Archive for the ‘New Title Radar’ Category

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

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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

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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

9781617732201_edbf7  9780062424976_506ae

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

9781501164583_c9af59780804189767_8caaf 9780399180859_8bc40

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.

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

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Coming next week, James Patterson releases a dystopian thriller aimed at adults, the number one LibraryReads pick, Clare Mackintosh’s psychological thriller, I See You is picking up holds and Christina Baker Kline follows up her long-running best seller, Orphan Train with a new title.

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 Feb 10, 2017

Holds Leader

9780316269957_16aaaHumans, Bow Down, James Patterson, Emily Raymond, illus. by Alexander Ovchinnikov,  (Hachette/ Little, Brown; Hachette Audio: Hachette Large Print; OverDrive Sample)

No reviews are available yet for this title, so we have to rely on the publisher’s breathless description,  “GENRE-BENDING THRILLER … an innovative, illustrated thriller for adults … DYSTOPIAN APPEAL: Set in a future that is at once both recognizable and horrifying, the book will appeal to readers and viewers of dystopian adventure stories.”

Patterson recently announced that he was jumping on the YA dystopian bandwagon with a novel coming May 22, Crazy House (Hachette/Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio).

Holds are lower than expected for a Patterson title.

Media Magnets

9780062464316_26b39  9780804136549_40cbd

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

Harari’s second book after his best selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is reviewed in the daily NYT this week, somewhat dismissively, “I do not mean to knock the handiwork of a gifted thinker and a precocious mind. But I do mean to caution against the easy charms of potted history.” Check your holds. Easy charms have fans.

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing, Damion Searls, (PRH/ Crown; OverDrive Sample)

Only 37 when he died, this bio explores how Rorshach’s famous test was used and abused.  The author is interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Friday, 2/17.

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads books come to shelves this week, including the #1 pick for February:

9781101988299_1278a I See You, Clare Mackintosh (PRH/Berkley; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Zoe Walker sees her picture in a personal ad for a dating website. At first she thinks there must be a mistake. She soon learns that other women whose pictures have appeared in these ads have been subjected to violent crimes. Zoe contacts the police. PC Kelly Smith, a disgraced former detective, works to find the mastermind behind the website and redeem herself. As each day passes Zoe becomes more and more paranoid and suspicious of everyone she meets. Told from three different viewpoints, the tension builds and kept me on the edge of my seat.” — Karen Zeibak, Wilton Library Association, Wilton, CT

Additional Buzz: The StarTribune names it one of “7 mysteries to chill your soul on a wintry night.” The author’s debut, I Let You Go, was a best seller in the UK. and won a strong review from the NYT BR Crime columnist. Several libraries are showing holds on this new one.

9780062356260_bd19cA Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio).

“Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” would immortalize a young woman. This is the story of Christina and her life. After almost dying as a child of an undiagnosed illness, her legs are twisted, making her stumble as she walks. As she ages, the effects of this illness get much worse leaving her with a shrinking world. This book immerses us in the life on her farm and into the heart of a young woman. A fantastic, and touching story by this author that brings to life the story behind a painting and the life of a young girl who always wanted more than she was given, but accomplished so much despite her handicap.” — Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL

Additional Buzz: Kline’s previous title, Orphan Train, was a word-of-mouth best seller, eventually climbing to #1 on the NYT Paperback list.  Her new title is an Indie Next pick for March and it makes a number of other lists as well, including those selected by Flavorwire and Bustle. The BBC names it as one of “Ten Books You Should Read in February, calling it a “beautifully rendered portrait.” Real Simple calls it “a gorgeous read” and O Magazine says “Kline’s gift is to dispense with the fustiness and fact-clogged drama of some historical novels to tell a pure, powerful story of suffering met with a fight.” Here is a link to the painting. It is held at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

9780399162107_7f864Setting Free the Kites, Alex George (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Robert stands watching the demolition of the old paper mill that stood in the center of town and served as a constant reminder of his friend, Nathan. The reader is transported from present day to 1970s Maine, where Robbie finds his friendship with Nathan a literal escape from the bullying at school, and a figurative way of coping with his brother’s struggle with muscular dystrophy. The portrayal of family dynamics in the wake of tragedy is reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng but with an anchoring of boyhood friendship in this coming of age tale.” — Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO

Additional Buzz: An EarlyReads title, see the chat here, it is also an Indie Next pick for March.

One additional Indie Next pick arrives this week,

9781250077752_2af8bThe Mother’s Promise, Sally Hepworth (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Mother’s Promise is an emotional story of a mother’s love for her teenage daughter, who is struggling with severe social anxiety. Alice and her daughter, Zoe, cope with their problems until Alice becomes critically ill and is faced with a heartbreaking prognosis. She turns to two strangers for help with Zoe and her future. As the relationship among Zoe and these women evolves, they all confront their own personal problems and secrets. This beautifully written story will move readers to tears of grief, compassion, and, at its conclusion, hope.” —Fran Duke, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA


Four tie-ins hit shelves, three for the manga film adaptation,  The Ghost in the Shell.







The Ghost in the Shell 1 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). The publisher says it features “the original, right-to-left format with Japanese sound effects for the first time!”

The Ghost in the Shell 1.5 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). It contains “lost” Ghost in the Shell stories, such as “Fat Cat,” “Drive Slave,” “Mines of Mind,” and “Lost Past.”

Also coming is the sequel, The Ghost in the Shell 2 Deluxe Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics).

The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It opens on March 31.

There is another tie-in, published in late January, The Ghost in the Shell 1 Movie Tie-In Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics). See our previous story for more details.

1484782925_69f5cA late edition to the Moana tie-in collection is Moana: The Mighty Maui Makes a Friend, Kalikolehua Hurley, illustrated by Mehrdad Isvandi (Hachette/Disney Press). It is a storybook for grades 1-3. Blu-ray and DVDs arrives March 7.

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 13, 2017

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo  9780345541437_00dfb

The literary world is holding its collective breath for the publication on Tuesday of George Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, as we reported earlier. At that time, we were surprised to find that holds were relatively low. They have been growing since and more will come, as Saunders has several media appearances coming up, including the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday. More on the title below, under Peer Picks.

The holds leader for the is week Heartbreak HotelJonathan Kellerman, (PRH/Ballantine; OverDrive Sample).

The next in the best selling series featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware series, prepub reviewers were not impressed. Publisher Weekly says, “The psychological insights Alex typically displays are few and barely relevant to the inquiry or its solution.”

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. 13, 2017

Peer Picks

Three LibraryReads titles hit shelves this week.

9780399563089_060d5We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“When Georgia Hunter learns that she is a descendant of large family of Holocaust survivors, she knows that she is destined to be the recorder of their story. This is the result of years of research to gather as much detail about her relatives as she possibly can. How this group of people manages to survive years of persecution and imprisonment is astounding. It is an inspiring read, and one that honors the memory and struggle of not just the author’s family, but all of the people who suffered during the war.” — Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, CT

Additional Buzz: Glamour picks it as one of the “Best Books to Read in 2017,” writing “Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn’t be more timely.” Bustle says Hunter is one of “15 New Authors You’re Going To Be Obsessed With This Year.”

9780425284155_56ff4Gilded Cage, Vic James (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Welcome to a world where magic grants you access to all the benefits of wealth and power. This is the story of two families, one from magic and one not. When Abi comes up with a plan to help her family by having them serve one of the most powerful magical families, she thinks it will save them. But when her brother is sent to one of the harshest work camps, the plan seems less likely to keep them alive. Her brother must face the dangers of slavery while Abi and the others will see grandeur and wealth but also see the rotten core that is gilded in gold.” — Suzanne Christensen, Spanish Fork Public Library, Spanish Fork, UT

Additional Buzz: The Washington Post says it is one of the “Best science fiction and fantasy books to read in February,” writing “one can’t help but anticipate the next novel in the series.The Guardian lists it in their SFF roundup, saying “Beautifully characterised and compellingly plotted, Gilded Cage is an impressive debut.”

9781101906750_0e369The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, Jennifer Ryan (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a powerful story of both hope and despair. Told through diary entries, this is a wonderful glimpse into life in a small British town during WWII. Ryan is a skilled writer who gives each diary entry a clear voice: Mrs. Paltry is dishonest and scheming, Venetia, the self-centered young woman in love with a mysterious man, Kitty, the love struck teenager with big dreams, and Mrs. Tilling, the midwife and moral compass of the town. Through their entries, you really see them grow. The power of music brings them strength that they didn’t know that they had.” — Shari Suarez, Genesee District Library, Goodrich MI

Additional Buzz: Based on holds, word seems to have leaked about this debut which was a success in the UK. Prepub reviews were not positive, so libraries have ordered cautiously. Kirkus, damns it with faint praise, calling it, “Mildly entertaining, Ryan’s debut novel seems overfamiliar and too intent on warming the heart,” but nevertheless says that  “readers may find themselves furiously turning pages even if they can easily predict what’s coming next.” Proving that, it is also an Indie Next selection for February.

9780812995343_73f0aBooksellers add to the critical anticipation for Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) by making it an Indie Next for the month.

“Saunders’ first novel has a steep entry curve. It’s not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you’ll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln’s dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It’s a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.” —Jason Vanhee, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Additional Buzz: It is an all-star, receiving starred reviews from all four trade sources. As we wrote earlier, it is getting wide attention. On this week’s NYT Book Review Podcast, Saunders says that he originally wrote it as a play, which makes it particularly appropriate that the audio version features 166 narrators, many of them well-known Hollywood names. Saunders is scheduled to be interviewed on tomorrow’s NPR Weekend Edition Saturday and on Wednesday on the Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert.


Four tie-ins come out this week.

9780062414915_fa53cTheir Finest, Lissa Evans (HC/Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is the tie-in edition for the film of the same name. The novel was originally published as Their Finest Hour and a Half.

The film stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, and Bill Nighy and is set in London during WWII. It features filmmakers creating patriotic flicks during the war.

Critics are glowing. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “stealth charmer” and Variety says it is “a relentlessly charming romantic comedy … the sort of crowd-pleaser that knows the difference between satisfying its viewers and flattering them, all the while showcasing surprising performances from Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin, and an entirely unsurprising one from Bill Nighy — a master scene-stealer pulling off yet another brazen heist.” Entertainment Weekly says it is “Comedic, poignant, and delightful.”

The movie opens April 7.

9781302904630_9cee2Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel; OverDrive Sample) arriving this week ties in to the March 3 movie, Logan, the 10th X-Men film and the final Wolverine solo film. It is not a pure adaptation of the comics, but rather inspired by them.

There are few reviews yet but CinemaBlend loved the trailer, writing it is “Brutal, Vicious, and Outstanding.”

9781465456618_f8ed3The LEGO® Batman Movie: The Making of the Movie, DK (PRH/DK Children).

One of the best characters from the animated LEGO Movie gets his own feature in the next installment of the Batman saga.

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.”

The film stars the voice work of Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders.

It opens Feb. 10. Expect more tie-ins to come.

9781481491709_22e6fThe Boss Baby Junior Novelization, Tracey West (S&S/Simon Spotlight; also trade paperback) is is a novelization of the movie script.

The movie is described as “inspired” by Marla Frazee’s picture book Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010) and adds several story lines.

As we posted, it screened at the Annecy International Animation Festival in the French Alps where it was a huge success. Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praised the director’s use of CGI to mimic classic hand drawn cartoons. Variety reports that the screening “had the audience in stitches” and brought “whoops of applause.”

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar). it features Alec Baldwin as the voice of the Baby, with Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow playing as his parents.

It opens March 31.

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

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

9780812998269_5b71f  9781250123138_3b041

The week brings a dozen titles that are favorites among librarians and booksellers (see Peer Picks, below), including one that arrives to hefty holds lists, Sophie Kinsella’a My Not So Perfect Life, (PRH/Dial; BOT Audio;OverDrive Sample). The holds leader however is the 44th in J D Robb’s “In Death” series, Echoes in Death (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; OverDrive Sample). PW notes that Robb “is not only prolific but consistently inventive, entertaining, and clever in her crime series set in a near-future New York City.”

The titles covered in this post, as well as 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. 6, 2017.

Media Magnets

9780374140366_fd037This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression, Daphne Merkin,(Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Merkin, described as “a productive and admired professional, a writer and critic for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, a novelist and essayist,” has nevertheless struggled with depression all her life. Her memoir is reviewed on the cover of this week’s NYT BR by Andrew Solomon, a clinical psychologist acclaimed for his own memoir of depression, The Noonday Demon. Denotes that Merkin writes this “long-awaited chronicle of her own consuming despair” with “insight, grace and excruciating clarity, in exquisite and sometimes darkly humorous prose,”adding that “Merkin is unlikely to cheer you up, but if your misery loves company, you will find no better companion.”

9781476766812_6bf89Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23, Beth Kobliner, (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Giving voice to the implied hope of the title is the New York Post’s story headlined, “Your child is an untapped gold mine.” The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week on Fox Business Mornings with Maria and on NPR’s Here & Now.

9780812995800_1429dBlack Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, Shellac Kolhatkar (PRH/Random House)

The stories of underhanded hedge fund dealings are depressingly endless but, like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, each is fascinating in its own way. This week’s NYT Book Review says this one “is many things: a Wall Street primer; a procedural drama; a modern version of Moby-Dick, with wiretaps rather than harpoons.” The author is scheduled for an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air on Tuesday.

Peer Picks

There’s a dozen titles to take special note of this week. Four of them are LibraryReads:

9780062271631_76794Garden of Lamentations, Deborah Crombie (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).

“Picking up where To Dwell In Darkness left off, Crombie’s new mystery resolves unresolved issues from that book while telling a compelling new story. Gemma is investigating the puzzling death of a nanny while Duncan is dealing with what looks disturbingly like corruption in the police force. As always in Crombie’s novels the look we get at the domestic lives of Duncan, Gemma and their children is as interesting as the mystery. Another fine entry in this excellent series.” — Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Additional Buzz: The StarTribune counts it among their “7 mysteries to chill your soul on a wintry night,” writing “The tricky balance of the personal and the professional has always been one of the stellar aspects of  Deborah Crombie’s exceptional series … The novel’s title suggests sorrow, deep and debilitating, the kind of grief that chokes. It also alludes to Gethsemane and all that garden implies — betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness. It’s all here.”

9780393609097_a8601Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman (W. W. Norton; HarperAudio).

“After reading Gaiman’s account of Norse mythology, I doubt that I will ever forget how the gods of Asgard acquired their treasures. Thor’s hammer that never misses its mark, Frey’s incredible ship that shrinks to the size of a pocketable silk scarf, Odin’s powerful spear, all came to be because of Loki’s mischief. Above all, I will not forget the ill-gotten and ill-treated children of Loki who bring about Ragnarok, the end of earth and heaven and the death of the gods. Everything feels very real and very now when told by someone who has obviously drunk of the ‘mead of the poets.’” — Catherine Stanton, Madison Library District, Rexburg, IL

Additional Buzz: Nobody sells Gaiman’s enthusiasms better than Gaiman himself, as he illustrates in the book trailer below.  The NYT offers a very early feature in which he says “Those Norse tales have accompanied me through pretty much everything I’ve done.” 

9780812998269_5b71fMy Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella (PRH/Dial; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Katie Brenner has moved from her family’s farm to the big city. She goes to great lengths to present the face that she thinks the world wants to see. When she’s fired from her job and forced to return home she helps her family get their new venture up and running. Learning the truth about herself and those around her leads to the realization that nobody’s life is as perfect as it seems from the outside. Kinsella never loses her sense of humor, even when her characters are facing serious situations. She makes you believe in them and leaves you wanting to know what happens next.” — Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE

9781101985137_a7fd5All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller. Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the one you and I know. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.” — Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly picks it as one of “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017.” It is also the #1 Indie Next book for February and we featured the title as part to of our EarlyReads series.

There are eight additional Indie Next titles coming out this week:

9780316353038_d8874Desperation Road, Michael Farris Smith (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Russell, just released from an 11-year prison sentence, finds anger and revenge waiting for him on the outside. Maben, homeless, broken, and walking along the interstate in the blazing Mississippi heat toward McComb, is forced to make a decision that puts her and her young daughter on the run from the police. In a desperate moment of chance or fate, Russell and Maben’s paths cross, their shared past is revealed, and Russell is left to make the ultimate choice. Smith’s novel is mesmerizing from its opening pages; you will have to pace yourself while reading it to fully enjoy and appreciate the pitch-perfect language and descriptions that can only come from one who has a masterful command of storytelling.” —Matt Kelly, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

9780399576102_61944A Separation, Katie Kitamura (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“We all have a secret self, parts of our personalities that are unknowable, even to the people closest to us. In A Separation, Kitamura stays largely inside the narrator’s head, musing on a great many things: the muddled truth that can exist between married couples, the precise pain of infidelity, the myriad tiny betrayals we commit every day. Her prose is perfect, spare and beautiful, and her observations are spot-on. Some of her sentences were so good they startled me out of the story, which might sound like a bad thing, but it really isn’t. It just meant I spent a little longer with this book, my mind wandering like the narrator’s.” —Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Additional Buzz: Entertainment Weekly picks it as one of “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017.”

9780735213739_f11a8The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O’Neill (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“If there is Canadian magical realism, this is it! The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the charming story of Rose and Pierrot, two children raised in a Montreal orphanage in the early 20th century. O’Neill traces their romance from their childhood of entertaining rich people in their homes to their less salubrious post-orphanage careers. When Rose and Pierrot meet again as adults, magic happens—but can this magic survive the rigors of the real world? Fantastic and fabulous in the truest sense of both words.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

9780802126399_db599The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen (PGW/Grove Press; OverDrive Sample).

“This eloquent and detailed collection of aspirations and dreams tells of those torn between two worlds, the country and family left behind in trade for a distant place of hope and desires fulfilled. Each chapter is an experience of memory suffused with subtle moments that will leave you breathless.” —Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Additional Buzz: While the term “timely” seems overused these days, it clearly applies to this book by the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction last year for The Sympathizer. The author is scheduled to be interviewed next week on NPR’s All Things Considered as well as on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Holds are growing.

9781455563937_1d20ePachinko, Min Jin Lee (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio).

“A father’s gentle nature, a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s trust, and a son’s determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family’s struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!” —Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Additional Buzz: It is also on the Chicago Review of Books list of “The 10 Best New Books to Read This February.

9781501144417_572a6The Impossible Fortress, Jason Rekulak (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio).

“You don’t have to remember the 1980s to deeply ‘get’ this sweet memory trip back to the decade when video games, personal computers, and mixtapes were new. But if you did come of age in the 1980s, look out. All those awkward boy/girl moments, all those songs that comprised the soundtracks of your make-out sessions and your break-ups, all the wonder of your first encounters with MS-DOS buried deep in a far corner of your memory… Jason Rekulak will bring it all back to you.” —Carol Spurling, BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID

Additional Buzz: Another of Entertainment Weekly‘s “The 23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017” picks. They write “Revel in 1987 nostalgia in this debut about a teen boy, a coveted copy of Playboy and a computer-nerd girl.”

9781555977641_64b6f300 Arguments: Essays, Sarah Manguso (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; OverDrive Sample).

“Sarah Manguso is a master of the minimalist form. She can do more with a sentence than many authors can do with an entire book. In this collection of brief ruminations, she covers everything from sex and mortality to ambition, mental illness, writing, desire, and motherhood. These ‘arguments’ are aphoristic gems in which a seemingly random thought has hardened into a bold, cutting, crystalline truth. There is no exposition. Manguso lets these minute statements stand on their own, and the reader is left with nowhere to hide from direct engagement with a most remarkable literary mind.” —Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Additional Buzz: It is among The MillionsMost Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Review.”

9781941040515_89675Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller (Norton/Tin House).

“With Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller confirms her place as a writer of exceptional insight and warmth. This tale of a marriage, of a family, and especially of children bearing the brunt of the fallout of betrayals and abandonment, pulls you in and refuses to let you emerge from the lives of its characters until the tale is finished. Even then, it takes time to shake the spell the book creates. A wonderful follow-up to Our Endless Numbered Days that explores similar themes through an entirely different story, Swimming Lessons will be a great book for fans of Fuller’s first novel and will bring her new fans as well.” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

Additional Buzz: The Guardian calls it a “poignant multilayered tale of love and loss” and BuzzFeed counts it as one of the “27 Brilliant New Books You Need To Read This Winter.” It is also on the Chicago Review of Books list of “The 10 Best New Books to Read This February.”


9780062656322_25b35 Before I Fall Movie Tie-in Edition, Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Debuting at Sundance, Before I Fall is based on Lauren Oliver’s 2010 bestselling YA novel about a teen who relives the last day of her life over and over again.

The Hollywood Reporter says “this neatly written Heathers-meets-Groundhog Day high-concept package delivers both technical polish and a toothsome yet likeable cast. Better still, it has just enough tragic edge to draw young adults, and young-at-heart adults, with melancholy temperaments, a sizeable constituency judging by the popularity of dying teen stories.”

It opens in theaters on March 3 and stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, Diego Boneta, and Elena Kampouris.

9780147512956_d99f3Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Broadway Tie-In, Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (PRH/Puffin Books; Listening Library).

 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musical, opens on Broadway March 28 (previews, full roll out on April 23).

NYT‘s ArtsBeat blog writes that the show, which has been running in London since 2013, will be revamped for its US debut, to make it more familiar to fans of the Gene Wilder film version, including songs made famous by the movie. Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle plays Wonka.

9780393354256_fc3ddThe Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, Diane Ackerman (W. W. Norton; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample).

This nonfiction adaptation stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton, and Daniel Brühl.

It is set in the Warsaw Zoo during WWII, and tells the heroic story of a zookeeper and his wife who harbored 300 Jews from the Nazis.

The film debuts March 31.

9780399587191_29e1eBig Little Lies (Movie Tie-In), Liane Moriarty (PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017; mass market; OverDrive Sample).

HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, begins airing on February 19. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley.

Glamour calls it “The Mom Version of Pretty Little Liars You’ve Been Waiting For.”

Deadline Hollywood dubs it the “Murderous Moms of Monterey.”

9780525434696_1f767 I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

 A documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, I Am Not Your Negro  reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates the film, which includes stunning archival footage.

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- and Variety says “Raoul Peck’s transcendent documentary takes a kaleidoscopic journey through the life and mind of James Baldwin, whose voice speaks even more powerfully today than it did 50 years ago.”

The NYT ranks it as as one of the 10 best films of 2016, writing “In his thrilling documentary, Raoul Peck closes the divide between the personal and political through a portrait of James Baldwin. Expressively narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the movie largely draws on Baldwin’s own writing — as well as material like his F.B.I. files — to create a portrait of a man that turns into a harrowing indictment of his country.”

The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.

9781468314496_cb930Another tie-in to a Broadway play is Jitney: A Play – Broadway Tie-In Edition, August Wilson (The Overlook Press). Part of August Wilson’s 10-play The American Century Cycle, it was the only one that had yet to be preformed on Broadway until its debut on January 19th of this year.

It is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and stars Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, and John Douglas Thompson.

The Manhattan Theater Club offers a summary: “Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last.”

The NYT raves, writing “Conversation sings and swings, bends and bounces and hits heaven smack in the clouds, in the glorious new production of August Wilson’s Jitney … words take on the shimmer of molten-gold notes from the trumpets of Louis and Miles.”

9781770462441_bf229Wilson, Daniel Clowes (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly).

The live-action adaptation of Clowes’s 2010 graphic novel Wilson, starring Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, and Judy Greer also premiered at Sundance. Unfortunately, it was not a hit with the critics there. Variety writes, that it “boasts some funny vignettes but fails in the crucial test of making us care much about the title character.”

It opens March 24.

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 January 30, 2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

9780525954583_b1083 9780735220959_86942   

The holds leader for the week, Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You(PRH/Dutton; RH Large Print; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) marks the return, a welcome one, according to both PW and Booklist, of series characters last featured in 2008’s Say Goodbye.

Each week seems to bring a new Gone Girl/Girl on the Train contender. This week’s candidate is My Husband’s Wife, a debut by Jane Corry (PRH/Pamela Dorman; BOT; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).

A best seller in the UK, it is showing high holds ratios in advance of its release here.  Parade Magazine features it this week,  predicting, “If you loved Gone Girl and The Talented Mr. Ripley, you’ll love My Husband’s Wife …It’s got every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.” It received strong reviews from Booklist and PW, but Kirkus panned it. Note that holds are heavier, on another contender,  The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample), as we wrote last week.

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 Jan 30,2017

Media Attention

9780812997231_c6563  9781501145391_b4235

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin,  (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; Random House/BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The parents of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American high school student who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012, an incident that helped spur the Black Lives Matter movement, will appear on several shows this week.

USA Today –  video interview, today
ABC Nightline – 1/27
ABC The View  – 1/30
Comedy Central Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah – 1/30
ABC Good Morning America – 1/31

I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice, Keke Palmer (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Actress (Scream Queens) and singer Palmer offers advice to young women. She is scheduled for appearances on the following shows

NBC Today Show — 1/31
ABC The View — 1/31
Fox Wendy Williams — 2/1
NBC Harry — 2/1

Peer Picks

9781250111173_74e10One LibraryReads selection comes out this week, Behind Her Eyes: A suspenseful psychological thriller, Sarah Pinborough (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Additional Buzz: The Guardian includes it in a recent thrillers round up review, leading with a description of the author as a woman “prepared to move decisively beyond the parameters of the possible – but who somehow disable[s] our scepticism.” The paper continues, calling the book a “lively … Hitchcockian thriller.” The Stylist includes it on their list of the “Best New Books for 2017,” pointing out its most used hashtag is #WTFthatending. It is also an Indie Next February selection and a GalleyChat pick.

9781627794466_02946One additional Indie Next title arrives this week, 4 3 2 1, Paul Auster (Macmillan/Henry Holt; Macmillan Audio).

“I celebrate whenever there’s something new by Paul Auster. I wasn’t prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that’s the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.” —Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Additional Buzz: The Guardian offers a review and interview. It is on BuzzFeed‘s list of “27 Brilliant New Books You Need To Read This Winter” and on The MillionsMost Anticipated” list. It is one of the five books LitHub say is “making news this week.” They write “Critics are intrigued, occasionally baffled.” Two examples of those reactions: The Washington Post calls it “a multitiered examination of the implications of fate” and says “what’s compelling always is its sense that the most important time exists within us, the time of memory and imagination, out of which identity is forged.” New York Magazine is not impressed, saying of the 900 page novel, “what really defeats Auster in 4321 is his decision to write against his strengths. His B-movie plots and narrative sleights of hand thrive on elision, and this book is overstuffed. The one thing he always seemed to know was the power of brevity.”


mv5bmtcxmdy2nzqzml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodqzndmxmti-_v1_sy1000_sx700_al_Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as the Beast. Ewan McGregor is Lumiere and Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Potts.

Variety reports the film is getting lots of buzz and Forbes predicts it will be one of the “three biggest domestic grossers of the year.”

Arriving this week are six tie-ins:







Beauty and the Beast Novelization, Disney Writers (Hachette/Disney Press)

Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast (Updated Edition): Inside Stories from the Animated Classic to the New Live-action Film, Charles Solomon (Hachette/Disney Editions)

World of Reading: Beauty and the Beast Something More: Level 2, Eric Geron, illustrated by the Disney Book Group (Hachette/Disney Press)







Beauty and the Beast Read-Along Storybook and CD, Disney Book Group, illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team (Hachette/Disney Press)

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Jennifer Donnelly (Hachette/Disney Press)

Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Library: A collection of literary quotes and inspirational musings, Brittany Rubiano, illustrated by Jenna Huerta (Hachette/Disney Press)

9781682559727_40effThe live-action version of the Archie comics, Riverdale, premiered last night on the CW.

In their rave review of the first four episodes, Den of Geek! calls the show “highly addictive” and writes “Yes, this is a show that mixes sex and murder and noir with Archie, but it does so in a way that is self-aware and instantly ready to shatter expectations … And you know what? It is magnificent.”

The tie-in comes out at the end of the month: Road to Riverdale, Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett (PRH/Random House; OverDrive Sample).

9781632364241_75f1bDebuting in theaters on March 31 is The Ghost in the Shell, a SF film based on Masamune Shirow’s manga series of the same name, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk.” Over a decade ago, it was adapted as an animated version, which IndieWire reports will run in a limited release this February.

The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It is already getting criticized for whitewashing, and TasteofCinema wonders if it will succeed.

The tie-in comes out on Jan 31: The Ghost in the Shell 1 Movie Tie-In Edition, Shirow Masamune (PRH/Kodansha Comics).

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 January 23, 2017

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Among the peer picks coming next week is the number one LibraryReads title for January, considered this season’s heir to the “Girl” mantle and showing strong holds, The Girl Before, JP Delaney (see below).

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 Jan, 23, 2017

Media Attention

9780735213920_8d98fReality Is Not What It Seems (PRH/Riverhead Books; BOT/Penguin Audio; OverDive Sample)

Follows Italian theoretical physicist’s Carlo Rovelli’s surprise best seller, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. A profile in this week’s New York magazine says this one is a “more expansive book on physics from the ancient Greeks to contemporary quantum mechanics … with its warm, enthusiastic language and tone, the book is also deeply humanistic in approach.” He is scheduled to appear today on NPR’s Science Friday.

9781416540274_e2dbd-2Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation, Alan Burdock, (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio; OverDrive Audio Sample)

Continuing the science theme, this book on the science of time has been excerpted in the New Yorker. The author is set for an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered tonight. 

9781501172441_97d9fThe Fourth Way: The Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority, Hugh Hewitt,  (Simon & Schuster; OverDive Sample)

The conservative talk show host, whose book was just reviewed in the Washington Post, under the headline, “A conservative’s plan for Trump to win, win, win — or at least avoid impeachment,” is scheduled for several talk shows: 

• NBC Meet the Press, Jan. 22
• MSNBC Morning Joe, and Steve Kornacki, Jan. 23
• Fox-TV Hannity, Jan. 23
• CBS Face the Nation, Jan. 29

Peer Picks

Two LibraryReads titles come out this week, including the #1 pick for January:

9780425285046_76b2eLibraryReads-FavoriteThe Girl Before, JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.” — Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL

Additional Buzz: Holds are strong for this one. The Washington Post included it in a piece entitled “What Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train have wrought,” writing “Already optioned for a film by Ron Howard, [it] is deservedly the anointed “top girl” of this season’s suspense novels.” InStyle picks it as one of “The 8 Books We’re Most Excited for in 2017” and Bustle includes it on their list of “17 Of The Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017.” It also impressed our GalleyChatters and is an Indie Next selection for February.

9781101905609_21916The Fifth Petal, Brunonia Barry (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample)

“Barry takes her readers back to Salem with a mesmerizing tale filled with familiar characters from her previous works and new ones as well. Towner Whitney and John Rafferty come to the aid of Callie Cahill as they attempt to piece together the circumstances surrounding the brutal murder of her mother while trying to keep herself from becoming a victim as well. This is a beautifully written story, full of twists and turns. Fans of The Lace Reader will love The Fifth Petal, though the book stands on its own and can be recommended to all readers.” — Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

Additional Buzz: It is an Indie Next selection for February.

Two more Indie Next titles debut this week:

9781250095664_54e2aRise: How a House Built a Family: How a House Built a Family, Cara Brookins (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book with such a strong female character—and it’s not fiction! Cara Brookins has survived three bad marriages. After the abusive third marriage dissolves, Brookins resolves not to be scared anymore and decides with steadfast determination to take charge of her family. She takes her kids on a road trip to a cabin in the Ozarks, where they begin to dream about having a new house that represents their new life. Though it’s hard for them not to be scared at every turn, their recovery and growth parallels the structure of their home. As they build, they tear down emotional walls. I kept looking at the photo of that amazing house on the back of the book with wonder that she was able to do this on her own. What an amazingly strong woman! I loved this book.” —Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

Additional Buzz: CNN, and a large number of local stations, have featured stories on the house-building project. The Huffington Post ran a story, pointing out Brookins learned to build by watching YouTube videos. So did USA Today. The story is featured in CountryLiving and Refinery29.

9780062450326_6d6b9Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson (HC/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample)

“Izzy Poole is 18, pregnant with her erratic art teacher’s baby, and without any family or money to help her raise her child. Dr. Preston Grind is tragically widowered and estranged from his parents, who raised him using unconventional and unhealthy methods in the name of science. Dr. Grind invites Izzy and nine other couples also expecting their first child to join the Infinite Family Project, an experiment in communal parenting and an attempt to rebuild Dr. Grind’s broken family. This is a fascinating and touching exploration of what makes or breaks a family.” —Marisa Langlois, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

Additional Buzz: It is on The Millions Most Anticipated List and GQ includes it on their “These Are the Books You Should Read in January” list, writing it is “persistently compassionate” and “Wilson’s crisp language and smart plotting make Perfect Little World immensely likable and absolutely enjoyable.”


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 January 16, 2017

Friday, January 13th, 2017

In a twist, James Patterson publishes a hardcover next week featuring a character first introduced in one of his paperback original BookShots series rather than the other way around. Never Never (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Large Print; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) features detective Harriet Blue of the Sydney Police Department. She appeared in the December BookShots title, Black & Blue, written in collaboration with a new Patterson co-author, Candice Fox, a crime writer who lives in Sydney. In addition, Patterson publishes a new  middle grade title next week, the third in a series, House of Robots: Robot Revolution (Hachette/ jimmy patterson; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) with co-author Chris Grabenstein.

9780062348630_e207eIn YA, Veronica Roth, author of the popular dystopian Divergent series, begins a new space opera series with Carve the Mark, (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen; HarperAudio). Booklist notes that, despite the change in genre, her themes are familiar, “Roth offers a richly imagined, often-brutal world of political intrigue and adventure, with a slow-burning romance at its core,” but SLJ warns,
fans of the earlier series “will find that this book has less romance and more violence.”

9781250067852_c2b69Arriving with three starred reviews is the second in Gregg Hurwitz’s thriller series, The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel (Macmillan/Minotaur; Brilliance Audio). The first book garnered praise as well as a film deal prior to publication. Last year, it was announced that Bradley Cooper was in talks to star, but there’s been no news since. However, Hurwitz is working on another project with Cooper, as screen writer for a TV series based on the Pulitzer Prize winner, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick. Of this second book Booklist, writes “As good as Orphan X was, this is an even better novel, mostly because of its more claustrophobic setting… its captivating villain, and the way the author keeps ratcheting up the danger.” Hurwitz has signed for three more books in the series.

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-jan-16-2017.

Media Attention

9781627795982_da6cdMy Life, My Love, My Legacy, Coretta Scott King, Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds,  (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Reviewed in this week’s New York Time Book Review, this is Martin Luther King’s widow’s memoir as told in an oral history to her friend, Reynolds, over 30 years. It is scheduled to be featured on Good Morning America as well as Nightline on Monday, Martin Luther King Day.

9780451494566_c932fHow America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft, Edward Jay Epstein, (PRH/Knopf)

Epstein argues that Snowden is not a whistle blower but a spy for the Russians or the Chinese. It is reviewed skeptically on the cover of the New York Times Book Review this week by Nicholas Lemann, who is interviewed on this week’s “Book Review” podcast. He says that although Epstein never really substantiates his claims, that the book can be fun if you treat it “like reading a John LeCarre novel.”

Peer Picks

9780062451941_a2ff0One LibraryReads pick hits shelves this week, Heartstone, Elle Katharine White (Harper Voyager; OverDrive Sample).

“A fun take on Pride and Prejudice in a fantasy setting. Merrybourne Manor has a gryphon infestation and has contracted with a band of Riders to kill them. As you can imagine, the main Rider is a little haughty and our heroine has a long memory. Familiar trials and tribulations occur with some detailed world-building, laying the groundwork for a sequel. Good for readers who don’t mind literary re-imaginings, love P&P, and Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

Four Indie Next titles publish this week, from the January and February lists:

9780316272476_0c5abLittle Deaths, Emma Flint (Hachette; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“In 1965, Ruth Malone, recently separated from her husband, wakes to find her children gone. Both are found dead and Ruth finds herself the prime suspect, tried and convicted by the court of public opinion because she is a single parent and rumors abound about her drinking and dating habits. Flint has created a compelling whodunit based on true events, and I was riveted from page one. This is a literary thriller that will have you parked in your reading chair until you turn the last page!” —Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books, Cable, WI

Additional Buzz: It is one of Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated Books of 2017:”‘Flint’s debut, set in 1965 Queens, follows a mother accused of killing her two children.”

The Guardian writes “Little Deaths is a strong and confident addition to the growing trend of domestic dystopias – novels about flawed, angry, hurt women navigating hostile social and intimate milieus that turn viciously punitive when those women rebel.”

It earned starred reviews from Booklist, LJ, and PW.

9780399562884_2e640Homesick for Another World: Stories, Ottessa Moshfegh (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

“This phenomenal collection of short stories has ruined me forever. Ottessa Moshfegh is brilliant when it comes to showing off the uglier, twisted side of humanity, the part that we would never share on Facebook or Instagram. Her characters are often desperate, hungry for something they might be able to obtain if only they could name it. Their bitterness often leads to grotesque, yet honest, reactions to the world around them. I can’t wait to recommend this dark little oddity to as many readers as possible.” —Becca Chavez, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Additional Buzz: Time reviews it, saying it “showcases her mastery with tales of a range of creeps and weirdos in despair, looking for something that will make this world more palatable to them (or vice versa).”

New Republic subheads its review with “The twisted fairy tales of Ottessa Moshfegh” and writes it is “a compendium of 14 compulsive little tales.”

The collection tops GQ‘s list of “Books You Should Read in January” and BuzzFeed counts it as one of the “27 Brilliant New Books You Need To Read This Winter.”

It earned starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and PW.

9781250113320_1e13aLillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Join 85-year-old Lillian on a New Year’s Eve stroll through Manhattan, a city as changed by time as Lillian herself. As with Joyce’s Ulysses, the reader is privy to a life told in snapshots of memory within a single day. Based loosely on the life of Margaret Fishback, Lillian is a former Depression-era advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy’s and a poet of light verse. She is also a mother and an ex-wife. Rooney’s work has a light touch, but she is never frivolous. Rooney has the capacity to portray depth within brevity, pain within humor. Here is a novel that both entertains and enlightens, a balance rarely achieved.” —Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

Additional Buzz: It is one of Real Simple‘s picks of “The Best New Books to Read This Month,” writing “Inspired by the life of Margaret Fishback, a poet and Macy’s star ad writer of the 1930s, this novel beautifully depicts the evolution of a woman and the city she loves.”

It is also on Bustle’s  list of “17 Of January 2017’s Best Fiction Books To Bring An Electrifying Start to Your New Year.” They say: ” This lovely novel has been compared to the writings of Dorothy Parker, and once you pick it up you’ll want to soak in it forever.”

It is one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month.

Another pre-pub star winner, it got rave reviews from Booklist, LJ, and PW.

9781632863942_8d63aIndelible, Adelia Saunders (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

“In her remarkable debut, Adelia Saunders develops an intriguing idea into an extraordinary book. When Magdalena looks at other people, she sees words describing their lives written on their skin. The impact is so disturbing that she often leaves her glasses off and walks through the world in a blur, almost missing an encounter with Neil, the American student upon whose face her own name is written. Would fate have demanded that they meet? The interwoven stories of Magdalena, Neil, and their families raise thought-provoking questions of destiny and freewill. Well done, Ms. Saunders!” —Gillian Kohli, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Additional Buzz: It is picked by Canadian librarians as a Loan Stars pick for January (as is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk).


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 January 9, 2017

Friday, January 6th, 2017

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

The titles highlighted below, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Jan. 9, 2017

Media Attention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peer Picks

Five LibraryReads picks come out this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seven additional Indie Next picks also hit shelves:

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

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

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

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

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

It is heralded by an appropriately creepy book trailer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Friday, December 30th, 2016

9780399573972_cba9e 9780345531117_2b104 9780316317269_2fc9f

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

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

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Jan.2, 2016

More Bold-Faced Names

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

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

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

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

Peer Picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

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

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Dec. 26, 2016.

Peer Picks

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

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

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


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

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

Tie-ins include:

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

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

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

Three leveled readers are also being released:







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of December 19, 2016

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Very few new titles arrive in the upcoming week and none of them have significant holds. 

9781401267735_4e24aWe’re unable to check on one title, however, because most libraries have not yet ordered it. Batman Vol. 10, (DC Comics) collects the final issues in what Entertainment Weekly describes as “writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s … landmark run on DC’s Batman  … [which] introduced daring new concepts to the Batman mythology, including a bold and colorful new take on his origin story.”

The titles covered here, and other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Dec. 19 2016

Consumer Media Picks

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People magazine this week picks two titles from Bloomsbury USA, published earlier this month.

The “Book of the Week” is The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 12/3; OverDrive Sample). About a “simple woman from a good family” in Delhi who uncharacteristically embarks on an affair, this novel is described as a “delightfully funny novel [that] delivers a serious message about what happens when our responsibilities push us to the breaking point.” It received a starred review from Kirkus. UPDATE: In the Wall Street Journal  Sam Sacks gives it a particularly intriguing review, ending with “In Mrs. Sharma, Ms. Kapur has fashioned a memorably double-sided character for a novel that, like a gathering storm, changes before your eyes from soft light to enveloping darkness.”

On a weightier note, People also picks They Are Trying to Break Your Heart by David Savill (Macmillan/ Bloomsbury, 12/6; OverDrive Sample), writing, “The Bosnian war and Thailand’s ’04 tsunami come chillingly to life in this novel, which intertwines the stories of four people … In lean, piercing prose, Savill brings the narrative to a surprising climax.”

Rounding out the picks is a bio of the man who created the Star Wars series,  George Lucas: A Life by Jay Jones (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio, 12/6; OverDrive Sample). Although Lucas is not involved with the new film Rogue One, opening this weekend (see below), it may raise interest in this book, which People says is  “packed with fun insider info.” It is also one of Kirkus‘s best books of the year.

Peer Picks

There are no peer picks arriving this week.


9780399178450_2bb3bOnly one tie-in hits shelves but it is a big one, the novelization of the newest Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio/BOT).

The novel, which according to the publisher includes “new scenes and expanded material” beyond the film, follows the story of how the Rebellion steals the plans for the Death Star, thus setting up the action in the 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

The New York Times rounds up critics’ reactions to the movie, saying that thus far it is “mostly positive, but there were several notable exceptions.”

One of those was the NYT‘s own critic A.O. Scott, who calls the film “thoroughly mediocre.”

RollingStone disagrees, giving it 3.5 stars out of 4 and headlining the review with “The Force Is Definitely With This Amazing ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff.”

The movie opens Dec. 16. The tie-in hits shelves soon after, on Dec. 20.

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 December 12, 2016

Friday, December 9th, 2016

9780316349567_c791eIt’s such a slow week in terms of publishing output that even James Patterson is releasing only one new title (technically, two, but one is a re-release of an earlier BookShots compilation). It’s a childrens book, written with frequent collaborator, and best selling childrens author in his own right (the Mr. Lemoncello series), Chris Grabenstein. Word of Mouse (Hachette/Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample) arrives with strong pre-pub reviews, including a star from Booklist, which goes so far as to say blue mouse Isaiah, is destined to join the pantheon of mice in children’s lit, including Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Avi’s Poppy, and Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux.

The titles covered here, and a few other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of Dec 12, 2016.

Peer Picks

No LibraryReads or Indie Next picks arrive this week, reflecting the slowdown of the publishing schedule as the year draws to a close.


Two very different movies with book tie-ins open next week.

9780525434252_8a7abThe Spanish language film Julieta is based on three linked short stories from Alice Munro’s collection Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”).

Opening on Dec. 21st, the film is written and directed by Academy Award-winner Pedro Almodóvar and stars Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte along with Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Darío Grandinetti, Michelle Jenner, and Rossy de Palma.

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

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

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


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More Star Wars tie-ins arrive this week for Rogue One, debuting in theaters on Dec. 16.

Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide is by Pablo Hidalgo (PRH/DK Children),  LucasFilm’s Creative Executive, which means, as described this week in an interview on NPR, his job is to “know absolutely everything there is to know about Star Wars. As the universe expands [and] to make sure everything stays accurate and in sync — a Star Wars story consultant, if you will.” 

Another overview of the film’s visual is The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Josh Kushins (Abrams), which provides conception art from the film as well as essays on how the look of the film was developed. Storyboards, paintings, and designs for costumes, vehicles, and the new characters area also included.

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Other Star War tie-ins arriving this week are for younger readers, a reference guide and a leveled reader:

Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Dossier, Jason Fry (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm), for ages 8 to 12.

DK Readers L4: Star Wars: Rogue One: Secret Mission, Jason Fry (PRH/DK Children; also in trade pbk).

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