Galley & Signing Roundup | ALA 2018

Prepub Alert reporting in the week that the American Library Association (ALA) convenes for its annual conference is always given over to a guide to the best titles attendees can find on the show floor. Though LJ could not do a full-scale galley guide this year, this roundup of 75 top titles, plus key signings, should help. Next week, Prepub Alert returns with final coverage of December 2018 titles.

1630  Hachette

Key giveaways: Ibtihaj Muhammad’s Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream, a story of faith, family, and fighting with a saber, from the first Muslim American woman to compete for America in the Olympics wearing a hijab, claiming a team bronze; Whitney Scharer’s The Age of Light, a debut novel snapshotting the fraught relationship between Vogue model–turned–photographer Lee Miller and artist Man Ray, with 1930s Paris and World War II as backdrop (how cool is that!); John Fried’s The Martin Chronicles, a coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Manhattan and starring 11-year-old Martin, discovering girls and muggers at the same time, as only New York allows; Rena Rossner’s The Sisters of the Winter Wood, a debut fantasy, set in a woods along the Moldova-Ukraine border, about two sisters and the mysterious men who invade their space; Kristen R. Ghodsee’s Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence, sprung from an op-ed piece that went viral and making the case that capitalism hurts women especially; and Dan Barry’s This Land: America, Lost and Found, selections from Barry’s New York Times “This Land” column, launched after Hurricane Katrina and profiling everyday Americans in all walks of life.

1638, 1639  Simon & Schuster

Key giveaways: Diane Setterfield’s Once upon a River, a thought-provoking follow-up to the smashing The Thirteenth Tale; Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter, with London-based archivist Elodie Winslow discovering artifacts connected to a group of young artists gathered at Oxfordshire’s Birchwood Manor in 1862 and the dizzying, multilayered consequences through the decades (lusciously absorbing); James Frey’s Katerina, with an emotionally end-of-his-rope author recalling a youthful affair in Paris with raucous, raunchy, heart-stopping Katerina (brilliant, sensuous stuff); Jean Thompson’s Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, the National Book Award finalist and the New York Times best-selling novelist’s study of three generations of a Midwestern family; Charlaine Harris’s Easy Death, first in a thriller set in an alternate world where the United States was divvied up among other nations after FDR’s assassination and people believe in magic but not one another; and Tena Clark’s Southern Discomfort: A Memoir, memories of being a white girl in rural Mississippi during the civil rights era and the black nanny who gave her all the guidance she needed. Key in-booth signing: Sunday, 6/24, 10:00 a.m., Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

2041  Penguin Random House

Key giveaways: Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, following the Man Booker short-listed Half-Blood Blues, about field slave Washington Black’s trek from Barbados to the Arctic with his master’s offbeat naturalist brother (buzzing); Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light, topical reading about a gunman who takes hostages at a women’s reproductive health services clinic (more buzzing); Shari Lapena’s An Unwanted Guest, with characters and readers snowed in at a charming Catskills inn where the mood is buoyant until folks start dying; Louise Candlish’s Our House, wherein Fiona Lawson finds strangers in the house where she lives alternately with former husband Bram, taking turns at parenting while the children stay put, only now they and Bram have vanished (creepy!); Michael Beschloss’s Presidents of War, a multi-award-winning presidential historian’s take on the U.S. president as commander in chief; and Winston Groom’s The Allies, how Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin got together to win the war, from journalist-turned-author Grooms (known for Forrest Gump and histories like The Generals). Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 2:30 p.m., Karen Thompson Walker’s The Dreamers, about a California college and town swept by a mysterious disease whose victims inexplicably fall asleep and cannot awaken, and Christina Dalcher’s Vox, a politically acute debut about the suppression of women's rights, with women disallowed to speak more than 100 words a day (a counter on the wrist administering electric shocks for overage).

2056  Soho Press

Key giveaways: Gina Apostol's Insurrecto, layered storytelling, with American filmmaker Chiara in the present-day Philippines planning a film about a massacre during the Philippine-American war and her Filipino translator Magsalin writing an alternate script (fascinating); Diane Williams's The Collected Stories of Diane Williams, over 300 new and previously published genre-redefining pieces from the founder and editor of the distinguished literary annual NOON (groundbreaking); John Straley’s Baby's First Felony, next in Shamus Award winner Straley’s series set in Sitka, AK, with criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger dealing with his daughter’s kidnapping; and Stephen Mack Jones’s Lives Laid Away, with Det. August Snow dealing with a young Latina murder victim dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette, the start of an investigation on human trafficking (thrilling and au courant). Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 3:00 p.m., Stephen Mack Jones, Lives Laid Away.

3131 Ingram Content Group

Key giveaways: Kim Rich’s A Normal Life, growing up on her own after her mother dies and her Alaskan mobster father is murdered (Graphic Arts Books, 3154a); Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know, a thought-provoking memoir of transracial adoption from a rising literary critic (Catapult, 2236); Abby Geni’s The Wildlands, the story of three sisters orphaned when a devastating hurricane hit their town, then deserted by their brother, who reappears to assert himself after another town tragedy (much anticipated); and Lucie Greene’s Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future, a think tanker’s look at how Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley powers-that-be are changing society (Counterpoint, 2236); Jeffrey L. Rinek & Marilee Strong’s In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent's Relentless Pursuit of the Nation's Worst Predators, what it’s like to work on cases in which a child’s life is threatened (BenBella, 3237); Ellen Byron's Mardi Gras Murder, the fourth entry in the "Cajun Country" mysteries, authentic, downhome doings as bed-and-breakfast owner Maggie Crozat faces the fallout when receding floods leave behind a dead body and a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot; and Laurie Petrou’s Sister of Mine, with two sisters trying to sustain a lie (and a new love triangle) after one helps the other get rid of her abusive husband (Crooked Lane, 3238a); Christelle Dabos’s A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Quartet, Vol. 1), YA crossover wherein gifted Ophelia (she can read the past of objects and travel through mirrors) must marry an important member of a distant clan in a distant, forbidding city and finds herself tossed about in a political game (Europa, 3240); and Daniel Tudor’s Ask a North Korean: Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World's Most Secretive Nation, based on a weekly column published by NK News that lets readers worldwide pose questions to North Korean defectors (Tuttle, 3253a). Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 2:00 p.m., Ellen Byron, Mardi Gras Murder (Crooked Lane, 3238a).

3242B  Grove Atlantic

Key giveaways: Leif Enger’s Virgil Wander, a Midwestern movie house owner’s saga after he crashes his car into Lake Superior and emerges with his speech and memory impaired; Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s Small Fry, what it’s like to be the child of artist Chrisann Brennan and Apple-of-the-world’s-eye Steve Jobs; Walter Mosley’s John Woman, a fresh, intellectually bracing novel of ideas about young Cornelius Jones, son of an Italian American mother and black father, who remakes himself as Professor John Woman and teaches students and readers to rethink their assumptions about history; Samantha Harvey’s The Western Wind, the Betty Trask Prize winner and ultra-nominated British author’s new novel, set in 1491, when the richest man in the village of Oakham is swept into the river on Shrove Saturday, though it’s unclear whether by his hand, by another’s, or by accident. Timed giveaways: Saturday, 6/23, 12:00 p.m., Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark, the Pulitzer Prize winner in thriller mode, with journalist/spy Christopher Marlowe Cobb dealing with anarchists in World War I Paris. Sunday, 6/24, 1:00 p.m., Kent Wascom’s The Inheritors, with mysterious painter Isaac and rebellious heiress Kemper falling in love on the Gulf Coast as World War I looms. Key in-booth signing: Sunday, 6/24, 2:00 p.m., Leif Enger, Virgil Wander.

3331  HarperCollins

Key giveaways: Mitch Albom’s The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, what happened to the little girl Eddie saved in The Five People You Meet in Heaven; Patrick deWitt’s French Exit, genial chaos as a widow and her laze-about son escape social opprobrium on the Upper East Side for Paris; Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered, the beloved Pulitzer Prize finalist’s story of middle-aged, frustrated, financially strapped Willa Knox, who researches her family home and discovers an idealistic former owner whose story echoes her own; and Beverly Jenkins’s Second Time Sweeter, the ninth book in the "Blessings" series, with onetime troublemaker Malachi “Mal” Jul trying to stay on the straight and narrow and Gary Clark dreaming of love. Key in-booth signing: Monday, 6/25, 10:15 a.m.: Sarah McCoy, Marilla of Green Gables, a prequel to Anne of Green Gables, with Marilla Cuthbert inheriting a farmwife’s responsibilities at age 13 with her mother’s death and eventually helping at an orphanage serving as a way station for escaped slaves from America.

3340  Harlequin

Key giveaways: Wil Medearis’s Restoration Heights, about an aspiring young artist and a missing woman, with the troublesome gentrification of the artist’s Brooklyn neighborhood key to the plot; Mary Kubica's When the Lights Go Out, with Jessica navigating life after her mother’s death even as Eden’s unmet wish to have a child brings about some dangerous behavior; Stephen Giles's The Boy at the Keyhole, the author’s adult debut, featuring a nine-year-old boy whose mother leaves on business—or was she murdered by the housekeeper?; Lisa Unger's Under My Skin, with grief-stricken Poppy trying to figure out who murdered her husband when he was out running and what happened to her when she disappeared afterward; Gretchen Anthony’s Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners, whose protagonist blithely pens her annual holiday letter while planning her husband’s retirement party, where she gets a big surprise from her daughter; and Annie Ward’s Beautiful Bad, a twisty-turny debut about a British soldier, his travel writer wife, and how their lovely life in America starts cracking apart after the wife has an accident. Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 1:00 p.m., Jude Deveraux, A Willing Murder, the romance author switching gears to write a mystery that opens in small-town Lachlan, FL, with the discovery of two corpses that everyone wants buried figuratively as well as literally.

3420  Macmillan

Key giveaways: Alex Michaelides’s The Silent Patient, a debut thriller about high-profile painter Alicia Berenson, who inexplicably shoots her fashion photographer husband in the face and then goes mute; Stephen L. Carter’s Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster, the author’s account of his grandmother, among America’s most famous African American women mid-century for her work on a legal team charged with bringing down organized crime in New York City (what a story!); Sandie Jones’s The Other Woman, debut domestic suspense about lovers Emily and Adam and the woman who won’t let Adam go—his mother (advanced listing copies); Rebecca Serle’s The Dinner List, whose heroine finds that guests at her 30th birthday party include her best friend, a favorite college professor, her father, her ex-fiancé, and Audrey Hepburn; Michael Donkor’s Housegirl, with Observer “New Face of Fiction” Donkor taking housegirl Belinda from Ghana (and from the young hire she’s training) to serve a posh Ghanaian couple in London as a model for their wayward daughter (beautifully told, with distinctive voices); and Christopher Skaife’s The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London, by the Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty’s Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London, who carefully tends the Tower’s ravens (because if they fly away, legend has it that the city will fall). Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 9:30 a.m., Ashley Weaver, An Act of Villainy, with Amory Ames gliding through 1930s London with husband Milo to attend the dress rehearsal that means curtains for one of the actors.

3420  Graywolf

Key giveaway: American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time, a poetry anthology edited by poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, a compendium of poems celebrating America today that takes its title from a poem by Robert Hayden, the first African American appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. It includes some of my favorite writers: Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Matthew Dickman, Mark Doty, Ross Gay, Aracelis Girmay, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Cathy Park Hong, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Ilya Kaminsky, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Límon, Layli Long Soldier, Erika L. Sánchez, Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, Susan Stewart, Mary Szybist, Natasha Trethewey, Brian Turner, Charles Wright, and Kevin Young!

3531 W. W. Norton

Key giveaways: David Small's Home After Dark (1722), following up the No. 1 New York Times best seller and National Book Award finalist Stitches with a graphic novel that recounts the bullying that 13-year-old Russell Pruitt endures when he moves to California to find his father; Diana Evans’s Ordinary People (1722), the Orange Prize winner’s new novel about mostly black couples in crisis in and around London; Andre Dubus III’s Gone So Long, the New York Times best-selling/Oprah Pick author’s portrait of a woman deciding whether to meet the father just released from prison for murdering her mother; Ann Hood’s Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food, a blend of essays and recipes from a New York Times best-selling novelist who’s also won Best American Food Writing awards; Kevin McCarthy’s Wolves of Eden, the award-winning Irish author’s tale of two Irish immigrant brothers facing post–Civil War violence in the American West; and Claire Fuller’s Bitter Orange, from the author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons, the story of a woman peeking through a peephole at downstairs neighbors Cara and Peter, dark pleasure seekers whose stories finally don’t add up. Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 4:00 p.m., Ellen Forney, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life (Fantagraphics), a follow-up to her 2012 best-selling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, her advice on dealing with bipolar disorder—yes, graphic novel self-help!

3539  Workman

Key giveaways: James Mustich's 1,000 Books To Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List (samplers and posters), from the Barnes & Noble VP for Digital Product, a founder of the book catalog A Common Reader, so he should know; B.A. Shapiro's The Collector’s Apprentice, with 19-year-old Belgian Paulien Mertens remaking her identity in 1920s Paris to redeem herself after her former fiancé’s betrayal of her family; Tim Mohr's Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, how punk resistance contributed to the fall of the Wall (a big favorite at LJ’s offices); Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run, a gripping and edgy debut featuring Jodi McCarty, sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter at age 17 and unexpectedly freed after 18 years, who doesn’t know what to do with her freedom but does fall in love with troubled young mother Miranda; and Tristan Gooley’s The Nature Instinct: Relearning Our Sixth Sense for the Inner Workings of the Natural World, with the New York Times best-selling author of How To Read Water investigating our instinctive ability to locate ourselves in nature. Key in-booth signing: Monday, 6/25, 10:30 a.m., Tim Johnston’s The Current, following the 2015 national best seller Descent, the story of two college women driving home to Minnesota who become trapped in the frigid waters of Black Root River, with one of them ending up murdered.

3514 Houghton Harcourt

Key giveaways: Sy Montgomery’s How To Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, from National Book Award finalist Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus), who knows her animals, evoking 13 furred, hoofed, finned, and feathered friends to show that the creatures with whom we share this earth can transform our lives; Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black, a much-anticipated (and acutely, smartly written) first collection from a George Saunders protégé who’s already won awards, highlighting the painful absurdities of racism by putting its characters in unexpected situations; Neal Bascomb’s The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War, from the New York Times best-selling author, the story of a bunch of Allied airmen who broke out of a German POW camp during World War II and made it 150 miles through enemy territory to free Holland; and Ariel Burger’s Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, with rabbi/lecturer Burger recalling what he’s learned in conversations over the decades with Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23, 1:00 p.m., Amy Stewart, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit, with stalwart Constance Kopp, one of this country’s first female sheriffs, escorting a woman to an insane asylum when she becomes convinced that her charge is not a lunatic.

3540  Sourcebooks

Key giveaways, timed: Saturday, 6/23: 9:30 a.m., Marie Benedict’s Only Woman in the Room, with the author of The Other Einstein and Carnegie's Maid reimagining another remarkable woman, actress Hedy Lamarr; and 3:00 p.m., Antonia Felix’s Elizabeth Warren: Her Fight. Her Work. Her Life., from a biographer who has covered Michelle Obama and Condoleezza Rice as well. Key giveaways, timed: Sunday, 6/24: 10:00 a.m., Charles Belfoure’s The Fallen Architect, whose protagonist works  incognito after having been jailed for a lethal balcony collapse and later discovers corpses hidden in theaters throughout London, suggesting he was framed; and 2:00 p.m., Stuart Turton’s The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, with Aiden Bishop convinced that he sees a woman murdered in the woods, then finding each day at 11:00 p.m. that he must inhabit the body of a different guest at a party he’s interrupted until he can identify the killer. Key in-booth signing: Saturday, 6/23: 9:00 a.m., Susanna Kearsley, Bellewether, about a contemporary historian reconstructing a Revolutionary War–era romance between a captured French Canadian lieutenant and the daughter of the Long Island family with whom he’s billeted.

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Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

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