This new release of GRUB is coming so soon as a rather important bug was discovered in GRUB 2.0. As is documented in the bug report, with GRUB 1.97 the password-based security for this free software boot-loader is rather compromised. With GRUB 1.97, if your password was "phoronix", any individual could log-in just entering "p" or "nix" or any other part of the string -- even just one character. With the just-out GRUB 1.97.1, this issue has been addressed.
Besides this important fix, GRUB 1.97.1 also has support for GNU/Hurd, fixes for a build problem on Mac OS X, and various documentation / error message improvements.
GRUB 1.97.1 is available for download from this directory.