Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of September 5, 2016

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The start of fall is not only signaled by Labor Day, but by the increased number of titles by well-known authors coming your way next week, from Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel, Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample), to John le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani describes as more of “a collection of reminiscences” and continues that the section on his childhood, adapted from a longer New Yorker piece, is “the rawest, most emotional part of this book, and its psychological spine.”

In addition, the next Oprah pick arrives, breathtakingly quickly after her selection of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad. The title has not been announced yet, so speculation has been rife with heavy odds on Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), even though it is a memoir and the Oprah pick is classified as fiction (red herring, perhaps?).

Another guess, quickly shot down by the author, is Jonathan Safran Foer’s next novel Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). A literary darling, you can expect to see it reviewed in all the major consumer book reviews, beginning with the L.A. Times, under the less than compelling headline, “With joyless prose about joyless people, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am is kitsch at best.”

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It’s also a big week for the James Patterson Bookshops series, with four new titles being released. This is the third group of titles released in the series, and it’s become clear that all BookShots are not equal. Readers prefer those that continue established Patterson series, which this month’s titles do not. Two are in the erotic romance sub-series, BookShots Flames. Patterson is not the co-author on these titles, but supplies an introduction to each. Still, it’s amusing to see the Patterson name emblazoned in script across a typical romance cover.

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

Consumer Media Picks

The NixThe media continues to give props to the big literary debut released earlier this week, that we previewed last weekThe Nix by Nathan Hill (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- in the new issue:

“Nathan Hill’s sad, funny, endlessly inventive debut feels like exactly the kind of novel Septembers are made for: a big fat cinder block of a book brainy enough to wipe away the last SPF-smeared vestiges of a lazy summer but so immediately engaging, too, that it makes the transition feel like a reward, not homework.”

The New York Times kicked off the coverage with a profile of the author, comparing him to John Irving and then, cleverly asking Irving his opinion. He compares Hill to Dickens. Washington Post chief book critic, Ron Charles calls Hill a “major new comic novelist” and describes one of the book’s main characters as “a fire-breathing, anti-immigrant presidential candidate who may remind you of a certain reality-TV star with size anxiety.” NPR calls it, “A Vicious, Sprawling Satire With A Very Human Heart.”

Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering.

People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is a tribute to the late Nora Ephron by her friend Richard Cohen, She Made Me Laugh (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample9781476796123_f45b0calling it, “both complex and moving — and [Cohen’s] depiction of the literary and journalistic circles of the era isn’t stingy on the gossip, either. Nora would be pleased.”

People‘s other two picks this week are also peer picks, Gayle Forman’s first title for adults and the debut, Mischling (see below).

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads titles appear next week, including the #1 librarian pick for September:

9781616206178_2626fLeave Me, Gayle Forman (Workman/Algonquin Books; OverDrive Sample).LibraryReads-Favorite

“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” — Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next selection for September and is a People pick this week.

9781101988664_08c4eThe Masked City: An Invisible Library Novel, Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc; OverDrive Sample).

“A mysterious new Fae couple is causing Irene and crew major grief in this second installment of the Invisible Library series. After getting a book, Irene and Kai get attacked by a group of werewolves. Irene plans to go to the Library, turn in the book, and find information on the newcomers while Kai will go to Vale’s house. Kai is attacked and taken away. To get to the chaos filled world where Kai is held, Irene has to get help from Silver and fight to not be overrun by chaos and the Fae. I like this series because Irene is a smart, tough, stubborn, and loyal librarian who has survived many crazy, dangerous, and interesting worlds and people.” — Julie Horton, Greenwood County Library, Greenwood, SC

Additional Buzz: The author’s first book was the subject of one of our PRH EarlyReads chats.

Eight Indie Next picks flood shelves this week:

9780062436313_973d2The Risen, Ron Rash (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“The most overused cliché in the book business is ‘page-turner,’ so I will ask indulgence when I declare that The Risen by Ron Rash is a page-turner in the truest sense of the phrase. The Risen explores a young boy’s coming of age, sibling rivalry, a decades-old mystery, and extreme life choices. It is an exciting read for all who appreciate literature at its finest.” —Jake Reiss, Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL

9780316308106_48f69Mischling, Affinity Konar (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; HachetteAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Sisters Stasha and Pearl are accustomed to the imaginative interior life they share as twins, but in Josef Mengele’s ‘Zoo’ at Auschwitz they must find refuge in that life in order to survive. Readers descend into the violence and despair of the Holocaust as experienced through the eyes of the twins but are protected by an innocence that is also urbane and by a sardonic playfulness that does not shy from horrors but transforms them into fortitude and resilience. Konar has achieved the unlikely — Mischling simultaneously haunts and inspires.” —Kelly Pickerill, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Additional Buzz: A People pick this week, it earned starred reviews from Booklist, LJ, and PW, which calls it “a brutally beautiful novel.”

9780385349741_d756dRazor Girl, Carl Hiaasen (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Welcome back to Southern Florida! In the land of flimflam artists, illegal substances, and scantily clad women, disgraced detective Andrew Yancy is just trying to get his job back. Merry Mansfield, master of the car crash scam, insinuates herself into Yancy’s life with brazen confidence. As it turns out, he needs her more than he could ever anticipate. Reality TV stars, redneck kidnappers, mobsters, and corrupt developers cross paths throughout this novel in hilarious, nonstop action. Hiassen is at the top of his game with quirky characters, rapid-fire banter, and Wodehouse-like plotting.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Additional Buzz: Reviewed in The Washington Post as a “raucous new novel.” More reviews are coming, from NPR and the NYT‘s Janet Maslin.

9780544263703_b9326The Fortunes, Peter Ho Davies (HMH; OverDrive Sample).

“At a time of talk about building walls and isolationism, Davies offers a look at American history through the lives of a group of people who have helped to forge this nation — Chinese-Americans. Davies presents characters for whom the American dream is as elusive or as real as it would be to any others. Set in the California Gold Rush, 1930s Hollywood, and the present day, Davies’ tale is artfully told with passion and conviction, and readers will empathize fully with each generation of ‘outsiders.’” —Jessie Martin, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Additional Buzz: On several Fall Reading lists, including New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, the Amazon Editor’s, and BuzzFeed.

9780544409941_53fdeLady Cop Makes Trouble, Amy Stewart (HMH; OverDrive Sample).

“Stewart’s follow-up to Girl Waits With Gun is equally fascinating. Based on the life of Constance Kopp, the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey, this tale takes readers from rural New Jersey to the mean streets of New York City in 1915. With grit, smarts, and utter determination, Constance tracks a convict who escaped her custody. Despite the astounding restrictions on a woman’s life in the early 20th century, Constance takes every risk to capture her suspect. Complemented by the historical notes that Stewart provides, Lady Cop is both informative and loads of fun.” —Kathy Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

9780670026197_2f9f3A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov’s ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carré in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man’s determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!” —Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT

Additional Buzz: On the Fall Reading lists of Entertainment Weekly and the Amazon Editor’s. LJ and Kirkus offer starred reviews with Kirkus writing “A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles’ stylish debut, Rules of Civility.”

9781492632122_98b9dPancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France, Craig Carlson (Sourcebooks; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Pancakes and Paris make for a winning combination in this charming memoir. Readers will cheer for Carlson as he follows his dream of opening a restaurant in nother country. He faces many challenges, but perseveres until he reaches his goal. Thanks to Carlson it is now possible to get hearty pancakes and other treats at Breakfast in America, the first American-style diner in Paris. This is a perfect read for armchair travelers or for Francophiles planning their next trip to the City of Lights.” —Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

9781555977498_b3e16The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, Belle Boggs (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; OverDrive Sample).

“Boggs tackles a variety of challenging topics throughout this cohesive collection of essays. With a knowledgeable, considerate, and honest mind, Boggs is somehow able to transform the clinical and sedate language of infertility treatments into a beautiful song of hope and transformation. The metaphors Boggs finds for her travails sing, and the patient quality of her narration stuns. The candidness of her voice, combined with her ability to find the perfect words to sum up data, studies, statistics, and personal experience, make The Art of Waiting a gift for all readers.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: It is a BuzzFeed Fall Reading pick.


Five new tie-ins appear this week, setting up the fall film season.


Goat: Film opens on 9/23/16. Directed by Andrew Neel, starring Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, and Gus Halper.

Tie-in: Goat (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Memoir, Brad Land (PRH/RH; OverDrive Sample).


The Queen of Katwe: Film opens on 9/23/16 in limited release, nationwide the following week. Directed by Mira Nair, starring Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Madina Nalwanga, and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine.

Tie-in: The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion, Tim Crothers (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

See our additional coverage here and here.


Poldark, Season 2: Beginning September 25th on PBS Masterpiece and starring Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Heida Reed.

Tie-in: The World of Poldark, Emma Marriott (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; OverDrive Sample). (NOTE: The series is based on the Poldark novels by Winston Graham.)


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back: Film opens on 10/21/2016. Directed by Edward Zwick, starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, and Robert Knepper.

Tie-in: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Movie Tie-in Edition), Lee Child (PRH/Bantam; RH Audio/BOT; also in Mass Market; OverDrive Sample).

See our additional coverage here, here, and here.

9780062644022_35b06Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: Film opens on 11/11/16. Directed by Ang Lee, starring Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, and Chris Tucker.

Tie-in: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

See our additional coverage here and here.

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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