Titles for R.A. Gurus, Week of 12/29/14

The 2015 publishing year begins next week as new books head to stores, ready for customers brandishing gift cards.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 12/29/14

Holds Leader

9780345543851_1571cDie Again: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel,
Tess Gerritsen (RH/Ballantine); OverDrive Sample

Among the titles by familiar names (Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Brad Taylor, Sherryl Woods, Jane Green) the leader in holds is Tess Gerritsen’s eleventh in her series featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. The fifth season of the TNT TV series based on the characters returns beginning Feb. 17 and a sixth is in the works, to debut in the summer. In an interview with PW, Gerritsen says the book draws on her own experiences while on Safari in South Africa.

LibraryReads Picks

9780804176378_c14ffVanessa and Her Sister, Priya Parmar, (RH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio); OverDrive Sample
Audio clip:

The first buzzy debut of the season, this title is featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, is People‘s Book of the Week, as well as both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick.

LibraryReads annotation:

“Told uniquely as part diary, part epistolary novel, Parmar focuses on the relationship of Vanessa (later Bell) and Virginia (later Woolf) Stephens, one filled with unspoken jealousy and a fierceness of love that will ultimately destroy their kinship. This well-researched novel with gorgeous prose brings the characters to life with a unique perspective.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Slate uses it as a jumping off point for a piece that offers a jaundiced view of the “biographical fan fiction” trend, beginning with Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank.

9781476767314_daf49The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio); OverDrive Sample

The followup to Simsion’s The Rosie Project, a book that won an Australian prize for unpublished manuscripts and went on to sell more than a million copies worldwide.

Fans Bill and Melinda Gates recorded a video with the author:

LibraryReads annotation:

“Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA — It is also an IndieNext pick.

9780804178983_8c4d5The Dress Shop of Dreams, Menna van Praag, (RH/Ballantine; Thorndike; Recorded Books); OverDrive Sample

LibraryReads annotation:

“Tidy, romantic, and fine escapism. All the characters here have interesting back stories: Cora is believable as a no-nonsense gal trying to rebuff sweet Walt’s advances, and Etta is someone I’d like to meet in real life. Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA

9781616954765_d0d69The Bishop’s Wife, Mette Ivie Harrison, (Soho Crime; Blackstone Audio); OverDrive Sample

Y.A. author Harrison’s mystery debut got an early review by the New York Times‘ Janet Maslin, indicating she thinks it may take off and, indeed, she notes that it “has good reason to draw a large readership” because of its focus on domestic abuse among extremists in some religious communities and because it “incorporates details about Mormon daily life that should fascinate readers who know little about them.” Maslin also notes that it appears to be the beginning of a series.

It is both an IndieNext and LibraryReads pick.


“Linda Wallheim is the local bishop’s wife and the mother of five sons, all but one out of the house and on their own. As a Mormon, Linda has been increasingly frustrated with some of the Church’s doctrine. While her life is busy fulfilling her duties with many community services and being the hostess for the ward at all hours, she chafes under the patriarchal beliefs and practices. When she is called to care for a five-year-old girl whose mother has mysteriously disappeared, Linda begins to question the circumstances of the young wife’s absence. This is a beautifully written story about a woman who supports her husband as the bishop while recognizing that her inner convictions might go against his will. A compelling read!” — Patricia Worth, River Reader, Lexington, MO 


“As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop’s wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop’s wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.” — Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

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