Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of Dec. 28, 2015

A few well-known names arrive this week, in time for shoppers wielding gift cards.

These, and several other notable titles, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of 12/28/15

Holds Leaders

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After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson (Kensington; OverDrive Sample)

Booklist enthuses, “a sure bet for Jackson’s popular blend of women’s fiction and suspense,” but PW‘s view is quite different, “Jackson settles for a lot of smoke but little heat in this tepid thriller.”

The Forgotten Soldier (Pike Logan Thriller #9) by Brad Taylor (PRH/Dutton; OverDrive Sample)

In a starred review, Booklist says, “this exploration of the human side of war should quickly be recognized as one of Taylor’s best efforts. Comparisons to Vince Flynn and Brad Thor are expected and not inaccurate, but Taylor is now in a class by himself,” but PW disagrees, “Complicated character motivation muddles bestseller Taylor’s unusually introspective ninth Pike Logan thriller.”

The Hunting Trip: A Novel of Love and War by William E. Butterworth, III (PRH/Putnam; OverDrive Sample)

Author Butterworth steps out from behind the name W.E.B. Griffin and introduces a new style, also signaled by the change in cover. Kirkus applauds the change from “spy/soldier/police derring-do to … romantic adventure novel fueled by sly, sometimes arch, humor … Butterworth’s good-natured buffoonery and hyperbole work far better than Butterworth-as-Griffin.” Fans may not have caught on, holds are light so far.

Consumer Media Picks

People Picks

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People‘s “Book of the Week” is Amy Cuddy’s Presence (Hachette/Little,Brown; OverDrive Sample), which the magazine says is “a must-read for anyone looking to achieve their personal best.”

Val McDermid also gets notice with Splinter the Silence (Atlantic Monthly Press; Highbridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), with the magazine saying, “check out this tartan noir treat.”

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons (Amazon Publishing/Thomas & Mercer) rounds out the picks. People calls this thriller a “live-wire debut” and says, “The plot is convoluted but not at the expense of its sympathetic, entertaining hero. Hang on and enjoy the ride.”

Entertainment Weekly

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The “Books” section of Entertainment Weekly leads with a review of Marie Kondo’s next, Spark Joy (see our earlier story), calling it a “superfluous follow-up.” They are much more appreciative of a book that came out in November, Fox Tossing: And Other Forgotten and Dangerous Sports, Pastimes, and Games by Edward Brooke-Hitching (S&S/Touchstone; OverDrive Sample), which covers the “world’s weirdest, most dangerous pastimes.”

Peer Picks

Two January IndieNext Picks arrive this week.

9780147517593_836e7The Song of Hartgrove Hall by Natasha Solomons (PRH/Plume; OverDrive Sample).

Vicki Burger, of Wind City Books, Casper, WY, says in her annotation:

“Three brothers return to Hall after World War II to find their beloved home hard-used by military forces and greatly in need of repair. Their efforts are complicated by the introduction of the oldest brother’s fiancé, Edie Rose, whose beautiful voice instilled hope in the British citizenry during the darkness of war. Soon, all three brothers are in love with Edie, but only one will ultimately win her hand. Fast-forward to present times and Edie has just passed away, leaving Fox reeling from his wife’s death and mired in grief. Called upon to babysit his four-year-old grandson one day, he discovers that the lad is a prodigy at the piano with an uncanny ability to impart through his grandfather’s musical compositions the emotions Fox felt when writing them. This novel is a joy to read and fills readers with a hope of restoration in the face of loss.”

9781612194639_0ac13The Visitors by Simon Sylvester (Melville House; OverDrive Sample) also makes the list.

Sarah Hinckley, of Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA, says:

“Neil Gaiman meets Tana French in this debut thriller that takes place on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Flora is as independent, vulnerable, and anxious for adulthood yet yearning for magic in all of its guises as any teen you’re likely to meet in literature. It is no surprise that she is drawn into the mystery of a man and his daughter moving into the abandoned Dog Cottage next door. The braiding of Scottish myth into this tale of suspicious disappearances adds a compelling twist to the wonderfully evocative setting and great cast of supporting characters.”


9781501127175_49d8cIn addition to the tie-in for Revenant, which we covered earlier, also arriving this week is The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias, Casey Sherman (Pocket Books).

The big budget disaster movie from Disney comes out on Jan 29 and stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana.

The film recounts the true-life story of the 1952 Coast Guard attempt to rescue two oil takers caught in a massive nor’easter.

(for our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our

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