Archive for August, 2016

io9 Fall Reading Picks

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

SFF fans have much to look forward as the new publishing season gets underway. io9 surveys the field with “All the New Scifi and Fantasy Books You Absolutely Must Read This Fall.”

9781597808774_abdc8The list gets of to a fast start with the Sept. 6 release of MJ-12: Inception, Michael J Martinez (Skyhorse/Night Shade Books).

The author tells io9 that the first in an expected trilogy is “a paranormal Cold War spy-fi thriller. Think Bond meets X-Men during the height of the Cold War.”

9780765377104_ccd7bDeath’s End, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Macmillan/Tor Books) also arriving in September, marks the final volume in the award-winning trilogy. The first book, The Three-Body Problem won the Hugo and was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus awards. The second novel is The Dark Forest.

9781481424301_06864Liu’s own next book, The Wall of Storms (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio) pubs in early October and is the sequel to the highly regarded Grace of Kings.

9780345540676_7bd4cCrosstalk, Connie Willis (PRH/Del Rey) hits shelves in October. io9 writes “A pair of lovebirds who both work in tech decide to undergo a simple medical procedure to increase empathy between them.” Fans of Willis know what follows will be far more complicated than that.

A number of other works, including spin-offs of favorite story lines from the classics Dune and Star Wars, complete the list, which a;sp includes nonfiction and anthologies.

See our catalog for a running list of the Fall picks as they are announced.

A MONSTER CALLS, Later Than Scheduled

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Originally scheduled for release on October 21, the film adaptation of the childrens fantasy, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, has been moved to a later release. It’s now scheduled for a limited release (10 cities, 20 theaters) on December 23  which still qualifies it for Oscar nominations, but just barely,  followed by a wide release January 6 (1,500 theaters).

Deadline notes that the earlier date was “a complete nightmare in regards to competition, and the pic’s new date gives it ample time to breathe and spur word-of-mouth during the year-end holidays and into 2017.”

The film will  premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.

The third, most recent trailer was released in July.

Candlewick is releasing two tie-ins, including a hardcover “Special Collector’s Edition” that, in addition to the original illustrated YA novel, includes new essays by Ness, who worked on the screenplay, previously unpublished early sketches by illustrator Jim Kay and interviews with the director, cast, and crew.

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A Monster Calls: Special Collectors’ Edition (Movie Tie-in): Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness, Jim Kay, (Candlewick, October 4, 2016)

A Monster Calls: A Novel (Movie Tie-in): Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Candlewick, August 2, 2016, Trade Paperback)

Man Booker Drop-In

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

9780393609882_10fdeAnother of the titles on the Man Book Awards longlist will be released in the U.S. this fall. W.W.Norton is publishing  Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, making it the second award contender picked up by a US publisher since the list was announced in July (after His Bloody Project).

Norton clearly has faith in the novel, pubbing it on Oct. 11, nearly a month after the Booker shortlist announcement and just two weeks before the winner is announced on Oct. 25.

Set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the novel is a family saga of music, loss, and politics that travels in time to the Tiananmen Square protest and on to the present day.

Macleans calls it “a serious accomplishment.” The Guardian says it is “a moving and extraordinary evocation of the 20th-century tragedy of China, and deserves to cement Thien’s reputation as an important and compelling writer.” The Globe and Mail writes that the book is a “gorgeous intergenerational saga, stretching as far back at the 1940s and traversing China from Beijing in the north to rural Guangxi in the south … [cementing] Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists.”

Critics compare Thien to Amy Tan, Dai Sijie, and Rohinton Mistry.

Of the 13 title longlist, only one title is not currently scheduled for publication in the U.S., Wyl Menuir’s The Many.


Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

9780062306814_f3fe5BBC One is adapting a 2014 LibraryRead’s pick, Jessie Burton’s debut novel, The Miniaturist (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), reports Deadline Hollywood.

The planned three-part mini-series is in the works for 2017. No specific start date or stars have yet been confirmed.

Burton’s book did very well in the UK. Radio Times reports it was “one of the fastest selling debut novels in a decade, shifting more than a million copies in 37 countries.” It won Waterstone’s Book of the Year (one of the UK’s biggest bookstore chains), the UK National Book Awards New Writer of the Year, the UK National Book Awards Overall Book of the Year, and The Observer‘s Book of the Year, which said “The writing is fluid and addictive and the story grows out of the most irritatingly brilliant idea imaginable.”

Burton said in a press release “It’s an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. John Brownlow’s script is perfect. Short of actually being published, it’s the best news I’ve ever had.” (Brownlow wrote the screenplay for the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Ted and Sylvia, aka Sylvia).

Posting on Twitter Buton was less restrained.

Stateside, Entertainment Weekly gave the novel an A-, writing “The Miniaturist is one of the year’s most hyped novels, and it’s easy to see why.” The Wall Street Journal ran a feature on the book (subscription may be required). Kirkus gave it a starred review, writing “With its oblique storytelling, crescendo of female empowerment and wrenching ending, this novel establishes Burton as a fresh and impressive voice; book groups in particular will relish it.”

Need a refresher on the plot? Elizabeth Angelastro of Manlius Library, Manlius, NY provided the LibraryReads annotation:

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”

The executive producer for the BBC show said to think of the novel as “Wolf Hall meets Tulip Fever.”

Oprah Doubles Up: New Book Club Pick On The Way

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Untitled_Oprah's_Book_Club_2.0Colson Whitehead’s time in the Oprah spotlight looks like it will be brief. Shortly after picking The Underground Railroad for her book club, Oprah has already picked her next title, and it goes on sale next week.

B&T recently notified librarians of the strict Sept. 6 on sale date for “Oprah Book Club September 2016 (9781250128546-hardcover, 9781427287236-audio CD).” That ISBN links to a St. Martin’s book classified as “world contemporary fiction (general)” running 263 pages. Ingram has it listed as “Fiction/General,”  with a slightly longer page count of 272.

The Wall Street Journal was on top of the story earlier this month, correctly reporting that it would be a hardcover from a Macmillan imprint and speculating on contenders.

They guessed Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; Sept. 6; 552 pages; fiction) but the author wrote back to them saying “Nope.”

Another shot was The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam (Macmillan/Flatiron; Sept. 6; 208 pages; fiction), but her agent said “Oh, god, I wish.”

Then came Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron; Sept. 6; 272 pages; memoir). Based on length (if you go by Ingram’s page count) and pub. date, this seems like the best bet, but if B&T and Ingram are correct, the pick is fiction and Love Warrior is a memoir. A spokesperson for Macmillan’s Flatiron Books was noncommittal, responding, “I can’t confirm or deny anything about it, I’m afraid.”

WSJ points out that Winfrey has connections to Flatiron Books. They will publish her first cookbook, Food, Health and Happiness (Jan 3, 2017), she has a deal with them  for a memoir (recently postponed indefinitely) as well as her own imprint.

Whatever the title turns out to be, booksellers are happy and hoping the quick succession of picks means Oprah is getting back to frequent selections. Rebecca Fitting, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn told the WSJ, “It would be amazing if she started this up again. It would be amazing for books and booksellers.”

Signs point in that direction. Two picks announced just over a month apart represents a major increase. Oprah only picked one book in 2015, the less than blockbuster, Ruby by Cynthia Bond. 2014 also saw just one selection, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. No titles were selected in 2013 and only two in 2012, spread out over six months, Cheryl Strayed ‘s Wild in June of that year and in December Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

While her reign as queen of the hit makers has hit a few bumps, Oprah still has selling power. WSJ reports that Doubleday “increased the print run for The Underground Railroad to 200,000 from 75,000 after receiving the call from Winfrey in April [and it] shot to No. 4 on after the announcement.” It is currently #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list.

Prior to the Oprah attention the highest level a hardcover by Whitehead reached on the NYT list was #16, for his 2012 novel Zone One.

Fall Picks

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

2332_top1The cover of the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, features the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train, so it’s appropriate that the issue also includes the magazine’s Fall Book Preview (currently available in print only. We have added the titles to our catalog of Fall consumer media picks).

The eleven titles in the Novels category include:

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A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (PRH/Viking, Sept. 6; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), which EW says is marked with a “gorgeous, layered richness.”

The Wangs vs. the World, Jade Chang (HMH; Oct. 4) is described as a “whacky road-trip novel.”

9780316267724_1a04a9781501123450_b19bcThe debut, IQ (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Oct. 18) by Joe Ide gets special attention in the Mysteries & Thrillers category, as a “crackling page-turner.”

Of the seventh title in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series by Anne Holt, Beyond the Truth (S&S/ Scribner; Dec. 6). EW says it is safe to start the series with this one, but “then do yourself a favor an binge-read the first six.”

In nonfiction, the magazine announces that the celebrity memoir has morphed into books of essays, highlighting three to prove the point:

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Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; Nov. 15) — The Pitch Perfect star, who writes “hilarious tweets,” imbues her essays with “that same humor.”

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), Lauren Graham (PRH/Ballantine, RH Audio; Nov. 29) — “just in time for Gilmore Girls revival mania.”

Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, Mara Wilson (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT; Sept. 13)– The actress who as a child starred in Matilda, proves she is now “a talented writer.”

Graphic novels, YA, more nonfiction, and memoirs complete the roundup of over fifty titles.

Hitting Screens, Week of August 29, 2016

Monday, August 29th, 2016

9781501106484_6d921Kicking off the long holiday weekend, The Light Between Oceans opens on Sept. 2,  based on the best-selling phenomenon (nearly a year on the NYT hardcover list, it is still on the trade paperback list after 63 weeks), it stars Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender as a married couple who live in a remote lighthouse. When they discover a baby, they decide to keep her and raise her as their own. The tie-in edition, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample; mass market), came out a few weeks ago.

There are few critical reviews yet, but Entertainment Weekly, reporting on an interview with the pair (who are a couple off screen) notes that they “fill their roles with incandescent grace notes.”

Also opening this Friday, but in a limited number of theaters is The 9th Life of Louis Drax,  A tie-in has just been released.

For The Dogs

Monday, August 29th, 2016

9780765330345Rising on Amazon’s sales rankings is A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron (Macmillan/Forge; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample), jumping from just outside the top 300 to solidly in the top 20.

The rise coincides with the release of the tear-tearjerking first trailer for the film adaptation, starring Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad and Peggy Lipton (for those of you who remember the TV series Mod Squad, she was the star. For the rest of you, she is the mother of Rashida Jones).

About a dog named Bailey who comes back to life as many other dogs (remembering each of his past lives), the book was published in hardcover in 2010 and spent over a year on the New York Times hardcover and trade paperback best seller lists.

Cameron is the author of several other titles, including spin-offs of  A Dog’s Purpose. and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, the basis for the ABC sitcom  (2002 -2005).

The film version opens on January 27, 2017.

Mass market and trade paperback tie-in editions will be released on Dec. 6.

Sundance TV

Friday, August 26th, 2016

MV5BMTQ4NDM0MjI5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE2MDUxMjE@._V1_One of Italy’s most popular TV shows has just started airing on the Sundance Channel. Gomorrah is a mob family crime drama adapted from a book, but  it is not of the romanticized Godfather variety. The LA Times calls the show “Aggressively dark, focused to the point of claustrophobia and often all but choking on its own authenticity, Gomorrah shocks the system like a real Italian espresso after years of skinny vanilla lattes.”

The Hollywood Reporter says it pays homage to The Wire, writing it has a “dark greatness” and continuing it is “exceptionally cinematic, from cramped interiors in the Naples slums to exhilarating car chases rapid-cut from rooftop to passenger-side to hood-mounted angles. There’s an intimacy to family dinners and a freshness to remote Italian village scenes that add a layer of visual allure … it requires concentration on the subtitles, but it’s also completely riveting and worth the effort.”

9780312427795The series is based on Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System, Roberto Saviano, translated by Virginia Jewiss (Macmillan/Picador; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample). The publisher recently updated the cover with advertising linking it to the TV series.

It came out item years ago, and was a sensation in Italy, with the Guardian characterizing its strong sales there (in a country that is not as book mad as others) as “a literary phenomenon of almost Potteresque proportions.”

Giving a sense of the flavor they write that the book begins with an grisly image, as a shipping container’s doors suddenly burst open spilling out,

“forms [that] seem at first like shop-window dummies, crumpling and shattering as they smack into concrete. But the truth soon sinks in: they are frozen cadavers, the corpses of Chinese workers.”

The LA Times points out the book has also served as the basis of a “critically lauded 2008 film” and says that the author “10 years after its publication [still] remains in hiding tells you all you need to know about the veracity of the tale, and the sort of people it involves.”

Saviano won the PEN/Pinter international writer of courage award in 2011, but could not collect it in person given the grave threats on his life. Journalist and filmmaker Annalisa Piras accepted on his behalf, reports the Guardian, saying “Saviano “has been living in a prison … in Naples they call it ‘cappotto di legno’ which means living with a coffin. It’s not something that can be revoked. There are records of these death penalties being enacted 40 years after the event.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 29, 2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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Headed for best seller lists are the two peer picks for the week (see below), as well as Danielle Steel’s Rushing Waters, (PRH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio) which imagines a group of New Yorkers thrown together when a hurricane hits the city.  James Lee Burke continues his multigenerational saga about the Holland family in The Jealous Kind (S&S; S&S Audio).

9780765335623_96301Also coming is a new title in George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, High Stakes, (Macmillan/Tor). Martin announced last week that the series will follow Game of Thrones to television,  Says Publishers Weekly of the new title, “This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.”

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 Aug. 29. 2916.

Consumer Media Picks

9781101984994_8f6a1People’s “Book of the Week” is a title that was introduced in our EarlyReads program (check out or chat with the author),  The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Published last week and also a LibraryReads pick,, People writes,  “Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”

Peer Picks

9781250022134_00385The #1 LibraryReads pick for August, A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Macmillan Audio ; OverDrive Sample) arrives next week.

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

Additional Buzz: It is also an IndieNext September pick and an all-star, earning nods from all four trade review sources. Kirkus writes it is “A chilling story that’s also filled with hope—a beloved Penny trademark.”

9781101946619_6e633The Nix, Nathan Hill (PRH/Knopf) also pubs this week, a bookseller favorite from the September Indie Next list.

“Hill’s debut is remarkable because it does both the little things and the big things right. It is an intimate novel of identity and loss, the story of a boy abandoned and the man now trying to recover. It also paints a vivid portrait of America and its politics from the 1960s to the present. The Nix overflows with unforgettable characters, but none more clearly rendered than Samuel Andersen-Anderson and his mother, Faye, both bewildered by life and struggling to repair the rift between them. From intimate whispers to American news cycles, this astounding novel of reclamation is guaranteed to sweep readers off their feet.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Additional Buzz: One of People magazine’s picks for the week, described  as being “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen,” it’s  received wide-spread attention.  Entertainment Weekly calls it the “Wildest Debut” and writes that it is a “sprawling, politically charged full-of-heart tale…” New York Magazine selects it as one of the “8 Books You Need to Read This August.”


Two tie-ins appear this week:

9781632866219_b0720The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

Starring Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth and Oliver Platt the film explores the sinister happenings surrounding the life of a nine-year-old boy.

The adaptation of this supernatural thriller, a bestseller in print, opens on Sept. 2, 2016.

9780778330066_db8acFlowers on Main, Sherryl Woods (HC/Mira; OverDrive Sample).

The Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores series rolls on into late September, starring Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Treat Williams and Diane Ladd and will eventually span seven episodes in this first season.

The first in the series, The Inn at Eagle Point, has already been released as a tie-in. The second book in the series also gets the tie-in treatment this week.

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

Page to Screen: LION

Friday, August 26th, 2016

9780425276198_292f1A memoir of an amazing journey of loss and recovery, Saroo Brierley’s A Long Way Home, (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015) is headed to the silver screen, starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham. They join a cast of actors well-known in India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The inspirational tear-jerker is directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake).

The Weinstein Company film, retitled Lion, will open nation wide on Nov. 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving, not only a prime time to attract families looking for entertainment, but also good timing for awards. Vanity Fair reports the film is “Already on Awards-Season Short Lists.

In the book, Brierley recounts how he was separated from his family in rural India at age 4, when he climbed aboard a train and was carried over a thousand miles away to a city he did not know. He wound up in an orphanage, was adopted and relocated to Tasmania.

Interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered when the book was published, Brierley describes how he tried to find his way home by studying Google Earth looking for a familiar landscape — a river, a waterfall, and a fountain. He says the moment he finally found his mother “was like a nuclear fusion.”

The tie-in uses the film’s title, Lion, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Below is the recently released trailer, followed by Brierley giving a speech about his journey, and the NPR interview.

N.K. Jemisin, Book Reviewer

Friday, August 26th, 2016

9780316229296_62f5aThe author of the Hugo winning The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin, has been in the news lately for her take on the current state of publishing and her reaction to winning “the Oscars” of her genre, but since last December she has also been sharing her views on Science Fiction and Fantasy in the NYT book review column “Otherwordly,” a bi-monthly roundup.

While the paper often assigns high profile authors to review high profile titles in the Sunday Book Review (Michael Connelly just reviewed Caleb Carr’s newest for example), Jemisin’s role is a bit different as she gets space to comment on a range of books within her genre specialty.

What kind of reviewer is she? A very precise, demanding, and appreciative one; a critic writing with vibrant engagement who is not willing to let much slide. What kind of reader is she? Based on her reactions to the works covered thus far, one that is interested in meaningful content rather than plot, values beautiful language, and appreciates in-depth characterizations.

For example, in her opening column she tries to figure out what China Miéville’s This Census-Taker (PRH/Del Rey) is all about, jumping from one possibility to the next before concluding, “This is a novel in which the journey is the story — but for those readers who actually want Miéville to take them somewhere, This Census-Taker may be an exercise in haunting, lovely frustration.”

Similarly, of Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest (Hachette/Back Bay) she says the story is “not fresh” and thought “It’s beautifully written … Beautiful writing just isn’t enough to save any story from overfamiliarity.”

When a work does capture her fully, she gives it a rare “highly recommended” vote, as she has done for Andrea Hairston’s Will Do Magic for Small Change (Aqueduct Press), calling it a “beautifully multifaceted story … with deep, layered, powerful characters.”

All The Birds In The Sky (Macmillan/Tor/Tom Doherty), Charlie Jane Anders also impresses. She says it is “complex, and scary, and madcap … as hopeful as it is hilarious, and highly recommended.”

Below are links to her columns thus far:

December 28, 2015
February 23, 2016
April 19, 2016
June 17, 2016

GalleyChatter Recommendations
For Your Labor Day Reading

Friday, August 26th, 2016

If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.

And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.

Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.

For a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat, check the compiled Edelweiss list here.

And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:

May — Was Oprah listening? We picked Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, before she did (it hits #1 on the upcoming NYT best seller list)

June — Features The Woman in Cabin 10, which not only hit best seller lists, but has brought readers to Ruth Ware’s earlier title.

July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s. 

Chilling Thrillers

9781503937826_f77a7Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.

9780062427021_928fdPeter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”

9780735221086_bebf2I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”

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What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”

And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.

Epic Historical Fiction

Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.

9780544464056_a5b34Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”

9781631492242_9c71aWinston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”

9780812995152_7d0acThe Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”

Massimino Who?

9781101903544_6dd5aMany have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.

Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.

Jude Moves Toward Screen

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

9780804172707_0fec7One of the most talked about literary novels of 2015, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample), may be headed to the small screen.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Scott Rudin, noted for his many literary adaptations,  and Joe Mantello (the theater director behind Wicked) have optioned screen rights. Of course, that is just the first step. Many book titles get optioned without ever making it onto a screen.

Yanagihara posted the news to the book’s Facebook page (the entire page seems to have mysteriously disappeared) and said that the project will be a limited series. Yanagihara also asked followers to suggest actors to play Jude. Responses, reports Flavorwire, include “Eddie Redmayne … Ezra Miller (!), Rami Malek (!!) and Ben Whishaw (!!!)”

Recent literary novels that have followed a similar path include HBO’s adaptation of Olive Kitteridge and Showtime’s Purity.

A Little Life was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and The National Book Awards, although it didn’t win either. It did capture readers and critics, becoming, as we noted, a holds superstar and a darling of reviewers. It also made multiple best of the year lists and won the Kirkus Prize.

Holds Alert:

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

9780375423222_1e3b7Check your orders, a new nonfiction account of the 1971 Attica Prison rebellion that led to a multi-day standoff, dozens of deaths, and a tense, politically charged aftermath, is making news and building a strong holds list.

Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) published this week is getting attention because, unlike previous authors and some news organizations, she names the officers she believes shot and killed inmates and, in friendly fire, the prison guards taken hostage during the standoff. CBS News reported the story, also highlighting Thompson’s discussion of then Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s “secret efforts afterward to establish an acceptable narrative of what happened.”

Calling it “remarkable” and “superb,” the NYT says “Not all works of history have something to say so directly to the present, but [this book] which deals with racial conflict, mass incarceration, police brutality and dissembling politicians, reads like it was special-ordered for the sweltering summer of 2016.”

Thompson’s account is also catching Hollywood’s attention. Variety reports it will make its way to movie theaters as TriStar Pictures just won a “heated bidding war” for film rights, with a production crew already named.

Libraries that bought it, ordered very few copies. Some are showing holds topping 5:1.