GalleyChatter, BEA 2016 Special Edition

Our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower takes a look at some of the titles to watch out for at next week’s BEA, below.

Please join our next GalleyChat, June 7, 4:00-5:00 (ET) to discuss discoveries from the show.


There are bound to be more galleys snagged than can be jammed in a suitcase at the upcoming Book Expo America  (Wed., May 11 through Fri., May 13), so choosing wisely is paramount. Below is a rundown of highly anticipated titles road tested by our devoted GalleyChatters. All are available as Digital Review Copies, so you can live vicariously, even if  you’re not going to the show.

Click here for our Edelweiss list of titles that will be promoted at various BEA programs.

Reader Favorites for 2016—So Far

9780062409201_2396aPaulette Jiles’ News of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow, October), the story of an elderly widower taking an orphaned girl, once held captive by the Kiowa, back to her relatives is receiving effusive praise on Edelweiss, making it a sure bet to become a hit with  readers and book groups. Virginia Stanley of HarperCollins will be talking it up during the AAP Annual Librarians’ Book Buzz—Part 1 and galleys will be given away in the HarperCollins booth (check at the booth for times). Janet Lockhart describes it as, “Stupendous writing, characters that get under your skin and burrow deep into your heart, great pacing, and an ending that makes you cry with joy and relief. My favorite book of 2016 so far.” Also check out HC’s BEA galley guide here.

9780385537032_9b0d7Colson Whitehead is speaking on the Big Authors Panel II at Library Journal’s Day of Dialog and the Adult Book and Author Breakfast, and will be signing Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday, September).  Jessica Woodbury, blogger and
Book Riot contributor, calls this novel about a young woman escaping slavery in Georgia, “a spectacular book.” She also says, “The beauty of this book is that while it has that deep communal feel of folk tale, it also lives vibrantly through its characters. I cannot remember another book about this era that so completely brought the world to life in my mind. Just do yourself a favor and get this book.”

9781501133862_a7c77Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA, gives top praise for Thomas Mullen’s Darktown (S&S/Atria/37 INK, September) by saying  “This one is definitely going on my “best of 2016” list!” and adds, “In a powerful mystery set in 1948, two of Atlanta’s first black police officers struggle to solve the murder of a young black girl against tremendous odds.” Mullen will be at the BEA Editors’ Buzz Panel and signing books in the S&S booth (check at the booth for times).

More Anticipated Novels

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Vicki Nesting also recommends The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark; October) as an excellent addition to the “woman-behind-the-famous-man” category of historical fiction. She says, “Mileva Maric, a brilliant physicist and mathematician, left her Serbian homeland to study physics at a prestigious university in Zurich. There she met Albert Einstein and the two were immediately drawn to one another. This is a completely absorbing and utterly believable story of a brilliant woman forgotten by history.” Sourcebooks will have plenty of copies in their booth, plus the author will be appearing in the Hot Fall Fiction 2016 session and doing an in-booth signing.  Also check their booth for galleys of Greer Macallister’s excellent novel about Pinkerton’s first woman detective, Girl in Disguise(March, 2017).

9781101904220_ee938A book GalleyChatters say is sure to be in everyone’s hands this summer is Blake Crouch’s mind-twisting Dark Matter (PRH/Crown, July). Stephanie Chase, Library Director of Hillsboro (OR) Library said, “Awesome combination of thriller, science fiction, and speculative alternate-history style fiction. This is the book you should recommend to all your readers this summer, for its fast pace and thought-provoking treatment of what happens when we make one choice over another.” Crouch wrote the Wayward Pines trilogy published by Amazon Publishing and developed into a series on Fox TV (Season 2 begins May 25). He will sign those books during in one of the Autographing Sessions and Dark Matter in the PRH booth.

9781616206178_6d00aGayle Forman, popular author of teen novels, will be appearing at the Librarians’ Author Lunch to talk about Leave Me (Workman/Algonquin), an adult novel about “not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Tracy Babiasz, acquisitions manager for Chapel Hill Library, NC, writes this intriguing description: “Could you imagine running away from your husband and twins? Maribeth does it, leaving them in order to find herself. Only Gayle Forman could take what might otherwise be an unsympathetic character and have me cheering for her!”

9780393241655_3db1aAnn Hood’s natural choice for book groups, The Book That Matters Most (Norton, August) will be available in the Norton booth. After Ava’s marriage dissolves, she joins an exclusive library book group where members select books that to them mattered the most during their lives. Over the year of discussing the books, members end up sharing their own personal problems. Rosemary Smith, Edelweiss power reader, said “the overriding message in this book is that our books, our stories have the power to save us all.” Check here for more Norton giveaways.

cover84147-mediumAnyone who loved the movie The Big Chill will enjoy Allison Winn Scotch’s In Twenty Years (Amazon/Lake Union, July, DRC for this one is only on NetGalley), the story of six college friends who reunite after 20 years. Allison’s prose rings with authenticity as they find themselves coping with complicated relationships and life choices. Allison will be signing galleys in the autographing tables area on Thursday.

9781101875612_f5510Penguin Random House’s BEA breakfast is always a treat (for both food and author appearances) and Jennifer Close will be featured this year to talk about The Hopefuls (PRH/Knopf, July). Since Close’s husband works in the White House and her best friend is Joe Biden’s secretary, her inside view of Washington politics is put to good use in her “sparkling new novel,” according to Melissa Samora of Chandler (AZ) Public Library. She continues “I loved the glimpse into D.C. politics and thought the story of a marriage in transition was authentic. I found myself relating to Beth on more than one occasion. I simply loved this book and gobbled it up quickly.”

9781250097910_06fe4Have you heard of Advance Listening Copies? Find out what that means at the Macmillan booth where they will be holding a Galley and Advance Listening Copy Giveaway at 11:00 am on Thursday for Wendy Walker’s tense psychological suspense novel, All is Not Forgotten (St. Martin’s, July). This novel about a woman trying to peel back layers of her memory to remember who attacked her as a teen has been receiving a lot of attention from GalleyChatters over the past few months. Jen Dayton enthuses, “You will be halfway through this taut psychological thriller and think that you’ve got it all figured out. But trust me, you aren’t even close.” For a full roster of all of Macmillan’s activities, check here.

Memoir Perfect for Discussing

9781250075727_d0f46Creator of the popular blog Momastery, Glennon Doyle Melton is appearing at the BEA Librarians’ Dinner to talk about her memoir, Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron Books, August). Melton’s courage in writing such intimate details of her collapsing marriage is commendable and this touching and inspirational account will be a winner for women’s book groups. It is a good option for readers who liked of Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.

Join us for a spirited GalleyChat on June 7, 4:00-5:00 (ET) when we discuss the unexpected gems we found at BEA.

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