|Three upcoming book club titles|
Instead of authors, this time we "dated" publishers, who shared the books they were most excited about for book clubs. We were assigned tables, and I got lucky number seven. In previous years, this was a panel discussion, and there was little time for interaction as the publishers raced through their presentation to get all of their titles in.
At the tables we got to interact with our tablemates and the publishers. I liked this much better; it seemed less like a lecture and more of a discussion. The only downside was, due to time constraints, we didn't get to talk to all of the publishers.
Craig from Algonquin Books shared his two favorite books with us, one of which was B.A. Shapiro's The Art Forger, about an artist who makes a pact with the devil in the form of a person who wants the artist to forge a work that was stolen 20 years ago from a museum in Boston. (It's based on the infamous Gardner Museum heist.) Craig says ""it's a great book to put in anyone's hands." It publishes in October.
I also loved how he described Algonquin Books as "the only publishing house that does not do vampire books." (YAY!) He also said, laughing, that wine goes great with Algonquin Books, cause "the more you drink, the better Algonquin Books read."
Hachette had a book I was interested in- Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins, which was described as about family, marriage and obsession. Mom Edie is obsessed with food, and she just keeps getting bigger. Her husband finally leaves her, and their adult children don't know how to handle this. It is set in Chicago, and we were told that "what Alice McDermott did for Irish-Catholic Easterners, Jami does for Midwest and food." The book also publishes in October.
Jennifer Hart from Harper Collins shared an historical fiction book that caught my attention- Lois Leveen's The Secrets of Mary Bowser, about an educated female freed slave who ends up spying for the Union inside the Davis White House in Richmond during the Civil War. I love books that are based in truth, and this story came out of a tale of a real-life female Union spy. This book is available now.
Carla Gray from Houghton Mifflin raved about Frances & Bernard by Carlene Bauer, a book based on the letters that Flannery O'Connor and Robert Lowell wrote to each other. Carla said that "This one had me sobbing on the subway, it got me in the gut. It's just a treasure." We'll have to wait until February 2013 for this gem.
Harlequin is not a publisher I usually read, but they are not just romances as I discovered. J.T. Ellison writes suspense novels, and her newest is Edge of Black, about a female medical examiner who is called to investigate what is believed to be a terrorist attack on the Metro subway in Washington DC. When she discovers that the victims all had something in common, it's game on. Ellison has previously been chosen as a PW Pick and Indie Next book, so she is worth a read in December when the book is released.
Carol Fitzgerald will have all of the books discussed here on ReadingGroupGuides.com.
It's well worth a look, I hope you find as many great books as I did.