Britain’s Carnival Films, the production company behind hits such as Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie’s Poirot is gearing up for a second season of Grantchester, to air on PBS Masterpiece in 2016, according to Deadline Hollywood.
If you missed the first season, Grantchester features a dishy village vicar who solves crimes around his tiny hamlet outside of Cambridge, England and ventures further afield as well. Full of jazz music, anguished flashbacks to WWII, and frustrated romance, the sprightly paced 1950s set whodunits showcase well-drawn characters, a fabulous setting, and a not quite cozy tone.
Reviews were generally positive on both sides of the ocean when season one debuted. The Telegraph wrote “Stop it, I’m hooked. Sign me up. I’ll give you my cat and house to see what happens next.”
The LA Timescalled the show “guilelessly entertaining” and said that while it “lulls more than it grabs [like a] good sermon, you may think you’re only barely listening until you realize you’re fully immersed.”
The New York Times had a different view, however, claiming that Grantchester will be “breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.”
The show created demand for the book and holds spiked at some locations beyond a 3:1 ratio.
It is #6 on the USA Today list, an even more impressive feat since that list does not divide titles by category, putting the social media author right behind 1) Go Set a Watchman, 2) Grey, 3) Paper Towns, 4) To Kill a Mockingbird, and 5) Girl on the Train.
The NYTSunday Book Review covers the book (actually, it’s more like a printed scrap book) in their “Inside the List” column, saying “YouTube star Miranda Sings — real name Colleen Ballinger — has become a comic sensation by milking the disconnect between her supreme confidence and her hopeless lack of ability in pretty much any human endeavor: can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t apply lipstick inside the lines. Now she’s taken that endearing incompetence into the book world with a parody advice guide.”
In his lengthy report on the convention, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair writes that “I have been to the high temple of digital video and I have seen its awesome, occasionally terrifying might. The revolution is not coming. It’s here.”
Alan Cheuse, author of Prayers for the Living and NPR’s All Things Considered book reviewer, has died at age 75, from injuries resulting from a car accident.
A creative writing teacher, a working writer, and a beloved voice on the radio, Cheuse inspired a deep appreciation of good writing and rich reading. His daughter, Sonya Cheuse, director of publicity for the publisher Ecco, told NPR that her father passed his love of literature down to her entire family: “My dad is the reason I love reading,” she says. “This is the family business.”
It may be hard to believe, but next week we head into the fall publishing season. It will be a while before we begin to see multiple marquee name authors dominate . The only one this week is James Patterson with Alert, co-authored by Michael Ledwidge (Hachette/Little, Brown).
But we do have a cornucopia of peer recommendations, eleven titles from Indie Next alone. We’ve highlighted the ones getting the most buzz below and have included them all in this collection.
The titles covered here, and several more notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of 8/3/15
isn’t the only way the brain can go wrong. In this book Ananthaswamy examines the many ways the brain can go wrong, including Alzheimer’s and body integrity identity disorder, or BIID, a which can make a person turn on his own body. .On Fresh Air, 7/28, Ananthaswamy tells Terry Gross the story of a man who had his healthy leg amputates because he had become convinced it wasn’t his own. The book is reviewed in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which calls it “a blazingly original excursion through the brain.”
People “Pick of the Week,” 8/10/15 — “In the fictionalized look at 1920s socialites Sara and Gerald Murphy — real life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night — party central is the Cote d’Azur and the players include novelists, painters and a stoic WW1 pilot Fitzgerald fans may go mad trying to separate truth from fantasy, but Klaussmann’s portrait of a marriage that endured many temptations (including Hemingway!) is intriguing and tender to the bone.”
People pick, 8/10/15 –“Jerry Grey, a thriller writer with early-onset Alzheimer’s, confesses a horrific murder to the police. Or is his jumbled mind just reciting the plot of his first bestseller? And why are cops convinced he really HAS killed someone — a crime he can’t remember? Cleave’s whirligig plot mesmerizes as Jerry fights his decline and tries to put together the pieces.?
“Hoffman’s newest novel is based on the life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pissarro and her favorite son, Camille, who would become the famed ‘Father of impressionism.’ Growing up in a Jewish refugee community on tropical St. Thomas in the 1800s, strong-willed Rachel dreams of the cool, rainy streets of Paris. Raised by a stern mother and a kind-hearted father, Rachel is forced to marry a widower to save her family’s business and later follows forbidden passions, creating a scandal that turns her community against her. Hoffman fills the pages with the island’s magic and color in this unforgettable tale of what it means to walk the tightrope between tradition and independence, love and logic.” —Julia Sinn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“Exquisite… Alice Hoffman’s finest work to date. The Marriage of Oppositesis a beautiful love story of a man and woman and a mother and child intricately woven together to capture the author’s true message: Love more, not less.” — Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY
Alice Hoffman talks about the inspiration for the book in the following video:
“Leonora Shaw is a crime writer who lives a solitary life in London until she receives an invitation to a hen party for a friend she hasn’t seen in nearly ten years. The party takes place in a remote location with spotty phone service. Are you nervous yet? We know from the opening pages that something horrible happens, but just what, and to whom, how, and why will keep readers guessing — and flipping the pages. Recommended for fans of The Girl on the Train.” Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
“… you’ll find it almost impossible to put this twisting, electrifying debut down … it’s foggy atmosphere and shilling revelations will leave you breathless.” A-
“It’s Halloween in Caerphilly and the town has come up with another festival to bring in the tourists. Meg Langslow is heading up the “Goblin Patrol”, there’s trouble at the Haunted House, and body parts are being found at the zoo. Meg is once again called in to save the day and solve the crime. If you enjoy your mysteries packed with humor and fun, don’t miss this return to Caerphilly with Meg and her zany family and friends.” — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
Fishbowl : A Novel, Bradley Somer, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s)
“Somer uses the unusual device of a goldfish plunging off of a high-rise balcony to tie together the disparate stories of the building’s inhabitants. As our hero, Ian, plummets past floor after floor, he glimpses the lives of the residents — witnessing birth, heartbreak, new love, and all of the pathos and wonder that comprise human existence. Although Ian has only a goldfish’s seconds-long capacity for memory, readers will find themselves returning to the essential truths of Somer’s characters again and again.” —Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
The U.K. book trailer is our pick of the week:
Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill, (PublicAffairs)
Boston crime boss beginning in the early 1970s,, Whitey Bulger wasn’t found guilty of his multiple murders and other crimes until 2013, a verdict greeted by the Hollywood press as providing a convenient ending for the biopic.
Published last year, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy (Norton, 2/11/13) was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and described as not only a fascinating story, but “just a great read.”
He was called “Whitey” for his balding white blonde hair, which meant that Johnny Depp had to change his look for the role.
Following the success of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, Hollywood is mad for military movies based on books. Underscoring that, a film based on 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff (Hachette/Twelve,2014) opens on January 15, 2016, the same weekend that its predecessor opened last year.
Those who have read Emma Donoghue’s claustrophobic best seller, Room (Hachette/Little,Brown) may have trouble imaging a movie version. Director Lenny Abrahamson took it on, with Brie Larson starring. Just released is a teaser trailer that Entertainment Weekly calls “chilling,” Wired calls “heart-crushing” and E says may be “the year’s creepiest.”
Starring Brie Larson (recently seen in a quite different movie, Trainwreck Amy Schumer), it opens 10/16/15
The book and the movie are based on interviews with the normallly press-averse David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal in the movie) by Rolling Stone journalist Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) conducted when Wallace toured for his novel Infinite Jest. (Hachette/Little, Brown, 1996).
As a result, Wallace’s book, not Lipsky’s, is rising on Amazon sales rankings.
Analyzng the Eisner Awards, announced earlier this month at Comic-Con, the LA Times views them as reflecting a “creative swell in children’s comics,” with several titles winning in categories not defined by age.
Caldecott honoreeThis One Summerby Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (Macmillan/First Second; OverDrive Sample) won for best New Graphic Album (essentially the best graphic novel of the year) and Lumberjanesby Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Watters (S&S/BOOM! Box; OverDrive Sample) won the Best New Series award while Raina Telgemeier’s middle-grade Sisters (Scholastic, a companion to her previous title, Smile) won in the Writer/Artist category.
Tor.com views the awards as making a leap beyond superheroes, noting that the Best Writer Awards have traditionally gone to “an author producing pamphlet comics—serial, monthly works—rather than graphic novels.” This year breaks precedence with the award going to The Shadow Hero (Macmillan/First Second) by Gene Luen Yang “a writer who has made his name in the graphic novel industry, where he wrote and illustrated the first ever graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award [Boxers and Saints]—and the first ever graphic novel to win the Printz Award [American Born Chinese].” They also note the number of women writers winning awards this year, with titles addressing subjects never before covered in graphic novels indicates that “the depth and breadth of what comics are—and can become—are reaching ever new heights.” This change was noted earlier this year by the Wall Street Journal.
Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry) won for Best Graphic Album-Reprint, giving those who do not yet own this beautifully creepy work all the more reason to buy it. Carroll also won the Eisner for Best Short Story.
Continuing his somewhat incongruous attention to books, Seth Meyers featured graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel on yesterday’s Late Night show, devoting the entire second half to her book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2006) and its Tony-winning Broadway musical adaptation.
Meyers asked Bechdel to share the impetus behind Fun Home. Although it’s covered in the book, Bechdel’s recounting added emotional depth to the story of her coming out while in college and how that ultimately revealed her father’s hidden homosexual infidelity. He died shortly after in an accident that may have actually been a suicide.
That sad moment was balanced against a scene from the play, staged on Meyers set, in which the Broadway cast performed “Changing My Major.”
Holds are spiking in some libraries beyond ratios of 6:1 while a few libraries we checked had copies on the shelf.
The Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award and, oddly, one of the few awards that affects sales in the U.S., surpassing our own National Book Awards, has released the 2015 longlist of thirteen titles.
This is only the second year that US authors have been eligible for the Prize. When the rules were changed, many feared the US would dominate the list, but that didn’t prove true in the first year, with only four titles by US authors on the longlist and the Prize going to Australian Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road To The Deep North(RH/Knopf).
Tonight, he goes another step further, featuring graphic novelist Alison Bechdel as well as a scene ftrom the Tony Award winning play based on her book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2006). According to TheatreMania, this will be the first time a Broadway show has been performed on Late Night.
She got to know serial killer Ted Bundy on a counseling hot line. That relationship inspired her fist true crime book The Stranger Beside Me, which became a best seller in 1980.
She went on to write over 30 more books including And Never Let Her Go, Everything She Ever Wanted, Bitter Harvest, and Green River, Running Red.
CNN’s obituary includes an excerpt from their 1999 interview with the author. Discussing the dangers of becoming jaded while immersed in stories of crime and criminals, she concluded, “I am not a cynic because I find at least three dozen heroes for every bad guy or gal I have to write about … The good in humanity always comes out wayyyyy ahead!”
The remembrance in USA Today includes a statement by Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive officer of Simon & Schuster, Rule’s longtime publisher: “By deciding to focus her books on the victim, Ann Rule reinvented the true-crime genre, and earned the trust of millions of readers who wanted a new and empathetic perspective on the tragic stories at the heart of her works … She will be remembered not only for her many books, but also for her ongoing and tireless work on behalf of victims’ rights.”
Readers’ Advisory: The Stranger Beside Me remains Rule’s best known book and is the place for new readers to begin. Her most recent book, about a 2003 mureder, isPractice to Deceive. (S&S/Gallery Books, 2013).
On Wednesday Stewart will bring back one of his favorite guests, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her latest book is The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, which they discussed when it was published in 2011.
Goodwin’s first appearance on the Daily Show, at the end of 2005, was to discuss her previous title Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.