Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 21, 2016

9780062414212_2b722“Highly anticipated” is a term that is loosely thrown around. In the case of the debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio), that claim can be documented, beginning with a major publishing auction that led to an estimated seven figure advance.

The plot is succinctly described by Kirkus in a starred review, “Dysfunctional siblings in New York wig out when the eldest blows their shared inheritance.” LJ comments that the story “typifies the Internet meme ‘white people problems’ even more than most current New York City-based literary fiction,” but concludes that the themes are nonetheless universal, “Anyone with siblings will appreciate the character dynamics at play here, although they may not care much for each character individually. A fun, quick read recommended for fans of Emma Straub and Meg Wolitzer.”

The author, who lives in L.A., clearly has Hollywood connections (her husband, as noted in a this week’s New York magazine profile, is Conan O’Brien’s head writer). The cover blurb is from Amy Poehler. “Intoxicating … I couldn’t stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family” (no news yet on a film adaptation. Oddly, however, the latest Amy Poehler/Tina Fey film Sisters, was originally titled The Nest). A clever trailer released in January, stars several faces familiar from big and small screens (as well as author Susan Orleans), talking about their own sibling relationships.

Also a hit with booksellers and librarians, it is the #1 Indie Next title for April and on the March LibraryReads list. It is this week’s “Book of the Week” in People magazine and gets a strong review from Entertainment Weekly.

Many libraries are showing holds that outstrip cautious ordering.

Usual Suspects

9780525955092_9a9ce  9780316262491_1a9c4

Leading in holds for the week is Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once, also a LibraryReads pick (see below).

Another week brings another new book by James Patterson. This time, he is targeting Dork Diaries fans, with a middle-grade novel featuring a girl called Jacky Ha-Ha (Hachette/ Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio) because she just can’t stop cracking jokes.

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 March 21, 2016

Media Magnets

9780812996890_f89c8Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening, John Elder Robison, (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; RH and  BOT Audio)

Known for his  2007 memoir Look Me in the Eye, about living with Asberger’s, Robison is also the brother of another famous memoirist, Augusten Burroughs, who also has a new memoir, arriving just a week later, Lust & Wonder. In this book, Robison writes about undergoing a treatment to reverse his condition. The title of his essay in today’s New York Times An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage” indicates that  the outcome was not completely what he wished for. On Tuesday, Robison is scheduled to appear on NPR’s All Things Considered and on PBS’s NewsHour.

9781476716862_1a4c4Back from the Dead, Bill Walton & John Papanek, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Basketball legend Walton suffered multiple sports injuries, including one that left him paralyzed. Now recovered, he recounts his experiences in this memoir. He is scheduled for appearances next week on Good Morning America as well as several ESPN shows and NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Peer Picks

The Nest, covered above, is a favorite of both booksellers and librarians, who are also in agreement about a several other titles arriving next week.

9780812993103_f08deThe Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson, (PRH/Random; Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample), is the #1 LibraryReads pick for March and on the Indie Next list for April.

Paulette Brooks, of Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI offers this warm invitation to start reading:

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

9780399169496_dec56Jane Steele, Lyndsay Faye (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; OverDrive Sample).
Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, MI says:

Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!”

Faye’s clever take on Brontë is getting attention from other quarters. An April Indie Next pick, it is also  People pick this week and a favorite among GalleyChattersUSA Today featured the novel in a story on literary mashups. UPDATE: 3/21/16, Film rights were acquired by Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures.

9780525955092_9a9ceFool Me Once, Harlan Coben (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Lisa Sprague, of Public Services Librarian, Enfield Public Library, Enfield, CT writes:

“Coben has made me lose more sleep over the years than all my other favorite authors combined. Joe Burkett has been murdered in front of his wife Maya. They have a two year old daughter who has a nanny. After the funeral, a friend gives her a picture frame that hides a camera so she can check on the care the nanny is providing her daughter. She watches the recording. Can she believe what she saw? Is she going crazy? Both? Buy a ticket for the coaster and find out for yourself. Keep your hands inside the car; it’s going to be a wild ride.”

9781616205027_05404Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Lee Smith (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample).

Lois Gross, of Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ says of Smith’s memoir:

“Evenly divided between a book about Smith’s process and her life, first as a Southern mountain child and, later, as the parent of a schizophrenic child, this book is interesting and compelling. Despite being surrounded by loving family and being blessed with an active imagination, Lee copes with a mentally ill mother. Later, her son’s mental illness and early death brings her to the breaking point but she is saved by her writing. This is a read-alike for Karr’s The Liars Club. It desperately needs a cinematic translation for it’s elegant and evocative writing.”

9781250071323_6f897One final bookseller pick, from the Indie Next April list, comes out this week. The Charm Bracelet, Viola Shipman (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of three women slowly losing themselves until they are reunited in Scoops, Michigan, at the beginning of summer: Arden, working at a job that gives her nothing but a paycheck; Lauren, becoming sadder as she moves farther from doing what she loves most; and Lolly, gradually forgetting all the things in her life that brought her joy and happiness. Linked together like the charms on their wrists, Arden, Lauren, and Lolly will remind each other of times gone by, how to appreciate the present, and how to embrace whatever the future brings. Reading this sweet story reminded me how lucky we are if we are close to those who share our history.” —Sylvia Smith, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.


There are no tie-ins publishing this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins).

Comments are closed.