Titles To Know and Recommend, Week of January 9, 2017

9781101988688_97b04It’s big week for readers’ advisors, with a dozen librarian and bookseller picks arriving. In addition, a series often mentioned as a librarian favorite, the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman returns with The Burning Page: An Invisible Library Novel (PRH/ROC; OverDrive Sample). The first (The Invisible Library) and second (The Masked City) were both LibraryReads picks (and here).

The titles highlighted below, 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. 9, 2017

Media Attention

Furious GeorgeFurious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection, George Karl, Curt Sampson (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

The subtitle says it all. George Karl is a no-hold-barred former NBA coach. Excerpts from the book began making headlines at the end of last month, including the New York Post‘s “George Karl sounds more deranged every day.”

9780062569035_85486Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission. Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

The author is the host of Fox News Special Report, recently ranked as the third most-watched cable news show, giving him a ready platform to promote his book. It focuses on Eisenhower’s farewell address, which famously warned of the dangers of the “the military-industrial complex.” Kirkus calls it “A focused and timely study of Eisenhower’s significant speech and the sticky transition to JFK’s inherited new world.”

9780451494092_dec89A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, Ayelet Waldman (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample).

Waldman, who successfully treated her mood swings with small doses of LSD, is set to be interviewed on ABC’s Nightline on Jan. 18. Her book is a People Pick this week, “Her entertaining journal interweaves drug-related research … with scenes from her famous marriage to writer Michael Chabon.” It will also be reviewed widely.

9780307594907_106d9A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (PRH/Knopf; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Ulrich, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and a MacArthur Fellow, is scheduled to be interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air on Jan 17. 1. Kirkus says her “deeply researched, well-informed history [draws] on a rich trove of diaries and letters [and] the author follows many Mormon families as they confronted poverty, illness, privations, and persecution in their quest to establish a community where they could practice their faith and enact their social vision.”

Peer Picks

Five LibraryReads picks come out this week.

9781101885932_5b5b3The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“We journey to 14th century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.” — Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next pick and a GalleyChat selection. We featured Arden as part of our PRH EarlyReads Author chats. The debut has earned a rare four-star pre-pub sweep, with glowing reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

9781250105608_46ab1The Dry, Jane Harper (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“’Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ These eight words will change everything for Agent Aaron Falk, summoned by the father or his former best friend. It appears Luke went on a rampage, murdering his wife, son, and then himself. At Luke’s father’s request, Aaron agrees to look into the murders/suicide and learns that the small town has long held grudges and secrets that may be best kept hidden in this atmospheric, chilling complex tale of anger and revenge.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat title. Reese Witherspoon optioned it in advance of publication. It got three pre-pub stars, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. The Guardian features the book in a column on Australian fiction.

9781616205812_6c626The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers (Workman/Algonquin Books; HighBridge Audio).

“Placidia is seventeen when she marries Major Hockaday, an older man and recent widower with a child. After he is recalled to service in the Civil War, she must manage his farm and take care of his son and all with little help. When he returns, it is to find that she has given birth, and said to have murdered the child. Told in journal entries, letters, and court documents, we learn about her life and the answers to this puzzling and horrifically charged event. A dark book that highlights the amazing strength so many of these women had to develop.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Additional Buzz: Another book to get triple nods, it is an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat pick. Rivers is getting focused local attention (and here) so librarians in North Carolina should take particular note.

9780062427021_928fdHer Every Fear, Peter Swanson (HC/William Morrow; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Kate Priddy is moving to Boston to swap apartments with her cousin. Haunted by an abusive ex, she wants to leave behind her previous life. But when her neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is murdered, Kate is drawn into a web of fear even darker than her past. Varying points of view add new perspectives to the narrative as the book goes on; the mystery of what really happened to Audrey is just a part of the intrigue as we delve into the minds of imperfect, broken people. As a fan of Swanson’s previous work, I was not disappointed.” — Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburgh, OH

Additional Buzz: It too is an Indie Next title and a GalleyChat pick.

9780812997279_069c6The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, Lindsey Lee Johnson (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Not for the faint of heart, Johnson’s first book is a beautifully crafted work that delves into the perils of teen-dom in a wealthy, insulated California neighborhood. The story opens with the suicide of an outcast middle-school boy. Fast forward to high school, where seemingly minor struggles of both teens and adults expose themselves to be deeply ominous, leaving few untouched by the ensuing tragedies. As the plot slowly builds, the intricate web of relationships that intertwine the lives of characters and the events that they experience become apparent, ultimately returning full circle.” — Amy Christiansen, Jefferson County Public Library, Wheat Ridge, CO

Additional Buzz: In the new issue of People as the “Book of the Week,” called a “stunning debut [that] … explores the fallout among a group of teens … who prove, in the end, less entitled than simply empty and searching. An eye-opener.” It is also an Indie Next selection and a GalleyChat title. Librarians recently chatted with the author as part of our  PRH EarlyReads Author chat program.

Seven additional Indie Next picks also hit shelves:

9780062475466_a895eThe Midnight Cool, Lydia Peelle (HC; HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“The journey of middle-aged swindler Billy and his young, idealistic partner Charles is a journey into the history and heart of the oft-maligned American dream. As the nation considers whether it will join World War I, Billy and Charles must weigh the merits of freedom against patriotic obligation, their life on the road against the temptation of putting down roots, and their diverging desires against the love and loyalty they bear for each other. As Billy says, ‘I reckon that’s the beauty and the shame of it, all at once.’ Peelle’s exploration of this beauty and shame is exquisitely wrought, richly populated, and ultimately devastating. I finished the novel in tears.” —Mairead Small Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

9780385538916_d5713The Sleepwalker, Chris Bohjalian (PRH/ Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Once again, master storyteller Bohjalian has crafted a thoughtful, suspenseful novel that grabs hold and doesn’t let go until the end. Exploring the world of sleepwalking and parasomnia, he recounts the story of the night Liana’s mother disappeared. At turns a harrowing mystery and a heartbreaking tale of a family coping with their mother’s affliction, The Sleepwalker is filled with beautiful prose that culminates in a twist readers never see coming.” —Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post, in an early and rave review, calls it a “spooky thriller … a dark, Hitchcockian novel … Like many of Bohjalian’s novels, this neo-New England gothic ends with a surprising and most satisfying twist. It was so deliciously dark that I reread The Sleepwalker to pick up on all the subtle clues this clever novelist dropped with poetically perfect precision throughout.”

It is heralded by an appropriately creepy book trailer:

9781492639732_6459bTwo Days Gone, Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the perfect dead-of-winter read! Ryan DeMarco is shocked to learn that his friend Thomas Huston, an internationally bestselling author, has disappeared into the woods, leaving his slaughtered family behind in their once-serene home. How could a man who has it all – perfect career, perfect wife, perfect kids — become such a monster? This is the question DeMarco sets out to answer, all while on a wild chase to track down Huston before he freezes to death in the harsh northern Pennsylvania winter.” —Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

9780399174575_1dc74Burning Bright, Nick Petrie (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Burning Bright solidifies Petrie’s place among the best thriller writers working today. His hero, Peter Ash, wanders from town to town, living outdoors because his PTSD will not allow him to remain inside walls for very long. When he discovers a woman on the run from shadowy killers, Ash knows he must help her in spite of his near-crippling claustrophobia. Petrie gives us characters we love, warts and all, and there is a true sense of forward propulsion to his action-packed tale. Peter Ash is a hero for today and Burning Bright puts Petrie in the company of Lee Child and Robert Ludlum.” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

9781501143199_67347The River at Night, Erica Ferencik (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio).

“What would you do to save the lives of your friends? In this debut novel, Winifred and her three friends are about to find out. Instead of a trip to a comfortable, fancy resort in some exotic destination, they embark on an excursion to the Allagash wilderness in upstate Maine. What happens next is everyone’s nightmare, yet it leads to the kind of wisdom few people ever achieve. This is a tense, disturbing, yet satisfying story of the strength of friendship in the face of a severe challenge.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

9780399184598_87183Fever Dream, Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Haunting, foreboding, eerie, and ominous, Schweblin’s Fever Dream is the first of the Argentine author’s books to appear in English. Despite its brevity, Fever Dream throbs with a quickened pulse, as heightening tension is its most effective quality. An intriguing yet purposefully vague plot adds to the story’s mystique, one of peril, poison, and the unexplained terror of worms. Metaphorical in scope, Schweblin’s impressively constructed tale leaves much to the imagination but is all the richer for doing so. Unsettling and compelling, this is a delirious, potent novel not to be overlooked.” —Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Additional Buzz: The New Yorker has a review, writing “Hundreds of novels have flooded me with heartbreak or compassion, but very few—maybe none—have made me feel libidinous or spooked. No previous book, at least, has filled me with unease the way Fever Dream did.

9781101982242_8f898Lucky Boy, Shanthi Sekaran (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Soli is an 18-year-old Mexican girl who enters the U.S. illegally and gives birth to a baby boy. Rashi and Kavya Reddy are an Indian-American couple in Berkeley who have unsuccessfully tried to have children. Their stories intersect when Soli is arrested and her baby is taken from her by Child Protective Services and given into foster care with the Reddys, who become attached to baby Ignacio and want to adopt him. Sekaran does a good job describing the trials and tribulations of illegal immigrants, and Soli’s hope of regaining custody rings true. A compelling read that examines very topical parental rights and immigration issues.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Additional Buzz: It earned three pre-pub starred reviews, from Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Among several other books listed here, Bustle picks it as one of “17 Of January 2017’s Best Fiction Books To Bring An Electrifying Start to Your New Year.”


There are no tie-ins this week. For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

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