Archive for January, 2015

Best Sellers: TRAIN On The Move

Friday, January 30th, 2015

After debuting at #1 on the Combined NYT Fiction list last week, but at #2 on the Hardcover list, The Girl on the Train is now solidly #1 on both lists, with All the Light We Cannot See right behind it at #2.

9781594205866_67fe3In Nonfiction Alexandra Fuller’s third memoir, Leaving Before the Rains Come(Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #10 after a flurry of advance attention. Since then, it is a People magazine pick in the 2/9 issue. The Washington Post reviewed it this week, saying, “Fuller has written a divorce memoir for people who may not like divorce memoirs … The book is a deeply felt, beautifully written account of the emotional challenges of forging any kind of relationship — between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, parent and child. It also is a rich portrayal of life in Africa and a raw chronicle about the double-edged sword of independence.”

9780393244076_89390Behind it at #11 is Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad by histoian Eric Foner, (Norton). It is prominently covered in this Sunday’s NYT Book Review, which applauds Froner for doing “a superb job of focusing the story of the Underground Railroad on a human level.” Earlier, the daily NYT published a fascinating story about Foner’s discovery of a document (via his dog walker) that challenges recent skepticism among historians that the railroad was more myth than reality. Note that Stevie Wonder is set to produce an adaptation of the book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad, by Betty DeRamus (S&S/Atria, 2005) as a series for NBC, to be titled Freedom Run. Meanwhile, cable channel WGN America is working on its own 8-hour series, Underground.

Guantanamo DiaryArriving at #14  Guantánamo Diary  (Hachette/Little, Brown) by Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Hachette/Little, Brown), who writes about the torture he’s endured in the prison where he’s been held since 9/11. It is the cover review in this Sunday’s New York Time Book Review.

GalleyChatter: Bragging Rights

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Editor’s Note: Were you surprised by the rapidly growing holds list for The Girl on the Train or the continuing draw of All the Light We Cannot See months after publication?

You wouldn’t be if you took part in our monthly GalleyChats. Anthony Doerr’s book came up during the chat back in March and GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower was one of the first to spot Paul Hawkins book in August.

Read Robin’s latest GalleyChat roundup, below, to be prepared for the next big thing. For the complete Edelweiss list of what was mentioned during the chat, click here. Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tuesday, February 3, 4:00-5:00, EST. If you would like to see what what books Robin is anticipating, “friend her” on Edelweiss.

Robin’s Roundup:

9780765376459_c3cfcA Darker Shade of Magic, V. E. Schwab (Macmillan/Tor, February) is a new fantasy novel that appears on the February LibraryReads list. Librarians immediately swamped the January 6 chat with raves. Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro, OR, Public Library) said this atmospheric story of a magician who travels between parallel-universe Londons “moves with a wonderful fast and yet immersive pace; the fascinating story, with its twists and turns, is not to be missed.”

9780385352871_0aab8-2Another speculative novel, The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalup (RH/Knopf, May), is a scary story with a plausible “what if” plot. Set in the American Southwest, the futuristic story of what could happen if water becomes a scarce commodity had Library Journal columnist Megan McArdle saying “good golly, is it awesome! “ NOTE: The author will appear at Midwinter, on Sunday, Feb. 1, Booth Signing — 2:00 to 2:30 p.m., Random House booth #4721 and will speak at the AAP Author Book Talk Breakfast, Mon 2/2 (now a sold out event).

9780399172779_9b9a8After almost a year of monitoring GalleyChats, it is apparent that novels with regional atmosphere are popular. This month’s choice is David Joy’s Where All Light Tends To Go (Penguin/Putnam, March), a “country-noir” (publisher’s term) novel set in the North Carolina Appalachians featuring a man trying to escape the despair his life has become. Regular chatter Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ) says, “Achingly told, visceral prose will grab hold and stay with readers long past the heart wrenching but inevitable conclusion.”  It has also gained “much love” from ten Edelweiss peers.

9780062356406_6a465The novel Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gorner (HarperCollins/ Morrow, March) was loved by Susie Sharp (Eddy-New Rockford Library, New Rockford, ND) who says, “Enthralled, captivated, fascinated, enamored, I’m not even sure if these words come close to explaining how great this book was and how captivated I am with this woman.” NOTE: The author will appear at Midwinter, on Sunday, Feb. 1, Booth Signing — 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., HarperCollins booth #4526 and speaking at the Pop Top Stage, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

9780525954934_83eaf-2Girl Underwater, Claire Kells (Penguin/Dutton, March) was a favorite of Mary Smith, fiction selector for Thornike Large Print. She said “Part adventure story, part love story, with dual timeframes—the crash survivors’ experience while lost in the wilderness and the story of how they rebuild their lives once they return home—was a real page-turner. ”

love-may-failThe Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick’s next novel Love May Fail (Harper), doesn’t arrive until June but it has already received high praise from several GalleyChatters. The quirky story of a wife leaving a bad marriage in Florida and returning to her home in South Jersey caused Tracy Babiasz (Alachua County Library District, FL) to say, “Love love love! Great exam of the impact we have on others, even when we don’t know it.”

sisters-heartSince 2012, Margaret Dilloway’s Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns has been one of my “go-to” suggestions for readers who want a heart-tugging novel, and her next novel, Sisters of Heart and Snow (Penguin/Putnam, April), is even better. The story goes back and forth between  a woman warrior in 10th century Japan and the present day drama of two sisters battling not only their rocky relationship but their mother’s dementia, and I didn’t want it to end. And yes, a tissue was in order.

Nine Titles to Know,
The Week of Feb. 2

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The ground hog should come out of hibernation next week to read new titles by Kristin Hannah, Lisa Gardner, and Nick Hornby and to see if yet another in the list of anticipated heirs to Gone Girl’s mantle lives up to expectations.

All the titles covered here, and several more notable books arriving next week, are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb. 2, 2015

Holds Leaders

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One of the holds leaders of the week, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio, OverDrive Sample) is getting love from a wide range of sources. It’s been a favorite of librarians on GalleyChat, picked by independent booksellers as the #1 Indie Next title for February, and by Pennie Clark Ianniciello, the book buyer for Costco’s,  with a feature in this month’s Costco Connection. A full-page ad in the 2/1 NYT BR follows one for the title that is neck and neck in number of holds, Lisa Gardner’s Crash & Burn, (Penguin/Dutton, OverDrive Sample)

Advance Attention

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Funny Girl, Nick Hornby, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT; OverDrive Sample)

In an advance review in yesterday’s New York Times, Janet Maslin says Hornby’s latest “packs in lots of laughs, but it’s also got more heft than Mr. Hornby’s readers may expect.”  This is the first book in five years for the author, who divides his time between writing novels and screenplays (Wild and the forthcoming Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín). He’s also been writing a comedy series for the BBC, so it is no surprise that this novel, set in the ’60s, is about a young woman who wants to become the next Lucile Ball.

People magazine’s current “Book of the Week,” if it brings a run on Hornby’s previous titles, they have been re-released in trade paperback, as the full-page ad in the NYT announces, with a “stunning new look.”

The Sculptor, Scott McCloud, (Macmillan/First Second)

As we wrote earlier, McCloud’s magnum opus graphic novel has been getting major buzz in the comics world. This week, it gets an early review in, “juxtaposes fantastical imagery with small human moments, both clarifying why this story could only be told as a comic and constructing a deeply compassionate story”and Paste magazine, “McCloud marries [his] rigorous academia to an evocative epic that explores the metaphysics and emotions of creation. Drafted over five years, this 500-page tome chronicles David, an abrasive, obsessive artist, in his journey to create a masterpiece that will survive his own mortality.” NPR chimes in with an “exclusive first read” on their site.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, Paul Fischer, (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Talk about timing. This true story comes right on the heels of The Interview controversy, which brought early coverage in the NYT (Dec. 31), followed by an interview with the author this week in the Wall Street Journal and is the source for an in-depth opinion piece in a Washington Post blog.


Kind worth  9780062316899_93d95  9781608196883_b44f3

The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Sample)

GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower is an early fan of Swanson’s second novel. Weary of comparing each new psychological suspense novel to Gone Girl, she says this is the next Girl on the Train because, “The sympathetic characters were are few and far between and the twists and turns didn’t stop until the perfect ending.” She adds,  “Get lots of copies so you’ll have a ‘sure-bet’ handy for your patrons.”  She’s clearly been spreading the word, of the books coming out this week, it gets the most  librarian “love” on Edelweiss. She’s backed up by Entertainment Weekly, which lists it in their 2015 preview  of “20 Books We’ll Read in 2015,” as one of three successors to Gone Girl, along with The Girl On The Train and The Daylight Marriage(Algonquin, May, eARCs available from Edelweiss and NetGalley). Swanson won high praise for his first novel, which came out just a year ago,  The Girl With a Clock for a Heart.

A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers, Hazel Gaynor (HarperCollins/ Morrow trade paperback original; OverDrive Sample)

A Galley Chat favorite in December, described as, “a historical novel based on actual events, an interesting look at a sad time in London history when many homeless children were required to sell flowers and watercress on the streets by day and sleep in doorways by night.”

We Are Pirates, Daniel Handler, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

An Indie Next pick for February, it gets a strong blurb from Neil Gaiman,  “Honest and funny, dark and painful, We Are Pirates reads like the result of a nightmarish mating experiment between Joseph Heller and Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s the strangest, most brilliant offering yet from the mind behind Lemony Snicket.”

Upcoming Media Attention

9781476755717_54862-2Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, Bill Browder, (S&S; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

An exposé about the 2009 torture and murder of a Russian whistle-blower in a Moscow prison, the author is set to appear on several FOX News shows as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Lisbeth Returns

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

13014080_O_1   Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The fourth book in The Millennial series, which began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, (Swedish cover on the left, above, next to the familiar American cover) will be published in August, as originally announced at the end of 2013, confirms the Swedish publisher Norstedts. Titled That Which Does Not Kill, it is written by the Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz.

There’s not much information available on the content of the book. As The Guardian comments, “the author remained tight-lipped about the meaning of the title or what direction the action-packed political thriller – 500 pages long in Swedish – will take,” telling the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, simply “What I wanted to make use of in the book was the vast mythology that Stieg Larsson left behind, the world he created.” When the project was first announced, the publisher said it has nothing to do with the manuscript that Larsson left unfinished when he died in 2004 (the series was originally planned as ten books and there is a legal dispute over ownership of the rights to the unfinished manuscript).

There’s no news yet on which company will publish the book in the U.S. and the possible contenders represent a tale of modern publishing consolidation. The previous titles in The Millennial series were published in the U.K. by Quercus and in the U.S. by RH/Knopf. Since then, Quercus opened offices in the U.S., launching in 2013 with a collection of Larsson’s articles, The Expo Files. After financial struggles, the entire company was acquired by Hachette last September and, according to  PW,  a new publisher of the U.S. division was named just a couple of weeks ago, reporting to the Little, Brown imprint. So, the Swedish publisher may have followed tradition and sold the rights to Quercus division of Hachette in the U.K., followed by RH/Knopf in the U.S., or they may have sold both the U.S. and U.K. rights to Hachette.

Then again, they maybe going with another publisher entirely. There also remains the question of whether a Stieg Larsson book without Stieg Larsson will attract readers.

Science Confirms, Teen Brains Are Different

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

9780062067845_67a89On NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Terry Gross interviewed neuroscientist Frances Jensen, the author of The Teenage Brain, (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Jensen confirms with remarkable clarity what many parents have observed, that it takes a long time for the human brain to fully mature and develop the ability to control impulses.

Author Colleen McCullough Dies

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The author of the 1977  mega best seller, The Thorn Birds, and most recently, the novel Bittersweet, (S&S) has died Australia. She was 77.



Colleen McCullough wrote over 20 books since the Thorn Birds became a best seller, propelled to even greater success by a blockbuster TV series based on it. A generational saga set in Australia, the author drew on her own family background for the story.

The books that followed included a series of historical novels set in classical Rome and another of detective stories. As she told an interviewer in 2013, she felt uncomfortable returning to the genre that brought her the greatest success, but for last year’s Bittersweet, she said she had managed to construct an epic romance that could not be considered the “Son of Thorn Birds.”

In that interview, looking ahead, she said she had an idea for another of her detective novels featuring Carmine Delmonico (the most recent, Sins of the Flesh, was released here a few months after Bittersweet), but she didn’t want to start it because “it would be terribly frustrating to get halfway through a book and fall off the perch.”

Zillow Book: A Hot Property

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.40.40 AMThe CEO of the online site that many check regularly to find out the value of their homes, Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, appeared  on CBS This Morning to promote his new book  Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). More on the book here.

The book, which offers a new – and often contrary – take on common real estate myths (today, “location, location, location” can be further refined to “close to a Starbucks”), is zooming up Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently at #8. Many libraries have not yet ordered it.


Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

9780060885595_f2155Casting is about to begin for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about a group of soldiers returning home from Iraq, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012), set to start production in mid-April.

Applauded for the use of 3D in his adaptation of Life of Pi, the press release promises even more for Billy Lynn, “The film will explore new methods, both technological and artistic, with the goal of further engaging the audience.  Lee … envisions creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”

A debut novel, it was the winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Awards. The Washington Post called it, “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel … a razor-sharp, darkly comic novel — a worthy neighbor to Catch-22 on the bookshelf of war fiction.”

JOBS Begins Shooting

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

We envy this headline from New York magazine’s Vulture blog, “Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie Begins Filming With Cast Full of People Who Haven’t Dropped Out Yet.”

Steve JobsYes, the movie based on Walter Isaacson’s biography has suffered through many changes. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were breathlessly announced as stars, only to drop out. It has also changed studios (from Sony to Universal) and directors (from David Fincher to Danny Boyle) and had to endure another film being released with a similar title, Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher.

Universal’s announcement this week that production has begun in San Francisco may raise skepticism, but the company insists that Michael Fassbender is set to play Jobs, with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as former Macintosh marketing head Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley. Boyle is still directing.

GOING CLEAR Doc. Stirs the Waters

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Called the “The [Sundance Film] festival’s most hotly anticipated documentary,” by USA TodayGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is getting a chilly reception from the film’s subject after its Sunday premiere. Entertainment Weekly reports the Church is responding “aggressively,” through social media and ads in the New York Times.

Going ClearBased on the 2013 book by Lawrence Wright (RH/Knopf), who also is a producer on the film, it is set to air on HBO on March 16. The book itself is called a “a masterpiece of in-depth reporting packed to the brim with insane details and shocking revelations,” this week in Salon.

The film’s claims are getting attention in a wide range of news sources, from People magazine and USA Today to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Trailer: CHILD 44

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Before it was published in 2008, Ridley Scott bought the film rights to the heavily promoted, and well-received debut Cold War era thriller, Child 44, (Hachette/Grand Central), by Tom Rob Smith. A trailer was just released for the resulting film that will land in theaters on April 17

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), it stars Tom Hardy as a demoted Russian secret police agent battling both his superiors and his unhappy wife, played by Noomi Rapace, as he tries to track down a serial killer who targets children.

The book was the first in a trilogy, followed by The Secret Speech (2009) and  Agent 6, (2012).

Tie-in (for other movie tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection; for other upcoming book adaptations, check our listing):

Child 44
Tom Rob Smith
Hachette/Grand Central: March 31, 2015
Trade Paperback


Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

On the Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart introduced his guest, journalist Jill Leovy by calling her book, Ghettoside (RH/Spiegel & Grau; OverDrive Sample), an “incredibly gripping true crime story.” Leovy went on to show that the story is about much more than one murder.

Holds in libraries are now heavy on modest orders.


Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Based on the 2004 Marvel comic Ultimate Fantastic Four, which reimagines the original characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for a layman’s breakdown, check the Washington Post‘s “Comics Riffs” column), the teaser trailer for Fantastic Four just debuted online.

The movie appears in theaters, August 7, 2015.

Emma Watson is BEAUTY

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Disney’s live-action musical of Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle; Emma Watson, who began her movie career at age eleven playing Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, has signed on for the lead.

9780062290366_9a172It is set to be directed by  Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Watson in the adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, (S&S/MTV Books, 2012).

No news on whether she is still committed to star in Warner Brothers’ adaptation of Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper, July, 2014).



Monday, January 26th, 2015

Red Rising  golden-sun  morning-star_612x931

The third in Pierce Brown’s sci-fi adventure is heralded with an “exclusive cover reveal” on Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog, along with an interview with the author. Titled Morning Star,  it will be released in spring, 2016, and is not yet listed on distributor catalogs.

Both of the first two books in the trilogy are LibraryReads picks. Golden Son debuted on the 1/25 NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #6. This week, it appears at #20 on the extended list.