GALLEYCHATTER, Spring Announcements

Each month, our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower runs down librarian and bookseller favorites from the most recent Twitter chat (#ewgc). Below is her post for January.


Whipping out their crystal balls to predict which books will connect with readers this spring, GalleyChatters gathered for a Twitter chat earlier this month. Below are seven of the 113 titles mentioned. Check here for the complete Edelweiss list.

Literary Suspense

Redemption Road  All Things Cease to Appear

In Redemption Road (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne, May), John Hart has created the perfect combination of elements for any thriller reader, unending suspense, plot twists galore, and realistic settings. He is already receiving rave reviews from librarians, with Delphi (IN) Public Library’s library director, Kellie Currie, saying, “…thriller doesn’t do full justice to the book at all. The characters are not the cookie-cutter figures you often get in a plot-heavy novel. They’re complex and driven by a lot of inner angst. Great book for literary and thriller lovers alike.”

For a mesmerizing thriller with a more psychological bend, Elizabeth Brundage’s All Things Cease to Appear (PRH/Knopf, March) was favored by Jennifer Winberry (Hunterdon County Library, NJ), “A house with a tragic history, an unsolved murder and a town in need of answers and healing even twenty years later, this dark, Gothic novel tells the story of two families bringing evidence of evil and unknown crimes to light while at the same time plumbing the depths of the human psyche.”

Hot Debut

SweetbitterSet in a thinly disguised Manhattan restaurant that also happens to be a favorite among publishers, one of spring’s most anticipated novels is by a debut author (she was profiled in the NYT when the book was signed over a year ago), Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (PRH/Knopf, May).

About 22-year-old Tess, a recent NYC transplant who, despite no experience, is hired as a back waiter, Stephanie Anderson, Darien (CT) Library says, “Whether it’s the different varieties of oysters and their distinguishing characteristics, the proper wine to serve with foie gras or learning how deeply betrayal can color one’s life choices, this is a chronicle of what it means to be young, broke and finally on your own in the best city in the world.” Fans of Anthony Bourdain and Phoebe Damrosch’s Service Included: Four Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter will eat this up.

Getting Graphic

Something NewLucy Knisley is known for writing graphic novels that honestly report on her life experiences. She continues that trajectory in the charming and sincere Something New: Tales of a Makeshift Bride (Macmillan/First Second, May). Lucy chronicles the process of planning a wedding while working out her feelings about getting hitched, and eventually works out a DIY approach to keeping the costs down and also making it a meaningful experience. Knisley’s drawings are perfect and the photos from the planning and wedding enhanced the visual experience. For those who weep at weddings, a tissue is recommended.

Welcome Comeback

The City of MirrorsMention of the forthcoming publication of Justin Cronin’s third book in the Passage trilogy, The City of Mirrors (PRH/Ballantine, May) caused many to download the galley immediately. When questioned whether it is necessary to read (or reread) the first two books to appreciate it, Rosemary Smith, top Edelweiss reviewer and blogger, said “The trilogy is much more powerful, but Cronin does a good job in his ‘Biblical’ forward and in flashbacks, so readers might be able to read just the last book. In it, readers will finally find out what happened to Amy (sort of) after the destruction of the Twelve and will witness humanity trying to make a comeback from the brink of total obliteration. Nothing will compare to the first book, The Passage, but this is as close as readers will get.”

Meaty Book Group Titles

Everyone Brave is ForgivenThe many fans of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See will want to read the compelling Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Simon & Schuster, May) by Little Bee author, Chris Cleaves. Janet Schneider said this World War II story about four comrades set in Europe is “…a beautifully written exploration of the futility of war, loss, bravery, racism, and social class, featuring memorable characters who will break your heart.” She also recommends it as a readalike for Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins.

ShelterTrying to predict what titles will be popular with book groups is always a gamble, but Janet Lockhart is betting on Jung Yun’s short but effective novel, Shelter (Macmillan/Picador, March) saying, “Kyung Cho lives just a few miles from his parents, Jin and Mae, but couldn’t be farther away emotionally. A horrific incident forces him to welcome his parents into his home and the reasons for their chilly relationship can no longer remain repressed. A story of family dysfunction that reads like a thriller; I stayed up late turning the pages because I had to know what happened next.”

To discover more eagerly awaited titles and enjoy a rollicking discussion, join us on February 6 at 4:00 (ET) with virtual happy hour at 3:30, #ewgc. To keep up with my anticipated 2016 titles, “friend me” on Edelweiss.

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