New Title Radar, Week of March 25

Fans can look forward to new titles in popular series next week, including those by Donna Leon, Jacqueline Winspear, J. R. Ward and Robert Ludlam (as channeled by Kyle Miles). Reviews are already starting for Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys, the author’s next book after her Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge. Also arriving is a novel widely expected to be the next Paris Wife, about another “Real Housewife of Historical Fiction,” Zelda Fitzgerald.

All titles and more are included on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of 3.25.13

Watch List


The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout, Random House; RH Audio; BOT

Strout’s previous book, Olive Kitteridge was considered a dark horse when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. It went on to spend over a year on best seller lists in trade paperback. Her new book will again test readers’ willingness to accept some unlikeable characters, this time in novel form, rather than interconnected short stories. Signs are positive. It gets an unequivocal A from Entertainment Weekly and Ron Charles in the Washington Post says “…the broad social and political range of The Burgess Boys shows just how impressively this extraordinary writer continues to develop.”

Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print)

Back in the early 70’s, Nancy Milford’s biography Zelda (Harper) shed new light on the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda. It became a long-running best seller and is still in print. Jazz era fascination continued with Robert Redford’s portrayal of The Great Gatsby on film. Flash forward to today. Baz Lahrmann’s Great Gatsby arrives this summer and is preceded by a heavily-promoted book about Zelda, titled simply Z, after the way she signed her letters.

People designates it a Pick in the new issue, saying it is “richly imagined… sometimes reads like an insider’s delicious account of gossip-column fodder. But these characters aren’t caricatures and Zelda’s tales are told with restraint and insight… here, her touching story is also fascinating and funny and it animates an entire era.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+

Other forthcoming books that feature Zelda include a bio (UPDATE: this title is a novel), Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald by R. Clifton Spargo (Overlook Press; May 2) and another novel, Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck (Penguin/NAL Original Trade Pbk., May 7).

Life After Life

Life After Life, Jill McCorkle, (Workman/Algonquin; Thorndike Large Print)

As we noted earlier, this is the first of two novels arriving this season with the same title, both of which are #1 IndieNext picks for April. The IndieNext annotation reads,

Let yourself be drawn into the world of Pine Haven Estates in Fulton, North Carolina, and treat yourself to a cast of characters so rich that you will be bereft every time the point of view changes, only to find yourself enchanted anew. Pine Haven Estates is a retirement community, where life and death are inevitable companions. Its inhabitants and the people who care for and about them are at the center of this story that examines the cycle of life — what it means to be alive as well as how one faces the end of life. McCorkle’s first novel in 17 years depicts a community well worth visiting and offers a wonderfully satisfying reading experience. —Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy Books, San Diego, CA

Media Magnets

Brothers Emanuel

Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, (Random House RH Audio; BOT)

The eldest of the Emanuel brothers, a bioethicist, writes about his family, which includes brothers Rahm, Mayor of Chicago and Ari, a major Hollywood agent. All that star power brings attention, including an interview with three brothers by Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center tonight (promoted on The Today Show this morning) and features on the NPR’s upcoming Weekend Edition Sunday and CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, CBS This Morning Saturday and MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday.


Decisive, Chip Heath and Dan Heath, (RH/Crown Business; RH Audio; BOT)

Following their influential and best selling business books, Made to Stick and Switch, the authors turn to the question of how we can make more rational business and life decisions. Heath published a story in the Wall Street Journal this week and the book has been in Amazon’s top 100 for 12 days, but libraries are showing modest holds at this point


978-0-345-54397-4-198x300  The Reluctant Fundamentalist  The Iceman

We’ve already featured two of the three tie-ins arriving this week, A Storm of Swords (RH/Bantam; HBO series begins March 31) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, (Mariner Books; movie begins a limited run on April 26).

The third is The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno (RH/Bantam). The movie stars Michael Shannon as a real-life hitman, trying to balance family and career, and co-stars Ray Liotta, Wynona Ryder, Chris Evans and James Franco. It opens on May 3.

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