Reviews and Publicity
Happy #ThrillerThursday! First, some nice awards news: three Minotaur titles have been nominated for the 2017 Barry Awards:
A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny
The readers of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine will vote on these nominations and the award winners will be announced as part of the Opening Ceremonies of Bouchercon in Toronto on October 12, 2017.
Here’s what we’re reading this week:
THE FIFTH ELEMENT by Jorgen Brekke
Two starred reviews! Set in northern Norway around Trondheim, Brekke’s “stellar”* third installment in his Odd Singsaker homicide detective series is divided into four sections and follows what happens when Odd searches for his missing wife. “This narrative device is initially perplexing, but it all makes perfect sense in the end.” — *Publishers Weekly, starred review
BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA by Nicolas Obregon
Two starred reviews! “After a tantalizing prologue, Obregon maintains a high level of suspense throughout his superior fiction debut, an intricately constructed whodunit that doesn’t sacrifice depth of characterization for plot. While the complex mystery itself will keep readers turning pages, the book’s real strength is Iwata, a compellingly tormented lead, whose demons don’t prevent him from doggedly pursuing the truth.” — Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review readmoreremove
March is Women’s History Month and today happens to be International Womens Day! Ladies, we salute you, and we recommend these titles:
DIVIDED WE STAND: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics by Marjorie J. Spruill
THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren
MY LIFE, MY LOVE, MY LEGACY by Coretta Scott King & Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds
A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA by Melissa Fleming
THE MEANING OF MICHELLE: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own by Veronica Chambers
IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
LES PARISIENNES: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation by Anne Sebba
EVERYDAY SEXISM by Laura Bates
THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION by Kameron Hurley
PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt
There are more recommendations in our Women’s History Month Edelweiss collection.
Plus, C.E. Morgan’s THE SPORT OF KINGS and Yewande Omotoso’s THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR have been longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction!
The stars are aligning for these new and forthcoming nonfiction books:
HAVANA: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky
“This little gem of a book by the prolific Kurlansky is a revelation. At a most auspicious moment in the history of Cuba and Havana, Kurlansky, who has spent much time in the country as a journalist, writes an eloquent love letter to one of the world’s great cities.” — Booklist, starred review
“This extremely readable book is not preachy, not dogmatic, not shrill. As in life, there is a mixture of both good and evil, and Kurlansky, a frequent Cuba correspondent, covers it well.” — Library Journal, starred review
FEAR CITY: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein
“Phillips-Fein, professor of history at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, makes municipal bonds exciting in this painstakingly researched revisionist account of the 1970s fiscal crisis that shook New York to its core. The book should be required reading for all those interested in the past, present, and future of democratic politics.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Sobering, smart reading with many pointed lessons for activists.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Oh what a lovely day for a #BookBday!
EDGAR AND LUCY by Victor Lodato
A March 2017 Indie Next pick with two starred reviews! In this second novel from the author of the award-winning MATHILDA SAVITCH, a mother has a complicated love for her unusual child and vice versa, and their drive to create family wherever they can find it. “Through numerous changing viewpoints, the truth is gradually revealed, creating suspense and rewarding readers with unexpected parallels and touching connections. Lodato’s remarkable novel traces a broken family’s spiritual journey toward healing in moving, magical prose.” — Booklist, starred review
YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lawson: WRECK THIS JOURNAL meets HYPERBOLE AND A HALF in a book destined to be a classic—part therapy, part best friend, part humor, and part coloring book complete with Jenny’s amazingly intricate illustrations, all on perforated pages that can be easily torn out, hung up, and shared. readmoreremove
The April 2017 Indie Next list includes four Macmillan titles!
THE RIVER OF KINGS by Taylor Brown
Two starred reviews! Two brothers travel a storied river’s past and present in search of the truth about their father’s death in the second novel by the acclaimed author of FALLEN LAND. “Drawing comparisons to James Dickey’s DELIVERANCE and Charles Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN, Brown’s impressive second novel is an intense, solidly written story of family loyalty, Southern traditions, and haunting historic landscapes, all bound up in the mythical powers of the Altamaha River.” — Library Journal, starred review
MARLENA by Julie Buntin
A Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover pick and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts with three starred reviews! An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades. “Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.” — Booklist, starred review
MERCIES IN DISGUISE: A Story of Hope, a Family’s Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them by Gina Kolata
In this work of narrative nonfiction in the tradition of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, New York Times science reporter Kolata follows a family through genetic illness and one courageous daughter who decides her fate shall no longer be decided by a genetic flaw. “Kolata delivers an inspiring chronicle of a remarkable family, medical advances, and redefining destiny.” — Booklist readmoreremove
Friends, we can’t get enough of Ann Cleeves. The prolific mystery author of the Vera Stanhope and Shetland Island series is being awarded the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger, which is the highest honor in British Crime Writing!
Did you also know that in 2016, Ann was appointed as a National Libraries Day ambassador, an annual celebration that highlights the importance of libraries and the vitally important public services they provide both to individuals and their communities? She also set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project. Don’t forget the Vera TV series starring actress Brenda Blethyn is available through Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Acorn TV, too!
To celebrate the forthcoming publication of COLD EARTH (book #7 in the Shetland Island series, on sale 4/18), Ann has developed a murder mystery game for libraries and booksellers, based around a traditional Shetland Sunday tea!
The script is designed to be read by four actors, and directions on how to stage the event are also included. Plus, Minotaur Books will provide three Ann Cleeves Shetland series books to use as a prize when you host your murder mystery game!
Click here to download the murder mystery game PDF and email Martin Quinn for more information about book prizes.
Ann also answered some questions for us about COLD EARTH:
Please share some of your creative process. What research do you typically do for your Shetland books, and what research went into COLD EARTH? How was the creative process different with COLD EARTH than with the previous books?
My research certainly isn’t hard work! I visit the islands, sit in my friends’ kitchens, drink tea and gossip. I listen to their preoccupations. COLD EARTH started with the title, which is unusual for me. Often that’s the very last thing to arrive. This quartet is based around the elements: DEAD WATER, THIN AIR and now COLD EARTH. Earth made me think about the burial service: ‘Earth to earth, dust to dust.’ So, the story starts with a funeral. In 2003 there was a serious landslide that cut the island in two. More earth. It just missed a small croft house. I used that as a dramatic opening to the novel. It set the theme of secrets buried and uncovered. readmoreremove
“I love reading books with paper pages and browse old bookstores wherever I go. Libraries are sacred ground, and I thank all the librarians for keeping the literary tradition. We need you guys!”
— Bill O’Reilly
Today’s Maximum Shelf Awareness feature delves into Bill O’Reilly’s mega-bestselling history franchises: the Killing, Legends & Lies and the YA Last Days series, as well as his new current affairs book, OLD SCHOOL: Life in the Sane Lane.
Writing about history in a way that readers can enjoy was a goal of O’Reilly’s since he was a high school teacher in the early 1970s. Readers are drawn to the books, O’Reilly says, because “they inform and they’re entertaining.”
O’Reilly has also launched the Legends & Lies TV series (which premiered on Fox News in April 2015) to tie in to the books, which focus on a major figure from a historical period, debunking or confirming popular myths about their lives.
The Killing series has been adapted into the YA-friendly Last Days series, which aims to allow younger readers to enjoy illustrated versions of the historical narratives. The illustrations include a variety of maps, photographs and other images.
O’Reilly also has a non-series book coming out March 28, OLD SCHOOL: Life in the Sane Lane, written with Bruce Feirstein, about the cultural wars over values, his first current affairs book in many years.
The Killing series
KILLING LINCOLN: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever (available in hardcover, trade paperback, mass market)
KILLING KENNEDY: The End of Camelot (available in hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, audio)
KILLING JESUS: A History (available in hardcover, trade paperback, audio)
KILLING PATTON: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General (available in hardcover, audio)
KILLING REAGAN: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (available in hardcover, audio)
KILLING THE RISING SUN: How America Vanquished World War II Japan (available in hardcover, audio) readmoreremove
Bam! Pow! Zowie! Make room on your library’s shelves for these new and forthcoming graphic novels:
THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK by Joe Ollmann
Two starred reviews! “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
TERMS AND CONDITIONS by R. Sikoryak
“This multilevel graphic novel takes the actual texts of the terms and conditions of iTunes and translates them into comics form in the styles of a who’s who of comics–here Peanuts, there The Sandman, Dilbert, Adventure Time, and a hundred more–all narrated by Steve Jobs. Sikoryak is an undeniably talented artist with a keen ability to capture different styles, as well as a sly conceptual satirist and prankster.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
GRIM DEATH AND BILL THE ELECTROCUTED CRIMINAL by Mike Mignola & Thomas E. Sniegoski
“In this eerie illustrated horror novel set in an unspecified American city during the early days of the Great Depression, author Sniegoski and author and artist Mignola combine words and black-and-white illustrations to creepy effect in the tale of a man who has been given a new life, with a twist. Mignola and Sniegoski have created a comic book–style character who rights wrongs in a sinister, hair-raisingly enjoyable way, with an open ending that leaves room for more episodes.” — Publishers Weekly
FIRE!! THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY by Peter Bagge
A bold retelling of the life of Zora Neale Hurston, from the author of WOMAN REBEL: The Margaret Sanger Story. “Bagge depicts her life in his iconic spaghetti-limbed, cheery-colored cartoon style. It’s easy to see what attracted Bagge to the material: brilliant, outrageous, prone to visions and mysticism yet fiercely pragmatic, Hurston is an irresistible character…” — Publishers Weekly
NEIL GAIMAN’S MR. HERO COMPLETE COMICS VOL. 2 by James Vance, illustrated by Ted Slampyak
Also available in trade paperback. The Mr. Hero saga concludes as Jennifer Hale finally uncovers the mysterious past of the Newmatic Man!
We can’t help but notice a trend—Farrar, Straus & Giroux titles have been dominating the cover of the New York Times Book Review for the past month!
SIX FOUR by Hideo Yokohama (February 26 issue)
“Superb… This novel is a real, out-of-the-blue original. I’ve never read anything like it. Yokoyama has written five previous novels and several collections of short fiction, and this is his first book to be translated into English… On the evidence of SIX FOUR, he’s a master.” — Terrence Rafferty
THE DARK FLOOD RISES by Margaret Drabble (February 19 issue)
“This humane and masterly novel by one of Britain’s most dazzling writers is…deeper than mere philosophy: a praisesong for the magical human predicament exactly as it has been ordained on Earth.” — Cynthia Ozick readmoreremove