Courtesy of Becky who has her sources. Comment to claim. Thanks.

Another ARC of you know what-

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Also

  The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter

The Massacre of MankindA sequel to the H.G. Wells classic THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, brilliantly realized by award-winning SF author and Wells expert Stephen Baxter

It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs. The Army is prepared.

So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of Wells’ book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat.

He is right.

Thrust into the chaos of a new invasion, a journalist – sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins – must survive, escape and report on the war.

The Massacre of Mankind has begun.

 

A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass

 

A House Among the TreesWhen the revered children’s book author Mort Lear dies accidentally at his Connecticut home, he leaves his property and all its contents to his trusted assistant, Tomasina Daulair, who is moved by his generosity but dismayed by the complicated and defiant directives in his will. Tommy knew Morty for more than four decades, since meeting him in a Manhattan playground when she was twelve and he was working on sketches for the book that would make him a star. By the end of his increasingly reclusive life, she found herself living in his house as confidante and helpmeet, witness not just to his daily routines but to the emotional fallout of his strange boyhood and his volatile relationship with a lover who died of AIDS. Now Tommy must try to honor Morty’s last wishes while grappling with their effects on several people, including Dani Daulair, her estranged brother; Meredith Galarza, the lonely, outraged museum curator to whom Lear once promised his artistic estate; and Nicholas Greene, the beguiling British actor cast to play Mort Lear in a movie.

When the actor arrives for the visit he had previously arranged with the man he is to portray, he and Tommy are compelled to look more closely at Morty’s past and the consequences of the choices they now face, both separately and together. Morty, as it turns out, made a confession to Greene that undermines much of what Tommy believed she knew about her boss–and about herself. As she contemplates a future without him, her unlikely alliance with Greene–and the loyalty they share toward the man whose legacy they hold in their hands–will lead to surprising upheavals in their wider relationships, their careers, and even their search for love.

Blog Plugs

May 22, 2017

I think I need to focus on some other projects right now so my own postings might slow a bit, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for following our blog and for your thoughtful, engaging comments. I’ve learned a lot from them.

First I wanted to give a shout for our BiblioFiles blog, which is just getting better and better.  It’s a must if you’re involved in reader’s advisory.  Our Grant P, still a Readers Team member, is a regular contributor.

As for external blogs if you’re going to follow one, I would recommend either EarlyWord or Shelf Awareness and definitely check in with both if you have time.  EarlyWord is particularly strong on media tie-ins, the nexus of libraryland and publishing, and best of lists.  Its monthly galley chat is a rich source of pre-publication titles that are really gathering momentum. Shelf Awareness is great at covering local titles and bookstore news.  They are both strong on media publicity.

For ARC grabbers, I strongly recommend getting on Edelweiss if you haven’t already. New digital ARC’s are being added all the time, and this is also a convenient vehicle for participating in the LibraryReads campaign.  Right from a title review you can vote and contribute blurbs/reviews.  Marina is faithfully following these now on BiblioFiles as well.

 

 

 

These are ARC’s I picked up at a Random House title presentation over the weekend. The Isabel Dalhousie novel is slated for July; the other two are out this month.  I’m hoping the Scandinavian thriller readers out there among you will get a chance to claim the Nesbø (beat the queue or savor for later).

Jane Austen the Secret Radical is a non-fiction title and a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) title so I thought I’d mention what’s up with PDA. The adult biography pilot is closed and no new title records are being added to the catalog. I will, however, continue to order from these records until the last ones have either been ordered or removed for lack of holds.  We have learned a lot from this interesting experiment, but for now are not recommending that PDA be adopted as a permanent selection method.  I will be making a brief presentation on this at this month’s Managers Meeting as well. There are many logistical challenges, including modulating the title source list/stream, and the initial cost and circulation metrics have not been what we hoped, though I hope looking again at figures in the fall will show improvement for PDA vs non-PDA titles over a longer timeframe.

Comment to claim. 

McCall Smith, Alexander. A Distant View of Everything. Pantheon, July.

A Distant View of EverythingPublisher summary: When a matchmaker begins to question her latest match, Isabel Dalhousie is called upon to help.

A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel and her husband, Jamie—but almost-four-year-old Charlie is none too keen on his newborn brother. In fact, he refuses to acknowledge Magnus, and Isabel must find a way to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have served as guiding principles in her own life.

These are the very qualities that bring Bea Shandon, an old acquaintance of Isabel’s, to seek her help in a tricky situation. Something on a matchmaker, Bea has introduced a wealthy female friend to a cosmetic surgeon at her most recent dinner party. Then new information comes to light about the surgeon that causes Bea to doubt his motives and the auspiciousness of the match. Isabel agrees to find out more, but as her enquiries take an unexpected turn, she starts to wonder whom exactly she should be investigating. As ever, Isabel’s intelligence, quick wit and deep empathy will come to her aid as she grapples with the issues that are her bread and butter: friendship and its duties, the obligation of truthfulness, and the importance of perspective.

The Thirst

Nesbø, Jo. The Thirst. Knopf, May.

Publisher Summary: The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue–fragments of rust and paint in her wounds–leaves the investigating team baffled.
Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.
The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.
But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

 

Kelly, Helena. Jane Austen, the Secret Radical. Knopf, May.

Jane Austen, The Secret RadicalPublisher Summary: In this fascinating, revelatory work, Helena Kelly–dazzling Jane Austen authority–looks past the grand houses, the pretty young women, past the demure drawing room dramas and witty commentary on the narrow social worlds of her time that became the hallmark of Austen’s work to bring to light the serious, ambitious, deeply subversive nature of this beloved writer. Kelly illuminates the radical subjects–slavery, poverty, feminism, the Church, evolution, among them–considered treasonous at the time, that Austen deftly explored in the six novels that have come to embody an age. The author reveals just how in the novels we find the real Jane Austen: a clever, clear-sighted woman “of information,” fully aware of what was going on in the world and sure about what she thought of it. We see a writer who understood that the novel–until then seen as mindless “trash”–could be a great art form and who, perhaps more than any other writer up to that time, imbued it with its particular greatness.

 

Yes, THAT Tom Hanks

May 11, 2017

Tom Hanks has written a short story collection, his first foray into authorship.  See the Entertainment Weekly story here. No ARC today I’m afraid but I’ll have a lot more next week (from PRH) for this summer and fall and perhaps this will be among them.  Stay tuned.  Also, Earlyword had a timely post on this around the time of the EW article.

Hanks, Tom. Uncommon Type. Knopf, October 24th.

Uncommon Type by Tom HanksPublisher Summary: A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game–and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN’s newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!

 

Audio is booming, with digital audio truly taking off, both in the consumer market and in library borrowing. Physical audiobook borrowing, likewise, is easing ever so slowly as more people listen to books and the migration to digital is offset by increased demand all around and the increased variety of titles being produced in both electronic and CD formats.

Physical audiobooks are, however, experiencing decline relative to eAudio.  In OverDrive, the current dashboard indicates eAudios account now for a full third of current checkouts, at 14,149.  This compared to the 10,459 books on CD copies currently checked out.  When I used to do maintenance projects a couple of years ago, that number was always between 12 and 13 k.  Also of interest is this PW Daily article quoted below highlighting the audio boom’s stimulation of publishers’ production, especially in terms of titles, as well as sales.

Audio Publishing’s Digital Boom 

The significant and sustained growth of the audiobook category, led by digital downloads, has been a familiar headline for a few years now. According to the most recent data from the Association of American Publishers’s StatShot program, sales of downloaded audio through the first three quarters of 2016 grew 29.6% compared to the same period in 2015, and in November 2016 sales of digital audiobooks were up 47.2% over the previous November. The Audio Publishers Association is awaiting the compiled results of its latest consumer and sales surveys, which are due to be released next month. But the 2015 APA findings showed audiobook sales were 20.7% higher than in the previous year, part of a string of year-to-year increases since 2011.

CORRECTION: Previous version of this post had two titles with most active holds, but I did not run that report correctly at all. The true eAudio winners are the Fix by Baldacci (153 active holds) and A Man Called Ove (125 active holds).  I apologize.

The Fix“Amos Decker investigates a murder-suicide that occurred outside FBI headquarters and cannot connect the shooter and his victim, but he is ordered off the case, and it becomes clear that finding the link is a matter of national security.”

 

 

A Man Called Ove

 

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon – the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbor from hell.’ But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

 

Christian Book Awards

May 8, 2017

 

Christianity Today, magazine mouthpiece for a broad evangelical audience, has posted their Christian Book Awards for 2017. We owned most of them, except for a cultural work of interest that I am ordering this week, highlighted below.  Popular devotional works in Christianity and Buddhism especially are popular and have a high turnover, but selecting particular titles can be challenging.  It is worth paying close attention to industry coverage in PW, bestseller lists, and other sources within this niche.  For instance, one of the bestselling Christian titles of recent years hands down is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, which I never received a *single* RINC for but which after I finally ordered it has circulated over 220 times.  SINC’s in any of these areas are most welcome.

The prolific right-leaning Evangelical presses include Zondervan, Multnomah, Thomas Nelson, and Eerdman’s, among many others.  Liberal faith is represented by Beacon Press and HarperOne. Buddhist publishers include Shambhala and Wisdom Publications.  Wiccan interest is covered by Llewellyn, Catholic interest by Ignatius and Loyola Presses and unbelief and skeptical viewpoints by Prometheus Press. These are a few dedicated publishers but the Big Five and university presses also produce prodigious output.

 

Tebow, Tim.  Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms.  Waterbrook, 2016. [7 copies]

Shaken“First, he was a beloved college football champion, media sensation, and best-selling author drafted in the first round of the 2010 Draft. Then he had a miracle playoff run with the Denver Broncos before being traded to the New York Jets. After one season he was cut by New York, next signed by the New England Patriots, then let go after training camp. Tim Tebow has achieved big victories and plunged the depths of failure, all while holding firm to his faith. In Shaken he explains why neither the highs nor the lows of his life can define him–and he reveals how you, too, can find an unshakable identity and purpose. In revealing passages, Tebow pulls back the curtain on his life, sharing the vulnerable moments of his career that have shaken him to his core–while also teaching the biblical principles that will enable you to keep the faith, no matter what comes your way.”–Baker & Taylor.

 

 

 

Glaspey, Terry.  75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know. Baker, 2015. [Soon  in catalog]

75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: The Fascinating Stories behind Great Works of Art, Literature, Music, and FilmSome of the greatest artists have taken their inspiration from their faith. Now you can discover the stories behind seventy-five masterpieces of art, literature, music, and film–and the artists who created them. From the Roman catacombs to Rembrandt, from Bach to U2, from John Bunyan to Frederick Buechner, author and historian Terry Glaspey unveils the absorbing true stories behind these masterpieces and shares the faith-filled details you might have missed.

More on EBOOK Market

May 8, 2017

Publishers Weekly discusses with some more numbers the situation with ebook vs. print and online channels vs. retail outlets for books.  Price is clearly identified as a possible factor affecting consumers, which may explain why our borrowing is still going gangbusters.  From the article:

With E-books Down, E-tailers Are Still Far From Out 

In 2016, e-tailers were able to hold onto their share of overall unit sales despite the decline in e-book purchases by slightly increasing their share of print book unit sales to approximately 30%. Sales of print books through bookstores slipped slightly, but bookstores still commanded about 40% of print unit purchases in 2016.

Check out the first comment which is typical for this type of article.