EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Holds Alert: THE IDENTICALS

Author Elin Hildebrand hits a career high this week. Her latest book, The Identicals (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), debuts at No. 2 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, right behind John Grisham’s Camino Island. Her highest ranking to date was last year’s Here’s To Us, which debuted at #4.

Holds are also high, running at 5:1 or above at the majority of libraries we checked.

The eighteenth in a series of titles set on Nantucket in the summer, USA Today writes, “Hilderbrand’s books are basically a seasonal staple, as important to beach reading as sunscreen and sand.”

Hilderbrand is the subject of the NYT‘s “By the Book” feature, answering “Lorrie Moore” to the question which writer she admires most. She says “[Moore] is a writer’s writer. Her long stories are absolutely, hands-down the best pieces of writing that exist, in my opinion.”

 

RAVEN ROCK Rises

NPR’s Fresh Air sends Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die by Garrett M. Graff (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) skyrocketing up the Amazon charts, moving to #25 from #1,933.

Graff’s book explores newly declassified government plans for continuity in case of disaster, written at the start of the atomic era and elaborated upon during the Cold War. Host Terry Gross calls it “a mix of the terrifying, the absurd, and the bureaucratic.”

Graff tells Gross about one of the shelter bunkers for chosen government officials:

“Raven Rock is this massive, hollowed-out mountain. It’s a free-standing city … [with] three-story buildings. It has everything that a small city would — there’s a fire department there, there’s a police department, medical facilities, dining halls. The dining facility serves four meals a day, it’s a 24 hour facility … today [it] could hold as many as 5,000 people in the event of an emergency.”

As for his subtitle, Graff says that at the start of the planning process the government thought most of the population would survive an attack but now the plan is that “The civilian population will be left to itself for weeks or months at a time, and a small number of senior government officials will be spirited out to these bunkers with the hope that within months or a few years they’re able to reconstitute something that resembles the United States again.”

WATCHMEN Cometh

A live-action adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s iconic comic, Watchmen (DC Comics), may be headed to HBO.

Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) is in “very early talks” to develop a series, reports Deadline.

If it does make it to screen, it will follow previous adaptations, a 2009 film by Zack Snyder and a motion comic (a narrated and animated version of the actual comic) from 2008. CRB.com reports on yet another possible adaptation in the works as well as moves by DC Comics to bring “several of the main Watchmen characters into its main superhero universe.”

Watchmen first appeared in 1986 and ran for 12 issues. It took the comics world by storm and grabbed the notice of literary critics too. It is currently on Time magazine’s list of 100 Best Novels. ScreenRant has a list of ways it “Changed Comics Forever” and the BBC looks at its influence.

New Attention for FLOWER MOON

David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings again, after an appearance on ABC’s The View during which Grann enthralled the hosts with the story of a series of all but forgotten crimes perpetrated on a group of Native Americans.

The book has been on the NYT‘s Hardcover Nonfiction list for eight weeks, rising as high as #4, currently at #11. It is #2 on Entertainment Weekly’s “The 10 Best Books of the Year so Far.

LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick. it was on a number of best spring book lists. As we have previously posted, the film rights were sold in a hot auction for 5 million, roughly a year before the book hit shelves. Variety says it “was one of the highest prices paid for movie rights in recent memory.”

Dog Finds Man

A stray dog nabs herself a multi book and movie deal.

A tiny but hardy pup, approached ultra-marathoner Dion Leonard during a long distance race in China across part of the Gobi Desert. She stayed with him, running nearly 80 miles. Leonard named her after the desert.

Her story, and his, gets even more dramatic. Once the run was over Gobi disappeared in a Chinese city while Leonard was raising funds to adopt her and take her back to his home in Scotland. An international effort launched on the Internet helped find her, hurt but ultimately OK.

He says that he has no idea why she came to him in the wilderness, “whether it was my smell — we don’t shower during the week in these races — or whether it was something else, whether it was a past life connection. It was definitely fate and I’m so glad that she chose me … she’s brought lots of joy to people around the globe with our story.”

That story is captured in Finding Gobi: A Little Dog with a Very Big Heart by Dion Leonard with Craig Borlase (HC/Thomas Nelson, June 13; Thomas Nelson Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Coming August 9 are YA and children’s versions:

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Gobi: Young Reader’s Edition: The True Story of One Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard, adapted by Aaron Rosenberg (HC/Thomas Nelson).

Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart by Dion Leonard, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak (HC/Thomas Nelson).

A board book comes out in early 2018, Gobi for Little Ones: The Race for Home by Dion Leonard, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak (HC/Thomas Nelson).

Twentieth Century Fox is developing the movie. Variety reports the studio “has preemptively acquired the film rights to the book.”

A portion of the proceeds from Leonard’s book will go to help other dogs in China.

Rumor Control: DOWNTON Movie

Rumors of a Downton Abbey movie have resurfaced.

The Associated Press writes that Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, said at an event in Singapore this week for “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition,” that they hope “to assemble 20 cast members from the popular TV series” for a new film, currently set for 2018.

The headline, however makes it sound much more definite, “NBC says ‘Downton Abbey’ movie production to start in 2018.”

The news seems to have taken much of the cast by surprise. A film version has been rumored for years.

Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, told the AP “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

“Oh, well, you’ve got confirmation before us. We have no idea if that’s happening,” said Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy.

Creator Julian Fellowes was hopeful, responding “I think we’ve got a film in us. I hope it happens.”

As we posted earlier, Fellowes and Elizabeth McGovern are already booked for now, working on the Masterpiece’s production of The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s 2012 novel, which is set to begin filming soon in NYC.

 

Live Chat with Ann Dee Ellis,
Author of YOU MAY ALREADY
BE A WINNER

Today’s chat has now ended. Read the transcript below.

Live Blog Live Chat with Ann Dee Ellis, YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER
 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, First Trailer

9781250121462_c1182The first trailer for Dreamworks’ adaptation of David Finkel’s 2013 award-winning Thank You For Your Service has been released.

Oscar-nominated Jason Hall (for Best Adapted Screenplay, American Sniper) wrote the script and makes his directorial debut. Miles Teller (War Dogs) leads the large cast which also includes Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train) and Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) in what is billed as her first non-comedic role.

The film opens in theaters on October 27, 2017. As Variety reports, the release date is timed for awards season.

The book follows a group of soldiers as they try to adjust to civilian life after returning home from fighting in Baghdad, although the movie appears to focus on just one of them. A critical success, it was reviewed by the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, and The Guardian, shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award and selected as a NYT‘s Notable Books of 2013.

tie-in edition (Macmillan/Picador; Macmillan Audio) arrives in September.

Sedaris On His Compulsion

PBS Newshour interviews humorist David Sedaris.

His new book, Theft by Finding (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is based on his diaries. Keeping a diary, he says, is something that people regard as disciplined, but for him, it’s a compulsion. something he does when he “should be out doing things.”

The book is currently #4 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-fiction list, after debuting last week at #3.

Telling His Story

In his just-released memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (Hachette/Little, Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), Sherman Alexie writes about growing up in poverty and enduring violence so strong that he still suffers from PTSD. Discussing the book with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air, he begins by reading a passage bout trying to escape a family holiday party full of violent and dangerous people.

Yet, he says, “despite all my past and current mental illnesses, despite any pain that I have, that my life … is something amazing, and I’m grateful for that.”

The book made a strong move on the Amazon charts as a result, jumping into the Top 100 at #38, up from #410.

Claiming Space

Roxane Gay talks with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air about her new book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), proving the least interesting thing about her is her much-noted size.

In a smart and candid talk she tells Gross it is a book that felt necessary to write for the very fact it was the book she wanted to write least, “I was just dreading writing the book” she says, “while still feeling like this was a necessary book to write.”

Through the book she offers readers a story of her body as it is now and “what her body had endured” when she was young; she was gang raped at 12, betrayed and set up for a planned attack by a boy she trusted and a group of his friends.

She goes on to talk about her life now, about being fat, and the ways society is threatened by what she calls an “unruly body.”

Reviews are very strong. USA Today calls it “a thing of raw beauty” and writes “This wrenching work … is a yearning to be unburdened of secrets … Gay takes us on a journey in which we learn what it is to exist in a society that accuses you of taking up too much room, even as it refuses to yield a place for you.”

Literary Hub‘s Book Marks rounds up more reviews, many are raves such as the LA Times, which writes it is “a bracingly vivid account of how intellect, emotion and physicality speak to each other and work in tireless tandem to not just survive unspeakable hurt, but to create a life worth living and celebrating.”

The Atlantic says the book is “arresting and candid. At its best, it affords women, in particular, something so many other accounts deny them—the right to take up space they are entitled to, and to define what that means.”

It is currently #28 on Amazon’s Top 100 and has been moving upwards since its publication date. Holds are high in a number of libraries we checked, some topping 5:1.

AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Trailer

The first full-length trailer for the movie based on Vince Flynn’s American Assassin has been released. Deadline reports that this may be the launch of a new “action hero franchise … built on a deep well of bestselling novels by the late Vince Flynn … in a revenge tale that could be the start of a Jack Ryan-like journey for [Dylan] O’Brien’s Mitch Rapp character.”

Also starring Michael Keaton, the film opens on Sept. 15

American Assassin is the eleventh title in the book series, chosen because it moves back in time to depict Rapp’s first assignment. Tie-ins will be released in August.
American Assassin: A Thriller
Vince Flynn
S&S/Atria; August 15, 2017
Trade Paperback
Mass Market
S&S Audio

To Movies: DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

After 207 weeks on the NYT Picture Book Best Seller list and counting, Sony announces that they will adapt the 40-page picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Penguin Young Readers/ Philomel) into a feature filmDeadline reports that it is “envisioned as a live-action/animation hybrid.”

Described by Deadline as being about “a box of crayons whose inhabitants go on strike against their young owner after growing sick of how they’re being used, as their individual colors dictate very limited day-to-day existences for each crayon,” it’s not mentioned how fraught assumptions about color can be, as Betsy Bird explored in a post on her SLJ blog, Fuse Eight.

LibraryReads Needs Diverse Books

A recent analysis of titles picked for the LibraryReads program showed a sorry lack of diversity. The headline of the Book Riot story puts it succinctly and starkly, “LibraryReads So White, or Why Librarians Need to Do Better.

This is not news to the LibraryReads Steering Committee (which, until recently, I was part of and continue to be an advocate). As current member Stephanie Anderson of Darien PL, responded, the group is working on plans to encourage more nominations from library staff. As she says, “diverse titles make the list when multiple librarians read them in advance and vote for them. I agree that as individual librarians, we have a lot of work to do.”

Fortunately, you can be part of the solution. Set your own personal challenge to read more diversely and nominate the titles you discover for LibraryReads. If you’re part of the crowd grabbing galleys at ALA this week, give special attention to those by non-white authors. If you need suggestions, ask the library marketers. We expect, in response to this issue, that publishers will soon be posting diversity catalogs and we will do a round up.

  

On my own TBR list is Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True (HarperCollins/Dey Street). She had me at the title, but she sealed the deal with heartfelt tribute to libraries during a panel at Book Expo. Print galleys will be available in July, but you can download digital ARCs in the next few days.

I’ll also be reading Celeste Ng’s second book, Little Fires Everywhere (PRH/Penguin Press; Penguin Audio/BOT). She will be featured at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea.

It’s timely that one of the programs on the upcoming ALA agenda is Growing Readership Through Diversity. As that title indicates, not only will LibraryReads benefit from your diversifying your reading, so will your library.

Hitting Screens, Week of June 19, 2017

There are no film adaptations opening this week but four TV series based on books premiere.

Grantchester returned yesterday for season three on PBS Masterpiece.

James Norton (Happy Valley) stars as vicar Sidney Chambers with Robson Green playing Inspector Geordie Keating. The two get caught up in even more mysteries as Sidney must decide if he will follow his heart with his long lost love or follow his church and abide by his moral calling.

The newest book in the series was published in May, Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; also in trade paperback; OverDrive Sample). It is stickered to connect it to the PBS series although it is not a direct tie-in to the new season.

Queen Sugar premieres on Tuesday, June 20.

See our earlier post for full details, and note there is a tie-in:

Queen Sugar: A Novel (TV Tie-In), Natalie Baszile (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Mist debuts on Spike TV on June 22. It details the terror that grips a community when a strange vapor invades a small town.

The story is contained in the new edition of Skeleton Crew: Stories by Stephen King (S&S/Pocket; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Washington Post includes it on their rundown of “Summer TV 2017,” giving it a C+ and calling it “a 10-episode Walking Dead-type survival of the fittest.”

Entertainment Weekly offers insights into the newest creepfest of a trailer.

Preacher returns to AMC for season 2 on June 25. It is based on the comic series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

GQ calls the original an “iconic and maniacally violent comic book from the 1990s about faith and God and true love and the American dream,” but found the first season of the TV show “uneven” and the final episode “a bummer.” They offer several ways season two can be redeemed.

Entertainment Weekly was kinder, giving season one a B and writing “For all its frustrations, season 1 was always funny and always fun to watch.” The NYT was on board too, writing it “packs apocalypse, horror, religion, dirty realism and dime-store westerns into its glass jar, then sets the whole bloody mixture on purée.”

There is no direct tie-in. The comics ended in 2000 and have been published in trade paperback collections, hardcover editions, and most recently, expensive absolute editions (archival quality restored and recolored versions collecting an entire comic run in one or two volumes). Absolute Preacher Vol. 2 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (DC Comics/Vertigo) was just published, priced at $150.