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!

 

Alexandra Fuller’s autobiographies did great here. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness has circulated 384 times and Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight 480 times.  Now she’s debuting a novel.

Dean Koontz introduces a new protagonist but stays in general suspense mode. Comment to claim.

Koontz, Dean. The Silent Corner. Bantam, June 20th.

The Silent Corner“”I very much need to be dead.” These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for–but took his own life. In the void that remains stands his widow, Jane, surrounded by questions destined to go unanswered . . . unless she does what all the grief, fear, confusion, and fury inside of her demands: find the truth, no matter what”– Provided by publisher. “A major new work of dark literary, psychological suspense–brilliantly paced with a twisting narrative and chilling antagonists–from #1 bestselling author Dean Koontz. “I very much need to be dead.” These are the chilling words left behind by a manwho had everything to live for–but took his own life. In the void that remains stands his widow, surrounded by questions destined to go unanswered unless she does what all the grief, fear, confusion, and fury inside her demand: Find the truth, no matterwhat. There is no one else to speak for him–or the others who have followed him into death at their own hands. Though people of talent and accomplishment, people admired and seemingly happy and sound of mind, have recently been committing suicide in surprising numbers, no one else is willing to give up everything just to seek, to find, to know. No one except her. But ahead lies only risk. Because those arrayed against her are legion, and dangerously devoted to protecting something profoundly important–or terrifying–enough to exterminate any and all in their way. Too many have already died, and those responsible will learn that all their malevolent power may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless–and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love. ACCLAIM FOR DEAN KOONTZ “Dean Koontz is a prose stylist whose lyricism heightens malevolence and tension. [He creates] characters of unusual richnessand depth.”–The Seattle Times “Tumbling, hallucinogenic prose. ‘Serious’ writers. might do well to examine his technique.”–The New York Times Book Review “”Lyrical writing and compelling characters. Koontz stands alone.”–Associated Press “In every industry there exist ‘artists’ that are not only unforgettable, but know their craft better than the rest. Dean Koontz. is among these artisans.”–Suspense Magazine “[Koontz] has always had near-Dickensian powers of description, and an ability toyank us from one page to the next that few novelists can match.”–Los Angeles Times “Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America. novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good. [and that] entertain vastly as they uplift.”–Publishers Weekly”– Provided by publisher.

Fuller, Alexandra.  Quiet Until the Thaw.  Penguin, June 27th.

Quiet Until the Thaw“From bestselling memoirist Alexandra Fuller, a debut novel. Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage. When escalating anger towards the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence. Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys, orphaned at birth, in his meadow. As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys within their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be, and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind. But when You Choose returns to the reservation afterthree decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys. A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures with the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family but to all who have come before and will come after us, and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected. As Fuller writes, “The belief that we can be done with our past is a myth. The past is nudging at us constantly.””– Provided by publisher.

The Chevalier title is next month’s Hogarth Shakespeare title a series of novels retelling plots and themes from Shakespeare’s plays.  To date, the likes of Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler, Jo Nesbo, Howard Jacobson, and Gillian Flynn have contributed, with Edward St. Aubyn’s Dunbar, the homage to King Lear, coming this October.

In the meantime, comment first to claim any one of these.

McBride, Laura. ‘Round Midnight. Simon & Schuster, May 2nd.

Round MidnightPublisher summary: From the author of We Are Called to Rise comes a novel about the interconnected lives of four women in Las Vegas, each of whom experiences a life-changing moment at a classic casino nightclub.  Spanning the six decades when Las Vegas grew from a dusty gambling town into the melting pot metropolis it is today, ‘Round Midnight is the story of four women–one who falls in love, one who gets lucky, one whose heart is broken, and one who chooses happiness–whose lives change at the Midnight Room.  June Stein and her husband open the El Capitan casino in the 1950s, and rocket to success after hiring a charismatic black singer to anchor their nightclub. Their fast-paced lifestyle runs aground as racial tensions mount.  Honorata leaves the Philippines as a mail order bride to a Chicago businessman, then hits a jackpot at the Midnight Room when he takes her on a weekend trip to Las Vegas.  Engracia, a Mexican immigrant whose lucky find at the Midnight Room leads to heartbreak, becomes enmeshed in Honorata’s secret when she opens her employer’s door to that Chicago businessman–and his gun.  And then there is Coral, an African-American teacher who struggles with her own mysterious past. A favor for Honorata takes her to the Midnight Room, where she hits a jackpot of another kind.  Mining the rich territory of motherhood and community, ‘Round Midnight is a story that mirrors the social transformation of our nation. Full of passion, heartbreak, heroism, longing, and suspense, it honors the reality of women’s lives.

 

Laird, Nick.  Modern Gods. Viking, June 27th.

Publisher summary: Alison DonModern Godsnelly has suffered for love.  Still stuck in the small Northern Irish town where she was born, working for her father’s real estate agency, she hopes to pick up the pieces and get her life back together.  Her sister Liz, a fiercely independent college professor who lives in New York City, is about to return to Ulster for Alison’s second wedding, before heading to an island off the coast of Papua New Guinea to make a TV show about the world’s newest religion.  Both sisters’ lives are about to be shaken apart.  Alison wakes up the day after her wedding to find that her new husband has a past neither of them can escape.  In a rainforest on the other side of the planet, Liz finds herself becoming increasingly entangled in the eerie, charged world of Belef, the subject of her show, a charismatic middle-aged woman who is the leader of a cargo cult. As Modern Gods ingeniously interweaves the stories of Liz and Alison, it becomes clear that both sisters must learn how to negotiate with the past, with the sins of fanaticism, and decide just what the living owe to the dead.  Laird’s brave, innovative novel charts the intimacies and disappointments of a family trying to hold itself together, and the repercussions of history and faith.

 

Chevalier, Tracy.  New Boy.  Hogarth, May 11th.

New Boy

William Shakespeare’s Othello retold as New Boy.  Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.  The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds – Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant ‘girlfriend’ Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

 

A 2015 Hedgebrook writer in residence from Nigeria is coming out with her first novel from Knopf.  An international but also locally incubated talent, Adebayo will be an interesting debut novelist to watch.

Adebayo, Ayobami.  Stay With Me.  Knopf, August 22nd.

Stay with Me by Ayobami AdebayoIn the spirit of Chris Cleave’s Little Bee and Emma Donoghue’s Room, this unforgettable novel 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.

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does–but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

You know what to do – thanks! Also this is definitely now in the catalog with 8 holds and rising. I just received two ARC’s from our generous Random House representative.  I’ll give one to first commenter right away and the 2nd I’ll read and give away to second commenter. That might take a few days.

 

Love and Other Consolation PrizesPUBLISHER SUMMARY: From the bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a powerful novel, inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle’s epic 1909 World’s Fair.

For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off–a healthy boy “to a good home.”

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known–and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired.

But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.

Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion–in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.

 

In the delightful surprise category –  see EarlyWord for more detail.  It has just slipped into Holds Purchase Alert territory.

Haupt, Lyanda Lynn.  Mozart’s Starling.  Little, Brown, April 4th.

Mozart's StarlingA charming story of Mozart and his pet starling, along with a natural history of the bird.

On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling who sang (an improved version of!) the theme from his Piano Concerto Number 17 in G to him. Knowing a kindred spirit when he met one, Mozart wrote “That was wonderful” in his journal and took the bird home to be his pet. For three years Mozart and his family enjoyed the uniquely delightful company of the starling until one fitful April when the bird passed away.

In 2013, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Crow Planet, rescued her own starling, Carmen, who has become a part of her family. In Mozart’s Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely bond between one of history’s most controversial characters and one of history’s most notoriously disliked birds. Part natural history, part story, Mozart’s Starlingwill delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.