Cornwell, Greenberg, Harrison, Leovy, Simsion | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

Cornwell, Bernard. The Empty Throne. Harper. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062250711. $27.99. HISTORICAL FICTION
It’s hard going for Uhtred in this eighth entry in the popular “Saxon Tales” series by New York Times best-selling author Cornwell. First, to heal from wounds he has received in battle, he must find the sword that did the damage. In addition, Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying without an heir, and Uhtred is among those who supports the beloved Athelflaed, Æthelred’s widow, as the next ruler. But not all Saxons want to answer to a woman, and there will be a greenbergbattle for the throne. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Greenberg, Mike. My Father’s Wives. Morrow. Jan. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062325860. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062325884. WOMEN’S FICTION
Co-host of ESPN’s Mike and Mike, Greenberg triumphed last year with his first novel, All You Could Ask For, which got tons of coverage and reached no. 17 on the New York Times best sellers list. LJ called it, “A must read for fans of smart women’s fiction.” His new novel features Jonathan Sweetwater, successful and happily married, who nevertheless regrets that he never had a good relationship with his father, Percival Sweetwater III, a five-term U.S. senator Jonathan barely saw after he turned nine and his father waltzed off to marry, in succession, five women. Now, with his own marriage suddenly called into question, Jonathan decides to track down the women and learn something about his father. Big promotion.

Harrison, Jim. The Big Seven. Grove. Jan. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780802123336. $26. LITERARY FICTION
Back after 2011’s The Great Leader, a national best seller that made the New York Times harrisonjimextended best sellers list, Detective Sunderson has settled into a hunting cabin deep in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But he can’t find peace, because his new neighbors, the Ameses, are gun-toting outlaws that have local police officers running scared. But then an Ames woman is murdered (she happens to be Sunderson’s cleaning lady), family outcast Lemuel Ames consults Sunderson on a crime novel he’s writing, and all hell breaks loose. You can see why this is described as darkly witty.

Leovy, Jill. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780385529983. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780385530002. CD: Random Audio. SOCIAL SCIENCE
A longtime reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times who was part of a six-reporter team that won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News, Leovy reports on one murder that represents hundreds in Los Angeles each year—and many more across America. One young African American man shot another, then leaped into an SUV and hurtled away. Most such murders go unsolved, but in this case Det. John Skaggs made a difference. Both an intimate portrait of a death, a community, and a detective squad and a large-scale meditation on murder in America, this book was pushed back from July 2014 and was originally titled The Homicide Report: Understanding rosieMurder in America.

Simsion, Graeme. The Rosie Effect. S. & S.  Jan. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781476767314. $25. ebk. ISBN 9781476767338. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION
Former IT consultant Simsion hit it big with The Rosie Project, an international sensation translated into over 35 languages that was a New York Times best seller and a LibraryReads top pick. Classification-obsessed and dorky but delightful Australian genetics professor Don Tillman is back, living in New York and married to Rosie, who’s now pregnant. Deep into researching pregnancy and fatherhood, intent on their apartment’s all-important industrial refrigeration unit, Dave the Baseball Fan’s floundering business, and friend Gene’s split from his wife, Don might be missing the most important thing of all. With a ten-city tour.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.