Summer Previews Begin

jessica-alba-entertainment-weekly-cover-leadWith Memorial Day Weekend upon us, it’s time for summer previews.

Entertaiment Weekly‘s “Summer Must List” issue looks at what will be big this season in movies, tv, music and supposedly in books, but they give them short shrift (too bad, that cover is going to sell copies, but maybe not to the book reader demo), fitting them awkwardly into various categories — “Sin” (amazingly, no books in this section), “Destruction” (Chesea Cain’s One Kick, S&S, 8/8, clearly belongs here), “Love” (featuring Diana Gabaldon, as much for the upcoming Outlander series adaptation on Starz, as for her forthcoming Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, 6/10). The category of “Survival” is broadly interpreted to include 6 titles, such as Amy Sohn’s The Actress, S&S, July 5 and Rufi Thorpe’s The Girls from Corona Del Mar, RH/Knopf, 7/8

In today’s NYT, critic Janet Maslin casts her eye on 14 summer titles (and goes to lengths to avoid the phrase “beach read”), commenting, “if there’s one overriding motif, it’s this: the crazier, the better.” She is lukewarm about most of the titles she mentions except for The Fever by Megan Abbott (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 6/17), “a hot new entrant in the ‘Is it the next Gone Girl’?’ sweepstakes,” the “astringent wit of Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 5/13) and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, (Penguin/Riverhead, 5/29), “a scrappy portrait of a family bringing its Upper West Side troubles to Mallorca for repair,”

Her favorite is the nonfiction debut, Factory Man, (Hachette/ Little, Brown, 7/15) by Beth Macy, which Maslin calls “a big surprise” for finding “a terrifically rich subject” in “a family-run Virginia furniture company that was being put out of business by cheap Chinese knockoffs, and happened to find an owner determined to fight back.”

We’ll let you know as more previews arrive.

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