June GalleyChat: Post Book Expo

[Ed. Note: This post is by EarlyWord’s GalleyChatter, Robin Beerbower]

June 3 found us involved with another rousing GalleyChat session, with many participants abuzz about their Book Expo America encounters with gracious and fascinating authors. Attendees were especially enthused about their suitcases bulging with treasured galleys of forthcoming books. Here is a small sampling of some of the BEA offerings along with a few other recommended titles (those of you going to ALA may want to seek these out).

As usual, it’s impossible to summarize the huge amount of books mentioned, so check here for all of the titles — June 3 GalleyChat. You can also friend me for continual updates on what I’m anticipating.

Book of lifeRising to the top of the list is one of the most anticipated books of the summer, Deborah Harkness’s third (and final) title in the All Souls trilogy, The Book of Life (Penguin/Viking, July). A few GalleyChatters who attended BEA received a print galley and the responses have been very enthusiastic. Lucy Lockley of St. Charles City-County Library said, “Great conclusion to fascinatingly detailed series! Fans of the series will not be disappointed.” Good news; you can request it on NetGalley; approvals begin June 15.

The self-effacing David Mitchell charmed the BEA Random House breakfast audience and many are excited to bone clocksread his forthcoming book that weaves six narratives and covers over forty years, The Bone Clocks (Random House, September). It will clearly be heavily promoted; a huge banner for it hung over the Javits Center. During GalleyChat, Elliott Bay Bookstore staff member Kenny Coble said, “Brilliant. I love it as much as Cloud Atlas. I still think about it constantly.”

Readers were excited about two futuristic thrillers featuring deadly viruses, Jon Scalzi’s Lock In (Macmillan/Tor, August) and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf, September).

lock in   station eleven   

In Lock In, a widespread disease leaves some afflicted in a “locked in” state, unable to move or express emotions but aware of what is happening around them. Librarian Jane Jorgenson (Madison Public Library, Wisconsin) said, “A blending of SF and police procedural that hits every note just right.”  Station Eleven is set in a world where 99% of the population has been obliterated due to a flu and incorporates themes such as art, fame and ambition. It was selected as a BEA Buzz Book, and with four GalleyChat members recommending it (Fairfield, CT, Library’s Susan Balla said, “Yes, another dystopic novel but the characters, not the chaos surrounding them, are the focus of this story”), plus having received “much love” from 13 Edelweiss users, it is sure to be on many fall reading lists.

smoke gets in your eyesThe first of two memoirs mentioned was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by a young mortician, Caitlin Doughty (W.W. Norton, September). Janet Lockhart, Wake County, N.C., Library collection development librarian and I loved it and agree that the author makes the repellent and scary topic of dealing with human death (with the focus on cremation) comfortable and even humorous. It is clearly perfect, of course, for fans of one of the few other books to take a comedic view of the subject, Mary Roach’s Stiff. 

The other memoir enjoyed was North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person (Harper, June). Alison Kastner of Multnomah, County, OR, Library called it a “reverse Wild [by Cheryl Strayed].” I was also fascinated by the author’s story of her highly dysfunctional childhood, living completely off the grid in the wilds of Canada. This is a good recommendation for anyone who liked Jeanette Winters’ The Glass Castle, and for older teens who are looking for something similar to Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It.

Interest was also high for new titles by favorite authors, including Dennis Lehane’s The Drop (HarperCollins/Morrow, September), with the movie to be released in September. In a twist, the movie is based on Lehane’s short story, Animal Rescue. The book, also by Lehane, is based on his script for the movie.

big little liesIf Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret continues just a few more weeks on the NYT best seller list, where it has been for 23 weeks, it may be joined by her next book, Big Little Lies (Penguin/Putnam, July). Note the cover art represents an exploding lollipop; a variation of the exploding rose on The Husband’s Secret.

Since Necessary Lies was released last fall, Diane Chamberlain’s emotionally charged novels of family dynamics have steadily increased in popularity and early reports indicate her next book Silent Sister (St. Martin’s Press, October) will also in demand for readers of women’s fiction.

sudden lightGarth Stein, who had an unexpected hit with The Art of Running in the Rain, switches gears with a multigenerational saga cum ghost story,  A Sudden Light (Simon & Schuster, September). This one is not narrated by a dog. 

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on July 8 at 4:00 (EDT) — note, we moved the date a week later than usual, to avoid conflict for those returning from ALA.

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