There’s been some major changes on the film adaptation of Kevin Powers’ 2012 National Book Award finalist, The Yellow Birds, (Hachette/Little, Brown). Benedict Cumberbatch, originally set to play the lead, has been replaced by Jack Huston, reports Deadline. The film also has a new director, Alexandre Moors, who replaces David Lowery.
Bringing some extra star power to the production, Jennifer Anniston is joining the cast.
All this activity indicates the project is closer to becoming a reality.
A year after receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama and after changing publishing houses, Isabel Allende has published what looks to be her next big book, The Japanese Lover (S&S/Atria Books; S&S Audio). Both ibrarians and booksellers have embraced it, making it the #1 LibraryReads pick for November as well as an Indie Next pick.
Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY says:
“Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man’s inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story.”
Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, South Carolina offers this annotation:
“The engaging, totally unexpected story of Annie, a lonely young woman who wanders into a junk shop and buys a painting. The painting turns out to have a long and storied past, with powerful people searching high and low for it. Unpredictable and fascinating; I loved the peek into the cutthroat art world and watching Annie blossom as she discovers her true calling.”
Nonfiction breaks onto the list with Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay (RH/Doubleday; Random House Audio), a mix of essays, humor, and rules for living.
Lindley Homol, Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA says:
“This was a quick, enjoyable read that offers a refreshing perspective on some of the trivialities we all find ourselves caught up in. I enjoyed the tone and humor throughout. A standout for me was Gay’s list of recommendations for his child’s future baseball team. His open letter to this imagined future team envisions a team that can just let kids be kids. My only disappointment with this book was that there wasn’t more of it–it seemed to end all too soon.”
Riveting suspense also gets librarian attention, with the latest in the Agent Pendergast series, Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Hachette/Grand Central; Grand Central Audio).
Shari Brophy, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA offers:
“In the latest installment in the Special Agent Pendergast series, Pendergast and Constance Greene investigate a theft of a wine cellar in an ancient village on the coast north of Salem, only to discover during their investigation the entombed remains of a tortured man.”I always thoroughly enjoy the Pendergast novels, and the interaction between Pendergast and Constance in this book was very intriguing.”
Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA says:
“This art-filled story following the young life and disappearance of Alizee Benoit is heartbreaking and thoughtful. Not only does the novel give an entertaining education on the WPA and abstract artists, but it also gives eerily relevant commentary on refugees and the cold-heartedness of government. Alizee’s story will pull you along as you try to grasp how this bright light of the art community vanished.”
Other overlapping titles between librarians and booksellers include Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio)
and Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY says of Williams’s novel:
“When Pepper Schuyler–on the run from a powerful politician and desperate to protect her unborn child–sells her newly restored classic car to an enigmatic and very wealthy woman, she not only finds unexpected refuge but also tantalizing hints of a mystery. With vivid European settings, colorful characters and intricate plotting that skillfully weaves past and present together, Along the Infinite Sea is a treat for fans of Beatriz Williams.”
PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC offers the following about actress Parker’s debut:
“Parker has created a unique and poetic memoir through a series of letters–some of appreciation, some of apology, some simply of acknowledgement–to the men in her life. Ranging from a taxi driver to a grandfather she never knew, each man has left an imprint and shaped her into the person she has become. Full of feeling, growth, and self-discovery, Parker’s book has left me longing to write my own letters.”
Science Fiction and Mystery round out the remaining choices as well as a new take on fairy tales, A Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio).
The author of the book featured on the left, presidential candidate Donald Trump, says the cover photo is of such “a nasty-looking guy” that he decided to use the titleCrippled America, (S&S/Threshold; S&S Audio, Oct. 27) rather than his campaign motto, “Make America Great Again.”
He also said, during a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday, that he was surprised that “the Rolls Royce” of publishers, Simon and Schuster would go for such a “nasty title.”
Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian journalist and oral historian, won the Nobel Prize in Literature today for what the Swedish Academy describes as “her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
The New York Times reports Alexievich is “best known for giving voice to women and men who had lived through World War II, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan that lasted from 1979 to 1989, and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.” She is the 14th woman to win the prize.
Breaking recent precedent, Alexievich is a nonfiction writer, not a novelist or poet. However, Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, quoted in the NYT‘, says she has created “a history of emotions — a history of the soul, if you wish.”
Of her books in English translations, two are currently available, Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War (Norton; 9780393336863; 1992) and Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (hardcover, Dalkey Archive Press; trade pbk Macmillan/Picador, 2006), which won the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Her website lists a few other titles translated in English, likely to soon be released in the U.S.
Proving the bookies right for the first time in years, Alexievich was the odds on favorite to win the prize, beating out Haruki Murakami, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, and John Banville who were all rumored to be in the running as well.
Unlike James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Lisbeth Salander, who lived on after their creators’s deaths, Kurt Wallander will not be featured in future novels.
As reported by the global news agency AFP and picked up by Yahoo! News, Henning Mankell’s publishing partner Dan Israel, who co-founded Leopard publishing with Mankell, stated that now that the writer has died, “It is out of the question that there would be other books featuring Wallander.”
Neither are there any manuscripts hiding in a vault. While Israel says Mankell was working on a book before he died, but it “is just a draft and unpublishable.”
He vowed to protect the literary property of Mankell, stressing “Nothing can be approved without my agreement.”
However, Mankell’s final book has not yet been released in the U.S. The Guardian reports that Quicksand: What It Means to be a Human Being, is about his experience dealing with his cancer diagnosis. Scheduled for release in the U.K. this coming February, the U.S. release date has not yet been announced.
In an interviews in 2012, Mankell explains that he is not interested in crime itself, but “To use the mirror of crime to look at contradictions in society, that is what interests me.”
Ten years ago readers met Bella Swan and her dreamy vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen. Their story inspired teen bands, converted adults to YA fiction, and gave rise to Team Edward and Team Jacob.
To celebrate the milestone, author Stephenie Meyer has a surprise for fans, she has re-written the book and switched the gender roles in Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Hachette/Little, Brown; Listening Library).
The story now features Beau Swan, the new boy in Forks, WA and the vampire girl he falls for, Edythe Cullen (see Entertainment Weekly‘s glossary of name changes).
This is not just a find-and-replace-the-names job. According to Entertainment Weekly, it is 442 pages of reimagining, in which Meyer also took the opportunity to re-edit for “grammar and word choice issues” and correct some of the mythology. EW also reports (based on reading the forward to the new edition) that Meyer decided to switch the characters in response to critics who slammed her for creating a female “damsel in distress.”
The rewrite is being published as a flipbook with the original version of Twlight and new cover art.
Meyer appeared on Good Morning America yesterday. When her publisher asked for a forward for the milestone edition, she decided to do something more fun and interesting. She also shares that the story changes more deeply further into the novel, although it begins almost the same. Don’t expect more, however, she says she does not expect to rewrite the other titles in the series.
None of the trade publications reviewed Meyer’s latest but it is getting plenty of attention in consumer media from Bustle to Variety.
Ordering is very light (to nonexistent) at libraries we checked. Those that own it, however, are showing few holds, but the book rose to #1 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
Stephen Colbert featured American Ballet Theater’s Misty Copeland and legendary musician Yo-Yo Ma yesterday on the CBS Late Show, perhaps one of the few times in recent memory a ballet dancer – not to mention a classical cellist – has taken center stage in a world dominated by comics, actors, and celebrities.
Copeland made history when she became the American Ballet Theater’s first black female principal dancer. She has published both an autobiography, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, (S&S/Touchstone; Tantor Audio) and a children’s picture book, Firebird, illus. by Christopher Myers, (Penguin/Putnam).
Colbert interviews Copeland before her performance (beginning at time stamp 31:22 in the full video). He spends a lot of time with her and asks thoughtful questions, including how she feels about being a role model.
Bustle says Twitter lit up over her and Ma’s appearance. Below is a highlight.
In contrast the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, appears tomorrow night, discussing his new book The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath (Norton; Brilliance Audio). In it he presents a history of the 2008 financial collapse through his perspective as the point man for the government’s management of the economy.
Bernanke is in the midst of a big push for his book and Colbert is not his only stop.
The luckless odds makers at betting firms Ladbrokes and Paddy Power seem to be fully baffled this year. The Guardian reports the bookies are simply rearranging their 2014 picks, leading with Svetlana Alexievich and offering Haruki Murakami and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o as back up.
Americans Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates and 2005 Booker winner, Irish writer John Banville are also in the mix as are Korean poet Ko Un and Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai, winner of the Man Booker International award.
It could be Murakami’s turn based on frequency alone. The Wall Street Journal says it has become “a seasonal event over the past few years for Mr. Murakami’s name to pop up as a frontrunner.”
He was a favorite in 2013 as well (the year the prize went to Alice Munro). Quite naturally Murakami finds the speculation and horse race aspects of the run up to the announcement “quite annoying,” reports the paper.
If this is finally Murakami’s year, readers will have plenty of his titles in English to choose from, so many that Matthew Carl Strecher, who has written 3 books on Murakami, was able to select “The 10 Best Haruki Murakami Books” for Publishers Weekly.
But Murakami might be annoyed for at least another year. The Guardian quotes one of the lead bookmakers, Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes, as saying, “literary speculators believe we’ll see the winner come from out of leftfield.”
It is no small prize to win. On top of the profound honor and a considerable cash award, it increases book sales.
His gloomy, dedicated police inspector Kurt Wallander tracked down cases in eleven novels. The series began with Faceless Killers in 1997 and the latest entry is the 2014 An Event in Autumn. Mankell wrote stand alones as well, such as 2013’s A Treacherous Paradise and 2012’s The Shadow Girls.
Although he is known for his role in ushering in a wave of Nordic crime he told The Guardian “I could never write a crime story just for the sake of it, because I always want to talk about certain things.” He went on to say that Macbeth was the “best crime story he has ever read.”
Many will know Mankell through the BBC/PBS TV series starring Sir Kenneth Branagh who expertly highlighted Wallander’s character and translated much of the books’ melancholy. Branagh told the BBC:
In life and in art Henning Mankell was a man of passionate commitment. I will miss his provocative intelligence and his great personal generosity. Aside from his stringent political activism, and his decades of work in Africa, he also leaves an immense contribution to Scandinavian literature. His loving family, and those privileged to know him, together with readers from all over the world, will mourn a fine writer and a fine man.
Mankell lived a full and adventurous life, going to sea as a young man and scrapping a living out of Paris before returning to Sweden to work in the theater. Even as a novelist he remained active in the theater, serving as the artistic director of Teatro Avenida in Mozambique.
According to his website, he wrote “around forty novels and numerous plays. His books have sold more than forty million copies and are translated into more than forty languages. Solidarity with those in need run through his entire work and manifested itself in action until the very end.”
In 2014, thinking he had a different problem, he saw a doctor only to discover cancer had already invaded several areas of his body. “It was a catastrophe for me,” he told NPR, “Everything that was normal to me up to that point was gone all of a sudden. No one had died of cancer in my family. I had always assumed I’d die of something else.”
NPR reports his last book, released in early 2015 in Sweden, is entitled Quicksand. It is not yet listed on American wholesalers.
A legendary 17th century swashbuckling figure, a bisexual, cross-dressing opera singer and noted duelist who was raised in the servant side of Versailles, d’Aubigny was once sentenced to burn at the stake for her relationship with a nun.
After writing a string of historical fiction/adventure YA books, d’Aubigny Gardiner’s debut adult novel re-tells the highlights of d’Aubigny’s many adventured life, told in retrospect from her deathbed.
D’Aubigny has become somewhat of a standard barer Gardiner says, telling NPR:
“Throughout the centuries, she’s been written about … and every so often, she becomes famous all over again, and she’s famous all over again now. It’s fascinating to see — whenever society starts to think about, what does gender mean, what does sexuality mean, she’s just one of the names that comes up, and people start thinking about her, and talking about her, and portraying her all over again.”
Diverse groups of fans will be thrilled by books coming out next week. Fan girls will flock to Rainbow Rowell’s next novel, her first pure fantasy, Carry On(Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin). Rock and memoir devotees will be excited for Patti Smith’s M Train, the follow-up to her National Book Award winner Just Kids, called “achingly beautiful” by Michiko Kakutani in today’s NYT. Science fiction fans will be intrigued that physicist and photographer Ctein has collaborated with John Sanford for a science-fiction thriller set in 2066, Saturn Run. (Penguin/Putnam). It gets a thumbs up from the Washington Post.
We’ll be reminded of something that is just around the corner as one of the doyenne’s of the Christmas novel genre, Debbie Macomber returns with Dashing Through the Snow (RH/Ballantine), which, following many of her other books, is set to be a Hallmark movie.
People Pick — “With mordant wit and an ear for millennial patois, Crosley dissects the pretension of Los Angeles an New York, then send her characters to France on a madcap adventure. It’s fun to tag along.” Julia Pierpont author of Among the Ten Thousand Things agrees with that assessment in this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Reviewcalling it, a ” highly comic, highly affecting novel.
This WW II novel, published to strong reception in th U.K., is also a People pick, “an emotional page-turner that skillfully evoked the terror of war and the enduring power of love.”
Two generations of Kennedys are scrutinized next week.
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, Kate Clifford Larson, (HMH)
An excerpt of this book about JFK’s sister, who suffered a lobotomy at her father’s insistence, and ended up being institutionalized as a result, was featured last month in People magazine. Also excerpted is The Missing Kennedy: A Memoir of Family, Silence, and Transformation, Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff, (Bancroft Press).
A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction, Patrick J. Kennedy, Stephen Fried, (Penguin/Blue Rider), EMBARGOED
By the former Rhode Island Congressman and the youngest son of Edward Kennedy. It’s embargoed, indicating that media attention is expected.
Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song. Sara Bareilles, (S&S)
The singer/ songwriter will make appearances on several high-profile shows in the coming week:
• NBC Today Show, October 7
• NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers, October 7
• ABC-TV Live with Kelly and Michael , October 9
Indie Next: “This collection is Campbell at her best and most audaciously appealing. At the center of each of these stories is a fierce, floundering, and unmistakably familiar woman. Mother of a daughter in some instances but always a caretaker, aware of and struggling with a hellish truth, or at justified peace with her right to impose her flawed self on a tragic other. These women’s violations — both endured and perpetrated — are most certainly recognizable, and their stories are stunning. Booksellers, tell your customers. Friends, tell your people. Mothers, tell your daughters. Read this book!” —Joanna Parzakonis, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
LibraryReads, Oct: “The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this landmark case gives the story behind the headlines. Kaplan integrates personal narrative with legal strategy throughout, combining her own struggles with a fascinating look at the brave and unconventional life led by her client. This is a heartwarming and inspiring account of one widow’s pursuit of justice and dignity.” Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA Shout ‘n’ Share, Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Library System
Indie Next: “Bats of the Republic is a book connoisseur’s dream. It is a propulsive novel — often a novel within a novel — that shatters the restraints of genre with brilliance matched only by its complexity and originality. Dodson weaves a story from a past filled with hope and regret with a future rife with promise and dire consequences to keep the reader engaged throughout. Complete with maps and ephemera that make this a singular reading experience, Bats of the Republic is gorgeous, unputdownable, and above all in this day and age, necessary.” —Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL
LibraryReads, Oct: “Brooks does it again, in this fascinating and richly detailed fictionalized account of the life and times of King David. We see David as he might actually have been: a charismatic leader of men, both brutal and conflicted. This is perfect for historical fiction readers who enjoy lots of detail and believable characters. It transports you to the times and places inhabited by David.” Marilee Cogswell, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Indie Next: “The Old Testament includes tantalizing references to a prophet called Natan. Brooks brings this mysterious figure to life as the confidante to and narrator of King David’s life. From David’s beginning as an unknown, fearless rebel fighter through his rise to ruling the Kingdom of Israel, the people, places, and politics of ancient times are brought to life. David is a complex and compelling character who jumps off the page, and Natan is his conscience and conduit to their God. Brooks once again proves herself a master of meticulously researched and vividly imagined historical fiction.” —Cindy Pauldine, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY
Indie Next: “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is one of my favorite novels of the last several years, and now Marra follows that up with a dazzling set of linked stories set in Russia, Chechnya, and Siberia over a period of time spanning from the Russian Revolution to the modern day and beyond. As with his debut novel, what I love are the characters that he makes readers care so deeply about, as well as the fact that I constantly found myself wanting to know more about their lives and the history of their countries. Get on the Marra train now because one thing is certain: He is one of our brightest young talents writing today.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
Indie Next: “If the past is a foreign country, we certainly have an expert native guide in Mosher who recreates perfectly, right down to the smoky fire smoldering in the town dump, the small town of Kingdom Common, Vermont, in the 1950s. Here fans of previous books are reintroduced to Jim Kinneson, now entering high school. For first-time readers, the ubiquitous, multi-generational Kinneson clan of the Northern Kingdom will be immediately accessible through the talent of master storyteller Mosher in this latest variation on the themes of tradition, the burden of family history, small-town secrets, and the stark beauty of the wilds of Northern Vermont.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
Indie Next: “Whether you are familiar with the work of P.G. Wodehouse or not, you will want to read his books by the time you have finished this wonderful novel. Returning to Harvester, Minnesota, the location of her best-selling novel, The Cape Ann, Sullivan has provided a tale that will resonate with anyone who has been faced with the loss of a loved one, a challenge of faith, the gossip of a community, or the search for one’s independence. What better place to find grace than in the heart of a good book!” —Betsy Schram, The Bookshelf, Cincinnati, OH
Hitting theaters today is the heavily-promoted movie The Martian, starring Matt Damon, based on the novel by Andy Weir, as well as the documentary, He Named Me Malala about author and activist Malala Yousafzai.