It’s a Thing – Hygge

January 24, 2017

Hygge (The sites say pronounced hoogah or hue-gah and related to the word hug) is a Danish life philosophy of comfort and happiness that is trending big at the moment. I just noticed MOST of our titles are starting to get out of the Holds Purchase Alert but of course we will be supply the ratio. As yet this seems a milder craze than Kondo tidying up, perhaps appropriate for a more mellow approach to new year self-improvement. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking has 52 holds, one more than 5 minutes ago as I type.

 

How to hygge : the Nordic secrets to a happy life  The book of hygge : the Danish art of comfort, coziness, and connection  The Little Book of Hygge : Danish Secrets to Happy Living

 

This comes out in April from Tor, the first adult Doctorow novel in eight years. Comment to claim. Today I am placing an order and it should be in the catalog shortly as well.

 

Publisher Summary: Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.  Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Nicholas Espinoza—known to his friends as Hubert, Etc—was too old to be at that Communist party.  But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has no where left to be—except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society—and walk away.  After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter—from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system.  It’s still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.  Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.

 

Both of these are fiction but have little else in common. Edgar & Lucy is dark, disturbing, strangely unique, moving, and interspersed with LOL dialog/relief, perhaps like The Nix in literary qualities but more foreboding and personal and less satirical. The Killing Bay is a Faroes sequel to The Blood Strand, which circulated 121 times in our system this year.

Comment to claim.

Ould, Chris. The Killing Bay.  Titan Books, February 2017. 

When a group of international activists arrive on the Faroe Islands, intent on stopping the traditional whale hunts, tensions between islanders and protestors run high. And when a woman is found murdered only hours after a violent confrontation at a whale drive, the circumstances seem purposely designed to increase animosity between the two sides. For English DI Jan Reyna and local detective Hjalti Hentze, the case quickly exposes personal connections and con icts of interest. But as they dig deeper it becomes increasingly clear that the murder has other, more sinister aspects to it. Knowing evidence is being hidden from them, neither policeman knows who to trust, or how far some people might go to defend their beliefs.

 

 

 

 

Lodato, Victor.  Edgar & Lucy.  St. Martin’s, March 2017. 

Edgar and Lucy

Edgar and Lucy is a page-turning literary masterpiece–a stunning examination of family love and betrayal.  Eight-year-old Edgar Fini remembers nothing of the accident people still whisper about. He only knows that his father is gone, his mother has a limp, and his grandmother believes in ghosts. When Edgar meets a man with his own tragic story, the boy begins a journey into a secret wilderness where nothing is clear–not even the line between the living and the dead. In order to save her son, Lucy has no choice but to confront the demons of her past.  Profound, shocking, and beautiful, Edgar and Lucy is a thrilling adventure and the unlikeliest of love stories.  ” I love this book . Profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific…an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity.” – Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl “This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader” – Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand ” Took my breath away. ” — Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates “A quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder .” – Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers

This is a first person coming of age story set mostly in 1970’s New York, with an original plot, sophisticated metaphors, and elegant writing.  It could also be a potential teen crossover but the themes and writing style will likely appeal most to an adult audience. The moral tension of a 13 year old boy drawn to an interesting and exciting way to bond with his separated father, not knowing whether what they are doing is noble or criminal or some of both, is keen. I am ordering copies that should be in the catalog within a couple weeks. Comment to claim.

Gill, John Freeman.  The Gargoyle Hunters. Knopf, March 2017. 
The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman GillPublisher Summary: “Griffin Watts is 13 years old in 1974 New York, a city which, at the brink of financial collapse, seems to crumble around him at roughly the same rate as his family. Desperate to forge a connection to his father, Griffin gets co-opted into his illicit and dangerous architectural salvage business, which allows him to discover the centuries old sculptures (gargoyles) carved into buildings all over the city by immigrant artisans. As his father’s obsession with preserving the landmark buildings around him descends into mania, Griffin has to learn how to build himself into the person he wants to become–and let go of what he cannot keep” —

These are first-person accounts, one a memoir about parents recovering from a child’s loss and one a coming-of-age novel (bildungsroman in German/cataloguese) coming out in January and late February.  Setting Free the Kites is getting quite a bit of buzz in chats, etc.  Comment to claim.

Gerson, Stéphane. Disaster Falls : A Family Story. Crown, January.

Disaster Falls: A Family Story

A haunting chronicle of what endures when the world we know is swept away. On a day like any other, on a rafting trip down Utah’s Green River, Stéphane Gerson’s eight-year-old son, Owen, drowned in a spot known as Disaster Falls. That same night, as darkness fell, Stéphane huddled in a tent with his wife, Alison, and their older son, Julian, trying to understand what seemed inconceivable. “It’s just the three of us now,” Alison said over the sounds of a light rain and, nearby, the rushing river. “We cannot do it alone. We have to stick together.” Disaster Falls chronicles the aftermath of that day and their shared determination to stay true to Alison’s resolution. At the heart of the book is Stéphane’s portrait of a marriage critically tested. Husband and wife grieve in radically different ways that threaten to isolate each of them in their post-Owen worlds. (He feels so far,” Stéphane says, when Alison shows him a selfie Owen had taken. “He feels so close,” she says.) With beautiful specificity, Stéphane shows how they resist that isolation and reconfigure their marriage from within.  As Stephane navigates his grief, the memoir expands to explore how society reacts to the death of a child. He depicts the “good death” of his father, which enlarges Stéphane’s perspective on mortality. He excavates the history of the Green River–rife with hazards not mentioned in the rafting company’s brochures. He explores how stories can both memorialize and obscure a person’s life–and how they can rescue us.  Disaster Falls is a powerful account of a life cleaved in two–raw, truthful, and unexpectedly consoling.

George, Alex.  Setting Free the Kites. G. P. Putnam, February 21.

Setting Free the Kites“For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous-and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge. Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.”

Unfortunately I don’t have an ARC – and see none yet on Edelweiss – but I’m going ahead with 15 copies. This comes out in June.  It will be in the catalog within a week or so.

 

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

Publisher summary: A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, and loss from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award winner.

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine–growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is a powerful account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.

Watching the rapid fire publication pace of Patterson’s new original paperback series (plural) called Bookshots, I’ve noticed a definite pattern. An example is The Christmas Mystery, a Luc Moncrief Mystery.  Currently, the *book* has only 3 holds on 12 checked out copies.  Meanwhile, fourteen customers are in line for our four audiobook copies of this same title.  In the future, depending on the appeal of the particular series, which seems to vary greatly, I’m aiming for about equal number of print and audio, probably just over or under 10.  It will be interesting to see if these have sustained demand in future years.  The more I think about this the more it makes sense.  Print bookshots are cheap and portable, so can be bought on a whim if desired.  On the other hand, the typical Bookshots audiobook (four little discs in the case of the Christmas Mystery, totalling a nicely digestible 300 minutes) is probably a great fit for daily commuters or weekend trippers to Portland or Vancouver, searching for a bite-sized audiobook they can actually finish in one long trip or a week’s worth of commutes.

On second thought, it also appears some of the titles that came out this  summer (e.g., 113 Minutes) already are languishing a bit several months later and perhaps won’t need many copies in any format.  Is this phenomenon the literary equivalent of a sugar rush?
The Christmas mystery : a Detective Luc Moncrief storyPublisher Summary: In the heart of the holiday season, priceless paintings have vanished from a Park Avenue murder scene. Now, dashing French detective Luc Moncrief must become a quick study in the art of the steal–before a coldblooded killer paints the town red. Merry Christmas, Detective.

 

 

 

 

Patterson, James with James O. Born. Hidden : A Mitchum Story. [January 3, 2017 – 3 holds on 9 print copies – 6 holds on 6 audio]

Hidden : A Mitchum StoryPublisher Summary: Rejected by the Navy SEALs, Mitchum is content to be his small town’s unofficial private eye, until his beloved 14-year-old cousin is abducted. Now he’ll call on every lethal skill to track her down–but nothing is what it seems….