Karin Slaughter is one of our favorites here on the LLF team (see her heartfelt and hilarious message to librarians here.) Her latest release, Pretty Girls, is her best yet (in our humble opinion!) It's a twisted, psychological thriller with an ending you won't see coming! Not convinced? Check out some of this praise:
“Slaughter’s eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I’d follow her anywhere.” — Gillian Flynn
“A stunning family tragedy and a hold-your-breath pedal-to-the-metal thriller magically blended by Karin Slaughter’s trademark passion, intensity, and humanity. Certain to be a book of the year.” — Lee Child
In celebration of this release, we are giving away galleys to the first 20 people to email us at email@example.com. Be sure to mention the giveaway and provide your mailing address.
Ms. Slaughter might send chills down your spine but missing out on a free book? Now that would be truly disturbing. So don't delay! And be sure to check out this great interview and review of Pretty Girls featured on ShelfAwareness.com. For more info on Karin, visit her website at KarinSlaughter.com.
-The LLF Team
We've mentioned the excellent book blog - Harper/Bookselling - before. Run by our friend and HarperCollins sales rep, Kate McCune, the blog is chock-full of wonderful insights and reviews for booksellers, book readers, and everyone in between.
She just posted a fantastic video for the upcoming title PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy by William Doyle.
Big news, everyone! We are offering a giveaway of galleys of Mendocino Fire, the new short story collection from Elizabeth Tallent.
This long-awaited return by a rare literary talent offers a diverse, deeply-felt collection of stories with observations on love, marriage, aging, and the myriad foibles that make us human. Here are just a few of the glowing reviews this book has garnered:
“In her fourth collection, Tallent explores the spaces between people through 10 expertly crafted stories…Tallent’s collection offers a smart, thought-provoking study of desire and disappointment.” —Publishers Weekly
“Elizabeth Tallent is, and always has been, a vivid, meticulous, and astutely inviting writer. These new stories vitally tell us how things are for us, in the most acute and memorable ways. Her ear is perfect; her gaze searing and unmistakable.” —Richard Ford
So don’t delay! The first twenty people to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning the giveaway will receive a galley. Be sure to provide your mailing address. For more information on Elizabeth and her work, please visit www.elizabethtallent.com. Good luck and good reading!
We at LLF are really excited about The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan, a debut novel set in Los Angeles that follows two characters approached by a mysterious benefactor with a "decent proposal" that will change their lives forever.
Richard is handsome and charming, but struggling in his career as a movie producer. Elizabeth is a cool and collected lawyer who logs more hours than she should and doesn't have many friends. They're each offered half a million dollars by a mysterious benefactor if they can stand to spend two hours together every week—just talking required, nothing scandalous—for an entire calendar year.
And what follows is a love story, but also so much more than that. There's a whole cast of characters outside the main two that add a real depth of emotion to the story, exploring the love between friends and family and all the complications that can ensue. It's funny and sweet, but still deep and moving, perfect for both fans of quirky romantic comedies like I Love You Beth Cooper and romantic literary novels like The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! You can get started reading now by downloading the egalley here.
If you’re a fan of truly twisted psychological thrillers with brilliant story lines, clever dialogue, authentic voices and tension so tight you find yourself anxiously eating an entire box of Costco-sized Wheat Thins while flying through the pages to solve the mystery…well, then…look no further. Pretty Girls by the aptly named and oh-so-smart Karin Slaughter delivers all that and more. This is a riveting story of two estranged sisters who must come together to find the truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.
Pretty Girls… The title itself is enticing. Just wait until you start reading.
“Slaughter’s eye for detail and truth is unmatched. . . . I’d follow her anywhere.” —Gillian Flynn
“A fearless writer. One of the boldest thriller writers working today.” —Tess Gerritsen
“Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivaled among thriller writers.” —Michael Connelly
On sale today. Pick up a copy, get the Wheat Thins and keep the lights on…
Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is the bestselling and award-winning author of many books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Rocket Boys, which was adapted into the popular film October Sky. Today, Homer joins us on LLF to share his love for libraries and more about his upcoming novel, Carrying Albert Home.
During a long book tour that sometimes found me at loose ends during the day in towns and villages across the USA, I discovered the best way to learn about a town was to visit its library and take a gander at its bulletin board. This was usually a rectangle of cork hung off in a remote corner where, amidst notices of yard sales and offers to mow lawns, were also announcements of arts and craft fairs, church services, club meetings, and school events. I would study these, salting away the information, with the idea of talking knowledgably about the town during my book event later in the day. This tended to endear me to my audience which I took as a very good thing, indeed.
Visiting its library also gave me a sense of the overall health of the town. The number of patrons was certainly a clue to the literacy of the population but a palpable sense of excitement inside the library was even better. Libraries that had things going on—adults reading to children, students diligently doing their research, folks reading newspapers and magazines, and whispered requests at the desk for the best of the new books just in (I always hoped it would be one of mine)—meant to me that this was a town on its way up. An empty, dull library invariably meant the town was on its way down and out. My presumptions, based on my library sleuthing, were rarely wrong.
It occurs to me that I scarcely have a book that doesn't include a library scene in it. Certainly, the Coalwood books, of which Rocket Boys is best known, have lots of things happening in school libraries, including whispered assignations and passed notes between boys and girls. In The Dinosaur Hunter, Mike Wire, a detective turned cowboy, confesses to a small town librarian his inability to understand things about certain diabolical events, whereupon the woman slides her glasses down to the tip of her nose and explains everything. Librarians know their towns and the people in them. In Carrying Albert Home, Elsie (my future mom) heads for the library after she takes a job as a nurse, a profession about which she knows very little. Books soon tell her a lot of what she needs to know and, from that acquired foundation, she is able to figure out the rest herself, at least enough to keep her employer fooled. The point is that authors should always consider the local library as a place where things can happen and where certain plots points might be resolved. From my perspective, a visit to the local library by my protagonists also gives me the opportunity to write about some of my favorite people in the world, those fine folks who know more than most of us about everything and carry with them that most exalted title: Librarian.
Note: More on Homer Hickam and his books and his profound (and perfectly understandable) adoration of librarians can be found on www.homerhickam.com
Thanks, Homer! You still have a bit of time to download an egalley of Carrying Albert Home—the emotionally evocative story about a man, a woman, and an alligator—before it goes on sale on October 13th.
Back in June of 2014, LibraryLoveFest debuted our Book Club Suggestions website, and since then it has been continuously updated with new titles and even a book club videos section where the LibraryLoveFest team talks about our favorite book club picks.
We recently released our 9th book club suggestions video, which you can check out below.
We hope you consider Beautiful Ruins and A Line of Blood (click here for a Reading Group Guide) as potential titles for your book clubs, and we hope you will sign up for our newsletter here to receive these videos with new suggestions every month!
Sweetgirl has us excited here on the Library Marketing team. A stunning debut set in the snowy isolation of Northern Michigan, Travis Mulhauser weaves an emotional story of love and survival that runs at breakneck speed, with rich atmosphere and unique characters sure to resonate with fans of Winter’s Bone and Fargo.
Sixteen-year-old protagonist Percy’s chapters, told from first-person perspective, are lush with hard-earned insight and resilient glimmers of hope. Things move quickly from Percy’s search for her wayward meth-addict mother, to her rescue of the baby girl of local terror/drug dealer Shelton Potter, to her flight across the wilderness, a “nor’easter” dangerously looming. Yet via third-person limited narration, Mulhauser also delves into the mind of Shelton Potter on his drug-fueled hunt for his child. Terrifying in ways you might expect (he’s a meth-addict who left his infant alone in a freezing room!), Mulhauser injects moments of humanity and even poetry into Shelton’s drug-addled passages that as a reader challenged my desire to hate him from the darkest reaches of my heart.
Ron Rash states, “Sweetgirl is a gritty, compelling novel of a world where even a sixteen-year-old must confront what Edith Wharton called ‘the hard considerations of the poor.’ Mulhauser depicts his people and their landscape with uncompromising fidelity.” Sweetgirl’s multiple perspectives are masterfully realized, the setting integral and fierce, and the journey one we highly recommend you join. Click here to download an egalley from Edelweiss.
If you are a public librarian who is not already white-listed, send us an email at email@example.com from the email address you used to register with Edelweiss, and we will add you to our VIP list.
The longlist for the 2015 National Book Awards was announced last week, and a big congratulations goes to Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson and Mislaid by Nell Zink for making the fiction list!
From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold it ‘Til it Hurts, Welcome to Braggsville is a dark and socially provocative southern-fried comedy about four liberal UC Berkeley students who stage a mock lynching during a Civil War reenactment. Their journey, through backwoods churches, backroom politics, waffle houses and drunken family barbecues, is uproarious to start but will have surprising (aka disastrous) consequences for everyone they meet.
Mislaid is a sharply observed, mordantly funny, and startlingly original debut about the making and unmaking of the American family that lays bare all of our assumptions about race and racism, sexuality and desire.
I hope you've all had a chance to read these two excellent books, and if not, now's your chance to catch up before the 2015 National Book Awards finalists are announced on October 14!
Click here to see all of the longlisted titles.
Romance novels are always fun to read, but there's just something about the fall—with its cooling weather, cozy sweaters, camp fires, and hot chocolate—that makes them especially enjoyable. For those of you out there who feel the same way, we have an excellent list of romance titles either already out for you to enjoy or coming soon for you to get excited about. Check out this great list of historicals, contemporaries, westerns, and everything in between to warm your heart this fall.
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare: The third book in the New York Times bestselling author’s Castles Ever After series.
Her Lucky Cowboy by Jennifer Ryan: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Ryan is back with the third book in her Montana Men series.
Undaunted by Ronnie Douglas: The first in a sexy, dark New Adult series about a girl with a plan, but when her life comes crashing down, she finds herself pulled into the inner circle of a Southern motorcycle club.
A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray: a wedding brings together two young widowed parents...and gives them a second chance at love.
Forever with You by Jennifer Armentrout: two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand.
The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long: the USA Today bestselling Pennyroyal Green series concludes with the romance fans have been waiting for.
Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh: the first book in the smart and sexy Wicked Quills of London series.
A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray: the final Amish Brides of Pinecraft novel—an uplifting story that proves anything is possible when you follow your heart.
Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn: the stunning final installment in the Neon Dreams trilogy.
All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani: the biggest and boldest novel yet from the New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife set in the golden age of Hollywood.
Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas: The first book in a brand new historical romance series.
Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath: the first in a dazzling new series that introduces the Hellions of Havisham—three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts.
Tryst by S.L. Jennings: a scandalously sexy story about a woman who knows what she wants and the two men who are dying to give her what she needs.
Lone Star by Paullina Simons: an epic new romantic saga from the author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Lori Wilde: the matchmaking members of the Cookie Club are up to their old tricks again in Twilight, TX.
The Match of the Century by Cathy Maxwell: the first novel in the brand new Marrying the Duke series.
Rescued by the Ranger by Dixie Lee Brown: a thrilling romantic suspense story in which a former Army Ranger meets his match.
I Need a Hero by Codi Gary: the first in the new Men in Uniform series with a sexy and sweet story of forbidden romance...and a dog named Beast.
Best Worst Mistake by Lia Riley: the third sexy and emotional novel in the Brightwater series set in the mountains of Northern California.
No Groom at the Inn by Megan Frampton: a novella from the Dukes Behaving Badly historical romance series.
All I Want for Christmas Is a Duke anthology: four rising stars of historical romance come together to bring readers delightful tales of Christmas magic and the dukes that make us swoon.
Dirty Deeds by Megan Erickson: the third sexy story in her contemporary new adult series, the Mechanics of Love.
The Bride Wore Red Boots by Lizbeth Selvig: the second in the author's newest series, Seven Brides for Seven Heroes, following the fun and sexy Crockett sisters.
To find even more information on great upcoming romances, check out www.AvonRomance.com, and also make sure to peruse our curated catalog on Edelweiss for egalleys you can download and start reading today.
Whooosh…or perhaps a sharp ssshliiiice…it’s almost easier to describe the pulpy energy of Ron Rash’s prose in Above the Waterfall with sounds. The words jump from the page, they grind and they bite. They sing. They are felt. And from the first paragraph on, I was swept up and away. But this is no fairytale. A story of rural life colliding with the grit of modernity, Rash, whose prizewinning work includes the bestselling novel Serena and The Cove, weaves together the past and present with poetry and grace while confronting the ugliness of a small town in North Carolina tormented by meth addiction and poverty.
I particularly love small town settings as characters are thrust into moments of often unwanted intimacy, leading to memories long-hidden bubbling back to the surface. So it is with Sheriff Les and Park Ranger Becky, the former soon to retire, worn by the daily degradation of the place he loves, the latter haunted by past trauma who finds solace in the poetry and solitude of nature. As a mutual friend is accused of poisoning the stream of a nearby resort—one of the town’s few remaining vestiges of prosperity, and thusly of power—the characters are forced to question long-held allegiances and revisit pasts better left behind.
Come for the prose, stay for the haunting setting, complex characters, the whirling tension as the main conflict builds…I could keep this list going. Author Richard Price describes Rash as “a gorgeous, brutal writer.” Gorgeous and brutal is as apt a description as I’ve seen. I hope you’ll see for yourself. Click here to check out the egalley now available on Edelweiss.
We are proud to announce that librarians have chosen Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor as a LibraryReads pick for October!
Based on the wildly popular podcast of the same name, Welcome to Night Vale is a topsy-turvy mystery set in the fictional town of Night Vale, where ghouls and goblins, angels and demons, aliens and shadowy government ops are part of everyday life. No one leaves Night Vale...that is until a mystery man and a scrap of paper reading "KING CITY" invade our characters' lives, beckoning them towards a quest for answers, no matter how strange the journey.
Thanks so much for voting and being part of the LibraryReads community. Now let's get back to reading!
-The LLF Team
The Art of Crash Landing, one of my favorite books on this season’s list, went on sale yesterday, September 8th.
This book hits all the sweet spots. It’s straight up family dysfunction at its best—with a wise ass protagonist you’ll want to throttle and hug throughout the book’s pages. Great story, fabulous voice, unforgettable characters. Very few books make me laugh out loud—or well up with tears. This one did. I love this book.
Librarians love this book, too. They voted it the #1 book on the September LibraryReads list.
Reviewers love this book. Read what they have to say:
“Mattie’s voice is fresh, her penchant for off-color language balanced with a revealing earnestness and vulnerability. Gandy’s other residents are vibrant and well-developed…DeCarlo’s debut is confident and accomplished, filled with heart and humor.”—Kirkus
“First novelist DeCarlo deftly weaves in flashbacks about Mattie’s childhood and creates a cast of wonderfully full-blooded, fallible characters, from kind and ailing Queeg to Karleen, Mattie’s mother’s closest childhood friend, to potty-mouthed Goth teenager Tawny, the “summer project” of a no-nonsense librarian. Best of all is Mattie herself, who has cultivated a measure of humanity in addition to impressive survival skills and whose briskly told story is instantly involving. An impressive debut.”—Booklist
“DeCarlo manages to make her heroine endearing despite her many flaws: she creates clever private jokes with the reader and slips in the occasional heartbreaking memory between brash shows of pushiness...DeCarlo’s writing bristles with Mattie’s vibrant personality...a triumphant first novel.”—Publishers Weekly
I hope you love it, too.
Congratulations, Melissa DeCarlo. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
Any fan of memoirs knows the name Mary Karr. She is the bestselling author of Lit, Cherry, and The Liars Club, and sparked the revitalization of the memoir genre. Now she returns with The Art of Memoir, a master class in the essential elements of great memoir—delivered with her signature wit, insight, and candor.
Readers of memoirs will really enjoy this inside look at the genre from the mind of a master, but this is also a book for writers. And they have definitely responded. Check out this video Mary Karr recently posted on her Facebook page, and you'll find a number of special appearances by Lena Dunham, Amy Tan, Gary Shteyngart, Phil Jackson, and Mary-Louise Parker, among other writers.
And when you're done with the video, you can download an egalley from Edelweiss here to get started on your own memoir adventure!
Iron Wolf, New York Times bestselling author Dale Brown's latest political thriller, goes on sale today and is filled with unrest and violence set in Russia and the Ukraine.
For now though, we will be slightly less intense and simply welcome Dale who would like to share some thoughts with you.
WHO GOES TO LIBRARIES? WE DO!
Believe me, I am a techie, and have been since I was a youngster. My Dad was a techie too, back when the high-tech gadgets were metal detectors and transistor radios. I used to spend many happy hours with my Dad before a drawer filled with thousands of resistors, trying to match the tiny color-coded stripes on them to the one he needed so he could build that rain detector or night light.
I hung out in our local town library as well. It was open as long as someone was there - I don't remember ever being told they were closing, although I remember plenty of times my big sister or an aunt grabbing me by the ear leading me outside.
Today, information comes to us. We don't have to walk across busy Delaware Avenue to the old North Park Public Library to access the treasures within.
I like that. I like telling my smartphone, "Hey, what's the weather in Minden? What's the weather in Vegas?"
Local libraries are places fixed in time and fixed in purpose. Yes, you might be able to grab global on-the-spot information from Siri or another Web app. That's good. Siri might have the information you need if you need to learn the results of the latest parliamentary vote in Sri Lanka.
But what does Siri know about North Park, or Grand Island, or Incline Village? Not much. What's the best way to learn more about these places and people?
Stop in the local library. Introduce yourself and tell them what you need to know. ASK QUESTIONS. ASK.
They might refer you to an app, and that's the way of the modern world. But most likely they'll steer you to a local Web site or link or maybe even a person that will be more than anxious to answer your question, for no other reason than he or she has been preparing himself to do so. You got a question? I knew that. I have a response for you, and I have been waiting to give it to you.
My recommendation to you? ASK. SIMPLY ASK. Folks are standing by ready to help, but you need to ASK. Do So.
Thank you, Dale. Be sure to get your copy of Iron Wolf today!
Barbara Hoffert is at it again - interviewing with precision. Her questions drill down to the best, most poignant parts of a book, and this time she directed her skills to Sophie Hannah and her latest mystery, Woman with a Secret.
Liane Moriarty says, “No one writes twisted, suspenseful novels quite like Sophie Hannah. I just love her dry, edgy wit and the way she brings her weirdly wonderful characters to life. Woman With a Secret is unpredictable, unputdownable, and unlike anything you’ve read before.”
Sophie Hannah and Barbara are also incredibly smart woman, and this is a great back and forth discussion about a great book.
For the entire interview visit our YouTube page, but here are some choice clips...
Be sure to run out an get your copy now!
Drum roll!! We are so excited to announce the #1 LibraryReads pick for September!
The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo is a Virginia Stanley favorite and a great debut novel about a hot mess of a young woman who moves back to her deceased mother's home town and unravels the secret to why her mother fled 35 years prior.
Thank you all for voting and continuing to make LibraryReads an excellent program!
Melissa stopped by the offices and taped a message for librarians with a bit of backstory to her book.
- The LLF Team
EDIT: Thank you for your interest. This giveaway is now closed.
Heads up, everyone! We have some extra galleys to giveaway! And these are two titles you'll definitely want to get your hands on early.
All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Shoemakers Wife, is a standalone, hypnotic tale—based on a true story—that dazzles with the signature elements of her previous work—family ties, artistry, romance, adventure—and introduces an unforgettable new heroine: Loretta Young, an ambitious starlet struggling to survive in Hollywood’s dream factory.
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is the funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1000-mile adventure, from the author of the bestselling memoir Rocket Boys, the basis of the movie October Sky.
The first twenty people to send an email mentioning this giveaway to firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred mailing address will receive a galley of both of these titles! Don't miss out!