New Title Radar: Oct 1 – 7

[NOTE: If you linked here from the 10/5 newsletter, we posted the wrong one. The correct one is New Title Radar: October 8 – 14]

Politics rules nonfiction this week, with a memoir by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and new books by political pundits Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter. In fiction, returning favorites include Mark Helprin and Per Patterson, plus there’s a charming debut by Robin Sloan. Usual suspects include Dennis Lehane, John Sandford, Nora RobertsChristine Feehan and Sylvia Day. In YA, Rick Riordan returns with much anticipation and adult author Jasper Fforde starts a fantasy series.

Watch List

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Macmillan/FSG) is a modern fantasy about a laid off web designer turned bookstore clerk in San Francisco who uses old and new media to crack a variety of codes. Kirkus says, “Sloan’s debut novel takes the reader on a dazzling and flat-out fun adventure, winding through the interstices between the literary and the digital realms.” It was a BEA Librarian’s Shout ‘n’ Share pick and continues as a favorite on GalleyChat. That cover glows in the dark.

Returning Favorites

In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Blackstone Audio) gets the thumbs up from People magazine, which gives it 4 of 4 stars and designates it a People Pick in the new issue: “Helprin’s delightful new novel is a 705-page mash note to Manhattan in the years immediately following World War II. Like Winters Tale, the 1983 bestseller that made his name, it’s a paean to women and their beauty… Helprin paints a dazzling portrait of the city… and evokes the universal, dizzy delight of falling head over heels in love.” NPR’s All Things Considered also gave it a strong review. The film of Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, to begin production in Manhattan on October 27, stars Colin Farrell, Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay, William Hurt, Will Smith and Russell Crowe.

It’s Fine By Me by Per Patterson (Graywolf Press) explores the youth of Arvid Jensen, last seen in Patterson’s I Curse the River of Time (2010). This book is a reissue of a 1992 novel by Norwegian author Patterson, who first broke out with Out Stealing Horses, which won the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. LJ calls this one “Essential for upmarket readers.”


Usual Suspects

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane (Harper/ Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio) is a crime novel set in the Prohibition era about the rise of an Irish-American gangster. It gets a B+ in Entertainment Weekly, which calls it a “ripping, movie-ready yarn that jumps from a Boston prison to Tampa speakeasies to a Cuban tobacco farm.”

Mad River by John Sandford (Penguin/Putnam; Center Point Large Print; Penguin Audiobooks) is the fifth novel featuring Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers, who investigates an armed rampage by three teens in rural Minnesota. It was featured on NPR’s Weekend edition Saturday.

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (Penguin/Berkley; Thorndike Large Print; Brilliance Audio) is the final installment in the Inn Boonsboro trilogy.

Dark Storm by Christine Feehan (Penguin/Berkley; Thorndike Press; Penguin Audiobooks) is the latest in the Carpathian series of paranormal romances.

Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (Berkley; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large print) — is the second in the Crossfire series, which began with the self-published Bared to Youwidely regarded as a successor to Fifty Shades of Grey (and with covers that underscore the similarity). UPDATE: We had the wrong pub. date. It’s actually Oct. 23, which means you still have time to request the digital ARC via Edelweiss and NetGalley.

Young Adult

The Mark of Athena:(Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books; Thorndike Press; Listening Library) has been right behind J.K. Rowling’s new book on Amazon’s sales rankings and rivals the Nora Roberts title for the most holds on this list.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (Harcourt Children’s Books; Brilliance Audio) is a YA fantasy novel by the British author of the fanciful Thursday Next literary mysteries and the Nursery Crime series. PW says, “There’s a lot of setup for later books in Fforde’s Chronicles of Kazam, but it’s so inventive and charming that readers will happily stick with it (though the tragic death of a major character will hit some of them hard) and be impatient for the next episode.”

Movie Tie-Ins

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Random House Trade) is one of two titles, long considered unfilmable, that will actually be released this fall. News of the movie sent Mitchell’s 2004 title back to best seller lists (the regular trade paperback edition is at #5 on the 10/7 NYT best seller list, after 8 weeks). Starring Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant, the movie arrives in theaters on Oct. 26.

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel (HMH; Random House Large Print Publishing; HighBridge Audio) is the second of the two titles coming out this fall that were long considered unfilmable. Directed by Ang Lee, it releases on Nov. 21. The Making of Life of Pi : A Film, a Journey by Jean-Christophe Castelli will be released on 10/30.


Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Press; Simon & Schuster Audio)  is a memoir by the former California governor about his rise from Austrian bodybuilder to Mr. Universe, business man, movie star, Kennedy family member via marriage to Maria Shriver, Republican leader, and his affair and child with a longtime family employee. It will be featured on 60 Minutes on Sunday, Sept. 30and has been promoted in advance on CBS This Morning

America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) is the latest political satire from the host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report.

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen (Norton) sports one of the most arresting covers of the season (click on the thumbnail to get the full effect) as well as three starred reviews (Booklist, Kirkus and PW). The author wrote an Op-Ed for the NYT, “Anticipating the Next Pandemic” and has been featured in the Smithsonian magazine. Features are also in the works for Time magazine and NPR’s Weekend Edition, among others.

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) is by the author of bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Macmillan/Holt; Thorndike Press; Macmillan Audio) is a look back at the assassination of John F. Kennedy by the host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox TV.

Mugged: Racial Demogoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter (Penguin/Sentinel) is the political pundit and Universal Press Syndicate columnist’s critique of racial politics in the U.S. from the 1970s to today.

Mick Jagger by Philip Norman (Harper/Ecco; Harperluxe) begs the question: haven’t we heard all there is to hear about him? Perez Hilton‘s headline is not convincing: “Mick Jagger Bio Exposes Womanizing and Rocky Relationship With Keith Richards.” But LJ reminds us that Jagger is not expected to write a memoir and “Norman interviewed many Jagger intimates, including some who have never spoken on the record, and promises to offer a larger, more complex picture of the star. This book will be buzzing throughout 2012, the Stones’ 50th-anniversary year.”

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