Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of June 5, 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017


“Breathless anticipation” is the watchword of the week, with John Grisham releasing his first summer novel, Camino Island (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH and BOT Audio).

Featuring plot elements that will appeal to both booksellers and librarians, it’s about hunting down handwritten F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts stolen from the Princeton Library. The investigation leads to a bookseller (indie, of course) on the fictional island of the title in Florida. Grisham also has a new title coming in October, titled at this point simply New Legal Thriller.

Of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (PRH/Random House; RH and BOT Audio), the Washington Post‘s chief critic Ron Charles writes, “We waited 20 years for [Roy’s] follow-up to The God of Small Things. It was worth it.”

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of June 5, 2017

Media Magnets

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating, Alan Alda (PRH/Random House; RH Large Print; RH and BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Not a celebrity memoir, but a book by Alda about his avocation and passion, helping people to communicate better and how he has helped scientists, academics and medical professionals explain themselves more clearly. In a NYT essay, he talks about the origin of the book, when he and a dentist miscommunicated (do not read if dentists make you queasy).

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads titles arrive this week, including the #1 pick for June, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

“Susan Ryeland is a London book editor who has just received the latest manuscript from one of her most irascible authors, Alan Conway. But the manuscript’s ending appears to be missing and she learns that Conway has committed suicide. As Ryeland learns more about his death, she starts to question whether a murder has occurred and begins to investigate. Magpie Murders is a delightful, clever mystery-within-a-mystery. Horowitz shows real mastery of his craft. This is a terrific, modern take on the traditional mystery with ingenious puzzles to solve.” — Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Library, Libertyville, IL

Additional Buzz: It is also the #1 Indie Next pick for June and a GalleyChat favorite. It is on a number of summer reading lists, including Janet Maslin’s NYT‘s preview “Books To Breeze Through This Summer” and USA Today‘s “10 hot books you won’t want to miss this summer.” It is also on Bustle‘s list of “29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer” and AARP’s list of “Best Beach Reading 2017.”

The Alice Network, Kate Quinn (HC/ William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Outstanding fictional account of the Alice network, women spies in World War I, tough and determined to defeat the Germans. The story centers on Eve Gardiner, aka Marguerite, a young woman trained to spy on the Germans, and Charlie St. Clair, a young woman post WWII, pregnant, lost and finding her direction. The two meet and the story alternates chapters as Charlie is determined to find her cousin, Rose presumed dead after the war, while Eve’s story of the Alice network unfolds. A fantastic book with strong female characters.” — Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

Additional Buzz: RT Book Reveiws says it is “Lovingly crafted and brimming with details.” LJ includes it on their roundup of “Summer Escapes: Roll Out the Beach Towel with Some Genre Fiction.” They also include Magpie Murders (above).

Do Not Become Alarmed, Maile Meloy (PRH/Riverhead; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Liv and Nora, who are cousins, decide to take their families on a cruise. Both have an eleven-year-old and a younger child as well. At one of the ports, the moms take the children out with another family they met on the ship. All goes well until the children, in a brief moment, aren’t observed and disappear. From here the nightmare begins, and the story alternates between what is happening to the children and the adults. The story is gripping and the characters are well-developed. The book explores family and marital dynamics, race, privilege, guilt, and responsibility.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Additional Buzz: It is a June Indie Next pick. Entertainment Weekly includes it on their list of “Summer’s 20 Must-Read Books”, writing “Every parent’s nightmare comes true in Meloy’s literary page-turner.” In their separate review, the magazine gives it a B+, calling it a “taut, nervy thriller.” It is on Louise Erdrich and Emma Straub’s summer reading list for PBS as well as the lists created by Bustle, The Seattle Times, Travel and Leisure magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and Southern Living. It also made the spring book list from Parnassus Books.

Five additional Indie Next titles publish this week:

Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash (Consortium Book Sales/Coffee House Press; HighBridge Audio).

“Spanning a college wrestler’s senior season, Stephen Florida is eerie, unsettling, and unlike anything else. It can be hard to live in Stephen’s head, but it is impossible to stop reading or to forget what you find there. Stephen is unpredictable, sympathetic, focused, frenzied, cold, and tender. He is hard to love, yet I love him. We are lucky to have a new novel like this: something you haven’t seen before, that makes you remember what good fiction is capable of.” —Tyler Goodson, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Additional Buzz: HuffPost picks it as one of their “24 incredible Books You Should Read This Summer” (they also pick Do Not Become Alarmed, above). It is one of Nylon‘s “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read in 2017” and on BuzzFeed‘s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer” list, calling it “Unsettling yet emotionally compelling.” Powells bookstore offers an interview, writing in the introduction that the main character “is one of the more exceptional characters in recent literature, and his voice, as he tries to move forward through his tightly circumscribed life, is both haunting and hilarious.”

Blackout, Marc Elsberg (Sourcebooks Landmark; OverDrive Sample).

“Already a huge bestseller internationally, Marc Elsberg’s Blackout is poised to be a sensation in the U.S. this June. In Blackout, hackers are able to take down all the electrical grids across Europe, resulting in a total blackout more far-reaching than anything previously thought possible. Once it becomes clear that this event is not a glitch and the depths of the crisis — no lights, no heat, no Internet, no cell service — become evident, chaos ensues. Piero Manzano is an activist and a former hacker whose investigation into the cause of the disaster soon makes him a prime suspect and forces him to run from the authorities. This is a taut, fast-paced thriller about a frighteningly plausible scenario.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, Finn Murphy (W.W. Norton; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This memoir of a life spent driving trucks full of strangers’ personal belongings across the country is the book I didn’t know I needed. Finn Murphy writes engaging slice-of-life stories about his time as a long-haul truck driver while also showing the changes in the trucking industry and American life in the decades he’s spent pulling thousands of pounds up mountains, through storms, and across plains. Trucking is a solitary life, but Murphy grabbed me like a friend and took me with him on his journey.” —Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

Additional Buzz: NYT reviews, writing it is “almost shamefully enjoyable, allowing readers to have their fix of “fabulous-life-of” porn and class outrage, too.” Murphy offers a playlist for drivers, posted on the Powells’ site.

The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry (HC/HarperLuxe; Custom House; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“If you love mystery, Victorian England, and exploring the tension between science and religion, you will love The Essex Serpent. Many contemporary authors manage to evoke for readers that experience of reading Jane Austen or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the first time. The real miracle of Sarah Perry is that she manages to do so with a completely fresh voice. With beautiful sentences and characters and landscapes so well-crafted you feel you’ve been there, The Essex Serpent captures the imagination and manages to deliver the sense of wisdom only good literature can.” —Tina Ontiveros, Klindt’s Booksellers, The Dalles, OR

Additional Buzz: It has done extraordinarily well in the UK. The Guardian writes it has had “an astonishing trajectory, selling more than 200,000 copies in hardback alone – 40 times more than the initial sales target – and scooping up nominations as varied as the Costa fiction award to the Wellcome prize for books about medicine and health.” Perry beat both Sebastian Barry and Paul Beatty out and won the British Book Award, both best novel and the Book of the Year. It was also on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction long list and the Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist.

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, Nina Riggs (S&S; S&S Audio).

“This uplifting and affirming book will alter readers’ views about books on death. Nina Riggs’ memoir shares the story of both her ongoing battle against cancer and her mother’s valiant fight against the same disease. Both women face the realities of their situation with wonderful humor and candor. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud and sharing passages with other book lovers. As a cancer survivor myself, I felt that I was reading the ‘bright book’ of the season. The hope, spirit, and determination exhibited in these pages will provide inspiration to all, whether dealing with this disease or not.” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post calls it “this year’s When Breath Becomes Air.” It is People‘s Book of the Week, calling it a “deeply affecting memoir, a simultaneously heartbreaking and funny account of living with loss and the specter of death. As she lyrically, unflinchingly details her reality, she finds beauty and truth that comfort even amid the crushing sadness.”







Spider-Man Homecoming opens on July 7, spinning webs of tie-ins before it lands. It picks up after Captain America: Civil War and stars Tom Holland, Chris Evans, and Robert Downey Jr., among many others.

Spider-Man: Homecoming: The Deluxe Junior Novel by Jim McCann (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; also in a regular paperback edition; OverDrive Sample) will be one of the lead tie-ins. A level reader also comes out, Spider-Man: Homecoming: Meet Spidey by Charles Cho (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

As the Wonder Woman film gets much love from critics, a critical tie-in hits the shelves, Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books).

Another Doctor Strange book comes out this week, long after the 2016 film has left theaters, and a few months after the February DVD release, a middle grade novel is based on the movie, Phase Three: MARVEL’s Doctor Strange by Alex Irvine (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

The “phase three” of the title is not a reference to a sequel but rather to the Marvel Cinematic Universe time line, the period of time when the Avengers have become at odds with each other.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 29, 2017

Friday, May 26th, 2017


For their holiday weekend edition, the New York Times Book Review takes a look at summer books. Among the titles picked by Janet Maslin is a book of essays arriving next week that sounds like ideal beach reading for those who enjoy a little shade with their sun (with a fitting cover image), We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby, (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Describing the author as a “frank and madly funny blogger,” Maslin highlights the opening essay which contrasts Irby’s own wardrobe to “Bachelorette” contestants, “I don’t wear evening gowns and booty shorts every day. I wear daytime pajamas and orthopedic shoes, and lately I have become a big fan of the ‘grandpa cardigan.’ ”

Also arriving this week is a book by another funny essayist, David Sedaris, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). As the subtitle notes, it is based on his diaries, giving fans a view of the raw materials of the more polished essays in his eight bestselling books. Library Journal attests it will appeal to more than die-hard Sedaris fans, “even the more casual reader will be drawn in, as the author comes into his own as a writer and a person.”

With more gentle humor, Mo Willems publishes a stand-alone that is sure to become a baby shower staple, Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion). Written in faux safety manual/waiterspeak it will appeal more to new parents than to kids.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 29, 2017

Media Magnets

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Senate’s most well-known humorist (intentional, that is), has already raised hackles with his new book. Ted Cruz has labeled the chapter devoted to him “obnoxious and insulting,” a phrase Franken would surely have loved as a jacket blurb.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton (PRH/Philomela Books; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

That other famous first daughter’s new book is aimed at young girls and takes its title from the phrase Mitch McConnell used to vent his frustration over failing to silence Elizabeth Warren. The book is getting attention for the person it does not include, Clinton’s mother. She explains to Entertainment Weekly that she feared “her story [would] overwhelm the book.”
The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 29, 2017

Peer Picks

One LibaryReads title comes out this week, White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews (HC/Avon; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, “normal” being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn’t stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn’t stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!” — Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, AL

Additional Buzz:
RT Book Reviews gives it 4.5 stars and makes it a Top Pick, praises its “combination of fresh world building, kick-ass heroines and touching relationships.” Kirkus starred, writing “An enthralling paranormal romance from a master of the genre.” HappyEverAfter offers an excerpt.

Three June Indie Next titles land this week.

Touch, Courtney Maum (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Sloane is a strong, independent businesswoman working as a trend forecaster. While at an innovative company, Sloane finds that the very technology that is supposed to connect people to one another is actually tearing them apart. The entire story is both hilarious and slightly terrifying as it tells of a future where we outsource intimacy to strangers and lead very isolated lives. Touch is a warning about what can happen if we become too attached to the technology in our lives and a great reminder to put the phone down and connect with others in person.” —Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

Additional Buzz: It makes a number of best of the month lists including BuzzFeed‘s “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer,”Bustle‘s “The 15 Best Fiction Books Of May 2017,” InStyle‘s “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month,” Glamour‘s “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love This Summer,” and Refinery29‘s “Favorite Books Of 2017 – So Far.” In starred reviews Booklist calls it an “incisive, charming, and funny novel,” while PW says it is “a perceptive, thought-provoking read.” Interview Magazine calls it “sweet and funny … A sharp yet feeling satire.” The Millions offers an interview.

Extraordinary Adventures, Daniel Wallace (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“We are all Edsel Bronfman. Or at least those of us who have spent a substantial portion of our lives as terribly awkward introverts with no social skills and a complete lack of romantic experience or opportunity are. Daniel Wallace’s new novel had me cringing with recognition and laughing out loud as his 34-year-old protagonist is launched on an absurd and hilarious journey of self-discovery and transformation initiated by a mysterious phone call from a timeshare saleswoman. Extraordinary Adventures is a quirky, sweet, heartfelt, and offbeat romance that displays the imaginative playfulness Wallace is known for.” —Josh Niesse, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA

Come Sundown, Nora Roberts (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of the Bodine family, which runs a successful ranch resort. As you learn about Bodine Longbow, who helps to run the family business, and her new relationship, you also learn about Bodine’s Aunt Alice, who took off when she was 18 and never came home. The family never learned what happened to Alice, so when she is found alive they have to find out to keep her from disappearing again. Come Sundown is suspenseful, slightly creepy, and also touching. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mystery with some romance.” —Linda Keifer, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, DE

Additional Buzz: Kirkus stars, writing, “Roberts always tells a good story that balances romance and suspense, but in this title, the narrative is deeper, the mystery is more layered … Roberts moves into another level of exploring physical and emotional trauma and the powerful balm of family and love.”







Two tie-ins come out this week attached to the Wonder Woman movie.

Wonder Woman: The Deluxe Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HC/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample; also in a regular, pbk. edition)

Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film by Sharon Gosling (PRH/Titan Books).

The film arrives in theaters on June 2nd, starring Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious franchise) as the Amazonian Princess. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine plays her romantic interest and ally. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, and Danny Huston round out the cast.

See our earlier posts for additional tie-ins as well as background reading.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 22, 2017

Friday, May 19th, 2017






It’s a relatively slow publishing week in terms of big names. Other than James Patterson, who releases a YA novel this week, Crazy House (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the most recognized name is Michael Crichton, whose novel Dragon Teeth (HC/Harper; HarperAudio) is being published posthumously. Prepub preview are strong and it’s an Indie Next pick (see “Peer Picks,” below). The NYT book editor, Pamela Paul, publishes a book about, guess what? Reading. My Life with Bob (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; OverDrive Sample) uses the reading notebook she has kept since high school, called “Bob,” or Book of Books, as the basis of a memoir. Prepub reviews are strong, with LJ saying, “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience.”

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable books arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 22, 2017.

Peer Picks

Four Indie Next titles from the June list hit shelves this week.

Standard Deviation, Katherine Heiny (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“I was a fan of Single, Carefree, Mellow so it was a treat to read Katherine Heiny’s latest release. Standard Deviation wryly delves into the complications and contradictions inherent in good, long-term love and parenting a slightly more challenging child. This is a laugh-out-loud, funny read with brains and heart, and a gentler world to spend time in for anyone who just needs a break.” —Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Additional Buzz: The author will be interviewed on the upcoming NPR Weekend Edition Saturday. Reviews are scheduled in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and People magazine. BookPage lists her as one of “10 Women To Watch In 2017,” saying “Heiny offers a wry, often hilarious take on monogamy and marriage with her debut novel.” LJ includes the book on their list of May “Top Debut Novels,” calling it “brightly funny.”

Shadow Man, Alan Drew (PRH/RH;RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Additional Buzz: Literary Hub lists it as one of the “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in May,” writing it features “indelible characters.” Booklist and Kirkus star, with Kirkus writing “An unusually deft blending of styles, Drew’s engrossing novel works equally well as psychological study and cop thriller, literary novel and genre piece.” Booklist also includes it in their list of “The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2017,” saying it “beats to multiple hearts of darkness.”

Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio).

“I worshipped Michael Crichton. I cried for two days when he died, in part because there would be no more novels. However, after all these years, Dragon Teeth is a true surprise, and a joyful one indeed! Although he’s more associated with futuristic science, Mr. Crichton was a dab hand at the historic thriller, and this novel is deeply grounded in fact. At its heart are two feuding paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh, participants in the late-1800s Bone Wars, a period of frenzied fossil discovery. Add to the mix a fictional Yale student, friendly and unfriendly Native Americans, a heap of varmints and scoundrels, and a lady or two, and you’ve got a rollicking good story!” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

Additional Buzz: The Associated Press reported last year on the discovery of this lost novel, one which Crichton’s widow found among his papers. It is on a number of spring and monthly book lists, including The Washington Post and io9. Such is the buzz around it that USA Today posted an excerpt in November 2016, a full six months before it hit shelves and film rights were bought early by the National Geographic Channel for a limited series. If you have forgotten Crichton’s reach in the near decade since his death, Vanity Fair offers a reminder.

Chemistry, Weike Wang (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The unnamed narrator of Wang’s winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she’s always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can’t. Her lab work falters. She’s unable to accept or decline her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. But when she has a breakdown and loses in both academia and in love, she finally realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project, and soon she can see her parents in a new light — and they aren’t the fierce tiger couple they’d always seemed to be.” —Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: It makes Entertainment Weekly’s list of “19 book you have to read in May,BuzzFeed‘s Summer Reading list, and New York magazine’s Spring Book List. EW calls it “sharp” and “witty” and says it is written in “precise, impeccable prose.” It also got a great deal of early attention. The Millions put it on their Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview, Barnes and Nobel counted it as one of the “6 Superb Debut Novels to Read in 2017,Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Entertainment Weekly also listed it on their 2017 previews. It is on Electric Lit‘s list of “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year” and LJ highlighted it on their list of “Great First Acts.”


Five tie-ins come out this week for the same movie, Despicable Me 3. The film stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Trey Parker. It will premiere on June 30.

Included in the tie-in line up is Despicable Me 3: The Junior Novel, Sadie Chesterfield (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; also in a Deluxe edition). Other tie-ins include the hardback picture book Despicable Me 3: Agnes Loves Unicorns!, Universal (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and Despicable Me 3: Seek and Find, Universal (Hachette/LB Kids). There are also two level readers, Despicable Me 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Yellow by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids) and Despicable Me 3: Best Boss Ever by Trey King (Hachette/LB Kids)

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 15, 2017

Friday, May 12th, 2017


Beach scenes on covers signal that Memorial Day is on its way. Dorothea Benton Frank takes us back to South Carolina’s low country in a novel that follows two couples through multiple shared vacations in Same Beach, Next Year (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HaperAudio). Holds ratios indicate that ordering is not in line with the author’s growing popularity.

On a more northerly shore, Nancy Thayer returns to Nantucket for Secrets in Summer (PRH/Ballantine; OverDrive Sample).


For those who prefer horror mixed into their sand, Stephen King returns to a fictional location, Castle Rock, in his new novella, Gwendy’s Button Box, coauthored with Richard Chimer, head of  Cemetery Dance Publications, which is also the publisher of the book (S&S Audio). Entertainment Weekly notes the setting is “the site of some of King’s most well-known early tales” and the book is a “coming-of-age novella that has a sinister twist.”

Jack Reacher also makes a comeback, this time in a collection of short stories, No Middle Name by Lee Child (PRH/Delacorte; RH Large Print). Prepub reviews are strong, with Kirkus writing, “the short form is refreshing after the misfire of Child’s last novel, in which the violence became unpleasant and the tone curdled. No such problem here. And it’s encouraging that the novella Too Much Time, which leads into the next Reacher novel, feels like a return to form. These are tasty appetizers that will hopefully lead to a satisfying entree.”

Long before the name had another connotation, Scott Turow set his mysteries in the fictional Kindle County. His newest, Testimony (Hachette/Grand Central; Grand Central Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) moves to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The Washington Post writes, “30 years after Presumed InnocentScott Turow still thrills.” Check your inventory of the author’s backlist, the publisher is re-issuing several in trade paperback and mass market (see our downloadable spreadsheet, Turow Reissues).

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 15, 2017.

Peer Picks

9781555977726_c1566Three Indie Next picks come out this week, including the #1 pick for May, Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (Macmillan/Graywolf; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Imagine a sentence that has the slow-burn intensity you feel when reading your favorite mystery novels and the nuance and music of your icons of prose style. Now imagine a whole book of them. Set that book in a small town in Upstate New York, move a family of city folk into a Shirley Jacksonian home, and tell part of the story from the point of view of an ‘Observer’ who could represent the reader, the author, a house spirit, God, or something else entirely. Now cede your imagination to J. Robert Lennon, whose new novel will transport and move you. A perfect union of breezy and deep, Broken River has something for everyone.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: The Chicago Review of Books has it as one of their “The 10 Best New Books to Read This May,” writing that it is “a cinematic, darkly comic, and sui generis psychological thriller.”

9780778319993_1a663Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, Phaedra Patrick (HC/Park Row Books; OverDrive Sample) is on the June Indie Next List.

“The novels of Phaedra Patrick are good for what ails you! Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a charming novel about a dull British jeweler who finds new light in his life when his American niece springs a surprise visit on him. Gemma may only be 16 years old, but she is a catalyst for some much-needed change in Benedict’s life and for the entire village. Readers would need a heart of stone to miss the joys of this delightful, feel-good novel. Book clubs are going to be taking a ‘shine’ to Benedict Stone.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

9781250080547_b4d09Also on the June list is The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich didn’t set out to investigate the rape and murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana; it was the case she was assigned as a young law school intern in 1992. In a fascinating twist, this becomes not only the true story of a heinous crime for which the perpetrator is in prison, but also of the investigation that unlocks the author’s memories of her own youth, a childhood in which she and her sisters were repeatedly sexually abused by their maternal grandfather. As Marzano-Lesnevich moves backward and forward in time between the young man who killed Jeremy and her own life, the reader is swept along on a current of dismay and awe: dismay that human beings can do these things to each other, and awe that the author could face such demons and move on. I’ve never read another book like this.” —Anne Holman, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

Additional Buzz: It’s on multiple previews, including  Entertainment Weekly‘s “19 book you have to read in May.” They write, “Marzano-Lesnevich interweaves the story of a disturbing 1992 murder case she stumbles upon as a law intern with her own past trauma in this haunting, excellent memoir.”

Literary Hub includes it on their list of “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in May” and Bustle names it one of “10 True Crime Books That Will Keep You Up All Night Long.”

Marzano-Lesnevich gets stars from PW, LJ, and Booklist. PW writes, “Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts.”


Tie-ins to three adaptations hit shelves this week.

9781250116581_da5caThe Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, Diana B. Henriques (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample).

HBO version of the the Bernie Madoff story debut next Saturday,  May 20, The Wizard of LiesBarry Levinson directs and Robert De Niro stars as the crooked Ponzi scheme mastermind. Michelle Pfeiffer stars as his wife Ruth Madoff, who was pilloried in the press. The film is based on the nonfiction book with the same title by Diana B. Henriques, who also makes a cameo in the film, playing herself as she interviews Madoff for the New York Times.

The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Robert De Niro gives a quietly intense performance in HBO’s Bernie Madoff telefilm, which could be retitled ‘Sympathy for the Devil’s Family.'” Comparing it to an earlier series, “Unlike ABC’s so-so Madoff telefilm from last spring [with Richard Dreyfuss as Madoff and Blythe Danner as Ruth], it generates neither heist-style antics nor tension from the game of cat-and-mouth … Wizard of Lies is a much odder thing, a character study without a conclusive answer.”

The Washington Post dives mores deeply into Levinson’s approach to that character.

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Last week’s release of the second season of Netflix’s series The Last Kingdom is based on books three and four in Bernard Wizard of Lies is a much odder thing, a character study without a conclusive answer Saxon Stories series, detailing the 9th century battles between the Saxons and the Vikings.

Lords of the North Tie-in by Bernard Cornwell (HC/Harper Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

Sword Song Tie-in by Bernard Cornwell (HC/Harper Paperbacks; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Raves for season one carry over to the new season. says it is the perfect show to “tide you over until Game of Thrones and/or Vikings comes back on the air.” Den of Geek! is running episode by episode reviews while The Guardian publishes episode recaps, complete with quotes, notes, and a violence count. Bustle predicts that viewers will be chomping at the bit for season 3.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 8, 2017

Friday, May 5th, 2017

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Among the books arriving next week, the most eagerly awaited, based on holds are The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick, Dennis Lehane’s Since We Fell, which is also a peer pick (see below) and Jo Nesbø’s The Thirst, the 11th novel featuring detective Harry Hole, who will make his film debut this fall, played by Michael Fassbender in The Snowman scheduled for release on October 20.

9781501140211_54f85In literary fiction, Colm Tóibín’s take on Greek tragedy, House of Names, will be heavily reviewed. Among the first is The Washington Post‘s chief critic Ron Charles who writes, “Never before has Tóibín demonstrated such range, not just in tone but in action. He creates the arresting, hushed scenes for which he’s so well known just as effectively as he whips up murders that compete, pint for spilled pint, with those immortal Greek playwrights.” Tóibín is scheduled to appear on NPR’s upcoming Weekend Edition Sunday.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of May 8, 2017

Media Magnets

9781501105562_17e6bThe Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-Year Campaign. Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie (S&S; Recorded Books).

With all the assessments of the recent election, it’s useful to be reminded that the first takes on history are often revised. In The Washington Post, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, admits, “I thought I knew everything about the Kennedy magic on the campaign trail. But to my great surprise, Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie’s new book …  brings much new insight to an important playbook that has echoed through the campaigns of other presidential aspirants as disparate as Barack Obama and Donald Trump.” The authors will be featured this week on CBS Sunday Morning.

Peer Picks

9780735220683_fcd46Four LibraryReads arrive, including the #1 pick for May, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project – this would make a great book club read.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC

Additional Buzz: Honeyman is an EarlyReads author and was spotted by GalleyChatters in February. It is an Indie Next pick for May. InStyle names it one of “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month.” Booklist stars, writing “Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.” It is doing well in audio too; AudioFile just gave it an Earphones Award. The Guardian profiles Honeyman in their introduction to the “new faces of fiction for 2017.” The book was the subject of a fierce auction fight, landing Honeyman over seven figures (in the US alone). PW reports it was one of the biggest books of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. Paving the way, Honeyman won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, which supports “a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.”

9780062129383_31807Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane (HC/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

“Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story.” — Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

Additional Buzz: DreamWorks bought the film rights prepub and Lehane will write the screenplay. Entertainment Weekly picks it as one of their “19 book you have to read in May.” The Guardian includes it on their list of “The best recent thrillers,” calling it “invigorating … With sharply acute [characterization], this is classic Lehane … [and] bears traces of his magnum opus, Mystic River.” The Denver Post counts it as one of the “38 books we can’t wait to read this spring.” Fast Company puts it on their “Creative Calendar” of “77 Things to See, Hear, And Read This May.” It is on the spring book lists complied by The Washington Post and the Amazon Editor’s Top 20. Booklist and Kirkus star. Booklist says “Lehane hits the afterburners in the last 50 pages, he produces one of crime fiction’s most exciting and well-orchestrated finales,” while Kirkus calls it “a crafty, ingenious tale of murder and deception.”

9780062661098_16823Sycamore, Bryn Chancellor (HC/Harper; HarperAudio).

“A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance.” — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick. Bustle lists it as one of “The 15 Best Fiction Books Of May 2017,” calling it “masterfully-written suspense [that] will draw you in immediately.” Glamour includes it on their list of “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love this Summer.” LJ and PW star, with LJ calling it “absorbing” and “gripping” and PW saying it is “movingly written.”

9780307959577_b30abSaints for All Occasions, J. Courtney Sullivan (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!” — Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for May and a GalleyChat choice. It is on the spring book list from The Washington Post as well as Glamour‘s list of “New Books by Women You’re Guaranteed to Love this Summer.” The Denver Post picks it as one of the “38 books we can’t wait to read this spring.Elle names it as one of their “5 Must-Read Books for Your May Book Club,” saying it is for readers “ripe for a presummer blockbuster that delivers an engrossing family drama with feisty humor and transformative tough love.” NPR’s The Roundtable features it in the “Book Picks” section, calling it a “moving, unforgettable novel … captivating.” (Scroll down the page for the audio, unfortunately we cannot embed the file – if you don’t know the program, make sure to listen to the opening book-y jingle).


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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of May 1, 2017

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Into the WaterPublishing’s summer season kicks off with the book expected to be seen in every beach tote, Paul Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT), the follow up to her sales phenomenon, The Girl on the Train.

Critics have already begun to wade in, and not too happily, as we wrote earlier. Echoing the first consumer reviews, Maureen Corrigan writes in the Washington Post, “something’s amiss in this second novel: It’s stagnant rather than suspenseful.”

But one important audience member has already plunked down money for the book. DreamWorks is set to adapt it and it’s been assigned to the Oscar-winning duo behind La La Land, producers Marc Platt and Jared LeBoff.

The author is interviewed this morning on NPR.

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It’s a week filled with several Patterson releases, four in total. In hardcover, the next in his Women’s Murder Club series, 16th Seduction (Hacehtte/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), arrives. In paperback, it seems we sounded the death knell for the BookShots series too early. Although many of the upcoming titles have been cancelled, this week brings two, both extensions of hardcover series (as we’ve noted before, the branded BookShots seem to sell better). Detective Cross (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) bears a cover burst reassuring wary readers that it is the “First time in print anywhere.” Also arriving is Private: Gold (Hachette/Bookshots; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780316346993_33d8dPatterson is also publishing what appears to be a humor book, co-written with son Jack, Penguins of America (Hacehtte/Little Brown; OverDrive Sample). With no prepub reviews, we have to rely on the publisher’s description, “Featuring humorous illustrations with captions that show penguins in the day-to-day situations that we’ve all experienced–from a relaxing day at the beach to a stressful morning commute.”

Patterson also announced this week that he is jumping on the true crime bandwagon, and plans to write a book about the Aaron Hernandez case.

9780062660084_5fa88Often quoted during the controversy over the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the author’s close friend, historian Wayne Flynt is publishing Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee, (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which includes many of the letters he and Lee wrote to each other. Covering it today, the New York Times reporter notes, “At least two other books about Ms. Lee are planned in coming years … That makes for at least six books from major publishers about a woman who wrote only two.”

According to prepub reviews, those looking for dirt will be disappointed. Says LJ, “Flynt’s discretion, as a friend and as the Baptist minister Lee trusted to speak at her memorial service, serves his friend well.” PW adds, “Flynt is a fluent writer in his own right, but the main rewards here lie in Lee’s tart observations on the modern world, sly sense of humor, and wonderful turns of phrase.”

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Week of May 1, 2017.

Media Magnets

9780735211322_f4e1cWomen Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, Ivanka Trump (PRH/Portfolio; Penguin Audio/BOT).

The First Daughter outranks the First Lady in terms of time spent in the White House as well as in media attention, which is already extending to her second book. Although it is embargoed, Politico just published the preface, immediately parodied by New York magazine, as if it were “by a working woman living under the Trump administration.”

Peer Picks

It’s a great week for readers advisors, with thirteen picks from library and bookstore staff, including five LibraryReads titles:

9781616206888_9485aThe Leavers, Lisa Ko (Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It’s also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption.” — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis MO

Additional Buzz: A buzzy debut, it is an Indie Next pick, a spring book selection from BuzzFeed, Parnassus Books, and The Washington Post and on a number of most anticipated 2017 lists, including The Millions and Entertainment Weekly.

9780393609394_8b88fAstrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson (Norton; BlackStone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Tyson’s writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: A GalleyChat title and a spring book pick from Paste‘s list of “A Great New Batch of Science Books,” Tyson is also making news for his recently released video on the importance of science and fact:

9780062651259_9040aThe Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen’s day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of “The Watsons,” lost for all time…until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds.” — Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library,Batavia, NY

Additional Buzz: Flavorwire featured Flynn in their “The Sweetest Debut” column.

Ginny MoonGinny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig (Harlequin/MIRA/Park Row; Harlequin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new”forever”home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her “baby doll,”jeopardizing both her own and her new family’s safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story.” — Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Additional Buzz:  Harlequin is not a name synonymous with literary fiction, but their new imprint, Park Row aims to be an  “exclusive line of thought-provoking and voice-driven novels by both celebrated and new authors.” This debut, seems to fulfills that mission. It is both an Indie Next and a GalleyChat title and a Summer 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Book and received starred reviews from PW, Library Journal and Booklist. In a separate interview with the author, PW calls it a “gorgeous debut novel.”

Radium GirlsThe Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, Kate Moore (Sourcebooks; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called “Radium Girls” painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point”their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down.” — Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT

Additional Buzz: It is a GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick for May. Coverage is wide ranging, from The Atlantic to the NY Post to The Spectator to Nature. The Spectator leads with the creepy headline, “The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins,” while Nature calls the book “harrowing.” The trailer features historical photos and articles.

Eight more Indie Next titles debut this week:

9781573246989_580a3Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love, Marissa Moss (Red Wheel Weiser Conari/Hampton Roads/Conari Press).

“In this achingly raw graphic memoir, Marissa Moss untangles the seven whirlwind months between her husband’s ALS diagnosis and his death. Forced to balance Harvey’s increasingly complex medical needs and the needs of their three young sons, Moss struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy for her family in the midst of crisis. Absent are movie-perfect declarations of love and reconciliation; Moss lays bare the emotional devastation left in the wake of Harvey’s illness with her understated drawings and text. But there are moments of joy, too, reminding us beauty can be found in the darkest of times. Powerful, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, hopeful, Last Things challenges readers with its unflinching look at marriage, family, love, and loss.” —Beth Wagner, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, VT

9780544912588_3ee9aSalt Houses, Hala Alyan (HMH; OverDrive Sample).

“Accomplished poet Hala Alyan exceeds the brilliance of her excellent collections of poems in her moving, deeply felt, powerfully realized first novel, Salt Houses. I can’t think of many writers who have so adeptly written of family relationships — here, spanning five generations, all against a vividly rendered backdrop of exile and migration. From Palestine to Jordan, Lebanon to Kuwait, Boston to New York, this is a story of people losing, finding, and making their way. Salt Houses gives voice, body, and love to people whose lives in this country tend, at most, to be featured anonymously in news accounts — and at that, in the negative. This is real life, beautifully written and graciously enlarging the sense of who we are.” —Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Additional Buzz: It is on The MillionsMost Anticipated” list and Bustle‘s list of “15 New Authors You’re Going To Be Obsessed With This Year.”

9780802126450_79e87Miss Burma, Charmaine Craig (Grove Press; Blackstone Audio).

“Charmaine Craig’s Miss Burma is nothing short of stunning. Based on the lives of her mother and grandparents in Burma, Craig deftly tells the epic story of one family as they try to survive the horrors of World War II, independence, and then civil war. What distinguishes this book from others is its frank look at who and what survives under such perilous conditions. Especially for readers unfamiliar with Burma, like me, Miss Burma is a chronicle of loss and love in a country too long neglected by the world.” —Michael Triebwasser, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen recommends it in the a NYT “By the Book” feature and Craig has her own piece on friendship in the NYT Magazine. Electric Lit includes her novel in their counting of the “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year.”

9781501157783_41f0d‘Round Midnight, Laura McBride (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio).

“Four women, five decades, and one Las Vegas nightclub come together in a powerful story of lust, grief, and family ties. Laura McBride spins a richly evocative tale of the glory days of Las Vegas and the women who inhabit this world. Their stories are intertwined both with and without their knowledge, and together they forge a future that none of them could foresee. Taking readers from the depths of grief and then sending them soaring with emotion, ’Round Midnight is an awe-inspiring novel that deserves to be on the bookshelf of every avid reader.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

9780399583582_1bc9eThe Garden of Small Beginnings, Abbi Waxman (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Lilian Girvan is a young widow going through the motions: mother of two, newly unemployed, and navigating life’s daily aggravations. When she grudgingly signs up for a weekly gardening class, she’s surprised to find support, wisdom, and the possibility of a new relationship. Lilian is a funny, sassy everywoman who will make you laugh out loud, cry a little, and cheer as she takes tentative steps toward her own small beginnings of happiness. Abbi Waxman’s debut novel will be enjoyed by fans of The School of Essential Ingredients and anyone who believes that happiness can be a choice regardless of what life brings.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Additional Buzz: Bustle includes it on their list of “15 Spring Releases About New Beginnings To Kick Start The New Season.”

9781594633737_1c6cfPriestdaddy: A Memoir, Patricia Lockwood (PRH/Riverhead; OverDrive Sample).

“A published poet, Lockwood’s first memoir is a hilarious and contemplative narrative written with precise, flowing prose that baptizes the reader. Calling it an honest portrayal is a severe understatement, as Lockwood describes a father who converts to Catholicism and becomes a priest due to a little-known loophole that allows him to continue his ‘normal’ relationship with his wife and three children. Her understanding of what appears, from the exterior, to be bizarre behavior in the guise of religion is a peek under the sheets of a cold embrace. Loved it!” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Additional Buzz: The Guardian, New York magazine, and The Atlantic review. The Guardian headlines it is “a dazzling comic memoir.”

9781555977740_87efeFen: Stories, Daisy Johnson (Macmillan/Graywolf).

“This collection of stories scrambled my brain, in the best possible sense. They made me reread, wonder, turn the book upside down and shake it a bit to see what other fantastical imaginings would fall out. Girls turn into eels and men into foxes, a house is obsessed with a woman, and a bloodsucking girl gang preys on Internet dates. A few stories broke my heart, too. Johnson has a way of manifesting loneliness and loss into physical pain and malady that shocks the senses. Startling, unusual, and sneakily profound, Fen is an unforgettable collection.” —Stefanie Kiper Schmidt, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

Additional Buzz: In a video interview, the debut author reveals how important landscape and language are in her writing.

9780062369581_9636fThe Baker’s Secret, Stephen P. Kiernan (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Emma is an apprentice baker in a small Normandy village during the Nazi occupation whose quiet determination to keep her friends and grandmother alive is heroic and heart-wrenching. Forced to bake ten loaves of bread for the Kommandant each day, Emma stretches her supplies to make extra loaves to help feed the starving villagers. While she refuses to think she is part of the resistance and has lost hope of the Allies arriving, Emma epitomizes the French spirit of survival. Once again, we learn that the bravest among resistance fighters are often little more than children themselves. What a beautiful book to recommend to book groups and customers seeking a well-written story.” —Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, MO


The series premiere of American Epic begins on PBS May 16. The documentary, narrated by Robert Redford, explores music in the 1920s when scouts traveled the country recording artists such as The Carter Family and Blind Willie Johnson. A companion book is being released this week, American Epic: The First Time America Heard Itself, Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty, Elijah Wald, (S&S/Touchstone; Highbridge Audio).

A contemporary effort to remake the 1920s recordings will air on PBS on June 6th. Called The American Epic Sessions, it features artists such as Jack White, Elton John, Nas, Taj Mahal.

9780316557863_f7457Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins by Suzanne Selfors (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample) ties in to the new Netflix animated series of the same name, inspired by the older DreamWorks film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. It starts on May 5.

It tells the story of a young girl who moves to the West and finds friends, both horse and human, and excitement. Collider, for one, is not fully on board and says it offers “adventure alongside PSAs.

9780062681843_3ece99780062681867_eb02cThe first of several tie-ins arrive for the upcoming Wonder Woman film, set for release on June 2.

Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HC; OverDrive Sample).

Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HC; OverDrive Sample).

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 24, 2017

Friday, April 21st, 2017

9780399184574_ac3ba9781250075840_719c3The holds leader for the upcoming week is John Sandford’s Golden Prey (PRH/Putnam; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), which has also received strong prepub reviews.

A distant second is Iris Johansen’s No Easy Target (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), in which one of the supporting characters from her best selling Eve Duncan books gets her own book.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 24, 2017

Advance Attention 

9780374115241_f1ca2-2Borne, Jeff VanderMeer (Macmillan/MCD; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The new book by the author of the award-winning dystopian Southern Reach Trilogy arrives with three starred prepub reviews (Kirkus calls it an “odd, atmospheric, and decidedly dark fable for our time“) and film rights already sold to Paramount. In addition, in late March, CinemaCon attendees were treated to footage of the adaptation of Annihilation, the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. Directed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, it stars Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac, release is expected in 2018.

UPDATE: Laura Miller gives Borne a thoughtful review, in the context of the recent popularity of post-apocalyptic novels, in the New Yorker.

Media Magnets

9781524732684_e51e2  9781455596751_9aef5

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT).

The COO of Facebook, famous for her book on women in the workplace, Lean In, writes about what she learned after the sudden, unexpected death of her husband in 2015 at age 47. She will be featured on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend, in a segment that promoted today on CBS This Morning. More will follow, with appearances on Good Morning America, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

The Secrets of My Life, Caitlyn Jenner (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio).

Excerpts in People magazine are making headlines in the gossip mags. It seems that Jenner’s daughters feel that the section about her gender surgery is TMI, even for them.

Peer Pick,

Two LibraryReads selections come out this week:

9780812989403_3b3daAnything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is the #1 Library Reads selection for April:

“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: It is a February GalleyChat title and an Indie Next pick and has made the Spring Reading Lists of New York magazine, The Washington Post, the Amazon Editor’s Top 20 titles, and Vogue‘s “The Must-Read Books of Spring 2017.” All four prepub review sources star, with Kirkus calling it “radiant” and PW deeming it “masterful.” The Millions features it in their “Most Anticipated (The Month),” Elle says it is one of “7 Great Books to Read in April,” and InStyle calls it one of “5 Totally Brilliant Books You Need to Read in April 2017.”

9781501160769_be090Beartown, Fredrik Backman (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).

“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: It is one of our GalleyChat picks and an Indie Next selection. AARP includes it on their list of “Spring Books for Gownups.”

9781250108944_a50d1The Standard Grand, Jay Baron Nicorvo (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample) is another Indie Next pick hitting shelves:

“Jay Baron Nicorvo’s novel envelops you in a world most civilians never know, where homeless veterans gather to work on regaining their hearts and minds. The reader is a listener, learning about these characters through each of their voices, accents, idioms, and military jargon — sometimes mean and ugly, sometimes only vaguely understood. Even in their hidden Catskills retreat, there is a realization that they are not beyond the reach of a sinister corporate world waging another, more personal war for oil. The Standard Grand is sculpture, a work of art with every word, every detail, perfect.” —Diane Marie Steggerda, The Bookman, Grand Haven, MI

Additional Buzz: Booklist stars itwith reviewer Bill Kelly writing “Alongside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) and Yellow Birds (2012), The Standard Grand is an important and deeply human contribution to the national conversation.” LJ counts it among its picks of the “Great First Acts: Debut Novels.”


9781338196566_12edfJust one tie-in comes out this week, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample). The animated film is based on the beloved book series of the same name, written by Dav Pilkey.

It stars Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Kristen Schaal and opens on June 2, just in time to delight kids looking forward to summer vacation.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 17, 2017

Friday, April 14th, 2017

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Several series authors arrive next week to long holds lists, including David Baldacci, with the third in a new series featuring an Ohio State football player who suffered a head injury in this first and only NFL game. The injury has an unusual result, useful in his new career as a police detective, he remembers everything. Appropriately, the first book in the series was titled Memory Man. The new title, The Fix (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), is heralded by a pricey two-page ad in the NYT Book Review.

The biggest nonfiction release of the week is David Grann’s new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT).

In a great piece of timing, it arrives on the heels of the release of the star-laden adaptation of his previous title, The Lost City of Z. The film is receiving glowing reviews, with the New Yorker claiming it “Resuscitates Cinema’s Classic Adventure Tale.” There’s many more Grann adaptations in the pipeline, as Entertainment Weekly details in their profile of the author as “the man Hollywood can’t stop reading.”

Reviewing the new book, the NYT‘s Dwight Garner holds it up to the impossibly high standards of the previous title, which, he says, is “deservedly regarded as one of the prize nonfiction specimens of this century.” He writes that regretfully, while he enjoyed the new book, it “didn’t set its hooks in me in the same way.” Grann is scheduled to appear on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday.

It is both an Indie Next and a LibraryRead’s pick:

“In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The titles highlighted in this column and several more notable titles arriving next week are listed, with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet: EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 17, 2017.

Media Magnets

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Politics continue dominate the media. Elizabeth Warren, who has been vocal on her opposition to the new administration, via her Twitter exchanges with Trump, is making headline for her embargoed title, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Most focus on her admitting that she considered a run for president in 2016. The Washington Examiner focuses on other issues, including that she is no fan of Bill Clinton, accusing him of actions that lead to the 2007 financial crisis.

Taking a longer view, historian David McCullough, who has written best sellers about John Adams and the Wright Brothers among others, tells the Wall Street Journal that “the past can serve as an antidote to self-importance and self-pity,” as outlined in his new book, a collection of speeches, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (Simon & Schuster). He is scheduled to appear this Sunday on Face the Nation and the following day on CBS This Morning. On May 3rd, he will be the recipient of the “Ken Burns American Heritage Prize.”

Peer Picks

In addition to Killers of the Flower Moon, two other Library Reads arrive this week.

9780385350907_39c50The Stars Are Fire, Anita Shreve (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.” — Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR

Additional Buzz: Both an Indie Next and a GalleyChat pick, The Washington Post selects it as one of their suggested spring reads.

9780399585012_dd84cGone Without a Trace, Mary Torjussen (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.” — Jennifer Winberry,Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Additional Buzz: Bustle features it with an excerpt of two chapters.

9780316316163_de541One additional Indie Next choice comes out, Spoils, Brian Van Reet (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Borne of his experience fighting in Iraq, Brian Van Reet’s Spoils is a clear-eyed, gritty, and tension-filled story of young soldiers caught up in impossible circumstances. At the heart of the story is Cassandra, a 19-year-old machine gunner who is captured by the enemy. Her ordeal as a captive along with two fellow soldiers is harrowing, but also provides insight into the character of soldiers and their captors. Recent and current conflicts have inspired some excellent fiction and Spoils ranks with the best of it.” —Mark Laframboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: Harper’s Bazaar includes it in their list of “14 New Books You Need To Read in April,” writing “Van Reet’s grim but skillfully-told story is an urgent reflection on one of the most consequential conflicts in modern history.”

Van Reet offers a video introduction:


Seeming to reflect current fears, Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin) hit best seller lists again, further boosted by the of news of the forthcoming Hulu series adaptation. The tie-in edition comes out this week, with an eerie photo of star Elizabeth Moss on the cover: The Handmaid’s Tale (Movie Tie-in), Margaret Atwood (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample).

Atwood is in the news this week for her sly hints that there might be a sequel to her iconic dystopian novel.

The series begins on April 26.

9781302904685_e7f72Another tie-in for the much-anticipated SF film comes out this week, adding to the many already published: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, Marvel Comics (Hachette/Marvel).

The show starts May 5 and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell – plus a buzzy soundtrack.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 10, 2017

Friday, April 7th, 2017

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Next week, Jeffery Deaver’s character Lincoln Rhymes returns in his lucky 13th outing in The Burial Hour (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). In terms of holds for titles arriving next week, it is running neck and neck with a new standalone from Lisa Scottoline, One Perfect Lie (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

On the other hand, there are surprisingly few holds for James Patterson’s Two from the Heart (Hachette/BookShots; Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is under his imprint BookShots, which seems to be going through a reevaluation. Announced last year as a series of short original paperbacks, most upcoming titles are now showing on wholesaler sites as cancelled. This title is a hardcover and may be a compilation of two titles originally planned for the paperback series.

9781501107993_ffd5bIt’s not high on holds lists yet, but keep your eye on the thriller, The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (S&S; S&S Audio). Word of mouth continues for her title from last year, All the Missing Girls, propelling the paperback edition on to the NYT best seller list, where it is currently #10, after five weeks, down from a high of #7. A full-page ad in this week’s New York Times Book Review overstates that a bit, calling Missing a “runaway New York Times bestseller.” Most prepub reviews are strong for Stranger, with PW suggesting it for fans of Gillian Flynn, Chevy Stevens, and Jennifer McMahon.

9780143130628_63a15Also getting a full-page ad in this week’s New York Times Book Review, in a shocking shade of pink which sets off the cover, is Jojo Moyes’ The Horse Dancer (Penguin Books; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). After the author’s big success here with her most recent titles, the publisher is reaching in to her backlist to bring her earlier novels to the US in trade paperback, branded to remind her fans of the success of Me Before YouBooklist warns that this release, a coming of age story “differs sharply” from the author’s later romances.

The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 10, 2017

Media Magnets

9781594206757_89b0bAn American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, Elisabeth Rosenthal (PRH/Penguin Press; RH Large Print; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

This timely new book, featured on the cover of this week’s NYT BR, is by former physician, now journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal. As a reporter for The New York Times, she wrote the prize-winning series “Paying Till It Hurts.”

9781476795447_aabbb-2Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, Barbara Lynch (S&S/Atria).

Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch’s rags-to-ricotta memoir, is called by Kirkus, “A rugged tale of a self-made woman in a high-stress profession.” Profiled in 2012 by the NYT, she clearly has a fascinating backstory, so it’s not surprising that the host of the Food Network program “Giada at Home” has already optioned the book for a possible TV series. Lynch is scheduled to appear on this week’s NPR Weekend Edition Sunday.

Peer Picks

One LibraryReads title comes out this week:

9780345527868_54068The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova (PRH/ Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Twentysomething Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.” — Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Additional Buzz: Also an Indie Next pick, it is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s “13 books you need to read in April.” It also makes Signature‘s list of monthly reads and the April rundown of newly released titles that look good to Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

Four additional Indie Next titles publish this week:

9780451494481_a485aHourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, Dani Shapiro (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“As I consider the themes of memory and marriage in my own life, I realize that Dani Shapiro has reached across time to touch me with her insight and candor, and this is how Hourglass will touch every reader who is lucky enough to find this special little gem of a book. What a particular and original voice she has shared, reflecting on questions like, how are relationships formed? How does love burn and transform you? How does marriage, that age-old subject, play out between creators in the race against time? Through fragments, touching bits of memory, and poetic flights of fancy, this memoir honors the genre and elevates the form. I couldn’t put it down and devoured it in one sitting.” —Cristina Nosti, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Additional Buzz: Elle picks it as one of their “7 Great Books to Read in April,” saying “If you’re in the mood for a Calder mobile–like memoir that spins on its own inventive, beautifully crafted apparatus, [this] is that work of art.” NYLON picks it as well, “reading Shapiro’s magical reflection on love and aging and family and self [is] akin to reading a diary instead of a memoir, so intimate are the thoughts and experiences that unfold within.” Literary Hub includes it on their list of 16 April choices, saying it “might already be a classic.” PW and Kirkus star; Cheryl Strayed and Jenny Offill blurb.

9781771961394_96e86The Redemption of Galen Pike, Carys Davies (Consortium/Biblioasis; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the most beautiful collection of short stories I have read in a long time. Each story feels perfect. The writing, the topic, and the resolution all left me completely satisfied. Their connecting theme is solitude or isolation and the struggle to move through it. The collection reminds me of some of Kevin Brockmeier’s writing: beautiful, sometimes disturbing, and always memorable.” —Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, AR

Additional Buzz: Sharp also appeared on Minnesota Public Radio to talk about the book, saying the stories are “always a little bit dark, a little bit odd, always absolutely beautiful and hard to forget.”

9780062434876_af67aSunshine State: Essays, Sarah Gerard (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“Sarah Gerard is a Southern writer for the 21st century. In Sunshine State, the sacred lies right next to the profane; the weird is always inextricable from its own beauty. These essays reach out toward the people and places of Gerard’s childhood, family, and history while also reaching within to examine her own complicity in the creation of her life’s story. You’ll want to linger in these strange, quiet corners with her, and you will struggle, as she does, to understand the mysteries that motivate the people we love.” —Elizabeth Anderson, Charis Books & More, Atlanta, GA

Additional Buzz: The NYT reviews it calling it “striking.” It also makes a number of best of the month lists including LitHub, NYLON, and BuzzFeed, which says it is “entertaining and engaging throughout.” It is also one of The MillionsMost Anticipated” for 2017. Local coverage via The Miami Rail: “Gerard publicizes the private and privatizes the public. Though complex and intricate, her exceptional writing cuts with a surgeon’s care.”

9780062560292_8deb4The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day (HC/William Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“In this story, the devil is, indeed, in the details. You think you’re being distracted, only to learn that Rader-Day is actually building layers of evidence for the reader, connecting a framework of apparent incidentals to reach a pinnacle of suspense. Almost anyone can be guilty, but only one is a villain. You unexpectedly feel sympathy for certain characters, partly because they’re so genuine. I neglected things because I HAD to finish this book. You will, too.” —Tracy Aleksy, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, IL


9781501171383_51799Advertising is beginning to hit for the National Geographic series which begins airing on April 25 and the tie-in is releasing this week, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). The series portrays Albert as a young man, his personal life, and rise in scientific circles. Based on Isaacson’s book, it stars Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) Johnny Flynn (Clouds of Sils Maria) and Emily Watson (The Book Thief). Ron Howard directs, in his first effort at scripted television.

The series will span 10 episodes.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 3, 2017

Friday, March 31st, 2017

American WarKeep your eye on the dystopian debut novel, American War by Omar El Akkad (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), arriving on Tuesday.

As we note in Peer Picks, below, this LibraryReads selection has been getting a remarkable amount of advance attention for a debut, and particularly for a Sci-Fi debut. Much of the attention focuses on it’s spine-chilling view of the possible consequences of unchecked climate change. Today, the NYT looks at how it, along with five other “new dystopian novels … seem to channel the country’s current anxieties.”  The massive media attention has caused sales bumps on Amazon’s rankings, but, inexplicably, are not generating heavy holds in libraries. We suspect that will change soon.

9780316349604_01935The big news of the week may be the books that are NOT arriving. James Patterson’s series of short paperbacks, called BookShots, seems to have halted. All forthcoming titles are showing as unavailable or cancelled. Even the prolific Patterson may have found the output of 4 to 6 novels a month in addition to his already dizzying pace, a bit distracting. But we are not Patterson-less next week. He is releasing the next in his middle-grade series, I Funny: School of Laughs (Hachette/jimmy patterson; Blackstone Audio).

9780399177057_c720fSeveral favorite series arrive to heavy holds, but it may be worth taking note of one that is further down the list, Philip Kerr’s 12th Bernie Gunther thriller, Prussian Blue (PRH/Marian Wood Books/Putnam; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). In a starred review, PW says, “Kerr once again brilliantly uses a whodunit to bring to horrifying life the Nazi regime’s corruption and brutality.”

In an effort to bring the series to a wider audience, the publisher is running an ad in this week’s NYT, featuring blurbs from three big names under the header, “Alan Furst, Tom Hanks and Lee Child are reading Philip Kerr. Have You?”

9781501173219_774f4In a bit of “hasn’t this happened already?”,  the trade paperback edition of Anthony Doerr’s runaway hit,  All the Light We Cannot See arrives in trade paperback (S&S/Scribner), nearly three years after the hardcover became a surprise best seller.

More highlights from the titles coming out next week are below, listed, along with other titles of note, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 3, 2017.

Media Magnets

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All by Myself, Alone, Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio).

The long-time queen of romantic suspense, Mary Higgins Clark will be profiled on CBS Sunday Morning this week. Her story of building a writing career to support her children after being widowed at a young age may be familiar, but it is still amazing.

Nevertheless: A Memoir, Alec Baldwin (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio).

There are no prepub reviews for this one, indicating it was embargoed, undoubtedly in deference to the Vanity Fair cover excerpt. The effort to generate coverage isn’t working for everyone, however. Newsday sniffs,”The big news out of this: There really isn’t any.” Apparently, they are not as taken as Esquire is with the story that he Once Tried to Hit on Tina Fey. Baldwin, of course, narrates the audio.

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith (PRH/Random House: RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Like the Baldwin book, Bedell Smith’s bio is excerpted in this month’s Vanity Fair, under the headline, “The Lonely Heir: Inside the Isolating Boarding School Days of Prince Charles.” It escaped embargo and prepub reviews are positive, including a star from Booklist, which calls it an “admirably fair biography.” UPDATE: USA Today lists tidbits from the book under the headline, “Odd stuff you didn’t know about the next British king,” including that he felt bullied into marrying Diana. People magazine continues to roll out excerpts, including one titles, “Prince Charles Sought Help During Honeymoon with Princess Diana — and Feared He Would Be Blamed for Her Death, New Book Claims.”

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, Mayte Garcia (Hachette Books; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio).

Also apparently embargoed since there are no prepub reviews, this book, by the musician’s first wife, is published on the anniversary of his death. It was excerpted in People magazine, a story picked up by other entertainment news sources.

Peer Picks

Four LibraryReads titles arrive this week.

9780451493583_f9dc0-2 American War, Omar El Akkad (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.” — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI

Additional Buzz: El Akkad caught librarians’ attention at ALA Midwinter, where he part of the United for Libraries “Spotlight on Adult Literature” showcase, The author describes the story in the book trailer, below, and says that, since it comes out at “a time when we are having a serious debate about whether the most powerful nation on earth is descending into fascism,” he understands why it is being seen as a cautionary tale.

The author is set to appear on NPR’s Weekend Edition on Saturday.

Michiko Kakutani reviews it in the NYT, writing it is a “powerful novel — one that creates as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in The Road … and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America.”

It appeared on a number of most anticipated lists, including Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “16 debut novels to read in 2017” and Time‘s list of the “Most Anticipated Books of 2017.” Emily St. John Mandel and Peter Heller offer blurbs. In The Millions, Mandel writes it was the “most haunting” novel she read in 2016 (having access to an early copy), “The premise is harrowing, the prose is stark and beautiful, the plotting is impeccable, and there’s something utterly heartbreaking in El Akkad’s subtle rendition of the ways in which war shapes the human soul.”

9781681773643_c7bcdA Twist in Time, Julie McElwain (Norton/Pegasus Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Time-traveling FBI Agent Kendra Donovan remains stranded in 1858 England. When her confidante and potential lover, Alec is accused of murdering his former mistress, Kendra must use her modern investigative skills to work through the list of suspects and clear Alec’s name. Kendra must also decide whether to stay in the past with Alec or to continue to try to find a way back to the present. If she makes it home, what will be waiting for her? Highly recommended to readers of historical romance, romantic suspense, and time travel.” — Glenda Ramsey, Catawba County Library System, Newton, NC

9781101886724_87891Waking Gods: Book 2 of The Themis Files, Sylvain Neuvel (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.” — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX

Additional Buzz: LJ and Kirkus give it stars, with Kirkus calling it “unputdownable.”

9780062460226_f3c29Miss You, Kate Eberlen (HC/Harper; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next pick for April. Already released in the UK, it was big hit. The Telegraph wrote “don’t be surprised to see it being devoured by sunbathers on holiday this summer.” The Guardian says it is a “funny, poignant and really rather lovely ships-in-the-night debut … Grief, family dynamics and how to live with, but not be defined by, the cards one is dealt are the central concerns here.” There is a book video:

Four additional Indie Next titles also hit shelves:

9780735213586_5215fHallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Anne Lamott (PRH/Riverhead Books; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Hallelujah Anyway completely consumed me. The world has changed so much in the last year and it seems overwhelming at times. Lamott’s new book is the answer to that despair, hopelessness, and futility. It’s exactly what the title says — mercy through difficult times, kindness when it’s not deserved, and singing hallelujah anyway. Lamott writes with such refreshing honesty. This book is now what I like to refer to as ‘well-loved’ — underlined, dog-eared, and slightly worn. I suspect I’ll revisit my favorite passages for years to come.” —Kristin Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post reviews it, writing “Reading Anne Lamott’s new book of essays is like sitting down with a girlfriend you haven’t seen for quite a while. At times you’re perfectly in tune: You know this woman; you trust her. But when, out of nowhere, she starts spouting advice like, “Stop the train. Be where your butt is,” you roll your eyes and wonder if perhaps she’s spent too much time obsessing about the Kardashians. Still, you read on.” In response Lamott takes to Twitter to call the review “half great, half snarky & asshatty” and says it “is EXACTLY why I stopped reviewing books myself.”

9781555977696_2fdd1A Little More Human, Fiona Maazel (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

A Little More Human kept me up way past my bedtime. Fiona Maazel’s seamless novel draws you in subtly and irresistibly. I just had to know how Phil Snyder (nursing assistant, professional superhero impersonator, and actual mind-reader) ended up on a horse with splashes of blood on his clothes and no memory of how he got there. Uncovering secrets in snippets along with Phil reminded me of his own mind-reading talent and built the suspense beautifully page by page. Another clever literary masterpiece from Fiona Maazel!” —Anna Thorn, Upshur Street Books, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: StarTribune lists it as one of their “Books to watch for in early 2017” while the Chicago Review of Books counts it among “The Most Exciting Fiction Books of 2017’s First Half.”

9780735211025_4d643What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories, Lesley Nneka Arimah (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“Intense, haunting, and exquisitely rendered, the stories in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s debut collection exist in a category of their own. They are individual worlds linked together by familiar themes — self-discovery, yearnings to love and be loved, generational divides, and the meanings of home and place — refashioned in a fresh, new light. Arimah shines in this debut, whose magic will surely live with you beyond the final page. Absolutely stunning.” —Purvis Cornish, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Additional Buzz: The Rumpus reviews it, writing “In our current political climate with its rampant animosity towards immigrants, Arimah offers a humanizing portrait of both the Nigerian citizen and first generation young female immigrant.” Redbook counts it as one of “20 Books By Women You Must Read This Spring.”

9781627797641_40d0aMarlena, Julie Buntin (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample).

“I can’t believe this is a debut novel: the writing is so assured; the prose so exquisite. Buntin is a master of word choice, and every sentence felt deliberate and precise. I quickly got sucked into this story about a pair of teenage girls, one doomed, one not. It was a quick read, but one I found myself lingering over. I’d recommend Marlena to fans of Megan Abbott’s dark, twisty books about girlhood — this is a similarly fierce read!” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Additional Buzz: It earned three starred reviews, from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. Kirkus writes “Buntin creates a world so subtle and nuanced and alive that it imprints like a memory. Devastating; as unforgettable as it is gorgeous.”


Three anticipated blockbuster adaptations get tie-ins this week.

9780316271639_4ab46MARVEL’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Blackstone Audio; also in paperback).

This is just one of seven tie-ins for the movie that are hitting shelves this week. See our list of tie-ins below for the others.

The sequel to the blockbuster SF film opens May 5 and stars (among others) Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell.

9780804190107_26921The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

HBO’s adaptation will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m. As we posted earlier, it is expected to be a major show for the cable network and the release is being heavily covered by the entertainment media. Jezebel says “it looks like it might do Henrietta’s story justice.” Elle says it “is certain to be compelling.” Slate, Entertainment Weekly, and RollingStone (which was the first to report Lacks’s story, in 1976) also covered the news.

9781524769604_53039Everything, Everything Movie Tie-in Edition, Nicola Yoon (PRH/Ember; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut opens May 19.

Expect an audience. As we posted earlier, the release of the trailer alone was enough to send the paperback edition soaring on Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #2,242 to #13. In hardback, the book debuted at No. 1 on the NYT YA best-seller list in 2015 and earned a glowing NYT review (“gorgeous and lyrical”) and an A- review from Entertainment Weekly (a “complex,” “fresh, moving debut”).

The film stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games, The Darkest Minds) and Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The 5th Wave). Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses) directs.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27th, 2017

9780062563668_1bcb5Set to be her breakout Jessica Shattuck’s third book, The Women in the Castle (HarperCollins/Morrow) arrives this week. The novel looks at how ordinary German citizens dealt with the compromises they made to survive in WWII Germany. The story has personal resonance, as Shattuck reveals in a NYT Op/Ed piece titled, “I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.” The book is also a LibraryReads title (see below, under Peer Picks).

More highlights from the titles coming out next week are below. All are listed, along with other titles of note, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 27.

Holds Leaders

9780316464147_65ee6The Black Book, James Patterson, (Hachette/Little Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Publishers Weekly not only calls this “brilliantly twisty” but goes on make the pronouncement that “Many readers will agree with Patterson that this is the ‘best book [he’s] written in 25 years.'”

Media Magnets

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Old School: Life in the Sane Lane, Bill O’Reilly, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The host of Fox News The O’Reilly Factor, will undoubtedly use the show to flog his new book, which, according to the publisher, describes a “looming confrontation” between “Old Schoolers” and “Snowflakes,” who “[whine] about social injustice and income inequality and [cheer] Bernie Sanders as he [suggests] the government pay for almost everything,” adding that it is explained “so even the ladies on The View can understand it.”

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life , Lilly Singh, (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

At 28, Singh can claim to know what she’s talking about in the “conquering life department.” She’s listed at #8 Forbes list of “The World’s Top-Earning YouTube Stars 2015.” She is set to appear on the Today Show on Tuesday, 3/28 and later that day on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Peer Picks

Only two peer picks arrive this week, but both are #1 selections.

9780812989885_a1476The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti (PRH/Dial; OverDrive Sample) is the #1 LibraryReads pick for March:

“Meet Samuel Hawley, a man in a constant struggle with his violent past, doing the best he can to raise his daughter. Meet Loo, his daughter, a girl with an obscure past and an uncertain future, on the cusp of adulthood. And meet Lily, the dead woman who connects them both. In this finely woven novel, the past and the present gradually illuminate the story of a man’s life through the bullet wounds he carries with him and makes readers consider what it is to be both good and evil.” — Dawn Terrizzi, Denton Public Library, Denton, TX

Additional Buzz: It is also an Indie Next selection for April 2017. It makes a number of monthly or seasonal best lists, including those by the BBC, Bustle, BuzzFeed, and InStyle. The BBC writes, “This is a surprising and celebratory father-daughter story told with astonishing language and scope.” It gets reviewed by The Rumpus and The Washington Post, for which Ron Charles offers a video review:

Tinti was interviewed as part of PBS’s showcase from the AWP Bookfair:

9780062563668_1bcb5The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck (HC/William Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio) is the #1 Indie Next pick for April:

“Three war widows and their children help each other survive at the end of World War II in this engaging novel filled with rich period details. Their husbands died as members of the resistance, but aside from that common thread, Marianne, Benita, and Ania bring very different backgrounds to their makeshift home in the castle’s kitchen. They also face repercussions from past choices and current secrets. Jessica Shattuck brings us into their world and shows us that the rules for love and loyalty are different in wartime.” —Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA

Additional Buzz: As we note above, this is likely to be the author’s breakout. In addition to the Indie Next #1 pick, it is a Library Reads pick for March. In an unusual pre-pub push, the owners of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes, suggest it to their readers writing it is a “book is for readers who love World War II novels and especially for anyone who thinks they don’t need to read another World War II novel.” In another bookstore connection, the top book buyer for Tattered Cover chooses three titles she recommends as she retires. One of them is The Women in the Castle.

The author was featured on NPR’s  Weekend Edition Saturday. Check your holds for this one.


Four tie-ins come out this week.

9780062572233_d8645American Gods, Neil Gaiman (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample; also mass market).

The Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods premieres on Sunday, April 30, 2017.

One of the early reviews is particularly promising. Slash film calls the pilot “a Weird and Wonderful Start to a Promising SeriesAmerican Gods appears to do justice to Gaiman’s work, expanding on his world while being faithful to what makes it work in the first place. Green and Fuller seem to have crafted something very special, perhaps even a series that can replace the dark fantasy hole in our hearts when Game of Thrones comes to an end.”

9781501174926_7136bThe White Princess (MTI), Philippa Gregory (S&S/Pocket; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample; also mass market).

Returning to Starz’s is another adaptation of a Philippa Gregory novel, after the successful The White Queen. This time it is Princess Elizabeth of York’s moment in the spotlight. The power-play-power-struggle begins on April 16.

There are no reviews yet. See our coverage here and here.

9780804190091_f5826The Dinner (Movie Tie-In Edition), Herman Koch (PRH/Hogarth; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

A tense meal will be served on May 5, with the premiere of the adaptation of Herman Koch’s The Dinner. The novel was on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list for seven weeks, reaching a high of #7.

The film stars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, and Charlie Plummer. Early reviews, from film festival viewings, are mixed. Variety is on board, writing that it is “riveting” with “a catchy atmosphere of disturbance.” The Hollywood Reporter disagrees, saying the film “will probably see some arthouse action both in Europe and stateside before ending up as broadcast fodder for people watching TV with plates of microwaved food on their knees.”

9781484705094_87c7cStar Wars Rogue One Junior Novel, Matt Forbeck (Hachette /Disney Lucasfilm Press; Blackstone Audio).

Pitched to 9-12 year-olds, this is a concise retelling of the hit Star Wars movie, the newest of the series, which came out Dec. 16, 2016.

It ties in to the release of the film on HD. Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand follow on April 4.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 20, 2017

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

The first week of spring sees the return of several favorite series and the ending of one, Greg Iles’ Natchez Burning trilogy. Peer picks include the story of the first female Pinkerton detective.

The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 20, 2017.

Holds Leaders

9780553391961_8c296  9781501905551_c15f0  9780062311153_82abc

Of the books arriving next week, the holds leader is a LibraryReads pick, Debbie Macomber’s If Not for You (PRH/Ballantine; RH Large Type; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample). Macomber is known for her many series, including Cedar Cove, the basis for several Hallmark adaptations. This new title, however, is not part of a series. It is described by the publisher as a “standalone that features linked characters to A Girl’s Guide to Moving On.” That title debuted at #1 on the NYT Hardcover list.

In terms of holds, it is followed closely by C.J. Box’s Vicious Circle (PRH/Putnam; RH Large Print; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), #17 in the Joe Pickett series. Both PW and Library Journal give it a star. Kirkus adds the accolade “Bracingly familiar pleasures expertly packaged. The two families’ fraught history, tangled enough to fuel a whole season of high-country soap opera, keeps this installment from being the best place to take the initial plunge into the franchise, but first-timers will be intrigued and fans amply rewarded.”

Greg Iles concludes his trilogy with Mississippi Blood (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio). All pre-pub reviews are particularly strong, with Booklist saying, “Iles wraps up his massively ‘s “ambitious Natchez Burning trilogy with a book that is (in keeping with its predecessors) compelling, dark, surprising, and morally ambiguous.” It is also an IndieNext pick.

Media Magnets

9781476796710_891d2Grace Notes: My Recollections, Katey Sagal (S&S/Gallery).

Oh no! In her memoir, Katey Sagal reveals that she slept with Gene Simmons (undoubtedly charmed by the fact that he was once a proofreader for Library Journal). The Sons of Anarchy and Married with Children star is set for appearances on ABC’s Nightline, March 20, Good Morning America, March 30, and The View, March 31. The book will also be featured in People magazine.


A Colony in a Nation, Christopher Hayes (Norton; Recorded Books).

The host of MSNBC’s nightly All In with Chris Hayes has a ready platform to promote his new title about racism in America. The focus of this week’s NYT Book Review’s “By The Book” profile, he recommends “Alexander Stille’s fantastic book The Sack of Rome, [PRH/Penguin, trade pbk reprint, 2007] about Silvio Berlusconi, who, in many ways, is the closest analogue you can really find among world leaders to Trump.”

9781455588220_70943Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Oyler (Hachette/Twelve; OverDrive Sample).

At this point, a gently humorous view of the White House may seem quaintly old-fashioned, but that is what Obama’s former deputy chief of staff offers in this book. People magazine says it’s “brimming with … humorous, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, as well as up-close-and-personal moments with Obama that shed new light on who he is as a leader, man and friend.”

9780062446893_03d1eRevolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef (HC/Dey Street Books; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Called “Egypt’s Jon Stewart,” Youssef is a bracing example of what can happen to those who dare to speak truth to power. His show, similar to Stewart’s, was the most popular in Egypt, making him unpopular with the government he satirized. He ended up being arrested and tortured. He was released, but the pressure continued, so he cancelled his show and moved to the US. He appeared last week on the shows of two Stewart alums, Stephen Colbert’s  Late Show and Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal.

The only pre-pub review is from Kirkus, which carps, “Youssef is usually funny, though occasionally he slathers on the bile a little too thickly … Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

A documentary about Youssef, Tickling Giants, is also being released in a limited run next week.

Peer Picks

Two March LibraryReads picks come out this week:

9780553391961_8c296If Not for You, Debbie Macomber (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“High school music teacher, Beth, and tattooed auto mechanic, Sam, are set up by mutual friends, but neither sees a relationship developing. Their mutual disinterest quickly turns into friendship and then develops into much more. Just as their romantic relationship truly begins, Beth’s controlling mother and Sam’s hidden past get in the way and threaten to break them apart. As fans have grown to expect from Macomber, this tale tugs the heartstrings in every direction but is ultimately uplifting. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her characters.” — Jenna Friebel, Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

Additional Buzz: RT Book Review names it a Top Pick and gives it 4.5 stars, writing “This is a trademark Macomber romance in all the best ways.” As noted above, it arrive to long holds lists.

9781501154829_a420eThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

“Li-Yan and her family, devote their lives to farming tea. Like her mother, Li-Yan is being groomed to become a midwife in her Chinese village. She yearns for more and is allowed to pursue her schooling. The arrival of outsiders seeking the Pu’er tea of Yunnan brings the modern world into this isolated village. When Li-Yan finds herself alone and pregnant, she leaves her child, wrapped with a tea cake, at an orphanage. Her daughter is adopted by a couple from California, but she is drawn to the study of tea. A sweeping historical novel that juxtaposes ancient China with its modern incarnation.” Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Additional Buzz: It is also an April Indie Next Pick. See provides background in her book video.

Four additional Indie Next picks publish this week:

9781616206222_2b854Our Short History, Lauren Grodstein (Workman/Algonquin; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Our Short History is a letter from a dying woman to her six-year-old son, and it totally shredded me. Yes, it is a sad story. But it is so much more than that. Readers will love the spirit of Karen Neulander. She is smart and thoughtful and fierce, and Jake is squirmy and tough and tender — just like six-year-old boys can be. Lauren Grodstein takes you to the edge of what you can bear, then shows you that strength comes from fragility and that hope still lives in despair.” —Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Additional Buzz: Celeste Ng, Kevin Wilson, and Karen Russell provide blurbs. Both LJ and Booklist star it, with LJ calling it a “heartbreaking, character-driven story.”

9780062311153_82abcMississippi Blood, Greg Iles (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

Mississippi Blood is the culmination of the Natchez Trilogy, which follows characters who are trying to get to the bottom of brutal Civil Rights-era crimes. Penn Cage watches as the world around him calls into question everything he thinks he knows, including the moral fortitude of his father. Rippling with parallels to our everyday America, Mississippi Blood will, hopefully, push us all to recognize the truths about ourselves and our country.” —Veronica Brooks-Sigler, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

Additional Buzz: Back in Sept. 2016 Entertainment Weekly was so excited about the conclusion to Iles’s Natchez Burning trilogy that they posted a first look at the cover and a short excerpt. Booklist, LJ, and PW each give it a starred review. PW says “The trial scenes are among the most exciting ever written in the genre.”

9781250111753_4885eThe River of Kings, Taylor Brown (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“In his second novel, Taylor Brown takes us on a fascinating trip down the Altamaha River. Also called Georgia’s ‘Little Amazon,’ the river is one of the most remote and wild places in the U.S. This is where the Loggins brothers, Hunter and Lawton, grew up with their abusive father. After he dies under mysterious conditions, they decide to kayak down the river to disperse his ashes and try to discover what really happened. Brown combines the story of the brothers’ journey and descriptions of their father’s rough life with a narrative of the 1564 French expedition and settlement at the river’s mouth. Three stories in which nature takes center stage intertwine to give this superb novel an almost mythical dimension.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

9781250064349_62a7aMercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family’s Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them, Gina Kolata (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the tale of a family that has shown remarkable strength in the face of adversity. Kolata does a wonderful job showing us the Baxleys’ joy and heartbreak by chronicling their decisions, their doubts, their fears; the decision to be genetically tested for a devastating illness seemed agonizing and the consequences of living with the outcome even more so. The strength shown by Amanda and the Baxley family made this one of the most amazing stories that I have ever had the privilege to read. I thank them for sharing their story with me; it was truly inspirational.” —Austin Wheeling-Goodson, Burry Bookstore, Hartsville, SC

Additional Buzz: Men’s Journal names it as one of “The 7 Best Books of March.”

9781501918735_4c9beGirl in Disguise, Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks Landmark; Recorded Books).

“‘I’m a resourceful and strong young woman, there is no other option.’ That’s the concept behind Greer Macallister’s telling of the real, honest-to-goodness life of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Kate is a widow with no money and no honest prospects, and she is desperate. Her unconventional upbringing taught her flexibility, and, spotting Pinkerton’s ad, she won’t take no for an answer. She is hired as an agent and, having proved her value, is soon hiring and training more female agents and serving as a spy as the U.S. prepares to split apart. Girl in Disguise is a delight: entertaining and a sure nonstop read.” —Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA


After a ten-year absence, the Power Rangers film franchise gets a reboot, with a new movie that opens March 24. Beginning as a FoxKids TV adaptation of a Japanese series in 1993. Power Rangers spun off two films, as well as toys, action figures, apps and video games.

Lionsgate hopes this movie will be the beginning of a new franchise for the studio, to replace Hunger Games, reports Deadline. Therefore, the new film is the Power Rangers origin story about five high schoolers who use newly found superpowers to save the world from an alien invasion. It stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks.

9780515159691_0f13aPower Rangers: The Official Movie Novel, Alexander Irvine (PRH/Penguin Young Readers).

A graphic novel tie-in arrives next week.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 14, 2017

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

9781501150326_46287  9780399575600_6c325  9780062436603_fefa8

This week brings releases by sure-bet best sellers Catherine Coulter and Clive Cussler. They are joined by relative newcomer Jacqueline Winspear whose Maisie Dobbs mysteries have begun reaching new heights recently on bestseller lists. As the title of her latest outing indicates, In This Grave Hour, (Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio), the story sees Maisie, who served as a nurse during WWI, at the dawn of yet another war. A heavily anticipated first novel also arrives, as well as several library and bookseller picks.

The titles covered in this colum, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 14, 2017

Crit Pick

9781594205613_4ae25The Idiot, Elif  Batuman, (PRH/Penguin Press)

The term “hotly anticipated,” is often thrown around with little documentation, but this debut novel has it in spades. The author built a reputation with her pieces for the literary journal n+1, bringing her attention and a position as a staff writer for The New Yorker. A collection of her essays, published as an original paperback by FSG, The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, achieved a rarity for a book of essays about books, let alone Russian books, hitting the lower rungs of the NYT Paperback Nonfiction list. For her first novel, she gets the ultimate notch on the hotly-anticipated meter, an interview in the pages of Vogue magazine, featuring a photo of the author wearing Stella McCartney, as well as another interview in New York magazine. and an excerpt of the novel was published in  The New Yorker.

Critics seem to be in a race to review it. Six consumer reviews have appeared already, as tracked on Book Marks. Unfortunately, most of the reviewers have deep reservations. In the daily NYT two weeks ago, Dwight Gardner writes, “Each paragraph is a small anthology of well-made observations … Small pleasures will have to sustain you over the long haul of this novel. The Idiot builds little narrative or emotional force.”

The Colbert Bump

9781501117428_ca882Thank You For Coming To HattiesburgTodd Barry

The toast of late night, Stephen Colbert gives a boost to fellow comedian Todd Barry’s book this coming Wednesday by featuring him on his show. PW said of this his tour diary, “Barry deftly uses stories about a lack of toilet paper in the green room and hotel rooms with inoperative shades to play to his strengths,” while Kirkus took the opposite view, saying the book not only captures the tedium of traveling from one small comedy club to another, but “wallows in it.”

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads sections publish this week.

9780399574634_410d5The Wanderers, Meg Howrey (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“A private space exploration company is mounting a manned mission to Mars. To prepare for the actual event, the company plans an elaborate training program to match the conditions and potential problems the team might face. The ordeal, though simulated, is no less dramatic for the astronauts, their families, and the crew. The lines cross between fiction and reality and none of the participants is left unchanged. Part literary fiction, part sci-fi, all amazing.” — Marie Byars, Sno-Isle Libraries, Oak Harbor, WA

Additional Buzz: It is a March Indie Next pick and the BBC says it is “inventive, lyrical and immersive,” putting it on their list of “Ten books you should read in March.” It is on Inverse’s list of Essential SF books for the month as well.

9781612195971_6579eEggshells, Caitriona Lally (Melville House; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Whimsical and different, this novel’s humor hooked me. Vivian is an eccentric, living in Dublin and searching for a place where she can feel she belongs. How can you help but love a character who checks every wardrobe for Narnia and every yellow road for an Emerald City? This novel movingly explores the outcasts and the different among us, showing that they are only hoping to fit in and find a friend.” — Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Additional Buzz: Also on the March Indie Next listThe Guardian calls it ” inventive, funny and, ultimately, rather moving.”

9780451493699_50a6dAlso on the Indie Next list is White Tears, Hari Kunzru (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio).

“An unsettling, grungy, gorgeous tale of white appropriations of black culture, legacy, and memory, of the harrowing effects of racism through the years, of a haunting that resonates through generations through a blues song that should have been stamped on vinyl, that maybe was but never was. This is a story of the costs of a lack of reparations, of money and power and powerlessness, all tied up in the viscerally kinetic prose of an author writing about obsession. Beautiful, ugly, indelible writing makes this a book I won’t soon forget.” —Gretchen Treu, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore, Madison, WI

Additional Buzz: The author is interviewed on NPR‘s Weekend Edition Saturday. The Huffington Post calls it “The Horror Story ‘La La Land’ Should Have Become.” The author is featured in the NYTBy the Book” column and GQ names it one of the best books of March, writing “Thoroughly researched and brilliantly written, White Tears reckons fiercely with specters of American music.” Nylon and New York Magazine also name it as one of March’s best books.

9781250034564_7279aNever Let You Go, Chevy Stevens (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Ten years ago: Lindsay Nash is trapped in an abusive marriage with a man who has threatened to kill her if she runs. Today: Lindsay is a successful small-business owner and a single mom raising her teenage daughter. When her ex-husband is released from jail, however, the terror starts all over again as Lindsay and her daughter are stalked and skillfully manipulated. Her ex swears it isn’t him — but is there any chance he has really changed? This fast-paced thriller will leave you guessing right up to the end!” —Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

Additional Buzz: It makes Real Simple‘s list of “The Best New Books to Read This Month.”

9781476761466_08976The Fall of Lisa Bellow, Susan Perabo (S&S; S&S Audio).

“I was surprised by the lasting impact of this novel. Though it speaks to a horrible crime, it is not the crime that becomes the plot, but rather the crime’s impact. This book is an intimate look at adolescence — of how gritty and hard it can be. Through Meredith’s eyes, we are reminded of the tug-of-war between needing family and needing independence, the way that friendship and loyalty can get lost in the status wars of high-school cliques, and how innocence and wisdom twist together to leave behind something much more complex. I loved this book for its intimacy rather than its sensationalism.” —Susan McCloskey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Additional Buzz: In USA Today‘s “New and Noteworthy “column. A piece by the author was published in the NYT ‘s “Modern Love” column on Sunday, “When Mothers Bully Back.”

9781501156168_8efa6One of the Boys, Daniel Magariel (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

“The intensity of this novel is such that you’ll be relieved that it is not longer than its 176 powerful pages. When ‘the war’ with his wife ends, a man uses devious methods to win custody of his two sons, 12 and 14, packs them in his Jeep, and heads from Kansas to start a new life in Albuquerque. The boys are aware that their father uses drugs, but their loyalty to him and their youth keep them trapped in a home that soon becomes little more than a torture chamber as their father sinks further into his addiction. Narrated in excruciating detail by the younger son, this is a moving story about how parent/child love can be turned on its head by drug abuse. Excellent writing keeps one riveted in hope that the boys will survive.” —Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX


9781683830009_7ec23The Art of Ghost in the Shell, David S. Cohen, Richard Taylor (S&S/Insight).

Following the release of the comic tie-ins (noted here and here) to the March 31 live-action adaptation of The Ghost in the Shell, this title focuses on the trippy art.

The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt and is based on Masamune Shirow’s manga series of the same name, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk.”


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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 6, 2017

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Coming next week, in time for Passover, is a book that may seem like an oxymoron, a humorous Haggadah. The media will be focused on ground-breaking women and there’s a dozen librarian and bookseller picks to recommend plus tie-ins to four heavily-anticipated movies.

The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of March 6, 2017.

9781250119889_b7916We need to explain why one sure-to-be popular book is NOT included on our list, the latest by the Blogess, Jenny Lawson, author of the long-running best sellers Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy. Unfortunately, her new book You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds (Macmillan/Flatiron), is printed on perforated pages, which, as the publisher helpfully notes, “can be easily torn out, hung up, and shared,” a clear definition of a non-library-friendly format. Some libraries, however, have ordered copies.

Passover Prep

9781250110213_56b00For This We Left Egypt?: A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them, Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, Adam Mansbach, (Macmillan/Flatiron; OverDrive Sample).

A funny Haggadah? Who knew? As God himself writes in the cover blurb, this is by “Three of the funniest people I’ve ever created,” the humorist Dave Barry, the SNL writer Alan Zweibel, and Adam Mansbach, who knows a bit about creating off beat humor, having written Go the F*** to Sleep. This one was not reviewed pre-pub so many libraries have not ordered it. We predict a sleeper hit.

Holds Leaders

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Amazingly, after so many years as a best seller, Danielle Steel has decided to step up her publication schedule. Dangerous Games (PRH/Delacorte; Recorded Books; PRH Large Print) is the second of six new hardcovers scheduled for this year. Following close behind in terms of holds for the week is the tenth in Patricia Briggs’ urban fantasy series, Silence Fallen (PRH/Ace; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Publishers Weekly says, “Briggs delivers her usual action and danger … and adds a surprising playfulness.”

Media Magnets

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Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front, Mary Jennings Hegar (PRH/Berkley; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

Jumping into the top 100 on Amazon’s sales rankings today as a result of a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air, movie rights for this memoir by a female Air Force major and helicopter pilot were signed by Sony well in advance of publication. Angelina Jolie may star, according to a recent story by The Hollywood Reporter.

We: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere, Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel (S&S/Atria).

The title may sound like a feminist declaration, but X-Files star Gillian Anderson and her co-author British journalist Jennifer Nadel have another goal, to help women overcome depression and lead more productive lives. Promotion began with an interview in The Washington Post and will continue with several print and online publications, as well as appearances the following week on ABC’s The View and CBS This Morning.

Madame President, Helene Cooper (S&S).

Liberia, the country founded by freed American slaves, was the first to elect an woman president, one who managed the incredible feat of bringing peace to a country divided by a bloody civil war. This first biography of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is written by the NYT‘s Pentagon correspondent, Helene Cooper, who came to the US from Liberia when she was 13. Her harrowing memoir, The House at Sugar Beach, recounts that time. She wrote a story for the NYT after Trump imposed his immigration ban, about what it meant to have the US welcome her. The book is set to be reviewed widely and Cooper will appear next week on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and NPR’s The Takeaway.

Peer Picks

Four LibraryReads titles arrive this week.

9780062469687_ecca3The Hearts of Men, Nickolas Butler (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio).

“In the summer of 1962, we are introduced to popular Jonathan and social outcast, Nelson, aka ‘The Bugler.’ The only thing the two seem to have in common is that they both spend a few weeks of one summer at Camp Chippewa in the woods of Wisconsin. Yet, over the course of decades, their lives and the lives of those they love the fiercest are intertwined. This wonderful novel peels back the layers of male friendship and shows what loyalty, compassion, and selflessness looks like.” — Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien CT

Additional Buzz: It’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week.” described as “Perfectly paced and leavened with humor, it is a wonderful read.” It is also an Indie Next pick for March and a GalleyChat selection.

9781101985595_7c9dcSay Nothing, Brad Parks (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Fans of crime fiction and fans of domestic drama will find much to love in Parks’ genre-blending thriller. Judge Scott Sampson is a devoted family man and a respected jurist thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare: his 6-year-old twins are kidnapped, and the kidnappers blackmail Scott into increasingly immoral legal decisions. Cue marital meltdown, ethical dilemmas, paranoia, and a thrill ride that suspense lovers will race through to learn what happens next. It’s a departure from the author’s lightly snarky Carter Ross series, but a welcome one for readers of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz.” — Donna Matturri, Pickertington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

Additional Buzz: Bustle calls it “Fast-paced and terrifying … a roller coaster of fear, deception, jealousy, and terror” and names it one of “11 Page-Turning Thrillers That Will Allow You To Escape Into Another World Right Now.” The Daily Mail in the UK includes it on their list of “Psycho Thrillers” and says “The old cliche of page-turner is dead right here. This twisted tale is written with such power and intelligence that you have no option other than to read it under your desk at work.

9781492635826_28eb1The Bone Witch, Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks/Soucebooks Fire; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Fifteen-year-old Tea discovers that she has a power that sets her apart from the other witches in her village and will incur their hatred. She is a “bone witch” who can raise the dead. Aware that a darkness is coming, Tea agrees to leave her home and family so she can learn to save the very people who hate her. Her training, outlined in rich and fascinating detail, includes the courtly arts of singing and dancing, as well as classes in fighting. Told in short chapters, Tea reflects on her life, revealing how she becomes a courageous warrior. Although written for young adults, this will equally appeal to adults. The cliff-hanger ending will make readers eager for the promised sequel.” — Trisha Perry, Oldham County Public Library, Lagrange, KY

Additional Buzz: Smart Bitches Trashy Books includes it in their “Hide Your Wallet” round up of March Releases they are excited about. It is a PWMost Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Spring 2017” selection and BuzzFeed, with a rare failure of click-bait hyperbole, includes it in their list of “Just Some Really Excellent YA Books You Need To Know About.

9781101875681_5fe86The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, Michael Finkel (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT).

“There are three types of hermits in the world, according to Finkel: protesters, pilgrims, and pursuers. But Christopher Knight doesn’t seem to fit any of these categories. So why, at the age of 20, did he drive into a forest in Maine and disappear for 27 years, his only human interaction a single ‘hi’ with a passing hiker? This book uses the incredible but true story of Knight, ‘the last true hermit,’ to explore themes of solitude, introversion and the meaning of life.” — Megan Tristao, San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA

Additional Buzz: The New Republic features it an article, “The Case for Becoming a Hermit.” It is an Indie Next selection and Esquire UK picks it as one of “12 Books We’re Excited About Reading In 2017 And you should be too.BookPage makes it their “Nonfiction Top Pick, March 2017.” It is one of our GalleyChat picks.

9780735212176_8834cOther Indie Next titles coming out this week include the #1 pick for March, Exit West, Mohsin Hamid (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Exit West will take your breath away as it magically weaves together a story of falling in love while the world falls apart. Spirited Nadia captures the heart of the thoughtful Saeed, but as their different paths in life converge, ordinary life gives way to the insults of war. Mohsin Hamid conveys the story of these young refugees with tenderness, humanizing the horrors that we too often see as merely headlines. As chaos touches so many lives around the globe, Hamid writes eloquently of the beauty found in our struggle to survive. This is more than a timely story; this is a remarkable work of art.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Additional Buzz: Michiko Kakutani reviews it early for the daily NYT, calling it “compelling” and saying “Writing in spare, crystalline prose, Hamid conveys the experience of living in a city under siege with sharp, stabbing immediacy.The Washington Post says, “No novel is really about the cliche called ‘the human condition,’ but good novels expose and interpret the particular condition of the humans in their charge, and this is what Hamid has achieved here.” It is also a GalleyChat title. Hamid writes a feature for The Guardian on the dangers of nostalgia. It is also on the Esquire UK list of “12 Books We’re Excited About Reading In 2017 And you should be too.

9780345476043_6498cIll Will, Dan Chaon (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Ill Will is a house of mirrors reflecting intergenerational psychodramas in which the abuses of a parent insidiously infect subsequent generations. Violent parricide, false memories, drugs, and sex fuel a double plot line and vivid character development and taut dialog propel the reader as scene shifts blur the roles of the offender and the injured. Chaon adroitly leads us through a literary haunted house, then leaves us to find our own way out.” —Bill Fore, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT

Additional Buzz: It makes Real Simple‘s list of “The Best New Books to Read This Month.” They call it “a menacing, gripping story about a psychologist, his murdered family, serial killers, and satanic rituals.”

9780451493897_9c0bcCeline, Peter Heller (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“There should be an excused absence from life when a new Peter Heller novel is released to the world. There is a pace and a quality to his writing that will make you want to drink it down in one gulp. Heller’s strong narrative voice and complex plotting have always stood out to me and Celine is another example of this. Loosely based on Heller’s mother, Celine is a hard-nosed — if a bit worn down — private investigator living in post-9/11 Brooklyn. She has a stellar reputation, but when she is sent on a case to locate a young woman’s missing father, it’s clear that her age (and lifestyle) has caught up with her. You will fall in love with Celine and connect with everyone who populates this book. I would give just about anything to follow her on more adventures.” —Katelyn Phillips, WORD, Jersey City, NJ

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly picks it as one of their “23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017,” writing, “Celine, a PI, investigates a case in Yellowstone National Park that quickly become far more complex than the random animal attack it was made out to be.” Library Journal highlighted Heller as one of Four Rising-Star Novelists (along with Nickolas Butler for The Hearts of Men (above) and Victor Lodato for Edgar and Lucy (below).

9780544824249_9a4ceAll Grown Up, Jami Attenberg (HMH; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Though Andrea Berg hasn’t hit society’s milestones for adulthood — no husband, no baby, an anemic career — she is clearly ‘all grown up,’ and in Jami Attenberg’s wonderful new novel, she struggles to define her place to the wider world, her family, and herself. In funny, often poignant vignettes of one woman’s life, All Grown Up perceptively explores what it means to be an adult.” —Sarah Baline, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: Martha lists it among “Page-Turners For 2017,” in a list created by Lisa Lucas, the executive director of the National Book Foundation. She writes “Attenberg knows how to make a reader laugh and feel. This novel takes a hard look at what it means to be a woman living on her own terms.” It also makes a number of others lists, including those compiled by Bustle (twice), Elle, Flavorwire, Glamour, The Millions, and Nylon. There is an excerpt on Guernica and Entertainment Weekly has a story on the striking cover art.

9781250096982_3937bEdgar and Lucy, Victor Lodato (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Edgar and Lucy is about a terribly broken family that faces crisis after crisis yet never gives up trying to be a family. The main narrator is eight-year-old Edgar, a child brilliant beyond his years but who has a problem relating to almost everyone except his grandmother, Florence. Edgar’s mother, Lucy, loves him in her own way but thanks to Florence, Lucy really doesn’t need to make much of an effort. When Florence dies, everything changes. A stunning novel, dark at times, raw and bold, written with an uncanny feel for life and death, Edgar and Lucy kept me spellbound waiting for its conclusion but unwilling for the story to end.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Additional Buzz: In addition to the mentions above, Library Journal and Booklist both give it starred reviews. Lodato wrote a recent NYT “Modern Love” column on his special friendship with wonderful but ailing older woman.

9781501139260_0ced4Close Enough to Touch, Colleen Oakley (S&S/Gallery Books; S&S Audio).

“It was just a kiss, but it nearly killed her. Jubilee is allergic to people. She can’t be touched by strangers, well-meaning or not. She retreats into her shell, away from the world, but her high school years pass, then her parents are gone, and, finally, she must move out into the world or die. She finds a home for her quiet life in a library, until Eric finds her and insists that she discover the truth of a life lived without fear. Close Enough is filled with real life, real people, and the search for happiness that we all recognize. It is a truly moving story from a rare gem of an author.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

9781555977672_93c70WHEREAS: Poems, Layli Long Soldier (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; OverDrive Sample).

“When pain is obvious but goes unrecognized, it feels like trying to strain salt from sugar. With the poems in Whereas, Layli Long Soldier engages with where she’s ‘from’ through history and memory, analysis and reflection. Her mission? To stay angry — to declare, ‘I’m here I’m not / numb to a single dot.’ From rants and dreams and one lexical box to a pantomime of legalese, Long Soldier is agile, aware, and not asking for pity. She aims, instead, for action — ‘whereas speaking, itself, is defiance.’” —Annalia Luna, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Additional Buzz: Ploughshares reviews it, writing it is “an ambitious, ground breaking book. The world needs more of those.

9781941040560_7e248Rabbit Cake, Annie Hartnett (Norton/Tin House Books; Blackstone Audio).

“When Eva Rose Babbitt, mother of daughters Lizzie, 15, and Elvis, 10, drowns while sleep-swimming, her daughters are left to fend for themselves emotionally while their father tends to his grief by wearing his wife’s bathrobe and lipstick. Elvis stays up at night, trying to keep Lizzie, a sleepwalker and sleep-eater, from burning the house down with her nocturnal ‘cooking.’ But Elvis doesn’t trust the circumstances of her mother’s death and is determined to finish her mother’s book, The Sleep Habits in Animals and What They Tell Us About Our Own Slumber, so she does a little research of her own. Annie Hartnett has created endearing and memorable characters in a delightfully original story that is sure to become a beloved favorite of readers everywhere.” —Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Additional Buzz: This GalleyChat pick also got starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Ploughshares names it one of their “Must-Reads for 2017” (along with The Hearts of Men, above).


9780062669810_76badThe Son, Philipp Meyer (HC/Ecco; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample).

AMC gave a ten-episode straight-to-series order last year, for Meyer’s adaption, believing in ithe project  so much that they skipped the usual pilot stage,  The multi-generational historical saga stars Pierce Brosnan, Paola Nuñez and Elizabeth Frances. It premieres on April 8.

Philipp Meyer is writing the script along with fellow authors Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy. He told the Texas Observer, “99.9 percent of stuff that Hollywood picks up they actually have no intention of making it, and for the one percent of stuff that they do want to make, they have literally no interest in having the creator of the original material involved.” So he decided to write it himself. He says “The arc of the series would have the same creative arc as the book, so it wouldn’t be open-ended. Whether that means four seasons or six seasons we’ll have to figure out.”

9780451478290_bbcc713 Reasons Why, Jay Asher (PRH/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31. Early buzz is building. When the trailer aired yesterday the book jumped on the Amazon sales rankings, going from #221 to #40.

About a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision, it is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.

It stars a relatively unknown cast. Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) directs. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) wrote the script.

9780525434658_325e0The Lost City of Z (Movie Tie-In): A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann (PRH/Vintage; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

This adaptation of the action adventure nonfiction account of Percy Fawcett’s search for a fabled lost city opens April 21. It stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland.

Reviewing it after its NY Film Festival debut, Variety calls it “Apocalypse Now meets Masterpiece Theater … a finely crafted, elegantly shot, sharply sincere movie that is more absorbing than powerful.”

The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a rare piece of contemporary classical cinema; its virtues of methodical storytelling, traditional style and obsessive theme are ones that would have been recognized and embraced anytime from the 1930s through the 1970s. Whether they will be properly valued by more speed-minded modern audiences will only become known when this immaculate production is released.”

9780525434665_1e0e6The Sense of an Ending (Movie Tie-In), Julian Barnes (PRH/Vintage; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Emily Mortimer, Charlotte Rampling, and Jim Broadbent star in this adaptation of the Booker shortlisted title about a man trying to come to terms with his past and present.

The reviews are not strong. The Wrap says “Many of the best features of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel don’t make the leap to the screen.The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A mildly engaging adaptation of a bold book.

It debuts on March 10.

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 27, 2017

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Coming next week, the holds leaders are two authors who have each published over 20 titles in their series, but one has only recently jumped in popularity, the media will feature a past president who will not be talking politics, but painting, and tie-ins arrive for films currently in the news.

The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Feb 27, 2017

Holds Leaders

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Banana Cream Pie Murder, (Kensington; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

The 21st in this series, which has been rising in holds since Hallmark began adapting the books as movies for the Murder, She Baked series, part of what is described as the “perfect storm that created Hallmark’s current ratings boom.” The fifth movie in the series, Just Desserts premieres Sunday, March 26

Bone Box, Faye Kellerman, (HarperCollins/Morrow; OverDrive Sample)

The 24th title featuring Police Detective Peter Decker gets middling prepub reviews.

Media Magnets

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Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook, Tony Robbins, (S&S; S&S Audio)

It may seem that Robbins is a blast from an infomercial past, parodied by comedians, but he has new life as one of the inspirations for Showtime’s series, Billions.

Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s WarriorsGeorge W. Bush, Laura Bush, General Peter Pace,  (Random House/Crown; RH Audio)

The news will be taking a look at what the ex-president has been doing:

Fox News. Hannity – One segment each night about the book, 2/27-3/2,  leading into the one hour special on 3/3 

Today Show – two-part live segment, 2/27

People Magazine – Interview with the President and one of the warriors – 3/3

Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset on and off the Court, Jay Wright, Michael Sheridan, Mark Dagostino, (Random House/ Ballantine; OverDrive Sample)

The Villanova University basketball coach will be interviewed on PBS’s The Charlie Rose Show, as well as ESPN’s Sports Center and Mike & Mike.

Peer Picks

9781632866578_f7853Only one Peer Pick comes out this week, the Indie Next pick Abandon Me, Melissa Febos (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA).

“Melissa Febos has one of those minds that’s as good at describing scenes as it is at clearly breaking down a complicated idea or articulating ambivalence. Abandon Me is a powerhouse collection — each essay can be enjoyed on its own, but taken together, they form a striking autobiographical portrait of a talented young writer and thinker. You won’t want to abandon a voice this powerful, and you won’t forget it either.” —John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Additional Buzz: Esquire lists it as one of “The 5 Books You Should Read in February,” writing that Febos “obliterates convention with her erotically charged and intellectually astute recollections of family, relationships and the search for identity.”


9780425291764_06892The young readers’ edition of an Oscar nominated film adaptation hits shelves this week, Lion: A Long Way Home Young Readers’ Edition, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Puffin Books; Listening Library).

The publisher says it “features new material from Saroo about his childhood, including a new foreword and a Q&A about his experiences and the process of making the film.”

Brierley tells how he was separated from his family in rural India at age 4, when he climbed aboard a train and was carried over a thousand miles away to a city he did not know. He wound up in an orphanage and was adopted and relocated to Tasmania. Decades later, he traced his way back home using Google maps.

The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham. They join a cast of actors well-known in India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

9781338118155_11d55I’m Batgirl! (The LEGO Batman Movie: Reader), Tracey West (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample) is a leveled reader connected to the newest LEGO film, which opened on Feb. 10th.

Number 1 at the box office, the movie also has critics are raving. RollingStone calls it “a superfun time,” USA Today says it is “joyously bonkers,” and The Washington Post says it is better than the first one, writing “it is that rare sequel that outdoes the original.”

Other tie-ins have already been released.

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