EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GOMORRAH Airing On
Sundance TV

MV5BMTQ4NDM0MjI5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE2MDUxMjE@._V1_One of Italy’s most popular TV shows has just started airing on the Sundance Channel. Gomorrah is a mob family crime drama adapted from a book, but  it is not of the romanticized Godfather variety. The LA Times calls the show “Aggressively dark, focused to the point of claustrophobia and often all but choking on its own authenticity, Gomorrah shocks the system like a real Italian espresso after years of skinny vanilla lattes.”

The Hollywood Reporter says it pays homage to The Wire, writing it has a “dark greatness” and continuing it is “exceptionally cinematic, from cramped interiors in the Naples slums to exhilarating car chases rapid-cut from rooftop to passenger-side to hood-mounted angles. There’s an intimacy to family dinners and a freshness to remote Italian village scenes that add a layer of visual allure … it requires concentration on the subtitles, but it’s also completely riveting and worth the effort.”

9780312427795The series is based on Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System, Roberto Saviano, translated by Virginia Jewiss (Macmillan/Picador; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample). The publisher recently updated the cover with advertising linking it to the TV series.

It came out item years ago, and was a sensation in Italy, with the Guardian characterizing its strong sales there (in a country that is not as book mad as others) as “a literary phenomenon of almost Potteresque proportions.”

Giving a sense of the flavor they write that the book begins with an grisly image, as a shipping container’s doors suddenly burst open spilling out,

“forms [that] seem at first like shop-window dummies, crumpling and shattering as they smack into concrete. But the truth soon sinks in: they are frozen cadavers, the corpses of Chinese workers.”

The LA Times points out the book has also served as the basis of a “critically lauded 2008 film” and says that the author “10 years after its publication [still] remains in hiding tells you all you need to know about the veracity of the tale, and the sort of people it involves.”

Saviano won the PEN/Pinter international writer of courage award in 2011, but could not collect it in person given the grave threats on his life. Journalist and filmmaker Annalisa Piras accepted on his behalf, reports the Guardian, saying “Saviano “has been living in a prison … in Naples they call it ‘cappotto di legno’ which means living with a coffin. It’s not something that can be revoked. There are records of these death penalties being enacted 40 years after the event.”

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of August 29, 2016

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Headed for best seller lists are the two peer picks for the week (see below), as well as Danielle Steel’s Rushing Waters, (PRH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio) which imagines a group of New Yorkers thrown together when a hurricane hits the city.  James Lee Burke continues his multigenerational saga about the Holland family in The Jealous Kind (S&S; S&S Audio).

9780765335623_96301Also coming is a new title in George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, High Stakes, (Macmillan/Tor). Martin announced last week that the series will follow Game of Thrones to television,  Says Publishers Weekly of the new title, “This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.”

The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet,EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 29. 2916.

Consumer Media Picks

9781101984994_8f6a1People’s “Book of the Week” is a title that was introduced in our EarlyReads program (check out or chat with the author),  The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis (PRH/Dutton; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Published last week and also a LibraryReads pick,, People writes,  “Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”

Peer Picks

9781250022134_00385Thee #1 LibraryReads pick for August, A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; Macmillan Audio ; OverDrive Sample) arrives next week.

“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

Additional Buzz: It is also an IndieNext September pick and an all-star, earning nods from all four trade review sources. Kirkus writes it is “A chilling story that’s also filled with hope—a beloved Penny trademark.”

9781101946619_6e633The Nix, Nathan Hill (PRH/Knopf) also pubs this week, a bookseller favorite from the September Indie Next list.

“Hill’s debut is remarkable because it does both the little things and the big things right. It is an intimate novel of identity and loss, the story of a boy abandoned and the man now trying to recover. It also paints a vivid portrait of America and its politics from the 1960s to the present. The Nix overflows with unforgettable characters, but none more clearly rendered than Samuel Andersen-Anderson and his mother, Faye, both bewildered by life and struggling to repair the rift between them. From intimate whispers to American news cycles, this astounding novel of reclamation is guaranteed to sweep readers off their feet.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Additional Buzz: One of People magazine’s picks for the week, described  as being “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen,” it’s  received wide-spread attention.  Entertainment Weekly calls it the “Wildest Debut” and writes that it is a “sprawling, politically charged full-of-heart tale…” New York Magazine selects it as one of the “8 Books You Need to Read This August.”

Tie-ins

Two tie-ins appear this week:

9781632866219_b0720The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample).

Starring Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth and Oliver Platt the film explores the sinister happenings surrounding the life of a nine-year-old boy.

The adaptation of this supernatural thriller, a bestseller in print, opens on Sept. 2, 2016.

9780778330066_db8acFlowers on Main, Sherryl Woods (HC/Mira; OverDrive Sample).

The Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores series rolls on into late September, starring Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Treat Williams and Diane Ladd and will eventually span seven episodes in this first season.

The first in the series, The Inn at Eagle Point, has already been released as a tie-in. The second book arrives also gets the tie-in treatment this week.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Page to Screen: LION

9780425276198_292f1A memoir of an amazing journey of loss and recovery, Saroo Brierley’s A Long Way Home, (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015) is headed to the silver screen, starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham. They join a cast of actors well-known in India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The inspirational tear-jerker is directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake).

The Weinstein Company film, retitled Lion, will open nation wide on Nov. 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving, not only a prime time to attract families looking for entertainment, but also good timing for awards. Vanity Fair reports the film is “Already on Awards-Season Short Lists.

In the book, Brierley recounts how he was separated from his family in rural India at age 4, when he climbed aboard a train and was carried over a thousand miles away to a city he did not know. He wound up in an orphanage, was adopted and relocated to Tasmania.

Interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered when the book was published, Brierley describes how he tried to find his way home by studying Google Earth looking for a familiar landscape — a river, a waterfall, and a fountain. He says the moment he finally found his mother “was like a nuclear fusion.”

The tie-in uses the film’s title, Lion, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Below is the recently released trailer, followed by Brierley giving a speech about his journey, and the NPR interview.

N.K. Jemisin, Book Reviewer

9780316229296_62f5aThe author of the Hugo winning The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin, has been in the news lately for her take on the current state of publishing and her reaction to winning “the Oscars” of her genre, but since last December she has also been sharing her views on Science Fiction and Fantasy in the NYT book review column “Otherwordly,” a bi-monthly roundup.

While the paper often assigns high profile authors to review high profile titles in the Sunday Book Review (Michael Connelly just reviewed Caleb Carr’s newest for example), Jemisin’s role is a bit different as she gets space to comment on a range of books within her genre specialty.

What kind of reviewer is she? A very precise, demanding, and appreciative one; a critic writing with vibrant engagement who is not willing to let much slide. What kind of reader is she? Based on her reactions to the works covered thus far, one that is interested in meaningful content rather than plot, values beautiful language, and appreciates in-depth characterizations.

For example, in her opening column she tries to figure out what China Miéville’s This Census-Taker (PRH/Del Rey) is all about, jumping from one possibility to the next before concluding, “This is a novel in which the journey is the story — but for those readers who actually want Miéville to take them somewhere, This Census-Taker may be an exercise in haunting, lovely frustration.”

Similarly, of Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest (Hachette/Back Bay) she says the story is “not fresh” and thought “It’s beautifully written … Beautiful writing just isn’t enough to save any story from overfamiliarity.”

When a work does capture her fully, she gives it a rare “highly recommended” vote, as she has done for Andrea Hairston’s Will Do Magic for Small Change (Aqueduct Press), calling it a “beautifully multifaceted story … with deep, layered, powerful characters.”

All The Birds In The Sky (Macmillan/Tor/Tom Doherty), Charlie Jane Anders also impresses. She says it is “complex, and scary, and madcap … as hopeful as it is hilarious, and highly recommended.”

Below are links to her columns thus far:

December 28, 2015
February 23, 2016
April 19, 2016
June 17, 2016

GalleyChatter Recommendations
For Your Labor Day Reading

If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.

And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.

Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.
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Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.

For a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat, check the compiled Edelweiss list here.

And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:

May — Was Oprah listening? We picked Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, before she did (it hits #1 on the upcoming NYT best seller list)

June — Features The Woman in Cabin 10, which not only hit best seller lists, but has brought readers to Ruth Ware’s earlier title.

July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s. 

Chilling Thrillers

9781503937826_f77a7Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.

9780062427021_928fdPeter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”

9780735221086_bebf2I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”

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What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”

And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.

Epic Historical Fiction

Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.

9780544464056_a5b34Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”

9781631492242_9c71aWinston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”

9780812995152_7d0acThe Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”

Massimino Who?

9781101903544_6dd5aMany have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.

Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.

Jude Moves Toward Screen

9780804172707_0fec7One of the most talked about literary novels of 2015, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample), may be headed to the small screen.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Scott Rudin, noted for his many literary adaptations,  and Joe Mantello (the theater director behind Wicked) have optioned screen rights. Of course, that is just the first step. Many book titles get optioned without ever making it onto a screen.

Yanagihara posted the news to the book’s Facebook page (the entire page seems to have mysteriously disappeared) and said that the project will be a limited series. Yanagihara also asked followers to suggest actors to play Jude. Responses, reports Flavorwire, include “Eddie Redmayne … Ezra Miller (!), Rami Malek (!!) and Ben Whishaw (!!!)”

Recent literary novels that have followed a similar path include HBO’s adaptation of Olive Kitteridge and Showtime’s Purity.

A Little Life was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and The National Book Awards, although it didn’t win either. It did capture readers and critics, becoming, as we noted, a holds superstar and a darling of reviewers. It also made multiple best of the year lists and won the Kirkus Prize.

Holds Alert:
BLOOD IN THE WATER

9780375423222_1e3b7Check your orders, a new nonfiction account of the 1971 Attica Prison rebellion that led to a multi-day standoff, dozens of deaths, and a tense, politically charged aftermath, is making news and building a strong holds list.

Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) published this week is getting attention because, unlike previous authors and some news organizations, she names the officers she believes shot and killed inmates and, in friendly fire, the prison guards taken hostage during the standoff. CBS News reported the story, also highlighting Thompson’s discussion of then Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s “secret efforts afterward to establish an acceptable narrative of what happened.”

Calling it “remarkable” and “superb,” the NYT says “Not all works of history have something to say so directly to the present, but [this book] which deals with racial conflict, mass incarceration, police brutality and dissembling politicians, reads like it was special-ordered for the sweltering summer of 2016.”

Thompson’s account is also catching Hollywood’s attention. Variety reports it will make its way to movie theaters as TriStar Pictures just won a “heated bidding war” for film rights, with a production crew already named.

Libraries that bought it, ordered very few copies. Some are showing holds topping 5:1.

Streaming Pigtails

9780099582649_e3de4Netflix, which has been busy setting up collaborations with Disney and providing The Little Prince a home, is now turning to Canada for a childhood classic, Anne of Green Gables.

The New York magazine reports that Netflix has picked up the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s production of Anne, created by writer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad), producer Miranda de Pencier (Beginners), and director Niki Caro (Whale Rider).

The show will begin with a two-hour premiere to be followed by eight episodes, all airing sometime in 2017. The Netflix press release says it will range further than Lucy Maud Montgomery went, “ANNE will also chart new territory. Anne and the rest of the characters will experience adventures reflecting timeless issues including themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

Bright Titles, Big Season

The fall reading season is about to begin, heralded by the  appearance of season previews. New York Magazine kicks it off with a list of 45 titles (UPDATE: The list is now available online as well as part of the “Entertainment Generator“).

9780374280024_431e4Included is a title destined to appear on many lists, Jonathan Safran Foer’a first work of fiction in over a decade, Here I Am (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample), a domestic drama about a family in Washington, D.C. The author of Everything Is Illuminated, which made him a literary star at just 25, is a media darling. He was just profiled by Lev Grossman in Time. Earlier this summer, his email correspondence with Natalie Portman was published in the New York Times‘s style magazine, T.

9781631491344_48f16Also included is Alan Moore’s eagerly awaited Jerusalem (Norton/Liveright, Sept. 13). Moore is known for his graphic novels, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, but this new book is a non-graphic prose novel and a long one, ranging over 1200 pages. As the NYT explains, it is “centered on Northampton, England, Mr. Moore’s hometown [and] will combine historical fiction and fantasy. Mr. Moore has said the novel, which explores, among other subjects, the time-space continuum, is intended to ‘disprove the existence of death.'”

New York Magazine book critic, Christian Lorentzen, highlights his “5 Most Anticipated” :

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Against Everything: Essays, Mark Greif (PRH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample; Sept. 6).

Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids, Nicholson Baker (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Sept. 6).

The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio/BOT; Sept. 20).

Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love, Emily Witt (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Oct. 11).

Swing Time, Zadie Smith (PRH/Penguin Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; Nov. 15).

See our catalog for a running list of the Fall picks as they are announced.

Live Chat with Katherine Arden, Author of THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE

Read our chat with Katherine, below.

Join us for the next live chat about The Most Danger Place on Earth byLindsey Lee Johnson on Setp. 28, 4 to 5 p.m., ET.

To join the program, sign up here.

Live Blog Live Chat with Katherine Arden – THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE
 

More Backman On The Way

The author of the long-running trade paperback best seller, A Man Called Ove, and two LibraryReads picks, Britt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, (also currently a best seller in trade paperback), Fredrik Backman, has signed a deal to publish three new novels and a novella with S&S/Atria. Significantly, the news is reported by Deadline Hollywood, indicating the author has caught the attention of the U.S. movie business.

9781501160486_26853Coming first, on Nov. 1, is the novella, And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer (S&S/Atria; ISBN 9781501160486). Deadline says, like Ove, it “centers on an elderly man, who struggles to hold on to his memories, face his regrets and help his son and grandson prepare for his death.” It will be issued in a “small-format hardcover,” with illustrations.

The first of the three novels will be titled Beartown (S&S/Atria, May 2, 2017; ISBN 9781501160769). Deadline says “It concerns a depressed town whose hopes for a brighter future rest on its junior ice hockey team as it goes after the national title.”

MV5BMjE0NDUyOTc2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk2NzU3OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,679,1000_AL_Meanwhile, the Swedish-language film adaptation of A Man Called Ove will open in limited release on Sept. 30 (some sources list iy for release at the end of this month, but Sept. 30 now seems to be official).

Variety reviewed it when it was shown at the Goteborg Film Festival in February, calling the subtitled film “irresistible” and “A touching comic crowdpleaser,” commenting on the “terrific” cast and cinematography that makes it “a pleasure to watch.”

Cinema Scandinavia reports that in Sweden, where it was released late last year, Ove was a hit, topping the box office there and winning awards, including Best Actor for lead Rolf Lassgård.

Variety notes that Music Box Films won US distribution ights. Theyhave previously brought to the U.S. such Swedish imports as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

Booker Longlist Title Gets US Publishing Date

In addition to famous names and international publishing houses, the Booker Prize also shines a light on small presses.

9781510719217_43f40Last year Marlon James and the U.K. indie press Oneworld took top honors for A Brief History of Seven Killings (published here by Riverhead, an imprint of the much larger Penguin Random House). This year’s longlist includes a title by an even smaller press, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, Graeme MaCrae Burnet (OverDrive Sample), published by the tiny 2-person house, Saraband.

At the time of the longlist announcement in July, the novel was not scheduled for a US release, but it is now set to be published here, also by an indie press, but one that is much larger, Skyhorse. The ship date is Sept. 13, which will work well if the title makes it to the shortlist, which will be announced that very day.

Back in Scotland, the staff at Saraband fielded an endless round of inquiries after the longlist was announced. Publisher Sara Hunt told The Guardian, “It’s been crazy but fantastic … it’s hard to take in when most of the time we’re fighting to tell people about how good our books are, then suddenly everyone who hasn’t been in touch is wanting to speak to you at the same time – it’s that tricky day at work that you dream of having.”

The novel, a historical crime thriller, got little attention prior to the Booker spotlight, which The Guardian says is an oversight,

“a psychological thriller masquerading as a slice of true crime; a collection of ‘found’ documents …The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus, while the multiple unreliable perspectives are designed to keep the audience wondering …  This is a fiendishly readable tale that richly deserves the wider attention the Booker has brought it.”

THE FIFTH SEASON Wins Hugo

9780316229296_62f5aThe 2016 Hugo Awards winners were announced on Saturday at the World Science Fiction Convention. N.K. Jemisin won Best Novel for The Fifth Season (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample).

The first book in the Broken Earth trilogy grabbed reviewers’ attention for its scope and scale. In the NYT Sunday Book Review, multiple award-winning author Naomi Novik wrote it is a novel of “intricate and extraordinary world–building.” The NPR reviewer  also lauded the author’s world-building as being full of “sumptuous detail and dimensionality.” Wired picked it as their book club title and Smart Bitches Trashy Books gave it an A grade, writing:

The Fifth Season blew my entire weekend. I had plans. I was supposed to, at least at some point, get out of bed and take a shower. Instead I stayed in my blanket fort and devoured this book. The most I managed to accomplish was feeding the cat and tweeting about how much I loved this novel.”

We wrote about Jemisin and critical reaction to the sequel, The Obelisk Gate (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample), earlier this week.

Jemisin headlines a sweeping win for female authors, with every fiction category going to a woman.

9780765385253_40f87Nnedi Okorafor won Best Novella for Binti (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Tor.com writes “Okorafor’s stories are where the ancient cultures of Africa meet the future, where what we have been and what makes us human meets what we can be and what we may be in the future.” NPR’s All Things Considered recently aired an interview with the author.

Uncanny2Hao Jingfang won Best Novelette for “Folding Beijing,” translated by Ken Liu. Tor.com says “it’s not just that this is a smart story doing crunchy, smart things in a clever fashion—that’s just one layer of the thing. It’s also an emotionally resonant and intimately personal piece, grounded thoroughly through the life experience of the protagonist.”

Naomi Kritzer won Best Short Story for “Cat Pictures Please.” io9 includes the story in a round up of “What Are The Best Short Stories of the Year So Far?” (for 2015) and links to a review in Apex magazine.

9781401265199_7147aNeil Gaiman takes home the Best Graphic Story prize for The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition, (DC Comics/Vertigo). The Nerdist and Tor.com provide reviews. Last year, NPR’s Terry Gross interviewed Gaiman about the book on Fresh Air.

MV5BMTc2MTQ3MDA1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA3OTI4NjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_It was also a great night for Andy Weir. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (which is not a Hugo Award but is given at the same time) and the film The Martian (adapted from Weir’s debut novel) won Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.

An episode of Jessica Jones won Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Once again, the “Puppy” effect could be seen. However, it seems the voting members of the Hugo are learning to both live with and ignore the alt-right wing attack on the award (see our overview of the ongoing controversy).

As The Verge put it, “The immediate takeaway from tonight is that once again, slated works [the Puppy nominees] added to the ballot through a coordinated campaign have trouble swaying voters, although they were not unanimously dismissed, but in these instances, the awards largely went  to authors and works that really didn’t need help from slated works in the first place, such as Andy Weir or Neil Gaiman. In all other instances, voters opted to give the awards to extremely deserving works.”

Amazon Loves DICK

9781584350347-mediumAmazon Studios introduces three new titles in their “pilot season” this month. Unlike other networks, where pilots are seen by the few who decide which will go to series, Amazon invites viewers to get in on the action and vote for their favorites, with one exception. Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes is exempt from the process and is going directly to series.

Of the three pilots released this month, one bears a title that sounds more like it came from a bathroom stall than from a book. I Like Dick is based on a cult novel by Chris Kraus, published by the indie press Semiotext(e) in 1997.

Directed by Jill Soloway, the creator of the award-winning Transparent, which begins its third season next month, it stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn, who also stars in Transparent.

Profiling the production, New York magazine writes that Soloway turns “one of the most compelling cult novels of the last 20 years into a television show with the potential to be as groundbreaking in its examination of gender politics as her first.”

The cult status of the book was explored last year in a piece in the New Yorker and the Guardian celebrated its UK debut last fall.

Amazon recently debuted two other pilots based on books, The Interestings, based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel, is not going to series, but The Last Tycoon, based on an unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is planned to begin streaming this fall.

Fall Film Adaptations and Tie-ins

2332_top1Fall is on the way, as Entertainment Weekly‘s current double issue reminds us, with its previews of 104 major movie releases through December.

Many of those films, including the one on the cover,  had their beginnings as books, some with strong literary credentials, like Ang Lee’s adaptation of the  award winning Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk or major best seller status, like The Girl on the Train and The Light Between Oceans.

One of the most heavily anticipated movies, however is based on a lesser-known title, The Queen of Katwe (S&S/Scribner), the biography of an unlikely chess champion, a young girl from a poor family in Uganda. The Disney movie, directed by Mira Nair, is already being touted as a film to break through #OscarsSoWhite.

See our listings of upcoming adaptations, for the both big and small screens, as well as our complete listing of upcoming tie-ins.