Archive for December, 2016

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of January 2, 2017

Friday, December 30th, 2016

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Stuart Woods and Danielle Steel kick off the new year with new titles. But these high-output authors are relative slackers, publishing just one title each. James Patterson beats them all with four new BookShots titles (he does have help, however).

As we’ve noted before, the most popular BookShots titles are those that tie in to well-established Patterson characters, but format is also worth examining. Sno-Isle’s Collection Developments blog recently posted “Bookshots a Better Bet for Audio?” As Darren Nelson points out, the audio versions are circulating better than print for the system and that makes sense, “the typical BookShots audiobook … is probably a great fit for [those] … searching for a bite-sized audiobook they can actually finish in one long trip or a week’s worth of commutes.” All four of the new BookShots titles are available in audio. 

The titles covered in this column, 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 Jan.2, 2016

More Bold-Faced Names

9781250126535_8f394-2Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life, Oprah Winfrey, (Macmillan/Flatiron/Oprah; OverDrive Sample)

No reviews  for this one yet.  Oprah is giving herself the exclusive with an excerpt in her magazine and on There’s no indication whether the book promotes Weight Watchers  Oprah is currently featured in ads for the company, and is also a major investor. [UPDATE: USA Today reviewing the book on Tuesday, notes her financial investment in the company, but adds, ” while there are SmartPoints listed for each recipe, this is not a Weight Watchers book.” In her first appearance for the book with pal Gayle King on CBS This Morning, she talks about her relationship with Weight Watchers].

9781455540006_1130dThe Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, Douglas Preston, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

In addition to co-writing best selling novels, Preston is an explorer. In this book, he expands on articles he wrote for National Geographic and the New Yorker (may require subscription; it was also featured in a story on NPR) about an expedition to Honduras to search for a legendary lost city. The expedition was organized by documentary film maker Steve Elkins, so it’s no surprise that a documentary film is also in the works. The book received strong pre-pub reviews, including one from Kirkus, “A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary–trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner.” It is also reviewed today in the Boston Globe

Peer Picks

9780802125873_cb9d6Six peer picks arrive this week, all Indie Next selections from their January list, including their #1 pick for the month, History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (Atlantic Monthly Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“A lonely teenager in rural northern Minnesota, Linda is desperate for connection and obsessed with both her enigmatic new neighbors and a classmate entangled in a scandalous relationship with a teacher. Narrating these seemingly disparate story threads is the adult Linda, who may have been villain, victim, or bystander in at least one tragedy. With lyrical prose and precise pacing, debut author Fridlund builds tension and weaves a complex, multilayered morality tale rich in metaphor and symbolism. This haunting, meticulously crafted novel will inspire lengthy rumination on topics ranging from the meaning of the title to the power of belief. Perfect for reading groups!” —Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

Additional Buzz: People magazines picks it in the new issue, calling it, “a compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world” The author won the McGinnis-Ritchie Award in 2013 for the first chapter and the full novel has gone on to earn three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Kirkus calls it “a literary tour de force.”

9780802125392_db20bDifficult Women, Roxane Gay (Grove Press; OverDrive Sample).

“A ‘difficult woman’ has become shorthand for one who speaks her mind, who questions patriarchal power, and who refuses to be defined by a standard of femininity. The women who populate Gay’s story collection are all difficult in their own ways — mothers, sisters, lovers, some married and some single, most of flesh and one of glass — yet they are all searching for understanding, for identity, and for ways to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical, cruel world. Some of Gay’s stories are graphic, some are allegorical, and all are important commentaries on what being female looks and feels like in modern America.” —Becky Gilmer, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR

Additional Buzz: Bustle lists it as one of “15 of 2017’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books” and Nylon counts it as one of “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017.”

9780399158254_85fadLeopard at the Door, Jennifer McVeigh (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Leopard at the Door is a beautifully layered coming-of-age novel set in a Kenya still under the yoke of colonial British rule. Rachel, whose beloved mother died when she was 12, returns to the country she loves after six years in England. She struggles against the expectations of her father and his new partner, Susan, whom Rachel has a difficult time accepting. Fine writing weaves Rachel’s story with the essence of Kenya, the treatment of its people, and the uprising of the Mau Mau who seek independence. This is a thrillingly taut novel — with a clever title, too!” —Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

9780802125866_7358dThe Old Man, Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Dan Chase is a wealthy old man living a quiet life after the death of his wife and his daughter’s move to another part of the country. But wait — he is being followed, and then his house is broken into and he has to kill the intruder. Next, the old man turns to his ‘go’ bag as it seems he has many identities, stashes of currency, and a plan to disappear. There are secrets to be discovered all throughout this tale and Perry keeps readers wondering what will come next. This is definitely one of Perry’s best!” —Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books to Go, South Portland, ME

9781501123429_40180Everything You Want Me to Be, Mindy Mejia (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler Books; S&S Audio).

“To some extent we are all chameleons. We fit ourselves to the situations we find ourselves in, act differently around our boss than with our family, and tell little white lies out of kindness. But what if that’s all you did? Hattie Hoffman is just a teenager, but she has already mastered the art of observing the people around her, assessing their desires and expectations and molding herself accordingly. Everything You Want Me to Be is a chilling mystery that explores the mutability of identity through the eyes of three very different people. If you’re looking for the next captivating thriller that everyone will be comparing to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, this is it!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Additional Buzz: A People magazine pick for the week, “A talented young girl set on ditching Minnesota for New York is murdered, and Del, the local sheriff, sets out to find her killer. This time-shifting novel … could have been pure cliche; instead, Mejia’s well-drawn protagonist brings the rural community alive and imbues the narrative with delightful, dry humor.”

9781555977603_ac1f0Freebird, Jon Raymond (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This multigenerational story is a road-trip novel, an ecological disaster drama, and a harrowing post-Iraq War PTSD portrait all rolled into one highly readable, gorgeously written book. Raymond tells this story peering over the shoulders of three strong characters, each of whom have to reconcile feelings of love — both romantic and familial — with the brutal realities of life during wartime. Despite its dark turns, Freebird is a book filled with hope for its characters as well as love for the real world it ably attempts to recreate and offer respite from.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: It gets a mixed review in the NYT, which calls it “uneven” but also says it “offers plenty of memorable moments.”


A number of tie-ins come out this week, getting ready for the post-holiday film season.

9780525431886_2b7baFifty Shades Darker (Movie Tie-in Edition): Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, EL James (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) also in Spanish Cincuenta sombras más oscuras (Movie Tie-In): Fifty Shades Darker MTI – Spanish-language edition, E L James (PRH/Vintage Espanol).

The second film in the expected trilogy adapting E.L. James’s novels comes out on Feb. 10.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote join the cast as Grey’s ex-lovers.

When the trailer came out in September it prompted a storm of stories, such as those in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

As we noted at the time, Variety reported that the second film as well as the upcoming third film of the trilogy (shot back-to-back) is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Cards). He replaces Sam Taylor-Johnson with whom James clashed during the filming of the first movie. The screenplays for the final two films will be written by E. L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard.

9780399178450_2bb3bRogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novelization of the newest Star Wars film finally hits after the movie’s release (on Dec. 16), delayed in an effort to prevent spoilers.

Three tie-ins related to the March 17th premiere of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast come out this week:

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Belle’s Story (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).

Beauty and the Beast Deluxe Step into Reading (Disney Beauty and the Beast), Melissa Lagonegro (PRH/Disney).

Beauty and the Beast: The Story of Belle, (Hachette/Disney Press; OverDrive Sample).

Expect more to come and follow the tie-in link below for additional titles already announced but publishing later.

9780718080549_d4aa1Same Kind of Different As Me Movie Edition:
A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
, Ron Hall, Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent (HC/Thomas Nelson; OverDrive Sample).

The inspirational film has been pushed back from its original April 2016 slot and will now open on Feb. 3. It stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund.

It had a rocky introduction when the preview aired in August, with The Guardian writing “Renée Zellweger and Greg Kinnear’s aggressive condecension; Djimon Hounsou’s Jar Jar Binks accent; the set designer’s antler fetish … this film does not look good.”

9780399558702_b33f0A late tie-in for Trolls is Poppy and Branch’s Big Adventure (DreamWorks Trolls), Mona Miller (Random House Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

The DreamWorks animated movie came out on Nov. 4th. Read our earlier 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.

GalleyChatter, Signs of Spring

Friday, December 30th, 2016


Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from our latest chat below.

Some of these titles can still be nominated for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
Jan. 3, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.

GalleyChatters’ favorite season is upon us, late winter and early spring, when publishers take advantage of a quiet time to introduce new or under-the-radar talent.

It’s a good time to introduce more people to our get-togethers, so we’re asking regular GalleyChatters to “Bring a Pal” to Tuesday’s session and expose them to the wonderful world of advance reading. We know they will thank you.

Below are some highlights of the December chat. Check here for a list of all titles that came up.

Hearts and Minds

9780399162107_7f864Alex George’s debut novel, A Good American, was well loved by many and his next book, Setting Free the Kites (PRH/Putnam, February) is just as impressive. Set in a small town in Maine during the mid-1970s, this moving story of a beautiful friendship between two middle school boys will have you emptying the tissue box as you read late into the night. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library said, “This is the perfect coming of age story and one that is destined to be placed on the shelf with To Kill a Mockingbird and Stand by Me.” [NOTE: Check out EarlyWord’s recent chat with the author here.]

9780062356260_bd19cChosen for over fifty “One Book, One Read” programs, Orphan Train was a breakout hit for Christina Baker Kline. Her next book, A Piece of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow, February), a novel based on the relationship between Andrew Wyeth and his inspiration for “Christina’s World” is destined by be as popular. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, was smitten saying, “Christina Olson is probably one of the most iconic women of the 20th century who we literally know nothing about. You will come to love and admire the woman who graces one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century.”

9780062469687_ecca3One of GalleyChat’s most prolific readers, Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City Library, is a fan of the coming-of-age novel Hearts of Men, by Nikolas Butler (HarperCollins/Ecco, Feburary).  Calling it a “memorable book,” Andrienne also says, “This story is about sons, about values, about what it is to be a good man. It follows the lives of Nelson and Jonathan, the former bullied and friendless; the latter a popular all-American kid from a wealthy family. Their friendship is chronicled amidst a backdrop of growing up, going to war, falling in love, and choosing what men normally hold dear to their hearts.”

Thriller Time

9781101988299_bbe9bGalleyChatters loved Clare Mackintosh’s breakout psychological suspense title I Let You Go, and we’re pleased to report her followup, I See You (PRH/Berkley, February) is just as readable. Set in London, Zoe Walker tries to get help from law enforcement after she realizes advertisements with her face and others have become crime victims. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) loved it, saying, “This taut thriller has one surprise after another until at last, it seems all has been uncovered…or has it? A shocking last revelation will have readers turning back to see what clues were missed.”

And the Winners Might Be…

We polished our crystal balls and two titles emerged that are contenders for the year’s literary awards.

9780735212176_8834cTwo GalleyChatters raved about Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (PRH/Riverhead, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20) a gorgeously written story about immigration, and judging from the Edelweiss “much love” response, they aren’t alone. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) sums it up, “A touch of magical realism, immigrant narrative, beautiful imagery.” Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library echoed Gregg saying, “It is a beautifully written, unique book about what we do to protect ourselves, what we do to connect with others, and how we as human beings move through time and space. This work is truly a masterpiece.”

9780812989403_3b3daElizabeth Strout has a knack for creating unforgettable characters, such as Olive Kittredge and Lucy Barton, and her newest novel, Anything is Possible (PRH/Random House, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20) is already accumulating accolades. Janet Lockhart of Wake County Public Libraries (NC) has already called this a favorite of 2017 and continues, “The residents of Lucy Barton’s hometown get their say in the latest book from the author of Olive Kittredge. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different person and they leap off the page in all their flawed glory. Strout’s compassion for her characters permeates the book.”

Debut Fiction

9781616204747_2a472New galleychatter Lisa Hollander, readers’ services librarian from Syosset Public Library, NY, recommends The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister (Workman/Algonquin, January), saying it was a “romantic comedy, which is strange when you think that the topic is a man grieving over his wife dying young. It was a nice distraction from real life.  Highly recommend.”

A Book about Books

9780062412317_31a41Librarians adore books about books and so we noticed when Joe Jones of Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) enthused about Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History, Rebecca Romney, J. P. Romney (HarperCollins/Harper, February). Joe recommends this for readers who say they don’t like nonfiction and also said, “Sometimes we get lucky and find an author who can not only educate us, but also entertain us as well. Rebecca and J.P. had me laughing as I learned things I had never knew before about Shakespeare, Johannes Gutenberg, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Franklin just to name a few of the characters included in these pages. “

Please join us for the first GalleyChat of the new year, on Tuesday, January 2, 4:00 (ET), and remember to bring friends and please introduce them during  the virtual pre-chat virtual cocktails which begins at 3:30.

Writer Carrie Fisher Dies

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

9780399173592_8cf50She may be remembered by many as Princess Leia in Star Wars but Carrie Fisher, who died at 60 on Tuesday, was also known for the sharp writing, raw honesty, and biting humor in her four novels and three memoirs, all of which are still in print.

Her first books were heavily autobiographical novels, Postcards From the Edge (1987),  Surrender the Pink (1990),  Delusions of Grandma (1993), and The Best Awful (2004; S&S Audio) (all from S&S).

But she found her true calling in memoirs, beginning with Wishful Drinking (2008; S&S Audio; Ocvr9781439153710_9781439153710_hrverDrive Sample). As Entertainment Weekly observed of that book, “Fisher’s voice is freer, now that she’s no longer hiding behind the coy scrim of calling her perky howls of pain ‘novels’ … Her stories bubble, bounce, and careen with an energy as loose as the jauntiness in The Best Awful was tight.”

Wishful Drinking was adapted from Fisher’s one-woman stage show, which also became the 2010 HBO documentary. UPDATE: HBO will re-air the show on Jan 1 at 9 pm ET.

postcards-from-the-edge-9781439194003_hrShe died after returning from a trip to London to promote her most recent book, The Princess Diarist (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin/BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It garnered headlines for revealing what many had already suspected, that she and Harrison Ford had an affair during the filming of Star Wars, but it also received positive reviewsThe Guardian wrote that it is “smart and funny. The pages crackle with self-deprecating one-liners, chatty observations and the singular wisdom that comes with being forever immortalised in the minds of teenage boys in a metal bikini and chained to a slug.”

The Princess Diarist is currently #1 on Amazon’s sales rankings, with Wishful Drinking at #7. Postcards From the Edge is right behind it at #8.

Libraries are also seeing demand with holds skyrocketing, passing 15:1 ratios on titles that have been weeded down to just a few copies, such as Postcards From the Edge. Libraries own more copies of the most recent book, The Princess Diarist. Nevertheless, it is showing strong holds, topping a 6:1 ratio at several libraries we checked.

Under the Radar Book Club Pick

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

costco-connection9781501145346_d7092The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay (S&S/Gallery Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is the latest Costco book club pick. Published last year in hardcover, the trade paperback, with a new cover, arrives on January 3.

The January, 2017 issue of COSTCO Connection, summarizes the novel, which is set in 1919 when character Frank Turner is out of work and “his resourceful wife and four daughters take their tumbling act on the road, leaving their upstate New York home to join the vaudeville circuit.” 

PW says that the women’s “lively personalities bring to life Fay’s outlandishly enjoyable premise. With humor, affection, ambition, and a talent for weaving in history, Fay brings the world of 1910s vaudeville vividly to life.”

RT writes “Readers who delight in books set around the 1920s or feature the theater will adore Fay’s spunky coming-of-age tale. Told in the alternating voices of two of the four sisters, this wonderfully evocative story charms readers.”

Fay has a direct connection, as the book video makes clear. She is the great-granddaughter of a vaudevillian herself.

The novel has largely flown under the radar since it came out in hardback last June and is the first work of historical fiction from an author better known for her women’s fiction titles such as The Shortest Way Home (PRH/Penguin, 2012).

Pennie Picks:

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

9780544800830_7bf78Influential book buyer, Costco’s Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects Amy Stewart’s debut novel, and a LibraryReads selection, as her first recommendation of 2017: Girl Waits with Gun (HMH/Mariner Books, trade pbk. May 3, 2016; OverDrive Sample).

Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA wrote the LibraryReads annotation:

“When the Kopp sisters and their buggy are injured by Henry Kaufman’s car, Constance Kopp at first just wants him to pay the damages. As she pursues justice, she meets another of Kaufman’s victims, the young woman Lucy. Stewart creates fully developed characters, including the heroine, Constance, who is fiercely independent as she faces down her fears. The time period and setting are important parts of the story as well, providing a glimpse of 1914 New Jersey.”

Ianniciello says she “can’t help but praise Stewart not only for how she fleshes out the events in this story, but also for the way she brings to life these highly unusual sisters and the times in which they live.”

The novel got review attention when it was published. The NYT gave it a strong review, asking for a sequel (which was granted this September with Lady Cop Makes Trouble) and writing “Stewart has spun a fine, historically astute novel … [integrating] the beliefs and conditions of a vanished way of life into the story, enriching it without playing the intrusive docent.” The Guardian called it “a marvellous debut.” NPR, PW, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Dispatch all picked it as among the best or most notable books of the year.

Even with all that praise, the novel did not hit many bestseller lists. Ianniciello has long been recognized in the book business for not only influencing sales, but for  giving debuts a new life in trade paperback. 

The article accompanying the pick positions the novel along side Downton Abbey. Although the setting is different, it examines “conflicting ideas about women’s roles as modernization begins to take hold … The more the reader gets to know Constance Koop – not just her spunky side, but also her hidden past – the more interesting the story gets.”


Entertainment Weekly Turns Towards 2017

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Entertainment Weekly First Look CoverEntertainment Weekly‘s newest issue rings in the New Year with a listing of what to read, listen to, and watch in 2017, including their picks of “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017.”

9780735211209_a3de4Already on many people’s minds is the expected blockbuster of the summer, the second novel by Paula Hawkins, Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; May 2, 2017).

EW writes “Hawkins is very good at playing with your perceptions – and she does it again in her new novel.” The “First Look” feature highlights the creation of the cover image. The designer says that the novel is “rich and creepy and suspenseful” and that she wanted to get the “story’s murkiness and beauty to come through.” 

9780812995343_73f0aAlready established as a major short story writer, George Saunders is set to publish his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Feb. 14). EW says the story, which  “unspools during one long night in a graveyard” is “narrated by multiple voices.”

9781501144417_572a6Also releasing his first novel is the publisher of Quirk Books, Jason Rekulak. The Impossible Fortress (S&S; S&S Audio, Feb. 7). Readers should get ready to “Revel” in this novel set in 1987, says EW, “about a teen boy, a coveted copy of Playboy and a computer-nerd girl.”

Many of the featured titles are available for immediate download or to request (sorry, the Paula Hawkins’ title is not available yet). Check our Edelweiss collection.

Three of the titles, set for release this fall, are not yet listed on Edelweiss:

All The Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler (Bloomsbury, Aug. 29, 2017)

Endurance: My Year In Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly (PRH/Knopf, Nov. 7, 2017)

Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner (Little, Brown, Fall 2017)


Featured on the issue’s cover is Blade Runner 2049, a spin off of the original film which was based on Philip K. Dick’s SF classic, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Also listed are several more direct adaptations, including HBO’s biopic The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with “First Look” photos from the shoot. Screenwriter and director George C. Wolfe notes that the story resonates today, “This woman’s cells helped heal the planet, yet her children were suffering … I found that dichotomy incredibly moving.”

mv5bzgjkndjiyjytogflyi00mjc1ltgwnwetmzljzdg2zmixzdhhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynje3mtawmzu-_v1_For kids, there’s Captain Underpants starring Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, and Thomas Middleditch. EW quotes director David Soren, “because the books are known for their irreverent, genre-bending style, the film plays with form in a similar way, switching between traditional CG animation and other media, from hand-drawn 2D comic scenes to sock puppet sequences. (Pilkey’s “Flip-o-Ramas” from the novels even play a role.)”

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda team up in the final book by Kent Haruf, Our Souls At Night. EW points out the pair who played newlyweds in Barefoot in the Park now play aging neighbors who seek solace with each other, only to upset both the town and their families. Fonda says of her relationship with Redford, “We show up for each other…We always have.” EW responds, “We’ll be showing up too.”

Also included are first looks at the following adaptations:

Outlander, Season 3, begins on Starz in February, based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, Voyager

The Lost City of Z, the movie, coming April 14, is based on the book by David Grann

American Gods, the Starz series begins in April, based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel

It, the movie, based on the novel by Stephen King, opens in theaters on Sept. 8

Our Books to Movies & TV listing has information on many more upcoming adaptations. For tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of December 26, 2016

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

9781939457592_17e6b  9780345547989_c14f4  9780393244830_ccb98

From The Lose You Belly Diet to Zero Sugar, the war on fat begins next week. Explaining why we continue to make bestsellers of these book, The Secret Life of Fat, explores why the body is so intent on hanging on to what everyone seems to want to lose.

The titles covered in this column, 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 Dec. 26, 2016.

Peer Picks

9780385353540_5d33aOne peer pick arrivesthis week and it is both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next selection, Books for Living, Will Schwalbe (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT).

“Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?’ Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, focuses on a personal collection of books that changed his life. Each book he selects provides a lesson, a reminder as to how to live his life. Readers will remember favorite books, find new books to try, and lessons to think about. Schwalbe’s book is warm, charming, and very personal. It’s a book for all avid readers.” — Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN

Additional Buzz: Publishers Weekly and Booklist give it starred reviews. Reviewed in this week’s this week’s NYT BR, it is on  a number of best of the month lists including those by BookRiot, Bustle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Real Simple. Vanity Fair lists it as one of their “Must-Read Books of the Holiday Season” and Signature writes it is “A delicious indulgence to anyone who loves talking about books and listening to others talk about them.” 


There are tie-ins this week for three films, The LEGO Batman Movie, Live by Night , and the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

The LEGO film opens February 10, 2017 and stars Will Arnett as Batman as well as Michael Cera (Robin), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), and Ralph Fiennes (Alfred). The film is a spin-off of the highly successful The LEGO Movie in which Batman almost stole the show.

Tie-ins include:

9781338112214_d5a7e  9781465456335_7390d  9781338112108_8b341

Junior Novel (The LEGO Batman Movie), Jeanette Lane (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample)

The LEGO® Batman Movie: The Essential Guide, DK (PRH/DK Children)

Batman’s Guide to Being Cool (The LEGO Batman Movie), Howie Dewin (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample)

Three leveled readers are also being released:







DK Readers L1: THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE Team Batman, DK, Beth Davies (PRH/DK Children, also in trade pbk.)

DK Readers L2: THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE Rise of the Rogues, DK, Beth Davies (PRH/DK Children, also in trade pbk.)

Robin to the Rescue! (The LEGO Batman Movie: Reader), Tracey West (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample)

Based on the best seller by Dennis Lehane, Live by Night opens on December 25, followed by a national release on January 13, 2017. It is Ben Affleck’s first time in the director’s chair since his award-winning Argo.

9780060004897_24516Tie-ins have come out through the month of December. The trade paperback came out on Dec. 6. and the mass market comes out this week (both HarperCollins/Morrow).

Variety reports that Affleck told reporters at an early screening that his goal is to  blend “a throwback vibe with modern energy. And that’s fitting: In Lehane’s novel, Affleck has found a gangster yarn akin to the ’30s and ’40s genre pictures that inspired him, but one with a fresh face.”

Live by Night follows The Given Day, which was the author’s first departure into historical crime. A third book in the series, World Gone By, was published last year.

Even though Sony has just delayed The Dark Tower, moving it from its expected Feb. 17 release date to July 28, 2017, the three mass market tie-ins arrive this week:







The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three, Stephen King (S&S/Pocket Books; OverDrive Sample)

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, Stephen King (S&S/Pocket Books; OverDrive Sample)

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, Stephen King (S&S/Pocket Books; OverDrive Sample)

Entertainment Weekly says the delay is due to “needing deadline extensions on the visual effects, as well as more lead-up to promote the film.”

Reflecting the delays, there is no trailer as of yet for the film.

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

#libfaves16 The Votes are In!

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

The Librarians Have Spoken—or Tweeted #libfaves16.

NOTE: Six years ago, our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower along with Stephanie Chase and Linda Johns, began the annual #LibFaves project, an opportunity for librarians to tweet their favorite titles of the year. Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Below is Robin’s roundup of the year’s titles.

Thanks also to the those who helped with the vote counting, Janet Lockhart, Vicki Nesting, Gregg Winsor, Robin Nesbitt, Andrienne Cruz, Jane Jorgenson, Lucy Lockley, Kristi Chadwick, Janet Schneider and Joe Jones.

For the past ten days, librarians have been doing their own year-end roundup of the best books by tweeting their favorites. The votes have now been tallied and EarlyWord can exclusively announce the results (eat your heart out, Entertainment Weekly!).

There were over 1,400 total votes (300 more than last year!) for over 750 titles (100 more!), just another indicator of how widely librarians read.

Top Three Titles

darkmatter  Underground Railroad  homegoing

The top title most loved by librarians and library staff is one that has had scant attention from other best books lists, Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter (PRH/Crown). Librarians have been particular champions of this mind-bending SF title, heralded by GalleyChatters last May and a number one LibraryReads pick. Hollywood may bring it new attention. Sony is currently developing it for the big screen. Perhaps it will have a similar trajectory to one of the top #libfave14 titles, The Martian.

Coming in second is a title on everyone’s list, Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award winner and Oprah Choice, The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday). Gregg Winsor tweeted “Timely, literary, emotional, raw, and important.”

Coming in a very close third is Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), a multi-generational examination of the legacy of slavery.

The real fun of exploring this list is the amazing range of titles in a variety of genres. Download the full list here, libfaves16 and test yourself on how many you’ve even heard of, yet alone read.

To round out the top books receiving lots of librarian love, the next 7 titles on the list are :

4. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (HC/William Morrow)

5 & 6. (tie) Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (RH) and Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (PRH/Broadway)

7. The Mothers by Brit Bennett (PRH/Riverhead)

8, 9 & 10. (three-way tie) The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc), The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press), and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (PRH/Delacorte)


“Mind-Bending” Spanish-Language Novel Gains Notice

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

9780316354219_9dd5aCalling the book a “sensation,” Deadline Hollywood reports that film rights were just acquired to Kill The Next One, a psychological thriller by Argentinian-born Federico Axat (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Published in Spanish “to acclaim,” rights were also sold for translation into 30 other languages.

Released here earlier this month, it received a good, but not sensational, review in the most recent NYT BR crime column: “mind-bending … Truth, illusion and downright deceit keep crossing invisible lines in this hallucinatory plot.” However, the review continues, “it becomes easy to lose focus on who’s who and what’s what. The shape-shifting characters and fantastic events keep sending [the main character] to his therapist (and us to ours) for clarification … Axat is the kind of hypnotic writer you love to read but can never entirely trust.”

Other coverage to date, while decent, does not indicate a “sensation”:

USA Today includes it on a recent list of new and noteworthy books, quoting the Booklist review that also calls it “mind-bending” as well as “intriguing.”

PW gave it a star, writing “Axat fuses weird fiction with psychological suspense in his stunning U.S. debut.” 

Bustle counts it as one of “The 8 Best Fiction Books Coming Out This December That Are Perfect For Holiday Snuggles,” writing “Like a chilling, murder-y version of Pay It Forward, this thriller unfolds as a man seeking to end his life is given the opportunity to kill two other people and then be killed.”

Canadian librarians picked it as a November Loan Stars title.

Holds are commensurate with cautious ordering in American libraries we checked, but Hollywood’s excitement may foretell growing interest.

Fave #LibFaves16

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Today is the last day of #libfaves16. As the countdown continues, we’ve been enjoying the pithy descriptions. Below are a few we selected from the last few days (title links are to Edelweiss listings):

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES by Peter Wohlleben. A rare book that brings more magic to its subject through science. — Velocipedia@Grammarnatrix

My #libfaves16 Non-Fiction title for the year is ATLAS OBSCURA by Joshua Foer, et. al. It’s like porn for information junkies! Check it out! — Kelly Moore@ktmoore69

#libfaves16 Day 9: when you’re having so much fun you barely notice how much smarter you feel? AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFE @Sarah_Bakewell — David Wright @guybrarian

My #2 for #libfaves16 is PAPER AND FIRE by Rachel Caine  – I’ve called this series librarian catnip but it’s pure adrenaline for any reader. — Nicole Scherer@girlplusbooks

Today’s #libfaves16 is @mstiefvater’s finale THE RAVEN KING. Raven Cycle is one series you’ll love to pick apart & reread. Brilliant stuff. — Becky‏@beckiejean

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead – believe the hype. Timely, literary, emotional, raw, and important. Go get it.–  greggwinsor‏@greggwinsor

1) #libfaves16 MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout – this book will dole out stuff that will slay you. This book has a sequel… — Marie Andrienne ‏@deienara

My final #libfaves16 is MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by @LizStrout. What a quietly powerful book. Still thinking about it months after reading! — Inkywhisk‏@inkywhisk

It’s not too late to join in. Please type TITLES in all caps, to make it easier for those doing the final wrap-up (which we will publish).

Check out what others are posting by following the Twitter timeline widget to the right of the screen.

Heads To The Movies

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

9780553496680_6d3d6Already looking forward to the film adaptation of her debut novel, Everything, Everything, YA author Nicola Yoon is two for two as her second novel, The Sun Is Also a Star (PRH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), is also headed to the silver screen, reports Deadline Hollywood.

Warner Bros and MGM have teamed up to make the 2016 novel about a teen girl who falls in love as her family faces deportation.

A critical as well as commercial hit, it was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and is on many best book lists, including those compiled by Entertainment Weekly, Horn Book, the LA Times, and the NYT.

Everything, Everything is set to release on May 19, 2017. On her web site, Yoon has been tracking the progress.

NYT Critic’s Top Books of 2016

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The New York Times book editors released their picks of the top books of the year in Friday’s issue, a total of forty titles from the four critics.

At this point, after so many best books list have been published, many of the titles are expected, but there are a few surprises.

9781619027206_735ffJennifer Senior picks the most overlooked title of them all, Grace by Natashia Deón (Counterpoint Press), calling it a “dazzling, underappreciated debut novel about a runaway slave, the daughter she never gets to hold, and the saintly man who raises the child instead.” 

Michiko Kakutani gives further support to a novel that has been a favorite of her colleagues on the Book Review, but hasn’t been recognized by many other best books lists, The North Water by Ian McGuire (Macmillan/Holt; OverDrive Sample). Kakutani says, “This novel about a 19th-century whaling expedition is as gory as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd … a gripping and original act of bravura storytelling that immerses us in a Darwinian world that is as unforgiving as it is bloody.”

9781627795944_84336In addition to listing the title as one of their top ten, the NYT BR featured the author on the “Inside the NYT Book Review” podcast, and Book Review Editor Pamela Paul gave it her personal recommendation in a Reddit discussion last week, 

“a fantastic literary thriller that … would appeal to anyone. Well, anyone who is OK with blood and gore. (It’s very, very dark.) But it’s essentially a gritty, plot-driven story with a very, very bad guy as its villain and a flawed hero at its center. The story takes place on a whaling ship headed to the Arctic in the 19th century, and things go very wrong.”

9780812994827_8a326In nonfiction, Kakutani selects The ReturnFathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar (PRH/Random House; OverDrive Sample), also a NYT BR top ten title and a  particular favorite of editor Greg Cowles, who says on the podcast that he’s been “pushing it into peoples’ hands all year.” The author, a novelist, writes about trying to find his father, who was kidnapped in Libya by Qaddafi. Says Kakutani, “In this beautifully chiseled book, the younger Mr. Matar chronicles his Telemachus-like search for his missing father, whose absence has haunted him for decades. It’s a detective story of sorts, with Mr. Matar trying to piece together what happened to his father after his arrest.”

Best Books Wrap Up

Monday, December 19th, 2016

As an end-of-the-year gift, we’ve put together the various book critics’s picks into downloadable spreadsheets, for your use in last-minute ordering, or for discovering titles you may have overlooked (also available in the links at the right of the screen, under “Best Books, 2016”).

Best Books 2016, Childrens and YA

Best Books 2016 Adult Nonfiction

Best Books 2016 Adult Fiction and Poetry

Library Favorites

Monday, December 19th, 2016

darkmatter homegoing

Library staff have been tweeting their ten favorite titles of the year, one per day since Dec. 12th, using the hashtag #libfaves2016.

Two very different novels now top the list, the SF title Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (PRH/Crown; BOT; Overdrive Sample) and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample), a multi-generational examination of the legacy of slavery.

Libfaves participant Carrie Shaurette says that Dark Matter is a “Mind-bending thriller that will make you reflect on the life choices you’ve made.” Greg Winsor says it is an “emotional thriller about alternate universes and going home” and suggests, “Hollywood take notice.” One day later, another libfaves tweet noted that Hollywood had done just that, linking to a Deadline story that director Roland Emmerich is “orbiting” the project.

Janet Snyder describes Homegoing as “graceful, powerful & packed w book club potential. Tragedy & legacy of slavery over 8 generations,” while another tweet simply quotes from the book, “Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”

Many of the tweets are admirable 140 character readers’ advisory examples. Just a few that caught our eye (links are to the titles):

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye. Murderous heroine delivered in delicious prose… A gorgeous literary feat! –Annette Jones@ZenLibrarian

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye – excellent re-imagining of Jane Eyre if Jane killed off all the people who deserved it. — Jane Jorgenson@madpoptart

INVISIBLE LIBRARY by GenevieveCogman. You had me at cyborg alligators. Best new series I read this year —  Joe_Jones@Joe_Jones

LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren. Curiosity-driven science gets its due & it’s messy, funny, glorious. — Stephen Sposato@stephensposato

Therese Oneill, UNMENTIONABLE, b/c it’s freakin’ hilarious, informative, & meticulously researched w/ OMG! moments. — Robin B@robinsbooks

THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY by Mukherjee. Tracing the history of genetics, this reads like a mystery novel. — Matthew Noe@NoetheMatt

It’s not too late to join in. The rules are simple. Tweet your ten favorite titles of the year, one per day. If you’re late to the party, no worries. Just play catchup by posting the ones you missed.

Please type TITLES in all caps, to make it easier for those doing the final wrap-up (which we will publish).

Check out what others are posting by following the Twitter timeline widget to the right of the screen.

Hitting Screens, Week of Dec. 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

The upcoming holiday weekend is generally a big one for movie openings, but there is a complication this year. Christmas Day falls at the end of the weekend, so there will be less time for families to search out entertainment to round out their festivities. In addition, studios are not willing to schedule films to go up against the second week of Rogue One, which proved expectations with a “massive” debut this week.

But studios need to get movies in to theater to qualify for the Oscars, so several will open in limited runs in the upcoming week.

9780735216686_c42dbBucking the trend, one adaptation debuts across the country on Christmas Day, Fences, Denzel Washington’s film version of August Wilson’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play. 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 Guardian writes “This film is conceived as a showcase for its performers, and, as that, it is immaculate … Would Wilson be pleased? A black director, extraordinary performances, as faithful an adaptation as you can imagine. He’d be ecstatic.”

Vanity Fair offers an alternative title for the film: “Please Hurry Up and Give Viola Davis an Oscar.”

A tie-in came out on Dec. 6, Fences (Movie tie-in), August Wilson (PRH/Plume).

Six other film adaptations open in limited release this week:

mv5bodyxmdc0ntg2nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjy0ndyzote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_Patriots Day, the drama recounting the Boston Marathon bombing. Directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor) it stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan.

It is based on the nonfiction title, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge (UP New England/ForeEdge), which traces the events of the bombing and the citywide manhunt to find the terrorists.

The Hollywood Reporter says the film is “Kinetic, well cast and technically impressive — but not as stirring as it might have been.”

Variety calls it “An intense, jittery re-creation … [a] genuinely exciting megaplex entertainment, informed by extensive research, featuring bona fide movie stars, and staged with equal degrees of professionalism and respect.”

The film opens in limited release on December 21 with a wide release on January 13, 2017. There is no tie-in.

9780763692155_4718cA Monster Calls was originally scheduled for release on October 21, but the the film adaptation of the children’s fantasy by Patrick Ness moved to a holiday opening due to what Deadline called “a complete nightmare in regards to competition … the pic’s new date gives it ample time to breathe and spur word-of-mouth during the year-end holidays and into 2017.”

Thus far, reviews are mixed for this fantasy-reality drama about a boy coping with his mother’s illness and his own troubles. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “sensitive and beautifully made lesson in the limits and power of storytelling … The fact that not every terrible thing can be remedied or appropriately punished is a tough lesson even for adults to learn, but A Monster Calls helps find the sense in it.”

Variety, however, was less impressed, calling it “an incredibly small and intimate gothic fable … [that is] all bark and no bite.”

There are two tie-ins:

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).

The film opens on December 23, followed by a wide release on January 6.

9780720614480_052afSilence opens on Dec. 23, with a wide release coming later in January (the specific date has yet to be announced).

Directed by Martin Scorsese, it is an adaptation of the novel by Shusaku Endo,  first published in 1966. It is a book that Scorsese writes in the introduction to the tie-in,  Silence, (Peter Owen Publishers, Dec. 1; trade paperback, Macmillan/Picador Modern Classics), he has “reread countless times,” one that has given him “a kind of sustenance” that he has “found in only a very few works of art.”

Starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver, it is set in about a Portuguese Jesuit priest who persecuted along with other Christians in Japan in the 17th C.

Variety says it is a “challenging, yet beautiful spiritual journey.” While they also call it a “a remarkable achievement,” they warn “Though undeniably gorgeous, it is punishingly long, frequently boring, and woefully unengaging at some of its most critical moments. It is too subdued for Scorsese-philes, too violent for the most devout, and too abstruse for the great many moviegoers who such an expensive undertaking hopes to attract.”

SlashFilm has a round-up of additional reviews.

9780062363602_4650aHidden Figures opens on Christmas Day in some theaters, with a nationwide release on Jan. 6.

It is one of the hot films of the season, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) was so taken with the script that he dropped out of the running to direct a Spiderman movie in favor of this one.

Variety says it is a “thoroughly satisfying … Feel-good drama” that is “As brash, bright, and broad as Hollywood studio movies come.”

Tie-in: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

9780062662422_066ffLive by Night opens on December 25, followed by a national release on January 13, 2017 and is Ben Affleck’s first time in the director’s chair since his award-winning Argo. Not only does he direct and star, he wrote the screenplay, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night (Harper/ Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio).

Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina and Elle Fanning also feature in this period gangster film set during the Prohibition era.

Variety reports that Affleck told reporters at an early screening “that the idea for him was blending a throwback vibe with modern energy. And that’s fitting: In Lehane’s novel, Affleck has found a gangster yarn akin to the ’30s and ’40s genre pictures that inspired him, but one with a fresh face.”

Live by Night follows The Given Day, which was the author’s first departure into historical crime. A third book in the series, World Gone By, was published last year.

There are multiple tie-ins: The mass market will arrive on Dec. 27, while the trade paperback (both HarperCollins/Morrow) came out on Dec. 6.

9780525434252_8a7abThe Spanish language film Julieta is based on three linked short stories from Alice Munro’s collection Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”). It opens in limited release on Dec. 21st.

Written and directed by Academy Award-winner Pedro Almodóvar, it stars Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte along with Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Darío Grandinetti, Michelle Jenner, and Rossy de Palma.

The Guardian gave it five stars, calling it “Almodóvar’s best film in a decade” and describing it as “a sumptuous and heartbreaking study of the viral nature of guilt, the mystery of memory and the often unendurable power of love.”

American critics were less impressed. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “A tie-me-downer of a pastiche” while Variety says it is “far from this reformed renegade’s strongest or most entertaining work.”

Tie-in: Julieta (Movie Tie-in Edition): Three Stories That Inspired the Movie, Alice Munro (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).