Eight Titles to Know and Recommend, the Week of Feb. 9

Next week features several books by rising stars, from a YouTube comedian poised for the transition to HBO, to several heavily anticipated debut novels, including one by an author who thinks her character makes Katniss Everdeen “look like a wuss.”

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 Feb. 9. 2015

Holds Leaders

9780399170874_94269  9780345541376_18463  9781101874271_0ee2a

Obsession in Death by J. D. Robb (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is the holds leader of the titles being published next week, followed by Jonathan Kellerman’s Motive, (RH/Ballantine; RH Large Print; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Also highly anticipated is Anne Tyler’s 20th novel, A Spool of Blue Thread(RH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample) the LibraryReads #1 pick for the month and an Indie Next pick, it is also a People pick this week (“will delight her many fans:) and Michiko Kakutani, reviews it in the NYT today (it doesn’t delight her). A rumor has sprung up that Tyler is retiring. She tells the Wall Street Journal that’s untrue; “I have no idea whether I’ll do another [book], but I would never put myself in the position of saying I wouldn’t or would … It depends on whether something arrives or not.”

Media Attention

9781476749051_0ebe9-2The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae, (S&S/Atria/37 Ink; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

If you haven’t heard of the YouTube star, check out her profile by the L.A. Times. She may be on the verge of new recognition, HBO recently green lighted a pilot for a possible series, titled Insecure.  She is producing it with another comedian who recently began his own show, Larry Wilmore. And, of course, she is scheduled to appear on his show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore later this month.


9780399169526_2629dMy Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Excitement is bubbling up for this debut and librarians who are part of our Penguin First Flights Debut Author program are in on it (by the way, it’s been a good week for titles in the program; Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm, Penguin/Viking, is a People pick this week and Everything I Never Told You, Penguin Press, won a YALSA Alex Award)

Entertainment Weekly picks Sunshine as the top book on the 2/16 ‘Must List,’ along with a strong review in the books section, “Walsh has an innate knack for plot and suspense, but the real pleasure here is his prose: The heat of a Louisiana summer and the joy of getting a phone call from your crush are as vivid as the pangs of nostalgia you my feel for your teenage self.’ It is also and Indie Next and a Library Reads title

The author signed at Midwinter and he sings for librarians here:

T9780062227096_1ce94he Country of Ice Cream Star, Sandra Newman, (HarperCollins/Ecco; OverDrive Sample)

Quick; does that title, or that cover, make you think “another dystopian novel”? It may soon. As the Wall Street Journal proclaims, “Author Sandra Newman thinks Katniss Everdeen, of the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, is kind of a wuss.” Her 15-year-old heroine is bolder. ““Instead of agonizing over kissing a boy, she just has sex. Instead of killing people with her archery skills, she has an assault rifle. I also think she’s a lot smarter and funnier than Katniss Everdeen, but clearly I’m biased.”

An Indie Next pick, (also picked by  BuzzFeed — Most Exciting New Books of 2015  and The Millions Book Preview)

“Newman drops the reader into a small tribe of scavengers, hunting and thieving out a meager survival in the woods of Massachusetts, approximately 80 years after an unnamed plague has wiped out most of the U.S. population. The world Newman creates is original, richly detailed, and compellingly realized, including the patois in which the story is told. At turns violent, romantic, funny, and touching, The Country of Ice Cream Star wraps an exploration of power, American institutions, race, and human nature into a ripping, twisting, and turning post-apocalyptic tale that is epic in scope and achievement.” —Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

9781606998106_fd2ffDisplacement, Lucy Knisley, (Norton/Fantagraphics)

One of the GalleyChat favorites from September, GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower says, “I haven’t read many graphic novels but I am now addicted to Lucy Knisley’s series of personal experiences that started with Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and continued with An Age of License. Her latest receives high praise from collection development librarian Janet Lockhart who said ‘Knisley is single handedly turning me into a graphic novel reader.’ ”

9780062310637_dc61bRed Queen, Victoria Aveyard, (HarperTeen; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

This Y.A. title has been given “much love” by 99 people to date on Edelweiss, which must be a record. 65 of them are bloggers, which makes us suspect a blog tour. Nevertheless, on GalleyChat, it was described as “epic fantasy and everyone’s talking about it.” It’s the first in a trilogy, by an author who graduated from USC’s screenwriting program in 2012. Optioned by Universal for a film adaptation, the deal was featured in The Hollywood Reporter.

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