Buzz List: Udall, Orringer, Kwok

Three much buzzed-about novels will be released next week.

As we’ve written before, Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist was the book of the show at the ABA’s Winter Institute. Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell & Books in Milwaukee observed, “not only did every person who read this novel become overwhelmed with emotion, but the line for getting this book signed at the author reception had to be three times the size of anything else.”

Udall first became a bookseller favorite with The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint nine years ago, and wrote the article that inspired the TV series “Big Love.” Libraries we checked had holds of about 2:1 on substantial orders.

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel
Brady Udall
Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 602 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2010-05-03)
ISBN-10: 0393062627
ISBN-13: 9780393062625


Julie Orringer’s first novel, The Invisible Bridge, may also be poised for a breakout. The author of the much-praised story collection How to Breathe Underwater has already been singled out as the first writer to be interviewed for the Daily Beast Writers to Watch list.

PW’s starred review calls it a “stunning first novel” that “illuminates the life of Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jew of meager means whose world is upended by a scholarship to the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris” during WWII.

Libraries we checked show modest holds on modest orders, but that may change as more media chimes in.

The Invisible Bridge
Julie Orringer
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-05-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1400041163 / 9781400041169


Jean Kwok‘s tale of a Hong Kong girl’s coming of age in 1980s Brooklyn, Girl in Translation, was also an EarlyWord Galley Chat title (reminder; our next Galley Chat is Wednesday, May 12th, 4 p.m. EST). Libraries we checked have solid reserves, with some libraries just catching up to demand. The author will appear at the ALTAFF program at ALA in June.

Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+: “Kwok takes two well-trod literary conceits — coming of age and coming to America — and renders them surprisingly fresh in her fast-moving, clean-prosed immigrants’ tale.

Girl in Translation
Jean Kwok
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-04-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487561 / 9781594487569

Major titles on sale next week

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #10) by Charlaine Harris (Ace) gets a mixed review from PW: “Though the action often builds too slowly, the exploration of family in its many human and undead variations is intriguing, and Harris delivers her usual mix of eccentric characters and engaging subplots.”

Savor the Moment (Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet Series #3) by Nora Roberts (Penguin) is set in a wedding business run by four BFFs, and according to PW is “a tart fairy tale romance [that] offers few surprises, but it’s impossible to deny Roberts’s flair for sketching likable couples.”

Innocent by Scott Turow (Grand Central) is a sequel to his breakthrough courtroom thriller, Presumed Innocent, set 20 years later. Reviewers are already lining up. In the NYT, the tart-tongued Michiko Kakutani tackles it, rather than Janet Maslin, who usually handles popular titles. Kakutani, in a “on the one hand, but then on the other” review, seems to like the book despite herself.  In yesterday’s USA Today, Dierdre Donahue praises the book without reservation; “In the jaded world of best-selling authors, Turow has always seemed refreshingly uncynical. He’s not just cranking out formulaic moneymakers.” Donahue adds, “Turow is the rarest of writers: one who can write seriously and insightfully about sex. It’s not an easy task … [he] is at his best conveying what hasn’t changed since 1987 or, really, since the beginning of time: the darkness of the human heart.”

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles Series #1) by Rick Riordan (Hyperion) is the beginning of a new YA series that Kirkus gives a mixed review: “The gods sure are busy in New York City. Manhattan was the site of the climactic battle of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Now, Brooklyn is the base for Riordan’s new series involving Egyptian gods. Similar story, different gods.”

Blue-Eyed Devil (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Series #4) by Robert B. Parker (Penguin) is an “excellent posthumous western from bestseller Parker that continues the saga of gun-slinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (after “Brimstone”) as they trade wisecracks and hot lead with back-shooting owlhoots and murderous Apaches in the town of Appaloosa.” according to PW.

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