Nancy Pearl’s fiction debut comes out September 5th and right now we have 41 holds on 40 print copies.  We also have 3 eAudio copies, which might be the best bet for rapid access on 9/5 at this point.  Just think – at last the reader’s advisory master becomes the advised to.  Comment to claim.

 

George And LizziePublisher’s Summary:

From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads.

George and Lizzie have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be. George grew up in a warm and loving family–his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom–while Lizzie grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love.

Over the course of their marriage, nothing has changed–George is happy; Lizzie remains…unfulfilled. When a shameful secret from Lizzie’s past resurfaces, she’ll need to face her fears in order to accept the true nature of the relationship she and George have built over a decade together.

With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments.

 

 

For those maybe reading ahead for the 16 in 16 promotion, I have a few ARCs that may be of interest in the translated category.  Translations are getting more publicity and promotion lately, and it goes way beyond Scandinavian thrillers  (though they’re still going strong, too).  Publishers and imprints like New Directions, Europa Editions, Other Press, Overlook Books, etc. etc. are supplying great new genre and literary titles to expand the American reader’s mind.  Italian writer Elena Ferrante has hit the NYT bestseller list, along with Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri, whose new book In Other Words is an interesting experiment by an author writing in her third language, Italian, and having it translated into English in a parallel text.

Also, I welcome input on getting originals of any translated work originally in one of the six non-English languages we collect., as reading the same book in two languages is a great way to study another language, including English.

Please comment to this post to claim.  The Dove’s Necklace by Raja Alem is particularly richly written and poignant, and Shelter by Jung Yun is developing a solid queue.

The dove's necklace : a novelAlem, Raja.  The Dove’s Necklace.

Summary: When a dead woman is discovered in Abu Al Roos, one of Mecca’s many alleys, no one will claim the body because they are ashamed by her nakedness. As we follow Detective Nassir’s investigation of the case, the secret life of the holy city of Mecca is revealed. Tackling powerful issues with beautiful and evocative writing, Raja Alem reveals a city–and a civilization–at once beholden to brutal customs, and reckoning (uneasily) with new traditions. Told from a variety of perspectives–including that of Abu Al Roos itself–The Dove’s Necklace is a virtuosic work of literature, and an ambitious portrait of a changing city that deserves our attention.

 

 

 

On the edge

Chirbes, Rafael. On the Edge.

Summary: On the Edge opens with the discovery of a rotting corpse in the marshes on the outskirts of Olba, Spain–a town wracked by despair after the burst of the economic bubble, and a microcosm of a world of defeat, debt, and corruption. Stuck in this town is Esteban–his small factory bankrupt, his investments stolen by a “friend,” and his unloved father, a mute invalid, entirely his personal burden. Much of the novel unfolds in Esteban’s raw and tormented monologues. But other voices resound from the wreckage–soloists stepping forth from the choir–and their words, sharp as knives, crowd their terse, hypnotic monologues of ruin, prostitution, and loss. Chirbes alternates this choir of voices with a majestic third-person narration, injecting a profound and moving lyricism and offering the hope that a new vitality can emerge from the putrid swamps. On the Edge, even as it excoriates, pulsates with robust life, and its rhythmic, torrential style marks the novel as an indelible masterpiece.

 

 

Montalbano's first case and other stories

Camilleri, Andrea.  Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories.

Summary: From the author of the New York Times -bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, twenty-one short stories spanning the beloved detective’s career.  Inspector Montalbano has charmed readers in nineteen popular novels, and now in Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories , Andrea Camilleri has selected twenty-one short stories, written with his trademark wit and humor, that follow Italy’s famous detective through highlight cases of his career. From the title story, featuring a young deputy Montalbano newly assigned to Vigàta, to “Montalbano Says No,” in which the inspector makes a late-night call to Camilleri himself to refuse an outlandish case, this collection is an essential addition to any Inspector Montalbano fan’s bookshelf and a wonderful way to introduce readers to the internationally bestselling series.

 

 

 

Yun, Jung.  Shelter.

Shelter : a novelSummary: You can never know what goes on behind closed doors.  One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of the Year (Selected by Edan Lepucki)  Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future. A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantageâe”private tutors, expensive hobbiesâe”but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and heâe(tm)s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?  As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one’s family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.

The December/January LibraryReads list is out (with librarians’ comments), and among the new selections is Dean Koontz’ latest Ashley Bell.  I have a physical ARC of that one for the first SI employee commenter.

The favorite is by Elizabeth Strout of Burgess Boys and Olive Kitteridge fame.  I don’t have an ARC for that one, I’m afraid, but we have 40 copies on order with only 15 holds at the moment. It comes out January 16th.  Among the well-established names making an appearance are Bill Bryson (holding up the non-fiction category and with mention at a recent reader’s advisory training) with The Road to Little Dribbling and Ian Rankin with Even Dogs in the Wild.

The only print title we don’t already have on order is an original paperback title What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan.  I will get that in line to be ordered today.  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has been getting a lot of attention from ARC readers and will likely be a book discussion kit candidate.  A new story collection, Helen Ellis’ American Housewife, has also attracted genuine pre-pub enthusiasm.

The Favorite

My Name Is Lucy Barton

Strout, Elizabeth.  My Name Is Lucy Barton.  

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

 

 

 

 

The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendBivald, Katarina.  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. 

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.

 

 

 

 

The Swans of Fifth Avenue   Ashley Bell : a novel  American housewife / Stories  The Road to Little Dribbling : Adventures of an American in Britain  The Things We Keep  Even Dogs in the Wild

A note – the Biblio Files public reader’s advisory blog will now be posting these lists concurrent with the month of publication (rather than the month before as I did on this blog), starting with a repeat of the August list next month.

 

 

August LibraryReads

July 10, 2015

Here is the link to all selections and annotations. I’ll reproduce the favorite below.  We own all titles at least in print and I’m working on some cross-format fill today. Keep in mind 3M titles on order do not appear in the catalog until released.  Thanks!

 

Best boy : a novel

Gottlieb, Eli.  Best Boy. 

Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy–with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”–is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.

These all have current holds queues, Kent Haruf’s particularly long.  Sally Mann’s memoir about her photographic career is a sleeper hit on  the non-fiction NYT list.

Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night. 

A spare yeOur souls at nightt eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future. In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Their brave adventures–their pleasures and their difficulties–are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature.

 

 

 

Mann, Sally.  Hold Still. 

A revealingHold still : a memoir with photographs and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann’s preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her. Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: “deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder.” In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.

 

 

 

Parry, Leslie.  Church of Marvels. 

Church of MarvelsA ravishing first novel set in vibrant, tumultuous turn-of-the-century New York City, where the lives of four outsiders become entwined, bringing irrevocable change to them all New york, 1895. Sylvan Threadgill, a night-soiler cleaning out the privies behind the tenement houses, finds an abandoned newborn baby in the muck. An orphan himself, Sylvan rescues the child, determined to find where she belongs. Odile Church and her beautiful sister, Belle, were raised amid the applause and magical pageantry of the Church of Marvels, their mother’s spectacular Coney Island sideshow. But the Church has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in its ashes. Now Belle, the family’s star, has vanished into the bowels of Manhattan, leaving Odile alone and desperate to find her. A young woman named Alphie awakens to find herself trapped across the river in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum-sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband’s vile, overbearing mother. On the ward she meets another young woman of ethereal beauty who does not speak, a girl with an extraordinary talent that might save them both. As these strangers’ lives become increasingly connected, their stories and secrets unfold. Moving from the Coney Island seashore to the tenement-studded streets of the Lower East Side, a spectacular human circus to a brutal, terrifying asylum, Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn-of-the-century New York-a city of hardship and dreams, love and loneliness, hope and danger. In magnetic, luminous prose, Leslie Parry offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past in a narrative of astonishing beauty, full of wondrous enchantments, a marvelous debut that will leave readers breathless.

Many of you in the branches have done an excellent job disabusing me of the notion that westerns are a fading genre. In some places, you’ve been insistent that there are younger readers of Westerns, too. Because of that, in 3M I’ve been purchasing and re-purchasing the classic writers like Ralph Compton and Louis L’amour, as well as newly popular authors writing westerns as such or regular fiction with a western “feel.” In talking books, fans of the Smoke Jensen series have requested the series be filled in and it, too, is being built up.  I’ll try to get some more copies in the first place as these are published in print.

As part of the effort, I’m also asking Leanne to build a 3M display shelf for Westerns. Look for its appearance soon.

Some examples of recent “mainstreamed” western fiction :

The sonMeyer, Philipp. The Son. 

The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim Spring, 1849. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanches storms his homestead and brutally murders his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and language, answering to a new name, becoming the chief’s adopted son, and waging war against their enemies, including white men–which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

 

 

The bully of order : a novel

Hart, Brian. The Bully of Order. 

Washington Territory, 1886 Jacob and Nell Ellstrom step from ship to shore and are struck dumb by the sight of their new home–the Harbor, a ragged township of mud streets and windowless shacks. In the years to come this will be known as one of the busiest and most dangerous ports in the world, and with Jacob’s station as the only town physician, prosperity and respect soon rain down on the Ellstroms. Then their son, Duncan, is born, and these are grand days, busy and full of growth. But when a new physician arrives, Jacob is revealed as an impostor, a fraud, and he flees, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Years later, on a fated Fourth of July picnic, Duncan Ellstrom falls in love. Her name is Teresa Boyerton, and her father owns the largest sawmill in the Harbor. Their relationship is forbidden by class and by circumstance, because without Jacob there to guide him, Duncan has gone to work for Hank Bellhouse, the local crime boss. Now, if Duncan wants to be with Teresa, he must face not only his past, but the realities of a dark and violent world and his place within it.

 

And an older title recently reprinted…

The homesman

Swarthout, Glendon. The Homesman. 

IN PIONEER NEBRASKA, A WOMAN LEADS WHERE NO MAN WILL GO Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman is a devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A “homesman” must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy-ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful. Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone. The only companion she can find is the low-life claim jumper George Briggs. Thus begins a trek east, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, and loneliness-a timeless classic told in a series of tough, fast-paced adventures. In an unprecedented sweep, Glendon Swarthout’s novel won both the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award and the Western Heritage Wrangler Award.