After a visit from David Glenn last Thursday, we have a few more ARC’s from Penguin/Random House, including David Mitchell’s Slade House, due out next month.  Also, we would like to offer a galley for A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, a deep, emotional investment of a reading experience, which has made the Man Booker shortlist.  This is the second year the Booker has been open to any English language writer publishing in the UK.  Yanagihara joins Anne Tyler to represent the US on this year’s shortlist.

OK, What is left [sorry for confusing comment string] – the Murderer’s Daughter. 

Yanagihara, Hanya. A Little Life.

A little life : a novelBrace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement–and a great gift for its publisher. When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome–but that will define his life forever. In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.



Mitchell, David.  Slade House.

Slade house : a novel

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | A Publishers Weekly Literary Fiction Top 10 Pick for Fall 2015 Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door. Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents–an odd brother and sister–extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . . Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story–as only David Mitchell could imagine it. Advance praise for Slade House “I gulped down this novel in a single evening. Intricately connected to David Mitchell’s previous books, this compact fantasy burns with classic Mitchellian energy. Painstakingly imagined and crackling with narrative velocity, it’s a Dracula for the new millennium, a Hansel and Gretel for grownups, a reminder of how much fun fiction can be.” –Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize “Plants died, milk curdled, and my children went slightly feral as I succumbed to the creepy magic of David Mitchell’s Slade House . It’s a wildly inventive, chilling, and–for all its otherworldliness–wonderfully human haunted house story. I plan to return to its clutches quite often.” –Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl and The Grownup “David Mitchell doesn’t break rules so much as prove them inhibitors to lively, intelligent fiction. Slade House is a fractal offshoot of his remarkable The Bone Clocks, an eerie haunted-house tale that takes as much from quantum mechanics as from traditional supernatural lore, a spellbinding chiller about an unnatural greed for life and the arrogance of power.” –Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author “What can’t David Mitchell do? Slade House is a page-burning, read-in-one-sitting, at times terrifying novel that does for the haunted-house story what Henry James did for the ghost story in The Turn of the Screw .” –Adam Johnson, author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize “David Mitchell has long been acknowledged as one of the finest–if not the finest–literary minds of his generation, but he’s also one of the most suspenseful, and he proves it in every gripping, vertiginous setpiece.” –Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Horns “Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading. And by you, I mean me.” –Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author of the Lemony Snicket series.

Kellerman, Jonathan.  The Murderer’s Daughter. 

The murderer's daughter : a novelFrom the #1 “New York Times” bestselling creator of the acclaimed Alex Delaware series comes a tour de force standalone novel that illustrates perfectly why Jonathan Kellerman has justly earned his reputation as a master of the psychological thriller (“People”). A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance. Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep. An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled. Praise for Jonathan Kellerman Kellerman’s psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix. ” Los Angeles Times” “” Kellerman doesn’t just write psychological thrillers he owns the genre. ” Detroit Free Press””

Makos, Adam.  Devotion.

Devotion : An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

For readers of Unbroken comes an unforgettable tale of courage from America’s “forgotten war” in Korea, by the New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call. Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar. While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job–landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier–a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept. Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea. Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission. A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend? Advance praise for Devotion “My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.” –President George H. W. Bush “This is aerial drama at its best–fast, powerful, and moving.” –Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake “Lovingly rendered and meticulously researched, here is a tale of true friendship across the racial divide. Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.” –Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice “At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.” –Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend

October Library Reads

September 10, 2015

Next month’s list is out and as usual we will attend to backfill in multiple formats.  Jojo Moyes is getting ever more attention and we will be adding her to a newly expanded author standing order list (coming soon), among many other additions including Jonathan Evison.  Also, I have ARCs of the favorite, Garth Risk Hallberg’s incredible debut City on Fire and Then Comes Marriage by Roberta Kaplan, if you would like to take a look. Please comment to claim.  Again, Marina will be posting these more fully on our public blog BiblioFiles next month closer to publication.

The Favorite

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

City on fireSummary

An immersive, exuberant, boundary-vaulting novel New York City, 1976. Meet Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s great fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk sce≠ an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor–and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year’s Eve. The mystery, as it reverberates through families, friendships, and the corridors of power, will open up even the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. City on Fire is an unforgettable novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ‘n’ roll: about what people need from each other in order to live . . . and about what makes the living worth doing in the first place.

Other Selections

After YouA Banquet of Consequences  The heart goes last : a novel  The Secret ChordWelcome to Night Vale  In bitter chill Then comes marriage : United States v. Windsor and the defeat of DOMA  We were brothers : a memoirSlade house : a novel

Hilary just processed these new book kits and I’m putting them in the reservation system today.  Thanks as always to the Sno-Isle Foundation for its critical support of this collection.  Also, I have an arc of The Exchange of Princesses for the first Sno-Isle employee to comment on this post.  Many thanks.

Watson, Larry. Let Him Go. 

The celebraLet him go : a novelted author of Montana 1948 returns to the American West in this riveting tale of familial love and its unexpected consequences. Dalton, North Dakota. It’s September 1951: years since George and Margaret Blackledge lost their son James when he was thrown from a horse; months since his widow Lorna took off with their only grandson and married Donnie Weboy. Margaret is steadfast, resolved to find and retrieve her grandson Jimmy — the one person in this world keeping James’s memory alive — while George, a retired sheriff, is none too eager to stir up trouble. Unable to sway his wife from her mission, George takes to the road with Margaret by his side, traveling through the Dakota badlands to Gladstone, Montana. When Margaret tries to convince Lorna to return home to North Dakota and bring little Jimmy with her, the Blackledges find themselves entangled with the entire Weboy clan, who are determined not to give up the boy without a fight. From the author who brought us Montana 1948 , Let Him Go is pitch-perfect, gutsy, and unwavering. Larry Watson is at his storytelling finest in this unforgettable return to the American West.



Kearsley, Susanna. A Desperate Fortune. 

A desperate fortune


“Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing–for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed. As Mary’s gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas, she faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew–about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love”–




Delbanco, Elena.  The Silver Swan. 

The silver swan

Alexander Feldmann is a musician of international renown, a man whose prodigious talent, striking good looks, and charm prove irresistible to all who meet him. After years of hunting, Alexander acquires a glorious instrument, the Silver Swan. One of the few remaining cellos crafted by Antonio Stradivari, the Silver Swan’s clarity and beauty of tone are unmatched. The maestro has one child, Mariana, who by the age of nineteen emerges as a star concert cellist in her own right and is viewed by many as the inheritor of her father’s genius. There are whispers that her career might even outpace his. Mariana has always believed that the Silver Swan would one day be hers, until a stunning secret from her father’s past entwines her fate and that of the Silver Swan in ways she could never have imagined.




Thomas, Chantal.  The Exchange of Princesses. 

The exchange of princesses

Philippe d’Orl ans, the regent of France, has a gangrenous heart-the result of a life of debauchery, alcohol, power, and flattery. One morning in 1721, he decides to marry eleven-year-old Louis XV to the daughter of Philippe V of Spain, who is only four. Orl ans hopes this will tie his kingdom to Spain. But were Louis to die without begetting an heir-the likeliness of which is greatly increased by having a child bride-Orl ans himself would finally be king. Orl ans tosses his own daughter into the bargain, the twelve-year-old Mlle de Montpensier, who will marry the Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne. The Spanish court enthusiastically agrees and arrangements are made. The two nations trade their princesses in a grand ceremony in 1722, making bonds that should end the historical conflict. Nothing turns out as expected.

We own all of these titles in print, and I will do cross-format work today.  I am reproducing a few annotations below but it’s worth looking at the actual page to see the librarian reader comments.  Congratulations to Evison on making this list!

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison. 

This is your life, Harriet Chance! : a novel

“Jonathan Evison is a ridiculously gifted storyteller: racing, breathless, and vibrant with his prose, hungry for personal truths, and clearly in love with the world around us all. That compassion and those writerly charms are deeply felt in This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, an irresistible, inventive novel full of important ideas about how we live our lives as parents, children, partners, and human beings.” –Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past. There, amid the overwhelming buffets and the incessant lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. And in the process she discovers that she’s been living the better part of that life under entirely false assumptions. In This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm. Through Harriet, he paints a bittersweet portrait of a postmodern everywoman, her story told 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, and forgiveness.

The Favorite

The art of crash landing : a novelThe Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Broke and knocked up, Mattie Wallace has got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags and nowhere to go. Try as she might, she really is turning into her late mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make. When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace–the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery–a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother. The deeper Mattie digs for answers, the more precarious her situation becomes. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.


Other Selections for September 2015

House of thieves : a novel  Fates and furies  Did You Ever Have a Family  The gates of Evangeline  Furiously happy : a funny book about horrible things  Girl waits with gun  The scribe : a novelMake Me

Random House has a nice promotional link on Edelweiss where they are promoting egalleys of some great upcoming titles by authors like David Mitchell and Jane Smiley, as well as Garth Risk Hallberg’s incredible historically panoramic debut about New York in the 1970’s (City on Fire).  There are hundreds of others from multiple publishers available for download, and this is just a particularly nice sample.   Once you get set up in an account on Edelweiss (yes there’s always that catch but it isn’t an onerous process), it’s easy to request a digital galley to read through 3M or OverDrive.  In most cases, I’ve gotten approval anywhere from almost immediately to a few days.  It’s a delight to have pre-pub titles on your laptop or smartphone for those weekends and vacations.  And, there is a nice review feature where with one click of a button you can submit your rating and/or review to the publisher, or in the right timeline, to the Library Reads nomination process, which is basically open to anyone who gets a paycheck from a public library system.  City on Fire and The Tsar of Love and Techno are also in the catalog now, while the others soon will be.  If you choose to write reviews, however, do pay attention to the language about quotations and other restrictions in the publisher’s approval.


City on fire Hallberg, Garth Risk.  City on Fire

A big-hearted, boundary-vaulting novel that heralds a remarkable new talent: set in 1970s New York, a story outsized in its generosity, warmth, and ambition, its deep feeling for its characters, its exuberant imagination. The individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s largest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park. Their entangled relationships open up the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the infamous blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. A novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ‘n’ roll, about how the people closest to us are sometimes the hardest to reach–about what it means to be human.


Marra, Anthony.  The Tsar of Love and TechnoThe Tsar of Love and Techno : Stories

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena –dazzling, poignant, and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art. This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents.



The Man Booker Prize has announced its longlist and I thought I’d share the link since we do have the majority of these and not just the Americans.  It seems many of the commonwealth writers have already been published in the US, which is great.  The only exceptions I’ve noted are The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota (UK), Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy (India), and The Chimes by Anna Smaill (New Zealand), but while they’re not available from US publisher yet, that will surely change if they win and The Year of the Runaways is coming out here next March.  I’m adding copies of Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account as well.  [Note: here’s some interesting follow-up commentary from the Guardian about this year’s list and diversity.]


A spool of blue thread  The green road  A brief history of seven killings  Did You Ever Have a Family  A little life : a novel   Satin Island : a novelThe fishermen : a novel The Moor's account : a novel The illuminations

Recently you may have noticed that new hardcover titles by single authors on our Adult Fiction Standing Order (always handy on the intranet) have been ordered closer to six months pre-publication instead of right around three months as previously. For instance, Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich is in there if you didn’t hear the starting pistol.  We are hoping this change will be reassuring to those customers with keen antennae for what’s coming up, minimizing RINC’s for what are certain orders anyway.  We also hope that this will avoid the situation where we have an electronic edition in the catalog for a long time before the print edition.

Another change that will gradually occur this summer is that Becky and I will be tweaking the list to adjust both authors and quantities. While restricted to the authors that Ingram offers in its program, we can add a significant number of newly popular authors (e.g., Jojo Moyes) while dropping other authors, or lowering automatic quantities for them, if they have been less active or their series a little less popular of late.    Stay tuned.


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