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PW’s Writers to Watch Spring 2017: Anticipated Debuts

Publishers Weekly recently shared their most anticipated debuts of Spring 2017, including two of our favorites:

MARLENA by Julie Buntin
Teenage friendships almost never make sense, which might explain why so many of them fall apart as people get older, and also why fiction writers often turn to them for material. When Julie Buntin was working on MARLENA, her debut novel about the aftermath of an intense friendship between two teenage girls, she was faced with the challenge of making that particular obsession legible to readers. “It’s hard to capture why a character finds someone else magnetic,” Buntin, 29, says. “How can you translate that into something the reader can connect to?”

Marlena centers on two characters, 15-year-old Cat and 17-year-old Marlena, who become pals when Cat moves to the town in northern Michigan where Marlena lives. Buntin, in the words of PW’s starred review, “is particularly sensitive to the misery of adolescent angst,” observing how Cat becomes increasingly enamored of the unstable Marlena, who is “musically talented, beautiful, and doomed to die young.”


THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR by Yewande Omotoso
Rare is the novel that features older women as protagonists, rather than as mere supporting characters or props. Rarer still is the novel willing to depict aging women in all their complications, regrets, and swarming hostilities. But that’s precisely what Yewande Omotoso, a Barbados-born South African writer, set out to do her in novel, THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, her second work of fiction and her first to be published in the U.S. readmoreremove

PW’s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017

These ten Macmillan titles are some of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017:

Fiction
BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
In a future strewn with the cast-off experiments of an industrial laboratory known only as the Company, a scavenger named Rachel survives alongside her lover, Wick, a dealer of memory-altering beetles with whom she takes shelter from the periodic ravages of a giant mutant bear named Mord. One day, caught in Mord’s fur, Rachel finds the bizarre, shape-shifting creature “like a hybrid of sea anemone and squid” she calls Borne.

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
AMBERLOUGH by Lara Elena Donnelly
Donnelly’s debut, a fast-moving tale of desperate love and intrigue in a created world that recalls Europe on the brink of WWII, is emotionally wrenching and shockingly timely.

Poetry
AFTERLAND by Mai Der Vang
Vang, the 2016 Walt Whitman Award winner, tells the story of Hmong diaspora forced out of Laos and into exile as a result of the U.S.’s secret war. Vang’s unflinching poems address the status of refugees, including her family, and Hmong resilience in exile.

Comics/Graphic Novels
BOUNDLESS by Jillian Tamaki
Tamaki’s last two books—THIS ONE SUMMER and SUPER MUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY—showed she is one of the world’s best cartoonists, and this collection of her evocative short stories will just cement her reputation.

Memoir
THIS CLOSE TO HAPPY: A Reckoning with Depression by Daphne Merkin
A personal account of a life afflicted with depression, from an affluent but neglected childhood to the present day.

Literary Essays/Criticism/Biographies
THE NOVEL OF THE CENTURY: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos
Bellos, a translator of French literature, proves that the story of how Victor Hugo’s classic novel came to life is a complex and engrossing epic all its own.

Politics/Current Events
LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
Former public defender Forman offers a complex look at the part played by African-Americans in shaping criminal justice policy.

Music
RECKLESS DAUGHTER: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe
A biography, with dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell, reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from her youth on the Canadian prairie, the child she gave up for adoption, through her albums and love affairs, to the present. readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (2/16/17 Edition)

Spies and detectives and murderers, oh my!

A DIVIDED SPY by Charles Cumming
Two starred reviews! A former MI6 officer, Thomas Kell devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy and finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom. “Bestseller Cumming’s nuanced, suspenseful third Thomas Kell novel… unfold[s] in a perfectly constructed plot that proves once again that Cumming is among today’s top spy thriller writers. ” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

AMONG THE RUINS by Ausma Zehanat Khan
In Khan’s third powerful mystery, Detective Esa Khattak is on leave in Iran when he’s asked to investigate the murder of Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani at Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls on his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. “Deeply political without becoming pedantic, Khan’s crime novel offers a fictionalized yet very real look at a region that is steeped in both beauty and misery.” — Library Journal, starred review readmoreremove

Seeing Stars

What do these 5 books have in common? They’ve all received more than one starred review!

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
“VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy, has made a career out of eluding genre classifications, and with BORNE he essentially invents a new one. Reading like a dispatch from a world lodged somewhere between science fiction, myth, and a video game, the textures of BORNE shift as freely as those of the titular whatsit.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“VanderMeer’s deep talent for worldbuilding takes him into realms more reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD than of the Shire. Superb: a protagonist and a tale sure to please fans of smart, literate fantasy and science fiction.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A SINGLE SPY by William Christie
“With detailed historical events, compelling characters, and plenty of heart-grabbing moments, this novel is intensely engaging from the first page. Christie’s fabulous novel of historical espionage will appeal to both World War II fiction buffs and spy novel/thriller aficionados. Extremely well done.” — Library Journal, starred & boxed review

“Part bildungsroman, part history lesson, part political exposé, Christie’s enthralling novel defies expectations while striking all the chords that make spy fiction so enjoyable.” — Kirkus Review, starred review

THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK by Joe Ollmann
“Comprising 10 years of painstaking research, this graphic biography details the life of obscure writer, occultist, traveler, and bondage fanatic William Seabrook… As both a narrative and a story in pictures, this is an early candidate for the year’s best graphic biography.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Including high adventure, sorrowful drama, and cameos by historical stars such as Man Ray, Aldous Huxley, and Gertrude Stein, this one has all the hallmarks of a classic work of biography and is an early contender for one of the best releases in 2017.” — Library Journal, starred review readmoreremove

RT Book Reviews 2016 Reviewer’s Choice Awards

Congratulations to the 20 Macmillan titles nominated for Romantic Times Book Reviews’ 2016 Reviewer’s Choice Awards!

Best Mainstream Fiction
CONFUCIUS JANE by Katie Lynch
THE REAL MRS. PRICE by J.D. Mason

Best Contemporary Mystery

THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS by Ausma Zehanat Khan
DEADLY JEWELS by Jeannette de Beauvoir
DAISY IN CHAINS by Sharon Bolton

Best Historical Mystery
A PRISONER IN MALTA by Phillip de Poy
THE ONE MAN by Andrew Gross

Best Suspense
NIGHT AND DAY by Iris Johansen

Best Thriller
PANACEA by F. Paul Wilson

Best Historical Romance
THE HUNTER by Kerrigan Byrne

Best Contemporary Love & Laughter
ONE HOT SUMMER by Melissa Cutler

Best Erotic Romance
ONE WITH YOU by Sylvia Day

Best Romantic Suspense
BECAUSE I’M WATCHING by Christina Dodd

Best Futuristic Romance
BORN OF LEGEND by Sherrilyn Kenyon readmoreremove

Happy Valentine’s #BookBday

Let one of these new books be your Valentine today:

THE DARK FLOOD RISES by Margaret Drabble
Three starred reviews for this novel about a highly regarded expert on housing for the elderly who is herself getting on in age. “For women of a certain age, it is a pure pleasure to grow older alongside Drabble. For all others, there’s plenty of joy to be had in this thoughtful meditation on aging and mortality.” — Library Journal, starred review

INSOMNIAC CITY by Bill Hayes
A Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover Great New Writers pick! A moving celebration of what Hayes calls “the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected” of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks. “A unique and exuberant celebration of life and love.” — Kirkus Reviews

DROP THE BALL: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu, with a foreword by Gloria Steinem
A bold and inspiring memoir and manifesto from a renowned voice in the women’s leadership movement who shows women how to cultivate the single skill they really need in order to thrive: the ability to let go. “DROP THE BALL will likely be dubbed by many as the heir apparent to LEAN IN… But there are key differences between Dufu and Sandberg that are likely to make DROP THE BALL resonate with a more diverse circle of women. Her message is not only refreshing, but long overdue.” — The Daily Beast readmoreremove

Booklist’s Top Diverse Books of 2017

Booklist recently unveiled their Top 10 Diverse Books reading lists of 2017*, including these two Macmillan titles:
Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction (full list)

I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi
Ajayi, aka popular blogger Awesomely Luvvie, has crafted an astute and humorous handbook about how to navigate social media and its impact on everything from self-esteem to racial attitudes.

Top 10 Diverse Audios (full list)

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo, read by Samia Mounts
Russo draws heavily from her real-life experiences as a trans woman for her debut novel, and Mounts’ expressive performance enhances this powerful story of her struggles and the challenges she faced. readmoreremove

Buzzfeed’s “Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017”

Here are the books Buzzfeed can’t wait to read in 2017. We bet many of them will also end up on patrons’ to-read lists!

UNIVERSAL HARVESTER by John Darnielle
In John Darnielle’s novel UNIVERSAL HARVESTER, creepy, disturbing home video footage begins showing up spliced in VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut in a small Iowa town in the late 1990s. But things get even more interesting when the video store’s owner recognizes the barn in the footage as a farmhouse in a nearby town.

AGE OF ANGER by Pankaj Mishra
Pankaj Mishra’s v examines the roots of paranoia, hateful nationalism, xenophobia, and racism and sexism expressed online as well as across the world today. Mishra makes surprising comparisons and connections in order to show a pattern to the rise of militants throughout history, one that helps shed light on our present global state of affairs.

THE ANSWERS by Catherine Lacey
In Catherine Lacey’s novel THE ANSWERS, Mary, a young woman in New York City seeks relief for her paralyzing pain in a treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, which is effective but extremely expensive—and Mary is broke. Strapped for cash, she applies for a Craigslist job listing called the “Girlfriend Experiment” by an eccentric actor looking for the perfect relationship (which involves seeking out multiple women to fulfill different roles) and ends up hired as his “Emotional Girlfriend.” readmoreremove

Get Crafty!

craftsLooking for new activities for your library’s craft-ernoon? Look no further than these new books from St. Martin’s Griffin:

200 FUN THINGS TO CROCHET: Decorative Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, Butterflies, and More! by Lesley Stanfield, Betty Barnden, Jessica Polka, Kristin Nicholas & Victoria Lyle
This irresistible collection of cute little crochet projects for all levels of ability are inspired by nature, quick to make, use hardly any yarn, and are perfect to use as stylish embellishments or give away as gifts!

200 FUN THINGS TO KNIT: Decorative Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, Butterflies, and More! by Jessica Polka, Kristin Nicholas, Lesley Stanfield & Victoria Lyle
If you prefer to knit, choose from any of these 200 delightful small projects inspired by nature (knitted flowers, birds, bugs, leaves, and even sea creatures!) that are suitable for all skill levels.

MAKE YOUR OWN NAIL DECALS: Create Easy Waterslide Decals and Stickers for Your Digits by Janelle Estep
Want amazing nails without messy nail polish or spending a fortune on manicures? Janelle Estep of fashion blog Elle & Ish shares everything you need to design, create, and apply your own waterslide nail decals at home. The book includes dozens of templates to scan, designs to color and embellish, advice for creating your own look digitally or by hand, as well as photographic step-by-step tutorials showing exactly how to apply and embellish designs.

Happy Crafting!

Friday Reads: Fantasy

TGIF! We made it to the end of another wintery week and we’re looking forward to hunkering down all weekend with one of these #FridayReads fantasies:

A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
A Library Journal Editors Fall 2016 pick! The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star (and LibraryReads author!) V. E. Schwab. “…the hordes are waiting.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

AMBERLOUGH by Lara Elena Donnelly
John le Carré meets Cabaret in this debut spy thriller as a gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup. “Donnelly blends romance and tragedy, evoking gilded-age glamour and the thrill of a spy adventure, in this impressive debut.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

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