A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness, releasing today is a debut that has the earmarks of a big hit. Consider increasing your orders.

Cuyahoga P.L. has taken a much larger stand on the book than other libraries we checked. Collection Development Coordinator Wendy Bartlett explains,

Ever since The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, I’ve kept my eye out for another “witch” book that had a manuscript involved in some way, because readers loved that combo. Add to that, the setting is the Bodleian library at Oxford, book lovers’ Nirvana. Throw in vampires and excellent cover art, and it’s the hottest non-big-name title of the season!

She’s in good company. The book was one of the big titles at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009. It’s also received enviable coverage in the past week:

Parade Magazine pick of the week on Sunday

In last week’s Entertainment Weekly, twice, on the “Must List” and in a review that, although it awarded the book just a B+, attests to its appeal,

“…a thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail, has a gutsy, brainy heroine to match…Harkness writes with thrilling gusto about the magical world…Alas, there’s a bit of bloat to the book…[but] As the mysteries started to unravel, the pages turned faster, almost as if on their own. By the most satisfying end, Harkness had made me a believer”

O Magazine — “…romantic, erudite and suspenseful…Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality and humor.”

A February pick by Amazon

One of Sessalee’s picks at B&N

Independent booksellers made it an IndieNext Pick for February

The author also has a great back story (like her character, she discovered a missing manuscript in the Bodleian), which she talked about during her presentation at the AAP Trade Libraries Breakfast at ALA MidWinter.

More will be coming; this is the first in a planned trilogy.

The author, who teaches at the U. of Southern California, also wrote The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (Yale University Press, 2007).

And, she writes the “Good Wine Under $20” blog (a book club idea — “Read the Book; Taste the Author’s Wine Selection”).

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel
Deborah Harkness
Retail Price: $28.95
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2011-02-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0670022411 / 9780670022410

Large type; Thorndike; March (9781410436337).

Audio: Recorded Books

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