Archive for September, 2016

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of October 3, 2016

Friday, September 30th, 2016

From awards contenders to big cookbooks, a raft of picks by librarians and booksellers, and some major tie-ins, it’s one of the heaviest publishing weeks we’ve seen in a while (James Patterson helps by releasing three new titles).

The titles highlighted here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, earlyword-new-title-radar-week-of-oct-3-2016

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James Patterson has figured out multiple ways to ensure that he continues to publish more books than any other author. In addition to two new titles in his BookShots series arriving on Tuesday, he releases the trade paperback of a title previously only published in the U.K. and Australia. Written with Australian author Kathryn Fox, it is titled Missing (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Part of the Private series, which features an international detective agency with offices in different cities, it was originally published as Private Sydney.

One of the two BookShots titles coming next week is by Hilary Liftin, whose novel Movie Star got attention last year for its veiled references to the Holmes/Cruise marriage. This one, titled $10,000,000 Marriage Proposal (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Smaple) is about a billionaire who doesn’t want to waste time dating, so he advertises he is willing to pay for the right candidate. The second, French Kiss, Richard DiLallo (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), introduces a new character, Detective Luc Moncrief, a French officer working in the NYPD. As we noted recently, several new titles have been announced in the BookShots series. See our downloadable spreadsheet, BookShots Oct, 2016 thru May, 2017.

9781478938897_18d9dAnother old reliable, but one who publishes on the relatively leisurely schedule of one title a year, Nicholas Sparks releases his twentieth, Two by Two (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Known for his weepy romances, Sparks this time turns to a relationship between a father and daughter. It gets a starred review from Booklist.

Parents, put away Go the Fuck to Sleep. Arriving next week is a follow-up to the book that claimed to guarantee a visit from the Sandman, The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep. The new title features a different animal, perhaps reflecting the political season, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin and illustrated by Sydney Hanson (PRH/Crown Books for Young Readers; Listening Library).

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 9/5/16.

Cookbook Season Begins


The cookbook season kicks off with titles by two well-known authors. Mark Bittman continues his series with How to Bake Everything (HMH; OverDrive Sample) while a chef generally identified with Italian cuisine turns his attention closer to home, Mario Batali–Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample).

Seasonal Novels

9780553391732_668e9  9780316261173_546d6

The upcoming season is heralded with the first winter holiday-themed novels (Patterson, of course, is doing one too, but he’s holding that one off until December). One of the pioneers of the genre, Debbie Macomber, has served as the source for many successful Hallmark Christmas movies, including last year’s Dashing Through the Snow. Her new book is Twelve Days of Christmas (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample). Elin Hilderbrand, known for her summery Nantucket covers, releases the third in her series featuring a different season on the same island, Winter Storms (Hachette/Little,Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Big YA Release

9780062394163_90d5aReplica, Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample)

At just 33, Oliver is #23 on The Hollywood Reporter‘s just-released list of the 25 Most Powerful Authors in Hollywood, based largely on the buzz for the adaptation of her first book, Before I Fall, which arrives in April. This new book approaches a dystopian story in an unusual way, as two novels in one, from two different characters’ points of view (thus the two cover, front and back). In their starred review Kirkus calls it “A reading experience not to be missed — or forgotten” and Booklist predicts, “Teens will line up for this one.”

Award Contenders

Several titles from the longlists for the National Book Awards and the Carnegie Medal arrive next week:

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National Book Award, Fiction

News of the World, Paulette Jiles (HC/William Morrow) (also a Peer Pick. see below)

Carnegie Medal, Fiction

The Angel of History, Rabih Alameddine (Atlantic Monthly)

Carnegie Medal, Nonfiction

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives, Gary Younge (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Nation Books; OverDrive Sample)

9780316125925_e9074 9781250058669_70389

National Book Awards, Young Peoples Lit

When the Moon was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore (Macmillan/A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin; OverDrive Sample)

When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

People Picks

9781250086617_fd50bThe Guineveres, Sarah Domet (Macmillan/Flatiron; OverDrive Sample).

A debut, this is one of People‘s three book picks for the week (the others are Bruce Springsteen’s memoir and Maria Semple’s new book, a Peer Pick, below). People writes: “Four girls named Guinevere try to escape the convent of the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration by hiding in a parade float … A wacky, diverting tale.” It received stars from Library Journal and Booklist.

Peer Picks

The #1 LibraryReads pick for October comes out this week, accompanied by five other librarian favorites.

9780062409201_2396aLibraryReads-FavoriteNews of the World, Paulette Jiles (HC/William Morrow; Brilliance Audio).

“Readers fortunate enough to meet Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an old ex-soldier who makes a living reading the news to townspeople in 1870s Texas, and Joanna, the Indian captive he is charged with returning to her relatives, will not soon forget them. Everything, from the vividly realized Texas frontier setting to the characters is beautifully crafted, right up to the moving conclusion. Both the Captain and Joanna have very distinctive voices. Wonderful storytelling.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Additional Buzz: It is among the National Book Awards Longlist selections and is an Indie Next pick for October.

9780316403436_e8038Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“I went into Today Will Be Different expecting the mockery of Seattle’s ridiculous idiosyncrasies What I got was different, but just as good. Eleanor is sympathetic and the story revolves around family conflicts and disappointments, as well as Eleanor’s awareness of the inevitability of aging and its effects on herself and marriage. Her relationships with those closest to her are also the ones with the most secrets, and with the potential for the most harm and the most hope. I’d recommend this to readers who love family-centric women’s fiction with a sharp eye for the quirks of marriage and parenting.” — Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

Additional Buzz: It is a People pick, “Eleanor Flood knows her ‘white-people problems’ aren’t dire, but they irritate her anyway. Then every corner of life implodes the same day, exposing her secrets to the world — and herself. Readers who devoured Where’d You Go, Bernadette? will love Eleanor’s wry voice and dark humor.” It is also an Indie Next selection and made a number of Fall Reading lists, including those by Amazon’s Editors, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, and People.

9780345540676_7bd4cCrosstalk, Connie Willis (PRH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

Crosstalk is the perfect romantic comedy for the digital age. Briddey works for a cell phone provider that is constantly searching for the next great way to help people “connect” – nevermind that she is already inundated by calls, texts, social media, and unannounced visits from her colleagues, friends, and nosy family. When she undergoes a procedure to telepathically sense the emotions of her seemingly perfect boyfriend, things go awry and she ends up connected to the wrong person. A perfect screwball comedy from a master writer!” — Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Additional Buzz: It is among io9‘s Fall Reading suggestions.

9781250057181_cf93fThe Motion of Puppets, Keith Donohue (Macmillan/Picador; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“A young couple find themselves caught in a web of magic and horror. Kay is an acrobat and goes missing. Her husband cannot believe that she has disappeared and searches the city in vain all the while not guessing that she has been spirited away by a puppet master in the toy shop that fascinated her during their walks. Kay begins life anew as a puppet and soon begins to befriend the other puppets at night when they come to life. Will the evil that has charmed Kay be stronger than her husband’s love? Donohue writes a frightening account reminiscent of Grimm’s fairy tales and it will keep you up reading til dawn.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

9781250090034_88506All the Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Charlaine Harris (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“The narrative of Aurora Teagarden was thought to be over. In a surprising, but welcome return, All the Little Liars picks up right where we left off with Roe. Newly remarried, Roe is dealing with a plethora of issues. With a missing brother and troublesome father in town, Roe is searching for answers. Pregnancy, family problems, and more make for a suspenseful, fast, and comforting read. Harris’ writing shines best when she portrays the minutiae of small-town lives and the inner workings of families, friends, and relationships. I can’t wait for the next book.” — Mei-Ling Thomas, Rochester Hills Public Library, Rochester, MI

Additional Buzz: It is a Fall Reading pick by Amazon’s Editors. Hallmark movies have been based on others in the series: The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (10/16/16), Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (7/26/15), and Aurora Teagarden Mystery: A Bone to Pick (4/5/15).

9780670026333_62ad4The Trespasser, Tana French (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Aislinn Murray is beautiful, lives in a picture-perfect cottage, and has a boy she’s crazy about. Antoinette Conway is a tough member of the Dublin Murder Squad who knows no one likes her and says she doesn’t care. When Aislinn is murdered, Conway and her partner Steve Moran take the case and start listening to all the stories about Aislinn. Which ones are true? Was she in love and with whom? Are the stories we tell ourselves and others anywhere near the truth? Great read from Tana French.” — Kathryn Hassert, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick and made a number of Fall Reading lists, including those by Amazon’s Editors, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, and People. The Guardian says “While The Trespasser isn’t quite up to the intense brilliance of The Secret Place, it is still a gnarly, absorbing read, and a finely tuned slice of wintry gloom from one of the best thriller writers we have.”

Additional Indie Next selections hitting shelves this week include:

9780544734098_aaf79The Wangs vs. the World, Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and earnest, The Wangs vs. the World is one hell of a ride. Literally. Join the Wang family patriarch, Charles, as he and his family drive across the country from Los Angeles to New York in shame after his cosmetic company is destroyed by a doomed business investment. Homeless, penniless, yet still fiercely proud, Charles sets out to reunite his children and reclaim the ancestral land of the Wangs from the Chinese Communists. A hilarious, moving, and rollicking tale of family, ancestry, and a worn-out Mercedes station wagon, The Wangs vs. the World is not to be missed!” —Michelle Chen, WORD, Brooklyn, NY

Additional Buzz: Considered a hot fall debut, it made many seasonal reading lists including those from BuzzFeed and Entertainment Weekly.

9781555977535_596abAll That Man Is, David Szalay (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

All That Man Is was recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and with good reason. The novel’s parade of characters, ranging from teenagers to a man in his twilight years, when taken as a whole, represents an ‘everyman’ in whom readers can easily see pieces of themselves. With prose reminiscent of Amis, Kundera, and Nabokov, Szalay offers a collection of related stories that speak to the mundane qualities of modern life with a sympathetic tone, a reflection of our struggle to move forward in a world increasingly unfamiliar to most of us, but not without hope.” —Tom Beans, Dudley’s Bookshop Café, Bend, OR

Additional Buzz: As mentioned in the annotation, it is a Man Booker Longlist title. It also made the Fall Reading list of New York Magazine.

9781616203634_3ae34Cruel Beautiful World, Caroline Leavitt (Workman/Algonquin Books; HighBridge Audio).

“Cruel Beautiful World is a masterful family drama about sisterhood, love, and the dangers of entering the adult world. Lucy is sure that she and her high school teacher are in love. She agrees to run away with William to a rural paradise where they can be together safely until she turns 18. Lucy, however, gets more than she bargained for when her life turns into one of isolation and deprivation. Her sister, Charlotte, never gives up hope that Lucy will return. Their shocking reunion will leave readers riveted to the page and these characters will haunt readers long after the book is finished.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN


9780525432838_3d31bMarking Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut comes this adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel, American Pastoral. McGregor stars as well, alongside Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry.

Unfortunately, it is not getting a positive reception. IndieWire‘s critical roundup reports “Critics have described the film as yet another ill-advised Roth adaptation and more proof that the writer’s work doesn’t translate well to the screen, save for James Schamus’ Indignation released earlier this year.”

Variety adds to the negative take, writing “Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut is as flat and strangled as Philip Roth’s novel is furious and expansive.”

The film opens Oct. 28.

There is a tie-in: American Pastoral (MTI): American Trilogy (1), Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

9780763692384_02ae3A Monster Calls has been pushed back to give
it a wider running lane but a new tie-in comes out this week. As we noted earlier, it is a “Special Collector’s Edition” that, in addition to the original illustrated YA novel, includes new essays by author Patrick Ness, who worked on the screenplay, previously unpublished early sketches by illustrator Jim Kay, and interviews with the director, cast, and crew.

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

The movie now opens Dec. 23 in a limited release, followed by a wide release on Jan 6, 2017.

9780736435741_f3789A wave of Moana titles hit shelves this week, lead by Moana: The Deluxe Junior Novelization, RH Disney, illustrated by RH Disney (RH/Disney).

Other offerings include The World of Moana: A Guide to Motunui and Beyond, Bill Scollon, illustrated by RH Disney (RH/Disney) and Moana Read-Along Storybook & CD, Disney Storybook Art Team (Hachette/Disney Press). See our listing of tie-ins for many additional titles.

9781465452733_64f0eAnother Disney tie-in is Disney Pixar Finding Dory: The Essential Collection (PRH/DK Children). It is timed to coordinate with the DVD, Blu-ray, and digital releases of the film this fall.

9781465454607_a8f57There is also a new tie-in for Star Wars, The Amazing Book of Star Wars, Elizabeth Dowsett (PRH/DK Children). The image heavy book, designed to introduce very young readers to the franchise, spans a number of Star Wars films.

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


GALLEYCHATTER, September 2016, Fall for Winter Reading

Thursday, September 29th, 2016


Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower, rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our most recent chat, to add to your TBR and downloads.

If you fall in love with 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 Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.

“Winter is coming” and judging from the advance publication dates of most of the titles ardently discussed during the this month’s GalleyChat, librarians aren’t waiting for inclement weather to read 2017 books.

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

If you missed a GalleyChatter column or are curious to see how we are doing in our predictions, check here:

June 2016, Discoveries from BEA, which include several titles currently making a splash, like Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow

July 2016,  Featuring the just-released librarian favorite, Bookshop on the Corner.

August 2016, Psychological thrillers, including a title that many consider better than Gone Girl.

Splendid Women

The Great Green RoomGive me a biography of someone talented and a little quirky with an adventurous spirit and I’m hooked.  Anyone who has read Goodnight, Moon countless times to children will want to read In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary (Macmillan/Flatiron, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20). This is a captivating and moving story of the extraordinary woman who has lulled millions of children to sleep with her charming stories.

Dust Bowl GirlsKaite Stover, Head of Readers’ Services, Kansas City PL, predicts that fans of the movie A League of Their Own will love The Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder (Workman/Algonquin, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20). PJ Gardiner, Collection Development Librarian at Wake Co (NC) said, “What can bring people together and give reason for celebration during the Great Depression?  Women’s basketball. Against all odds, a small college team consisting of mostly farm girls gets a chance at what was thought unattainable: a formal education and a shot at a better life.  Their will and determination awaken the spirit of a struggling town.”

Spellbinding Novels

The discussion was replete with titles featuring elements of magic, paranormal,  fantasy and the trending topic of time travel.

9780062290427_2f569The popular favorite is the conclusion to the Queen of the Tearling fantasy series, Fate of the Tearling (HarperCollins/Harper, November) [first in the series is Queen of the Tearling, followed by Invasion of the Tearling]. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library gives it high praise, “[this] has evolved into a totally fascinating blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in interesting, unexpected but satisfying ways. There’s a plot twist in Fate of the Tearling that I did not see coming at all, but it’s given me lots of food for thought and makes me want to reread all three books.”

9781101885932_5b5b3Last December Naomi Novik’s dark fairy tale, Uprooted, reached a top spot in Twitter’s annual #libfaves15 and judging from the reaction of librarians, a new novel based on old tales, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (PRH/Del Rey, January LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20), could become another favored choice. Andrienne Cruz (Azusa City Library, CA) said this could “cast a spell over adult readers,” and continues, “Prepare to be enthralled by mysterious elements with wonderful Russian mythical folks and a courageous heroine. Vasilisa has special abilities that let her talk to animals and sense elemental sprites. As her town shifts their belief, it’s up to Vasilisa to make sure that no harm comes to her loved ones and friends.” [Note: See our EarlyReads chat with the author].

Hoffman FaithfulAlice Hoffman continues to blend magical realism elements into her plots. This time, a guardian angel watches over a young woman trying to recover from extreme trauma in Faithful (S&S, November). Tracy Babiasz, acquisitions manager for Chapel Hill Library, NC, said, “Lovely writing to describe one girl’s incredibly difficult struggle to live after surviving a car accident that leaves her friend in a coma. I just wanted to hug her the whole time.” Other Edelweiss readers agree, so far racking up 22 “much love” votes.

9780062656285_dcf56Felix Funicello from Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’ is back in I’ll Take You There (HarperCollins/Harper, November). A film studies professor and a divorced father of a daughter, Felix writes for New Yorker magazine. Through a series of ghostly encounters, he revisits his childhood and female relationships and discovers a dark family secret. Kelly Currie from Delphi Public Library (IN) said of the writing, “Lamb is a talented writer, and I loved the family he introduced to me in this book. The characters are full and faulty and real.” NOTE: This is not available as a DRC; to request a print galley, email HC’s library marketing team. Don’t forget to include your mailing address (no P.O. boxes). Supplies are limited.

9781101985137_66eddThe perennial favorite topic of time travel is bigger than ever, on TV and in books. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (PRH/Dutton, February LibraryReads deadline: Dec. 20) is garnering “much love” on Edelweiss. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis Community Library (TX) loved it, saying, “Tom Barren is an average guy who is overshadowed by his famous physicist father who just happened to invent a time machine. It is an interesting way to look at life choices – if you could go back and change things, would you?” Kaite Stover recommends this as a nice addition to readers of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, and Jack Finney’s classic Time and Again.

Thriller Choice

9780425285046_76b2eThe GalleyChat column wouldn’t be complete without a psychological suspense novel and this month’s pick is The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney (PRH/Ballantine, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20). Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library (NJ) summed it up by saying, “Jane scores an ultra-modern, high-tech London apartment that seems to anticipate all her needs…but does it know her too well? Jane learns that the previous occupant died in the apartment and begins to look into her death leading to a high speed ride through a tale of obsessions with twists and turns that don’t stop until after the final page is turned.”

There’s no limit on who can join the fun, so note our next GalleyChat date of Tuesday, October 4, 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.

Reese Witherspoon, Readers Advisor

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Reese Witherspoon is using her literary clout to promote books.

Her most recent recommendation is Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, Kelly Williams Brown (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing), a humorous self-help book aimed at readers in their 20s finding the transition to adult responsibilities a bit trying (born from a blog of the same name).

It is starting to gain traction at some libraries we checked but it catapulted up the Amazon rankings last week (from #5,722 to #15) based on the following Instagram post:

It is just the latest evidence of Witherspoon’s book savvy and sales impact. As WSJ noted earlier this year, she is the force behind many adaptions, including Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, having optioned both titles before they were published. WSJ says “just five months after [her production] company was launched, the books hit No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time—in the nonfiction and fiction categories, respectively. Together, the films earned three Oscar nominations and grossed more than half a billion dollars.”

Witherspoon follows Goodreads, reads one to two books a week, runs an Instagram bookclub (#rwbookclub), and options books for her production company, Pacific Standard. All this, says WSJ, has positioned her “as one of Hollywood’s most influential literary tastemakers in the book-to-screen business.”

She is also a force in the book recommendation business. In Style says “when she gives a title her stamp of approval, it carries a helluva lot of weight” and WSJ adds her suggestions “send Amazon rankings soaring.”

After a bookclub post about Luckiest Girl Alive, it jumped from #70 to #7. Marysue Rucci, editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster tells the WSJ that “The difference between what [Luckiest Girl Alive] might have done without Reese is just like the lightbulb to the sun.”

People magazine recently ran a profile of Witherspoon, asking if she is “Hollywood’s biggest book mogul?” The article lists many other titles Witherspoon has recommend, including Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, You’ll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, continuing “Many of the stories feature edgy, smart, imperfect women.”

Witherspoon told WSJ that is no accident, “I’m on the crusade to find a dynamic, female character, whether she’s likable or not … Likable puts women in a very small box.”

Catches a New Wave

Thursday, September 29th, 2016


Fall books have replaced most of the summer titles on best seller lists, but one is still going strong. Months after its publication on July 19, Ruth Ware’s second novel,  The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), continues at #17 on USA Today’s list released today, and is therefore declared “a sleeper hit.”

According to the book’s publicist, quoted by USA Today, the success is due in part to word of mouth and the April release in paperback of Ware’s debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood, which “set the table for Cabin.”

Although it was listed on multiple summer reading lists, it received few reviews in the consumer press, other than a glowing mention in a thriller roundup from the Washington Post comparing it aptly to Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

Librarians were early advocates. Both her novels have been Library Reads picks as well as Galleychat favorites.

Library holds queues are long are growing.

More is coming from Ware. She signed a deal with her British publisher for two more books, to be released in the summers of 2017 and 2018 and Reese Witherspoon acquired the film rights to her first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood.

“Word Nerds” Celebrated

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

2016_31_1024x1024Generally, Hollywood thinks of “writers” as  those people who turn out screenplays. Recently, Hollywood has had to give respect to another kind of writer, those who create books, which can then be turned into money-making movies or TV shows.

In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter created their first list of the “25 Most Powerful Authors,” an idea that didn’t have
much currency at the time. When #8 on the list, James Patterson was contacted, he thought the notion was crazy. “Power list? More like powerless list.”

He moves up to #3 in this year’s group of what the THR calls the most powerful “word nerds” saying, in seemingly non-ironic movie biz lingo, that they are doing better than ever because they are “among the creator groups benefiting from the proliferation of new platforms and outlets in entertainment.”

Featured on the cover are Paula Hawkins (above, left) author of The Girl On The Train and Emily Blunt, the star of the film adaptation widely expected to be a blockbuster when it opens on Oct. 7th.

Hawkins tells THR that she doesn’t agree with all the comparisons to another best selling book with “Girl” in the title that was also adapted into a blockbuster film, seeing her book as not about unlikable women and the dark side of suburbia, but rather, “how technology has turned us all into voyeurs.”

Also included in the issue is a story about a classic author receiving renewed attention from Hollywood, Agatha Christie, as well as profiles of “6 Up-and-Comers to Watch” including Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe, Sept. 6). A film adaptation is currently scheduled for release in January.

Cook and Tell

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

9781101885710_dcf1eAlton Brown is still remembered by fans for Good Eats, a cult hit from the early days of the Food Network, currently available for binge watching on Netflix. Now best known for the culinary contest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, he has just published his next book, Alton Brown: EveryDayCook PRH/Ballantine Books).

The tag on the cover, “This time, it’s personal,” is proving a focus for media coverage. Written after his divorce from his second wife, the NYT calls it “a midlife-crisis book.”  In a profile in the WSJ Brown provides a short, sorrowful, summary of his childhood and career.

Described by the NYT as “an eclectic and appealing collection of 70 recipes in Mr. Brown’s regular rotation and another 30 he created to bring the book to a respectable size,” it is on the first two previews of best cookbooks of season, leading the NYT‘s list and also one of  People‘s “25 New Fall Cookbooks That Deserve a Spot in Your Kitchen”

In systems we checked, holds are topping 10:1 ratios where libraries have bought very low and are exceeding orders where libraries bought multiple copies.

FENCES Gets A Trailer

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The first teaser has just been released for Denzel Washington’s film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, Fences.

Washington directs and co-stars with Viola Davis, reprising their roles from a Broadway revival of the play six years ago, for which both won Tony Awards.

The story revolves around a former baseball player in the 1950s struggling to reconcile his life and provide for his family.

The film is already a hot Oscar contender with Vanity Fair offering an alternative title of “Please Hurry Up and Give Viola Davis an Oscar.”

The movie is set to open on Christmas day. The trailer is getting wide coverage, including in Entertainment Weekly.

Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson
On Sale Date: November 1, 2016
9780735216686, 0735216681
$14.00 USD, $19.00 CAD
Trade Paperback


Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

minecraft-ac74aaafd41db8e5949a5e1d341c4e2a00764be9045439491e14b34dc103d611The internationally popular electronic game Minecraft is set to be spun off as a seres of novels. The first, Minecraft: The Island, will be written by Max Brooks (World War Z).

Thee’s no pub date or ISBN yet but the game developer Mojang released details of the plot: “Think cuboid Robinson Crusoe, but madder: a hero stranded in an unfamiliar land, with unfamiliar rules, learning to survive against tremendous odds.”

Brooks’s title will lead a series of Minecraft novels reportedly in the works. Keith Clayton, VP, Associate Publisher at Del Rey said in a release “we’re so fortunate to have someone of Max’s incredible talent and passion on board for the launch of the series.”

Brooks chimed in with “I’m very excited to be part of this new venture … Finally I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”

For those not familiar with Minecraftthink electronic LEGOs, says Tech Insider, which offers an illustrated overview of this game that has a massive global reach. It is “the second-bestselling game of all time,” reports Time magazine, and “has been selling at an average pace of 53,000 copies a day since the start of this year.”

The game is well on its way to being a multimedia franchise. It already has fan fiction ebooks and in June came news that a movie is in the works.

Trending: Time Travel

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

9780307908797_9e581“The shelves of every library in the world brim with time machines. Step into one, and off you go.”

So says Anthony Doerr in his engaging and story-filled NYT‘s Sunday Book Review (online now, in print Oct. 2) of James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History (PRH/Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Fittingly for a book that considers the concept of time travel, including how it has been imagined and used in literature, Doerr begins his review by sharing his favorite time travel stories (a key one is Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”) and then moves on to Gleick’s history, calling it,

“a fascinating mash-up of philosophy, literary criticism, physics and cultural observation. It’s witty (“Regret is the time traveler’s energy bar”), pithy (“What is time? Things change, and time is how we keep track”) and regularly manages to twist its reader’s mind into … Gordian knots … he employs time travel to initiate engrossing discussions of causation, fatalism, predestination and even consciousness itself.”

Time is a subject bound to be at the forefront this fall. In addition to Gleick’s book there is Now: The Physics of Time, Richard A. Muller (Norton) and a surprising number of TV shows on the subject. So many that it has lead the WSJ to call time a “hot concept” for the upcoming season, writing, “Television networks are consumed with time-shifting in every sense.”

Shows about time travel include Frequency, Legends of Tomorrow, Making HistoryTimeless and Time After Time (adapted from the 1979 novel by Karl Alexander).

Not exactly time travel, more deja vu,  are the many remakes and spin-offs of older shows. WSJ lists “Taken (a prequel to the Liam Neeson revenge movies) and Emerald City (billed as an edgier Wizard of Oz fantasy). Then there are the franchise expansions, with spin-off The Blacklist: Redemption and a fourth (fourth!) addition to the Chicago line of dramas from Dick Wolf (Chicago Justice) … Lethal Weapon (Fox), and Training Day (CBS) … Fox’s Prison Break sequel and a series based on 43-year-old horror classic The ExorcistMacGyver.”

All this led Jimmy Kimmel, WSJ reports, to say: “All your favorite VHS tapes are now becoming shows,” leading Glamour magazine to point out “The past is a franchise.”


Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Amazon’s hit series, Transparent, won a second Emmy for Best Comedy Series earlier this month and the show’s creator, Jill Soloway won her second Best Director Emmy. Good timing, as the third season premiered just a week later.

Soloway is now set to create a new series. Amazon Studios announced today that I Love Dick, based on the cult novel by Chris Kraus, published by the indie press Semiotext(e) in 1997, has been ordered to series and will  begin streaming in 2017. It stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn, who also stars in Transparent.

Profiling the production, New York magazine writes that Soloway turns “one of the most compelling cult novels of the last 20 years into a television show with the potential to be as groundbreaking in its examination of gender politics as her first.”

The cult status of the book was explored last year in a piece in the New Yorker and the Guardian celebrated its UK debut last fall.

The pilot is still available free on Amazon Prime. Below is the trailer.

Remembering Maya Angelou

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Coming to theaters Oct. 14, is a documentary about Maya Angelou, titled And Still I Rise.

Deadline reports, “From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her swinging soirees with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, we are given special access to interviews with Dr. Angelou whose indelible charm and quick wit make it easy to love her.”

The trailer was released last week:

Hitting Screens, Week of Sept. 26, 2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Making a splash at the box office over the weekend was Disney’s heavily-promoted Queen of Katwe, in a limited run. The adaptation of a book with the same title about a chess champion, it will expand to more theaters over the coming weeks. Also expanding to more theaters is the Australian hit adaptation, The Dressmaker.

mv5bmta1ndg2mzm5ndleqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mda5otg5mtkx-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_9781594749025_ba21eLeading films opening at the end of this week is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Based on Ransom Riggs’s eerie photo-fantasy hit novel, it stars Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench.

Early reviews are not enthusiastic. The Hollywood Reporter says that during the first hour of the movie, it “appears Tim Burton seems well on his way to making one of his best films,” but after that special effects take over and undermine the story. Predicting the movie will “generate some robust initial business based on the built-in teen fan base as well as Burton fans, but whether it’s enough to spur sequels to the two remaining books in the trilogy is an open question.”  The novel is currently #6 on The USA Today Best-Selling Book list.

There are multiple tie-ins.

mv5bmjmzodexndezml5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdg3njiyote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_Denial is a courtroom drama about the legal fight to prove the Holocaust occurred. It is based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier and is directed by Mick Jackson. Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall star.

It centers on a libel case brought against Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books, by David Irving, a Holocaust denier, who posts videos Variety says are like watching “the hate version of a man claiming that the Earth is flat.”

Its debut at the Toronto Film Festival brought mixed reviews. Variety calls it “a curiously awkward and slipshod movie that winds up being about nothing so much as the perverse, confounding eccentricities of the British legal system.”

The Hollywood Reporter says it is “compelling” and “sensitively dramatized” and that “Rachel Weisz’s arresting, combative Lipstadt, a shining woman warrior, is a role she will be remembered for.”

A tie-in is out: Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, Deborah E. Lipstadt (HC/Ecco).

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_Comic fans can rejoice as Luke Cage, a live action series on Netfilx, finally airs. It is based on the comic superhero which first appeared in 1972’s Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.

Mike Colter plays Cage, a role he first created on the Jessica Jones series, also on Netflix.

Deadline Hollywood says it is “one of the most socially relevant and smartest shows on the small screen you will see this year. In fact, with star power deluxe from lead Mike Colter and House Of Cards alum Mahershala Ali as the villainous Cornell Cottonmouth Stokes, the 13-episode first season is one of the best shows on the air and on the horizon.”

A collection of comics featuring the character was released in August,  Luke Cage: Avenger, Mike Benson, Adam Glass, Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Miller, Dalibor Talajic, Leinil Francis, Billy Tan and, Eric Canete (Hachette/Marvel).

mv5bmje0nduyotc2mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodk2nzu3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006791000_al_ A Man Called Ove opens as well. The film, based on Fredrik Backman’s book of the same name, is directed Hannes Holm (who also adapted the novel) and stars Rolf Lassgård.

Sweden has already picked it as their entry for this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, reports Deadline Hollywood.

The Daily Beast examines the novel’s word-of-mouth success.

Reviews for the film are glowing with Variety calling it “irresistible … A touching comic crowdpleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end.”

mv5bmjqwntq2mzmzov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzgwmtk2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006921000_al_9781571745774_fe035Milton’s Secret is based on the children’s book Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman with illustrations by Frank Riccio (Red Wheel Weiser Conari/Hampton Roads).

Directed by Barnet Bain, it stars Donald Sutherland, Michelle Rodriguez, Mia Kirshner, David Sutcliffe, and William Ainscough.

So far, there are few reviews for the film about being present and aware and creating a happy family.

Prepping for Influence

Monday, September 26th, 2016

9781501109799_b4065The WSJ describes Robert Cialdini as “a pre-eminent social psychologist whose classic book Influence published in 1984, amply deserves its continued fame.”

In a new book, the author advances the topic, this time focused on what to do before trying to exert influence, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It is getting coverage in the business press by publications such as Forbes, and reaching broader markets via PBS’s News Hour. (see below).

In a recent report, Cialdini tells the News Hour’s Paul Solman that “pre-suasion” is:

“the practice of getting people sympathetic to your message before they experience it. It’s the ability to cause people to have something at the top of their consciousness that makes them receptive to your message that’s yet to come … It is what you say immediately before you deliver your message that leverages your success tremendously.”

Earlier this month, the WSJ ran a summary of his findings and, in a review, notes, “As you read, you will realize that the old aphorism is backward: You can get a horse to drink, but only if you lead him to the water.”

Library orders are light, with high holds ratios.

DARKTOWN Gains Attention

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

9781501133862_bc1ceNPR’s Morning Edition this week featured Thomas Mullen’s newest novel, about Atlanta’s first black officers.

Inspired by a 1947 Newsweek article estimating “that one-quarter of Atlanta policemen were, in fact, members of the Ku Klux Klan,” NPR calls Darktown (S&S/Atria/37 INK; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) “a blend of history, mystery and violence.”

The new officers faced tough restrains. They operated out of a YMCA for fear they would cause a riot at police headquarters, “they could only patrol the back neighborhoods; they weren’t supposed to set foot in the white parts of town,” Mullen says. “They couldn’t drive squad cars; they had to walk their beat with a partner” and were not allowed to arrest white people.

NPR notes “some of the tensions described in Darktown — like the ability of white police to injure or kill black citizens with impunity without being charged or punished — sound disturbingly familiar.”

Mullen plans this as the first in a series with each book focusing on new officers who replace those that retire “as the story of Atlanta’s racial coming-of-age moves into contemporary times.” The second book is expected in fall 2017.

In a publishing twist, NPR reports that Mullen’s agent “circulated his manuscript without his name or photo attached.” Mullen, who is white, has lived in Atlanta for 15 years. The influential Dawn Davis of Simon & Schuster bought the book for her imprint. She told NPR she found the blind submission forced her “to read it just as a piece of literature … I couldn’t look up what kind of reviews the author got, I couldn’t look up anything about the author. What his previous books were, even — or if it were even a man. I had to just kind of read it, and explore it for what it was.”

It  is already heading to the small screen. In what Deadline Hollywood terms “a very competitive situation,” Sony won the rights to the novel for a TV project headed by the high-powered producer Amy Pascal and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx.

The Washington Post review suggests it could transfer well to TV, calling it “gripping,” “unflinching,” “complicated crime fiction that melds an intense plot with fully realized characters.”

The New York Times adds “One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city’s rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you.”

Librarians and booksellers agree; it is a September LibraryReads and Indie Next selection.

TV Spin-off for DARK TOWER

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

9781501161803_ec6949781501161834_b8d51A film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is set to premiere on February 17, 2017 starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

Plans for the adaptation of the enormous series, which includes novels, short stories and comics, have been in the works for at least a decade. Originally, it was conceived as a trilogy of movies, with a TV series between each film.

Finding financial backing for such a large project proved difficult. Finally, the film adaptation was announced, but whether there would be sequels or a TV component hinged on the first film’s success.

But now, reports Entertainment Weekly, plans have firmed up for the TV series. Intended to fill in the backstory, the series is expected to air in 2018, around the time the film hits streaming and cable channels.

Idris Elba, who plays the gunslinger Roland Deschain in the movie, is on board to reprise the role on the small screen, along with Tom Taylor, Jake Chambers, but there is no word yet if Matthew McConaughey will also make the transition.

EW reports the 10- to 13-episode show will cover “Roland’s origin story [set] years before the events depicted in the film” and that,  while some material for the TV series will be taken from The Gunslinger, “the bulk of the show will focus on the fourth book in the saga, Wizard and Glass” which is “primarily a prequel” to the series.

The LA Times reports that at least three additional key figures from the film, including the director and two of the writers, are involved with the TV series. It has not been announced which network will carry it, but EW predicts that, given the content, it will land with a cable or streaming service.

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