Entertainment Weekly’s Crystal Ball


After dozens of best books lists (the New York Times daily reviewers posted theirs today), Janus turns his head with the first preview of the new year, from Entertainment Weekly.

As much fun as the book section is, it will frustrate many librarians because it includes several fall titles that are not yet available for ordering. So, for now, you may have to go with blind catalog entries.

Purity, Jonathan Franzen, (Macmillan; FSG, Sept) — Says Entertainment Weekly, “Franzen’s novels never fail to elicit equal parts hype and hate. Purity promises to be a departure from his previous works The Corrections and Freedom.” So, does that mean it won’t inspire hype and hate? According to a NYT story last month, it’s due in September from Macmillan/FSG.

City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg, (RH/Knopf, Sept) — According to a 2013 story in New York magazine’s Vulture blog, this 900-page first novel sold to Knopf for almost $2 million and movie rights went to Scott Rudin. Way back then, they also offered a list of “28 things you can surmise about Garth Hallberg’s City on Fire by reading Garth Hallberg.”

M Train, Patti Smith, (RH/Knopf, Fall)  — Smith mentioned she’s working on this follow-up memoir to Just Kids in a Rolling Stone interview in October, saying it was due on Friday. Giving that timing, we assume it will be released in the fall. She described it as not about the past, but “sort of in present tense. I wanted to write a contemporary book or just write whatever I felt like writing about, and it’s things going from literature to coffee to memories of Fred in Michigan.”

The Witches, Stacy Schiff, (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Nov, 2015) — According to Schiff’s Web site, this is about the Salem Witch trials. The publisher told EarlyWord that it is currently scheduled for Nov., 2015 list.

A couple of the titles have already shown up on librarian radars. You can catch up by reading them over the holidays, digital ARC’s are still available:

9781594633669_dc9b1   9780399169526_2629d

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead, Jan. 13)

This debut began drawing attention back in August and is a LibraryReads pick for January. This is one of three titles Entertainment Weekly considers a possible successor to Gone Girl, along with the “buzzy” The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow, Feb. 3) and “the most understated an plausible of the three,” The Daylight Marriage, Heidi Pitlor, (Workman/Algonquin, May).

My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh, (Penguin/Putnam. Feb. 10)

Entertainment Weekly says this debut is “sure to be a breakout.” Librarians who have read it in galley concur, calling it, “a roller coaster of a read that doesn’t let up until the very end of the ride.” Join us for a chat with the author on January 21, as part of Penguin’s First Flight program.

For a listing of the other titles, go to our Edelweiss Collection.

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