Every book begins with a pitch—and at the regional trade shows, the air is full of them. To find out which are most likely to fly, we contacted five booksellers and asked for their reaction to more than 50 galley blurbs on adult books. Here's their shortlist of the top 17 books that merit a reading.
For a complete of the adult galleys at the regional trade shows, including 40 novels by new and returning authors in every genre, 11 memoirs and 7 nonfiction titles from sports to science, click here.
For the top children's and young adult galleys to grab, click here.
Debut FictionMonsters of Templetonby Lauren Groff (Hyperion/Voice, Feb.)Pitch: Partly a girl's search for her father, partly a ghost story, this mesmerizing tour de force is at its core a tale of how a town holds one family's secrets.Hensley: “I read this and loved it—especially the feel of the town and the underlying question, 'Is this monster real or is it in our minds?' ”Galleys: all shows or email@example.com; author appearance at SIBAThe Delivery Manby Joe McGinniss Jr. (Grove/Black Cat, Jan.)Pitch: A brutal portrait of today's lost generation, set amid a teen-escort ring in Las Vegas, by the son of author Joe McGinniss.Pohrt: “The Black Cat imprint has an excellent track record.”Galleys: Most shows, especially PNBA, NCBA, NEIBA, SIBA and MBA or MKoreiwo@groveatlantic.com.Bloodletting & Miraculous Curesby Vincent Lam (Weinstein Books, Sept.)Pitch: This runaway #1 Canadian bestseller is a collection of interconnected stories about four young, ambitious medical students.LaFramboise: “This is one of the most eagerly awaited debut fiction titles I can remember.”Galleys: PNBA, NEIBA, MBA, SIBA, GLBA or firstname.lastname@example.org.The Opposite of Loveby Julie Buxbaum (Dial, Feb.)Pitch: Emily Pratt, a successful 29 year-old lawyer, faces some of life's most difficult challenges by becoming the person she's always secretly wanted to be.Hensley: “This looks great.”Galleys: MPBA, SIBA, GLBA, NEIBA, PNBA, MBA or email@example.com.Beginner's Greekby James Collins (Little, Brown, Jan.)Pitch: A delicious romantic comedy—more Cary Grant than Hugh Grant—that begins on a New York to Los Angeles flight.LaFramboise: “I saw the editor at BEA's first fiction buzz panel, and the enthusiasm was contagious.”Galleys: all shows or Heather.Rizzo@hgbusa.comMemoir
Rock On: An Office Power Ballad
by Dan Kennedy (Algonquin, Feb.)
Pitch:McSweeney's contributor Kennedy chronicles his major record label misadventures, including overcoming his punk roots to create ads celebrating Phil Collins's love songs.
Pohrt: “Could be a guilty pleasure.”
Galleys: all shows or contact firstname.lastname@example.org; author appearances at SCIBA and PNBA.
Her Last Death
by Susanna Sonnenberg (Scribner, Jan.)
Pitch: A daughter's memoir of growing up with a mother prone to lying, sexual compulsions and drugs—acquired by Jeanette Walls's editor.
Caldwell: “If they're comparing this to The Glass Castle, I know I'll love it!”
Galleys: All shows except SCIBA or contact Katherine.Monaghan@simonandschuster.com.
Trail of Crumbs
by Kim Sunee (Grand Central, Jan.)
Pitch: An adoptee who found her true identity through food, Sunee tells of growing up as one of two Asian children in her New Orleans school and, at age 21, becoming mistress of a French businessman's Paris and Provence residences and stepmother to his child.
Koehler: “Travel and memoir readers should be drawn to Sunee's unusual life.”
Galleys: all shows or Jennifer.Romanello@hbgusa.com.
The Middle Place
by Kelly Corrigan (Hyperion/Voice, Jan.)
Pitch: A 36-year-old mother and newspaper columnist's memoir of caring for two children and her aging father—then finding a lump in her breast.
Hensley: “I read this and loved it. She writes about families like they really are, and her dad is the best.”
Galleys: all shows or email@example.com; author appearances at SIBA and NCIBA
by Pat Barker (Doubleday, Jan.)
Pitch: An exceptional novel of artists and lovers caught in the maelstrom of the Great War, by the Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy
Hensley: “A new Pat Barker is always an event.”
Caldwell: “ The Regeneration Trilogy is fixture with our book clubs. My staff will be fighting over this one!”
LaFramboise: “The First World War setting will surely appeal to her readers.”
Galleys: PNBA, NCBA, NEIBA, SIBA and MBA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Richard Price (FSG, Mar.)
Pitch: A major novel from the author of Clockers and co-writer of TV's The Wire, set in New York's Lower East Side, where worlds collide.
Pohrt: “Price is an American Dostoyevski.”
Galleys: all shows or email@example.com.
A Father's Law
by Richard Wright (Harper Perennial, Feb.)
Pitch: An unfinished novel written in 1960 by the author of Native Son about a black policeman who suspects his son of murder.
LaFramboise: “Posthumous novels are usually disappointing, but attract curious readers early on. Will this one be different? I'm anxious to see.”
Galleys: all shows or Katherine.Beitner@harpercollins.com.
Returning Fiction Authors
World Made by Hand
by James Howard Kunstler (Atlantic Monthly, Mar.)
Pitch: A marketing executive-turned-carpenter lives amid abandoned highways in this portrait of life after climate change and resource wars.
LaFramboise: “Playing on current fears, Kunstler should find a welcoming audience.”
Galleys: PNBA, NCBA, NEIBA, SIBA and MBA or MKoreiwo@groveatlantic.com.
The Blue Star
by Tony Earley (Little, Brown, Mar.)
Pitch: The sequel to the national bestseller Jim the Boy is another unforgettable portrait of Depression-era smalltown life.
Koehler: “If this keeps the same voice and tone, it's sure to be another hit.”
Galleys: all shows or Heather.Rizzo@hbgusa.com; author appearance at SIBA.
The Pirate's Daughter
by Margaret Cezair-Thompson (Unbridled, Oct.)
Pitch: Based on Errol Flynn's retirement on an island off Jamaica, this is the story of a local girl who has an affair with him, and the daughter he meets only once.
Koehler: “I've read it: the atmosphere, the characters and the quirky connection to a larger-than-life man are great.”
Galleys: all shows or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Life of the Skies
by Jonathan Rosen (FSG, Feb.)
Pitch: A history of America as seen through the eyes of a birdwatcher, by a writer whose essays have appeared in the New Yorker.
Koehler: “We have birders on staff and in our families. It sounds like there will be a waiting list for this one at our shop.”
Galleys: all shows or email@example.com.
Why We Read What We Read
by John Heath and Lisa Adams (Sourcebooks, Sept.)
Pitch: What 200 bestselling books say about what we believe, how we relate and how we can communicate better.
LaFramboise: “Books about books have found big audiences with book group members.”
Galleys: all shows or firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to the following booksellers:
•Kathleen Caldwell, owner of A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland, Calif.
•Sessalee Hensley, fiction buyer at Barnes & Noble
•Valerie Koehler, owner of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex.
•Mark LaFramboise, buyer at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.
•Karl Pohrt, owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Mich.