Author Archive

GALLEYCHATTER, June 2017, BookExpo SPECIAL EDITION

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Editors Note: Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from this month’s chat below.
———————————————————————————-

During the post-Book Expo GalleyChat, those who had just returned from the show were eager to share newly discovered galleys they had lugged home. As we head in to the Fourth of July holiday, consider downloading digital review copies of these titles from Edelweiss or NetGalley.

If you fall in love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for  LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles that can still be nominated.

For a complete list of the 148 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.

Librarians’ Lunch Standouts

The AAP/LibraryReads lunch for librarians at Book Expo was a sold out affair with the usual stellar line-up of authors. The MC was “America’s Librarian” Nancy Pearl, who has written her first novel, George and Lizzie (S&S/Touchstone, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) about the meeting and marriage of sweet, practical George and the always dissatisfied Lizzie. Stephanie Chase, director of Hillsboro (OR) Public Library says, “Lizzie will jump out at you from the beginning, and whether you immediately love her, as I did, or hate her, you must give her a chance, for along the way, you’ll meet the wonderful Marla and James, and George’s fantastic parents, Lizzie’s not-so-fantastic parents, and George, of course.”

Gabrielle Zevin also charmed the audience. Her first book for adults, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry was a hit with readers. Her next, Young Jane Young (Workman/Algonquin, August), a novel about reinvention after an indiscretion, is quickly gathering fans. Jennifer Winberry from says, “After having an affair with the local congressman for whom she is interning, Aviva Grossman finds herself unable to show her face in her Florida town and get a job.  Aviva changes her name and flees for a small town in Maine where she and her daughter live a relatively quiet life until she decides to run for local office and her past is dredged up. Told in alternating voices, families, relationships, and double standards all come to light making this a great choice for book groups.”

Buzz-Worthy Titles

Word spread fast about Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (PRH/Penguin Press, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) causing galleys to fly out of the publisher’s booth. Frequent GalleyChat contributor Cynthia Baskin is an early admirer and says, “This terrific sophomore effort is about two dysfunctional families whose lives intersect and overlap in healthy and not-so-healthy ways. Although the main event is known from the beginning, the story builds tension slowly as Ng very deliberately peels away the characters’ interpersonal layers.  If you like domestic dramas, I highly recommend this book!”

Another galley that was difficult to find due to pre-pub buzz was Brendan Mathews family saga, World of Tomorrow (Hachette/Little, Brown, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20; DRC on NetGalley). Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, wasted no time before reading it. She reports, “Set over a week in June of 1939, we follow three Irish brothers as they interact with a cast of characters that include a member of the IRA, a Hungarian refugee, the ghost of Yeats, a Deb on the make and her plotting mother, and a ward boss looking for just a little respect.  But the true star of this novel is New York City in all her prewar glitz, glitter and grit.”

Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists (PRH/Putnam’s, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20; DRC on NetGalley), touted during Book Expo’s Book Buzz, is the story of a family’s life based on a psychic’s predicted death dates of each sibling. Andrienne Cruz predicts it will be a hit saying, “Four siblings dared to find out when they will die and face the consequence of this knowledge. This novel is filled with rich characters who seamlessly inhabit the pages. I am reminded of Pat Conroy’s books-with unflinching honesty and an electrifying setting in various decades set in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco.” This is also a good candidate for those who want to read about family dysfunction similar to Hilma Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Cynthia Sweeney’s The Nest.

Set in the mountains and small towns of Oregon, Rene Denfeld’s The Child Finder (HarperColllins/Harper, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) is poised to be a big hit. Denfeld has taken a topic that could be disturbing and has made the characters believable and empathetic, even the ones that don’t appear to deserve any compassion. Meeting the author was a BEA highlight. Remember the words “radical empathy.” Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis Community Library (TX) also loved it saying, “Naomi, also known as The Child Finder, is in search of a little girl who is lost in the woods – three years ago. Not only did the ‘snow child’ survive but she may not feel like a captive. We see through Naomi’s eyes that the circumstances of all the missing may take many forms. This multi-layered novel is quiet and heartbreaking and violent all at once.”

Death Becomes Her

Mortician Caitlin Doughty’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory was one of my 2015 favorite books and I am pleased to say From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death (Norton, October; LibraryReads deadline: August 20) should prove to be just as popular. Journeying to various countries to research the ways cultures handle their dead might not be everybody’s idea for an adventure vacation but Caitlin is dedicated to ensuring that death is not only handled with respect but also endeavors to erase the stigma and fear of dead bodies. This is perfect for fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff.

Thrillers We Can’t Wait to Recommend

Three psychological suspense novels stood out with mentions by several presenters at the annual Book Expo Librarians’ Shout ‘n Share.

The first to receive multiple mentions was The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins/Morrow, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov 20) and even though it won’t be published until January, it is already garnering “much love” on Edelweiss (31 votes as of 6/21/17). Everyone of us who has read this marvelous piece of suspense want to start recommending it to readers now. Marika Zemke, Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI), says, “Psychologist Anna Fox suffers from agoraphobia, and spends her days watching old, classic movies and drinking too much wine. She also watches her neighbors through her camera and one night as she’s spying on the new neighbors she sees something unthinkable. Or did she? This novel has the perfect number of twists that will keep readers guessing, from the very first page, until they close the book.” Expect high demand for this one.

Another domestic thriller that received multiple “shouts” was Liv Constantine’s The Last Mrs. Parrish (HarperCollins, October; LibraryReads deadline: August 20), a twisty novel about a plain nobody who worms her way into a wealthy woman’s life, only to find her careful plan in danger of collapsing. Stephanie Chase, Hillsboro (OR) Library’s library director, forecasts, “This is the successor to Gone Girl: sex, intrigue, and deceit.”

Galleys of The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20) were plentiful and response has already been enthusiastic with some reporting the book bears being read twice in order to catch missed clues.  Jenna Friebel from Oak Park Public Library (IL) exclaimed, “Just one big twist after the other– impossible to put down. I loved that this is set up to seem like a clichéd jealous ex-wife novel but then turns out to be so much different.”

GALLEYCHATTER; Booking Book Group Titles

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Editors Note: Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from this month’s chat below.

Click on the titles to download or request digital galleys. If you fall in love with any of these titles, remember to nominate them for  LibraryReads. Deadlines for those still eligible are noted in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, Tuesday,
June 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

Beach reading may be on most people’s minds, but GalleyChatters are thinking ahead to books for next year’s discussion groups. The following will provoke discussions and are so engrossing they will make it easy to ignore the siren call of the pool.

Sure Bets

In Janelle Brown’s literary suspense novel, Watch Me Disappear (PRH/Spiegel & Grau, July; RH Audio/BOT), the wife in what appears to be the perfect family never returns from a solo hike causing her husband and daughter to ride an emotional roller coaster. Kim McGee of Lake Travis (TX) Community Library is a fan saying, “After a year, Jonathan is ready to declare Billie deceased. However, some stories refuse to go quietly and father and daughter uncover some things about Billie that may reveal more than they wanted to know. The epilogue is particularly powerful and devastating, shining a light on the question, do we really know the person whom we put on a pedestal?”

Another book dealing with motherhood and secrets similar to Watch Me Disappear and Emma Donoghue’s Room is Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (PRH/Viking; PRH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; July). Andrienne Cruz of Azusa City (CA) Library says, “Joan and her son Lincoln are at the zoo when something happens. Fiercely protective of her son’s safety, Joan exposes her innermost feelings and thoughts to the reader – what do people in her situation really think and do? Filled with agonizing and tense moments, this book offers some fresh perspective to an ongoing threat in an otherwise humdrum society.”  Kim McGee adds, “It starts off with a bang (pardon the pun) and never slows down for a second. “ [Ed. Note: See our recent EarlyReads chat with the author].

Peculiar People

Joe Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, one of GalleyChat’s regular contributors, recommends two books with very different plots.  Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (PRH/Knopf, PRH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; June), is a novel about a psychic family exposed as frauds who end up retiring from the business, but turns out teen Matty may just have a few hidden talents. According to Joe, “Throw in plenty of humor, secret government agencies, the mob, and even the Russians and we have one wild ride that keeps you guessing what crazy thing will happen next. The best part though is the characters. Each one is so well drawn and will have you experiencing the whole range of emotions as you read their stories.” Add this to your list of books about dysfunctional families.

The idea of past lives is an enticing topic in fiction and Joe discovered a twist on the theme in Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore (PRH/Del Rey, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), which features a character nearing the end of his many lives. Joe says, “To achieve perfection. 10,000 chances are what the Universe gives us. Milo is in love with Death, aka Suzie. With only a handful of lives left he needs to figure it all out or face oblivion. Poor gives us a love story for the ages as Milo and Suzie tempt fate when they try to be a couple. By the time we reach the final page, we realize we knew what was coming all along and it’s truly not the end but the journey that matters. And what a journey it is!”

Debuts

Filled with memorable female characters, Molly Patterson’s Rebellion (HarperCollins/Harper, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), a multi-generational family novel, was applauded by Jen Dayton of Darien, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library. “As Hazel’s children clean out the farmhouse that their family has called home for three generations seemingly meaningless items are tossed to the side. As the story unfolds we are taken to China with a missionary aunt who never returns, witness a young woman in 1890 struggling with infertility and the loneliness of frontier life, and see a young Hazel herself coming to grips with young widowhood.”

Discussion groups that have enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Dog Stars by Peter Heller can add David Williams’ When the English Fall (Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio, July) to their roster. Heather Bistyga, librarian from Anderson, SC, raved, “The aftermath of a solar storm causes the collapse of civilization, as told through the journal of an Old Order Amish man. Although better prepared than the “English” — the rest of us — to weather the destruction of the electric grid and all electrical and electronic devices, the Amish come to realize they can no longer exist as an island in the larger society. This is a worldwide disaster writ small, rendering it exquisitely powerful and quietly terrifying. “

(North) Carolina on My Mind

Another regular contributor to GalleyChat, Janet Lockhart, collection development librarian from Wake County Public Libraries, endorses two novels set in the Appalachians in her home state of North Carolina. Both appear to be book group perfection.

Leah Weiss catches the unique spirit of the mountains in her debut novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise (Sourcebooks Landmark; Recorded Books; August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Janet says, “The story of Sadie Blue will haunt you like the melody of mountain ballad. Trapped in a bad marriage at a very young age, Sadie has resigned herself to being unhappy until a new teacher moves to town. Kate Shaw’s arrival is the catalyst for change in the lives of residents of the small town of Baines River — including Sadie Blue.”

GalleyChat favorite Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home , returns with a novel inspired by true events. Janet says of The Last Ballad (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe, October; LibraryReads deadline: August 20) “Cash shines much deserved light on the life of Ella May Wiggins, a working mother who joined the fight to unionize mill workers in the South in the 1920s. Ella May’s determination to build a better life for herself and her children is inspiring and her bravery is breathcatching. Her voice jumps off the page and this is a beautifully written story of an extraordinary woman whose struggle for dignity and social justice raises issues that still resonate today.“

Join us for the next chat on June 3 from 4:00-5:00 (ET) with virtual happy hour from 3:30-4:00, when the focus will most likely center on treasures found at Book Expo.

New Crime & Nonfiction Watchlist

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Editors Note: Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from this month’s chat below.

Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday,
May 2, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

GalleyChat discussions are always fast and furious. While it’s a challenge to keep up with the feed, it’s worth it to hear about forthcoming titles librarians are eager to share. April’s chat was especially spirited with nonfiction and crime titles leading the way.

Reality Reading

Unlike reality television, which is generally anything but authentic, readers can count on the nonfiction recommended by GalleyChatters as the real thing.

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAs an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and the director of its world-famous Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson knows his outer space science. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry  (Norton, May) will appeal to readers who, according to Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, “… don’t think they like science and just need the right book to open up their horizons.” He also says, “Tyson does a great job using humor and common sense in giving us an overview of difficult topics. More importantly he leaves out the advanced math that usually accompanies books like these making this a great choice for people who would like to know more but are afraid they cannot grasp these ideas.” This is also a LibraryReads choice for May.

Morningstar: GROWING UP WITH BOOKSFor those of us who discovered the love of reading at an early age, Ann Hood’s short memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books (Norton, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), zoomed right into our hearts and readers will scurry to find many of the lost gems listed in this book (I’ll be searching for a copy of Robert Rimmer’s The Harrad Experiment). Marika Zemke, Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI) says, “Hood writes about learning to read and how the magical powers of reading transformed her life. She’s the little girl who would rather stay indoors to read than go outside. She’s the teenage girl who experiences romantic love in a book. She’s the college student who thinks deeply about life. Simply said, Ann Hood has written a book that lovers of the written word will savor, discuss and debate.”

Arresting Thrillers

Gone to DustMatt Goldman, former writer for Seinfeld and a stand-up comedian, has created an intriguing new character in Gone to Dust (Macmillan/Forge, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Set in Minneapolis and introducing Nils Shapiro, a smart and thoughtful private eye, this new series is a cross between Lee Child and Sue Grafton. Robin Nesbitt, readers’ advisor at Metropolis Columbus (OH) Library, says, “What a great read! Love Nils and hope he comes back for more mysteries! Well written, with engaging characters, mystery readers are in for a real treat.” We predict a summer hit, so have lots of copies on hand for mystery lovers.

The ForceFor grittier police action, three participants raved about The Force by Don Winslow (HarperCollins/William Morrow, June). Janet Lockhart, collection development librarian for Wake Co (NC) calls it “addictive and fast-paced,” recommended for fans of Dennis Lehane and television shows like The Wire. She adds, “NYPD Detective Denny Malone’s mission is to be a good cop but that doesn’t mean he follows the letter of the law. You’ll root for this hero, flawed at the Shakespearean level, as the choices he makes affect his family, his squad, and his soul. It’s set in a police world so convincingly detailed that you may find yourself reaching for your badge and bullet proof vest.”

The Child, BartonInvestigative journalist Kate Waters first appeared in Fiona Barton’s surprise bestseller, The Widow, and returns in The Child (PRH/Berkley, June) to investigate the discovery of a baby’s skeleton at a construction site. Three chatters found it engrossing, including Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library who says, “Three women are brought together as each, for her own reasons, tries to determine who the child is with irrevocable results for each. As inconsistencies and contradictions begin to pile up, Kate, Emma, and Angela dig further into the past and find life changing, but heart breaking, answers.”

He Said, She SaidErin Kelly wrote twisting psychological fiction long before Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl burst upon the scene, and her next book, He Said/She Said  (Macmillan/Minotaur, June), will no doubt be popular with patrons. Gregg Winsor (Kansas City Library, MO) loves it, saying, “In a year of excellent psychological fiction, this is an absolute standout. Using solar eclipses as metaphor – and actual plot device! – Kelly immerses us into a relationship between a young couple and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Believable characters, alternating points of view, and a feeling of simmering dread highlight this sexy smart novel.”

See What I Have Done, Schmidt“Lizzie Borden took an ax/And gave her mother forth whacks/When saw what she had done/She gave her father forty-one.” But did she really? See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Ingram Publishing Services/Atlantic Monthly Press, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20) gives a different and creepy view of the incident. Jen Dayton was entranced, saying, “I have always had a morbid fascination with Lizzie Borden and this book only ended up throwing gasoline on that bonfire. Told in the alternating voices of Lizzie, her sister Emma, their Irish maid Bridget and drifter Benjamin, author Sarah Schmidt takes a story we all think we know and spins it into something new and fresh and just as terrifying as you remember.”

Palate Cleanser

Little French Bistro, Nina GeorgeAfter all of that murder and mayhem, a sweet book like Nina George’s Little French Bistro (PRH/Crown, June) is the perfect antidote. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library enthuses, “Sixty-year-old Marianne has been reduced to utter hopelessness by her loveless marriage to domineering Lothar. After surviving a suicide attempt she finds herself drawn to Kerdruc in Brittany where a chance encounter lands her a job cooking at bistro An Mor. I have never been to Brittany, but Nina George made me feel that I could smell the salt air, see the little bistro, and eavesdrop as her vividly drawn characters converse. A quiet charmer.”

If you haven’t yet participated in the fun, please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, May 2, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.

GALLEYCHATTER, Page-Turners for Summer Totes

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Each month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite forthcoming titles. GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from last month’s chat below.

Titles eligible for LibraryReads nominations are noted with deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, tomorrow, Tuesday,
April 4, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-
Summer is here, at least in publishing land, and GalleyChatters recommend many new titles that will be perfect for summertime readers. Most are available as DRCs from Edelweiss, those available only from NetGalley are noted.

Nail-Biting Thrillers

break-downTopping many lists this month (including mine) was the perfect domestic thriller, The Breakdown by B. A. Paris (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, July; DRC on NetGalleyLibraryReads deadline: May 20). Cass’s brewing personal breakdown is not only the result of her early onset dementia symptoms but also guilt over bypassing a car breakdown on a rainy night only to discover later the occupant was murdered. This “tilt-a-whirl” of a plot will keep readers guessing. Andrienne Cruz says it’s “maddingly awesome.” Jennifer Winberry adds, “High tension and an urgency to the narrative keeps pages turning to the shocking conclusion in this second novel from the author of Behind Closed Doors.” This is perfect for readers who liked A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife and Clare Mackintosh’s thrillers.

9780062473615_b8d28With its lighter tone than most recent thrillers, readers who can’t get enough of Mary Higgins Clark will enjoy Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know, Dear (HarperCollins/Morrow, May). Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) gave it a nice shout out, saying, “A freak accident that injures her mother and grandmother brings Vanessa back to her childhood home and straight into a family mystery. Kidnapping, deception and revenge all have a place in this novel. Oh, and dolls. Lifelike porcelain dolls. Made with real hair and made to resemble their owners. This is creepy but not over the top.”

final-girslWith a cover blurb from Stephen King, “The first great thriller of 2017 is here,” the novel Final Girls by Riley Sager (PRH/Dutton, July; LibraryReads deadline: May 20), has a lot to live up to, but GalleyChatters are also enthusiastic, saying this suspense thriller with a bit of horror will appeal to those who like Karin Slaughter and Chevy Stevens. Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City (CA) Library said, “Slow buildup and picks up fast, this is a satisfying take on the slasher movies that were popular in the 90s with a twist that will astound.”

9781250099778_2eb71Readers who are biting their nails waiting for the next Diana Gabaldon title may temporarily quench their longing by reading The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack (Macmillan/Picador, June; LibraryReads deadline: April 20). With dual timelines, one present and one ancient, this book involving antiquities, ancient libraries, librarians, tarot cards, suspense, and a mysterious love interest is perfect beach reading.

Family Dysfunction

9780307959577_b30abJ. Courtney Sullivan’s previous books, Maine and The Engagements, were popular, and early praise indicates Saints for All Occasions (PRH/Knopf, May) could be another heart-tugging winner. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, didn’t want it to end and admits she still thinks about it and continues, “Families and the secrets they keep is what this book is all about. When an untimely death brings the sisters together for the first time in many years, will the closely guarded and potentially life altering secrets come to light? I loved this novel about how families make do with what they are given and learn to love in spite of it.”

9781501157783_41f0dOne of the first books to receive a solid entry on my best of 2017 list is Laura McBride’s ‘Round Midnight (S&S/Touchstone, May), a novel set in Las Vegas with multiple points-of-view. Janet Lockhart says it best, “Spanning six decades, against the transformation of Las Vegas from a dusty desert town into a glittering tourist mecca, this is the tale of four women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.  A big-hearted story with small and large emotional payoffs, it is recommended for fans of Anna Quindlen, Fredrik Backman, and Ann Patchett.” I would add Wally Lamb readers to Janet’s list.

Novel Nonfiction

9780062664327_c2581One of my favorite travel narrative/memoir combos of 2017 is Tim Bauerschmidt’s Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living (HarperCollins/HarperOne, May). Heather Bistyga, ILL/Periodicals Librarian from Anderson, SC, also loved it, “Driving Miss Norma is the heartwarming story of a 90-year-old woman who was brave enough to say ‘no’ to medical treatment for cancer, and the family brave enough to take her on the road for the adventure of a lifetime before she was able to die with dignity. I laughed and cried with Tim, Ramie, Miss Norma and Ringo [the family dog] on their trip around the country, and I hope to have the courage to support my loved ones as Norma’s family supported her.” Yes, you may ugly cry but you won’t forget Norma.

9781250080547_b4d09-2Finally, a word to the wise, stock up on The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Macmillan/Flatiron; May), It is a readers’ advisors’ dream. An intimate memoir, it’s a compelling and page-turning true crime that legal thriller fans will love. If that isn’t enough, it is also beautifully written. Andrienne Cruz said it was “harrowing – devastating, resolute, meticulous, gut-wrenching and masterful.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, April 4, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, For updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me, Robin Beerbower.

GALLEYCHATTERS Spring into Summer

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Every month, librarians gather for our online GalleyChats to talk about their favorite ARCs. Our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the most-mentioned titles from the 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,
March 7, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

Spring titles were still galvanizing librarians during the February chat, but several May titles also got attention. Most of these are available as Digital ARCs. Look for them on Edelweiss or NetGalley.

If you need even more titles to choose from, check our compilation of all 160 titles mentioned here as well as a transcript of the chat.

Nonfiction for Novel Lovers

Nonfiction stories where the pages almost turn themselves are always popular with patrons and two good contenders were offered in February’s GalleyChat.

Killers of the Flower MoonThe Lost City of Z by David Grann was a big success as a book and is shaping up to be at least as successful in the movie version, set to open April 24 in the US.  He has another winner on his hands with another true story, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday, April). Movie rights to it were sold last year in a bidding war called by Deadline, “the biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”  The book is getting “much love” from 24 Edelweiss peers. Collection development librarian P.J. Gardiner,  Wake County (NC) Public Libraries, agrees, saying, “Why are so many Osage Native Americans dying in Oklahoma? It is the 1920s in rich oil country and local law enforcement cannot explain why some of the country’s most wealthy residents are dying at alarming rates and from an array of causes. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the newly created FBI, sends Tom White to investigate. What he finds is a tangled mess of racism, swindling, and lots of people willing to look the other way.”

Radium GirlsReaders who hunger for more true history like Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly) will want to read Kate Moore’s Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (Sourcebooks, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), the story of women during WWI working the coveted jobs of painting clock-faces only to start dying from radium poisoning. Nicole Steeves, Fox River Grove (IL) Library director said the elements are perfect for readers’ advisory (readable non-fiction, women’s stories, and science writing) and would also recommend it to teens. She added, “It is also is a timely example of good research and careful attribution, relevant to librarians’ concerns about news literacy.”

Classic Mystery Redux

Magpie MurdersLibrarians are crazy about Anthony Horowitz’s The Magpie Murders (Harper, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), a cleverly assembled homage to classic country house whodunnits. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library says, “Mystery readers are in for a treat. We get not only one mystery to solve, but two as we get a book within a book; each having its own story. Each mystery was very well done with good characters and plenty of red herrings which kept me guessing until the end. A fun story for fans of locked room mysteries in the style of Agatha Christie.” Another librarian’s crystal ball predicts this could be the break-out hit of the summer.

Domestic Novels

Stars Are FireIt’s been four long years since readers have had a new novel by Anita Shreve and we are excited that The Stars are Fire (PRH/Knopf, April) is worth the wait. Based on Maine’s Great Fires of 1947, a young mother and her children have to start over after the death of her husband. Jennifer Dayton from Darien Library was smitten saying, “When the fire destroys everything that Grace has in the world, she is forced to reinvent her life and the lives of her children. And it is just when things look at their rosiest that her world is upended again. This story will have you rooting for Grace and her happiness long after you turn the last page.”

I Found YouReaders who have read all of Liane Moriarty’s novels will want to try Lisa Jewell’s  I Found You (S&S/Atria, April). Set in a seaside English town, a single mother, a man with amnesia, and an abandoned wife all collide in a nail-biting climax. Readers of Clare Macintosh’s I Let You Go and Catherine McKenzie’s Fractured will enjoy the suspense and good character development.

Debuts

SycamoreGalleyChatters love to read and promote good debuts and Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor (Harper, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), set in the sizzling mid-state desert of Arizona, is an easy one to recommend to anyone who wants an atmospheric coming-of-age novel. Kelly Currie from Delphi Public Library said “With a multitude of fully developed characters, multiple points of view, and a suspense-laden plot, Sycamore offers something to satisfy every reader. You will find humor and sorrow aplenty in this very well written story. “

Ginny MoonAt least three GalleyChatters raved about the intriguing new novel Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig (HarperCollins/Park Row Books, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), a moving story of a 14-year-old autistic teen who although recently adopted by a loving family, is desperate to return to her violence ridden life with her birth mother. Janet Lockhart was enthusiastic about this saying,  “Ginny Moon has a mission: to find her Baby Doll and make sure she is safe. Her problem? No one understands Ginny’s concern is for an actual, not an imaginary child. Ludwig has created a character whose voice leaps off the page. By turns engaging and infuriating, she is always true to herself — and to Baby Doll.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, March 7, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

GalleyChatters’ Spring and Summer Recommendations

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

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, today,
Feb. 3, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

For those snug at home staring at the snow, January’s recommendations will be just the ticket for taking you away from the dreary days. If you’ve exhausted Netflix, practice a little binge-reading on any of the following forthcoming titles.

Check here for a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat.

Novel History

The Scribe of Siena

Time travel fans will enjoy The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (S&S/Touchstone, May; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), an absorbing combination of contemporary and historical fiction. Neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato is in Italy to take care of her brother’s estate but finds herself in 14th century Siena on the eve of the Black Plague investigating a 700-year-old conspiracy. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien (CT) Library, says this “smartly written novel” is a “wonderful travel log to life in 14th century. I loved this total immersion into life in Renaissance era Siena.”

A Twist in TimeIn the first book of the Kendra Donovan series, Murder in Time, the former FBI agent was transported from the modern times to an English castle in 1815 to find a killer. In the follow-up, Twist in Time (Norton/Pegasus, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20), Julie McElwain continues Kendra’s perilous adventures after she fails to return to the 21st century. Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library said of the sequel, “Her sponsor’s nephew Alec is under suspicion in the stabbing death of his former mistress so Kendra and the Duke rush to London. Once again McElwain blends history, a touch of fantasy, and procedural to fun and intriguing effect.”

The Women in the CastleGathering “much love” votes on Edelweiss far in advance of its pub date at the end of March is Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle (HC/William Morrow). One of those votes come from Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis (TX) Community Library who says in her review, “This book looks at Nazi Germany through the eyes of a special set of victims, the widows of three German men who were executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. After the war, the women band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and to try to keep each other going. It is a guidebook on the human side of war where the lines are blurred between hero and victim.”

For Your Binge-Reading Pleasure

9781501139239_3ebc7In novels filled with tangled relationships Taylor Jenkins Reid has been inching her way into readers’ hearts. Her next book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (S&S/Atria, June; LibraryReads deadline: April 20) is poised to be a winner. Tracy Babiasz, acquisitions manager for Chapel Hill Library, NC, says, “Former Hollywood A-lister Evelyn Hugo is finally going public with the story of her seven husbands, ready to reveal the love of her life, so she calls in a journalist to write her coveted biography…but the answer’s going to surprise everyone! This one left me thinking about what truly makes a family.” Jenna Friebel, materials selection librarian from Oak Park (IL) Public Library, adds, “I didn’t think Taylor Jenkins Reid could outdo her last several amazing books, but oh she did! I truly hopes this becomes THE beach read of summer 2017!”

9781476759944_97f27Another author developing a dedicated following is Lucinda Riley, the Irish author of the Seven Sisters series. The Shadow Sister (S&S/Atria, April; LibraryReads deadline: Feb. 20), the sequel to The Seven Sisters (a favorite of GalleyChatters in April of 2015) and The Storm Sister, continues the journeys of the siblings in their world-wide quest to discover their heritages. Beth Mills of New Rochelle (NY) Public Library says she is becoming a fan of these epic dual timeline stories and recommends it for readers of Susanna Kearsley, Kate Morton, and Lauren Willig.

9780062271631_76794One of the joys of an unread mystery series is starting with the first entry and plowing through all of the titles not only for plot, but also character development. Those lucky people who haven’t yet discovered Deborah Crombie’s series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James are in for such a treat. Of the 17th title in the series, Garden of Lamentations (HarperCollins/Morrow, February), Beth Mills from New Rochelle Public Library said in “this compelling new story,  Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery.”

Debut Novel

9781941040560_7e248GalleyChatters love an off-center novel and it’s an added bonus if it’s humorous and tender. Regular GalleyChat contributor Cynthia Baskin says Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (Norton/Tin House, March) is such a book, “Narrated by 12-year-old Elvis, Anne Hartnett’s debut novel is about grief, mental illness, and family bonds. A quirky family deals with the loss of its sleep-swimming matriarch with equal parts drama and comedy. Rabbit Cake is engrossing, compelling, and lovely, and I enjoyed every bit of it!”

Never Too Late For a Resolution…

9781492633556_46f3aIt’s never too late to resolve to improve your life and reading Eve Shaub’s Year of No Clutter: A Memoir (Sourcebooks, March) might be just the ticket for spring cleaning inspiration. Andrienne Cruz from Azusa City Library says, “If you’ve read most if not all of the books that talk about getting rid of stuff, add this to your list. The author takes you to her realm and you stay there like the very clutter she tries to get rid of.”

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, February 7, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

GalleyChatter, Signs of Spring

Friday, December 30th, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

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.

#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)

 

GalleyChatter: New Year’s Titles to Read Now

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

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

If you fall in love with any of these titles, be sure to nominate them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

Below are highlights of some of the many titles recommended during the most recent GalleyChat. As always, GalleyChatters buzzed a dizzying array of titles. Take a look at the full list of here.

Distinctive Women

9780735220683_fcd46Even though it’s not due to be published until May, librarians are already professing their love for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman, May 9; LibraryReads deadline: March 20), the story of a socially awkward and lonely 30-year-old woman in Scotland who finds unexpected companionship. Cheryl Hill, West Linn Library (OR) reference librarian, said, “Eleanor’s quirks and misunderstanding of certain human behaviors make for some very funny scenes. Her journey of self-discovery makes for a totally compelling novel that I could not put down. I look forward to the publication of this book so I can tell all my friends and family to read it.”

9781250113320_1e13aAnother debut novel featuring an interesting woman is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, January; link is to NetGalley DRC). On New Year’s Eve in 1984, Lillian walks to a dinner date but ends up strolling the length of Manhattan while reflecting back on her life as a highly-paid advertising executive, wife, and mother. Dana Rubin of New York Library’s Adult Services Department and lifelong New Yorker said, “I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the New York of the 1980s with Lillian Boxfish. I would love to have encountered her in real life, and listened to her stories. I love that she had such a full life, and lived it on her terms.”

More Women Worth Meeting

9780062413567_ad6a1Fans of Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret will flock to Nicola Moriarty’s The Fifth Letter (HarperCollins/Morrow, January), not just because the authors have the same last name (they are sisters), but because Nicola has her own equally distinctive voice. Four lifelong friends meet for an overdue getaway and during a drunken evening everyone writes an anonymous confessional letter, but someone writes an extra letter spewing hatred towards a fellow friend. Its discovery will test their bonds. I raced through the pages to find out who wrote the letter and how the multiple twists were resolved.

9780373789252_45a18Kristan Higgins transitioned from writing romance to creating complex women’s relationships with If You Only Knew. She continues the genre in On Second Thought (HC/HQN Books, January), the story of two sisters reuniting after a spouse’s death and a break-up. Jane Jorgenson loved it, saying, “Being there for one another as adults, something they’ve never done before, makes each of the women re-examine their lives and the choices they’ve made. As always Higgins delivers an emotional read and one that flows naturally from start to finish.” Also giving it a shout out is Stephanie Chase Hillsboro PL (OR) library director: “Funny, charming, and a tear-jerker, all rolled up into one. Fans of early Jennifer Weiner will love.”

Novel History

9781616205812_3f761Based on a true incident and court case, Susan Rivers’ debut historical novel The Second Mrs. Hockaday (Workman/Algonquin, January), received praise from Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library (LA). “For fans of epistolary novels, this is a compelling and moving story of a young bride accused of bearing and then killing a child while her husband was away fighting in the Civil War.” This has also received many “much love” votes on Edelweiss and is sure to be a good candidate for book groups.

Winter Thrillers

9781250111173_7d636Already blindsiding readers with its between-the-eyes double whammy finale, Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (Macmillan/Flatiron, January) in a tense psychological suspense novel about Louise who begins an affair with her new boss while also becoming close friends with his wife. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library (NJ) adds, “As Louise observes David and Adele’s relationship from the point of view of first a secretary, then a friend, then a lover, she knows something isn’t quite right in the marriage but the more questions she asks, the more things don’t seem right. A frightening tale of coming undone with an unforeseen, shocking twist at the end.”

Solitary Men

9781250067852_c2b69Move aside Jack Reacher, a new hero has arrived to save the day. Greg Hurwitz’s eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Orphan X, Nowhere Man (Macmillan/Minotaur, January) again features Evan Smoak. Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, CA, says, “Smoak/Orphan X is a highly-trained assassin who was part of a covert operation but has now pledged to help others as ‘The Nowhere Man.’ Aside from dodging nefarious entities he is also being hunted down by his ruthless ex-group who deem him too dangerous to be let loose.”  This is also perfect for those who like Roger Hobbs’ Ghostman. Hurwitz is under contract to write three more books in the series and his hero Smoak may follow Reacher to the big screen, Warner Bros picked up the film rights last year.

9781101875681_5fe86Already gathering multiple “much love” Edelweiss votes, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (PRH/Knopf, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20) is the fascinating study of a man who lived alone in the woods for decades until he was caught stealing food. Marika Zemke of Head of Adult Services at Commerce Township Public Library (MI) said, “At times we all might think that we would like to be alone for awhile. For Christopher Knight, that “for awhile” turned out to be 27 years. 27 years of living in solitude in the woods of Maine where he lived in a tent, never built a fire, spoke to anyone or even took a hot shower. Similar in style to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, this book is destined to be on many reading lists.” This is also good for readers who liked Timothy Treadwell’s Among Grizzlies, but–spoiler alert–Stranger in the Woods has a better ending.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, December 6, with virtual happy hour at 3:30 (ET) and the chat at 4:00, and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

GalleyChat, October 2016,
Not So Familiar Names

Monday, October 31st, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

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

If you fall in love with any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted the deadlines in red.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat tomorrow Nov. 1, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

During the last GalleyChat, many of the top mentioned books were by authors whose names may not be familiar to most. Our crystal balls predict that, by the time  they are published, most will be on the tips of everyone’s tongues.

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

9781250105608_46ab1Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library (LA) led the discussion for the hot title, The Dry by Jane Harper (Macmillan/Flatiron, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20) by saying it was a “brilliantly plotted and atmospheric mystery.” She continued, “When federal investigator Aaron Falk learns that his childhood best friend Luke has killed his family and himself, Aaron feels he has to attend the funeral. The drought itself becomes a character and its effects invade everything, from the devastated landscape to the fear in the people’s eyes as Aaron and the local sheriff begin to ask questions.” Many of us are hoping to see the return of Aaron Falk in a future story. (Reese Witherspoon has also snapped up the movie rights.)

9780812995343_73f0aGeorge Saunders’ follow up to The Tenth of December (his NBA nominated book of short stories), the novel Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/Random House, February; LibraryReads deadline: Dec. 20), is already starting to make a splash, reeling in 17 “much love” Edelweiss votes. Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, said it’s “like a literary fever dream. Told by many voices of both the living and the dead it focuses on February 22, 1862. Willie Lincoln has been laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. Abraham Lincoln, bowed by his loss and the war that is raging comes to the crypt to see his son one last time under the cover of darkness. You will find it hard to leave the world that Saunders has created behind long after you close the book.”

9780399576102_61944Two galleychatters gave major kudos to the domestic psychological novel A Separation by Katie Kitamura (PRH/Riverhead, February; LibraryReads deadline: Dec. 20). Soon after a couple quietly decides to separate, the husband  disappears into a remote area of Greece, and while the wife goes on a search and rescue effort, she’s unsure if she really cares to find him. Elliott Bay Bookstore staff member Kenny Coble implored us to get a copy ASAP, and sounding like it could be compared to a popular TV show, Andrienne Cruz said, “This is a book that was almost about nothing. However, there are plenty of ideas to ponder about what makes a marriage, what makes a life.”

9780812997279_069c6A book gaining attention for both teens and adults is The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson (PRH/Random House, January; LibraryReads deadline: Nov. 20), a novel that portrays high schools as a “scary, tragic place for kids and teachers” (Kaite Stover, Kansas City, MO, readers’ services librarian). Another one impressed by this novel was Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library:  “Mill Valley just north of San Francisco may seem like an idyllic place to grow up, but for a group of high school juniors, all connected by the suicide of one of their peers in middle school, it is anything but. As these teenagers traverse the final years of adolescence, they are keenly observed by a first year teacher who is both fascinated by and in awe of these students, their struggles and their decisions, both good and bad.” [NOTE: The author recently chatted with librarians as part of  our PRH EarlyReads program].

9780451493897_9c0bcChatters who were impressed with Peter Heller’s first novel, Dog Stars, were anxious to read Celine (PRH/Knopf, March; LibraryReads deadline: Jan. 20), a private eye mystery that introduces aristocratic sixty-nine year old Celine who travels to Yellowstone National Park in a camper to find a missing photographer.  Susan Balla quickly finished it and said, “Heller is a master of depicting man against nature and his writing transports you into the wilds, and yes, even into the RV, with Celine and Pete. Beautifully written with wonderful, memorable characters, Celine is a fun, smart, and thoroughly enjoyable novel.”

9780062458322_76543The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy (HarperCollins/Harper, February; LibraryReads deadline: Dec. 20), a futuristic novel about channeling the dead so the living can reconnect with loved ones, has the unsettling undertones of  Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Jessica Chiarella’s Two Again with many moral and ethical issues for book group discussion. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library, “Edie is a body which means she takes a lovely pill, adds something personal from the person she is channeling and helps grieving people spend time with the deceased. This futuristic thriller raises some interesting questions and moral dilemmas.”

9780393609097_a8601He may be more familiar than anyone mentioned above, but mainly by librarians who adore author Nail Gaiman for both his library-loving attitude and his excellent novels. His newest, Norse Mythology (WW Norton, February; LibraryReads deadline: Dec. 20), hasn’t disappointed any early readers with Janet Lockhart leading the shout outs by saying, “Neil Gaiman retells the Norse myths with wit and a keen eye for character.  Thor and Loki in particular leap off the page.  Sure to please his many fans and create new admirers.”

Please join us for the spirited discussion during our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, November 1,  and for updates on what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please friend me.

GALLEYCHATTER, September 2016, Fall for Winter Reading

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

EDITORS NOTE:

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

If you fall in love with any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splendid Women

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

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

Spellbinding Novels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thriller Choice

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

There’s no limit on who can join the fun, so note our next GalleyChat date of Tuesday, October 4, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.

GalleyChatter Recommendations
For Your Labor Day Reading

Friday, August 26th, 2016

If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.

And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.
———————————————————————————-

Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.

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

And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:

May — Was Oprah listening? We picked Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, before she did (it hits #1 on the upcoming NYT best seller list)

June — Features The Woman in Cabin 10, which not only hit best seller lists, but has brought readers to Ruth Ware’s earlier title.

July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s. 

Chilling Thrillers

9781503937826_f77a7Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.

9780062427021_928fdPeter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”

9780735221086_bebf2I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”

9780062476760_120f0-2  9781501152115_9670e

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”

And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.

Epic Historical Fiction

Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.

9780544464056_a5b34Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”

9781631492242_9c71aWinston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”

9780812995152_7d0acThe Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”

Massimino Who?

9781101903544_6dd5aMany have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.

Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.

GALLEYCHATTER: Discoveries from BEA

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Each month, our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the favorites from our most recent Twitter chat (#ewgc). Below is the June column.

The next GalleyChat is July 5. Extend your holiday by joining us, Details here.

———————————————————————————-

In last month’s GalleyChatter column, we highlighted the titles we expected to be hearing about at Book Expo America. We’re happy to report our predictions were accurate, but the real fun of the show is the unexpected gems.

During the post-BEA GalleyChat, those who had just returned from the show were eager to share newly discovered titles that had been lugged home. Below is a mixture of titles that were featured during the show with either author appearances or plentiful galleys and we are happy to report that these all lived up to the promotional efforts. As we head in to the Fourth of July holiday, consider downloading digital review copies of these titles from Edelweiss or NetGalley.

And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles that can still be nominated.

For a complete list of the 127 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.

First Novels

9781101946619_6e633Nathan Hill was prominently featured in BEA’s Buzz programs for his debut novel The Nix (PRH/Knopf, August). This 640 bag sprawling saga about a college English teacher’s search for his mother rated five stars from frequent Galleychat contributor Cynthia Baskin who said, “This engrossing, humorous novel takes the reader from the rural Midwest to New York City and to the Chicago riots in 1968, and finally to Norway. It’s a book that is going to be a big success!”

9780316308106_4f84eAnother debut novel receiving kudos from both booksellers and librarians is Affnity Konar’s Mischling (Hachette/Lee Beaudroux Books, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20), a historical novel set during WWII. Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) reports, “On the surface, this is a haunting novel about the brutality and depravity inflicted upon “multiples” at the hands of Josef Mengele in Auschwitz. It soon becomes apparent, however, that this novel is an affirmation of the importance and power of family, whatever your definition of family may be. This is a beautifully written, powerful reminder of the destructive nature of hate and the redemptive powers of love and hope.”

9780316391177_50b5eWith a mix of contentious friendships, exotic locations, and a bit of adversity, Invincible Summer by Alice Adams [not be confused with American author Alice Adams who died in 1999] (Hachette/Little Brown, June), is the perfect book for tucking into a beach bag and a contender for book groups. Heather Bistyga, ILL/Periodicals Librarian from Anderson, SC, says, “Invincible Summer paints a deft picture of the first 20 years of adulthood, with a resonance that transcends nationality and specific life experiences. A fast, enjoyable read.

9780399184512_1ca7cAnother title poised to be a hit with literary readers and book groups is Brit Bennett’s novel set in a contemporary African-American community in southern California, The Mothers (PRH/Riverhead, October; LibraryReads deadline: Aug 20). Jessica Woodbury, Book Riot contributor, says this skillfully written story “is about three characters, following them from 17 or so until their mid-20’s. But its theme is mothers and love and family and community. Bennett doesn’t get a thing wrong.”

Happy Returns

9781501132933_82371Stacks of the psychological suspense novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press, July), were readily available in the Simon & Schuster booth. So far feedback has been very positive with many saying it’s even better than Ware’s first novel, In A Dark, Dark Wood. Anbolyn Potter of Chandler Public Library (AZ) said, “It’s a contemporary version of ‘the country house mystery’ set on a luxury cruise ship with a limited number of people who could have committed the crime. An ‘unstable’ main character, untrustworthy cohorts, and the claustrophobia of being trapped on a boat, ratchet up the tension.” I agree and add that the atmosphere was so well done I finished the book feeling a little damp.

9780670026197_2f9f3A dapper Amor Towles charmed the audience at the BEA Penguin Random House breakfast, and many raced to secure a galley of his next book, A Gentleman in Moscow (PRH/Viking, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20). One of the first librarian readers was Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, MI, who says “All the clever language and charm that made Katie Kontent (Rules of Civility) irresistible is infused into a Russian aristocrat, banished to house arrest in the attic of a luxury hotel in the middle of Moscow after the Bolshevik takeover. With nothing but time on his hands, Rostov stumbles into being a better man and, ironically, a man of purpose. Keep a pencil in hand, as Towles plays with words like cards in a magic trick and you’re going to want to keep some passages fresh in your mind well after you finish.”

9780373789719_d2d16Susan Mallery’s Daughters of the Bride (HarperCollins/HQN Books, July), was mentioned at the Book Group Speed Dating session as a good bet for women’s discussion groups and is also perfect for readers of Debbie Macomber. New Rochelle (NY) Public Library’s Beth Mills says, “Mallery gives readers another appealing small town setting and the story of three sisters planning their widowed mother’s wedding while trying to deal with each other, their mother, and the men in their lives. Mallery’s smooth-as-silk storytelling makes this a winning summer read.”

Haunting Biography

There’s no argument that The Haunting of Hill House remains one of the greatest haunted house mysteries in publishing his9780871403131_0c0c3tory but the author has been an enigma. The new biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Norton/Liveright, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) exposes the author’s life. Jen Dayton of Darien (CT) Library says “This delightfully readable biography is served up with equal measures of dysfunction and genius. I really think that after reading this, it would behoove us all to lay in her backlist.” Fortunately, attendees who weren’t lucky enough to win the “lottery” and pick up a print galley can access the DRC from Edelweiss and NetGalley. [Note: Penguin Classics is reprinting a new deluxe edition of The Haunting of Hill House in September]

Please join us for our July 5 at 4:00 (ET) with virtual happy hour at 3:30. To keep up with my anticipated 2016 titles, “friend” me on Edelweiss (click on the “Community” tab).

GalleyChatter, BEA 2016 Special Edition

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower takes a look at some of the titles to watch out for at next week’s BEA, below.

Please join our next GalleyChat, June 7, 4:00-5:00 (ET) to discuss discoveries from the show.

—————-

There are bound to be more galleys snagged than can be jammed in a suitcase at the upcoming Book Expo America  (Wed., May 11 through Fri., May 13), so choosing wisely is paramount. Below is a rundown of highly anticipated titles road tested by our devoted GalleyChatters. All are available as Digital Review Copies, so you can live vicariously, even if  you’re not going to the show.

Click here for our Edelweiss list of titles that will be promoted at various BEA programs.

Reader Favorites for 2016—So Far

9780062409201_2396aPaulette Jiles’ News of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow, October), the story of an elderly widower taking an orphaned girl, once held captive by the Kiowa, back to her relatives is receiving effusive praise on Edelweiss, making it a sure bet to become a hit with  readers and book groups. Virginia Stanley of HarperCollins will be talking it up during the AAP Annual Librarians’ Book Buzz—Part 1 and galleys will be given away in the HarperCollins booth (check at the booth for times). Janet Lockhart describes it as, “Stupendous writing, characters that get under your skin and burrow deep into your heart, great pacing, and an ending that makes you cry with joy and relief. My favorite book of 2016 so far.” Also check out HC’s BEA galley guide here.

9780385537032_9b0d7Colson Whitehead is speaking on the Big Authors Panel II at Library Journal’s Day of Dialog and the Adult Book and Author Breakfast, and will be signing Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday, September).  Jessica Woodbury, blogger and
Book Riot contributor, calls this novel about a young woman escaping slavery in Georgia, “a spectacular book.” She also says, “The beauty of this book is that while it has that deep communal feel of folk tale, it also lives vibrantly through its characters. I cannot remember another book about this era that so completely brought the world to life in my mind. Just do yourself a favor and get this book.”

9781501133862_a7c77Vicki Nesting of St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA, gives top praise for Thomas Mullen’s Darktown (S&S/Atria/37 INK, September) by saying  “This one is definitely going on my “best of 2016” list!” and adds, “In a powerful mystery set in 1948, two of Atlanta’s first black police officers struggle to solve the murder of a young black girl against tremendous odds.” Mullen will be at the BEA Editors’ Buzz Panel and signing books in the S&S booth (check at the booth for times).

More Anticipated Novels

9781492637257_a8d18  9781492635222_87cc8

Vicki Nesting also recommends The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark; October) as an excellent addition to the “woman-behind-the-famous-man” category of historical fiction. She says, “Mileva Maric, a brilliant physicist and mathematician, left her Serbian homeland to study physics at a prestigious university in Zurich. There she met Albert Einstein and the two were immediately drawn to one another. This is a completely absorbing and utterly believable story of a brilliant woman forgotten by history.” Sourcebooks will have plenty of copies in their booth, plus the author will be appearing in the Hot Fall Fiction 2016 session and doing an in-booth signing.  Also check their booth for galleys of Greer Macallister’s excellent novel about Pinkerton’s first woman detective, Girl in Disguise(March, 2017).

9781101904220_ee938A book GalleyChatters say is sure to be in everyone’s hands this summer is Blake Crouch’s mind-twisting Dark Matter (PRH/Crown, July). Stephanie Chase, Library Director of Hillsboro (OR) Library said, “Awesome combination of thriller, science fiction, and speculative alternate-history style fiction. This is the book you should recommend to all your readers this summer, for its fast pace and thought-provoking treatment of what happens when we make one choice over another.” Crouch wrote the Wayward Pines trilogy published by Amazon Publishing and developed into a series on Fox TV (Season 2 begins May 25). He will sign those books during in one of the Autographing Sessions and Dark Matter in the PRH booth.

9781616206178_6d00aGayle Forman, popular author of teen novels, will be appearing at the Librarians’ Author Lunch to talk about Leave Me (Workman/Algonquin), an adult novel about “not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Tracy Babiasz, acquisitions manager for Chapel Hill Library, NC, writes this intriguing description: “Could you imagine running away from your husband and twins? Maribeth does it, leaving them in order to find herself. Only Gayle Forman could take what might otherwise be an unsympathetic character and have me cheering for her!”

9780393241655_3db1aAnn Hood’s natural choice for book groups, The Book That Matters Most (Norton, August) will be available in the Norton booth. After Ava’s marriage dissolves, she joins an exclusive library book group where members select books that to them mattered the most during their lives. Over the year of discussing the books, members end up sharing their own personal problems. Rosemary Smith, Edelweiss power reader, said “the overriding message in this book is that our books, our stories have the power to save us all.” Check here for more Norton giveaways.

cover84147-mediumAnyone who loved the movie The Big Chill will enjoy Allison Winn Scotch’s In Twenty Years (Amazon/Lake Union, July, DRC for this one is only on NetGalley), the story of six college friends who reunite after 20 years. Allison’s prose rings with authenticity as they find themselves coping with complicated relationships and life choices. Allison will be signing galleys in the autographing tables area on Thursday.

9781101875612_f5510Penguin Random House’s BEA breakfast is always a treat (for both food and author appearances) and Jennifer Close will be featured this year to talk about The Hopefuls (PRH/Knopf, July). Since Close’s husband works in the White House and her best friend is Joe Biden’s secretary, her inside view of Washington politics is put to good use in her “sparkling new novel,” according to Melissa Samora of Chandler (AZ) Public Library. She continues “I loved the glimpse into D.C. politics and thought the story of a marriage in transition was authentic. I found myself relating to Beth on more than one occasion. I simply loved this book and gobbled it up quickly.”

9781250097910_06fe4Have you heard of Advance Listening Copies? Find out what that means at the Macmillan booth where they will be holding a Galley and Advance Listening Copy Giveaway at 11:00 am on Thursday for Wendy Walker’s tense psychological suspense novel, All is Not Forgotten (St. Martin’s, July). This novel about a woman trying to peel back layers of her memory to remember who attacked her as a teen has been receiving a lot of attention from GalleyChatters over the past few months. Jen Dayton enthuses, “You will be halfway through this taut psychological thriller and think that you’ve got it all figured out. But trust me, you aren’t even close.” For a full roster of all of Macmillan’s activities, check here.

Memoir Perfect for Discussing

9781250075727_d0f46Creator of the popular blog Momastery, Glennon Doyle Melton is appearing at the BEA Librarians’ Dinner to talk about her memoir, Love Warrior (Macmillan/Flatiron Books, August). Melton’s courage in writing such intimate details of her collapsing marriage is commendable and this touching and inspirational account will be a winner for women’s book groups. It is a good option for readers who liked of Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.

Join us for a spirited GalleyChat on June 7, 4:00-5:00 (ET) when we discuss the unexpected gems we found at BEA.

GalleyChatter, April 2016 Happy Sixth Birthday!

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower, reminds us that GalleyChat just passed a milestone, its 6th birthday. She claims it was “an immediate success” when it was introduced and she should know, she was there from the beginning. We also have to add that GalleyChat has continued to grow in popularity since Robin became our official GalleyChatter.

Below, she rounds up the highlights of the April chat.

If you’ve missed Robin’s earlier columns, link below, for more current and forthcoming titles:

March — GALLEYCHATTER Looks to the Merry Month of May

February — GALLEYCHATTER, Heading into Summer

January — GALLEYCHATTER, Spring Announcements

———————————————————————————-

Happy Sixth Birthday, GalleyChat.  Here’s to another six years!

It seems each chat gets more lively and April’s was no exception, featuring a range of novels, from one starring a librarian with an enviable job to others that are downright revolting and creepy.

Check here for the complete Edelweiss list of all the titles that came up.

We’ve also noted the deadlines for those that can still be nominated for LibraryReads.

Imaginative Fiction

9781101988640_11286  9781101988664_08c4e  9781101988688_97b04

The first book in a new fantasy series, The Invisible Library by by Genevieve Cogman (PRH/ROC, June), led the pack. Who can resist a plot involving an undercover librarian? Jenna Freibel of Deerfield Library (IL) said, “I had so much fun reading this first installment of a fantasy adventure series in which ‘Librarians’ travel to different realities to collect important books, even if it means stealing or fighting to retrieve them. It’s perfect for fans of Gail Carriger and Jim Butcher.” Fans will not have to wait long for the next two books in the series, which come out later this year, The Masked City (September) and The Burning Page (December). [NOTE: Pleas join us for a chat with the author on June 1]

9780393285543_a3e5dIn Lydia Millet’s Sweet Lamb of Heaven (Norton, May), Anna and her young daughter flee to Maine to hide from her sociopathic husband. What begins as a suspense novel quickly turns into something totally unexpected. Kelly Currie (Delphi Public Library, IN) said, “The story takes a strange and intriguing turn into a discussion of perception, the source of consciousness, language, and God. The author is adept at exploring and digging deep into such extrasensory perceptions and trying to understand and explain human consciousness in all its glory–and its ugliness. Fascinating food for thought.”

9781501125041_7cefbWhether you adore our eight-legged spider friends or have a case of arachnophobia, the first book in a new series, The Hatching, Ezekiel Boone (S&S/Atria/Emily Bestler, June) will keep you riveted and unable to look away. Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) said, “Would you prefer death by a swarm of flesh eating spiders, or death by an exploding spider egg sac laid within your body? This is an apocalyptic novel that preys upon our fear of those creepy, crawly, and in this case carnivorous, monsters we call spiders. It was highly entertaining and hair-raising at the same time, fast paced and addictive.”

9781501126925_7a798Some readers are on the fence whether the very dark but well-constructed psychological suspense novel about a character’s musings about ending her relationship will strike a chord with readers, but I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid (S&S, June) has been gaining attention from many readers with seventeen “much love” Edelweiss votes. Carol Kubala, retired adult services librarian, said “This is the kind of book that is difficult to describe as well as unequivocally recommend. It will not be for everyone but for those of us who like a dark, brooding tale, it will be a winner. ‘I’m thinking I liked it.’”

Appealing Science

GruntEver since Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was published, Mary Roach has been known for her combination of deep research and endless curiosity delivered with cheeky humor.  Three GalleyChatters raved about her newest title, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (Norton, June) and is surely destined for the bestseller list.  Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries collection development librarian, said, “With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a topic few of us would openly explore but yes do want to know about – this time all the little-appreciated issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating revelation.”

Read-Worthy Novels

Heat & LightJennifer Haigh continues the Bakerton Stories (Baker Towers and News from Heaven) with Heat and Light (HarperCollins/Ecco, May). Set in Pennsylvania and featuring many of the same characters, Cynthia Baskin, frequent Galleychat contributor, said “Haigh’s book looks at fracking’s impact on here-today-gone-tomorrow speculators and disgruntled rural residents. Haigh’s success here is due to her multidimensional characters who show the gray areas surrounding a complex political issue. This is Haigh’s best book to date!”

9780812996395_c3662Messy relationships, age-old secrets, and a creaky old family home all make for a gripping read so there is no doubt readers will love Arrowood by Laura McHugh (PRH/Spiegel & Grau, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20). Jennifer Winberry of Hunterdon County Library (NJ) says, “Arden has returned to her family home in Southern Iowa to mourn the loss of her father. Overcome with memories, Arden relives the summer twenty years ago when her young twin sisters were abducted, never to be found. With vivid imagery and a steamy Gothic atmosphere, Arden’s grief is often tangible in this visceral novel.”

9781250074133_3e63fKaite Stover, Kansas City (MO) readers’ services librarian is nationally known for forecasting what will be hot with readers so when she recommends Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne, August; LibraryReads deadline: June 20), we listen. According to Kaite, “It’s the rare novel that shows readers how undeniably human we are. Every character in this novel makes hard and bad choices that tear them down, build them up, and flesh them out into people readers will identify with. A powerful and rewarding story that dares to imagine what would happen if Sons of Anarchy met Romeo & Juliet?” [Kindle Users: Macmillan eGalleys are now available on Kindle.]

Please  join our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, May 3, 4:00-5:00 with virtual cocktails at 3:30. For what is going to be hot at BEA in May, watch for my BEA special edition column.