The next drama by Shonda Rhimes gets a late spring premiere date on ABC. Something of a departure for the hitmaker behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, it is set in the world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, after the two doomed lovers have died.
The holds leader for the upcoming week is John Sandford’s Golden Prey (PRH/Putnam; RH Large Type; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), which has also received strong prepub reviews.
A distant second is Iris Johansen’s No Easy Target(Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), in which one of the supporting characters from her best selling Eve Duncan books gets her own book.
The new book by the author of the award-winning dystopian Southern Reach Trilogy arrives with three starred prepub reviews (Kirkus calls it an “odd, atmospheric, and decidedly dark fable for our time“) and film rights already sold to Paramount. In addition, in late March, CinemaCon attendees were treated to footage of the adaptation of Annihilation, the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. Directed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, it stars Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac, release is expected in 2018.
UPDATE: Laura Miller gives Borne a thoughtful review in the New Yorker.
Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT).
The COO of Facebook, famous for her book on women in the workplace, Lean In, writes about what she learned after the sudden, unexpected death of her husband in 2015 at age 47. She will be featured on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend, in a segment that promoted today on CBS This Morning. More will follow, with appearances on Good Morning America, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and NPR’s All Things Considered.
“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC
“Jay Baron Nicorvo’s novel envelops you in a world most civilians never know, where homeless veterans gather to work on regaining their hearts and minds. The reader is a listener, learning about these characters through each of their voices, accents, idioms, and military jargon — sometimes mean and ugly, sometimes only vaguely understood. Even in their hidden Catskills retreat, there is a realization that they are not beyond the reach of a sinister corporate world waging another, more personal war for oil. The Standard Grand is sculpture, a work of art with every word, every detail, perfect.” —Diane Marie Steggerda, The Bookman, Grand Haven, MI
Additional Buzz:Booklist stars itwith reviewer Bill Kelly writing “Alongside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) and Yellow Birds (2012), The Standard Grand is an important and deeply human contribution to the national conversation.” LJ counts it among its picks of the “Great First Acts: Debut Novels.”
The premium cable network, HBO has discovered the temperature at which paper burns, as it moves forward with a film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s dystopian masterpiece Fahrenheit 451 (S&S; Tantor; OverDrive Sample).
The novel, first published in 1953, depicts a future world where books are outlawed and, if found, burned by firemen. Written during the McCarthy era it has found a new readership following the 2016 election.
It won a Retrospective Hugo in 2004 and was adapted by François Truffaut in a 1966 film starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie and was adapted as a graphic novel in 2009: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton (Macmillan/Hill and Wang).
Netflix is adapting Shirley Jackson’s iconic horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House into a series reports Variety. It is being described as “a modern reimagining.”
Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus, and Ouija: Origin of Evil) is on board to direct the planned 10-episode run. This is his second horror adaptation for Netflix. He is currently in post-production on Netflix’s movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game.
GQ is excited about Flanagan’s role, saying “he knocks it out of the park every damn time … [and] has already been responsible for beloved modern horrors … The Haunting of Hill House is a tense, almost unbearable book at times. It will be great to see how the director works with dread over the course of several episodes rather than just a few hours.”
Jackson’s novel is considered a classic of the genre, and has its own Penguin’s classic edition to prove it. Published in 1959, it was a finalist for the National Book Award. The story follows four people who spend time in the creepy halls of Hill House, known for its supernatural phenomena. One of the four becomes subject to the house’s menacing hold.
Stephen King wrote, in the introduction of one of the many editions of the novel, “it seems to me that [The Haunting of Hill House] and James’s The Turn of the Screw are the only two great novels of the supernatural in the last hundred years.”
It has already been adapted, twice, as feature films released in 1963 and 1999. The Netflix’s version will be another marker in the recent up swing of attention to Jackson, who also wrote the masterful short story “The Lottery.” A critically acclaimed biography of the author was published last October, Penguin is issuing Classics versions of her work with introductions by authors such as Francine Prose, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Kevin Wilson. Last year “The Lottery” was adapted into a graphic novel and Random House issued a collection of previously unpublished and uncollected works, Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings.
A new trailer for Sofia Coppola’s upcoming movie, The Beguiled has been released in advance of the Cannes Film Festival, where it has been entered into competition. Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning,and Kirsten Dunst, it is based on a 1966 Southern Gothic novel, A Painted Devil by Thomas Cullinan.
Set during the Civil War, the plot involves a group of women sequestered in a girls boarding school in the South, whose lives are turned upside down by the appearance of a wounded Union soldier. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 30th. Based on the trailer, IndieWire ventures that, “Coppola might just have the indie hit of the summer on her hands.”
Cullinan’s book was adapted before, also under the title The Beguiled. Released in 1971, it starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. Considered a flop, it reportedly has developed a cult following since. The trailer for that movie works hard to attract audiences to the story of “a man who becomes prisoner to these man-deprived women, these man-eager girls.”
Coppola told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year that hers will be quite a different movie. She shifts the focus away from he soldier to “the dynamics between a group of women all stuck together, and then also the power shifts between men and women.”
Little information is available about the 1966 novel, which has been out of print for 30 years. For the upcoming tie-in edition, the publisher quotes Stephen King from his book on horror novels and films, Danse Macabre, calling it “[A] mad gothic tale . . . The reader is mesmerized with horror by what goes on in that forgotten school for young ladies.” There are a few, mostly positive reviews on GoodReads, from film buffs who managed to snag out-of-print copies.
Kory Stamper has something of a following. Add Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air, to that list. She makes that clear in her interview with the associate editor at Merriam-Webster’s on Wednesday, about Stamper’s book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (PRH/Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
The Killing books, which examine the deaths of public figures such as Killing Kennedy (2012) and Killing Patton (2014), have made a killing for Holt. They have also been the source of money-making movies for National Geographic. The cable network has also announced that they plan to continue to develop a TV movie based on Killing Patton.
Recent press stories about the reasons behind O’Reilly’s ouster shine an ironic light on his newest book, Old School: Life in the Sane Lane (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), which Janet Maslin described in her NYT review as “meant to set forth the code of decency, honor and determination that made O’Reilly what he is today.” It debuted at #2 on the USA Today best-seller list, moving down slightly to #5 this week.
The NYT questions whether that will continue, writing “Even if Holt sticks with Mr. O’Reilly, sales of his books will almost certainly decline without his perch at Fox, which he used to promote his books to millions of viewers.” That seems borne out by Amazon’s sales rankings where the book has slipped to #19.
The next Killing book is set for a Sept. 2017 publication. With no title, no cover art, no advance reviews and no description on the publishers site, there is no information on what subject it addresses.
Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard
On Sale Date: September 19, 2017
Hardcover | 304 pages |
$30.00 USD, $38.99 CAD
ISBN 9781627790642, 1627790640
The first trailer for the film adaptation of Vince Flynn’s thriller American Assassin carries some extra interest. It’s the first on-screen appearance of Dylan O’Brien since he suffered injuries while filming another adaptation, The Maze Runner: Death Cure. He plays the lead character, CIA operative Mitch Rapp. Michael Keaton plays the man assigned to train him as a killer.
The film is set for release on Sept. 15.
American Assassin is the eleventh title in the series, chosen because it moves back in time to depict Rapp’s first assignment. A tie-in has yet to be announced. The paperback (S&S/Pocket) experienced a bump on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the trailer’s release.
Terry Gross interviewed Alyssa Mastromonaco yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air, sending her memoir Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (Hachette/Twelve; OverDrive Sample) into Amazon’s Top 50, currently at $37.
President Obama’s deputy chief of staff for operations. Mastromonaco shares insider details about his administration, often in contrast with Trump’s, including how the president’s personal travel budget works, the threats that face presidents in the post-9/11 world, and the selection process for Cabinet positions.
Seemingly small details underscore that women are still newcomers in the world of politics, such as the lack of women’s bathrooms in the West Wing.
Haynes, whose films to date have been for adults, won the Queer Palm at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, for Carol based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt. This is Haynes’s first film based on a children’s book.
Heavy media attention is sending an account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign soaring up the Amazon’s sales rankings to #3, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
In today’s NYT, chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling” and says “Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in ‘Shattered’— and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating … and while it’s clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.”
Most other media sources assigned they political reporter to the book. Having been closer to the campaign on a day-by-day basis, they offer a different take. NPR’s Washington desk correspondent, Ron Elving, says “There is no Big Reveal, no shocking secret answer. Instead we get a slow-building case against the concept and execution of the Clinton campaign, with plenty of fault falling squarely on the candidate herself.”
A Washington Post piece by senior politics editor Steven Ginsberg is even less positive: “the quick-fire version proves too limiting” he says noting there will “surely be many books about what really happened inside the 2016 campaigns. Going first has its advantages — perhaps in sales and attention.”
Will Shattered be the next Game Change, the best selling analysis of the 2008 campaign by Mark Halperin and John Heinemann? Elving does not think so, saying the personalities involved in that campaign, Obama, John Edwards, John McCain, and Sarah Palin were “more compelling and telegenic, calling out to turn themselves into the TV movie they became,” adding, “Ultimately, Allen and Parnes get inside the campaign but not inside the mind of Hillary Clinton. Much the same seems to have been true for most of her staff and, ultimately, the voters.”
Halperin and Heinemann are working on their own book on the campaign, following up on their successful Showtime series, “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth,” now in its third season, covering Trump’s first 100 days in office. As yet untitled, the book is expected to be published early next year. HBO has already acquired the rights to it.
Clinton will publish her own memoir in September. Described as a collection of her personal reflections on quotes and stories that have helped her “celebrate the good times, laugh at the absurd times, persevere during the hard times,” it doesn’t sound like it will delve deeply into the campaign.
There were no prepub reviews for Shattered, indicating it was embargoed, and libraries have ordered it very lightly, with some systems facing 5:1 ratios.
Doughtlander is slowly coming to an end. Set to debut in September, STARZ aired a teaser for season 3 during this weekend’s premiere of The White Princess.
Fans of the fashions in season two will have more to look forward to reports Vanity Fair, quoting lead actress Caitriona Balfe who says, “Some of the 60s pieces are so cool and beautiful that I asked [the costume designer] to make me doubles.”
The actors playing Jamie and Claire were separated in the actual filming as they are in the novel. Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie, tells the magazine that the experience was like “having a death in the family. Well, I don’t know. I mean, it’s just like a different show. It’s hard to separate yourself from the character. It’s always hard when we’re apart … But I think it all adds to the reunion—if there’s a reunion, or when there’s a reunion—well, you know there’s one in the books. It should be very special.” Balfe responded, “Och! He’s already killed me in his mind. Gone. Too sad.”
The third season of Outlander is based on Voyager, the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s long running series.
The Dark Tower — After many delays, the film, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is now firmly set for release on August 4th. Fans are clamoring for the trailer, but so far, have had to content themselves with reports about the footage shown at ComiCon in March.
It — Starring the scary Bill Skarsgård from Big Little Lies as Pennywise, this film debuts on September 28th. A teaser arrived late last month.
The adaptation of David Grann’s The Lost City of Z debuted in just four theaters over the weekend, but it made plenty of noise with critics who are raving about it (the one hold out is the Wall Street Journal‘s critic). It expands to 400 theaters this coming weekend.
Two small screen adaptations make their debuts in the coming week.
Oprah Winfrey stars as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter. Rose Byrne (Damages) plays Skloot. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) plays Henrietta and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) plays con artist Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield. The Broadway superstar and Tony winning George C. Wolfe (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) wrote the screenplay and directs.
Winfrey tells the NYT that she took the role because she wanted to work with the director, “Audra McDonald said, ‘It will change your life and change you as an actress to work with George.’ And she’s right. He was the person who was able to take a script that felt overridden by the science and re-adapt that into a story about a woman in search of her identity through her mother. That’s why it happened.”
Bella Thorne (The DUFF) plays Paige, a college student who becomes a major Hollywood star and It Girl almost overnight. Kirkus said the book was a “frothy but not frivolous … wish fulfillment for any teen who wants to feel the thrill of celebrity and love.”