Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 29, 2016

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Next week is blessedly free of titles arriving with long holds queues, but fans are anticipating several titles from repeat authors, including Clive Cussler’s 9th in the Isaac Bell historical detective series, The Gangster, a posthumous collection of Maeve Binchy short stories, A Few Of The Girls, and a new thriller by James Grippando, Gone Again.

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 Feb. 28

Media Magnets

EvictedEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond (PRH/Crown; BOT).

Focusing on one of the most heartbreaking aspects of poverty, the loss of a home, Evicted has already struck a chord with the media. Following four starred prepub reviews, the New York Times gave it an unusually early review on Monday, and also profiled the author. Earlier, The New Yorker published an excerpt. Coverage is also coming in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. [UPFATE: Featured on the cover of the NYT Book Review, Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed credits Desmond with having “set a new standard for reporting on poverty.”]

The first paragraph of the daily NYT review is a grabber:

“One of the most heartbreaking moments in Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City — and there’s a shameful assortment to choose from — is when 13-year-old Ruby Hinkston takes refuge in the public library. She’s come to use the computer. It turns out that she’s been slowly building her dream house with a free online game, and she wants to visit it again.”

The review goes on to describe the horrible conditions Ruby faces at home.

All the Single LadiesAll the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, Rebecca Traister (S&S; S&S Audio).

In their list of “Don’t-miss nonfiction,” Entertainment Weekly wrote, “The literary world is already buzzing about journalist Traister’s history of the unmarried American woman.” Highlights of the media attention below:

New York Times Sunday Review, 2/28
• CBS This Morning, 2/29
• NPR Fresh Air with Terry Gross, 3/1
• Daily New York Times review, 3/6

9781501136412_743e5Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure, Shirley MacLaine, (S&S; S&S Audio).

Of course MacLaine will be getting attention, including appearances on the Today show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, both scheduled for March 15. The next day, she will step across the aisle to Fox & Friends. Reviewed in the Washington Post.

Peer Picks

The return of a favorite author and the debut of a new one are the highlights this week from the March LibraryReads picks.

9781451686630_0a0baProving her ability to write across genres and make readers and librarians take note, Lisa Lutz turns to thrillers in The Passenger (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio).

Beth DeGeer, of Bartlesville Public Library, Bartlesville, OK offers this annotation:

“This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman who has to keep switching identities and stay on the run. Is she a reliable narrator or not? What was the original event that sent her on the run? There is a lot of action and suspense as she tries to survive and evade the law while trying to keep her moral center intact. Unlike Lutz’s Spellman books, this reads more like a Charles Portis road novel, though considerably more serious and dangerous. Highly recommended.”

It is also a March Indie Next selection and was hit with our GalleyChatters.

9781501124211_01013Debut novelist Catherine Lowell offers a new take on the ongoing interest in all things Jane Eyre in The Madwoman Upstairs (S&S/Touchstone).

Kristen McCallum, of the Algonquin Area Public Library, Algonquin, IL invites readers to:

“Meet Samantha Whipple, a descendant of the Bronte family, who arrives at Oxford to study literature, as her father did before her. She receives a copy of Jane Eyre – a volume that she thought was destroyed in the fire that took her father’s life. When a second Bronte novel belonging to her father turns up, she is convinced he has staged an elaborate treasure hunt for her promised inheritance. Enlisting the help of her sexy, young professor, Samantha sets out on a quest to find buried treasure and learns the value of friendship and courage along the way.”

It too is an Indie Next selection for March and a GalleyChat hit.

Three additional Indie Next picks pub this week as well, among them a book on physics that is getting compared to poetry.

9780399184413_1d3cbSeven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli (PRH/Riverhead Books; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“With a deft sensibility associated more often with poetry than theoretical physics, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics not only makes understandable the transcendent physical discoveries of the past century, but also reveals their powerful relevance to the human spirit. A revelatory and concise account of quantum mechanics, relativity, and the delight in both finding answers and seeking new questions, this jewel of a book lyrically demystifies the extraordinary realities of the cosmos.” —Robin J. Dunn, St. John’s College Bookstore, Annapolis, MD

9780802124715_3ab0fBottomland, Michelle Hoover (Grove Press/Black Cat; Blackstone Audio).

“In the years following World War I, the Hess family settles on Iowa farmland hoping to escape anti-German sentiment. Two of their girls disappear as the U.S. marches towards World War II, and relationships both within and outside of the family suffer. Based loosely on an unearthed family secret, Hoover has written an atmospheric novel evocative of both a time and place.” —Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

9781555977337_5db9fBlackass, A. Igoni Barrett (Graywolf Press; OverDrive Sample).

“We have seen transformation handled masterfully in literature, and Blackass, with its black, Nigerian protagonist waking up in the body of a white man, immediately calls to mind Kafka’s Metamorphosis. But this is something more, something different. There is a willingness here to confront how we create our identities — racially, politically, and even on social media. Barrett does this with intelligence and a playful humor that is by turns bright and biting. There is an edge to Blackass, a fire, the beginning of trouble. This is Kafka for the Kanye generation.” —Kenny Coble, King’s Books, Tacoma, WA

All Star

9781590514887_ac088-2At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others, Sarah Bakewell (PRH/Other Press; OverDrive Sample).

Bakewell introduced many readers to the 16th century philosopher Michel de Montaigne in How To Live: Or A Life Of Montaigne In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer (2010). In her follow up, she moves ahead to the 20th century in a book starred by all four pre-pub sources. Booklist points out that it’s not all arcane philosophy, “With coverage of friendship, travel, argument, tragedy, drugs, Paris, and, of course, lots of sex, Bakewell’s biographical approach pays off.”


There are three official tie-ins this week.

9781484725795_6102cRudyard Kipling’s beloved story collection gets a second Disney adaption on April 15th, this time as a live action film (the animated Disney version came out in 1967 and was the last film Walt himself worked on).

As we reported earlier, Disney is pushing the film hard, running the trailer during the Super Bowl.

The Jungle Book: The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett (Hachette/Disney Press) is an illustrated novel based on the movie.

9780765388322_1345cIn support of the new Syfy 13-episode series Hunters, starting April 11, Alien Hunter comes out in a tie-in edition entitled Hunters, Whitley Strieber (Macmillan/Tor Books).

It is the first novel in an ongoing series. The second is Alien Hunter: Underworld. A third, Alien Hunter: The White House, is due in April.

The show combines thriller and SF in an alien conspiracy story, where the aliens are terrorists.

9781616961916_af5beAnother tie-in for Sundance’s Hap and Leonard series comes out this week as well. This time it is the complete collection of the previous Lansdale short stories augmented with one new story and an introduction written by Michael Koryta.

Hap and Leonard, Joe R. Lansdale (Perseus/PGW/Tachyon Publications).

As we reported when the first tie-in came out, the series debuts on March 2.

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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