CITY ON FIRE Tops October’s LibraryReads List

LibraryReads FavoriteScreen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.23.01 PMMany have wondered if readers will be put off by the length of Garth Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio; Oct. 13). Just shy of 1,000-pages long, the novel was the focus of a 2-day bidding war in 2013, with publisher Knopf anteing up nearly 2 million dollars for the rights to publish it. Hollywood was high on it, too. Producer Scott Rudin picked up the movie rights before the book deal was completed. Unsurprisingly, Knopf promoted the book heavily at this year’s BEA.

Librarians have embraced it, making it the number one October LibraryReads pick and so have booksellers, making it an October Indie Next pick.

Racine Zackula, Wichita Public Library, describes it:

“WOW! An excellently executed work with intricate plot lines and fascinating characters. It’s a story of how the stories of many different people of New York City in the late seventies crash into each other like waves on rocks. This work may encapsulate the whole of New York City, as it has wealth, love, filth, passion, aimless angst, and the myriad of other aspects of humanity swirling in that amazing city.”

After YouSequels to beloved books are often viewed with trepidation, but Jojo Moyes scores with librarians with After You (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio), the followup to her beloved Me Before You. The movie adaptation of the first book is set for release next year, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games). Directed by Thea Sharrock, this will be her first feature film, after directing the BBC miniseries The Hollow Crown and Call The Midwife. as well as several theatrical productions.

Says Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH:

“I loved Me Before You and thought it ended in the perfect place, but any doubts I had about continuing the story were quickly erased when I started this sequel. Jojo Moyes is a master at tugging on your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried, and I nearly threw my Kindle against the wall at one point. Give this to anyone in your life who has experienced a tragic loss. With a box of tissues.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.24.50 PMWelcome to Night Vale (Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; Oct. 20) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor also makes the LibraryReads list. An extension of the podcast of the same name, a tag line of the audio version is “Turn on your radio and hide.”

Librarians are featured in the podcast and the authors were featured at this year’s ALA.

Debra Franklin, York County Public Library, Rock Hill, SC says:

“This is classic Night Vale in written form. It’s an absolute must for Night Vale fans, and will possibly provide an introduction for those who haven’t found this snarky little podcast yet.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.26.00 PMAlso featured at ALA, in the Opening General session, was Roberta Kaplan co-author with Lisa Dickey of  Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA (W.W. Norton; Oct. 5).

Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA, says of this timely title:

“The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this landmark case gives the story behind the headlines. Kaplan integrates personal narrative with legal strategy throughout, combining her own struggles with a fascinating look at the brave and unconventional life led by her client. This is a heartwarming and inspiring account of one widow’s pursuit of justice and dignity.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.30.05 PMAnother nonfiction title on the list is We Were Brothers: A Memoir (Algonquin; Oct. 20) by Barry Moser. He spoke at the AAP Librarians lunch at BEA and is the well-known illustrator who runs Pennyroyal Press.

PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC says:

“Moser’s deeply personal memoir of his volatile relationship with his brother in the segregated south is thoughtful and beautifully written. Strong differences of opinions divided the brothers. Late in life, reconciliation came, but only after years of heartache. There is much to ponder from this work, which is timely given current racial tensions.”

New and highly anticipated novels by Jojo Moyes, Elizabeth George, David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, and Geraldine Brooks round out the picks.

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