Come March, American audiences will finally get to see a much-talked-about animated movie based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved story, The Little Prince. After it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it went on to do well at the box office in France and several other countries and is now set to debut in a limited run in the US on March 18th, expanding to more theaters the following week. Directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), it features the voices of several big-name stars, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard.
As the new trailer indicates, the movie presents the story of de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 novel through the eyes of a modern-day girl who learns about the Little Prince from her neighbor, the Old Aviator (voiced by Jeff Bridges).
Coverage, as we have been reporting (here, here, and here), is both plentiful and favorable, powering the book’s rise along with heavy promotion by Amazon.
Holds are also strong, spiking to 8:1 in some locations. Resourceful readers are even seeking out the Library America edition containing The Man in the High Castle along with three other Dick novels.
To feed the demand, a tie-in edition (HMH/Mariner Books; OverDrive Sample) just arrived with cover art that evokes the dystopian alternate reality of the series.
Once readers get their hands on the book they will find, as Laura Miller, Slate’s books and culture columnist, writes, a story very different than the one currently streaming on Amazon.
“the new TV series is so alien to the book in spirit that it would be a shame if it came to supplant our understanding of what is also one of the best mid-20th-century American novels about colonialism and its corrosive effects on the human psyche.”
On a side note, the PR for the show is gathering its own attention.
NPR’s The Two-Way reports that the New York Metro Transportation Authority has removed Nazi-themed subway advertisements for the show at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the call as well, saying the images are “irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers.” (NPR has images of the subway cars as part of their story).
A second trailer captures the alternate reality and the moody feel of the show:
Among the old reliables hitting shelves next week, is Daniel Steel’s latest, Precious Gifts(PRH/Delacorte). Tom Clancy returns, in name only, with a new Jack Ryan novel, written by Mark Greaney, Tom Clancy Commander in Chief. (PRH/Putnam). Martha Stewart Weddings may seem to be arriving in the wrong season, but it many will consider it the perfect gift for those in the throes of planning their events.
“This is a gift of honesty, intimacy, and the pure genius that is Donald Hall, as he hand-picks what he considers to be the best of his poetry from more than 70 years of published works. From this former U.S. Poet Laureate comes one essential volume of his works, where ‘Ox-Cart Man’ sits alongside ‘Kicking the Leaves’ and ‘Without.’ As he is no longer writing poetry, this ‘concise gathering of my life’s work’ is the perfect introduction to Hall’s literary contributions, as well as closure for his many ardent followers.” —Katharine Nevins, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, Warner, NH
“This is the story of a mother’s anguish and desperation when her eight-year-old son runs ahead on an ordinary Sunday afternoon walk in a park and vanishes. It is the story of the lead detective, told partly in sessions he has with a psychologist because of the toll the case is taking on his personal life. It is the story of family and friends and the secrets they have been keeping that are slowly revealed. And it is the story of how the media and the public are quick to point fingers and assign blame. But, most of all, it is the story of a mother’s love and her strength and will to push everything aside and do anything to bring her son home.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
“An intimate look at the devastating effect of the bombing of Nagasaki on one family, this is a story of love — parental and sexual, selfless and selfish, and, in the end, healing. Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her home in the U.S. to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, who supposedly perished along with her daughter during the bombing nearly 40 years earlier. The man carries a cache of letters that forces Ama to confront her past and the love affair that tore her apart from her daughter.” —Sandi Torkildson, A Room of One’s Own, Madison, WI
First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson (Perseus/Basic Books)
“Food scholar Wilson explores not only how our food habits are shaped and the origins of our tastes, but also the problems we have with our present diet and how we can change our palates to lead healthier lives. Entertaining, informative, and packed with food wisdom, First Bite belongs on the shelves of food lovers, history buffs, and all fans of good writing.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA
“This short, spare, beautifully evocative novel becomes a major meditation on the mystery of life, with all of its attendant joy and sorrow. The story of Anna — caretaker, nanny, and confidant — becomes the tale of all families with the extremes of happiness and sadness inherent in every situation. Like Family is poignant, sure to stir emotions in any reader and, in the end, a paean to living the life that is given.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS
“Claire Talbot has a lot to prove in the misogynistic legal world in which she has immersed herself, but she puts it all on the line when Marcus Hastings enters her life with an old case that stirs an ominous feeling in the pit of Claire’s stomach. Though the string of missing girls occurred before she was born, Claire senses a familiarity with the case, and with Marcus, that she can’t explain. What begins with an ambitious young female prosecutor, a mysterious cold case, and an intriguing ex-cop who knows too much about both ends in a series of twists that readers won’t see coming.” —Rachel Kelley, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
“In this riveting and compassionate mystery, beloved counselor Carl Ashby is found dead at church, leaving the Mormon community devastated. But when Linda and Kurt Wallheim learn that Carl was originally a female the news turns their world inside out, directing their focus away from the bigger issues at hand. In a community that is so set with its gender roles, can the Wallheims look past that to discover who killed Carl and why?” —Rachael Drummond, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
The most anticipated Oscary-buzzy film opening today is The Danish Girl, based on David Ebershoff’s debut novel.
The film stars Eddie Redmayne, who has already won an Oscar for his startling physical transformation as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. As we wrote earlier, many expect Redmayne to do it again in for his portrayal of a man who, in the 1930’s, had one of the earliest transgender surgeries.
Victor Frankenstein opened in wide release on Wednesday. The film is based very loosely on the classic SF/Horror tale by Mary Shelley. It stars James McAvoy as Victor and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor.
No specific tie-in edition has been released and it is iffy whether the film will send fans racing towards the classic. For those who do, there’s a wide range of editions to suggest, including the Penguin edition with cover art by Daniel Clowes (PRH/Penguin Classics).
Both titles are in support of MTV’s adaptation of Terry Brooks modern classic fantasy series which is scheduled to begin airing on Jan. 5, 2016.
As we wrote earlier, MTV is trying to position the series as the heir to Game of Thrones. Based on Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, the first in the book series is Sword Of Shannara, but the first in the TV series will be based on the second book Elfstones Of Shannara.
The following post is from our GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower:
As the winter weather descends on most of us, settle in for some absorbing books so you’ll be prepared to order those late winter/spring titles. Check the titles on Edelweiss and NetGalley to fill your reader for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Click here for the complete list of titles mentioned during the chat.
Thanks for the Memoirs
November was a big month for celebrity “tell-all” releases (Leah Remini, Carly Simon, Burt Reynolds) so it’s refreshing to see a few lesser-known people telling their own inspiring or fascinating stories.
Quickly gaining “much love” on Edelweiss is My Father, the Pornographer, Chris Offutt (S&S/Atria, February). Jennifer Dayton from Darien Library recommends it saying it is “blowing her away,” and Vicki Nesting loved it saying, “How does your understanding of your father change when you learn that he wrote more than 400 books in his lifetime — most of them pornography? This is spare and incisive, and occasionally heartbreaking.”
Diana Abu-Jaber’s also focuses on family and incorporates her love of food into Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Family and Food (Norton, April). Jennifer Dayton is a fan, saying, “Life is like what we crave to eat, sometimes we want savory and sometimes sweet. Abu-Jaber shows us the conflicting messages she received as a girl from the two people she loved the most, from her German grandmother, who loved sweet, the need to remain independent and from her Arab father, who was all about the savory and the fervent hope for her to be married and settled.”
Pulitzer prize winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri’s goal to become fluent in Italian is showcased in her beautifully written memoir, In Other Words (RH/Knopf, February). P. J. Gardiner (Wakefield Co Library, NC) enjoyed it saying, “A primarily English speaker, Lahiri studied Italian for years before deciding to move to Rome and immerse herself. What follows is a dual language (Italian translated to English) memoir sharing her journey of taking risks, learning, and reflecting.”
Under the Radar Thriller Authors
Alafair Burke is following in the bestselling footsteps of her father, James Lee Burke, with her new stand-alone thriller, The Ex (HarperCollins, January). Andrienne Cruz (Azusa City Library) thought it was terrific saying, “Olivia Randall doesn’t expect to help her ex fiancé when he is accused of murder. Burke keeps this book alive with a smart protagonist, interesting characters and a fluid story, and a clever twist will keep readers guessing till the very end.”
Gregg Hurwitz is another author who doesn’t commonly appear on suspense thriller radars, but his new title, Orphan X(Macmillan/Minotaur, January) is receiving advance buzz from our chatters and Edelweiss members also agree with the “much love” votes rising. Elizabeth Kanouse (Denville Public Library, NJ) said his forthcoming roller-coaster of a read is perfect for fans of Jason Bourne and the Mission: Impossible franchise: “Evan Smoak is a killing machine, government trained from the his boyhood. He’s now working freelance, helping those who need his kind of help. Something goes wrong with his latest client, and he finds himself on the run, up against someone whose skills may surpass his own.”
The novel Cold Mountain and books by Cormac McCarthy first come to mind when reading Fallen Land by Taylor Brown (St. Martin/January), according to collection development specialist Janet Lockhart of Wakefield (NC) County Library. She goes on to say, “With just their wits and their trusted horse, a young couple race for the coast at the same time as Sherman’s army is burning its way across Georgia. A love story told amidst the horrors of war, this is a beautifully written and paced debut novel.”
Ever since Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, I have hungered for another novel of fraught family dynamics (with a dash of dysfunction) with irritating yet relatable characters. I found it in Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s first novel, The Nest (HarperCollins/Ecco, March). The novel centers around the financial difficulties of three siblings after their arrogant brother’s foolish accident which drains their inheritance, known as “The Nest.” Sweeney does a masterful job of narrating the story from multiple viewpoints and having it all come to a satisfying close. I agree with a few GoodReads reviewers who are predicting this could be the surprise spring bestseller.
“Imagine a Jane Austen novel set in WWI England!” is how Janet Lockhart describes Helen Simonson’s The Summer Before the War (RH, March). Her affection for this novel by the author of the book group favorite Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was echoed by Bryant Library’s (NY) Janet Schneider who said, “From it’s opening scenes, set in East Sussex in extraordinarily-beautiful August 1914, this captures the final moments of innocence before the steep costs of war deeply impacted a family, a town and a way of life. Jacqueline Winspear and Kate Morton fans will be entranced.”
Please join us for the next GalleyChat on Tuesday, December 1, from 4:00-5:00 (ET). Come early,for virtual cocktails at 3:30. With so many titles being sprung for spring, “friend” me on Edelweiss to keep up with what I’m anticipating.
To occupy kids and their parents during the Thanksgiving holiday Pixar’s animated movie, The Good Dinosauropens today. It’s not based on a book, but it comes with a range of tie-ins.
The title cuently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings is the Little Golden Book version, which most libraries do not buy, The Good Dinosaurby Bill Scollon and illustrated by Michaelangelo Rocco (PRH/Disney/Pixar). It is currently at #32, putting it close to best sellers The Martian and The Day the Crayons Came Home.
Fans of Agatha Christie have a treat heading their way. Variety reports Fox’s long delayed reboot of Murder on the Orient Express finally looks like it is leaving the station.
Kenneth Branagh will play Poirot as well as direct the film. Branagh and Ridley Scott (The Martian) are producers as is Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan), while Michael Green, who is working on Blade Runner 2, is writing the screenplay.
Branagh follows in the footsteps of Peter Ustinov and David Suchet, both of whom made the role famous. Branagh is no stranger to on-screen detection himself, proving his skills playing Wallander for PBS.
According to Box Office Mojo, the film currently has a Nov 10, 2017 release date. Eager moviegoers might be watching that date with a weather eye, however. The movie has been in the works for years. As CinemaBlend wrote several months ago, wondering if the movie would ever appear, “there’s been such little movement on the film that most people probably forgot that it was even planned.”
In 2011, HarperCollins became Christie’s global publisher, reports the UK newspaper Independent. We will keep our eye out for a tie-in.
The many fans of the podcast SERIAL may not have realized they owe thanks to Rabia Chaudry, a woman who has worked tirelessly to free her friend Adnan Sayed from prison. Believing he was wrongly accused of murdering his high school girlfriend, Chandry approached Sarah Koenig of This American Life in hopes of bringing more attention to the case. The result was the podcast, which became a huge success.
SERIAL did not arrive at a definitive conclusion on Sayed’s innocence or guilt. He is still imprisoned and Chaudry has not given up. She will publish a book in September, Adnan’s Story: Murder, Justice, and The Case That Captivated a Nation (St. Martin’s Press). Entertainment Weekly reports it is being written with Syed’s cooperation, quoting him from a press release, “As someone connected to me, my family, my community, my lawyers, and my investigation, there is no one better to help tell my story, and no one that I trust more to tell it, than Rabia.”
Available for pre-sale now on Amazon, it is already #17 in the True Crime Biography category.
Mary Gaitskill’s latest novel, The Mare (PRH/Pantheon; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), is gaining traction in libraries where holds are soaring as high as 7:1 on light ordering.
As we noted earlier this month, The Marehas been widely reviewed. Maureen Corrigan added yet another glowing review on yesterday’s Fresh Air,
“Mary Gaitskill writes tough … You have to write tough — and brilliantly — to pull off a novel like The Mare … a raw, beautiful story about love and mutual delusion, in which the fierce erotics of mother love and romantic love and even horse fever are swirled together.”
Author and reporter Joby Warrick appeared on PBS Newshour last night to discuss the Paris attacks and this history of ISIS. In September, he published Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS (PRH/Doubleday; BOT; OverDrive Sample). It rose to #220 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the show.
During the interview, Warrick explained the roots of the terrorist group:
“…to a lot of people … ISIS seemed to come out of nowhere last year. And the truth is, there is a very long and complicated story behind this organization. It’s quite different from al-Qaida. It’s always been a different stripe, but its story goes back into prisons in Jordan in the 1990s and with individuals who became radicalized and became very different from this message of al-Qaida about sort of driving out their Western powers from the Middle East.”
The Washington Post selected Black Flags as one of their 10 Best Books of 2015. In libraries, holds vary widely with large local spikes in some systems and steady circulation in others.
Trade reviews skipped over Randall Munroe’s newest book, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words (HMH; OverDrive Sample), but Bill Gates steps in, posting on his blog a glowing endorsement of Munroe’s mix of illustrations and information.
Gates calls the detailed and over-sized drawings accompanied by clear explanations using common words a “brilliant concept” and “a wonderful guide for curious minds.” He goes on to say that Munroe reminds him “of Sal Khan of Khan Academy, or the novelist and Crash Course host John Green … polymaths who not only know a lot but are also good at breaking things down for other people.”
Thing Explainer is already in Amazon’s Top 100 (at #82). Munroe’s previous book, What If? (HMH, 2014) was on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list for over 40 weeks, and debuted at #1 during its first week of publication.
Holds are not strong yet for the new book. but expect them to grow. Monroe is getting attention, including a profile in the Wall Street Journal where he says that his favorite research technique is “googling a few search terms plus ‘pdf.’ It’s amazing what’s buried in old, poorly digitized PDFs hosted on some random professor’s website.”
The entire interview is likely to have readers googling – it is full of curiosities, including strange cloud formations and an odd animal that looks like be a cross between a cat and a lemur.