GalleyChatter, April 2016 Happy Sixth Birthday!

Our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower, reminds us that GalleyChat just passed a milestone, its 6th birthday. She claims it was “an immediate success” when it was introduced and she should know, she was there from the beginning. We also have to add that GalleyChat has continued to grow in popularity since Robin became our official GalleyChatter.

Below, she rounds up the highlights of the April chat.

If you’ve missed Robin’s earlier columns, link below, for more current and forthcoming titles:

March — GALLEYCHATTER Looks to the Merry Month of May

February — GALLEYCHATTER, Heading into Summer

January — GALLEYCHATTER, Spring Announcements


Happy Sixth Birthday, GalleyChat.  Here’s to another six years!

It seems each chat gets more lively and April’s was no exception, featuring a range of novels, from one starring a librarian with an enviable job to others that are downright revolting and creepy.

Check here for the complete Edelweiss list of all the titles that came up.

We’ve also noted the deadlines for those that can still be nominated for LibraryReads.

Imaginative Fiction

9781101988640_11286  9781101988664_08c4e  9781101988688_97b04

The first book in a new fantasy series, The Invisible Library by by Genevieve Cogman (PRH/ROC, June), led the pack. Who can resist a plot involving an undercover librarian? Jenna Freibel of Deerfield Library (IL) said, “I had so much fun reading this first installment of a fantasy adventure series in which ‘Librarians’ travel to different realities to collect important books, even if it means stealing or fighting to retrieve them. It’s perfect for fans of Gail Carriger and Jim Butcher.” Fans will not have to wait long for the next two books in the series, which come out later this year, The Masked City (September) and The Burning Page (December). [NOTE: Pleas join us for a chat with the author on June 1]

9780393285543_a3e5dIn Lydia Millet’s Sweet Lamb of Heaven (Norton, May), Anna and her young daughter flee to Maine to hide from her sociopathic husband. What begins as a suspense novel quickly turns into something totally unexpected. Kelly Currie (Delphi Public Library, IN) said, “The story takes a strange and intriguing turn into a discussion of perception, the source of consciousness, language, and God. The author is adept at exploring and digging deep into such extrasensory perceptions and trying to understand and explain human consciousness in all its glory–and its ugliness. Fascinating food for thought.”

9781501125041_7cefbWhether you adore our eight-legged spider friends or have a case of arachnophobia, the first book in a new series, The Hatching, Ezekiel Boone (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler, June) will keep you riveted and unable to look away. Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) said, “Would you prefer death by a swarm of flesh eating spiders, or death by an exploding spider egg sac laid within your body? This is an apocalyptic novel that preys upon our fear of those creepy, crawly, and in this case carnivorous, monsters we call spiders. It was highly entertaining and hair-raising at the same time, fast paced and addictive.”

9781501126925_7a798Some readers are on the fence whether the very dark but well-constructed psychological suspense novel about a character’s musings about ending her relationship will strike a chord with readers, but I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid (S&S, June) has been gaining attention from many readers with seventeen “much love” Edelweiss votes. Carol Kubala, retired adult services librarian, said “This is the kind of book that is difficult to describe as well as unequivocally recommend. It will not be for everyone but for those of us who like a dark, brooding tale, it will be a winner. ‘I’m thinking I liked it.’”

Appealing Science

GruntEver since Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was published, Mary Roach has been known for her combination of deep research and endless curiosity delivered with cheeky humor.  Three GalleyChatters raved about her newest title, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (Norton, June) and is surely destined for the bestseller list.  Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries collection development librarian, said, “With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a topic few of us would openly explore but yes do want to know about – this time all the little-appreciated issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating revelation.”

Read-Worthy Novels

Heat & LightJennifer Haigh continues the Bakerton Stories (Baker Towers and News from Heaven) with Heat and Light (HarperCollins/Ecco, May). Set in Pennsylvania and featuring many of the same characters, Cynthia Baskin, frequent Galleychat contributor, said “Haigh’s book looks at fracking’s impact on here-today-gone-tomorrow speculators and disgruntled rural residents. Haigh’s success here is due to her multidimensional characters who show the gray areas surrounding a complex political issue. This is Haigh’s best book to date!”

9780812996395_c3662Messy relationships, age-old secrets, and a creaky old family home all make for a gripping read so there is no doubt readers will love Arrowood by Laura McHugh (PRH/Spiegel & Grau, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Jennifer Winberry of Hunterdon County Library (NJ) says, “Arden has returned to her family home in Southern Iowa to mourn the loss of her father. Overcome with memories, Arden relives the summer twenty years ago when her young twin sisters were abducted, never to be found. With vivid imagery and a steamy Gothic atmosphere, Arden’s grief is often tangible in this visceral novel.”

9781250074133_3e63fKaite Stover, Kansas City (MO) readers’ services librarian is nationally known for forecasting what will be hot with readers so when she recommends Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), we listen. According to Kaite, “It’s the rare novel that shows readers how undeniably human we are. Every character in this novel makes hard and bad choices that tear them down, build them up, and flesh them out into people readers will identify with. A powerful and rewarding story that dares to imagine what would happen if Sons of Anarchy met Romeo & Juliet?” [Kindle Users: Macmillan eGalleys are now available on Kindle.]

Please  join our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, May 3, 4:00-5:00 with virtual cocktails at 3:30. For what is going to be hot at BEA in May, watch for my BEA special edition column.

Comments are closed.