Archive for October, 2015

Titles To Know and Recommend, Week of Nov. 2, 2015

Friday, October 30th, 2015

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The holds leader among the titles arriving next week is The Crossing by Michael Connelly (Hachette/Little, Brown), followed very closely by the next title in the favorite middle-school series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (Abrams/Amulet).  Further behind is Stephen King’s new book of short stories, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (S&S/Scribner).

9780804188975_7bc6dThe week also brings a book with a cheeky title, The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl (in case you don’t know who that is, her name appears on the cover). Originally published in George R.R. Martin’s short story anthology Rogues, (PRH/Bantam, 2014), it was then titled “What Do You Do?” The author is set to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition this Sunday.

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 Nov. 2, 2015

Media Magnets

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Strong Looks Better Naked, Khloé Kardashian, (S&S/Regan Arts)

The Kardashians have a genius for timing. Just as headlines have been occupied with stories of Khloé Kardashian sitting vigil next to her husband’s hospital bed and calling off her divorce, her new book is hitting shelves. People features her in a cover story and offers an excerpt.

9781501137969_c174e-2Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, Donald J. Trump (S&S/Threshold)

Supposedly under a strict embargo, Politico nonetheless managed to find a copy in a bookstore and has released the “13 juiciest quotes” from Trump’s campaign book. Trump is scheduled to appear next week on  Good Morning America and Fox News Fox & Friends.

9781101886960_28aaaTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini, (PRH/Ballantine)

As we wrote earlier, anticipation is building for this tell-all by the most high profile person to leave the Church of Scientology, actress Leah Remini. She is scheduled to appear on ABC-TV’s 20/20 tonight (sample, below), and next week on Good Morning America as well as CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

9780316347761_9c862I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction, (Hachette)

The “token liberal” on Fox News show The Five, Bob Beckel was fired while in rehab. He has now been hired by CNN to give a “blue-collar liberal” perspective.  The media, of course, will be fascinated.

9781501125003_c11d0He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice, (S&S/Gallery Books; S&S Audio)

Another look at the accused killer by a DA involved in one of his murder cases, is set for strong media attention:

• ABC-TV/ Good Morning America, November 2
• ABC-TV/Nightline, November 2
• Fox-TV/Fox & Friends, November 3
• Nationally Syndicated-TV/Inside Edition, November 3
• Nationally Syndicated-TV/Extra, November 3
• Fox-TV/The O’Reilly Factor, November 4
• ABC-TV/The View, November 6
• Fox News-TV/Robert Durst Special featuring Jeanine Pirro, November 7

9781501107726_4e5b7-3Amazing Fantastic Incredible, Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran, (S&S/Touchstone)

Stan Lee, the man who created some of the world’s most famous superheroes, is in the Hollywood news this week, announcing a new film that will feature the first Chinese female superhero. Titled Realm, it is currently in development with Li Bingbing set to star.

If you’re Stan Lee, of course your memoir will be in comic book form.

Peer Picks

9780307379740_83832The Mare by Mary Gaitskill (RH/Pantheon; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Critics are racing to review Gaitskill’s latest. Dwight Garner’s review in the New York Times, is not completely positively, but the L.A. Times is a fan.

Indie Next:

The Mare is the heart-wrenching story of a young inner-city girl in the Fresh Air Fund program who travels to a host family in upstate New York, where she befriends a frightened and abused racehorse at a nearby stable. Gaitskill navigates the ugly realities of both human and equine abuse, but, ultimately, this is a triumphant novel shaped by authentic characters and in which trust and determination win. Readers will be reminded of how our real-life connections with animals can both guide and heal.” —Nancy Scheemaker, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY.

9780385539463_85083Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay (RH/Doubleday; Random House Audio/BOT)

Gay was one of the speakers who charmed at the PRH Librarian Breakfast during BEA:

Gay’s book is a LibraryReads pick:

“This was a quick, enjoyable read that offers a refreshing perspective on some of the trivialities we all find ourselves caught up in. I enjoyed the tone and humor throughout. A standout for me was Gay’s list of recommendations for his child’s future baseball team. His open letter to this imagined future team envisions a team that can just let kids be kids. My only disappointment with this book was that there wasn’t more of it–it seemed to end all too soon.” —Lindley Homol, Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA.

9780399171314_d699dAlong the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick:

“When Pepper Schuyler–on the run from a powerful politician and desperate to protect her unborn child–sells her newly restored classic car to an enigmatic and very wealthy woman, she not only finds unexpected refuge but also tantalizing hints of a mystery. With vivid European settings, colorful characters and intricate plotting that skillfully weaves past and present together, Along The Infinite Sea is a treat for fans of Beatriz Williams.” —Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY.

9781101874141_9e7a9The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild (RH/Knopf)

The incoming chair of London’s National Art Galley, Rothschild (yes, one of THOSE Rothschilds) is the first woman to hold that position. Naturally, her first novel is inspired by one of her favorite artists, Jean-Antoine Watteau. The author is set to be profiled in The  New York Times and to be interviewed on PBS’s Charlie Rose show.

It is both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick:

“The engaging, totally unexpected story of Annie, a lonely young woman who wanders into a junk shop and buys a painting. The painting turns out to have a long and storied past, with powerful people searching high and low for it. Unpredictable and fascinating; I loved the peek into the cutthroat art world and watching Annie blossom as she discovers her true calling.” —Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC.

9781451664164_7f031Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

A People pick for the week — “once again Irving charms by blending the fantastical with what is deeply, affectingly real. ”

Irving will be featured on several TV shows:, including PBS’s Newshour, CBS-TV’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and NPR’s Diane Rehm.

Indie Next:

“With Avenue of Mysteries, Irving introduces readers to brother and sister Diego and Lupe, denizens of the massive garbage dump in Oaxaca, Mexico. Each sibling is remarkable — Lupe can intuit people’s thoughts and Diego, though uneducated, reads everything he can lay his hands on. Their childhood is recalled by the adult Diego as he travels in the Philippines, trying to accomplish a dying request from an acquaintance of his youth. Avenue of Mysteries contains all of the things we love about Irving’s novels: masterful storytelling, unforgettable characters, and a renewed sense of magic in everyday events.” —Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC.

9781501116971_396caThe Japanese Lover , Isabel Allende (S&S/Atria Books; S&S Audio)

An Indie Next pick, this is also the #1 LibraryReads title for the month:

“Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man’s inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story.” —Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY.

9781616203573_956c7The Muralist, B. A. Shapiro (Workman/Algonquin Books; HighBridge Audio)

The #1 Indie Next title for the month, this is also a LibraryReads pick:

“This art-filled story following the young life and disappearance of Alizee Benoit is heartbreaking and thoughtful. Not only does the novel give an entertaining education on the WPA and abstract artists, but it also gives eerily relevant commentary on refugees and the cold-heartedness of government. Alizee’s story will pull you along as you try to grasp how this bright light of the art community vanished.” —Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA.


Below are the tie-ins scheduled for publication this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

9780147519085_6714dThe 5th Wave Movie Tie-In: The First Book of the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers/Speak; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample; also in trade pbk)

The movie. starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber opens on 1/15/2016. See trailer here.


9780316390682_80bc8Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample)

The basis for Syfy’s new space opera series, The Expanse, set 200 years in the future, with zero-gravity sex, debuts Dec. 14.



9780785198567_87307Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 2 (Marvel)
Based on the graphic novel, all 13 episodes will begin streaming on Netflix on November 20.


GalleyChatters Lead Us Into Spring

Friday, October 30th, 2015

The following post is from our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower:

During the October GalleyChat over 400 tweets were exchanged so winnowing the 100 plus titles down to a reasonable number was a challenge, but a few front runners did emerge.

For a complete list of all 110 titles, click here.

Front Runners

9780399174124_9316cThe phrases “grand gothic manor” and “Kate Morton readalike” piqued our curiosity about Eve Chase’s Black Rabbit Hall (PRH/Putman, February). Multiple family secrets? Check. Set in England? Check. Full of chilling atmosphere? Check. We can’t wait. Andrienne Cruz (Azusa, CA, City Library) said “Reading this book makes you feel like that intrigued neighbor who stumbles upon the juicy details of a seemingly perfect family next door.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Join us for a chat with the author on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

9781400067695_73fa3-2 My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout (PRH/Random House, January), by the author of the unforgettable Olive Kitteridge, was also a popular pick. Vicki Nesting from St. Charles Parish Library (LA) described it best: “Stunning! Lucy ends up in the hospital for an extended period of time which gives her plenty of time to reflect on her life, particularly when the mother she hasn’t seen in years comes to sit with her. Strout’s prose is luminous, almost poetic, and completely unforgettable.”

9781451686630_85bcdAlready a hit on Edelweiss, fans of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series will flock to her non-series book, The Passenger (Simon & Schuster, March). Janet Lockhart (Wake Country Library, NC) and Booklist’s Rebecca Vnuk enjoyed this dark comedic thriller about a woman going on the lam after her husband is found dead at the foot of the stairs. Rebecca forecasts it will be the smash hit of the spring saying, “Relentless and full of surprises, it’s the story of a woman on the run from her old life. Harlan Coben meets, well, Lisa Lutz!”

Send in the Clones

Poised to follow in the footsteps of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and to become a book group favorite is Jessica Chiarella’s And Again (S&S/Touchstone, January). Cynthia Baskin, discerning reader and devoted GalleyChat participant, echoes my love for this book saying, “Who wouldn’t want a second chance at life with no more terminal illness, no more looming death? Through cloning, four ‘lucky’ people have the opportunity to experience this. The novel’s fascinating concept plays itself out in unexpected ways.”

Tense Suspense

9781101885864_ade43This month’s psychological suspense selection is brought to you by Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who found the main protagonist of Holly Seddon’s Try Not to Breathe (PRH/Ballantine, February) very appealing. She went on to say “Freelance reporter Alex Dale is doing research on long-term, comatose patients when she comes across Amy Stevenson. Fifteen years ago Amy went missing and was found three days later near death. Alex, who is in denial about her own mess of a life, strives to piece together what went wrong for Amy.”

Historical Characters

9780345528698_a23c9While book groups have discovered Melanie Benjamin, she has always flown a little under the radar but watch for Swans of Fifth Avenue (PRH/Delacorte, January) to be her break out book. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) said, “This delightfully dishy novel perfectly captures the glamour and glitz of mid-20th century New York, breathing life into such characters as Truman Capote and William and Babe Paley making them and their friends seem alive.”

9781605989013_58aacVicki Nesting loved Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s Bohemian Gospel (Norton/Pegasus, November) so much she volunteered to write the description for this column: “13th century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a young woman, especially one like Mouse, an orphan with a sharp mind and mysterious powers. This is an absorbing historical novel with the pacing of a thriller and it kept me up late nights as I raced through it to see what would happen to Mouse. If you like character-driven historical fiction, don’t miss this one.”

9780385540025_7ab3aTold from the viewpoint of the only woman to fly on a zeppelin, the tragedy of the Hindenburg disaster is the focus of Ariel Lawhon’s intriguing Flight of Dreams (PRH/Randon Hpuse, February). Beth Mills (New Rochelle Public Library) reported the passengers and crew are brought to vivid life and “…readers will be anxiously turning pages to see who lives and who dies. The historical background is impeccably done, from the looming menace of the Nazi rise to power to the fascinating description of the elegance of the doomed airship.”

Memoir of the Month

9780738218311_229aaIn Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker (Perseus/De Capo, November), Lauren Kessler proved it’s never too late to follow your dreams. She was a devotee of the Nutcracker so despite a busy schedule as a mother, university professor, and writer, Kessler devoted herself to getting in shape to dance in her city’s yearly ballet production. This is a perfect book for those of us in our midlife years yearning to realize our dreams of roller derby participation or of learning to execute a double Axel in figure skating.

Please join us next week on November 3 for another lively and fast-paced chat.

13 REASONS WHY Makes Detour to Small Screen

Friday, October 30th, 2015

9781595141880Netflix is adapting Jay Asher’s multi-award winning 2007 YA novel about teen suicide into a 13-episode series. The news caused the book to jump up Amazon’s sales rankings (#355 from #719).

According to Variety, Selena Gomez will serve as an executive producer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey will write the pilot. Back in 2011, Universal acquired rights for a big-screen adaptation, but it seems those plans have changed.

Asher’s novel, with the stylized title TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, each addressed to one of her classmates, explaining how they contributed to her decision.

Deadline reports that Gomez will not star in the show herself and the leads not been cast. An air date has yet to be set.

A YALSA Best Books of 2008, it was a NYT best seller  in hardcover for over two years and continued as a paperback best seller until two weeks ago.

GOTT, The Movie,
Just One Year Away

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainA release date of Oct. 7, 2016 has been set for the movie adaptation of the runaway best seller, The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt. Also recently announced, Justin Theroux is in talks to play the lead character’s ex-husband after Chris Evans dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

The movie will be shot in New York, but Emily Blunt will not adopt an American accent for the role. She told the BBC last month that she and director Tate Taylor have decided that she will play the main character the way she was written, as a British woman.

Writers On The Air

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Last night two high profile authors got late night treatment.

Lauren Groff appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She is in countdown mode for the Nov. 18 announcement of the National Book Award and is fresh off her Morning Edition Book Club appearance.

Meyers is proving to be a deft interviewer of authors. That may be because, as he revealed last night in a throwaway aside  he thinks of himself as a writer too, having been the head writer for Saturday Night Live.

The pair discuss Groff’s process, her stereoscopic approach to Fates and Furies, and writing sex scenes.

Jonathan Franzen starred in a skit on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and sat down for a conversation as well.

The skit mocks Amazon through a bedtime story entitled “Little Read Reading Hood.” The US Department of Justice stars as the woodsman and there is a typical Colbert twist at the end.

The conversation, in which Colbert’s snark sometimes got the better of Franzen, ranged from Twitter to reading to football. Nevertheless, n the strength of his appearance, Purity rose on Amazon’s sales rankings, from 445 to 356.

The NYT BR Best Illustrated Books, 2015

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

A harbinger of the holidays, the New York Times Sunday Book Review‘s selection of the ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 is available online today. It will appear in print in the upcoming issue.

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9780670016525_38a6f   madameeiffel_en

The titles range  from several that have already received wide acclaim, such as Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle), and Sidewalk Flowers, JonArno Lawson illus. by Sydney Smith (Groundwood), to a couple of under-the-radar picks. Both of those are coincidentally, about the same famous Parisian edifice), Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower, Greg Pizzoli (Penguin/Viking Young Readers) and the only translated title on the list,  Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower, Alice Brière-Haquet, illus. by Csil  (Little Gestalten; 978-3899557558; Nov).

For a list of the titles, with ordering information, download our spreadsheet, NYT BR Best Illus. Books, 2015

Carrie Brownstein Taking Off

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

9781594486630_a351bWe featured Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein’s new memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir (Penguin/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio and BOT) on last week’s look ahead.

Since then Brownstein has captured reader interest in back-to-back appearances on NPR’s Fresh Air and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

On the strength of both performances her story has risen to #26 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Perhaps some of the attention is due to her quirky set-piece for Colbert where she sings a somber song:


Spotlight On LIGHTS OUT

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

9780553419962_c0ad7As we reported on Friday, former ABC News reporter and award-winning journalist Ted Koppel is receiving media attention for his investigation into the potential of a massive cyber attack on the nation’s power grid.

Koppel appeared yesterday on CBS This Morning promoting his book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath (PRH/Crown; BOT Audio).

He was on yesterday evening PBS’s News Hour as well.

Koppel accuses the Federal government of having no plan in place to cope with the fallout and calls such an assault inevitable, quoting Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin as saying, “It’s not a question of if, it’s just a question of when.”

Koppel reports that the Russians and Chinese already have the capacity to conduct an attack and that individual groups, such as ISIS, can hire the expertise and run an operation with equipment that can be bought off the shelf.

The book rose to #8 on Amazon sales rankings after yesterday’s appearances.

Interviewer-in-Chief, Part 2

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015


The second installment of President Obama’s two-part interview with Marilynne Robinson is now online and will appear in the 11/19 issue of the New York Review of Books (also available in audio),

In it, Obama explains why novels are important to him, “when I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels.”

Robinson’s most recent novel is Lila (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio, 2014). A book of essays, The Givenness of Things, (Macmillan/FSG; Brilliance Audio) was published yesterday.


Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

9780316387743_64715Moving up the Amazon sales charts with holds growing in many libraries is Stacy Schiff’s newest history.

The jump in holds and interest is likely due to Schiff’s appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday. She discussed the events of the Salem witch trials and described the courtroom testimony as sounding like “a low grade acid trip.”

Witches: Salem, 1692 (Hachette/Little, Brown; Little, Brown Audio; OverDrive Sample) offers a detailed account of the hysteria and fear that swept through Salem town and Salem village, highlighting the key figures of the trial and describing the unfolding terror and its aftermath.

Likely to increase demand, it is the November Costco pick with Pennie Clark Ianniciello saying Schiff, “trains her skills on this dark period and shines a light on it as no one has.”

The NYT Sunday Review was posted online today and will be in the upcoming print issue.

In her review Jane Kamensky, Pforzheimer Foundation director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and a professor of history at Harvard, reads like an academic’s discomfort with history written for a non-academic audience:

“Schiff’s glib, compendious and often maddening account of the events of that fateful year, does a great deal to punch up the story, but little to explore and still less to understand its significance. An acclaimed biographer of subjects as diverse as Cleopatra and Véra Nabokov, Schiff here broadens her lens, like an artist turning from portraits to teeming allegories: Rembrandt taking up the work of Bosch. But a crowded canvas does not a probing history make, as The Witches powerfully demonstrates.”

Kamensky softens the blow by pointing out just how vividly and well Schiff writes history: “Schiff sets scenes brilliantly … The book crackles with sonic detail… Schiff is what the Germans call a Menschenkenner: a knower of human nature, and her book is a tightly plotted character study.”


NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club Convenes

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

9781594634475_68932The third “meeting” of NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club was held today with Lauren Groff the author of  Fates and Furies (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT Audio; Overdrive Sample) fielding inquires about the story’s origins, character construction, her ambivalence about marriage, and female rage.

Author Richard Russo selected the book for the club saying, “The secrets here are character secrets, not plot secrets, and they are revealed in ways that sometimes take your breath away. You have to wait almost until the last page of the book to get to the last of the secrets.”

Groff said the novel was in part a chance to work out her uncertainty about being a wife, but admitted, “a novel does not answer any questions, it just raises a hundred other questions.”

Groff will appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday.


Harry Potter, Dad

Monday, October 26th, 2015


Readers longing for more from the world of Harry Potter can rejoice – sort of.

J.K. Rowling announced that the eighth Potter story will take place on the stage in London’s West End in the form of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The Pottermore website offers this teaser of a summary:

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children … While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the play is based on “an original story by Potter scribe Rowling, English TV writer Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany who won a Tony Award for Broadway’s Once.”

USA Today reports the play follows events set directly after the epilogue in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, 19 years after Harry defeated Voldemort. It is scheduled to begin its run the summer of 2016 at London’s Palace Theater. Similar to the final HP movie, the play will be in two parts.

Another extension of the HP universe, this one a prequel, will be coming to movie theaters next year, in the form of an adaptation of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. It is planned as the first of three movies.

Tickets go on sale for the show on Oct 28. No word yet on a tie-in book edition.

Catching Up With Nancy Pearl

Monday, October 26th, 2015

In her recent weekly book chats airing on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW librarian Nancy Pearl talks Mystery and Fantasy.

9781608197088_acf81Last week she discussed Tabula Rasa (Bloomsbury USA; Tantor audio; OverDrive Sample) by Ruth Downie, the newest in Downie’s Ruso mysteries set in Roman Britain. Just released in paperback, the sixth in the series takes place while the Romans are building Hadrian’s Wall and involves the case of a missing British boy.

Nancy says that Downie “give such a picture of the time and the place” that she feels she is taking a wonderful Roman history class as she reads them.

9780763681845_f6f18On October 6, Nancy addressed Fantasy with the last book written by the late Mal Peet, The Murdstone Trilogy: A Novel (Candlewick; Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Peet, who passed away in March, might have been best known for his YA novels, but Nancy loved this adult send-up of writing in general and Fantasy in particular.

Calling it “sui generis” she says it’s like nothing she has ever read before.

The story is about a writer urged by his agent to change his focus from YA realistic fiction to Fantasy so he can start to sell books again. Knowing nothing of the genre he makes a deal with a strange creature – the creature will write the novel in exchange for a mysterious amulet.

Nancy says the story “totally charmed” her and is full of word play, satire, and wonderfully humorous set pieces.

It is also an open question as to what the novel actually is, not a trilogy at all as the subtitle makes clear and perhaps not a Fantasy either, making it a challenge for catalogers.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of Oct. 26, 2015

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

9780062325402_2ff44-2 9781250027931_70007 9781101884348_a086a 9780062270214_3301a-2

Next week sees the return of several powerhouse women thriller writers:

Depraved Heart, Patricia Cornwell, (HarperCollins/Morrow) — this Scarpetta Novel is being published to the tune of one million copies, and a one-day laydown.

Corrupted, Lisa Scottoline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press) — also an Indie Next pick (see below).

Playing with Fire, Tess Gerritsen, (PRH/Ballantine) — in this new novel, the author steps away from her best selling Rizzoli & Isles series for a standalone thriller set in Rome and Venice.

The Theory of Death, Faye Kellerman, (HarperCollins/Morrow) — Continues the best selling Decker/Lazarus series.

Witches SchiffIn nonfiction, Stacy Schiff whose biography of Cleopatra received lavish attention and best seller status when it was published in 2010, turns her attention closer to home with The Witches: Salem, 1692.

In anticipation, an excerpt appeared in the New Yorker last month and the author is profiled in this week’s NYT Book Review.

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 26, 2015

Media Magnets

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Wildflower, Drew Barrymore, (PRH/Dutton; BOT Audio)

With the headline, “I Had the Weirdest Life Ever,” an excerpt from Drew Barrymore’s new memoir is featured on the cover of the new issue of People magazine. This is her second memoir, her previous, written in 1990 when she was just sixteen, was Little Girl Lost. The People story is making headlines because Barrymore admits that she suffered postpartum depression after her second child was born.

9780679456209_dbda2My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem, (Random House; BOT Audio, read by Debra Winger)

The hot ticket at this year’s Annual ALA Conference was for Gloria Steinem’s speech. She rewarded the standing room only crowd by telling them, “Librarians saved my life.” In a seeming contradiction with her feminist values, one of the first interviews with Steinem for her new memoir is in Cosmopolitan magazine. Declaring that Cosmo‘s founder, Helen Gurley Brown was not her nemesis and that she “did something very interesting and important, which is she made it OK to be sexual in a women’s magazine,” she also says she was a “great girlfriend. We had each other’s backs.”

9780553419962_c0ad7Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, Ted Koppel, (PRH/Crown; BOT Audio)

Former ABC Nightline anchor warns that terrorists could knock out the U.S. power grid. Media coverage is lined up:

Fox News Channel – O’Reilly Factor – interview, 10/27
CBS-TV – CBS Sunday Morning – airdate TBD
PBS-TV – Charlie Rose Show – airdate TBD

9781476798844_04c4dThe Immortal Nicholas, Glenn  Beck, (S&S/Mercury Ink)

Another weapon in Beck’s war on the “War on Christmas,” this novel for adults attempts to turn “Santa himself back toward Christ.” We wonder if Beck realizes that his publisher calls this a “Holiday novel”?


Peer Picks

9780525954330_33d0bA Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio and BOT; OverDrive Sample)

LibraryReads, Oct:

“Still reeling from a previous fall from grace, police detective Barbara Havers has a chance to redeem her standing–if she can unravel the very twisted threads that led to the murder of a prominent English feminist. Meanwhile, her superior officer Thomas Lynley pursues a love interest even as he keeps a sharp lookout for any slip-ups by Havers. This is the strongest addition to the series in years.” — Starr Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, Falls Church, VA

9780812998689_94f63Slade House by David Mitchell (Random House; Random House Audio and BOT; OverDrive Sample)

Both an Indie Next and a LibraryReads pick for Oct:

“Every nine years, Slade House appears in a little alley in London, and every nine years, someone disappears into it, never to be seen again. Fans of The Bone Clocks will inhale this compact, six-part work that draws on Mitchell’s established mythology and reintroduces a familiar character or two. New readers, however, won’t be lost. Literary fiction, fantasy, and a dose of horror combine here to make a deeply satisfying book.” — Jenny Arch, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

9781250027931_70007Corrupted: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Indie Next:

“At 12, Jason is chubby, buck-toothed, and bullied every day by Ritchie. Philadelphia trial attorney Bennie Rosato tries to help Jason when he gets in trouble for fighting back. Thirteen years later, that same bully is dead, Jason appears to be the killer, and once again Bennie is called to help. As always, Scottoline’s dialogue is excellent, legal terms are made easy to understand, characters are richly drawn, trial scenes are vivid, and there are huge, well-hidden surprises. I enjoyed it immensely!” -—Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

9781594486630_a351bHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein (Penguin/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio and BOT)
The Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney guitarist, Carrie Brownstein is universally recognized as cool, even by Brwonstein herself. Interviewed in this week’s New York Times Magazine, her memoir is excerpted in the New Yorker, and she has organized a posse of celebrity friends for her book tour (which, naturally, kicks off in the cool capital of the world, Brooklyn).

Indie Next
“Before Portlandia, before Sleater-Kinney, there was a girl living in the Pacific Northwest with big ambitions, desperately yearning for an identity all her own. In Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Brownstein strays from the normal parameters of memoir to give readers an insightful, raw look into the moments that shaped her into the person who would later co-found one of the world’s most influential rock bands. Navigating a past fraught with family turmoil, rejection from the music industry, and an unwavering determination to succeed, Brownstein shares the power of rock and roll, both as her catalyst to success and as a cultural barometer of our times.” —Zack Ruskin, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

9780060548957_87823After Alice, Gregory Maguire (HarperCollins/Morrow)

Indie Next: “Maguire, the fairy tale spin doctor, here takes on Wonderland. The heroine is not Alice, but rather her playmate Ada, a sheltered and lonely girl with a twisted spine. Ada inadvertently follows Alice into Wonderland, and her perceptions and experiences are marvelous and fresh, with her dry wit, pragmatism, and imagination enlivening and dominating the scene. Back at home, Alice’s sister Lydia offers readers a glimpse into Victorian times as Maguire’s prose gives a mystical glow to landscapes, personalities, and everyday life.” —Coleen Colwell, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, CA


Below are the tie-ins scheduled for publication next week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV spreadsheet and link to our listing of tie-ins.

9780316271530_8ac64Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church: The Findings of the Investigation That Inspired the Major Motion Picture “Spotlight” (Hachette/Back Bay; originally pubbed in 2002)

Spotlight tells the story of the investigation by Boston Globe reporters into accusations of child molestation and its cover-up by the local Catholic church, winning them a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci, it opens 11/6/15.

9780143108399_8702cThe Danish Girl: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by David Ebershoff (Penguin Books; OverDrive Sample)

Lest you think Caitlyn was the first, this adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel is the story of one of the earliest transgender surgeries. Eddie Redmayne, who plays the lead is expected to pick up another Oscar for his startling physical transformation, adding to the one he received last year for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The movie opens Nov. 27. See the trailer here.

9781101967034_f5c4bChildhood’s End (Syfy TV Tie-in) by Arthur C. Clarke (PRH/Del Rey; Brilliance Audio)

SyFy TV series begins 12/15/15.




9781476748658_332adThe Bridge by Karen Kingsbury (S&S/Howard Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Hallmark TV movie debuts 12/6/15.




Interview with the Interviewer,
Terry Gross

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

terry-04For 40 years, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross has connected listeners with the people that fascinate her, many of them authors.

In celebration of that anniversary, The New York Times Magazine turns the tables on  Gross, interviewing the interviewer.

In a story enhanced by several photos (our favorite; Gross as a young woman working an enormous 70’s tape deck), writer Susan Burton offers an ode to NPR’s iconic questioner, reviewing her history and career trajectory, and discussing her acuity as an interviewer.

In particular Burton stresses Gross’s depth of knowledge on the subjects she discuses and her ability to create an intimacy with those she interviews, calling her our “national interviewer” and saying:

… think of it as a symbolic role, like the poet laureate — someone whose job it is to ask the questions, with a degree of art and honor. Barbara Walters was once our national interviewer, in a flashier style defined by a desire for spectacle. Gross is an interviewer defined by a longing for intimacy. In a culture in which we are all talking about ourselves more than ever, Gross is not only listening intently; she’s asking just the right questions … she’s deft on news and subtle on history, sixth-sensey in probing personal biography and expert at examining the intricacies of artistic process.”

This American Life‘s Ira Glass, no slouch as an interviewer himself, tells Burton:

There’ve been times when I’ve relistened [to an interview], just to hear the order of the questions and to figure out what was planned and unplanned. Like a magician sitting in on another guy’s act for two nights so he can figure out the trick, to steal it … [it is] not surprising that she loves jazz artists and stand-up comedians so much. She’s their journalist peer.

Being interviewed by Gross is a frequent fantasy of those who eventually make it onto her show and the process of talking to Gross is “a wish not for recognition but for an experience. It’s a wish for Gross to locate your genius, even if that genius has not yet been expressed. It’s a wish to be seen as in a wish to be understood.”

As an example, Burton highlights Gross’s 2011 interview with Maurice Sendak. The conversation turned to his death and Sendak said to Gross “I’ll go before you go, so I won’t have to miss you.’’