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Friday Reads: Literary Standouts

TGIF! This weekend we recommend you soak up the sun while enjoying one of these recent literary standouts on shelves now:

“[Lucia Berlin] may just be the best writer you’ve never heard of…” (Publishers Weekly, boxed & starred review) and her short story collection has received THREE starred reviews, is a Publishers Weekly Best of Summer 2015 selection, an O Magazine “Books to Curl Up With This Fall” pick, and has landed on “best of August” lists from BookRiot, Esquire, Flavorwire, Vulture, and more.

“Berlin’s stories are full of second chances. Now readers have another chance to confront them: bites of life, chewed up and spat out like a wad of tobacco, bitter and rich.” New York Times Book Review

“[Berlin’s stories are written] in sentences so bright and fierce and full of wild color that you’ll want to turn each one over just to see how she does it. And then go back and read them all again.” — Entertainment Weekly, A

LANDFALLS by Naomi J. Williams
Williams’ debut novel about the historic 1785 Laperouse expedition of 200 men who famously tried to circumnavigate the globe for France has two starred reviews and was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

“LANDFALLS is intelligent and utterly human. Ms. Williams has written a seductive page-turner that, although we know the story ends tragically, draws the reader in and doesn’t let go.” — Wall Street Journal

“Downright dazzling… Williams has delivered a bona fide masterpiece.”
Seattle Times

A beautiful tale of adventure, anchored in tragedy.” Vanity Fair readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (8/27/15 Edition)

Happy #ThrillerThursday to two series favorites, a debut, and a new novel from a writer serving a life sentence in prison (no joke!):

The outstanding 11th book in #1 New York Times bestselling author Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series is an August 2015 LibraryReads pick, a September 2015 Indie Next pick, and has THREE starred reviews, including this one from Library Journal: “A strong sense of place, a multilayered plot, and well-crafted (and for Penny’s fans, familiar) characters combine for a thoughtful, intriguing tale.”

Two stars for the next Bell Elkins novel in which the West Virginia prosecutor must work with a man who, until recently, lived off the grid, but now finds himself charged with murder he didn’t commit. “A beautifully crafted mystery in which Keller explores love, hate, and poverty in a place of stunning natural beauty with pockets of overwhelming ugliness. The ending may leave you in tears.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Happy 60th Birthday Guinness World Records!

Craig GlendayIn celebration of the 60th anniversary of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, and the release of the 2016 edition of the best-selling book on September 10th, we sat down with Editor in-Chief, Craig Glenday to ask him a few questions.

1. How did you get started at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS?

CG: I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Publishing at Napier University, Edinburgh, where I learned everything from editing, designing, printing, and binding books to distributing, marketing, and selling them. After working in publishing for several years, I joined the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS editorial team in 2002. My promotion to the Editor-in-chief in 2005 was the fulfilment of a childhood dream.

2. What do you enjoy about working at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS?
CG: I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. I’m a real trivia buff and have always collected quirky and fascinating facts. Plus, I’d always wanted to work in publishing, so you can imagine my excitement when I got the job at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. I’ve had the chance to meet all of those childhood heroes who inspired me while I was growing up.

3. What’s the most challenging part of putting together the annual book each year?
CG: One of the biggest challenge I face each year is refreshing the content and providing as many new and updated records as possible. We’re always on the lookout for the most interesting, relevant, exciting, quirky, and educational topics, with a particular focus on the family market. Fads such as twerking, selfies, and loom bands have been the source of new records in recent times, and new areas of focus in the book this year include 3D printing, Netflix, Minecraft, and YouTube. Many people don’t realize that around 75% of the content is new each year. readmoreremove

Happy Birthday LibraryReads!

Forget terrible twos, this is a terrific two: Happy Anniversary, LibraryReads!

We’re so grateful for your support of the program that we’re giving away TWO super prize packs of ALL Macmillan LibraryReads picks to date!

September 2015
#7 FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson

August 2015
#2 THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
#5 EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford
#9 LORD OF THE WINGS by Donna Andrews

July 2015
#6 THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens

June 2015
#8 THE PRECIPICE by Paul Doiron

May 2015
#10 LITTLE BLACK LIES by Sharon Bolton

February 2015
#8 A MURDER OF MAGPIES by Judith Flanders

January 2015
#9 FIRST FROST by Sarah Addison Allen

December 2014: “Favorite of Favorites”
#4 FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
#9 LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

October 2014
#6: THE BOY WHO DREW MONSTERS by Keith Donohue
#9: MALICE by Keigo Higashino
#10: MURDER AT THE BRIGHTWELL by Ashley Weaver

August 2014
#4: LOCK IN by John Scalzi

July 2014
#1: LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

May 2014
#9: SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE by Darynda Jones

April 2014
#8: THE AXE FACTOR by Colin Cotterill

March 2014
#8: PRECIOUS THING by Colette McBeth

January 2014
#3: LOST LAKE by Sarah Addison Allen

December 2013
#7: DANGEROUS WOMEN, edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
#9: THE TRIP TO ECHO SPRING by Olivia Laing

November 2013
#2: THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS by Julia Spencer-Fleming
#8: THE RAVEN’S EYE by Barry Maitland

September 2013
#1: FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
#2: HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny

To enter the giveaway, simply email Library@MacmillanUSA.com from your professional/library-issued e-mail address (subject: LibraryReads 2) by Sunday, Sept. 13. Make sure to include your library’s mailing address to be placed in the random drawing. Read on for the fine print. Good luck!


Holt Rocks the NYTBR

The New York Times Book Review featured THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT by Helen Phillips & ALL THAT FOLLOWED by Gabriel Urza—two Henry Holt & Co. debut novels that we’ve been talking up for months now and are finally on shelves!

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT follows Josephine, who spends her days punching numbers into a mysterious database, but soon feels unnerved by her creepy surroundings, sensing that her new employer poses a threat both to herself and to society at large.

“Are we pawns in the thrall of bureaucratic (Kafka) or totalitarian (Orwell) systems? Or are we, in fact, the ones with ultimate power; the arbiters — even unknowingly — of life and death? Helen Phillips deftly interrogates this existential divide in her riveting, drolly surreal debut novel, THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT.

“Ultimately, THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT succeeds because it isn’t afraid to ask the deepest questions. What is the balance of power and powerlessness between two people who love each other? Do individual souls matter? Can we create, should we destroy, and can we always tell the difference?” — New York Times Book Review

Read the full review here.

ALL THAT FOLLOWED is a Publishers Weekly Best of Summer 2015 selection, a Summer/Fall 2015 Indies Introduce pick, and an August 2015 Indie Next pick!

“Stories are shape-shifters in ALL THAT FOLLOWED Gabriel Urza’s strange and ambitious debut novel. Set in Spain’s Basque Country, the book revolves around the assassination of Councilman José Antonio Torres, as recounted by three characters: Mariana, his dubiously grieving widow; the American teacher Joni Garrett, who came to Muriga in 1951 and wound up staying for his entire life; and Iker Abarzuza, serving time for murder in an island prison, where he listens to the cries of shorebirds and receives the occasional letter from Mariana.

“ALL THAT FOLLOWED isn’t really about the murder. Its chief interests are memory and perception, and the eerie multi­dimensionality that arises when they are layered, somewhat imperfectly, on top of each other. On this front, ALL THAT FOLLOWED is a triumph — Urza delineates his characters’ perspectives with remarkable care. Each shows us a different angle of the fictional world, and illuminates a new aspect of Muriga’s past. As we approach the tragedy we knew was coming all along, the surprise turns out to be the surprises that are jumping out behind us — smaller than we expected, maybe, but sadder and stranger, too.” — New York Times Book Review

Read the full review here.

Happy #BookBday (8/25/15 Edition)

Happy #BookBday to a series favorite, a debut, and two biographies:

The outstanding 11th book in #1 New York Times bestselling author Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series is an August 2015 LibraryReads pick, a September 2015 Indie Next pick, and has THREE starred reviews, including this one from Library Journal: “A strong sense of place, a multilayered plot, and well-crafted (and for Penny’s fans, familiar) characters combine for a thoughtful, intriguing tale.”

A GOOD FAMILY by Erik Fassnacht
A memorable first novel about a Midwestern family’s self-destruction and repair from a former high school teacher. “Fassnacht’s debut works as a read-alike for both Jennifer Weiner and Jonathan Franzen for the way it so convincingly melds domestic drama, suburban angst, and beautifully descriptive writing.” — Booklist

KISSINGER’S SHADOW: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman by Greg Grandin
In his fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America—its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home—we have to understand Henry Kissinger. “Ever the marvelous thinker, Grandin will have even the most ardent Kissinger foe enthralled.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

A GREAT REFORMER: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by Austen Ivereigh
Now in trade paperback with an updated and expanded epilogue! “With its wealth of biographical information that offers an in-depth look at formative influences, this is the best examination of the current pope to date.” — Publishers Weekly

For Your Consideration: November 2015 LibraryReads Titles

Nov15LRcollageDownload, read, and nominate your favorite titles now for the November 2015* LibraryReads list!

*Nominations are due September 20! Click here for the full list of 2015 deadlines.

A WILD SWAN by Michael Cunningham
Classic fairy tales are reimagined for our times by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE HOURS and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. “Cunningham doesn’t retell but rethinks these tales, considering how they might play out today or what happens long after the spell has been broken.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

Download a copdownload review copy edelweissy from Edelweiss

I BLAME DENNIS HOPPER: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies by Illeana Douglas
Award-winning actress Illeana Douglas’s memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

download review copy edelweissDownload a copy from Edelweiss

PETTY by Warren Zanes
An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured alongside him.

download review copy edelweissDownload a copy from Edelweiss

THE LADY IN THE VAN by Alan Bennett
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Maggie Smith, Alan Bennett’s famous and heartwarming story “The Lady in the Van,” and more of Bennett’s classic short form work.

download review copy edelweissDownload a copy from Edelweiss

A former undercover cop now in witness protection finds himself pulled into the search for a missing woman in New Mexico. The film rights sold to Warner Bros with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce!

download review copy edelweissDownload a copy from Edelweiss readmoreremove

$10 E-Book Shorts For Libraries!

E-book shorts are the tapas of the literary world: you can have a snack (short read), satisfy a craving (new works that bridge books in a series), or have enough to make a meal (sample lots of new works in a range of genres).

We’ve done a permanent library price drop on more than 600 e-book shorts to $10!* Some titles include:

HOW SHALL I KNOW YOU? by Hilary Mantel
THE DANCE BEGINS by Diane Chamberlain
A HIDDEN SECRET by Linda Castillo
MADE TO SIN by Lora Leigh
NIGHT’S BLAZE: PART 1 by Donna Grant
HIS TO POSSESS: PART 1 by Opal Carew

Click here to download a spreadsheet of the permanently reduced titles. Collection development made easy!


Thriller Thursday (8/20/15 Edition)

A pro football player turns sleuth and an investigator finally gets a lead on the cold case that haunts him most: his daughter’s abduction.

HANGMAN’S GAME by Bill Syken
Former Sports Illustrated reporter Syken’s first mystery stars Nick Gallow, a pro football punter who witnesses the murder of the new all-star draft pick just as the team’s summer minicamp starts up. “This is the very best sports-themed mystery in years and a robust debut novel. Don’t miss it.” — Booklist, starred review

GONE COLD by Douglas Corleone
Corleone’s prose is lean, his plotting tight, his characters vividly drawn. [Former US Marshal Simon] Fisk is one of the more interesting series leads in the contemporary-thriller genre, a man who’s so guilt-ridden over his own daughter’s abduction that he’s compelled to help other parents in similar situations. Will he finally find some measure of peace here? Stay tuned.” — Booklist

Share your reads with us @MacmillanLib this #ThrillerThursday.

EW Fall Books Preview

Entertainment Weekly gave us a sneak preview of this year’s “dazzlingly rich” fall season in a recent issue guest edited by Andy Cohen (hey there, MOST TALKATIVE!). While only their list of Blockbuster Novels is available online, Anne’s got the scoop on all the other Macmillan picks:

Blockbuster Novels

PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
In Franzen’s long-awaited doorstop of a novel, a girl named Purity embarks on a journey through South America to find herself.

The financial crisis is drenched in humor in this tale about a banker whose life becomes more interesting when a downtrodden author starts fictionalizing it.

Tell All Memoirs & Bios

HOME IS BURNING by Dan Marshall
When he was 25, Marshall’s dad was diagnosed with ALS and his mom with cancer. So he quit his job to return home and care for them. Sounds depressing, but it’s actually scathing, funny, profane, and deeply affectionate.

Women Who Rock and Write

BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon
Simon’s memoir covers her Greenwich Village folk roots, her songwriting stardom, and her marriage to James Taylor. readmoreremove