Titles to Know and Recommend,
the Week of Aug 17

Crayons Home  9781101915868_beb50

The titles arriving next week with the largest announced print runs, 1 million copies each, are both childrens books. The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers is, of course, the followup to the long-running best seller about the day they left.

Neck and neck with the crayons is  Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan (Disney/Hyperion; Listening Library)

9780316122634_e68f6Among the well-known adult authors with books arriving next week, Michael Koryta gets props in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review from “Crime’ columnist Marilyn Stasio for standing out from those authors who “write the same book over and over.” Koryta, “an inventive story teller and a superb stylist, he’s constantly experimenting,” and  his new book, Last Words is “a private eye novel doesn’t read like one.”

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 Aug. 17, 2015

Consumer Media Picks


Eileen: A Novel, Ottessa Moshfegh, (Penguin Press)

Featured at BEA’s Editors Buzz Panel this year, this debut (after an award-winning novella McGlue and several short stories)  gets the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, calling it “seductive” and a “literary thriller.”

It is also an Indie Next pick:
“Psychological thrillers don’t get any better than this. Moshfegh masterfully captures the inner despair of a young mind filled with vitriol. Through atmospheric and unsettling writing, the cold dreariness of small-town New England seeps into readers’ bones even as Eileen’s twisted view of the world — desperate, angry, and vulnerable — seeps into the reading experience. Creepy, but morbidly funny too, Eileen, both the girl and the book, will be with readers long after the last page is turned.” — Christopher Phipps, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

It also leads off this week’s Entertainment Weekly Books section, called a “Chilling debut.”

UPDATE: the L.A. Times adds another stellar review to the above and the author appears on NPR’S Weekend Edition Saturday.


Woman With a Secret, Sophie Hannah, (HarperCollins/Morrow)

Since Janet Maslin stepped down as a one of the three book reviewers for the daily NYT as of July, we’ve missed her Friday reviews championing
titles she expected to breakout. We’re still waiting for news on a replacement, but meanwhile, Sarah Lyall steps into the breach today, although for a book that hit shelves last week.

About Sophie Hannah’s new boo, she enthuses, “It has, in common with her other books, a Gordian knot of a plot that untangles bit by bit, like a flower that does not blossom all at once; a strikingly executed and seemingly insoluble crime; a mess of loopy motivations and extreme behavior from guilty and innocent alike; a flawed, difficult heroine; and a great deal of amusing conversation between Waterhouse and his equally odd colleagues.


Born on the Bayou : A Memoir, Blaine Lourd, (S&S/Gallery)

People pick — “a corker of a tale about growing up in Cajun country.”

Entertainment Weekly, “Must List”, #7 — ‘This witty, evocative memoir puts a vivid Southern spin on the classic rags-to-riches tale.”

The author is scheduled to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday, August 19.


We Never Asked for Wings, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, (RH/Ballantine)

People ‘Book of the Week’ — “Single mom Letty Espinosa has always let her mother, Maria Elena, do the work of raising Letty’s two kids. But when Maria Elena suddenly moves back to Mexico, hard-drinking Letty must grow up fast. Diffenbaugh (The Language Of Flowers) deftly blends family conflict with reassurance: Wings is like Parenthood with class and immigrations issues added for gravitas. Take it to the beach.”


Fortune Smiles : Stories, Adam Johnson

This collection of short stories by the  author of the Pulitzer Prize winner, The Oprhan Master’s Son gets double coverage in theWashington Post, with a review which calls the stories “masterful”  as well as a story by Book World editor Ron Charles. It is also reviewed in the NYT Sunday Book Review (“gleefully bleak“).

UPDATE: The author is interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.


Thug Notes : A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature, Sparky Sweets, PhD, (RH/Vintage)

We’ve had Thug Kitchen, now comes Thug Notes, like Cliff’s Notes, but with an edge.

Entertainment Weekly says, “from the mad-successful YouTube channel that puts a streetwise spin on beloved books and plays — stars a fictional professor named Spark Sweets, PhD. … But the project which is the brainchild of a group of comedians and academics, has been so successful at interesting kinds in literature that some schools have taken notice.”

Try this one with your reading groups:


Last Bus to Wisdom, Ivan Doig, (Penguin/Riverhead)

In this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, the reviewer acknowledges he was worried about having to assess this book by a beloved author who died in April fearing it might not live up to his favorite Doig novels. After all,  “spitting on a fresh-sodded grave is not my idea of a good time.” Happily, however, he reports, this one is “more than not bad. It’s one of Doig’s best novels, an enchanting 1950’s road-trip tale.”

Peer Picks


Everybody Rise, Stephanie Clifford. (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press)

Word has gotten out on this debut. Holds are five to one in some places. They may continue to grow with the full page ad in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, plus the review in the Washington Post, “a smart tragicomedy about a young woman attempting to infiltrate the Primates of Park Avenue crowd.”

It is both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick:

“Stephanie Clifford’s debut novel takes us into the world of NYC high society in 2006. Evelyn Beegan, who’s always been on the fringes of the smart set, meets It girl Camilla Rutherford, and her ambition and desire to belong get the best of her. Evelyn’s deceptive effort to keep pace with Camilla wreaks all kinds of havoc with her finances, her family, and her sense of self. With a sympathetic main character and a fascinating look into how the other half lives, this astute tale is irresistible.” —  Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

9780062388384_9741b The Girl from the Garden, Parnaz Foroutan, (HarperCollins/Ecco)

With starred reviews from PW, Kirkus and Booklist, this is also an Indie Next pick:

“In her accomplished, arresting debut, Foroutan tells a story almost biblical in its basics. People in a mixed, but very religious, clan-determined society in Iran have their lives and roles set out in firmly dictated ways. Conflict ensues when what is prescribed doesn’t happen as it should and when basic human longings for autonomy and a sense of self start to emerge. Foroutan writes of a family’s unraveling in a powerful story that will vividly live on in the reader’s memory and imagination. Brilliant!” —Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA


Hitting screens today is the movie Ten Thousand Saints, reviewed in the NYT. On Sunday, HBO debuts the new David Simon series, Show Me a Hero, based on the book by Lisa Belkin, also reviewed in the NYT today.

Five new  tie-ins hit shelves next week, listed below, with links to our latest coverage.

9780062439208_b9ce2  9781101903582_53510

9781101967447_e4c55  9781481466646_b135f  9781101970881_785e0

Captive : The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero, Ashley Smith, Stacy Mattingly, (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks) — CAPTIVE, Trailer — Movie opens 9/18

The Martian (Movie Tie-In) : A Novel, Andy Weir, mass market — THE MARTIAN, New Viral Teaser — Movie opens 10/2

Big Stone Gap (Movie Tie-in Edition) : A Novel, Adriana Trigiani (RH/ Ballantine)– BIG STONE GAP, Trailer — — Movie opens 10/9

A Walk in the Woods (Movie Tie-in Edition) : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson, (RH/Anchor) — Redford Takes A WALK IN THE WOODS — Movie opens 9/2

Z for Zachariah, Robert C. O’Brien, (S&S/Simon Pulse) — In Production: Z FOR ZACHARIAH – — Movie opens 8/28

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

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