New Title Radar, Week of 4/29

Next week brings the fourth James Patterson hardcover of the year, putting him on track to match his record output last year. Joe Hill, once known as the offspring of two best selling authors, Stephen and Tabitha King, and now an established best selling author in his own right, publishes a new novel with a title based on a clever vanity plate, NOS4A2. Our watch list begins with a memoir that librarians have been looking forward to for months.

All these and more titles arriving next week, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, 4.29.13. Be sure to take a close look at the Media Magnets list — among the many authors battling for attention next week are Glenn Beck, Amanda Knox and Mark Bittman.

Watch List

World's Strongest LibrarianThe World’s Strongest Librarian, Josh Hanagarne, (Penguin/Gotham)

You don’t have to be a librarian to love this memoir. Booksellers appreciate it, too, and picked is as an IndieNext title for May: “Resplendent with the intelligence that comes from accumulated experience, seasoned with sudden and delightful humor, and written with great sensitivity, Hanagarne’s memoir is one of this spring’s best surprises. It is not simply a love letter to anyone who has built a life around books, but also a moving autobiographical work of a gentle giant who refuses to let his sense of wonder about the world be displaced by his challenges and an insightful and informative exposition of what it is like to wake every morning and navigate life with Tourette Syndrome. Highly recommended!” —Aaron Cance, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

If you are a librarian, you’ll naturally be drawn to it. Robin Beerbower of Salem P.L, OR, calls it her favorite book of the year and is confident it will remain so.

Hanagarne’s web site,, manages to combine the seemingly disparate worlds of strength-training and books. The author will be interviewed on BookTalkNation on Monday (sign up here).

In the book trailer he characterizes being a librarian as a “state of mind.”

In the Body of the World

In the Body of the World: A Memoir, Eve Ensler, (Macmillan/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio)

Remember when certain publications wouldn’t print the title of Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues? Seventeen years after its debut, it’s often performed by local theater groups, and the local newspapers have no trouble calling it by its real name. Even the Catholic Education Daily writes out the full titles (as part of an effort to get it banned). In Ensler’s memoir, she writes about more issues that some would prefer not to hear about; her work with Congolese women who suffered torture and rape and her own torture undergoing treatment for uterine cancer.

The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT)

Attention has already begun for Claire Messud’s first book since her celebrated and best selling The Emperor’s Children, (RH/Knopf, 2006). The Washington Post’s Ron Charles gives it this memorable assessment:

“Messud’s previous novel, the wonderful Emperor’s Children, sprawled out over more than 400 witty pages to skewer Manhattan’s young cultural elite. Her new book is an entirely different creature: a tightly wound monologue with the intensity of a novella that reads more like a curse.”

It’s a theme carried through in other reviews; NPR, “Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside,”  and The Wall street Journal, “Claire Messud’s Furious Follow-Up.”

The book even manages to coax the Totally Hip Reviewer off his cozy Amazon perch.

Expect many more reviews.

The Civil War in 50 Objects

The Civil War in 50 Objects, Harold Holzer, (Penguin/Viking)

Combine the interest in the Civil War, with the approach to history in the best-selling A History of the World in 100 Objects and you have the makings of a hit with Lincoln scholar Holzer’s new book.

Media Tie-in

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew (Movie Tie-In), Henry James, (Penguin Books)

Henry James’s 1897 classic is called “the inspiration” for a new film starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard as Maisie’s battling parents, beginning a limited run next week. The Wall Street Journal writes today about this and other attempts to bring James’s novels to the screen.

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