New Title Radar: August 13 – 19

It’s probably no surprise that, of the titles arriving next week, the one with the heaviest holds is Rick Riordan’s next middle-grade title, The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries. It may be surprising that the number two title is actually an older book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the tie-in to the movie which arrives in theaters next month starring Emma Watson in her first post-Harry Potter role. Our Watch List includes a title librarians have buzzed as well as several that have received advance media attention.

Watch List

The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields (Penguin/Pamela Dorman)

Fields’s fourth novel was picked by most of the librarians on BEA’s Shout ‘n’ Share panel. Kansas City’s Kaite Stover book talks it this way,

Every summer there’s a juicy historical novel filled with passion, meticulous research and period detail, layered characters and a you-are-there tone. This year it’s The Age of Desire and unlike recent faves, The Paris Wife or Loving Frank, this novel focuses on the love and friendship of two women, Edith Wharton and her literary secretary Anna Bahlman.

During a few tumultuous years, Edith pens some of her most famous works as her lifeless marriage turns sour and she begins an affair with a younger man. Ann becomes Edith’s husband’s comfort, even as Anna begins to cultivate a relationship with a wealthy German shipping magnate and considers leaving Edith’s employ.

Anyone who recognizes the gilded webs Wharton weaves for society women in her own classics will spot the same in this book of two very real women trying to be independent individuals from society, family, and each other.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Type in Dec.)

The NYT jumped the pub date to get in an early review, indicating that there is buzz (it was on nearly every summer reading list) and causing the book to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings. Entertainment Weekly follows with anther strong review; “a comic, often frustrating, but ultimately engrossing and whip-smart modern epistolary novel.” Will appeal to those who appreciate the cult TV series, Arrested Development, which Semple wrote for.

Motherland by Amy Sohn (Simon & Schuster)

There are those in what is called “Brownstone Brooklyn” who can’t wait to read the salacious details of life among what Sohn has dubbed “The Regressives,” 40-something moms who can’t figure out what to do with their lives, so regress to the bad behavior of their twenties. Entertainment Weekly makes this devastating comment, “If Motherland had a subtitle, it might be The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Bourgeois Brooklynite.” For a taste, read Sohn’s recent essay in The Awl. Unsurprisingly, holds are heaviest in NYC area libraries. Sohn is a media insider (she’s written columns for numerous magazines as well as TV and film), so expect media coverage.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Perseus/Weinstein Books; original trade paperback; Ship Date, 8/14. Pub Date, 9/4)

The Malaysian author’s second title is also his second to be long-listed for the Booker. The Independent said of this book, “Tan’s story here is just as elegantly planted as his Man Booker-long listed debut The Gift of Rain, and even more tantalisingly evocative” and made a swipe at UK publishing by adding, “Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace. That a novel of this linguistic refinement and searching intelligence should come from a tiny Newcastle imprint tells us a lot about the vulgarity of corporate publishing today.” In the US, it’s on a larger publisher’s list.

Usual Suspects


And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins; HarperAudio)
A standalone featuring Heloise Lewis, who runs a prostitution ring. The NYT‘s Janet Maslin jumped the pub datewith her review, praising Lipmann for focusing on Heloise’s “impressive acumen and the levelheaded thinking that has gone into her entrepreneurial model.”

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

The author of The Other Boleyn Girl moves to the court of Edward IV.

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber (RH/Ballantine; Random House AudioThorndike Large Print)

Macomber switches publishers for the first book in the Cedar Cove series.

Middle Grade & Young Adult

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One by Ellis Weiner (Chronicle Books)

This first title in a new series is already a hit with prepub reviewers. Publishers Weekly writes, “The most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone.”  The Horn Book adds that the”Illustrations play up the story’s humor as well as highlighting the twins’ ingenuity.”

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, Listening Library)

Features four original stories in which the heroes meet.

Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans (Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink, Simon & Schuster Audio/Mercury Ink)

The second in the YA mystery series by the author of many best selling adult titles including The Christmas Box.


Movie Tie-in

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books, trade pbk; Recorded Books)

Emma Watson stars in the movie version of the 1999 coming-of-age tale that has been embraced by teens. The original hardcover is also being re-released. The movie opens on 9/21. Official movie site:


The New New Deal
by Michael Grunwald (S&S)

Time magazine’s senior correspondent argues that the Obama stimulus bill is a “New Deal, larger than FDR’s and just as transformative.” It will be getting media attention, including a feature in the Washington Post on Sunday, coverage on NPR’s Marketplace and The Takeaway as well as on several MSNBC talk shows and on CNN.

Obama’s America by Dinesh D’Souza (Regnery)

The author’s followup to the best selling The Roots of Obama’s Rage. He claims a second Obama term will turn the US from the “shining city on a hill” to  “a shantytown in a rather dangerous global village.” No prepub reviews on this one, indicating it’s embargoed.

Comments are closed.