Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of June 12, 2017


Nothing evokes summer like an Elin Hilderbrand cover. Says USA Today of her newest, The Identicals (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), “Take the summer setting (The Identicals hops between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard) and the plot device of feuding sisters, and you’ve got the recipe for another Hilderbrand beach hit.”

Two heavily anticipated memoirs arrive this week, Roxane Gay’s (see below) and Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Entertainment Weekly says that Alexie “blends poetry and prose, and varies widely in tone as he explores old memories and new grief.” It’s one of eight books heralded by People magazine in the current issue as “Summer’s Best Books” (list not available online).

Another memoir to note, although it arrives to shorter holds queues, is comedian Eddie Izzard’s  Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens, (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). If you are unfamiliar with this British cross dressing comedian, treat yourself to the following animated version of one of his bits.

Izzard narrates the audio. It’s as if he’s having an intimate conversation with the listener.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed withordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 12, 2017.

Peer Picks

Five LibraryReads titles publish this week:

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew Sullivan (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

“Lydia Smith is enjoying her comfortable life. She has a job she loves at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Then one of her favorite “bookfrogs” (code word for eccentric bookstore regulars) commits suicide and leaves her his small horde of books. She discovers a strangely methodical defacement which is a kind of code. A delicate spiderweb of connections leading back to a murderous incident in Lydia’s childhood is revealed. This pushed me into reading ‘just one more chapter’ until late into the night.” — Joan Hipp, Florham Park Public Library, Florham Park, NJ

Additional Buzz: It is a June Indie Next pick too.

The Little French Bistro, Nina George (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Terribly depressed by the emptiness of her long marriage, Marianne decides to end it all by jumping off a Paris bridge. Her unwanted rescue and ensuing marital abandonment jolt Marianne into ditching her tour group and setting out for Finistere, the westernmost coast of Brittany. Keeping body and soul together by working at a seaside bistro, Marianne finds herself healing through the company of a diverse group of quirky locals. The Little French Bistro is merveilleux. It refreshes like the sea breeze sweeping the Breton coast.” — Sarah Nagle, Carver County Library, Chaska, MN

Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire (Tor/Macmillan; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“In Every Heart a Doorway we met Jack and Jill, two sisters bound together yet alienated. In this installment, we learn how these two girls escape their parents when they exit the world we know for a realm of fairy-tale horror via a magic stairway, appearing in a trunk in a locked room. This is a story about two young women and the trauma that shapes them; a story about love, hate, and the thin line between. A captivating and emotional novella that irresistibly sweeps the reader along.” — Tegan Mannino, Monson Free Library, Monson, MA

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly published an excerpt. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly star, with LJ writing, “Beautifully crafted and smartly written, this fairy-tale novella is everything that speculative fiction readers look for: fantastical worlds, diverse characters, and prose that hits home with its emotional truths.”

Silver Silence, Nalini Singh (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample).

Silver Silence is a new chapter in the Psy/Changeling series. As the world tries to adjust after a peace accord, Silver Mercant takes center stage. As head of an aid organization reacting to rampant terrorism, she’s an obvious target. But Alpha Valentin Nikolaev has already decided she’s his to protect. Valentin and Silver start tracking down deadly shadow factions that want to undermine the Trinity Accords. Diverse and fascinating world-building are on full display along with a bumped up level of humor in the face of adversity.” — Jessica Trotter, Capital District Area Libraries, Lansing, MI

Additional Buzz: It is a Romantic Times Top Pick, All About Romance gives it an A grade, and Heroes and Heartbreakers offers an excerpt.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a delightful tale of old Hollywood, so full of detail, that you’ll swear Evelyn was a real actor. Monique Grant is tasked with writing an article about the famous woman, so she interviews Evelyn who tells us all about her career, starting in the 1950s — and her many marriages. This novel will enchant you, and Evelyn will stay with you long after you finish reading.” — Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for June, one of eight books heralded by People magazine in the current issue as “Summer’s Best Books.” (list not available online) and a Summer Reading pick from the Associated Press. Real Simple selects it as one of “The Best New Books to Read This Month.” Showing early interest, Entertainment Weekly posted the cover and an excerpt over a year ago. Both PopSugar and the HuffPost have interviews and USA Today features it in their Happy Ever After section.

Five additional Indie Next titles hit shelves as well, including the #1 pick for July, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

“For someone who approaches such serious scientific and technological subjects, Neal Stephenson can be outrageously funny. Combine that with Nicole Galland’s storytelling ability and you have a rollicking roller coaster of a novel. The authors mix together magic, witchcraft, time travel, science, and historical figures, both real and imagined, while delightfully skewering bumbling bureaucrats, pretentious academics, a rigid military, and other bastions of the establishment to produce a work that is both thought-provoking and totally entertaining.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Additional Buzz: It is one of Entertainment WeeklySummer 2017: 20 Must-Read Books.” Kirkus stars, calling it an “Immense and immensely entertaining genre-hopping yarn.” The Washington Post names it one of “The Best science fiction and fantasy books to read this month.”

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane Gay (HC/Harper; HarperAudio).

“This memoir is about trauma and privilege, self-loathing, and a silent fear kept secret for far too long. It’s about our obsession with body weight and body image, what happens when we internalize our pain and become self-destructive, and how very, very large people are treated in humiliating ways. The descriptions of addictive behavior and the journey to want to heal make this book more universal than I expected. When you decide that this is the day you’re going to change and you get out of bed and fail, that’s pretty normal. You’ll have another chance tomorrow — just remember to like yourself enough to overcome the fear of healing and try again. Highly recommend.” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Additional Buzz: It is another of Entertainment WeeklySummer 2017: 20 Must-Read Books.” It is also on the spring reading list of The Washington Post, BuzzFeed‘s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer,” and Real Simple‘s picks of “The Best New Books to Read This Month.” The Millions picks it as one of their “Most Anticipated” of the month (they also pick So Much Blue below).

So Much Blue, Percival Everett (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio).

“The newest release from Percival Everett provides ample proof that he is one of the most underrated writers in American literature. So Much Blue jumps among three different points in protagonist Kevin Pace’s life that have shaped his artistry as a painter and his misgivings as a man. These vignettes are sardonic, shocking, and sexy. Like life, Everett’s latest doesn’t give you an easy tie-it-up-in-a-nice-bow revelation — instead, it leaves you thinking about these characters days after you’ve closed the book, mulling over their futures as well as yours.” —Dante Bostic, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Additional Buzz: It is one of The Washington Post‘s “38 Books We Can’t Wait To Read This Spring” and New York Magazine reviews, calling it “Winding and Beguiling.” Kirkus stars, writing “The author’s deft plotting and wry wit sustain multiple levels of intrigue.”

Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, Camille T. Dungy (Norton; OverDrive Sample).

“I approached Dungy’s book with the same feelings I had when starting Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts. I had very little in common with the writers of these two books or the experiences related in them, yet with each I found myself drawn in by the acute intelligence of the writing and pulled along by the sheer compulsion of a story well told. Not only is Dungy a more than capable storyteller, she writes like the poet she is, and, like all poets, she leads us across a boundary, expanding our worlds.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

Additional Buzz: It tops Essence‘s list of “Five Must-Read Books You Need To Pick Up This Month” and is on Bustle‘s list of “9 Books That Your Feminist Book Club Needs To Read This Summer.” (They also pick Hunger, above.) HuffPost picks it for their “10 Buzzworthy Books From Memoirists and Essayists” and Elle names it one of “The 24 Best Books to Read This Summer.”

The Marsh King’s Daughter, Karen Dionne (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“After a childhood in the wilds of Northern Michigan, where her rugged, brutal father was the center of her world, Helena has made a new life with a family who doesn’t know her past. Now she and her father are hunting each other and Helena must use all the skills he taught her to survive. Fascinating, dark, and disturbing, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a psychological thriller most compelling in its rich descriptions of the survivalist training of a very tough little girl.” —Patty Mullins, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

Additional Buzz: It makes the NYT feature, “Summer Thrillers: Daring Escapes and Other Acts of Derring-Do.” It is a Romantic Times Top Pick and Coastal Living names it one of the “50 Best Books for the Beach This Summer.” Signature selects it as one of “The Best Books of June 2017” (they also pick Hunger, above).


Two tie-ins come out this week.

After priming readers with a series of trailers, which sent various editions of the novel rising on Amazon, the tie-in edition of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) hits shelves.

The Dark Tower premieres on August 4 and stars Idris Elba as the gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Man In Black.

After getting plenty of attention at the Cannes Film Festival, the tie-in edition of The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In), Thomas Cullinan (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample) comes out, decades after the first edition hit shelves.

Sofia Coppola won Best Director at the festival for her movie adaptation, only the second time a woman has done so in 71 years.

The film is set during the Civil War and the plot involves a group of women sequestered in a girls boarding school in the South, whose lives are turned upside down by the appearance of a wounded Union soldier. Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst star.

Critics offer a mixed take. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair.” On Twitter, New York Magazine’s senior editor wrote that the film was “ravishingly shot, with a ‘damn she’s good’ MVP performance from Kirsten Dunst.” However, The Independent says it is Coppola’s “worst work.

The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 30th.

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

Comments are closed.