New Title Radar, Jan 14 to 19

Cats get their due next week with Gwen Cooper’s Love Saves the Day, a novel told from a feline perspective. Fan favorite  Jennifer Chiaverini turns from quilts to another type of sewing with Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. Among the usual suspects are a couple of Brads, Meltzer and Taylor. Sure bets for media attention are  Lawrence Wright for his expose of Scientology and Sonia Sotomayor, for her memoir.

Watch List

The Aviator's WifeThe Aviator’s Wife, Melanie Benjamin, (RH/Delacorte; BOT; Center Point Large Print)

Benamin’s third book (following Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb) again explores the lives of historical people through fiction; in this case, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s. Married to the first man to fly across the Atlantic, she was part of a glamor couple, who, after their young son was kidnapped and murdered, became the focus of a national press obsession. The book is an Indie Next pick for February and on USA Today’s list of ten books to look forward to in 2013. Benjamin is about to begin her book tour, which includes seveal appearances in libraries.

Cover of snowCover of Snow, Jenny Milchman, (RH/Ballantine Books; BOT; Thorndike Large Print)

A debut arriving with buzz from the mystery community (Michlman is a blogger and participates in online mystery forums). Set in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, it is about a young woman who sets out to find out why her seemingly happy husband committed suicide. Comparisons have been made to Gillian Flynn.

Habits of the HouseHabits of the House, Fay Weldon, (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

It seems good timing for the woman who wrote the fist episode of the beloved Upstairs, Downstairs, precursor to Downton Abbey, to publish a book about a family trying to maintain a country home at the turn of the last century, while beset by financial troubles (the Earl has managed to lose most of his money in a risky investment). Prepub reviewers agreed with the publisher that this will appeal to fans of Downton. This is the first of a planned trilogy.

Love Saves the DayLove Saves the Day, Gwen Cooper, (Bantam; Tantor Audo; Thorndike Large Print)

Cooper’s debut was Homer’s Odyssey, a memoir about learning life lessons from caring for  her blind cat. In this, her first novel, Cooper takes on the task of writing from a rescued cat’s point of view; readers on GalleyChat say she pulls it off admirably (even for those resistant to books from a pet’s POV).

Mrs. Lincoln's DressmakerMrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Jennifer Chiaverini, (Penguin/Dutton; Thorndike Large Print)

Chiaverini breaks from her Elm Creek Quilts series to write a novel based on a true story; Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, a freed slave, became close friends with the First Lady. This week, a story in the NYT gives background on Mrs. Keckley who is also featured in a scene in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Keckley’s own memoir, Behind the Scenes (still in print from UNC Press), created a rift between her and the Lincoln family. Chiaverini explains in an interview in BookPage that she became interested in Mrs. Keckley’s story while researching The Union Quilters.

Media Spotlight

Going ClearGoing Clear, Lawrence Wright, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio)

The author of this embargoed title has already been profiled in the NYT and excerpts have been published in The Hollywood Reporter.

My Beloved LifeMy Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor, (RH/Knopf; Vintage Espanol; RH Audio; BOT)

Much attention is in the works for the Supreme Court Justice’s memoir, including a feature in People, as well as appearances on 60 Minutes this Sunday and the Today Show on Monday. This is also available in Spanish, as Mi mundo adorado.

Ten Years Later, Hoda Kotb, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio)

Hoda, co-host with Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show‘s fourth hour, releases a book about six people who took a big step to change their lives and how they are doing ten years later. She and Kathie Lee are making their own big change; they’ve given up drinking wine on the show, for a whole month.

Usual Suspects

Enemy of Mine, Brad Taylor,  (Penguin/Dutton; Thorndike Large Print)

Taylor’s third Pike Logan thriller is called “a good one” by Kirkus and “action-packed” by Publishers Weekly.

The Third Bullet, Stephen Hunter, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio; Brilliance Audio; Center Point Large Print)

In this eighth Bob Lee Swagger thriller, the retired military sniper gets bitten by the JFK conspiracy bug. Says Publishers Weekly, “Hunter develops some new angles on the JFK assassination, and as usual keeps the details about ballistics and weaponry accessible.”

The Fifth Assassin, Brad Meltzer, (Hachette Grand Central; Hachette Audio)

Is this assassination conspiracy week? Meltzer links FOUR previous assasinations. Kirkus warns, “Although equipped with adequate back story to allow The Fifth Assassin to be enjoyed alone, smart readers will first dip into the series opener, The Inner Circle.”  Publishers Weekly, however, found it “convoluted.”  25 28 


Captain UnderpantsCaptain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers, Dav Pilkey, (Scholastic)

Can you believe it? The TENTH epic adventure.




Movie Tie-in

Admission MTIAdmission, Jean Hanff Korelitz, (Hachette/ Grand Central)

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd team up for the first time in this adaptation of a debut that won strong reviews for taking a serious look at the pitfalls of the college admissions process. The teaser makes us suspect some of that is lost in the movie, coming to theaters on March 22.


Do More, Spend Less, Brad Wilson, (Wiley)

Do people want to save money these day? Yes; this book has appeared in the Amazon top 100, rising as high as #17 months before publication. The author is the founder of the coupon website,, and was profiled by Crain’s Chicago Business in August.

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