With February right around the corner, let's take a look at the February LibraryReads list, which features 10 books coming out next month that librarians across the country are the most excited about sharing with their patrons.
Topping the list is Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which Cindy Stevens of the Pioneer Library System in Norman, Oklahoma, proclaims as "the next great read for those who loved The Hunger Games."
While the list offers up lots of suspenseful thrillers to curl up with by the fire—The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (our Top Pick in fiction for February!) and The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin, among them—it also features much-anticipated new novels from best-selling authors Matthew Quick and Wiley Cash. See the full list right here.
What do you think, readers? Any of the books going straight to the top of your TBR list?
Australian Graeme Simsion has hit it out of the park with his first novel, The Rosie Project. The hilarious and endearing tale follows genetics professor Don Tillman—who's brilliant but socially awkward—as his scientific quest to find a wife is sidetracked by the gorgeous and free-spirited Rosie. Our reviewer declares the book to be "a wacky, wonderful love story that is just plain fun to read." (Read the full review here.)
We were curious about the books Simsion has been reading lately, so we asked him to recommend three recent favorites:
THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
By Matthew Quick
I was sent an advance copy of Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock to review and enjoyed it so much (despite not being a “young adult”) that I grabbed a copy of The Silver Linings Playbook. I love and envy Mr. Quick’s ability to make even his most minor characters real, original and sympathetic.
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GOODBYE FOR NOW
By Laurie Frankel
Another advance copy—we authors have our reading chosen for us! An original idea that appealed to my information technology background, and didn’t stretch my credulity so far that I lost interest. A light read, but some big topics to reflect upon later.
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THE CHEEKY MONKEY
By Tim Ferguson
I read a lot of nonfiction, especially about writing craft. Tim Ferguson was my comedy teacher, and the best I know at explaining how comedy works. He told me to make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em think. It’s a great motto for writing.
What do you think, readers? Will you be checking out The Rosie Project or any of Simsion's recommended books?
Those who were introduced to Matthew Quick through the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook may not be aware that he is a former high school teacher with three YA novels under his belt. His most recent, the riveting Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, introduces readers to a teenager in crisis who is contemplating a murder-suicide. (Read our interview with Quick about the book here.)
We were curious about which books Quick has enjoyed reading lately and asked him to share three recommendations. Here they are:
DR. BIRD’S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS
By Evan Roskos
Fantastic title. Little known fact: Evan Roskos and I once tried to write a book together. It was called MonkeyShark. We never finished it—instead he took his parts and wrote Dr. Bird, and I wrote Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Like me, Evan cares deeply about mental health awareness. His take on anxiety, Walt Whitman, family and friendship is as authentic as they come. It’s a beautiful, hopeful story. And it features a talking pigeon! That alone makes it a must read.
THE BEST OF YOUTH
By Michael Dahlie
I met Michael at the PEN Hemmingway Awards when my debut was an Honorable Mention to his winner. He handled his victory with the same class and grace that imbue his novels. Dahlie’s hapless protagonists are as hilariously flawed as they are earnestly humane. Almost a year after first reading an advance copy, my wife and I still discuss scenes—especially the one featuring a herd of rare goats—from The Best of Youth. For all the Young Adult and ghost authors out there, this is a must, as it explores the fickle and sometimes even pernicious aspects of the writing life.
THE ROSIE PROJECT
By Graeme Simsion
Not sure when I’ve loved a character more than Don Tillman, “Professor of Genetics and licensed server of alcohol.” With Twain-like efficiency, Simsion constructs his humor on a sturdy foundation of humanity. This is the type of book that makes you believe in people, love and taking chances. I smiled and laughed all the way through and then gave the book to my wife, who loved it just as much. This one is forthcoming in the U.S. (October 1), and I suggest you preorder today.