New Title Radar – Week of August 15

Next week, watch for a dystopian debut infused with Gen X nostalgia by Ernest Cline and nonfiction looking at Al Qaeda, sexual abuse in the Church, a town recovering from a tornado and what ails the U.S. educational system.

Watch List

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Crown) is a debut novel set in 2044, in a dystopian America where the only escape is a vast virtual-reality simulation game based on geek culture from the 1970s and ’80s. It gets an “A-” from Entertainment Weekly, which says: “To say [it’s] the literary-fiction equivalent of VH1’s I Love the 80’s series may not sound like a compliment, but we… give Cline credit for crafting a fresh and imaginative world from our old toy box, and finding significance in there among the collectibles.” It was also a BEA Shout ‘n’ Share pick.

Usual Suspects

The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind (Tor) continues the story of Richard and Kahlan begun in the Sword of Truth fantasy series.


Big Nate on a Roll by Lincoln Peirce (HarperCollins) is an illustrated children’s book based on the Big Nate comic strip.


Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker (Times) reveals some of the covert methods used to combat terrorism.

The Grace of Everyday Saints: How a Band of Believers Lost Their Church and Found Their Faith by Julian Guthrie (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) chronicles the struggle by members to reopen a San Francisco church closed by the Archdiocese to conceal evidence of sexual abuse.

The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story by Mark Tabb and Tony Dungy (Zondervan) tells the story of an Iowa town destroyed by a tornado and the coach who gave hope to the community.

Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools by Steven Brill (Simon & Schuster) assigns the majority of blame for America’s education shortcomings on teachers unions. Kirkus call it “an in-depth, impeccably researched examination of the education-reform movements that have swept America over the last several decades, as well as the obstacles they’ve faced…The author “tackles this beast of a topic admirably, creating a lucid, often riveting history that will be invaluable to the next generation of reformers.”

Movie Tie-in

Moneyball by Michael Lewis (Norton) is a reissue of the bestselling behind the scenes look at the world of baseball, tying in to the movie opening September 3, which stars Brad Pitt.

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