New Title Radar, Week of March 18

Six YearAmong the books arriving next week, Harlan Coben’s Six Years (Penguin/Dutton) leads in number of holds (over 800 in some libraries). Readers advisors will want to take a look at Once Upon A Flock, a memoir with chickens that caused Kirkus to go all mushy and a fiction debut about child-on-child crime that arrives here after much success in the U.K.

The titles highlighted in this post, and more, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 3.18.13

The Guilty OneThe Guilty One, Lisa Ballantyne, (Harper/Morrow pbk original; HarperLuxe)

This debut by a Scottish author arrives here with advance buzz after having been a hit in the UK (it was chosen by the influential Richard and Judy Book Club). It may also be a hit here. It’s an IndieNext pick for March, described as “… a profound, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, must-read. While it is primarily the story of a little boy accused of murder and his lawyer, it is also a mesmerizing study of the three main characters and how they are each affected by horrible events in their past.” The Washington Post gives it an early review, praising Ballantyne’s “crisp, reflective writing,” but objects to unlikable characters and grim subject manner (sound familiar? Like The Dinner, perhaps?)

Once Upon a FlockOnce upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens, Lauren Scheuer, (S&S/Atria)

Given the fascination with urban farming, there should be a ready audience for this book that Kirkus calls, “a charmingly quirky story of a woman and the flock of spirited chickens that stole her heart.” The chicken’s daily lives are documented “with drawings and photographs, which she includes on almost every page of the book.” Scheuer is a children’s book illustrator who writes the blog Scratch and Peck.

Toms RiverToms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, Dan Fagin, (RH/Bantam; BOT)

One of PW’s 10 “Most Anticipated for Spring” in the science category, described as a “science-centered detective story” that looks into New Jersey’s environmental disasters brought about by toxic industrial waste and government officials that looked the other way. It will be featured on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered tomorrow.

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