Book

Cover Love

We’ve rounded up covers we love, and we hope you will too. We’ve also gathered all of your cover votes from this month, and your most loved cover is…The List by Patricia Forde!

Click on each cover to read the full description, request (or wish for) the title, and “Like” the cover if you haven’t already. If you’ve read these titles, don’t forget to share feedback with the publisher and with your friends and followers.

Tell us in the comments below, which covers you’re loving right now, and they could be included in next month’s Cover Love!

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Library Reads

LibraryReads List

February 2017

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books available in February that librarians across the country love. You can request or wish for the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site.

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley – learn more here!

Additional LibraryReads Titles:

A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
(William Morrow • 9780062356260)

Garden of Lamentations: A Novel by Deborah Crombie
(William Morrow • 9780062271631)

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Lamp

Reader Spotlight

Blog name: Reading Reality
Blog URL: http://www.readingreality.net
Your name: Marlene Harris

Let’s start with your origin story - how long have you been blogging about Fiction, and why did you start?

Reading Reality’s sixth anniversary is coming up on April 4. I actually celebrate a Blogo-Birthday on April 4-5, as my own birthday is April 5. I’m a bit older than 6, though.

I began Reading Reality when we moved from Gainesville FL to Atlanta. We came for my husband’s job, but 2011 was still during the Great Recession. I wanted something to do that would still connect with books, and would keep me busy and intellectually stimulated. One of the things I enjoy about working in libraries is being able to help readers find books they will love, and Reading Reality is an extension of that.

The blog was originally called “Escape Reality, Read Fiction”. I got that from a t-shirt. But when I started doing library consulting, “Reading Reality” sounded a bit more like the name of a company, so that’s what stuck. Occasionally people still ask me about real estate in Pennsylvania.

Are there particular subgenres that you prefer or find more interesting at the moment? Are there any trends that you are excited to see come or go?

My go-to genres are science fiction and fantasy, but I also read a lot of romance and a fair amount of mystery. I’m pretty eclectic. I particularly like the places where genres mingle, so things like science fiction romance and historical mystery always get me reading. When I’m in a reading slump, I turn to urban fantasy and that brings me right back to the joy of reading.

As far as trends go, I’m kind of sorry to see steampunk fading a bit. I loved that blend of historical, SF, fantasy and often romance. The best of the breed were generally terrific and terrifically inventive.

Do you find your background as a librarian influences which books you choose and how you review them? And, are you still involved in the library community?

I am still very involved in the library community. I am currently the librarian at TAPPI, the Technical Association for the Pulp and Paper Industry. They have a small but significant collection of materials in the industry, and I answer research requests and provide document delivery.

I’m also a member of the American Library Association Notable Books Council, a committee that has picked the best literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry every year since 1944. And I review for Library Journal.

Some of the books I choose to review are for my library interests, but most I pick just because they look either intriguing, fun, or both. Being a librarian, having done readers’ advisory work, does influence the way I review. If there are “read-alikes” for the book I’m reviewing, I make sure to give them a mention, no matter when they were published. And if I’m reviewing a book in a series, I always tell readers whether or not they really need to have read the rest of that series, of if they can just jump in anywhere. Discovering that you are reading book 5 of a series and are completely lost is a VERY disappointing experience.

Aside from your reviews, you have a variety of different features on your blog – which is your current favorite?

I like different features for very different reasons. Blog Hops are terrific for getting traffic. I do Stacking the Shelves and the Sunday Post because they help me stay organized. I hope people enjoy those features, but they do serve a function for me as the blogger.

My favorite features have been Amy Daltry’s semi-regular guest reviews. She picks interesting books, including a lot of genre classics, and she writes a terrific review, whether the book is terrific or not. She’s clear and honest about what she likes and doesn’t like in a book, and it is great to have the opportunity to feature a reviewer whose perspectives are different from my own.

The most fun feature I have is one that I wish I was able to do more often, and that’s joint reviews with either Cass or Amy. It is particularly fun and frequently hilarious when we are able to write together in real time.

Which upcoming book(s) on NetGalley are you the most excited about reading and recommending to your followers? And are there any covers on NetGalley that you’re loving?

Cass and I have a joint review for Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop coming in March that made both of us ROFL. It’s not that the book is funny, it isn’t and it’s not intended to be. But we love to out-snark each other.

I’m very excited to read In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen. I’ve heard such marvelous things about her work, but this is my chance to get in at the beginning of one of her series.

My favorite upcoming cover is Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda James. The joke going around Facebook among librarians is, “What, only 12?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightning Round!

Your blog in two sentences:

Evidence of a life either misspent or well spent with books, by someone who can’t resist sharing.

Your favorite character in a book or series:

Sherlock Holmes. I have an absolute weakness for Holmes pastiches, and I love Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series.

Your favorite 2 authors for Fiction titles:

Only 2? Inconceivable!

Science fiction: John Scalzi
Fantasy: L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Mystery: Louise Penny
Historical Mystery: Charles Todd
Science Fiction Romance: Anna Hackett
Fantasy Romance: Jeffe Kennedy
Romance: Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle

And to finish off our interview, if you could go on a road trip with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and where would you go?

John Scalzi, hands down. And conveniently, he is still alive. I would love to go on a book tour, or even part of one, with him. I’ve heard him perform at several, and he’s always both thoughtful and funny, as he is on his blog at Whatever, although the ratio of thoughtful to funny there is slightly different. And I’d get to quiz him about his upcoming books. And possibly meet his current cats, the Scamperbeasts.

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

February edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the February Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

 

Additional Indie Next titles:

A Separation: A Novel by Katie Kitamura (Riverhead Books • 9780399576102)

Perfect Little World: A Novel by Kevin Wilson (Ecco • 9780062450326)

300 Arguments: Essays by Sarah Manguso (Graywolf Press • 9781555977641)

The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel by Heather O’Neill (Riverhead Books • 9780735213739)

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Top Ten UK Books for February 2017

Deciding our Top Ten each month is always a tough yet hugely enjoyable process – but this month has proved to be the most difficult so far. There were so many exciting titles it took us much longer than usual to finalise the list – and even now it’s a shame that some titles didn’t quite make it.

That said, we really love these books and hope you’ll feel the same way. You’ll probably already recognise Ragdoll and The Girl Before – but do request if you haven’t before as they’ll be some of the most talked about thrillers in 2017. We’re also very keen on The Lonely Hearts Hotel and t hink it could go on to be something of sleeper hit. Do also look out for Pachinko which we think will be one of the books fighting for all the big literary prizes later in the year.

As this is the last Books of the Month for 2016, we’d just like to thank you for being part of NetGalley. We really appreciate your reviews and feedback – and we’d love to see even more in 2017. Wishing you warm and wonderful holidays!

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Ragdoll
Daniel Cole
Trapeze
UK Edition
AU Edition
German Language Edition

Already a massive hit with NetGalley members, Ragdoll is shaping up to be the high-concept thriller of 2017. Its combination of suspense, gore and well-drawn, engaging characters is a real winner. This is mystery writing at its most intense.

When a body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, the press quickly name the horrific discovery the ‘ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter. The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them. With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer with the eyes of the world watching their every move?

Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You In Your Life
Yiyun Li
Hamish Hamilton
UK Edition
US/CA Edition

Yiyun Li’s fiction is marked by telling details, acute insight into the human experience, and sublime sentences – all of which she brings to this searing and luminous memoir of a life lived with books and haunted by depression. Growing up in China, Li watched her mother suffer from mental health issues, and years later, as an immigrant in another country, she battles her own. Through it all she is sustained by her deep connection to literature, and by two central questions: why write? And why live?

My Sister's Bones
Nuala Ellwood
Penguin
UK Edition

In a year that will be dominated by psychological thrillers, My Sister’s Bones already stands out as a complex and intriguing take on the genre. War reporter Kate Rafter is back from Syria, plagued by dreams of the horrors taking place there. But there are other painful memories, ones that her sister and Kate cannot quite escape. When their mother dies, they are forced back to the family home. A home full of deadly secrets waiting to be exposed. Twisty, compelling and consistently surprising.  

The End of Eddy
Édouard Louis
Harvill Secker
UK Edition

On first publication in France, The End of Eddy became a sensation, winning plaudits for its writing, and provoking national debates on social inequality, sexuality and violence. Édouard Louis’s fictionalised account of his life escaping from his unbearable childhood is incendiary yet tender, compassionate yet visceral, and written with startling clarity and vigour. This is vital, unflinching and thought-provoking fiction – a novel that confronts the issues of our time head on .

The Girl Before
JP Delaney
Quercus
UK Edition
US Edition
French Language Edition

The Girl Before takes domestic terror to a new level, in this spellbinding Hitchcockian thriller. Jane has found the rental opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a beautiful ultra-minimalist house, but it comes at a cost. She can live there so long as she abides by a long list of exacting rules created by the house’s architect. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before…

Radio Boy
Christian O'Connell
HarperCollins Children's Books
UK Edition

Taking all his experience from his award-winning radio show, Christian O’Connell’s first children’s book is a funny and sweet story of a boy who becomes a star in his own back yard. Spike’s an average 11-year-old, but after becoming the first person ever to be sacked from hospital radio, he sets up  – with some help from his friends – a studio in the garden shed and starts broadcasting as Radio Boy. Week by week, word gets around and soon Spike is a star… if only people knew it was actually him…

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
Heather O'Neill
riverrun
UK Edition

Already lauded by the likes of Helen Oyeyemi, Miranda July and Emily St John Mandel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a riot of invention, love and fairytales. From the underbellies of war-time Montreal and Prohibition New York to a theatre of magic where anything is possible, this is the story of two orphans, Rose and Pierrot, who dreamt as children of a whole invented world, and as adults are determined to make it real. Dazzling, glittering and bursting with imagination, this is a true spectacle of a novel.

Pachinko
Min Jin Lee
Head of Zeus
UK/AU Edition
US Edition

An epic story that encompasses eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is a novel to immerse yourself in, to follow the lives of these exceptionally drawn characters as they traverse the world and the brickbats that come their way. It begins with an unlikely marriage in early-Twentieth Century Korea, and the birth of a beloved daughter, Sunja. It is the beginning of a life that will take in war, immigration, love, death – and everything else life has to offer. 

We Come Apart
Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan
Bloomsbury Children's
UK/AU Edition

Bringing together two of YA’s hottest new properties – Sarah Crossan (One) and Brian Conaghan (When Mr Dog Bites) – We Come Apart is a heart-breaking, beautifully told tale of love, identity and dreams of better lives. When Jess meets Nicu, she can’t imagine she’d ever fall for him. But as they get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can’t be together, forever, and stay safe – can they?

Charlotte
David Foenkinos
Canongate
UK Edition

An international bestseller, Charlotte is based on the heart-breaking true story of an exceptional woman living through terrifying, deadly time. Charlotte Soloman is born into a family stricken by suicide, and in a country beset by war. She escapes through her gift for painting, and later through her love for a brilliant musician. But clouds are forming, not just in her own mind, but over the whole of Europe. And when the Nazi Party come to power, she knows she will have to flee…

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Book

Cover Love

16 Top Covers for 2016

We’ve rounded up the top 16 most loved covers that you voted on in 2016! Click on each cover to read the full description, request (or wish for) the title, and “Like” the cover if you haven’t already.  If you’ve already read these books, don’t forget to share feedback with the publisher and with your friends and followers. 

Tell us in the comments below which covers you’re loving right now, and they could be included in January’s Cover Love!

Your #1 most loved cover of 2016 was… The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco!

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Library Reads

LibraryReads List

January 2017

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books available in January that librarians across the country love. You can request or wish for the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site.

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley – learn more here!

 

Additional LibraryReads Titles:

Her Every Fear: A Novel by Peter Swanson
(William Morrow • 9780062427021)

Hearthstone by Katharine Elle White
(Harper Voyager • 9780062451941)

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IndieNext

Indie Next List

January edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the January Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles:

Fever Dream: A Novel by Samanta Schweblin (Riverhead Books • 9780399184598)

Her Every Fear: A Novel by Peter Swanson (William Morrow • 9780062427021)

Little Deaths: A Novel, by Emma Flint (Hachette • 9780316272476)

Freebird: A Novel by Jon Raymond (Graywolf Press • 9781555977603)

The Midnight Cool: A Novel by Lydia Peelle (Harper • 9780062475466)

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Library Reads

LibraryReads List

Favorite of Favorites 2016

LibraryReads has announced their Favorite of Favorites list of books from 2016 that librarians across the country love. You can Request or Wish for the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the monthly LibraryReads list via NetGalley!

Additional LibraryReads titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
(Harper • 9780062491794)

The Nest  by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
(Ecco • 9780062414212)

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NetGalley UK’s Books of the Year 2016

It would be fair to say that 2016 has been an eventful year – and certainly one that will be hard to forget. With world events rather overshadowing the world of books for most of the year, now is a great opportunity to look back over the best books of 2016. We had an incredibly difficult decision to make to get down to a top ten – but we enjoyed many long and passionate conversations about the books we loved along the way!

Honourable mentions must be made for Dadland by Keggie Carew, The Trespasser by Tana French, The Dark Circle by Linda Grant, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen, The Sport of Kings by CE Morgan, Darktown by Thomas Mullen, Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, East West Street by Philippe Sands, Swing Time by Zadie Smith, A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart, and Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama.

In the end though, the following are the ten we chose as our favourites of the year. While there was always debate over which books would make the list, our number one was absolutely unanimous. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a necessary, inventive, emotionally intense and superbly gripping novel: one that in a year of unforgettable moments remains an indelible part of 2016’s landscape.

Here’s to the best of 2016 – and we hope you find something that you missed over the course of the year!

Book of the Year 2016

The Undeground Railroad
Colson Whitehead
Fleet
UK Edition

In any year, The Underground Railroad would have been a monumental achievement; in 2016, however, its importance was all the more apparent. Colson Whitehead’s epic follows the journey of Cora from slavery to ostensible freedom, the twist being that instead of being a metaphor for the secret routes and safehouses used by Abolitionists to free slaves, the ‘underground railroad’ is physical reality, a steamtrain taking Cora from one city and town to another, hoping to find a true home. 

As affecting and convincing as such treasured novels as Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, The Underground Railroad has already been hailed as modern classic – and is sure to be read, studied and marvelled at for many years to come.

 

Missing, Presumed
Susie Steiner
The Borough Press
UK Edition

In a year dominated by psychological thrillers broadly in the mould of international phenomenons such as Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, Missing, Presumed is our pick of the very best. Edith Hind is missing, the only clues left behind an open door, a smear of blood and her coat. DS Marion Bradley launches an investigation, but is hampered by the evasion and inconsistencies of the girl’s friends and family, as well as an invasive and increasingly feral press pack. Full of twists, turns and switches, this is one of the most gripping books you’ll read all year.

The Girls
Emma Cline
Chatto & Windus
UK Edition

There were many hyped debuts of 2016, but The Girls stood out for its woozy prose stylings, a brilliantly captured late-sixties setting and its intriguing cast of characters. Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. And then she sees them. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. The girls. And at their centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, with its rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings and teen runaways. Is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever? Compelling and startling. 

When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi
Bodley Head
UK Edition

One of the most talked about non-fiction books of the year was also one of the most heart-breaking and profound – one that has moved thousands in its depiction of a man facing his own early death. At the age of thirty-six, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with terminal cancer. One day he was treating the dying, the next a patient struggling to live. Paul died while working on this deeply felt book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

What is Not Yours, Is Not Yours
Helen Oyeyemi
Picador
UK Edition

Helen Oyeyemi has a passionate community of readers who consider her – quite rightly – to be one of the most innovative, unusual and imaginative writers currently at work today. That she has not reached a wider audience is a travesty – and this perfect collection of very loosely linked short stories shows why. This is fiction at its most breath-taking, its unsettling and deeply affecting characters inhabiting a strange netherworld very much like ours, but refracted through a funhouse mirror. If you’ve yet to discover her incredible work, this is the perfect place to begin.

Real Tigers
Mick Herron
John Murray Press
UK Edition

Now firmly established as a modern master of the spy thriller, Mick Herron has redefined the genre for a new age, his Jackson Lamb sequence – of which Real Tigers is the third – becoming one of the most acclaimed of recent years. Jackson Lamb runs a kind of halfway house for exiled spooks, called Slough House. Catherine Standish is one of his agents, and she is being held hostage. But why? Jackson Lamb is determined to find out in this superbly written and tense drama. ‘If you read one spy novel this year, read Real TigersThe Spectator.

Luna
Ian McDonald
Gollancz
UK Edition

Having woven intricate and gripping plots around thought-provoking looks at the future of countries like India, Brazil and Turkey, Ian McDonald turns his attentions skywards in this epic SF exploration of the moon. Five corporate families are caught in a bitter battle for supremacy as they orbit the earth. The moon is a dangerous, desolate place, but also one of vast opportunity – there, people will make their fortunes, but at what cost? And to whom? One of the most acclaimed SF writers in the world is at the very top of his game in this masterclass in speculative fiction. 

Paper Butterflies
Lisa Heathfield
Electric Monkey
UK Edition

Described as a cross between Stand By Me and We Were Liars, this heart-breaking and stunning breakout YA novel from the author of Seed was, for us, the most compelling YA novel of the year. June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises a glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from home and be free. Because every creature deserves their freedom…but at what price?

Infinite Ground
Martin MacInnes
Atlantic Books
UK Edition

This debut novel of considerable imagination and verve flew lower under the radar than its many champions had hoped – but thankfully it is finally getting the recognition it deserves. It is a sweltering South American summer, and during a family meal, Carlos disappears. An experienced, semi-retired inspector takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. Bold and daring, MacInnes’s intelligence and understanding shines through every page, making him the discovery of the year. 

Everything Love Is
Claire King
Bloomsbury
UK Edition

Claire King – the author of The Night Rainbow – has a poignant and unique voice in contemporary fiction, and Everything Love Is stands out as a mysterious, unforgettable story of love, and of the happy endings we conceive for ourselves. Baptiste Molino has devoted his life to other people’s happiness, rather than his own. But a new client may help to change his perspective. When a legacy from the past finally reveals itself, however, he finds himself torn between pursuing his own happiness and safeguarding the one he loves.

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