Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of July 4, 2016

It may be a record-breaking week for the record-breaking James Patterson. Five new titles arrive with his name on them. Four are from his new series of short original paperbacks, BookShots (at least two are published the first of each month. July is one of the bonanza months), plus a YA title, Treasure Hunters: Peril at the Top of the World. In addition, the paperback version of NYPD Red 4 is being released.

The first two titles in the BookShots were published last month. Both are still on the NYT Mass Market list after 3 weeks. Both are readily identifiable as Patterson products.  Cross Kill extends his most popular series, the one he writes solo, Alex Cross, and Zoo 2 arrived as the second season of the TV adaptation of Zoo launched.

This month’s titles may not fare as well. Only one is from an established Patterson series, Women’s Murder Club. The other three are romances, with one of them being, as Patterson tells Al Roker on the Today Show, “A kind of Fifty Shades of Grey, but maybe a little better story.”


He doesn’t reveal the title, but we’re guessing Little Black Dress, (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio) is his Fifty Shades readalike. A cover blurb reads, “Slip into something … irresistibly sexy” and the plot description reads, “Magazine editor Jane Avery spends her nights alone with Netflix and Oreos — until the Dress turns her loose. Suddenly she’s surrendering to dark desires, and New York City has become her erotic playground. But what began as a fantasy will go too far . . . and her next conquest could be her last.”

It is co-written by Emily Raymond, who has written two YA titles with Patterson, First Love and The Lost.

The other two romance titles are in the sub-series BookShots Flames. Holds are light on these two (and Patterson’s name is not a prominent on the covers).

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The McCullagh Inn in Maine, Jen McLaughlin, James Patterson (Foreword by), (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio)

McLaughlin is a best selling self-pubbed author. This is her first with Patterson and it will be followed by A Wedding in Maine: A McCullagh Inn Story in January (9780316501170).

Learning to Ride, Erin Knightley, James Patterson (Foreword by), (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio). Kingsley has written seven historical romance novels. This is her first with Patterson.

9780316360593_3522eThe title with the most holds, is, unsurprisingly more identifiable as a Patterson title, an extension of the Women’s Muder Club hardcover series. Still, holds are just 20% of those you’d see for a hardcover release in the series.

The Trial: A BookShot: A Women’s Murder Club Story, James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, (Hachette/Bookshots; Hachette Audio)

Below are more titles that will draw attention this week. All are listed, along with and several other notable titles arriving next week, in  our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of July 4, 2016

Advance Attention

9781455541164_f7236Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia,  (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

This is the hardcover compilation of a book published as an ebook serial earlier this spring. It was launched to some excitement from the media, both because Fellowes is the creator of  Downton Abbey and because of the format. The Atlantic declared that it represented,  “The Triumph of the Serial,” but it seems the public did not share that view.

The UK trade publication, The Bookseller, explores where Belgravia went wrong, blaming it on mishandling of the medium, but perhaps the fault lies with the content. The Seattle Times damns it as “rather dull.” Comparing it to Downton Abbey, the reviewer says it “feels like a respectable but socially inferior cousin; it might get invited to dinner, but only out of obligation.”

The audio is read by the great Juliet Stevenson (OverDrive Sample here) delivering a line worthy of Maggie Smith as the dowager Countess of Grantham,

“She was at that period of her life that almost everyone must pass through, when childhood is done wth and a faux maturity untrammeled by experience gives one a sense that anything is possible, until the arrival of real adulthood proves conclusively that it is not.” seem to have either captured the public’s imagination or had the commercial success that it might have done.”

Fellowes is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on Thursday, Jul 07 2016.

9781631491764_eba46Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn(Norton/Liveright; Highbridge Audio; OverDrive Sample)

If you attended the AAP/LibraryReads Librarian Author lunch at BEA, you will remember the author’s becoming overwhelmed as she said she wrote this book for family and friends she left behind in Jamaica. The NYT interviews the author and also reviews the book, saying. “This lithe, artfully-plotted debut concerns itself with the lives of those for whom tourists can barely be bothered to remove their Ray-Bans, and the issues it tackles — the oppressive dynamics of race, sexuality and class in post-colonial Jamaica — have little to do with the rum-and-reggae island of Sandals commercials.” The Miami Herald agrees, “Here Comes the Sun arrives in the season of the beach read, but with eloquent prose and unsentimental clarity, Dennis-Benn offers an excellent reason to look beyond the surface beauty of paradise. This novel is as bracing as a cold shower on a hot day, a reminder that sometimes we need to see things as they are, not as we wish they would be.”

Those reviews come on the heels of very strong trade reviews, including a star from Kirkus.

It was also featured on the Today Show‘s Summer Reading feature last week.


9781501155772_21d8fIt’s a challenge to produce in-depth books on presidential candidates in time for the election. The Washington Post has taken that on by assigning a team of their journalists to do a major investigation on the candidate, publishing stories in the paper leading to the release in August of Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, Michael Kranish, Marc Fisher, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Meanwhile, two books coming out this week are based on previously published material.

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Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, G. B. Trudeau, (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

“Doonesbury is one of the most overrated strips out there. Mediocre at best.” –Donald Trump, 1989

Trump and Me: Donald Trump and the Art of Delusion by Mark Singer, (PRH/Tim Duggan Books)

An updated version of an essay published in the New Yorker 20 years ago. Despite its age, writes the Telegraph, it “offers clearer insight into the mind of the presumptive Republican nominee than any of the detailed biographies written over the years.”

Consumer Media Picks

Jonathan Unleashed, Meg Rosoff (PRH/Viking; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample)

People “Book of the Week” — “In this comic masterpiece, ;the main character’s] whip-smart dos save the day, proving thy’er savvy matchmakers as well as man’s best friend.”

Peer Picks

9780316261241_e6d12The #1 Indie Next pick for July arrivest this week. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Winters has managed to aim a giant magnifying glass at the problem of institutionalized racism in America in a way that has never been done before. This Orwellian allegory takes place in the present day but in a United States where Lincoln was assassinated before he ever became president, the Civil War never took place, and slavery still exists in four states, known as the Hard Four. In agile prose that manages to convey the darkest of humors, Winters tackles the most sensitive of issues such as the motivations of misguided white liberals involved in racial politics, the use of racial profiling, and the influence of racism on the very young. Underground Airlines is the most important book of the summer. Read it.” —Kelly Justice, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Author Winters is interviewed in the New York Times under the attention-getting  headline, “In His New Novel, Ben Winters Dares to Mix Slavery and Sci-Fi.

Three additional Indie Next picks hit shelves this week as well.

9780062311566_fabe1Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, Blair Braverman (HC/Ecco; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“The brilliant and engaging writing in this memoir belies the author’s young age. Braverman offers a taut and honest recounting of a young woman fiercely chasing down her dream and confronting myriad dangers — both natural and man-made — with intelligence and grit. This white-knuckle read left me in awe of Braverman’s conviction, and her lyrical rendering of the landscape of Alaska took my breath away.” —Katie McGrath, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

9781101870570_5620aHow to Set a Fire and Why, Jesse Ball (PRH/Pantheon; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“On page one of Ball’s new novel, 16-year-old Lucia Stanton gets kicked out of school for stabbing the star basketball player in the neck with a pencil. Lucia is a delinquent, a philosopher, a shard of glass. She’s also an aspiring arsonist and an iconoclast, who is vibrant, alive, and charming in a misanthropic way. Ball’s prose is precise and deceptively spare, his message dynamic in what he doesn’t write. Enlightenment thinkers used the symbol of the flame to represent the power and transmission of knowledge. It’s in this tradition that How to Set a Fire and Why becomes Ball’s pyrotechnic masterpiece.” —Matt Nixon, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

The book also received stars from all the trade publications except Kirkus

9781555977443_fc70bLook: Poems, Solmaz Sharif (Macmillan/Graywolf Press).

“Sharif’s first poetry collection tells the story of the punishing legacy that enduring warfare can have on a family. She expertly utilizes language lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms to demonstrate how we have sanitized the language of warfare into something more benign and seemingly less deadly. The essential task of poetry is to engender empathy and to speak truth to power; to that end, Look succeeds in spades.” —Matt Keliher, SubText: A Bookstore, St. Paul, MN


There are no tie-ins arriving this week. 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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