From the popular science writer and true modern renaissance man that managed to make ants interesting (well at least to some), a new title due October 3 and just starting a queue. As befitting someone fascinated his whole life by science yet inspired by the questions and meaning-seeking of his Southern Baptist upbringing, Wilson here attempts to both distinguish and cross-pollinate natural science and the humanities.  Particularly interesting is the discussion of bringing the rich and unknown perceptions and experiences of other forms of life into our art, perhaps through virtual reality, thereby allowing the traditional humanities to embrace all of natural reality. Ooh! Hate to give it up but feel compelled to share, too. An ARC for first commenter.


The Origins of CreativityPublisher Summary: In this profound and lyrical book, one of our most celebrated biologists offers a sweeping examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short. Both endeavours, Edward O. Wilson reveals, have their roots in human creativity–the defining trait of our species.Reflecting on the deepest origins of language, storytelling, and art, Wilson demonstrates how creativity began not ten thousand years ago, as we have long assumed, but over one hundred thousand years ago in the Paleolithic age. Chronicling this evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavors–the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song.Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. The humanities in particular suffer from a kind of anthropomorphism, encumbered by a belief that we are the only species among millions that seem to matter, yet Wilson optimistically reveals how researchers will have to address this parlous situation by pushing further into the realm of science, especially fields such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology.With eloquence and humanity, Wilson calls for a transformational “Third Enlightenment,” in which the blending of these endeavors will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.

A report from AAP says in 2016 trade sales were up 1.5% with religion, children’s/teen, and non-fiction leading the way.  From the PW article:

E-book sales fell for the third straight year in 2016, down 16.9% to $2.26 billion. E-books remained the most popular format in adult fiction, where they accounted for 33% of sales, the AAP reported.

As for downloadable audio, sales rose 19.7%. Downloadable audio sales were put at $643 million by the AAP, more than double the 2012 figure.

How does this compare with our recent lending figures?  Growth in downloadable audio sales definitely gels with lending increases, while the contraction of ebook sales is not reflected in library lending.  The July OverDrive dashboard indicates a new record last month (though not quite the month before), with circulation figures vacillating month-to-month and bumping up to new highs rather than rocketing. Here they are:


Three ARC’s for first to comment:

The Heirs has a nice queue starting and Rieger’s The Divorce Papers circulated over 100 times here.  Stay with Me is an exciting debut by Adebayo, a Nigerian writer who recently was a resident on Whidbey Island.  Our copies have 18 holds already.  Gilvarry’s work comes out in August.

Rieger, Susan. The Heirs. Crown, May 2017.

The HeirsPublisher Summary: 

Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.




Adebayo, Ayobami. Stay with Me. Knopf, August 2017.

Stay With Me

Publisher Summary: 

This celebrated, unforgettable first novel (“A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit.” – The Guardian ), shortlisted for the prestigious Bailey’s Prize and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage–and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.



Gilvarry, Alex. Eastman Was Here. Viking, August 2017.

Publisher Summary: 

Eastman Was Here“An ambitious new novel set in the literary world of 1970s New York, following a washed-up writer in an errant quest to pick up the pieces of his life. One of BuzzFeed’sExciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer The year is 1973, and Alan Eastman,a public intellectual, accidental cultural critic, washed-up war journalist, husband, and philanderer; finds himself alone on the floor of his study in an existential crisis. His wife has taken their kids and left him to live with her mother in New Jersey, and his best work feels as though it is years behind him. In the depths of despair, he receives an unexpected and unwelcome phone call from his old rival dating back to his days on the Harvard literary journal, offering him the chance to go to Vietnamto write the definitive account of the end of America’s longest war. Seeing his opportunity to regain his wife’s love and admiration while reclaiming his former literary glory, he sets out for Vietnam. But instead of the return to form as a pioneering warcorrespondent that he had hoped for, he finds himself in Saigon, grappling with the same problems he thought he’d left back in New York. Following his widely acclaimed debut,From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Alex Gilvarry employs the same thoughtful, yet dark sense of humor in Eastman Was Here to capture one irredeemable man’s search for meaning in the face of advancing age, fading love, and a rapidly-changing world. “With his second book, Gilvarry establishes himself as a writer who defies expectation, convention and categorization.Eastman Was Hereis a dark, riotously funny and audacious exploration of the sacred and the profane–and pretty much everything in between.” –Tea Obreht,New York Timesbestselling author ofThe Tiger’s Wife”– Provided by publisher.

I’m purchasing those we did not already own.  The Seattle Times is covering. Here’s the link.  Thanks!

Barkskins  Lovecraft Country  Eruption


These are due to be published next January. Chloe Benjamin in particular got quite some buzz on EarlyWord’s Galley Chat which has Storify Transcripts with excellent thematic and bibliographic transition slides if you don’t catch exact titles or authors. Comment to claim. If you’re a latecomer you’re welcome to ask but I can’t vouch for ARCs’ whereabouts after one week from posting. By the way, I’ve noticed from traffic that good ARCs are the most popular kind of posting on this blog so I’ll try to lean toward them from now on.

Here they are with publisher summaries from Penguin Random House.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Killer Choice by Tom Hunt

For me DDA (Demand Driven Acquisition in OverDrive), and the Polaris records we load to accompany it, have become an increasingly valuable source of information on local demand for print titles as well. That’s especially true for debuts and small print authors where I really feel on the fence.  If you remember our Patron Driven Acquisition pilot, the idea of floating titles out there and collecting customer holds before committing to actual orders was a key part of the experiment, engaging readers in selection while tailoring resources tightly, in line with our values and core services.  It is interesting that DDA is performing much the same service as a total side effect of another project and purpose.

A good example is Ed McDonald’s dark fantasy debut Blackwing, which though it still lacks an official review and is from a hit and miss genre imprint, already has a 3 month prepub hold on the ebook, perhaps tipping the decision to try a few print copies.

On the other hand, there’s Canadian author William Deverell, whose latest title from his acclaimed Arthur Deverell mystery series is a reluctant pass.  The prior six titles we do not own in print.  The one ebook title we own (I’ll See You in My Dreams – #5) is the only to slip through in OverDrive and has circulated a few times in the last 6 months.  That doesn’t make picking up the whole series in print too urgent, and there really are different audience preferences in these formats.  Especially true of romance, fantasy and non-fiction categories that may have a “shy customer” issue in public buildings, a lot of types of successful ebooks never get picked up in print and perhaps don’t need to be, or at least not right now.

  McDonald, Ed. Blackwing. Ace, October 2017. 

Blackwing  Summary:                 

Set on a post-apocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…








Klassen, Julie. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. Bethany House, December 5th, 2017 (already has 12 holds on ebook!)

book cover of 

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

Publisher Summary: 

In the confines of Ivy Cottage, friendships thrive, romances blossom, and mysteries await! Gentlewoman Rachel Ashford has moved into Ivy Cottage with the two Miss Groves, where she discovers mysteries hidden among her books. Together with her one-time love Sir Timothy, she searches for answers–and is forced to face her true feelings.






 Deverell, William. Whipped. ECW, October 2017. 

book cover of Whipped


This is another of Nancy’s gems on offer, and in keeping with my recent Cuba obsession.  According to the editors’ note, DeMille traveled to Havana to research the historical details and for authenticity.  With a wrily composed first person narrative in the middle of intriguing suspense, this looks like the classic DeMille tone but with a new theater of action for his range. Comment to claim.

Demille, Nelson. The Cuban Affair. Simon & Schuster, Sept. 19, 2017.

The Cuban Affair

Publisher Summary: Daniel Graham MacCormick—Mac for short—seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he’s living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don’t tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac’s finances are more than a little shaky.

One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this and turns it down. The price then goes up to two million dollars, and Mac agrees to hear the deal, and meet Carlos’s clients—a beautiful Cuban-American woman named Sara Ortega, and a mysterious older Cuban exile, Eduardo Valazquez.

What Mac learns is that there is sixty million American dollars hidden in Cuba by Sara’s grandfather when he fled Castro’s revolution. With the “Cuban Thaw” underway between Havana and Washington, Carlos, Eduardo, and Sara know it’s only a matter of time before someone finds the stash—by accident or on purpose. And Mac knows if he accepts this job, he’ll walk away rich…or not at all.

Brilliantly written, with his signature humor, fascinating authenticity from his research trip to Cuba, and heart-pounding pace, Nelson DeMille is a true master of the genre.