There was no one standout book of the fair at last week's Book Expo America however, talk continued to dominate the stands and aisles of those likely to succeed in the months to come.
Here are some of the books highlighted by delegates:
In fiction, Pulitzer-winner Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot (FSG); The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday, reportedly bought for $1million); Alice LaPlante’s dementia-and-murder combo Turn of Mind (Atlantic Monthly); Man Booker winner Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower (Knopf); Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers (Ballantine); When She Woke by Hillary Jordan and Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, whose young Rwandan protagonist naively thinks his talent for running will protect him (both Algonquin).
Also, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder (HarperCollins); You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik, the first from author-turned editor Alice Sebold (Europa); Sere Prince Halverson’s The Underside of Joy (Dutton); Chad Harbach’s debut novel about life, the universe and baseball The Art of Fielding (Little, Brown); The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (Scribner); Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility (Penguin); Umberto Eco’s latest, The Prague Cemetery (Harcourt).
In non-fiction, Dava Sobel’s Copernicus play-embedded-in-narrative A More Perfect Heaven (Walker); Then Again (Random House), actress Diane Keaton’s memoir about the very different paths she and her mother took, and her mother’s long battle with Alzheimer’s; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (Norton), Stephen Greenblatt’s analysis of how a rediscovered Lucretius manuscript kick-started the Renaissance; In the Garden of Beasts (Crown), Erik Larson’s account of an American ambassador and his daughter in Nazi Germany and Sylvia Nasar’s Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (S&S).
Also, Matterhorn author Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like to Go to War (Grove); Caroline Moorehead’s A Train in Winter (Harper), singled out by Cathy Langer, lead buyer for Denver’s famous independent The Tattered Cover; and Marcus Chown’s Solar System (Black Dog & Leventhal/ Faber in the UK), which its American publisher, J P Leventhal, touts as “the first physical book created from an original electronic book.”