Friday, August 2, 2013

Buyer's Corner: Fall 2013

One glorious weekend in July, a small group of Southern California booksellers, myself included, traveled to the iconic La Quinta Resort and Spa for a reading retreat. We were very excited about a weekend to simply spend reading, without the pressures of work or the distractions of day-to-day life. The hot weather forced us to stay indoors to read…the 100+ degree temps made even poolside reading a bit of a challenge. It’s astonishing how many books one can read when there are no distractions! Customers and friends frequently tell me that it must be great to have a job that just involves reading. If only that were true! While reading is an important component of what I do as a book buyer, I often feel that the longer I’m in the industry, the less time I find to read. My work days are spent ordering, re-ordering, meeting with sales reps, managing, merchandising, planning promos etc., so my time to read is either first thing in the morning before I head to work or later in the evening after I get home. Sadly, after a long day at work, I often lack the energy to focus on a book. So, a weekend of reading was just what I needed to recharge and reconnect with books and colleagues. We spent the daytime on our own but met up in the evenings to share a meal and talk about the books we were reading. We had such a great time that we’re hoping to make this an annual event!

2013 has been an exceptionally strong year for great books and the fall list is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s a shortlist of what’s forthcoming. Happy reading!

Hello old friends…
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert ( Available 10/1/13) 978
“A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed.”

Local Souls by Allan Gurganus (Available 9/23/13)
“In these layered, often funny narratives, close reading is rewarded as Gurganus exposes humanity as a strange species.” “The architecture of Allan Gurganus's storytelling is flawless. His narration becomes a Greek chorus, Sophocles in North Carolina. Gurganus makes the preternatural feel natural. Sexual taboos, a parent's worst fears: these emerge in tones comic and horrifying. Each novella delivers an ending of true force.”--John Irving

The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy (Available 10/29/13)
 “the story of a father and his son.”

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Available 9/17/13)
“Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where we've journeyed to since.”

Bridget Jones’ Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (Available 10/15/13)
 “The setting is contemporary London, and like all of us Bridget has moved on.”

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Available 10/22/13)
“…a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.”

Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Available 9/24/13)
“Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.” Long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

Someone by Alice McDermott (Available 9/10/2013)
 “A fully realized portrait of one woman's life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award-winning author An ordinary life--its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion--lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott's extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This.”
Warwick's September Signed First Editions Club Selection

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (Available 11/5/13)
"In her first novel since 2009's Saving Fish from Drowning, Tan again explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, control and submission, tradition and new beginnings.”

We Are Water by Wally Lamb (Available 10/22/13)
We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True

Identical by Scott Turow (Available 10/15/13)
“complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal as only Scott Turow could weave”

Never Go Back by Lee Child (Available 9/3/13)
Jack Reacher is back…what more needs to be said?!

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson (Available 10/1/13)
“One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country--a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer.”

Notable debuts…
The Never List by Koethi Zan (Available now)
“The most relentless, deeply disturbing thriller writer since Jeffery Deaver and Gillian Flynn.”
 “A shocking, blazingly fast read, Koethi Zan's debut is a must for fans of Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, and S.J. Watson.”

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft (Available now)
“What starts as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow, the search for her sister-in-law Melanie swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy.”
For readers of Lisa Lutz & Janet Evanovich.

The Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon (Available 8/6/2013)
“This slim, melancholy debut novel (after a previous celebrated story collection, Once the Shore) traces the
extraordinary journey of Yohan, who defects from his country at the end of the Korean War, leaving his friends and family behind to seek a new life on the coast of Brazil.”  “A minimalist, well-crafted story about an austere man predisposed to avoidance who ultimately needs the people who fill up his empty spaces.”

Provocative nonfiction…
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell (Available 10/1/13)
“…#1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative--and dazzling--book yet. Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a pebble and a sling-and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He "shouldn't "have won. Or should he? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell “challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages-offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.”

Focus: the Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman (Available 10/8/13)
“the author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, offers a groundbreaking look at today's scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention. Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.”

Life at the Speed of Light by J. Craig Venter (Available 10/17/13)
“The renowned scientist and author of A Life Decoded examines the creation of life in the new field of synthetic genomics In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside--detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question "What is life?" and examine what we really mean by "playing God.”

Good reads…
Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Available 8/20/13)
This “gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.”
"An inventive--if brooding, strange and creepy--adventure in literary terror. Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King meet Guillermo del Toro as channeled by Klaus Kinski."-Kirkus Reviews
 Warwick's August Signed First Editions Selection

The Gods of Guilty by Michael Connelly (Available 12/2/13)
“Defense attorney Mickey Haller returns with a haunting case in the gripping new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Available 10/22/13)
Remember A Time To Kill’s Jake Brigance? He's back! Jack returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of America's favorite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small Southern town.”

Food, glorious food….
The A. O. C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin (Available/29/13)
“From the James Beard award-winning chef and author of Sunday Suppers at Lucques--a long-awaited book of her delectable recipes for the kind of small shared plates that have made her restaurant A.O.C. one of the most popular eateries in Los Angeles." Organized by season, the recipes are adapted to be served as main courses as well as small plates. And each dish comes with Styne's suggestion for the most complementary glass of wine, so you will learn exactly what kind of flavors flatter your favorite varietal.”

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony (Available 10/29/13)
"One of the best New York restaurants, a culinary landmark that has been changing the face of American dining for decades, now shares its beloved recipes, stories, and pioneering philosophy.”

The Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith (Available 10/30/13)
“Collecting the vast accumulated wisdom of two of the world's great cheese makers, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks is one of those rare books that immediately asserts itself as an indispensable addition to the food lover's library…an engrossing read that shares the story of the Cowgirls, but also of the rise of the organic food movement and creating an artisanal creamery…a primer on tasting, buying, storing, pairing, and appreciating all kinds of cheese that makes this a gorgeous gift for the cheese lover…and a sumptuous collection of recipes, with 75 appetizers, soups, salads, snacks, entrees, and desserts that showcase cow-, goat-, and sheep-milk cheese.”

Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud with contributions by Bill Buford (Available 10/15/13)  “…a welcome addition to the art of French cooking. Included in the cookbook are diverse and informative essays on such essential subjects as bread and cheese (bien sur), and, by Bill Buford, a thorough and humorous look at the preparation of 10 iconic French dishes, from Pot au Feu Royale to Duck a la Presse.. With more than 120 gorgeous photographs capturing the essence of Boulud's cuisine and the spirit of the restaurant Daniel, as well as a glimpse into Boulud's home kitchen, Daniel is a must-have for sophisticated foodies everywhere.”

Ottolenghi: the Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Available 9/3/13)
“Available for the first time in an American edition, this debut cookbook, from bestselling authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi of Plenty and Jerusalem, features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.”

One Good Dish by David Tanis (Available 10/22/13)
“In this, his first non-menu cookbook, the New York Times food columnist offers 100 utterly delicious recipes that epitomize comfort food, Tanis-style. Individually or in combination, they make perfect little meals that are elemental and accessible, yet totally surprising.”

Animal magnetism…
Maddie On Things by Theron Humphrey (Available now)
When Theron set out on a roadtrip to cover all 50 states in 365 days he had no idea where that journey would take him or the significant impact it would have on his life and future. In the grand tradition of Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, his rescued coonhound, Maddie, goes along for the ride and somewhere early on he decides to photograph her standing on things as a way to document the trip. Maddie is irresistibly photogenic, and loves posing for the camera. This delightful collection will make you smile!
(We’re excited to be hosting Maddie and her human on Wednesday, 8/28 at 7:30pm! Click here for details.)

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh (Available 10/1/13)
Unlikely Friendships meets Marley and Me." In this heartwarming gift book, author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh presents a collection of inspiring dog stories and touching photos--dogs who comfort veterans, dogs who learn to surf, dogs who detect cancer, and dogs who save the day: Each one is devoted. These 38 uplifting dog stories showcase the most amazing dog rescues, accomplishments, and abilities that fascinate us and touch our hearts.”

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats by Anthony Lane (Available 10/1/13)
“Only The New Yorker could fetch such an unbelievable roster of talent on the subject of man's best friend. This copious collection, beautifully illustrated in full color, features articles, fiction, humor, poems, cartoons, cover art, drafts, and drawings from the magazine's archives.”

Shake by Carli Davidson  (Available 10/22/13)
“Original, amusing, and brilliantly documented, Shake is a heartwarming collection of sixty-one beguiling dogs caught in the most candid of moments: mid-shake. This glorious, graphic volume will stop you dead in your tracks as you are presented with images of man's best friend caught in contortion: hair wild, eyes darting, ears and jowls flopping every which way.”

Adrian is the Head Book Buyer at Warwick's

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