May 14, 2015
This isn’t being published until September 8th but we are soon putting in an initial order of 25 (and 3 New Camano which will appear first), so RINC’s can now become holds. Evison’s West of Here circulated over 2000 times and it’s so exciting to anticipate the next. I do have an ARC for first Sno-Isle employee/fan who comments to this post, but you may not get until early next week.
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
Baker & Taylor Annotation from publisher:
With her husband Bernard two years in the grave, seventy-nine-year-old Harriet Chance sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise only to discover that she’s been living the past sixty years of her life under entirely false pretenses. There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearance of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life.
Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at its center. Through Harriet, he paints a bittersweet portrait of a postmodern everywoman with great warmth, humanity, and humor. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother/daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, forgiveness, and, ultimately, healing. It is sure to appeal to admirers of Evison’s previous work, as well as fans of such writers as Meg Wolitzer, Junot Díaz, and Karen Joy Fowler.
May 14, 2015
Sorry I’ve been a bit slow with these lately but the list does seem to be a demand generator so it’s worth consulting. The full list with all publisher annotations is here. Note this month’s list has an interesting non-fiction selection, Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson. Note: 3M titles are all on pre-order but don’t show in the catalog until their street date, which is still a difference from OverDrive. The eAudio I can collect should also be in the catalog shortly as well.
The Favorite – Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You ). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine ). There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide… Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands. But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever. Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets… Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” ( USA TODAY ), a “decadent storyteller” ( Marie Claire ), and “compulsively readable” ( Woman’s Day ). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.
May 6, 2015
Paula McLain’s book Circling the Sun is coming out July 28th and I’ve just finished an ARC. I can promise one to the first commenter, but do let me know if you’re 2 or 3 as we have a few floating around. McLain’s The Paris Wife circulated over 1000 times and I’m starting with 30 copies of Circling, which will be in the catalog shortly. This is a fictionalized account of rugged pioneer horse trainer, aviator and unapologetic “tomboy” Beryl Markham, with rich descriptions of colonial East Africa and an intriguing characterization of Karen Blixen. Enduring and resisting social prejudice to be true to one’s nature, much like the safari animals of the main character’s childhood, is a definite theme.
Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s.Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of the classic memoirOut of Africa.
Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.
Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.
This one comes out this month – would anyone like to jump the queue?
Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times -Bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist, dives once again onto our uncertain future with his first thriller for adults since his multi-award winning debut phenomenon The Windup Girl . In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.
Finally, this is also being promoted heavily and comes out in June. (Note: ARC cover design is different).
An utterly stunning novel of love, loss, the insidious nature of secrets, and the enduring power of words. I Saw a Man fulfills the promise of Owen Sheers’s acclaimed novel, Resistance . When journalist Caroline Marshall fails to return from assignment in Pakistan, her grief-stricken husband, Michael, leaves their cottage in Wales and returns to London where he quickly develops a friendship with his neighbors, Josh and Samantha Nelson, and their two young daughters. Michael’s friendship with the Nelsons marks the beginning of a long healing process, until a terrible accident adds yet more grief, and the burden of a shattering secret, to Michael’s life. How will Michael bear this weight as he navigates his persistent doubts on the path to attempted redemption? The answer, revealed with nerve-wracking suspense , is eloquent, resonant, and completely unforgettable.
May 5, 2015
The 2015 winners of the Edgar were announced by the Mystery Writers of America last Wednesday. We own most of the major prize titles except for critical/biographical, which I have just selected thanks to a SINC (and thanks for the nudge, Marina, who did a great post for BiblioFiles). Here below are some of them with publisher annotations.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
Best First Novel
Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman.
In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, secrets and feuds go back generations. The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border, Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and erode neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henry’s search for the killer will open old wounds, dredge up ancient crimes, and exact a deadly price.With vivid characters and flawless pacing, Tom Bouman immerses readers in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region in the grip of change. In these derelict woods full of whitetail deer and history, the hunt is on.
Best Paperback Original
The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani.
A gritty, riveting, and wholly original murder mystery from PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author and 2015 Edgar Awards finalist Chris Abani Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, he’s sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin. Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abani’s most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.
Best Fact Crime
Tinseltown by William J. Mann
Who killed Billy Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most beloved men? For nearly a century, no one has known. Until now. In the early 1920s, millions of Americans flocked to movie palaces every year to see their favorite stars on the silver screen. Never before had a popular art so captured the public’s imagination, nor had a medium ever possessed such power to influence. But Hollywood’s glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of lurid, headline-grabbing tragedies, including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the handsome and popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association–a legendary crime that has remained unsolved since 1922. Now, in this fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William Mann draws on a rich host of sources, many untapped for decades, to reopen the case of the upstanding yet enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him–including three loyal ingenues, a grasping stage mother, a devoted valet, a gang of two-bit thugs, the industry’s reluctant new morals czar, and the moguls Adolph Zukor and Marcus Loew, locked in a struggle for control of the exploding industry. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls and drug dealers, newly minted legends and starlets already past their prime, a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate. A true story re-created with the thrilling suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a master craftsman at the peak of his powers.
Best Critical / Biographical
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J. W. Ocker – Will Be Ordered
May 1, 2015
May 1st, 2015
Annotations from Baker & Taylor or Ingram
Listed by Author
April 30, 2015
The Stranger has a nice write-up about Independent Bookstore Day, which is this Saturday, May 2nd. The day celebrates local community bookstores, which have increased in overall numbers in recent years and in many places have been thriving. Local participants in this event, which originated in California but is now nationwide, include the Edmonds Bookshop, Snow Goose Books and Frames in Stanwood, and the Watermark Book Company in Anacortes (thanks David!). Please comment today if you would like to highlight others and I’ll add to the post. Elliott Bay Bookstore’s site, meanwhile, has good information on the Seattle scene and Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park is a major area player as well.
On a national level, the Washington Post has this to say about the event:
Bradley Graham, co-owner of Politics & Prose [DC area], says, “Independent Bookstore Day is meant to celebrate all that indies stand for: personal service, author talks, the experience of browsing, the joy of discovery, a sense of community.”
April 22, 2015
The moment has arrived when there are as many or more copies and holds on the eAudio version of many bestsellers. Some examples are:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
103 Audiobook holds
121 eAudio holds
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
94 Audiobook holds
108 eAudio holds
On the other hand there’s Dead Wake by Erik Larson
55 Audiobook holds
34 eAudio holds
So content clearly still matters when it comes to format choice. I notice, though, that half of my wishlist titles in 3M this week were westerns, something I’ve never seen before. Books and eBooks have their relative advantages, but I’m hoping the migration to eAudio from Audiobooks continues and accelerates. These audio formats offer fairly identical listening experiences and the digital format has so many advantages such as no late returns and no repair downtime, etc. while the pricing and use terms are similar (unlike many books). I know you’re all experts in promoting and inviting in a way that doesn’t feel “pushy” and really appreciate everyone’s contribution to this terrific trend!