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….

LibraryReads announced its January selections, starting the new year with an almost exclusive but far-reaching focus on fiction.  Earlyword has an article with some extra buzz and context.

We have all in print and all but two that are available in physical audio.  Those two, the Her Every Fear, and the Second Mrs. Hockaday, will be in the catalog shortly. Watch for Bibliofiles for more detailed coverage.

The Favorite

Delaney, JP. The Girl Before. Ballantine. 

The girl before : a novelIn the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception. Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive–and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating. EMMA Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant–and it does. JANE After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space–and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before. Advance praise for The Girl Before “Dazzling, startling, and above all cunning–a pitch-perfect novel of psychological suspense.”–Lee Child “Riveting! One of the most compelling page-turners I’ve read in years. Twisty, turny, and with an ending not to be missed!”–Lisa Gardner”– Provided by publisher.


Harper, Jane. The Dry. Flatiron. [15 holds]

The dry : a novel

One of the most stunning debuts I’ve ever read . . . Every word is near perfect.’ — David Baldacci. A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author JaneHarper. After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloudof suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets. “– Provided by publisher.

This is on several Best of lists of late and still has a queue running strong.  This is NOT an ARC so can be sold or donated to Friends (or literal friends), etc. Comment to claim.


Barkskins : a novelFrom Annie Proulx–the Pulitzer Prize-­ and National Book Award-­winning author of The Shipping News and “Brokeback Mountain,” comes her masterwork: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world’s forests.  In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a ” seigneur ,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters–barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years–their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions–the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.  Proulx’s inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid–in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope–that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a magnificent marriage of history and imagination.



This comes out May 2nd from Riverhead, per announcements.  The PW story says:

According to Riverhead, in her new novel Hawkins “unfurls a gripping, twisting, layered story, set in a small riverside town. When a single mother and a teenage girl each turn up dead at the bottom of the river, just weeks apart, the ensuing investigation dredges up a complicated history. Like The Girl on the Train, Hawkins’s new novel Into the Water hinges on a powerful understanding of human instincts and the damage they can inflict.”

I’m putting 50 copies on order to start. They should be in the catalog shortly.