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HISTORY OF THE RAIN longlisted for the Man Booker Prize!

WOOHOO! We just got the terrific news that HISTORY OF THE RAIN by Niall Williams has been longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction!

You will know that I found him in his books, in the covers his hands held, the pages they turned, in the paper and the print, but also in the worlds those books contained, where now I have been and you have been too. You will know the story goes from the past to the present and into the future, and like a river flows.

Want to read more? Click here for a longer excerpt of this wonderful Bloomsbury book.

View the full longlist here; the shortlist will be announced on September 9.


Booklist Book Clubs Abuzz webinar

Yesterday Talia “the troublemaker” Sherer highlighted her favorite titles during Booklist‘s Book Clubs Abuzz webinar. If you were lucky enough to listen in you chuckled at her jokes and cringed at her awful songs. If you missed out, don’t worry—we’ve got Talia’s top picks below. And we promise to post a link to the archived webinar as soon as it becomes available.

Fiction: For Women, About Women
FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah (Talia called it “Beaches for the 21st century.”)
THE STORIES WE TELL by Patti Callahan Henry
LOOKAWAY, LOOKAWAY by Wilton Barnhardt

Historical Fiction
DARK AEMILIA by Sally O’Reilly (“Hilary Mantel crossed with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.”)
BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel
HILD by Nicola Griffith
HAVISHAM by Ronald Frame

COME HOME by Lisa Scottoline
A TRICK OF THE LIGHT by Louise Penny (If you’ve never read Louise Penny, Talia offered to send you a complimentary copy of STILL LIFE! E-mail her now. For existing Penny fans, the Great Gamache re-read continues with A TRICK OF THE LIGHT right now…)

YA-OK & Teen
CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn
ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer (“Another THREE STARRED REVIEWS for this creepy puppy!” Read more about the Southern Reach trilogy.)

Bonus Recommendations – these aren’t in the slides, but Talia looooooves them
BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande (“His writing is smart and accessible. Plus, he’s cute.”)
THE GOOD SOLDIERS by David Finkel (“Absolutely haunting… one of the best books I’ve ever read about war.”)
MURDER AT THE BRIGHTWELL by Ashley Weaver (“A charming debut mystery from a fellow librarian!”)

Make sure to check out Reading Group Gold for book news, contest information, early copies of upcoming books, and reading guides for select titles.

Click here for the slides to the full presentation, which includes information about getting whitelisted on Edelweiss and participating in LibraryReads. We will post the link to the archived webinar as soon as we have it!

Belated #BookBday (7/23/14 Edition)

We’re a day late to wish these two titles a Happy #BookBday, but it’s only to keep the celebration going!

MAEVE BINCHY: The Biography by Piers Dudgeon
Drawing on extensive research and humorous personal anecdotes, this first biography of the prolific, much-loved Irish writer chronicles the stories, anecdotes, humor, and sheer indomitable character of Binchy. “’The secret of the universe is that we do have to take control of our own lives,’ was, Dudgeon claims, Binchy’s lifelong mantra, and he captures her ebullience and drive in this anecdotal biography.” — Kirkus Reviews

TOMLINSON HILL: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name — One White, One Black by Chris Tomlinson
The basis for the prize-winning film of the same name, TOMLINSON HILL tells the story of two families, one black (that includes NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson) and one white (including the author, a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press), who trace their ancestry to the same Texas slave plantation. “In this fast-paced and spellbinding tale, Chris, who is white, narrates with great verve the tale of a Texas plantation owned over the years by both white families and black families—including LaDainian’s—that share the same name. Tomlinson not only offers an engaging and poignant look into his own past but also a riveting glimpse of the history of race relations in Texas.” — Publishers Weekly

Library Journal’s Best Summer Debuts

Several Macmillan titles we’ve been talking up made it onto Library Journal’s “Summer Best Debuts” list!

THE FURIES by Natalie Haynes
When she begins teaching drama therapy at a school for troubled teens, Alex Morris finds that her students relate to Greek tragedy in dark and surprising ways. “Accomplished psychological mystery” (Publishers Weekly, starred review); “suspense fiction with depth” (Library Journal).

This winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia features two women representing two sides of the civil war in Sri Lanka. “The paradisiacal landscapes of Sri Lanka are as astonishing as the barbarity of its revolution, and Munaweera evokes the power of both in a lyrical debut novel worthy of shelving alongside her countryman Michael Ondaatje” (Publishers Weekly).

The platoon featured here by former marine Pitre is tasked with filling potholes along the highways and byways of Iraq—a dangerous job, because every pothole could hide a bomb. Buzzing since spring, this novel was picked for the “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” at BookExpo America and was subsequently made a Discover Great New Writers pick.

Fresh out of St. Andrews, Jude agrees to tutor a boy named Pip on the island of Sark in the English Channel, and soon she, Pip, and the family cook enter into a glorious summer relationship. “Rankin-Gee’s keen insights into romantic negotiations belie her youth. The confident narrative will be a shot in the arm for bored book club planners.” (Library Journal, starred review).

SMALL BLESSINGS by Martha Woodroof
NPR producer Woodroof launched a ten-part NPR.org Monkey See story on the experience of publishing a book, and now here it is—the story of a constrained college professor trying to make a home for the young son he’s only just learned he has. “A warm, caring and thoroughly entertaining debut.” (Library Journal, starred review).

Teen Talk Tuesday (7/22/14 Edition)

It’s time for another Teen Talk Tuesday! Read on for more info. on our favorite new and forthcoming teen titles from St. Martin’s Griffin!

COMPLICIT by Stephanie Kuehn
Morris Award-winning author Kuehn’s second novel about fifteen-year-old Jamie and his sister Cate. Cate just was just released from juvi and is coming after him! COMPLICIT has already garnered an impressive three starred reviews, including this one from School Library Journal: “COMPLICIT ensnares readers from the first page with its surprising twists and revelations. Recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.”

PUSH GIRL by Chelsie Hill & Jessica Love
An inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars of the Sundance Channel reality show Push Girls, based on her own experience of being paralyzed. “This is an emotional story with elements any teen reader can relate to, primarily the search for one’s own identity. Readers will be inspired and moved by Kara’s amazing journey.”

KALONA’S FALL by P.C. + Kristin Cast (The House of Night Novellas #4)
The fourth installment in the powerful new House of Night Novellas mini-series tells the mysterious story behind Kalona, the winged immortal who fell from the Otherworld.

RECKONING by Kerry Wilkinson (The Silver Blackthorne Trilogy #1)
In a far-off future, years of war and famine have eliminated all technological advancement, returning society to a feudal system where all teens must take “the Reckoning”—a coming-of-age test to determine their place in society. “False starts, red herrings, and narrow escapes keep the pace moving briskly and the resolution a big question mark right until the end. In a crowded market of apocalyptic YA fiction, this title stands out.” — School Library Journal

The Southern Reach trilogy is Awesome!

Yup. It’s totally 100% true. Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is totally awesome. Imagine if J.J. Abrams, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Weisman collaborated on a novel…the books are futuristic supernatural thrillers, part science fiction, part dystopian, part horror, all amazing.


Stephen King is a big fan and the New York Times Book Review recently gave AUTHORITY a rave review. Even Entertainment Weekly got in on the action by dedicating a full page in its Books section to showing off book covers for the international editions of the trilogy!


In ANNIHILATION, the first book in the trilogy, readers were introduced to Area X and the twelfth team of researchers that traveled into the dangerous area; the story then followed “the biologist” as she seemingly became the only survivor to actually understand what was happening.

The second book, AUTHORITY, focuses the action on the government agency overseeing the expedition, and particularly on the new Control director whose gradual discovery of the agency’s secrets parallels the journey of the biologist in the first book.

The final book in the series, ACCEPTANCE, follows a new team as they embark on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.

Check out the Southern Reach website where you can read excerpts from available books in the series and explore an interactive map of Area X!


Calling all Crafty Crafting Librarians!

Jump start your homemade holiday gifts with these 3 titles:

100 COLORFUL RIPPLE STITCHES TO CROCHET: 50 Original Stitches & 50 Fabulous Colorways for Blankets and Throws by Leonie Morgan
In this wonderfully illustrated and easy-to-use guide with simple to advanced patterns, making and using ripple stitches in delightful and inspiring colors and textures has never been easier. Perfect for blankets, throws, and accessories or anything you want to put a zig-zag, ripple, and/or wave on.

50 RIBBON ROSETTES & BOWS TO MAKE: For Perfectly Wrapped Gifts, Gorgeous Hair Clips, Beautiful Corsages, and Decorative Fun! by Deanna Csomo McCool
Ribbons… they’re not just for dancing! With detailed instructions for beginners to advanced crafters and stunning photos for projects such as decorative bows, jewelry, and super hair accessories, McCool’s book also explains the different types of ribbon and the tools needed for your project.

THE SEWING MACHINE EMBROIDERER’S BIBLE: Get the Most from Your Machine with Embroidery Designs and Inbuilt Decorative Stitches by Liz Keegan
Sewing machines can seem really complicated—what is that stitch even for? Thankfully Keegan deciphers the mystery of the embroidery function on your machine and shares details about the types and formats of available embroidery designs, how to stabilize your fabric, which threads and needles to use to get the best results, and how to use the patterns creatively for stunning results.


Before Lena Dunham and Girls, Emily Books founder and blogger Emily Gould was the one talking about young women trying to find their bearings in life.

Now, Gould’s debut novel, FRIENDSHIP, about two girlfriends dragged, kicking and screaming into real adulthood is getting major media attention and landing on Summer Reading Lists from Glamour to the New York Post to the Boston Globe to Huffington Post and more.

Both Elle Magazine and the New York Times ran profiles of Emily Gould—the latter as the front page feature in the Sunday Styles section.

A New York Times Book Review coming this weekend (July 20) joins the glowing praise already in for FRIENDSHIP:

Fans of Lena Dunham’s Girls should appreciate this funny first novel about two tech-savvy 30ish pals navigating work and what passes for love in modern-day New York City.” — People Magazine (July 14 issue)

“Bev and Amy are totally frustrating—they’re like Hannah and Marnie from Girls with a few more years of resentment between them. But the specificity of their struggles (peanut butter soup for dinner, anyone?) and Gould’s hyperaware voice lend the story of their friendship poignance and shades of relatability. A-” — Entertainment Weekly (July 1 issue)

“Whereas the blogs tended to create a self-portrait of the author as human word processor (automatically slicing, dicing and churning experience into prose), FRIENDSHIP isn’t the simple spewing (or venting or whining or knee-jerk reacting) of an obsessive oversharer. Rather, at its best, it points to Ms. Gould’s abilities as a keen-eyed noticer and her knack for nailing down her ravenous observations with energy and flair.” — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times (June 30)


Friday Reads: Indie Next Edition

Congratulations! You made it to another weekend!
We know what we’re doing—settling in with a bowl of ice cream and two great books that also happen to be August Indie Next picks:

by Martha Woodroof

Readers who loved MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND will adore this inspiring debut of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at a bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.
“What could have become a sappy tale in less capable hands is a warm, caring, and thoroughly entertaining debut that reads remarkably well. NPR pro Woodroof is no novice writer, and her first novel will have readers eager for more.” — Library Journal, starred review

A COLDER WAR by Charles Cumming
New York Times bestselling author Cumming’s masterful follow-up to A FOREIGN COUNTRY is an espionage tale that two starred reviews rank on par with John le Carré and Olen Steinhauer.
“Cumming has established himself, along with Olen Steinhauer, as one of the best of today’s old-school espionage novelists…. Superb espionage fiction in the grand tradition.” — Booklist, starred review

“This fast-paced thriller is full of twists, turns, and surprises. With well-developed, complex characters and plenty of details about spycraft, it’s a perfect summer read for fans of Stella Rimington and John le Carré.” — Library Journal, starred review


Thriller Thursday Bonus: Crime in the City!

#THRILLERTHURSDAY BONUS! Two of our favorite female Minotaur authors were recently featured on NPR’s Crime in the City and we simply couldn’t let you get away without hearing about them:

Julia Keller spoke with NPR’s Noah Adams about her mystery series set in West Virginia (based on her hometown of Guyandotte) and starring prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins.

“One of the things I wanted to do with having a female protagonist is to allow her to have her anger. If we let women have a little more of their anger and to speak their minds, we’d have a very different kind of world,” Keller said.

Listen to the full Julia Keller interview here.

Available in the Bell Elkins series:
SUMMER OF THE DEAD (Book 3) – available August 26


Meanwhile, NPR’s Ari Shapiro traveled with Ann Cleeves to the Shetland Islands, where Cleeves sets her highly acclaimed series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez.

“I love the idea of long, low horizons with secrets hidden underneath,” Cleeves said. The author has been making regular trips to the Scottish islands for 40 years and her books are so popular that a tourism agency has put out a map showing where key scenes in the novels take place. Even the BBC has turned the books into a hit TV series titled “Shetland,” with a U.S. adaptation to come in the future.

Listen to the full Ann Cleeves interview here.

Available in the Shetland Island series:
RED BONES (Book 3)