Representatives from seven publishers were greeted on Thursday by a room packed with librarians eager to hear the big books of 2015. The session was the first of two AAP Librarian Book Buzz panels.
Penguin's Dominique Jenkins kicked off the session with an energetic presentation of upcoming titles, including a mix of debut and big name authors. Her personal favorite of the upcoming season is Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman, July). The debut novel, which Jenkins called "a love letter from the author to his hometown," includes a recipe a Stradal family for peanut butter bars which were handed out earlier in the day at Penguin booth.
Random House's Jen Child began her presentation with books by "old favorites" including Golden Age (Knopf, Oct.), the final installment in Jane Smiley's trilogy. The series' first two books made the LibraryReads books of the month list, and Childs said she's "hoping for a trifecta." Also on the Random House list was The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson (Hogarth, Oct.), the first installment to a new series in which bestselling novelists reimagine Shakespeare's plays for a 21st century audience. Among the other authors enlisted for the series is Gillian Flynn interpreting "The Taming of Shrew" and Margaret Atwood who is signed on to redo "The Tempest".
Melissa Nicholas pitched Hachette titles, including Drinking in America by Susan Cheever (Grand Central, Oct.). The book, which is a cultural history of America's obsession with drinking, is "good for nonfiction book clubs and you can do fun things with it," Nicholas joked.
On Norton's list of upcoming titles, presented by Golda Rademacher, was Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan (Norton, Oct.). The author, who is the litigator responsible for the landmark ruling, is also the keynote speaker at ALA Annual next month in San Francisco.
Linda Hollick raved about eight titles forthcoming from New York Review of Books. The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky (NYRB, Sept.) caught the interest of Runita Sutton, a reference library at Queens Public Library East Flushing Branch, who named Abramsky's memoir about his Jewish intellectual grandfather one of her personal favorites from the session.
Meredith Barnes from Soho Press and Julia Schafer of Consortium Book Group closed off the session with highlights from their respective catalogs. The second library buzz panel will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday in room 1E14.