New Title Radar: June 25 – July 1

Next week brings some books we’ve hearing about it for months, including former S&S editor Karen Thompson Walker‘s dystopian debut, along with Glen Duncan’s second literary werewolf adventure. Usual suspects include Elin Hilderbrand, Karen Kingsbury, James Rollins and Douglas Adams and Gareth RobertsJodi Picoult also delivers her first YA romance, with daughter Samantha van Leer. And it’s a big week for nonfiction, with Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s look at the 2009 Afghanistan surge, Christian Broadcasting Network newsman David Brody’s account of the Tea Party, and memoirs by the highly rated New York City chef Marcus Samuelsson and former New Yorker staffer Janet Groth. Making headlines in advance of its Tuesday publication is a memoir by Rielle Hunter, who had a baby with presidential contender John Edwards.

Watch List

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House; RH Audio; Thorndike Large Print, Aug) is a dystopian fantasy by a former Simon & Schuster editor, set in the future after the Earth’s rotation has started to slow down, making the days and nights twice as long as normal. It has already received a positive early review by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times (she praises it as “a genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair,” as we noted earlier this week).

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan (Knopf; BOT) is the sequel to Duncan’s breakout debut, The Last Werewolf, which brought a literate yet raunchy sensibility to the the tale of the conflicted werewolf Jake. This time, the star is Talulla, a female werewolf carrying Jake’s child, who tries to elude Jake’s enemies. LJ calls it “a bone-crunchingly, page-plungingly good book (necessary reading just for the language) that limns the primal darkness within us but is ultimately about love.” 100,000-copy printing.

Usual Suspects

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand (Hachette/Little Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio) is the story of four teens who grapple with the aftermath of a fatal accident on the night of their high school graduation in Nantucket. LJ says, “Hilderbrand has a gift for building tension, and the reader will be willing to do just about anything to discover the real reason why Penny would drive herself, her brother, and her boyfriend over an embankment into oblivion.” 250,000-copy first printing.

Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope by Karen Kingsbury (Zondervan; Thorndike Large Print; Zondervan Audio) is a stand-alone novel that can either introduce readers to the saga of the Baxter Family, or work as its conclusion, by “The Queen of Christian Romance.”

Bloodline: A SIGMA Force Novel by James Rollins (Harper/Morrow; Thorndike Large Print, Aug) finds the Sigma Force team trying to rescue the president’s pregnant daughter, after she is kidnapped from a yacht by Somali pirates and hidden in the jungles of coastal Africa.

Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams & Roberts Gareth (Penguin/Ace Books, Audiogo) is a novelization of the lost final episodes of the long-running Dr. Who TV series. Originally written by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but never produced, they were reworked in book form by veteran Doctor Who writer Roberts. Here, the Fourth Doctor faces off with a megalomaniac named Skagra.

Young Adult

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler; Recorded Books) is bestseller Picoult’s first foray into young adult lit, undertaken with her daughter, who pitched the premise to her. It’s about a loner girl who discovers a fairy tale prince in a book in her school library, and  that he can see her and talk to her, and sets about liberating him from his two-dimensional world into her three-dimensional one. Booklist says, “younger readers and their parents will appreciate the gentle, wholesome romance, with nary a shred of paranormal action. The tender, positive tone and effective pacing that builds to a satisfying finish will inspire readers to pass the book to a friend or reread it themselves.”


Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Knopf) is an indictment of President Barack Obama’s 2009 Afghanistan surge, by the Washington Post correspondent who wrote the Imperial Life in the Emerald City, an award-winning analysis of post-invasion Iraq. 100,000-copy printing.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson (Random House; BOT) is a memoir by the youngest chef to receive three stars from the New York Times. Orphaned in Ethiopia, he was raised by an adoptive family in Sweden, and later sought out his roots in multiple visits to his birth country, while making his way in New York’s elite food world and establishing his own restaurant in Harlem. LJ says, “This distinctive and compelling memoir has all the elements of a good story: humor, travel, and a young individual overcoming obstacles via a passionate calling.” This one is also on several summer reading lists (including CNN’s) and has sparked interest among librarians on EarlyWord‘s GalleyChat.

The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker by Janet Groth (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio) is a memoir by a woman who worked at the storied literary magazine from 1957 to 1978, which has already received some strong early reviews, as we noted earlier this week.

The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party Are Taking Back America by David Brody (Zondervan) is an account of the relationship between the Tea Party movement and evangelical Christianity by the chief political correspondent for Pat Robertson on CBN News. Reviewing a partially embargoed galley from which one third of the book was missing, PW says, “This volume repeats the trite slogan that fiscal responsibility is a moral issue; hence Tea Party enthusiasts and evangelicals are a natural match… There is little original reporting here.”

What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me by Rielle Hunter (Benbella Books) is the book Hunter shopped around to several publishers last year, ending up with small “boutique” Dallas publisher Benbella Books. The NYT reports that New York publishers passed on it, with one of them saying that ” he doubted that many women would buy the book, considering that Ms. Hunter was having an affair with Mr. Edwards while he was married to Elizabeth Edwards, a popular figure among women.” The book is generating some headlines based on online excerpts. ABC News is scheduled to air an interview with Hunter on 20/20 tonight. Bonnie Fuller cues the backlash in the Huffington Post.

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