cookie, stayed up late and I am pretty sure that we are not surprised that now he needs a bath.

9780316The Adventures of BeekleThe Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, Dan Santat, Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Beekle is a doughy white roundish creature with a golden crown. He is an imaginary friend who lacks a child. Beekle impatiently waits in the land of imaginary creatures for his perfect match until he just can’t wait any longer and journeys off to find the child himself. Santat has created a fantasy world of helpful imagined companions. We meet a navy blue octopus who seems to have mehndi designs trailing up its tentacles, a cheerful wind cloud who helps fly a kite, and a playful salamander-like creature; all part of a community of children in a familiar yet strange landscape saturated with color.

Have You Seen My Dragon?

Have You Seen My Dragon?, Steve Light, Candlewick

Counting from 1 to 20 we wander the street of Manhattan as a the eponymous dragon hides in plain sight. Light’s retro crowded pen and ink drawings evoke the hustle and bustle of the big city with judicious spots of color to help young readers find the 2 red hotdogs in golden buns, 3 purple buses and so on and so on.

Cowy Cow , Chris Raschka, Abrams/Appleseed

When I found out that Abrams Appleseed was bringing the Thingy Thing books back in print, I did cartwheels. When I found out that they were adding 4 new titles right away, I did hand springs. Okay not really, but my heart did. I have adored these simple stories that are just right for the emergent readers since the silly Moosey Moose who pined for long pants to wear on his antlers. Don’t worry, kids get the joke.

Ninja Ninja Never Stop

Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!, Tad Carpenter, Abrams Appleseed

Picture books about ninjas abound:

The Boy who cried Ninja, Alex Latimer, Peachtree Publishers

Wink the Ninja Who Wanted To Nap, J.C. Phillipps, Penguin/Viking Juvenile

The Three Ninja Pigs, Corey Rosen Schwartz, Dan Santat, Penguin/Putnam Juvenile

Nighttime Ninja, Ed Young, Barbara DaCosta, Hachette/Little, Brown

This one with its bold graphics and bouncy rhyme is a delightful romp.

The 12-Story Treehouse   9781250026910_deb21

A year a go I proclaimed my adoration of Andy Giffiths, author of The 13-Story Treehouse, illustrated by Terry Denton, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends). It bears repeating, especially now that there’s a sequel, The 26-Story Treehouse :

Are you a little sick of the refrain, “Boys don’t read … boys stop reading … boys can read but don’t”?

My not-so-secret weapon is Andy Griffiths. Got a third grader who isn’t in to reading yet? Give him Griffiths and Denton’s The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow! and The Cat on the Mat is Flat. It can mean the difference between a kid becoming a life-long non-reader or a fluent confident reader who knows there are books out there to be enjoyed.

This new title is a not-so-tongue-in-cheek memoir of Andy and Terry who live in a 13-story-treehouse, with all the fantasy rooms a kid could dream up; a see-through-pool, a basement laboratory, a marshmallow shooting cannon, a shrink ray AND the ability to transform a cat into flying catnary (click on the cover to see treehouse in its full glory). Let’s not be sexist about the appeal of this volume. All genders of third graders will be fighting over it.

Register with SLJ and you can have a class/ library visit with Andy Griffiths live from the Twin Cities Rock Star Supply Co.

Early April YA Titles


Below are three YA titles to add to your pile of kids books to love in early April (see for my picks for younger kids here):

The Here and NowThe Here and Now, Ann Brashares, Delacorte Press

The new book by author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, is a very different kind of novel. Prenna might seem like an ordinary teenager but she is not. She is a member of a community of time travelers who have landed in the present from a devastating plague ridden future. Her movements, her contacts with others, and her very conversations are circumscribed by “the twelve rules” put in place to keep them safe and not disturb the time. Yet, how much can Prenna trust that the leaders have their members best interest in mind when she knows that any misstep could cause a person’s removal or death at the hands of those pledged to keep them safe? A page turner.

The Ring and the crownThe Ring and the Crown, Melissa de la Cruz, Disney-Hyperion 

Sweeping romance, alternative history with Franco/Anglo crown, where there was no American Revolution, and internecine royal conflict threaded with magic construct a compelling and riveting fantasy novel, plus a crazy great book trailer.  Do not miss.

Vigilante PoetsThe Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, Kate Hattemer, RH/Knopf Books for Young Readers

Brainy outsiders? “Look at me” theater gleeks? Handsome popular guy? Cool English teacher? Villainous administrators? Outsized crushes? Just an ordinary Minneapolis arts high school until a reality show takes residence. It’s all down hill from here, unless the Vigilante Poets can save the day in this outstanding debut novel.

ELEANOR & PARK Go To The Movies

Eleanor & parkLibrarian favorite and Printz honor award winner, Rainbow Rowell has her first movie deal. Entertainment Weekly reports (“exclusively,” followed by MTV News interviewing the author) that DreamWorks has bought the rights to her popular YA romance, Eleanor & Park. (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Listening Library; Thorndike Press)

DreamWorks president of production, Holly Bario, tells Entertainment Weekly what librarians already know, “Every girl who has read it says, ‘That was me in high school, or that was me in 7th grade.’” She also says they are trying to figure out how to handle the book’s structure of alternating chapters from each of the main character’s perspectives, “There are all storts of groovy stylistic things you could do with voice over, or words on the screen, but we want something that’s real Rainbow.”

To aid in that process, Rowell has  been hired to write the screenplay. DreamWorks hopes to begin shooting in 2015.

FLASH BOYS Inflames Wall Street

Flash BoysIt’s being called “the fight that stopped trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,” a live debate on CNBC that included Brad Katsuyama who is featured in Michael Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio). Highlights below (the full 23 minutes are here).

Lewis tells Bloomberg BusinessWeek that he never anticipated the level of reaction this book is getting, citing Andrew Ross Sorkin’s column in the New York Times, which accuses Lewis of reserving “blame for the wrong villains … hedge funds and investment banks … easy targets,” rather than the “true culprits,” the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and other stock markets. Even though Sorkin calls Flash Boys an “important new book … a make-your-blood-boil read about the abusive way that high-frequency trading works,” Lewis calls Sorkin’s column “an idiotic piece of journalism.”

Time to order more copies; with this level of passion, Flash Boys will be talked about for a long time to come.

On the Rise: METAL CATS

metal-cats-alexandra-crockett-1 Metal Cats

Never underestimate the power of an arresting image.

Metal Cats, to be released by indie Brooklyn publisher powerHouse Books in May, is proving irresistible to music sitesdesign sites, as well as Facebook and Pinterest postings. As a result the book is now rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

For more, check  the powerhouse Spring 2014 catalog.

Closer to Screen: SERENA

Given the star power of the Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper combo, as evidenced in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, it’s been surprising that a third film starring the duo, Serena, adapted from Ron Rash’s 2008 novel, has not yet seen the light of day.

Above the WaterfallIt seems Danish director Susanne Bier, whose movie, In A Better World, won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, wanted to take her time in the editing room. New images from the film have just been released and are being featured on various web sites (The Playlist offers the largest selection; MTV praises Lawrence’s “retro glam”), indicate that it may soon have a release date.

Rash’s next novel, Above the Waterfall, (HarperCollins/Ecco) arrives in October.

A.J. FIKRY Already A Best Seller

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryDebuting at #6 on the April 3rd Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list is the #1 LibraryReads and IndieNext pick for April, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio).

That may be confusing, since the book’s publication date, April 1, is after the cut-off date for reporting sales to the list, March 30.

The book actually shipped last week and enthusiastic indie booksellers wasted no time in getting it in to the hands of readers, employing some creative methods (today’s Shelf Awareness offers an example).

Their efforts were aided by an interview with the author on Friday’s All Things Considered

Blowin’ In the Wind

You can stop holding your breath.

The premiere date for the Lifetime adaptation, Petals On the Wind, the sequel to Flowers in the Attic, has been set for Memorial Day, May 26th.

There may be more coming. Lifetime is also developing the other two books in the series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, as well as a  standalone, My Sweet Audrina.

The covers for the tie-ins, now moved to a May 20 pub date, have ben revealed:

Petals On the Wind, MTIPetals on the Wind
V.C. Andrews
S&S/Gallery May 20, 2014
Trade paperback; $14.00 USD / $17.00 CAD
9781476789552, 147678955X

Mass market (rack) paperback; $7.99 USD / $9.99 CAD
S&S/Pocket Books; May 20, 2014
9781476789569, 1476789568

WOLF HALL Begins Shooting

Chalfield Manor

The village of Holt in Wiltshire is gearing up for the BBC’s arrival next week to begin filming the adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. The shoot will take place in Great Chalfield Manor, standing in for Thomas Cromwell’s home.

Mark Rylance, who will play Cromwell, is familiar with that house. It was used as the Boleyn family home in the 2008 film of Phillipa Gregory’s novel, The Other Boleyn Girl (S&S/Scribner), in which he portrayed Thomas Boleyn.

Fans who have been eagerly awaiting Mirror And The Light, the projected final volume in Mantel’s series, were disappointed when it was announced that her next book, coming at the end of September, is The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories, (Macmillan/Holt, Macmillan Audio, read by Simon Vance), which is obviously not part of the Tudor series.

She has said, however, that she plans to finish Mirror And The Light this year. That book is clearly very much on her mind. On Saturday, speaking on BBC radio about why she finds her subject Cromwell so fascinating, she addressed the inevitable final event of the story, when his “life will end abruptly on the scaffold.” Rather than an indication of failure, she hopes her “reader, when we get there, will be moved, will be sorry, but will also be  astounded by the life I’ve narrated. I aim to leave my reader harrowed, and yet braced, ready for the next thing.”

GalleyChat Tues, April 1

This month’s GalleyChat has ended. Please join us for our next chat, Tuesday, May 6, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails).


You Should Have KnownDebuting at #15 on the New York Times hardcover fiction list this week is a book we’ve had our eye on, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio). That position  puts it just below another domestic thriller, The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn) which has had a fairly long 16-week run on the list.

You Should Have Known arrived with strong advance buzz and 3.5 stars from People magazine. Janet Maslin in the New York Times last week heaps praise on the first part of the book, but complains that the latter “isn’t nearly as gripping.” The Los Angeles Times reviewer Wendy Smith says, “It’s almost impossible to put down Jean Hanff Korelitz’s riveting new novel for the first 200 pages as it dismantles the comfortable existence of a couples therapist over the course of a few nightmarish weeks” and agrees that the tension “dissipates in the second half,” but doesn’t regard that as a bad thing, simply  the book developing a “quieter drama.”

Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds, as high as 12:1.

Up In Smoke

The Last Pirate“If you smoked Colombian marijuana in the ’70s or ’80s, I owe you a thank-you card,” says Tony Dokoupil on CBS Sunday Morning.

Why?  ”Because you brought my father’s product, and you bought my baseball gloves by extension, and you put me through private school. And you paid for the boat that we crisscrossed the oceans in and the Caribbean vacations. The good life.”

Dokoupil, currently a a senior writer for NBC News, also appears on NPR’s Fresh Air today, to talk about his book, which arrives tomorrow, The Last Pirate, (RH/Doubleday) about his search for his father, who left the family when his son was a child and the surprising things he discovered about him.

FLASH BOYS Make Big Splash

Flash BoysKicking off a media blitz for his latest take down of Wall Street,  Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio), Michael Lewis appeared on Sixty Minutes last night. Following that story, headlines in today’s print media scream that Lewis reveals the stock market is rigged.

Tomorrow, Lewis appears on the Today Show, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as many other shows throughout the week.

The book is currently at #1 on Amazon sales rankings and libraries are showing holds.

Get Ready: Seven Tip-of-the-Tongue Titles, Week of March 31

Finally arriving next week, as we turn the corner to the spring book season, is a novel that both librarians and booksellers can’t wait to get in to readers’ hands, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.

Among the big names arriving are new books by Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Brian Freemantle (download our spreadsheet for ordering information on these and more).

Below are seven to have on the tip of your tongue:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

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

After an extraordinary amount of  advance buzz, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, finally arrives on shelves next week. It is the #1 pick for April for BOTH LibraryReads and IndieNext. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a galley, scroll through the reviews on Edelweiss to get a sense of how much excitement this novel is generating among your colleagues.

Here’s the response from someone who has read the book in depth, the audio narrator Scott Brick:

I’ve been blessed to narrate over 600 audiobooks thus far, and this book instantly pushed its way to the top of my list of absolute favorites. I told someone recently that I wish I could redo the book, and they asked, ‘Why, did you not like the way it turned out?’ I said ‘No, I just wish I could have that experience of reading every word again over and over again.’

Wendy Bartlett from Cuyahoga P.L. suggests, “Read this one before the customers find it.”

A.J. Fikry is a lonely and grumpy young widower whose life is transformed by the power of story. The wonderful Gabrielle Zevin (and if you don’t already have a favorite Gabrielle Zevin title, honey, where have you been??) begins each chapter in Fikry’s life with a page about a great book or short story whose theme is explored as you turn pages—like Eudora Welty’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” for instance. [NOTE: Thanks to the commenter who pointed that we confused the attribution -- the author of "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is actually Flannery O'Connor. Our apologies -- Zevin has the proper attribution in her book].

But you (or your customers) don’t have to know the stories or books to enjoy this paean to booksellers, book people, and readers. Okay, sure, it’s set on a gorgeous island in the bookstore we’ve all wanted to own, with the townspeople we’ve all wanted to live next to. It’s a universal story with a bookstore setting, and I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling it except know this: you’ll be utterly and completely charmed.

Flash BoysMichael Lewis, Flash Boys, (Norton; S&S Audio)

Every new title by Lewis is an event and like his other books, this one is embargoed, so there hasn’t been much  information to go on, other than the author’s stunning track record as someone the media hotly pursues (the media blitz begins on Sunday with 60 Minutes and includes the Today Show on Tuesday, NPR’s Fresh Air and the Daily Show with Jon Steward. Download full Michael Lewis Media Roundup). More information emerged yesterday when the International Business Times broke the embargo, saying the book  ”Shines Light On High-Frequency Trading,” a practice that enables banks to “Screw Their Customers.” The promotion for the 60 Minutes segment, released today, is headlined, “Stock Market Rigged, Says Michael Lewis in New Book.”

Frog MusicEmma Donoghue, Frog Music,  (Hachette/Little, Brown)

Most libraries have bought this one conservatively, but early consumer reviews indicate that, although quite different from Donoghue’s best selling Room, it will find its own large audience. In addition to Ron Charles’s rave in the Washington Post, it’s the lead book review in this week’s People magazine, with 3.5 of 4 stars and the author is profiled in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review.

Under MagnoliaFrances Mayes, Under Magnolia, (RH/Crown; BOT; Thorndike)

Mayes is known, of course, for her books that made everyone dream of restoring a falling-down ruin in Tuscany. In this one, she examines her troubled childhood in Georgia. The prepub reviews are extraordinarily enthusiastic, indicating this one bears watching.

Off CourseMichelle Huneven, Off Course, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton Books)

Expect reviewers to be jumping on this one, based on the critical success of the author’s previous title, Blame, a National Book Critics Circle finalist. The L.A. Times review is the first one. It includes this intriguing line, “What Huneven so skillfully points out here is that love triangles, torrid affairs and the like are not just reserved for protagonists in Jackie Collins airplane novels.” Plus, we’re taken with that cover, which looks like something from Ransom Riggs’ collection.

The Harlem HellfightersMax Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters, (RH/Broadway)

The book we most often see people reading on the subway is Brooks’s World War Z (before Brad Pitt turned it into something unrecognizable). Brooks’s new one is graphic novel about an actual war and an actual group of soldier; the black World War I regiment nicknamed, “The Harlem Hellfighters.” Sony has picked it for a big screen adaptation.

The Goblin Emperor

Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor, (Macmillan/Tor Books)

As we head in to the new season of Games of Thrones, readers may be interested in other fantasy books that explore politics and power. This one has extraordinary pre pub reviews, such as LJ‘s; “Court intrigue and politics are popular fodder for fantasy novels, but rarely have they been done better than in this fantastic new novel from Sarah Monette (writing as Addison). The writing is lovely, with characters who live and breathe.” It is also a GalleyChat favorite.