Archive for the ‘2015/16 — Winter/Spring’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of April 11

Friday, April 8th, 2016

9780399177682_fbce6The big news of the week for book-to-screen fans is the Sunday airing of Outlander season two on STARZ.

It has already received fairly strong reviews, based on the opening episodes critics were sent. Entertainment Weekly offered the least glowing praise, accompanied by a B grade. Variety and A.V. Club liked it much more, both deeming it important television.

For this week there are two adaptations to watch.

MV5BMTU1NjIwNTI0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODQ3MDI0ODE@._V1_SX214_AL_Hunters premieres on Syfy April 11th. The show combines thriller and SF in an alien conspiracy story, where the aliens are terrorists. Nathan Phillips (Snakes on a Plane) and Britne Oldford (American Horror Story: Asylum) star.9780765378699_dc28f

The 13-episode series is based on the Whitley Strieber novels. The first in the set, Alien Hunter, came out in a tie-in edition entitled Hunters (Macmillan/Tor Books) in late Feb. The second in the series is Alien Hunter: Underworld and the third, Alien Hunter: The White House, published on April 5th.

MV5BMTc3NTUzNTI4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU0NjU5NzE@._V1_SX214_AL_The Jungle Book, Disney’s live action/CGI adaptation, hits screens on April 15th. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story collection, this is Disney’s second take on the story. The animated version came out in 1967 and was the last film Walt worked on.

Reviews are already in and they are strong. Variety says director “Jon Favreau brings a welcome lightness of touch to this visually immersive adventure story … the studio should have a substantial hit on its hands.”

Forbes calls it “a remarkable achievement” and says it is “every bit as visually splendid as you’re hoping it would be.”

The Telegraph says “Favreau’s film is a sincere and full-hearted adaptation that returns to Kipling for fresh inspiration, but also knows which elements of the animation are basically now gospel, and comes up with a respectful reconciliation of the two.”

There are three tie-ins thus far:

1484725786_7fd00The Jungle Book: The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett, Zendaya, (Disney Press, March 1).

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Rainy Day, (Disney Press, April 8).

The Art of The Jungle Book, Ellen Wolff (Perseus/PGW/Insight Editions, April 15).

Granny Nanny

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

9780399168154_4dce4There’s a new job title in town, “Granny Nanny” and CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl is hard at work promoting it, via her new book, Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) and multiple media appearances.

Both Parade magazine and CBS Sunday Morning feature Stahl explaining that today’s job demands and the high cost of child-care leave most parents in need of a trusted, not to also mention, free alternative. so grandparents are stepping in.

Holds are not yet topping orders at most libraries we checked. The book goes on sale today.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of April 4, 2016

Friday, April 1st, 2016

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The title arriving with the heaviest holds next week as well as greatest number of copies ordered is Stuart Woods’s Family Jewels, Penguin/Putnam; BOT and Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample), which is, gasp, the 37th Stone Barrington novel. PW comments, “Tony trappings, colorful characters, and a magnificent McGuffin provide ample distraction from the occasional dangling plot thread and the implausible ease and frequency with which Stone lands lucrative cases and beds beautiful women. Dry-witted dialogue keeps the tone light and drives this glossy, modern take on the classic detective story,” but Kirkus sniffs, “A low-stakes, low-octane thriller that seems to have been cobbled together entirely from dead ends.”

Prolific Mary Higgins Clark adds another title to the genre that has served her so well, suspense. Her fist major success was the  Where are the Children?, published 42 years ago in 1974 (her first book was a fictionalized bio of George and Martha Washington She quickly changed to suspense).

The new novel, As Time Goes By (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) is described by the publisher as being about “a news reporter tries to find her birth mother just as she is assigned to cover the high-profile trial of a woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband.”

Further down holds lists is relative newcomer Anna Quindlen’s eighth novel, Miller’s Valley (PRH/Random House, Brilliance Audio; RH Large Print; OverDrive Sample) about a young woman growing up in rural Pennsylvania in the 1960’s, Booklist calls it “vintage Quindlen …a compelling family tale rich in recognizable characters, resplendent storytelling, and reflective observations.”

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of April 4. 2016

Media Magnets

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss, Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

The famous mother and her equally famous son reflect on their relationship in this book and also in the HBO documentary Nothing Left Unsaid, which debuts on April 9,

9781101904008_d131dThe Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. Arianna Huffington (PRH/Harmony; BOT and RH Audio)

The founder of the Huffington Post has had many passions in her life, most of them political, but a personal experience with sleep deprivation made her realize that she needed to try to balance work and life, leading to her book Thrive in 2014. Here she continues one of the themes from that book, the importance of sleep

9780812993509_10bb2Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul, by James McBride (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; BOT & RH Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Having written a best selling memoir, The Color of Water  (1996) and the 2013 National Book Award winning novel, The Good Lord Bird, McBride turns to biography in a book about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. A NYT profile of the author describes the book as being, “about entertainment, of course, but also about much more, including poverty, race, ambition and how to behave.”

Author Rick Moody, writing about it in this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, lauds McBride for “tackling one of the most complex and most fascinating figures in American music over the last 50 years” and managing to elucidate his life, breaking through many barriers erected because  Brown “did not, in fact, much want to be known.”

People Picks

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People magazine’s  “Book of the Week” is Peggy Orenstein’s Girls and Sex, (Harper) which has been getting wide coverage, including an interview with the author on NPR’s Fresh Air this week.

The other two picks are Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls (listed in Peer Picks, below) and John Elder Robison’s memoir, Switched On, which we covered earlier.

Peer Picks

9780765385505_c1470Four April LibraryReads titles make their way into the hands of readers this week starting with Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway (Macmillan/; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Jennifer Kelley, of Kershaw County Library, Camden, SC opens her annotation of the Fantasy with an intriguing question:

“What happens to children who find a doorway into a fantasy land, and then come back into the mundane world? It’s certainly not a happily ever after scenario for these children, but those that find their way to Eleanor West’s school are learning to cope. Shortly after Nancy comes to the school, a series of horrific events occur. It’s up to her and others at the school to figure out who is committing these atrocities. This book is so wonderfully written.”

9780804177900_339e9The Murder of Mary Russell: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Laurie R. King (PRH/Bantam; OverDrive Sample) also hits the shelves, causing Deborah Walsh, of the Geneva Public Library District, Geneva, IL to warn:

“Worried about Mary Russell? Well, you should be. She’s opened her door to the wrong man and deeply troubling secrets are set to tumble out, rewriting her history and putting herself and the people she loves in a dangerous spot. Once again, King spins a tantalizing tale of deception and misdirection for her readers’ delight and scores a direct hit in her latest Russell-Holmes mystery.”

9781101883075_2dd4bThe Historical Fiction debut Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly (PRH/Ballantine; BOT; OverDrive Sample), appears as well. It is also a People magazine pick this week as well as an Indie Next pick for April.

Andrea Larson, of Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL offers the following annotation:

“This is story of the Ravensbruck Rabbits: seventy-four women prisoners in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Using alternating first-person narratives, the characters relate their experiences from 1939 through 1959. Drawing upon a decade of research, Hall reconstructs what life was like in Ravensbruck. More than a war story, this is a tale of how the strength of women’s bonds can carry them through even the most difficult situations. Lilac Girls is a solid, compelling historical read.”

9781501121043_4333eAlso picked by both LibraryReads and Indie Next is Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss (Simon & Schuster/Gallery/Scout Press; Simon & Schuster Audio).

Diane Scholl, of Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL shares her take:

“Following the lives of three individuals in New York on the cusp of 1980, this book was structured in such a unique and original way. Lucy is in her early twenties, experiencing life in a big city; James who after college finds himself the reigning critic of the art world and Raul, escaping the post Peron Dirty War in Argentina will find himself the art world’s new favorite; these three will find their lives entwined in many ways. A tragic accident will change all these characters and others close to them. This is a wonderful book that I wasn’t ready to finish.”

Booksellers have plenty of other titles to hand-sell this week with no less than eight titles from the April Indie Next List appearing.

9780316300285_52f80Fellside, M. R. Carey (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Let’s say you’ve been convicted of murder and sent to a maximum security prison for the remainder of your life, which should be a while since you are not that old. Then let’s say that not only can you not remember killing anyone, but you can’t remember who you are. Could things get any worse? How about if the ghost of the little boy you supposedly killed visits you in prison to ask for your help. What do you do? From the author of The Girl With All the Gifts comes another gripping and unforgettable story.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The author’s previous novel has been adapted as a movie that will be released in the UK in September (no US release date yet).

9780374106683_8bdbdThe Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith (Macmillan/Sarah Crichton Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“Smith’s new novel unfolds slowly, and each moment of illumination offers a glimpse into the true heart of this quiet, captivating tale. Spanning more than three centuries, it is the story of three lives —a female master painter of the Dutch Golden Age, a moneyed New York patent attorney, and an art history student turned one-time art forger — each changed by one haunting painting. Filled with hurt, grief, and deceit, but also layered with love, grace, and regret, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a wonderful read, beautifully written.” —Heather Duncan, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

The artistic historical also made Entertainment Weekly’s list of “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016”

9780544617070_5f07cThe One-in-a-Million Boy, Monica Wood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Dreamscape Media; OverDrive Sample).

“Despite its themes of loss, love, and aging, The One-in-a-Million Boy is a hopeful novel. Musician and mostly absent dad Quinn Porter honors his dead son’s Boy Scout agreement to help 104-year-old Ona Vitkus. As Quinn and Ona get to know each other, Quinn begins to understand his son — and in some ways, himself — for the first time. Heartfelt and charming!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

9781101874936_543cbLab Girl, Hope Jahren (PRH/Knopf; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“This book has it all: nature, love, science, drama, heartbreak, joy, and plenty of dirt. Not since Cheryl Strayed’s Wild have I read such a rich and compelling nonfiction narrative. Lab Girl is the story of Jahren’s life in science, and her writing on the wonders of nature will renew your sense of awe. But more than that, it is an exploration of friendship, mental illness, parenthood, and the messiness of life. The only flaw — these pages fly by too quickly, leaving you wondering what you could possibly read next that will be just as good.” —Pete Mulvihill, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA

Jahren’s debut is getting plenty of other coverage as well. Michiko Kakutani of the NYT‘s weighs in as does Entertainment Weekly with an A- review. It also made the WSJ‘s “The Hottest Spring Nonfiction Books” (subscription may be required).

9781101903735_a6beaDodgers, Bill Beverly (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Four young black men, following orders, leave their tightly bound South Central Los Angeles community, and drive across the country to perform a hit to prevent a witness from testifying against their boss. They are ghetto born, raised, and trained, so they have outlaw skills and the resulting respect in their community. In wide-open America, they are profoundly out of their comfort zone. What each young man does with his skills, wits, sense of duty, and — for one in particular — a dawning sense of what the future holds for such a lifestyle, forms the core of this powerful novel. Provocative, gripping, and timely, Dodgers is a riveting read that leaves a lasting impression.” —Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

The debut is a B&N Discover pick as well.

9781476777832_f52c0The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh (Simon & Schuster; Simon & Schuster Audio).

“What is entailed in living ‘a good life’? Using the writings of a succession of Chinese scholars from 2,000 years ago, the authors explain their ancient teachings through contemporary examples and demonstrate how changing our perspective can change our lives. And ‘the path’ that we are to follow? There is none! Rather, we create the journey moment by moment as we change how we observe and interact with our world and those in it. Challenging and potentially transformative!” —Susan Posch, The Book Shoppe, Boone, IA

9781501112171_6e1b5The Railwayman’s Wife, Ashley Hay (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books; Simon & Schuster Audio).

The Railwayman’s Wife is a remarkable story drenched by the wells of sadness, yet it leaves readers marveling at the beauty of it all. Annika Lachlan is grieving her beloved husband and attempting to find solace in books. But the town of Thirroul, Australia, is home to more than one person damaged by grief. Brought together as members of a club no one would choose to join, each begins to move towards healing. The Railwayman’s Wife immerses the reader in Ani’s life, and as one savors the novel’s heartbreaking prose, a world is revealed in which hope and grief are forever intertwined and love may be the strongest current of all.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

9781555977368_eb802The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, Maggie Nelson (Macmillan/Graywolf Press; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“If I could read the work of only one writer for the rest of my life, I think I would be happy to spend the rest of my days in the staggering beauty of Nelson’s prose. In The Red Parts, what could have merely been a relatively interesting true crime narrative becomes, instead, a wholly original memoir of pain, history, family, and those bright moments of clarity in a world that, for Nelson, had become so dark. This book asks us to wonder, to be angry, and ultimately to become more human. This is an inescapable, utterly compelling read.” —Claire Tobin, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI


A number of tie-ins come out this week, connected to three different films.

9781426216848_a3c6fNational Geographic The Angry Birds Movie: Red’s Big Adventure, Christy Ullrich Barcus (PRH/National Geographic Children’s Books; also in a Hardcover Reinforced Library Binding).

The children’s book supports the animated movie version of the popular video game Angry Birds.

The film releases May 20th and stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride.

1484705580_e7ccaStar Wars The Force Awakens Storybook, Elizabeth Schaefer (Hachette/Disney Lucasfilm Press), a tie-in to the already released blockbuster Star Wars film, this time an illustrated picture book by the same author who created an earlier tie-in, Star Wars The Force Awakens: Rey’s Story.

1484725786_f2138The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Rainy Day, Disney Book Group (Hachette/Disney Press) comes out in support of the live-action movie hitting screens on April 15.

This is the second time Disney has taken on Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story collection. The first was the animated classic that came out in 1967, the last film Walt worked on.

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

THE NEST Hits Best Seller List,
Gets Film Deal

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

The NestThe heavily-anticipated debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio) fulfills expectations by hitting the number 2 spot on USA Today ‘s best seller list.

It has also landed a movie deal with Amazon Films. Deadline‘s story notes that it will hit the NYT Best Seller list, to be released tomorrow, at #3.

The movie will be produced by Jill Soloway who also produced Amazn’s hit series, Transparent. The author will write the script.

FOOL ME ONCE, Julia Roberts to Star and Produce

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

9780525955092_9a9ceJust one week after it was published, Harlan Coben’s novel, Fool Me Once, Harlan Coben (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on the way to the big screen with Julia Roberts set to produce, according to Deadline,  and star as a former Army helicopter pilot who discovers something unsettling on her two-year old daughter’s nanny cam, images of her recently mudered husband.

Despite their cinematic qualities, only one of Coben’s novels has been adapted, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à person (Tell No One). The rights to several others have been acquired, but are still listed as in development.


Best Seller Crystal Ball: THE NEST

Monday, March 28th, 2016

The NestComing a little late to the party, the daily New York Times reviews the heavily-anticipated debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney(HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio). In an uncharacteristically non-committal review, Janet Maslin seems to find the book entertaining, while also resenting it for being exactly that.

In his review in the Washington Post, Ron Charles writes what could be a rejoinder, “Sweeney’s debut arrives on a velvet cushion of pre-pub praise (Amy Poehler! Elizabeth Gilbert!) and reports of at least a $1 million advance. But that’s no reason to turn up your nose.”

Published last week, it is rising on Amazon, indicating it is likely to appear on this week’s best seller list. Holds  at libraries we checked have doubled in the last week in cautious ordering.

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 28, 2016

Friday, March 25th, 2016

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Eliciting the most holds of book arriving next week is Karen Robards’ romantic suspense novel, Darkness (S&S/Gallery; Brilliance Audio), its neon-colored jacket belying the title. Library ordering is in line with strong holds.

Two titles that libraries may have underbought, based on holds ratios, are Karen Kingsbury’s Brush of Wings (S&S/Howard; S&S Audio) and Jacqueline Winspear’s latest Maisie Hobbs novelJourney to Munich (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe).

Kingsbury has gained new readers as a result of the Hallmark series based on her earlier book, The Bridge. More adaptations of her novels are coming. Hallmark is at work on another of her novels, A Time to Dance and Roma Downey recently acquired the rights to produce Kingsbury’s Baxter Family series for TV.

Winspear’s series has been growing in popularity. The last few titles in the have all landed on the NYT best sellers list in the top five

The titles covered here, 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 28, 2016

Advance Attention

Melancholy AccidenstMelancholy Accidents: Three Centuries of Stray Bullets and Bad Luck,  Peter Manseau, (Melville House)

Author Manseau has come up with a brilliant and haunting way to examine the history of American gun violence, by reproducing stories from old newspapers, which often used the term a “melancholy accident” for such events.

That clever idea gets equally clever marketing by the book’s indie publisher, Melville House, which has bombarded the NRA and pro-gun politicians like Ted Cruz with images from the book:

Appropriately, given the political implications, the book received an early review from Ron Charles in the Washington Post, who writes,

“While acknowledging that his compendium of mayhem may read like a political argument against guns, that wasn’t his intention. The people he’d really like to reach are gun owners. Their adaptation of smart guns, which electronically limit who can fire them, is our best chance for progress, he says.”

The author writes in an  opinion piece in the New York Times, Trigger Warnings, “Though often seen as an embodiment of the nation’s freedom-loving swagger, every gun comes loaded with an alternate history: not heroic self-reliance but hapless tragedy.”

Consumer Media Picks

9781616205027_05404People magazine’s “Book of the Week” is Lee Smith’s memoir Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Lee Smith (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample), which came out last week; “With restrained prose and charming humor, she illuminates a way of life that has all but disappeared and explores the impulse to bear witness that underpins the storyteller in all of us.”

It is also an April LibraryReads pick.

Peer Picks

9780062388148_26b12One LibraryReads title hits the shelves this week, the highly anticipated return of the Romance series known as the Bridgertons.

Mary Aileen Buss, of Long Beach Public Library, NY, offers this annotation of Because of Miss Bridgerton, Julia Quinn (HC/Avon; HarperAudio):

“This is the first in a prequel series to Quinn’s popular Bridgerton series, set a generation earlier. Billie Bridgerton spent her childhood running wild with the neighboring Rokesbys, Andrew, Edward, and Mary. Now she runs the family estate for her father and still runs as wild as she can. The eldest Rokesby, George, never really approved of Billie, but when he rescues her from a roof they begin to come to a new understanding.”

Lust & WonderAnother long awaited return of a fan favorite is an Indie Next pick, Lust & Wonder: A Memoir, by Augusten Burroughs (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; OverDrive Sample).

“We have read about his crazy childhood, his struggles with alcohol, and his troubled relationships with his father and Christmas. Now, we have Burroughs’ take on love and romance, and what a tale it is! This is a love story as only Burroughs can tell it — the wrong lovers, the long-term relationship that turned out to be toxic, and the love that was staring him in the face all along. Roses and moonlight it is not, but the course of true love never does run smooth. I laughed, I cried — just read it!” —Susan Taylor, Market Block Books, Troy, NY.

It will be issued as a one-day laydown on March 29.

There is also an All Star title with 9780547973180_bac7eSpain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, Adam Hochschild (HMH; OverDrive Sample) hitting shelves on the 29th.

It earned starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. It is also reviewed in today’s New York Times.


9780399594007_44c2dThis week sees the release of the tie-in to John le Carré’s The Night Manager (TV Tie-in Edition) (PRH/Ballantine Books; OverDrive Sample).

It hits shelves in advance of the AMC limited series (by way of BBC One) that begins airing April 20 and stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House). It is directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World).

As we reported earlier, the tie-in is particularly notable as the 1993 best seller is no longer in print.

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

LADY MIDNIGHT, The Week’s Top Best Seller

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

9781442468351_3cdd7  The Widow  Robert-Bryndza-The-Girl-in-the-Ice-570px

The first in a new YA series by Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight, (S&S McElderry; S&S Audio) arrives at #1 on the USA Today list, the author’s first time in that position with a new book. It is also at #1 on the NYT Young Adult Hardcover list.

It arrives just as the TV series Shadowhunters, based on Clare’s earlier series Mortal Instruments, nears its April 5 finale on the basic cable channel Freeform. Clearly considered a success by the network as it has been renewed for a second season. Lady Midnight, subtitled The Dark Artifices Book One, bears a further attribution that ties it in to the show, A Shadowhunters Novel (the main character in the new book appeared in the previous series).

The debut novel The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample) continues as a best seller after four weeks, moving up a bit on the USA Today list and down on others.

Moving to #8 on the USA Today list is a title that is doing well in ebook (it also moves up the WSJ eBook Fiction list, to #3), The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, from British publisher, Bookouture. On his author page, Bryndza says that the is his first crime thriller after a several romantic comedies.

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In nonfiction, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli is still at #5 in its second week on the NYT list, tied with #4 The Immortal Irishman, by Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), about an Irish revolutionary who fled his home country and became the general of New York’s Irish Brigade during the Civil War. It received media attention in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day (including an interview with the author on NPR’s Morning Edition).

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 21, 2016

Friday, March 18th, 2016

9780062414212_2b722“Highly anticipated” is a term that is loosely thrown around. In the case of the debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio), that claim can be documented, beginning with a major publishing auction that led to an estimated seven figure advance.

The plot is succinctly described by Kirkus in a starred review, “Dysfunctional siblings in New York wig out when the eldest blows their shared inheritance.” LJ comments that the story “typifies the Internet meme ‘white people problems’ even more than most current New York City-based literary fiction,” but concludes that the themes are nonetheless universal, “Anyone with siblings will appreciate the character dynamics at play here, although they may not care much for each character individually. A fun, quick read recommended for fans of Emma Straub and Meg Wolitzer.”

The author, who lives in L.A., clearly has Hollywood connections (her husband, as noted in a this week’s New York magazine profile, is Conan O’Brien’s head writer). The cover blurb is from Amy Poehler. “Intoxicating … I couldn’t stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family” (no news yet on a film adaptation. Oddly, however, the latest Amy Poehler/Tina Fey film Sisters, was originally titled The Nest). A clever trailer released in January, stars several faces familiar from big and small screens (as well as author Susan Orleans), talking about their own sibling relationships.

Also a hit with booksellers and librarians, it is the #1 Indie Next title for April and on the March LibraryReads list. It is this week’s “Book of the Week” in People magazine and gets a strong review from Entertainment Weekly.

Many libraries are showing holds that outstrip cautious ordering.

Usual Suspects

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Leading in holds for the week is Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once, also a LibraryReads pick (see below).

Another week brings another new book by James Patterson. This time, he is targeting Dork Diaries fans, with a middle-grade novel featuring a girl called Jacky Ha-Ha (Hachette/ Jimmy Patterson; Hachette Audio) because she just can’t stop cracking jokes.

The titles covered here, 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 21, 2016

Media Magnets

9780812996890_f89c8Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening, John Elder Robison, (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; RH and  BOT Audio)

Known for his  2007 memoir Look Me in the Eye, about living with Asberger’s, Robison is also the brother of another famous memoirist, Augusten Burroughs, who also has a new memoir, arriving just a week later, Lust & Wonder. In this book, Robison writes about undergoing a treatment to reverse his condition. The title of his essay in today’s New York Times An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage” indicates that  the outcome was not completely what he wished for. On Tuesday, Robison is scheduled to appear on NPR’s All Things Considered and on PBS’s NewsHour.

9781476716862_1a4c4Back from the Dead, Bill Walton & John Papanek, (S&S; S&S Audio)

Basketball legend Walton suffered multiple sports injuries, including one that left him paralyzed. Now recovered, he recounts his experiences in this memoir. He is scheduled for appearances next week on Good Morning America as well as several ESPN shows and NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Peer Picks

The Nest, covered above, is a favorite of both booksellers and librarians, who are also in agreement about a several other titles arriving next week.

9780812993103_f08deThe Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson, (PRH/Random; Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample), is the #1 LibraryReads pick for March and on the Indie Next list for April.

Paulette Brooks, of Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI offers this warm invitation to start reading:

“Fans of Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea and prepare to savor every page!”

9780399169496_dec56Jane Steele, Lyndsay Faye (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; OverDrive Sample).
Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, MI says:

Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!”

Faye’s clever take on Brontë is getting attention from other quarters. An April Indie Next pick, it is also  People pick this week and a favorite among GalleyChattersUSA Today featured the novel in a story on literary mashups. UPDATE: 3/21/16, Film rights were acquired by Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures.

9780525955092_9a9ceFool Me Once, Harlan Coben (PRH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Lisa Sprague, of Public Services Librarian, Enfield Public Library, Enfield, CT writes:

“Coben has made me lose more sleep over the years than all my other favorite authors combined. Joe Burkett has been murdered in front of his wife Maya. They have a two year old daughter who has a nanny. After the funeral, a friend gives her a picture frame that hides a camera so she can check on the care the nanny is providing her daughter. She watches the recording. Can she believe what she saw? Is she going crazy? Both? Buy a ticket for the coaster and find out for yourself. Keep your hands inside the car; it’s going to be a wild ride.”

9781616205027_05404Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Lee Smith (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample).

Lois Gross, of Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, NJ says of Smith’s memoir:

“Evenly divided between a book about Smith’s process and her life, first as a Southern mountain child and, later, as the parent of a schizophrenic child, this book is interesting and compelling. Despite being surrounded by loving family and being blessed with an active imagination, Lee copes with a mentally ill mother. Later, her son’s mental illness and early death brings her to the breaking point but she is saved by her writing. This is a read-alike for Karr’s The Liars Club. It desperately needs a cinematic translation for it’s elegant and evocative writing.”

9781250071323_6f897One final bookseller pick, from the Indie Next April list, comes out this week. The Charm Bracelet, Viola Shipman (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

“This is the story of three women slowly losing themselves until they are reunited in Scoops, Michigan, at the beginning of summer: Arden, working at a job that gives her nothing but a paycheck; Lauren, becoming sadder as she moves farther from doing what she loves most; and Lolly, gradually forgetting all the things in her life that brought her joy and happiness. Linked together like the charms on their wrists, Arden, Lauren, and Lolly will remind each other of times gone by, how to appreciate the present, and how to embrace whatever the future brings. Reading this sweet story reminded me how lucky we are if we are close to those who share our history.” —Sylvia Smith, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.


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


Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

syndetics.plRemember the novel Dark Debts by Karen Hall? It came out in 1996 and was a Book of the Month Club main selection. Called by the publisher as a cult hit that “wildly original theological thriller ” that “masterfully combines southern gothic, romantic comedy, and mystery.” Entertainment Weekly gave it an unimpressive C-. Paramount optioned it for a project that never took off.

As The New York Times reports, Ms. Hall, once a TV writer and now an indie bookstore owner, was never completely happy with it either and spent twenty years obsessing over her one and only novel,

“I never stopped thinking about it … I always knew I would never write another book until I got this one right … everything I didn’t like about it made me cringe.”

9781501104114_55600In a unique publishing path, she is getting a do-over. The audio producer, Audible approached Ms. Hall about doing an adaptation, which made her editor at Simon & Schuster think that would make a good launching pad for a 20th anniversary edition (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). Ms. Hall agreed on the condition that she could revise it.

After twenty years of thinking about the novel, her alterations are “dramatic and subtle” says the NYT. She changed the story’s ending, added and cut characters, took out the profanity, and toned down the violence.

Time will tell if the second shot grabs readers. Currently the novel, which published yesterday, is pretty low on Amazon’s rankings and orders are low to nonexistent in libraries we checked (a few of which still have the 1996 edition). But just think of the book club possibilities!

Nancy Pearl Interviews A.O. Scott

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Librarian Nancy Pearl knows a thing or two about reviewing which adds extra interest to her interview with A. O. Scott, chief film critic for The New York Times. In the latest episode of her Book Lust Author Interview show, Nancy weighs what Scott says about films against what she knows about books.

9781594204838_caf64His book, Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth (PRH/Penguin; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), addresses criticism itself as well as the process of being a critic.

In the interview, Scott and Nancy talk about the importance of criticism and contrast movie and book reviewing (he’s done both). He maintains the fundamental difference has to do with scale.

With the huge number of titles released in a year, book critics tend to focus on a narrow segment, literary novels and serious nonfiction. There are far fewer movies, so film critics can see a great many in the course of a year. As a result, they can cover a wider range of genres and have a broader perspective on what is interesting and valuable.

He also notes that book reviewing, since so much of it is done by other authors with vested interests, can be incestuous.

His own book is getting of attention. How could it not,  as a comment on criticism for other critics to take on?

In what could be called an incestuous action of its own, Scott’s own publication, the NYT runs a strong review by Michael Wood. The Atlantic does not agree, saying the book “says nothing.” The New Yorker, LA Times, Slate, and The Millions have all weighed in as well.

WIDOW Climbs NYT List;

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The WidowTime to re-check your holds on The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample). It is steadily climbing the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, hitting #9 this week, its highest point to date.

The USA Today list shows a different pattern, where Widow appears to be dropping, moving to #34 this week from a high of #12. However, that list is more volatile because it tracks all formats, age ranges and subjects.  This week the paperbacks of several Oscar-related books jumped ahead of Widow, as did the paperback of the most recent Coctco pick, Kathleen Grissom’s  The Kitchen House (S&S/Touchstone; OverDrive Sample) which came back on the list at #9.

9780399184413_1d3cbThe greatest activity is on the NYT Nonfiction Hardcover list, with six new titles. Debuting in the highest spot is Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli at #5. As the NYT  “Inside the List” column notes, it comes to the U.S. at a propitious time,  less than a month after scientists reported findings that confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity. Most libraries show heavy holds on light ordering

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of March 14, 2016

Friday, March 11th, 2016

9780316408974_40041  9780345531063_18403

The holds leaders of the titles arriving next week are by two authors who, despite long histories, keep up an amazing pace.

Private Paris, James Patterson (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print, OverDrive Sample)

In a spinoff of the Private series that Patterson began with co-author Maxine Paetro, the head of the investigative agency, Jack Morgan drops in on offices around the world. Sometimes, as he did in Private India, Patterson takes the opportunity to work with a local author. Not so this time. Mark Sullivan is an American who has co-authored several previous Private titles (Games, Berlin, L.A) and has written several solo novels. His first, The Fall Line (1994), was a New York Times’ best book of the year.

Property of a Noble Woman, Danielle Steel (PRH/Delacorte; RH Large Print; Brilliance)

If it seems that you’re seeing more from Danielle Steel than usual, that’s correct. The publisher has declared 2016 the “Year of Danielle Steel,” with six new titles being released (an increase from the slothful pace of just four). Blue arrived in January. Upcoming are The Apartment in May, Magic in July, Rushing Waters in August and The Award in November. In this one, two people bond while investigating the contents of a mysterious safe deposit box.

The titles covered here, 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, 2916NOTE; Beginning this week, the list also include all the week’s picks from People magazine.

Consumer Media Picks

9781627793643_9b459If at Birth You Don’t Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny, Zach Anner, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio)

People magzaine’s “Book of the Week” (the other five pics for the week are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet).

Comedian Zach Anner has cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t slowed him down. In this memoir, he writes about winning his own travel show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Rollin’ With Zach and hosting the Have A Little Faith show produced by Rainn Wilson’s media company SoulPancake. People calls the result, “Hilarious and inspiring, Anner has made life filled with fans, love and Internet fame.”

Peer Picks

Five Indie Next picks hit the shelves next week, from the March and April lists:

9780525953005_d53aeAt the Edge of the Orchard, Tracy Chevalier (PRH/Viking; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

“Robert Goodenough was born in Ohio’s Black Swamp. The youngest of 10 children, he was the only one with any interest in his father’s obsession of buying seedlings from John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, and trying to cultivate and perfect his apple orchard in the inhospitable black muck. Family tragedy sends Robert running west to California and the Gold Rush, where he finds solace in the redwoods and sequoias and meets a naturalist who recognizes his love of botany. But Robert is reluctantly forced to face his past and must decide to either claim it or set out on his own path. Chevalier’s tale is a thoughtfully crafted and vivid slice of pioneer life.” —Jody Misner Chwatun, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

9781250075611_932b5Shelter, Jung Yun (Macmillan/Picador; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Shelter is the perfect example of that extraordinary kind of story that careens down a path toward a conclusion that feels somehow both completely surprising and totally inevitable. Kyung Cho is a young father whose anxiety over present financial concerns couples with damage from past traumas to inhabit every breath he takes. His precarious equilibrium is shattered when his parents are the victims of a cruel act of violence and he is called upon to react with a compassion and forgiveness that he may not possess. This novel is a dark and moving portrait of a family and what it ultimately means to love.” —Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

It was also a GalleyChat favorite.

9781501115578_21797Two If by Sea, Jacquelyn Mitchard (Simon & Schuster).

“Mitchard has woven a gripping narrative of a family borne out of tragedy. Frank loses his wife and unborn son to a tsunami, and in the midst of rescuing others saves a small boy. This child, Ian, possesses a special gift that impacts those around him in powerful ways. As Frank tries to form a new family, there are repercussions from Ian’s past that put them both at risk. This is the marvelous story of Frank and Ian’s journey as both try to handle the pain of the past and accept the joy of new beginnings. I loved it!” —Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

9781612195049_4ee1dA Man Lies Dreaming, Lavie Tidhar (Melville House; OverDrive Sample).

If this book’s reception in the U.K. is any indication, we will be hearing a lot about this book. The Guardian writes, “Somehow this shocking book turns genocide into pulp fiction – and gets away with it.” The Telegraph adds, that it is “weird, upsetting, unmissable.” is the first to cover it here, “Unnerving WWII Noir In A Man Lies Dreaming.”

“Tidhar’s brilliant novel channels pulp fiction conventions to grapple with the horrors of the Holocaust. In its opening pages, readers are dropped into late 1930s England where Oswald Mosley is about to become prime minister and Hitler, whose Nazi party was defeated by the Communists, is a down-at-the-heels private investigator, a sad and tortured little man. As it turns out, this alternate history is a fever dream of a prisoner at Auschwitz. Who is to say that turning the powerful into the defeated — even as a fantasy — isn’t an important tool in coping with brutality and dehumanization?” —Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

9781936787357_c4d92Margaret the First, Danielle Dutton (Perseus/Catapult; OverDrive Sample).

“Dutton’s novel takes the already extraordinary life of Margaret Cavendish — 17th century natural philosopher, author of The Blazing World, and Duchess of Newcastle — and transforms it into a stunning work of historical fiction. With women in the sciences a hot issue today, Margaret the First satisfies a craving for women’s writing, women’s voices, and women’s stories, painting a portrait of a sensitive, thoughtful woman hungry not just for praise and recognition, but acknowledgment, affirmation, and validation. Margaret the First is a triumph!” —Liz Wright, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

All Star

9781101994580_dfa0dExit, Pursued by a Bear, E.K. Johnston (PRH/Dutton Books for Young Readers; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

A YA novel about a star cheerleader who is drugged and raped during a party garners star reviews from every pre-pub source. Booklist says “Fierce and gorgeously drawn, this is a rape story that doesn’t focus on victimhood,” while Kirkus says “Middle and high school readers will pass this powerful, engaging story around and around. Adults should be ready to join in the discussion that follows.”


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

Literary Fave: Dana Spiotta

Friday, March 11th, 2016

9781501122729_8f332Called one of the “most anticipated” novels of this season, with that status further cemented by an author profile in the NYT‘s Sunday Magazine, Dana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others (S&S/Scribner; Simon & Schuster Audio; OverDrive Sample) is the book that all the critics want to weigh in on.

The Washington Post ‘s influential critic Ron Charles is a fan, calling it a “quiet miracle,”

“If you enter the theater of this novel, get set to weather some disorientation as soon as the lights dim … but stay in your seat and pay attention. Soon enough, all [Spiotta’s] literary chicanery comes into focus, creating a brilliant split-screen view of women working within and without the world of Hollywood.”

But the daily NYT‘s formidable Michiko Kakutani couldn’t disagree more:

“Unfortunately, Innocents does not deliver on its ambitions … [it] turns out to be a lumpy, unpersuasive novel — enlivened by some arresting moments and thoughtful riffs, but ultimately a sort of hodgepodge of derivative scenes and ideas that have been cut together into a meaning-heavy montage.”

Few are on Kakutani’s side. This week’s NYT Book Review devotes an entire page to an  appreciative review saying, “Highbrow and lowbrow have cohabitated before, of course, but rarely with this ease or this empathy.” Also strongly positive are the Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, and Vogue.

Entertainment Weekly, however, having listed it as one of “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2016,” follows with a review that gives it just a “B,”  saying the “taught modernist” writing is ultimately “chilly emotionally.”

So far, all the attention isn’t grabbing reader interest. Holds queues are modest, but since libraries ordered very few copies, the ratios are high.

On The Rise:

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

9780812993394_a6297Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and author of the best selling The Power of Habit, follows up with a new book, this time with a focus on productivity, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business (Random House; BOT).

Using the approach that made his previous book accessible, Duhigg incorporates management science and personal stories designed to teach readers how to re-think their approach to being busy.

His book is soaring up the Amazon sales charts after a feature on the Today show, part of a planned series.

Even after the great success of The Power of Habit and the Today show push, holds are still modest on moderate orders for Duhigg’s newest. Like his previous book, we’re betting this one will be a slow build.