Archive for July, 2016

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 1, 2016

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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It’s the beginning of a new month, which means several new James Patterson titles are set to arrive. In addition to the hardcover Bullseye (Michael Bennett #9), there is also the paperback original Chase (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), which is also a Michael Bennett story.

So far, there are no signs of over saturation. The hardcover is showing a holds queue as long as the one that awaited the publication of the previous title in the series. The BookShot title, however, shows many fewer holds.

The third Patterson title being released, also in the BookShot series, Let’s Play Make-Believe, (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), features new collaborator James O. Born. Although Born is known, as is Patterson, for thrillers, the plot summary for this one indicates that they are exploring new territory:

Both survivors of the divorce wars, Christy and Martin don’t believe in love at first sight and certainly not on a first date. But from the instant they lock eyes, life becomes a sexy, romantic dream come true. That is, until they start playing a strangely intense game of make-believe-a game that’s about to go too far.

9780553391831_c1412Close on Patterson’s heels in holds is Debbie Macomber, with her most recent, Rose Harbor romance, Sweet Tomorrows (PRH/Ballantine Books; RH/BOT audio; Random House Large Print; OverDrive Sample).


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, Aug. 1, 2916

Advance Attention

9781501140181_33e64Presto! : How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, Penn Jillette (S&S; OverDrive Sample).

Penn and his magician partner Teller appeared  on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon this week (with a brief mention of the book). He is booked for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. Next week, he is scheduled for several shows, including ABC’s Good Morning America and ABC’s The View.

9781603094023_7cf7dMarch: Book Three, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions).

It’s good timing for the release of Congressman John Lewis’s third and final graphic novel about the civil rights movement. As we wrote earlier, Lewis was a very happy man when he won an Eisner for the second in the series, March: Book Two. The first in the series, March: Book One is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.  Lewis attended Comic-Con this year and, as he did last year,  led a commemorative march with children through the convention hall, wearing a coat and backpack similar to those he wore as he crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Selma March in 1965.

The Making of Donald Trump9781612196329_6ed31, David Cay Johnston, (Melville House; OverDrive Sample).

The first new book about Trump since he became the official Republican candidate is from Brooklyn-based indie publisher Melville House, coming weeks ahead of the The Washington Post ‘s investigative Trump RevealedAn American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (S&S; S&S Audio; Aug 23).

Johnston appeared on PBS NewsHour a couple of weeks ago, along with Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, now in paperback as The Truth About Trump (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne).

Consumer Media Picks

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Harmony, Carolyn Parkhurst (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is the People “Pick of the Week” — “At a breaking point with their autistic daughter Tilly, 13, the Hammond family moves to a remote camp whose charismatic leader posits back-to-nature living as a solution. The propulsive plot … is driven by multiple voices, most compellingly Tilly’s little sister’s.”

The second People pick is This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample; July 19) — “paints a portrait of two eccentric people struggling to transcend life’s messy mistakes” — also recently reviewed on NPR.

The third is You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) — “Taut and raw, this is a mesmerizing story from a master of suspense.” The new issue of the NYT Book Review, expresses admiration for it under the headline, “In Megan Abbott’s New Murder Mystery, a Teenage Gymnast Sharp as a Knife.”

Peer Picks

Two August LibraryReads come out this week:

9781250078551_667edDie Like an Eagle, Donna Andrews (Macmillan/Minotaur; Dreamscape Media; OverDrive Sample).

“Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly is driven by multiple voices.” baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery.” — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN

9781101991633_92e39Watching Edie, Camilla Way (PRH/NAL; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Four August Indie Next selections also debut:

9780802125286_3461fChristodora, Tim Murphy (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Grove Press; Blackstone Audio).

“Murphy uses Christodora House, an historic apartment building in the East Village of New York City, as the namesake and backdrop of his compelling debut novel. The story follows the lives of several residents over the course of four decades, expertly detailing the intersections of art and ambition, activism and loss, and the consequences of addiction and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. I can think of no novel in recent memory in which I felt so drawn to its characters and so emotionally invested in the outcome of their lives.” —Shawn Donley, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

9781476791272_63d92Carousel Court, Joe McGinniss (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Audio).

Carousel Court begins with the decline of a marriage as members of the Maguire family find themselves in the suburbs of Los Angeles, struggling to hold onto their last vestiges of power to control what feels like the free fall of their lives. Examining the paradox of both our over-connected and disconnected world, McGinniss’ clear voice is beautifully balanced with the dark desperation he reveals as the all-too-common silent partner of our lives. This is a powerful book that should not be missed!” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

9780062413475_c6f0aThe Bones of Paradise, Jonis Agee (HC/William Morrow; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Agee presents the saga of the Bennett family in the years following the massacre at Wounded Knee. Formed and altered by the unforgiving Nebraska Sandhills, the Bennetts are a rough, conflicted lot, and their story is filled with secrets, lies, betrayals, vengeance, and murder. Agee evokes a lost world and time without sentiment, but with a beautiful subtlety interrupted only by the true horrors of well-researched fact. A must-read for lovers of Western literature, family sagas, and historical fiction.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

9780062444394_73d2aHalf Wild: Stories, Robin MacArthur (HC/Ecco; OverDrive Sample).

“MacArthur’s debut story collection is set in the hilly backcountry of southern Vermont — a rural landscape of half-abandoned farms and double-wide trailers, but also one of immense natural beauty and wildness. Her characters hew close to this land — even those who have left cannot help but return. These are beautifully drawn portraits of people who, despite poverty and decay, remain vibrantly alive to their world and to the power of memory. I cannot wait to read more from this author!” —Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

It is also an Indies Introduce title.


Children’s fantasy dominates the tie-ins this week with two titles forthcoming.

Tim Burton’s adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is finally nearing its air date, opening on Sept. 30 and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench.

A tie-in comes out this week. Several others will follow.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Movie Tie-In Edition), Ransom Riggs (PRH/Quirk Books; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The Art of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Art of the Film, Leah Gallo (PRH/Quirk; Aug. 30, 2016).

Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs and illustrated by Andrew Davidson (PRH/Dutton Books for Young Readers; RH Audio/Listening Library; Sept. 3, 2016).

USA Today says this contains “10 fairy tales, each illustrated by Andrew Davidson, who also designed the cover. The original stories include tales of wealthy (but very hungry) cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars … and the origins of the first ymbryne (a time manipulator that takes the form of a bird) … The book’s publication is similar to J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”

9780763692155_4718cA Monster Calls is based on Patrick Ness’s novel about a story-telling monster and a troubled teen whose mother has cancer. It opens October 21st and stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and Lewis Macdougall.

There is a tie-in: A Monster Calls: A Novel (Movie Tie-in): Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness (Candlewick; OverDrive Sample).

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

NYT BR Surveys Thrillers

Friday, July 29th, 2016

In a rare move, The New York Times Book Review devotes a full issue to a single genre.  Summer Thrills, offers 19 reviews, some covering multiple titles, that highlight buzzy books (reviewed by buzzy authors) and titles new to the scene.

9780316231077_73720Sophie Hannah (Woman with a Secret) reviews Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), a novel about murder and an Olympic hopeful. Hannah says that Abbott “sticks the landing,'”admiring the “glittering carapace of [her] lush, skillful, subtle writing,” praising some of the novel’s “radical and satisfying” elements, and calling it “brilliant” and “excellent.”

9780316300506_ffac5Lee Child, whose Jack Reacher thrillers are reliable best sellers, reviews The Death of Rex , by  C.B. George (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), set in contemporary Zimbabwe and focused on three married couples.

Part of the buzz around the novel is the author. George is a pseudonym for a writer Child doubts is new at the game, writing that it is unlikely the novel is a debut, in fact “it would be astonishing if it were — like being able to play the Moonlight Sonata with no prior experience of the piano. Therefore ‘C.B. George’ must be a pen name, and speculating about who — or, more accurately, what kind of established writer — lies behind it became a matter of ongoing interest, illuminated by what I took to be clues scattered throughout the text.” In the end Child decides “C.B. George is a screenwriter — and now also a novelist of great quality.”

9781632865267_4b4489780399175015_cd34fAnother best-selling author, Joseph Finder, reviews two books by insiders. The first is the latest by Stella Rimington (the former director general of MI5 said to be the model for 007’s M). Breaking Cover (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample) is the ninth Liz Carlyle thriller and Finder says Rimington writes it with “crisp authority.”

Matthew Palmer works in the US State Department, with stints on the National Security Council, and has written two novels previous to The Wolf of Sarajevo (PRH/Putnam; OverDrive Sample). This one Finder says contains “some
truly exciting scenes … And its conclusion is thrilling … The aura of authenticity on the smaller scale helps lend gravity to plot twists that, in other hands, might have seemed outlandish.”

9781101982730_2f87eA debut, the historical thriller The Devils of Cardona, Matthew Carr (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample), is the first crack at fiction by a nonfiction author. It is set in 1584, Spain and involves the Inquisition and the murder of a priest. Reviewer/author Esmeralda Santiago says that it advances through “well-structured chapters and harrowing scenes” and that it “is as exciting as it is enlightening from its first pages to its satisfying end.”

Titles we have covered such as Missing, Presumed, Dark Matter, and Crow Girl also get attention.

QUEEN SUGAR, First Full-length Trailer

Friday, July 29th, 2016

In addition to  the news that Oprah Winfrey will star in Ava DuVernay’s movie for Disney,  A Wrinkle in Time, the first full-length trailer for another of their collaborations, Queen Sugar was recently released.

The series is based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike; 2014; see our chat with the author just prior to the book’s publication). As we wrote earlier, the story takes place in Southern Louisiana and features three sibling who inherit their father’s sugar cane plantation. It was selected as a book of the week by Oprah’s O magazine, saying, “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile.”

The TV show will start with a two-night premiere on Sept. 6 and 7. Entertainment Weekly reports that each of the 13 episodes will be directed by a different female director “as part of DuVernay’s efforts to bring up other female voices as she gains additional notoriety. Should the show perform well, she will try to recruit another group of women to direct a second season.”

Oprah herself will have a recurring role. In the press release announcing the production, she said, “I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN. The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”



Friday, July 29th, 2016

9780312367541The first star has been announced for the forthcoming Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 Newbery Award winning novel A Wrinkle in Time  and it’s a big one.

Variety reports Oprah Winfrey will play Mrs. Which, one of the three celestial guides who helps the Murry children and Calvin O’Keefe on their quest through time and space to find the Murry’s missing father.

As we noted earlier, Ava DuVernay (Selma) will direct. Jennifer Lee (Frozen) will write the adaptation.

Oprah worked with DuVernay on Selma and is currently working with her on the forthcoming OWN series Queen Sugar, set to begin on September 6th.

IndieWire reports that DuVernay plans a diverse cast for L’Engle’s novel and Variety notes that Oprah was always going to be one of the three Mrs. W characters (the others are Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who).

The novel got a bit of a boost last night when Chelsea Clinton mentioned it as she introduced her mother during the Democratic National Convention. She also name checked Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis – both are rising on Amazon.

Berenstain Bears: A Passing

Friday, July 29th, 2016

9780394822860Jan Berenstain, famous as the co-author and illustrator of the Berenstain Bears books has died at age 88. With her husband, who died in 2005, she created over 300 titles, featuring Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear. The books highlighted family life, learning from each other, being brave, and the everyday life lessons of early childhood.

In an obituary, the NYT reports that Dr. Seuss, Theodor Geisel, served as their first editor and that the couple credited him “with helping them achieve their trademark simplicity in language and illustrations. That style made their books popular as reading primers, by helping toddlers see connections between stories and words on a page.”

Their first book came out in 1962, a story written in rhyme titled The Big Honey Hunt. It is still in print but the series itself has developed into animated TV shows, video games, and an iPhone app. After her husband’s death, Jan Berenstain worked on the books with their son Mike, who will take over the series with his brother.

Nineteen new Berenstain books are expected this year.


Kudos for KUBO

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Movie fan sites are reacting to the latest trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings by Oregon’s stop-motion animation house Laika as  “the studio’s most epic and visually stunning project yet.”

That’s a lot to live up to for the studio that produced Coraline (based on the book by Neil Gaiman,  ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls (based on Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters!).

Set in Japan, the fantasy-adventure features the voices of  Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, George Takei and Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones). It debuts in theaters on 8/19/16.

The week before the movie’s release, Universal Studios Hollywood will showcase the studio in a display titled  “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience.”

Tie-ins are available for Kubo.

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Kubo and the Two Strings: Meet Kubo, R. R. Busse
Hachette/ Little, Brown YR. Paperback, July 19, 2016
Passport to Reading, Level 2, Ages 4 to 8

Kubo and the Two Strings: The Junior NovelSadie Chesterfield,
Hachette/ Little, Brown YR. Paperback, July 19, 2016
Ages 4 to 8

The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings, Emily Haynes, Travis Knight,
Chronicle Books, Hardcover, July 19, 2016

Ruth Ware; the Next Marquee Author

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

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Heading into its publication week, Ruth Ware’s second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) was a library holds leader.

It debuts this week at #15 on the USA Today best seller list. As the fifth hardcover fiction title on the list, it’s likely that tomorrow it will debut on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list in the top 5 (although the list hasn’t been released yet, an early online release of the “Inside the List” column reveals that it lands at #4).

Readers are going back to Ware’s previous title, In A Dark, Dark Wood(S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It rises to #61 on the USA Today list, its highest spot to date. It was on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list for 2 weeks. Released in paperback in April, it has been steadily moving up the NYT Trade Paperback Fiction list and was at #8 last week. It was recently optioned for a movie.

Both were LibraryReads picks.

Expect that her next book to feature her name above the title.

BLACK PANTHER Takes Another Star Turn

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

5792a1f455b04Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay are collaborating on a Black Panther spin-off, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, reports The New York Times. The poet Yona Harvey is also writing scripts.

It is the first time Gay will work on a comic, as it was the first time for Coates when he wrote the Black Panther re-launch earlier this year. As we have noted, that comic was a top seller and made King T’Challa of Wakanda a major player in the Marvel universe.

Now Coates is pushing to expand that world, recruiting both Gay and Harvey, says the NYT, because “he thought it was important to have female voices help breathe life into these characters.”

Describing her story in an interview posted on the Marvel site, Gay said: “my book is going to be pretty intimate. There’s going to be all kinds of action, but I’m also really excited to show Ayo and Aneka’s relationship, build on that love story, and also introduce some other members of the Dora Milaje … I love being able to focus on women who are fierce enough to fight but still tender enough to love.” (Ed. note. the Dora Milaje is the security force protecting the Black Panther).

“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” she told the NYT, continuing “The opportunity to write black women and queer black women into the Marvel universe, there’s no saying no to that.” In the same Marvel interview Coates says, “Wakanda is a deep, rich world. And I think Roxane is the perfect person to begin the literary excavations.”

As for Harvey, Coates told the NYT, “I have found that poetry is so correlated with writing comic books … That’s just so little space, and you have to speak with so much power. I thought she’d be a natural.” Her first story will be a “10-page second story … about Zenzi, a female revolutionary who incited a riot in the first issue of the Black Panther series.”

The Verge reports that “Coates recruited Gay and Harvey personally, and emphasized the importance of having diversity both on the page and on the payroll at Marvel.”

The start of the spin-off series is expected this November.

BEFORE I FALL Set for Release

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

y648Lauren Oliver’s best selling 2010 YA novel Before I Fall has been adapted as a film that now has a release date of April 7, next year, reports Deadline. Told by a girl who has everything, but then dies in a car accident and gets to relive the last day of her life seven times, it stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage and Jennifer Beals.

tie-in paperback is set to be published on December 6, 2016 (HarperCollins).

Also opening that weekend is the film adaptation of R.J. Palacio best selling middle grade title, Wonder. In the lead role is Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the Oscar-winning adaptation, Room. Julia Roberts plays his mother.


Wednesday, July 27th, 2016


The double issue of Entertainment Weekly currently on newsstands, features the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s series, The Dark Tower, starring  Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, scheduled to arrive in theaters February 17 next year.

The online site has just released a complete rundown of their stories from the last two weeks, including, “What the film changes (and keeps) from Stephen King’s books,”

The series is being re-released in mass market paperback in December in anticipation of the film’s release (see our list of tie-ins to upcoming movies).

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Another Stephen King project, The Mist, Spike TV’s 10-episode series based on King;s novella, has begun production, No release date or tie-in has been announced.

The Man Booker Longlist Announced

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The U.K.’s most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker Prize, is one of the few awards that affects sales in the U.S., surpassing even our own National Book Awards.

The longlist of thirteen titles was released earlier today. Six of the titles have not yet been published in the U.S., including the title regarded as the front-runner, J.M. Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus, scheduled for release here in February (U.K. readers have to wait as well, it won’t be published there until September). Attached is a downloadable list, for your use in creating displays, Booker 2016 Longlist, Available in U.S.

The award is covered widely in the British press, but The Irish Times offers the most extensive coverage, amounting to a cheat sheet to each title., noting that the overall list is:

“… a solid, wide-ranging 13-strong selection dominated by the forthcoming novel from 2003 Nobel Literature Laureate, the South African-born J.M.Coetzee … There is no disputing [he] is one of the world’s finest living authors – and at a time when English-language fiction is being consistently overshadowed by the brilliance of literature in translation. Coetzee is the first double Booker winner … and any work from him is eagerly awaited.”

Last year’s winning novel was A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. After the announcement, it went on to the New York Times Paperback Fiction, rising to a high of #3. HBO has optioned screen rights.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday, September 13 and the winner on Tuesday, October 25.

Below are the longlist titles, with U.S. publishing information and links to U.S. consumer reviews. U.S. covers are featured, where available.

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Paul Beatty, U.S., The Sellout (Macmillan/FSG, 3/3/15; OverDrive Sample) — On several U.S. best books lists, including the NYT Book Review‘s Top Ten, it was heavily reviewed here.

J.M. Coetzee, South Africa/Australia, The Schooldays of Jesus (PRH/Viking) — Currently scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Feb. 21, 2017.

A.L. Kennedy, U.K., Serious Sweet (Little A) — Scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Oct. 8, 2016 Amazon’s literary fiction imprint Little A.

Deborah Levy, U.K.,  Hot Milk (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample; 7/12/16) — reviewed in the daily NYT and the Washington Post.

Graeme Macrae Burnet, U.K., His Bloody ProjectUPDATE: Now scheduled for publication in the U.S. by Skyhorse, ship date, 9/27/16.   The Guardian called it “Perhaps the most eye-catching book on the list” since the Booker has rarely recognized a title in that genre.

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Ian McGuire, U.K., The North Water (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample;  3/15/16) — Reviewed in the NYT Book Review by Colm Toibin, the daily NYT by Michiko Kakutani, as well as the Wall Street Journal.

David Means, U.S., Hystopia (Macmillan/FSG,; OverDrive Sample; 4/19/16) — A debut, it was reviewed widely and is on NY Magazine ‘s list of “The Best Books of 2016 (So Far)“.

Wyl Menuir, U.K., The Many — Not currently scheduled for publication in the U.S.

Ottessa Moshfegh, U.S., Eileen (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample;  8/18/15) — Featured on the cover of the  NYT Book Review,  it was also reviewed in the LA Times, The Washington Post, and NPR, and made several 2015 “best”  lists. UPDATE: This title is being adapted as a movie.

9781501112492_5f5c9  9781400067695_38ba8  All That Man Is

Virginia Reeves, U.S., Work Like Any Other (S&S/Scribner; OverDrive Sample; 3/1/16) — Featured in Harper’s Bazaar as a Spring 2016 pick, it was reviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Miami Herald.

Elizabeth Strout, U.S., My Name is Lucy Barton (PRH/Viking; OverDrive Sample; 1/13/16) — Reviewed widely in the U.S., in the NYT Book ReviewThe Washington Post, NPR, and New York Magazine.

David Szalay, Canada-U.K.,  All That Man Is (Macmillan/Graywolf; OverDrive Sample;) — Scheduled for publication in hardcover in the U.S. on Oct. 4, 2016.

Madeleine Thien, Canada, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books; Knopf Canada; OverDrive Sample) — UPDATE: Scheduled for publication in the U.S. by W.W. Norton on 10/11/16.

Authors As Readers Advisors

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 is turning famous authors into readers’ advisors, giving them a platform to suggest titles well worth seeking out in “15 Women Writers Discuss Their Favorite Overlooked Books.”

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Elena Ferrante suggests fellow Italian writer, Elsa Morante, particularly her novel History (translated by William Weaver (Steerforth; OverDrive Sample; Feb. 2000) of which she says “One reads with one’s heart in one’s throat.”

Emily St. John Mandel offers J.M. Ledgard’s novel Submergence (Consortium/Coffee House; OverDrive Sample; Mar. 2013) saying it is a “masterpiece” that “both sings with tension and radiates immense humanity and tenderness.”

Ann Patchett, who, as a bookseller as well as author and, has experience advising readers, suggests Geoffrey Wolff’s “brilliant essay collection and memoir,” A Day at the Beach (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample; Nov. 2013). She says it “offers up tales of daring along with expansive thinking, the bright light of humor, and the dark night of the soul, and delivers it all in writing sharp enough to cut your fingers on.”

Ann Beattie, Amy Bloom, Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jamaica Kincaid, Miranda July, Lorrie Moore, Mary Roach, Karen Russell, Rebecca Stead, Meg Wolitzer, and Jacqueline Woodson, round out the authors making suggestions.

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On the site as well is “The 17 Best Books to Pick Up This August.” The list includes the buzzy Siracusa by Delia Ephron (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) as well as The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne; OverDrive Sample) and Champion of the World  by Chad Dundas (PRH/G.P. Putnam; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).


Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

9781338099133_b39eeJoining the ranks of super hot shows such as Hamilton is the next adventure in the Harry Potter world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which opens on July 30th in London’s Palace Theater. It is already sold out until May 2017, at one point selling 175,000 tickets in 24 hours.

It is getting raves as critics slip into preview sessions.

“It is, quite simply, spellbinding” says Variety.

The Telegraph says in its five star review “British theatre hasn’t known anything like it for decades and I haven’t seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days.”

The Guardian gives it four out of five stars, saying it is “a thrilling theatrical spectacle.”

In their strong A- review, Entertainment Weekly says “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has pulled off a transfiguration challenge worthy of Professor McGonagall: Converting the visually arresting world of Harry Potter into stage play … as spectacular as it is ambitious, stuffed with special effects and twists that had a preview audience gasping, Cursed Child is a story that doesn’t play it safe with the Potter canon and will change how fans see certain favorite characters forever.”

The script of the show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine), will go on sale Sunday, July 31, which also happens to be Harry’s birthday. The script is by playwright Jack Thorne and is credited as “Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.Libraries are celebrating with special late night parties, live readings, and film screenings. As we reported last week, it is already a holds leader.


Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Truly Madly GuiltyClose behind the holds leader for the week (and perhaps the summer),  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine) is Liane Moriarty’s latest psychological thriller, published today, Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Holds have risen dramatically since we wrote about it on Friday, but if readers agree with reviewers, they may stall. The NYT gave it a less than stellar early review, USA Today chimes in today, calling it a “summer bummer,” accusing it of stringing out its mystery and not being “as much fun as The Husband’s Secret or Big Little Lies.”

Comic-Con: SNOWDEN

Monday, July 25th, 2016

There were plenty of famous characters at Comic-Con this weekend, from Gal Gadot the latest actress to play Wonder Woman, to various cosplay incarnations. But a handful of people got to pose questions, via satellite, to the real Edward Snowden, at the end of a private screening of Oliver Stone’s upcoming movie, Snowden. In the movie, he is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. According to reports, the actor bears an uncanny resemblance in voice and mannerisms to the real person he portrays.

Stone, who has never appeared at Comic-Con before, injected a rare note of seriousness into the weekend, speaking during a separate Snowden panel about privacy. He also addressed the hot new game Pokemon Go, warning that it represents a “new level if invasion” into privacy, and that it is part of “survellience capitalism” that will lead totalitarianism (that discussion comes at the end of the panel, beginning at time stamp 41:03 in the video below).

A new trailer for the movie was also released.

9781101972250_8a27aStone’s movie is partially based on Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, to be released as a movie tie-in next month (PRH/Vintage).

Another film about Snowden, titled Citizenfour, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2015.