EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

Lisbeth Returns

13014080_O_1   Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The fourth book in The Millennial series, which began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, (Swedish cover on the left, above, next to the familiar American cover) will be published in August, as originally announced at the end of 2013, confirms the Swedish publisher Norstedts. Titled That Which Does Not Kill, it is written by the Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz.

There’s not much information available on the content of the book. As The Guardian comments, “the author remained tight-lipped about the meaning of the title or what direction the action-packed political thriller – 500 pages long in Swedish – will take,” telling the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, simply “What I wanted to make use of in the book was the vast mythology that Stieg Larsson left behind, the world he created.” When the project was first announced, the publisher said it has nothing to do with the manuscript that Larsson left unfinished when he died in 2004 (the series was originally planned as ten books and there is a legal dispute over ownership of the rights to the unfinished manuscript).

There’s no news yet on which company will publish the book in the U.S. and the possible contenders represent a tale of modern publishing consolidation. The previous titles in The Millennial series were published in the U.K. by Quercus and in the U.S. by RH/Knopf. Since then, Quercus opened offices in the U.S., launching in 2013 with a collection of Larsson’s articles, The Expo Files. After financial struggles, the entire company was acquired by Hachette last September and, according to  PW,  a new publisher of the U.S. division was named just a couple of weeks ago, reporting to the Little, Brown imprint. So, the Swedish publisher may have followed tradition and sold the rights to the Quercus division Hachette in the U.K., followed by RH/Knopf in the U.S., or they may have sold both the U.S. and U.K. rights to Hachette.

Then again, they maybe going with another publisher entirely. There also remains the question of whether a Stieg Larsson book without Stieg Larsson will attract readers.

Science Confirms, Teen Brains Are Different

9780062067845_67a89On NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Terry Gross interviewed neuroscientist Frances Jensen, the author of The Teenage Brain, (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Jensen confirms with remarkable clarity what many parents have observed, that it takes a long time for the human brain to fully mature and develop the ability to control impulses.

Author Colleen McCullough Dies

The author of the 1977  mega best seller, The Thorn Birds, and most recently, the novel Bittersweet, (S&S) has died Australia. She was 77.

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Colleen McCullough wrote over 20 books since the Thorn Birds became a best seller, propelled to even further success by a blockbuster TV series. A generational saga set in Australia, the author drew on her own family background for the story.

The books that followed included a series of historical novels set in classical Rome and another of detective stories. As she told an interviewer in 2013, she felt uncomfortable returning to the genre that brought her the greatest success, but for last year’s Bittersweet, she said she had managed to construct an epic romance that could not be considered the “Son of Thorn Birds.”

In that interview, looking ahead, she said she had an idea for another of her detective novels featuring Carmine Delmonico (the most recent, Sins of the Flesh, was released here a few months after Bittersweet), but she didn’t want to start it because “it would be terribly frustrating to get halfway through a book and fall off the perch.”

Zillow Book: A Hot Property

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.40.40 AMThe CEO of the online site that many check regularly to find out the value of their homes, Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, appeared  on CBS This Morning to promote his new book  Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The book, which offers a new – and often contrary – take on common real estate myths (today, “location, location, location” can be further refined to “close to a Starbucks”), is zooming up Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently at #8. Many libraries have not yet ordered it.

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK Closer to Screen

9780060885595_f2155Casting is about to begin for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about a group of soldiers returning home from Iraq, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012), set to start production in mid-April.

Applauded for the use of 3D in his adaptation of The Life of Pi, the press release promises even more for Billy Lynn, “The film will explore new methods, both technological and artistic, with the goal of further engaging the audience.  Lee … envisions creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”

A debut novel, it was the winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Books Awards. The Washington Post called it, “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel … a razor-sharp, darkly comic novel — a worthy neighbor to Catch-22 on the bookshelf of war fiction.”

JOBS Begins Shooting

We envy this headline from New York magazine’s Vulture blog, “Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie Begins Filming With Cast Full of People Who Haven’t Dropped Out Yet.”

Steve JobsYes, the movie based on Walter Isaacson’s biography has suffered through many changes. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were breathlessly announced as stars, only to drop out. It has also changed studios (from Sony to Universal) and directors (from David Fincher to Danny Boyle) and had to endure another film being released with a similar title, Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher.

Universal’s announcement this week that production has begun in San Francisco may raise skepticism, but the company insists that Michael Fassbender is set to play Jobs, with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as former Macintosh marketing head Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley. Boyle is still directing.

GOING CLEAR Doc. Stirs the Waters

Called the “The [Sundance Film] festival’s most hotly anticipated documentary,” by USA TodayGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is getting a chilly reception from the film’s subject after its Sunday premiere. Entertainment Weekly reports the Church is responding “aggressively,” through social media and ads in the New York Times.

Going ClearBased on the 2013 book by Lawrence Wright (RH/Knopf), who also is a producer on the film, it is set to air on HBO on March 16. The book itself is called a “a masterpiece of in-depth reporting packed to the brim with insane details and shocking revelations,” this week in Salon.

The film’s claims are getting attention in a wide range of news sources, from People magazine and USA Today to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Trailer: CHILD 44

Before it was published in 2008, Ridley Scott bought the film rights to the heavily promoted, and well-received debut Cold War era thriller, Child 44, (Hachette/Grand Central), by Tom Rob Smith. A trailer was just released for the resulting film that will land in theaters on April 17

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), it stars Tom Hardy as a demoted Russian secret police agent battling both his superiors and his unhappy wife, played by Noomi Rapace, as he tries to track down a serial killer who targets children.

The book was the first in a trilogy, followed by The Secret Speech (2009) and  Agent 6, (2012).

Tie-in (for other movie tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection; for other upcoming book adaptations, check our listing):

Child 44
Tom Rob Smith
Hachette/Grand Central: March 31, 2015
Trade Paperback

Holds Alert: GHETTOSIDE

On the Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart introduced his guest, journalist Jill Leovy by calling her book, Ghettoside (RH/Spiegel & Grau; OverDrive Sample), an “incredibly gripping true crime story.” Leovy went on to show that the story is about much more than one murder.

Holds in libraries are now heavy on modest orders.

FANTASTIC FOUR, First Teaser

Based on the 2004 Marvel comic Ultimate Fantastic Four, which reimagines the original characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for a layman’s breakdown, check the Washington Post‘s “Comics Riffs” column), the teaser trailer for Fantastic Four just debuted online.

The movie appears in theaters, August 7, 2015.

Emma Watson is BEAUTY

Disney’s live-action musical of Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle; Emma Watson, who began her movie career at age eleven playing Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, has signed on for the lead.

9780062290366_9a172It is set to be directed by  Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Watson in the adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, (S&S/MTV Books, 2012).

No news on whether she is still committed to star in Warner Brothers’ adaptation of Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper, July, 2014).

 

RED RISING, Book 3

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The third in Pierce Brown’s sci-fi adventure is heralded with an “exclusive cover reveal” on Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog, along with an interview with the author. Titled Morning Star,  it will be released in spring, 2016, and is not yet listed on distributor catalogs.

Both of the first two books in the trilogy are LibraryReads picks. Golden Son debuted on the 1/25 NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #6. This week, it appears at #20 on the extended list.

RA Alert: Children’s Books
Make A Move

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Librarians who regularly look at Amazon’s daily accounting of “Movers & Shakers” know how unusual to see several children’s titles suddenly dominate the list. Sunday was one of those exceptions. The 100 titles on the rise was full of books for the toddler crowd.

Why the sudden attention? A bookseller with a point to make sent parents on a buying spree. Last week Time Magazine posted a list of the 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time. Their top picks? Where the Wild Things Are, The Snowy Day, Goodnight Moon, and Blueberries For Sal.

These tried-and-true (and old) titles are not the ones that ruled Amazon, however. Instead, it’s newer titles, including Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński (Candlewick Press, 2013) and Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illus. by David Roberts (Abrams, 2013; OverDrive Sample) – titles Time completely overlooked.

Jordan B. Nielsen, a children’s book buyer for The powerHouse Arena bookstore in Brooklyn and a blogger on The Huffington Post took exception to Time ‘s selections. “A curmudgeon’s voice took hold in my head as I clicked through the list: The Wild Rumpus is still in vogue? Must we bid the Moon Goodnight once more? Surely piling on one more commendation will fell The Giving Tree!”

She offered her own list of “20 New Classics Every Child Should Own.”

Her description of Rosie Revere, Engineer shows why the Mover & Shaker list is a buzz:

“With all due respect to the Pink brigade, here’s hoping Rosie Revere, Engineer elbows one or two princesses right off the bookshelf. One hardly knows what to be more excited about here: that this story features a young girl enthralled with math and invention, or the book’s overall message that failure is a key stepping stone to success, so long as you don’t give up. Colorful and sweet, this tale of creativity and perseverance will delight parents and daughters alike.”

Who wouldn’t rush to buy that.

Maps gets this recommendation: “At the bookstore where I work we order it by the case and still cannot keep it in stock. A book kids and adults can pour over together, finding new details every time.”

Nielsen’s list offers a strong counterpoint to Time‘s  golden oldies (for more new titles to recommend, check EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek’s various lists of “best books to give kids you don’t know very well.”)

A Two-Author Week on Jon Stewart

After a several weeks of an author drought, The Daily Show ramps up its book coverage with two authors appearing this week: Jill Leovy, on Tuesday, and Sarah Chayes on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 12.11.33 PMAs we reported last week, Leovy’s Ghettoside (RH/Spiegel & Grau; OverDrive Sample), a gripping journalistic investigation into the murder of a young black man in Los Angeles, is getting strong coverage in The New York Times and on NPR. The author’s appearance with Stewart should bring her to the attention of an even wider readership. Holdings and holds vary across the country with some libraries yet to buy, some with light holds, and others with holds as high as 11:1. Fair warning: Ghettoside seems destined to be an important book on an important conversation that will continue for years to come. As The New York Times put it in their Sunday cover, “Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights — and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter,’ showing how the ‘system’s failure to catch killers effectively made black lives cheap.’”

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 12.10.47 PMSarah Chayes’s Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, (W. W. Norton) has gotten far less media attention although NPR’s All Things Considered did a story on Jan. 16th and The Washington Post gave the book a generally favorable review on the same day. Holds are light in libraries we checked, but Stewart can be relied upon to create at least a short-term bump in demand. Certainly Chayes’s book, which identifies corruption as the link between a number of political hotspots spiraling out of control, provides Stewart with a wind-up pitch he can hit out of the park.

A Tale of Two #1 Best Sellers

Fulfilling rumors from yesterday, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio ClipOverDrive Sample), is an instant #1 NYT best seller, debuting during its first week on sale. In a slight adjustment to the rumor, it arrives at #1 on the Combined Fiction list, but not on the Hardcover Fiction list. On that list, the number one spot is still held by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), on the list after 37 weeks, representing another unusual trajectory, the slow and steady rise.

Is The Girl on the Train actually a debut, as is widely claimed? Not according to Gregory Cowles in the NYT‘s “Inside the List” column, it can only be counted as a debut thriller, since, as Hawkins herself says in an NPR interview, she previously published romantic fiction under a pseudonym (The Wall Street Journal identifies her alias as Amy Silver; WorldCat lists all three of Silver’s titles as only published in the U.K. and only held in U.K. libraries).

Still, a book by an author with no identifiable track record arriving at #1 during it’s first week on sale is a major feat (it wasn’t until “debut” author Robert Galbraith was revealed as actually being the famous writer of a certain series of childrens book that The Cuckoo’s Calling hit best seller lists, several months after publication).

As we noted earlier, to our knowledge, there’s been only one debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale, Elizabeth Kostova’s first book, The Historian, (Hachette/Little, Brown). It debuted on the hardcover list in 2005, back before there was an ebook list, so technically, that record still holds.

If you look at other lists, the story is different. On the PW/BookScan list,  The Girl on the Train is #2, after Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (RH/Bantam) and All the Light We Cannot See is at #3.

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The other debut novel on the new hardcover fiction list is The First Bad Man by Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), arriving at #6, after a barrage of media attention, not all of it positive. The best seller list annotation makes it sound like Fifty Shades of Grey, “A houseguest forces a passive woman into a bizarre but liberating sexual relationship.” Reviewing it, the NYT’s Michiko Kakutani said, “The novel starts off tentatively, veers into derivative and willfully sensational theater-of-the-absurd drama — part Pinter, part Genet — and then mutates, miraculously, into an immensely moving portrait of motherhood and what it means to take care of a child.” A few libraries are showing heavy holds.

On the Combined Nonfiction list, Ghost BoyThe Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius (Simon & Schuster, 2011; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #5, long after its original publication, due to attention from the new NPR show, Invisibilia, (see our earlier story). Several libraries have ordered additional copies (it is now available in trade paperback) because of  heavy holds.

Debuting on the Combined Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list at #8, is a title that some libraries have not yet ordered, Picture Your Prosperity, by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, (Penguin/Portfolio; Penguin Audio, 1/13/15). It’s been covered in the business press (the NYT Business section, and in Forbes).