Titles to Know and Recommend,
The Week of 2/8/16

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The holds leader for the upcoming week is Find Her by Lisa Gardner (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). It’s also a LibraryReads pick. Allie Williams, of Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL, offers this on the 8th of the Det. D.D. Warren novels:

“WOW. Find Her is intense. Those initial pages are a testament to the strength of Lisa Gardner’s writing. I had to know what was going to happen! At times it was so bleak and dark, and yet I still had to know what Flora and Stacy were going to be doing. A very suspenseful, twisty, unpredictable page-turner.”

A distant second is Alex Berenson’s tenth novel featuring John Wells, The Wolves (PRH/Putnam).

Slightly behind The Wolves is the final book in Pierce Brown’s trilogy Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy, (PRH/ Del Rey). Entertainment Weekly calls it the series’ “devastating and inspiring final chapter” but says it “hasn’t gotten the acclaim it deserves since it’s 2014 debut.” That may change. Movie rights were bought by Universal last year.

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 2:8:16

Eye on: Translations

The Elegance of the Hedgehog9781609453152_24b77

Americans are famous for turning cold shoulders to books in translation, except for when they embrace them, and then they do so in a big way. Witness the continuing excitement over Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series (#ferrantefever) and the phenomenon of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a book that continues to be a reading group favorite seven years after publication. Both are published by Europa Editions, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. At the time, the NYT‘s T Magazine wrote that the publisher’s books have become “Objects of Desire,” and that bookstore customers come in “asking ‘What’s new from Europa?'”

This week, Europa is publishing Barbery’s third novel, The Life of Elves. Released last year in France, it has not enjoyed the amazing success of Hedgehog, but that would be difficult for anyone to replicate (the Independent reports that of Hedgehog‘s  first printing of 3,000, only 12 copies sold in France the first week but word of mouth took hold and it went on to sell millions). The first of a two-book saga, it’s received praise from Library Journal, Booklist and  Kirkus, which notes it is  “completely different [from Hedgehog]: a fairy story of parallel but connected human and elf worlds and of dark forces and extraordinary goodness clashing in an age-old battle.”

A profile of the author is expected in the NYT next week, with reviews scheduled in the NYT Book Review,  Entertainment Weekly and Time magazine, among others.

9780374240905_50ed9It happens that another French translation arrives with buzz next week. The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) is the first work by the award-winning  author to be published in translation by an American publisher. Spanning 24 hours, it traces  the many ripples caused when young surfer is killed in a car crash, the effect on his parents, doctors, organ donation experts, and the woman who desperately needs his heart. It was a hit in France and is impressing critics here as well. Both Booklist and PW have given it a star and it appears on several “Most Anticipated” lists, with Bustle giving it this glowing praise:

“This slim, heady book made my own heart both stop and swell at the same time … In stunning prose that cuts like a scalpel … It’s mesmerizing … I’ve simply never read anything like it.”

Media Attention

9781451635119_bdbd5And Then All Hell Broke LooseTwo Decades in the Middle East, Richard Engel, (S&S)

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, who has been reporting on the Middle East for 20 years, will be receiving media attention from fellow journalists. Booklist, in a starred review, calls his book, “Clear, candid, and concise, Engel’s overview of the ongoing battleground should be required reading for anyone desiring a thorough and informed portrait of what the past has created and what the future holds for the Middle East and the world at large.”

The author is scheduled for a string of appearances, including the Today Show, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on February 11, followed by HBO’s RealTime with Bill Maher the next day.

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads selections arrive this week, a debut and the next in a long-running series.

9780399174124_9316c Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase (PRH/ Putnam; Penguin Audio/Books on Tape; OverDrive Sample). Deborah Margeson, of Douglas County Libraries, Parker, CO, says the following about Chase’s debut:

“Young Amber Alton and her family adore Black Rabbit Hall, and the joy and peace it brings to them all. That is, until a tragic accident changes everything. Three decades later, Lorna decides her wedding must be celebrated at the crumbling hall. As the book moves between these two time periods, secrets slowly unfold. Perfectly twisty with interesting characters and a compelling story that kept me up too late.”Seven IndieNext List books also hit the shelves this week.

See also the author’s recent First Flight’s chat with librarians.

9780062413314_b4081The Ramblers, Aidan Donnelley Rowley (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample).

“This charming book is an homage to families — both the ones we are born with and the ones we create. It follows three characters in their early 30s who are trying to take the next steps toward growing up, deciding who they really are, and what they really want to do with the rest of their lives. They are closely linked and surrounded by family members who are in turns supportive, destructive, and ultimately loving. As members of New York’s privileged, they are free to explore their options while enjoying the best the city has to offer. You will laugh, cry, and cheer these characters on as they come to terms with both their past and their future.” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC

9780425283783_50f46Breaking Wild, Diane Les Becquets (PRH/Berkley; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts will rejoice in Les Becquets’ debut novel. In the spectacular and unforgiving wilderness of northwestern Colorado, elk-hunter Amy Raye Latour goes missing in a snowstorm at the beginning of winter. A search-and-rescue operation is organized and ranger Pru Hathaway and her rescue dog go to look for the missing woman. With alternating chapters focusing on each woman, Les Becquets spins a thrilling story about two strong and mysterious female characters whose resourcefulness and determination help them tackle incredible adversity. Breaking Wild is an extraordinary adventure story whose ending is as tense and suspenseful as anything I have ever read.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Breaking Wild also got starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and PW.

9780525429661_4444bThe Arrangement, Ashley Warlick (PRH/Viking; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America’s first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband — his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781101875551_92053In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein (PRH/Knopf; BOT).

“Lahiri traces the origins, tribulations, and tiny victories that have fueled her decades-long courtship with the Italian language in a bilingual memoir that reads more like an intimate diary. The chapters and short stories offer a vivid timeline of Lahiri’s turbulent relationship with language, bouncing around from English to Bengali during her childhood, immersing herself in the Italian culture by moving her family overseas, and finally attempting to write a book in a new voice. In Other Words is much more than an attempt at self-reflection and reinvention, it’s a mastery.” —Carly Lenz, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

If you are curious to learn more about  Lahiri love of Italian , read her interview in the Wall Street Journal [may require subscription].

9781400069538_7a0f2Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, Dawn Tripp (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Georgia is as stunningly beautiful as the artwork that inspired it. With amazing insight, Tripp captures the personal and artistic relationships between two difficult, brilliant, and complex people: the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. This is an incredible read from beginning to end, a book that begs to be discussed!” —Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

It is also the Costco Book Pick for February.

9781501112461_2b028My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, Chris Offutt (S&S/Atria Books).

“This fascinating memoir of Offutt’s difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family’s income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father’s library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down.” —Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Chris Offutt is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

9781594633461_22eecSudden Death, by Álvaro Enrigue, translated by Natasha Wimmer (PRH/Riverhead Books).

Sudden Death is one of the most audacious, smart, and original books you will read this year. It is a literary triptych — part history lesson, part tennis match, and part hypermodern adventure. Daring and visceral with a cast that includes Thomas Cromwell, Mary Magdalene, Aztec emperors, and more, the limits of the novel in Enrigue’s hands seem boundless. No other author is taking chances like this with such gratifying results.” —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX


There are no tie-in this week but the coming weeks bring many, including an Allegiant movie tie-in edition.

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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