EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Order Alert: Chelsea Clinton
Writes for Kids

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.18.16 AMChelsea Clinton will publish a book this September: It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! (Penguin Young Readers/Philomel; Sept. 15; ISBN 978-0399176128).

Her debut effort is aimed at younger readers in the tween and teen set. “That’s the age when I started tuning in more to issues I cared about and trying to make a difference,” Clinton tells People magazine, “I loved the book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and remember wishing there were books like that on other issues I cared about. This book is my attempt to do that for kids today.”

Penguin Young Readers has created a dedicated web page for the book, including a “Letter from Chelsea” that further describes the idea behind the book:

In It’s Your World, I try to explain what I think are some of the biggest challenges facing our world today, particularly for young people … I also explore some of the solutions to those challenges and share stories of inspiring kids and teenagers doing amazing work to help people and our planet have brighter and healthier futures. My hope is that the book will inspire readers to realize that they can start making a difference now, in their own way, for their family, their community, and our world.

“Fear Your Schnauzers”

For some reason, the executive producer of the CBS series based on James Patterson’s Zoo, thinks the statement “We really want the whole world to fear their schnauzers,” is a good promo line.

That quote became the headline for Variety ‘s report on a press event to promote the series. The Hollywood Reporter chose to use a quote from master marketer Patterson instead, who said, “People always say the book is always better than the movie, In this case, I think the series is going to be better than the book.”

The actual tag line for the series is “Animals once ruled the Earth. What if they decided to take it back?”

The 13-episode series premieres on CBS at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30

Tie-ins:

9781455536702_96fa5Zoo
James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
Hachette/Grand Central, May 26, 2015
Trade Paperback, $15.00 USD, $17.00 CAD
Mass Market, $8.00 USD, $9.00 CAD

 

Stephenson’s SEVENEVES

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.02.48 AMNeal Stephenson’s Seveneves (Harper/William Morrow; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), published yesterday, offers a door-stopper of post-apocalyptic SF and has already reached #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

The plot sounds like a winner. The moon explodes for reasons unknown and before scientists can figure out why, they realize it hardly matters as a “hard rain” of debris will soon destroy the Earth. Obviously it is time to leave and a space station is adapted as a global ark, for the very lucky and the very few.

Reviews are mixed for the 880-page tome, however, and holds vary widely.

Both LibraryReads and Amazon picked it as one of the best books of May with Keith Hayes of Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC saying:

Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.

Steven Poole writing for The Guardian is less convinced, praising many of Stevenson’s ideas but ending his review with the comment that the book put him to sleep:

…in the novel’s snail-paced last third, there are lots and lots of lavish descriptions of imaginary machines: city-sized orbiting habitats, giant pendulums reaching down into the Earth’s atmosphere, “sky trains”. After scores of pages of this, my eyelids were succumbing to a powerful gravitational force. And I quite like giant space gadgets.

A similar story is playing out in requests for Seveneves across the country. Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering while others have low queues on light ordering. In Stevenson’s hometown holds are skyrocketing and The Seattle Times offers a strong review.

Inskeep’s JACKSONLAND

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.18.35 AMSteve Inskeep’s Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross and a Great American Land Grab (Penguin; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) rises to #51 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the author’s appearances on Morning Edition (where he is the co-host) and on PBS NewsHour.

Inskeep’s history explores Jackson’s role in the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation as well as the brilliant efforts of Chief John Ross to stop him, using the tools of democracy and politics to protect Cherokee land. He sought white allies, brought suit in the United States Supreme Court (and won), and published stories in newspapers. Nothing, however, could stop the relentless expansion Jackson and white farmers sought.

In recognition of this history, Inskeep argues in an OpEd piece in the New York Times, that Chief Ross’s image should replace Jackson’s  on the $20 bill.

Inskeep discusses his book with NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff at Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant/bookstore in Washington D.C.

WONDERSTRUCK To Movies

9780545027892Director Todd Haynes is currently the toast of Cannes, where the director’s movie Carol, based on the book by Patricia Highscmith, is expected to win the Palme d”Or.

So attention is turning to his next projects. Screen Daily reports that, for one of them, he will again turn to books, a childrens book this time, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011).

9780545448680_e1f05If it comes to pass, this will be Selznick’s second book to be adapted by a celebrated director, after Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, based on The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.

Don’t hold your breath though, Haynes has some other projects on his plate, including a biopic about Peggy Lee starring Reese Witherspoon as well as a new TV series (he directed the 2011 HBO series Mildred Pierce).

Closer on the horizon is Selznick’s next book, The Marvels (Scholastic), set for publication on 9/15/15. There are no reviews yet. The following is from the publishers’ description:

Two seemingly unrelated stories — one in words, the other in pictures — come together … The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.

YA/MG May GalleyChat

This session of YA GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on June 16, 5 to 6 p.m. EDT (4:30 for virtual cocktails).

Note our brand-new hashtag, #ewgcya (the old one is now definitely NSFW)

First Trailer, SCORCH TRIALS

The first trailer for the second in the Maze Runner series, based James Dasher’s The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, (RH/Delaccorte) has just been released.

MTV is excited. So is New York magazine. As is Entertainment Weekly.

The movie is set for release on Sept., 18, the tie-in for August in  hardcover and in trade pbk.

Buzz for Blume

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.19.23 AMJudy Blume’s first novel for adults in 17 years, In the Unlikely Event (RH/Knopf; BOT and Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample) is getting advance attention from the many grownup fans of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.

CBS Sunday Morning devoted a segment to Blume over the weekend, with Rita Braver. Chloe Sevigny chats with Blume for Harper’s Bazaar.

The upcoming  NYT Magazine features Blume as the cover story, providing a wide-ranging interview touching everything from her anxiety over germs to John Green’s admiration. Blume offers this take on her career:

“I’m a storyteller — you know what I mean — an inventor of people … and their relationships. It’s not that I love the words — that’s not the kind of writer I am. So I’m not” — she made a furious scribbling motion with her right hand — “I’m not a great writer. But maybe I’m a really good storyteller.”

Indeed. Just ask the millions of readers who have read Blume devotedly since they were tweens. Her newest addresses that most familiar audience as well as her adult readers, offering a generation-spanning story set in Elizabeth, NJ when three planes crashed in little over 3 months in the early 1950s.

To promote the book, Blume will set off on a celebrity-studded tour starting with BookCon on the 31st, where Jennifer Weiner will host an interview. After that, she will be featured in conversations with Meg Wolitzer, Walter Mayes, Molly Ringwald, Ridley Pearson, and Curtis Sittenfeld. She will visit with Nancy Pearl on June 11th.

Holds are strong on strong ordering.

CAROL’s a Hit at Cannes

9780393325997Even before a single frame of the movie was released, Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price Of Salt, 1952 (available in trade paperback from Norton, 2004) was considered a strong Oscar contender.

In Cannes, where it premiered over the weekend, Deadline characterized the reception as “euphoric.”  It is considered the front rummer to win the Palme d’Or.

A December 18 release date was recently announced, prime time for Oscar contenders. The movie’s also received a news boost from Cate Blanchett. She plays the lead character who embarks on a lesbian affair with Roony Mara. When Variety asked if she has had personal experience in this realm, she replied, “Yes, many times” (she has since denied that statement, saying the quote was incomplete).

Reminder to readers advisors, Highsmith was writing “domestic noir” long before the current crop of best sellers. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was adapted as a film by Alfred Hitchcock. David Fincher,  Gillian Flynn and Ben Affleck have teamed up to do their own version. Highsmith also wrote the Ripley series, which has been adapted into several films, most recently The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Unlike her other books, The Price of Salt, which she wrote it under a psuedonymn in 1952. is not a psychological thriller. Vilified in the ’50’s for portraying a lesbian affair with a relatively happy ending, it went out of print and was brought back by feminist presses in the 1970’s and most recently by Norton.

Reviewing a 2009 biography of Highsmith, Jonathan Lethem recommended a “core curriculum” of the author’s novels. Publisher Norton has created a clever recommendation web site, Choose Your Highsmith, which also features a video of several authors, including Alison Bechdel, expressing their enthusiasm for The Price of Salt.

The film trailer has not been released yet. Below is a clip:

Neurosurgery’s Boswell

9781250065810_f4331-2British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book, Do No Harm  Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio, 5/25/15), “gives us an extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening understanding of his vocation. He writes with uncommon power and frankness,” according to critic Michiko Kakutani in today’s New York Times.  The New Yorker also gives the book high marks  saying Marsh “writes like a novelist—he thinks in terms of scenes, patterns, and contrasts,” comparing him to Ian McEwan, who provides the book’s cover blurb,

Neurosurgery has met its Boswell in Henry Marsh. Painfully honest about the mistakes that can “wreck” a brain, exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient, and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine’s most difficult art and lifts our spirits. It’s a superb achievement.

Marsh is more interested in his failures than his successes, and therefore, as Kakutani says, the book can make unsettling reading. However, given the number of books by physicians that have found their way to best seller lists recently, that may not be a deter readers. Check your holds.

SYFY Offers First Look at
THE MAGICIANS

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.14.54 AMThe Syfy channel recently released the “First Look” trailer for its 12-episode series adapting Lev Grossman’s The Magicians (Plume; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) which will air sometime in 2016.

The series stars Jason Ralph (he has appeared on TV series Madam Secretary and Gossip Girl and in films such as A Most Violent Year) as Quentin Coldwater, a new recruit at the Brakebills College, a school of magic.

As we noted before, the Syfy channel has several book adaptations in the works.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
Gets a Sequel

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.04.36 AMAlmost instantly joining a group of writers that includes Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, YA author Sabaa Tahir is having a great few months.

Her debut An Ember in the Ashes (Penguin/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) came out on April 28th and hit the NYT Best Seller list the week of May 17th at the no. 2 spot sandwiched between two John Green novels. Tough as it is to break through the John Green logjam, which has dominated the top three spots for month, it is even more so for a debut. This week established YA best sellers Sarah Maas and Sarah Dessen managed to hit #2 and #3, moving Tahir’s novel to #6.

Now comes news, reported bythe NYT that Penguin has acquired a sequel from Tahir, due out sometime in 2016.

Tahir’s fantasy got rave reviews, most often stressing its strong storytelling and worldbuilding.

Bradley Campbell of Public Radio International (PRI) compares the book to both Hunger Games and JK Rowling in a radio interview, saying:

Her new book kept me up at night. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not the only one. It seems as though anyone who touches the book cannot stop reading until the story ends. It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.

Laura M. Bell of The Huffington Post offers:

One thing I can say for sure: this is a page-turner. There comes a moment when it’s impossible to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is a strong writer, but most of all, she’s a great storyteller…Even when the story is squarely anchored in traditional YA dystopian tropes, many of the twists and turns are difficult to predict. The story is complex, encompassing political scheming, betrayal, and supernatural forces, and the different threads entwine effectively.

Author Marie Rutkoski, writing for the NYT Book Review, says:

The novel thrusts its readers into a world marred by violence and oppression, yet does so with simple prose that can offer moments of loveliness in its clarity. This complexity makes “Ember” a worthy novel — and one as brave as its characters.

Holds are currently steady on moderate ordering but this one is worth keeping your eye on.

ME BEFORE YOU
Release Date Moved to 2016

Me Before YouThe film adaptation of the 2012 best seller by Jo Jo Moyes, Me Before You (Viking/Pamela Dorman) is has been rescheduled for release on June 3, 2016, moved nearly a year from its original  Aug. 21, 2015 date.

Starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), it is directed by Thea Sharrock. This will be her first feature film, after directing the BBC miniseries The Hollow CroAfter Youwn and Call The Midwife. as well as several theatrical productions.

The book’s sequel After You, (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio) has been announced for September (DRC’s are not available yet, but look for galleys at ALA).

The Daily Mail publishes scenes from the the movie set in Wales,

STEVE JOBS, Trailer

The movie Steve Jobs has a multitude of high-profile names attached to it, including director Danny Boyle, screen writer Aaron Sorkin, lead actor, Michael Fassbender and the author of the bio it’s based on, Walter Isaacson. It was teased in appropriate fashion with a spot on last night’s high-profile final episode (the “final episode EVER” as we were continually reminded) of AMC’s Mad Men.

The trailer is less than a minute long, but that gave critics enough to work with, from the New York Times (“seems to be courting Oscars right out of the gate”) to the L.A. Times  (“As befits the legacy of Jobs — an inveterate showman who whipped the Apple faithful into a frenzy by keeping the company’s creations secret until just the right moment — the teaser is enigmatic and intriguing”).

The movie arrives Oct. 9. A tie-in has not been announced.

Controversy Sells;
CLINTON CASH

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 9.26.35 AMProving once again that there’s nothing like controversy to help sell a book, Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer (Harper; HarperCollins audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the NYT Best Seller List at #2 for the week of May 24.

The book accuses the Clintons of selling influence to foreign governments and individuals through the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton campaign has fought back by identifying several factual errors. As a result, Harper has changed the Kindle version to delete passages or revise sections. As reported in Politico, Amazon sent purchasers a notice that “significant revisions have been made” to their electronic copies, which Harper then said were just  “7-8 factual corrections.”

Undaunted, Schweizer continues roiling up controversy. In the new issue of USA Today, he objects to his testy interview with George Stephanopoulos in April, saying he should get a do-over because the broadcaster did not reveal that he personally donated $75,000 to the Clinton campaign in 2012.