EarlyWord

News for Collection Development and Readers Advisory Librarians

GO SET A WATCHMAN:
Discovery Story Questioned

Go Set a WatchmanIt seemed that the controversies about the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman had been laid to rest, but this afternoon the New York Times reports that questions have come up about  whether the manuscript was a “stumbled on” last August as had been claimed, or if it was actually discovered in 2011.

The timing is important to those that fear that Lee, now 89 and nearly deaf and blind, was manipulated into agreeing to the book’s publication. In 2011, Lee’s sister and protector Alice was still alive. If the discovery been revealed, she may have taken steps to prevent its publication.

It’s unlikely this will have any impact on the book’s release, set for July 14. The state of Alabama has already ruled against complaints that Lee was coerced and reported that she was in fact happy to hear so many people are interested in reading the book.

SHADOWHUNTERS, The Web Site

Although the movie based on The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, by Cassandra Clare was considered a box office flop, ABC Family thought it could have a new life as a TV series, titled Shadowhunters,

It’s not coming until next year, but fan flames will be kept burning in the just-launched official site ShadowHuntersTV.com as,

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New trade paperback editions of the six titles in the series as well as of the 3-part prequel series, Infernal Devices are coming in September.

In March, Clare launches a sequel to the series, beginning with Lady Midnight  (S&S/ Margaret K. McElderry) set five years after the Mortal Instruments.

 

THE MARTIAN Trailer Bump

Sometimes movie adaptations bring new attention to the books they are based on, and sometimes all it takes it the release of the movie trailer.

USA Today notes that Andy Weir’s debut sci-fi novel, The Martian (RH/Crown), rose to its highest level, #4 on their June 18 best seller list, following the tailer’s debut. This week, it is still in the top ten, at #9.

The tie-in features a closeup of Matt Damon, who stars as an astronaut stranded on Mars. The movie debuts on  Oct. 2.

9781101905005_1ed84The Martian (Mass Market MTI)
Andy Weir
RH/Broadway; October 13, 2015
Mass Market; $9.99 USD, $12.99 CAD
9781101905005, 110190500X

 

Zuckerberg Picks SF Classic

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.16.25 AMMark Zuckerberg’s next Facebook reading club pick is a cult SF favorite, Iain M. Banks’s The Player of Games (originally published in 1988, now available from Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio/Blackstone; OverDrive Sample). It is the second of the Culture novels, a series that many consider a touchstone of the genre (the first is Consider Phlebas and the most recent is The Hydrogen Sonata).

This is the first fiction title that  Zuckerbeg has picked in his “Year of Reading” program.  The Player of Games may prove more accessible than the previous ten books on various business, culture, and social science subjects, some of them fairly weighty.. If nothing else a discussion about AI and future worlds hosted by one of today’s leading tech companies should prove interesting.

CIRCLING THE SUN is #1 for Indies in August

The August Indie Next List is available to preview.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.11.37 AMTopping the list at #1 is Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun (RH/Ballantine; BOT and RH Audio)

About the adventurer and aviation pioneer Beryl Markham, it is also a LibraryReads pick for July as well as a GalleyChat favorite. The summary, written by Rhianna Walton of Powell’s Books, offers useful sell lines for those still looking for a way to capture its content and feel:

Reading Circling the Sun reminded me of the deep pleasure of solid storytelling: the vast landscape of colonial Kenya, complicated and compelling historical characters, love, suffering, and adventure combine to create a captivating narrative. McLain imagines the African childhood and early adulthood of real-life horse trainer and pioneering female aviator Beryl Markham, as well as her social milieu, which included Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa. Markham lived a fascinating and uncompromising life filled with danger, ill-fated romance, and stunning bravery, and McLain does justice to her memory with this sensitive and beautifully written portrayal.

Some library reading groups are planning to read it along with Markham’s own memoir, West With the Night (Macmillan/North Point Press). Her contemporary, Ernest Hemingway memorably said about it. “this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.14.56 AMKitchens of the Great Midwest (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio) by J. Ryan Stradal

A debut novel about a savant chef and the power of cooking,  Jessica Stockton Bagnulo of the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY says it is a novel that “everyone is going to be talking about!” Librarians certainly are as it made our GalleyChat picks back in March and is the number one LibraryReads pick for July. ALSO NOTE: Please join our Penguin First Flights live online chat with the author is on July 15.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.16.03 AMThe list includes a number of other debuts, including The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample) by Natasha Pulley. A literary blend of steampunk, fantasy, and historical fiction, it is a book readers’ advisors might want to particularly note, as Amanda Hurley of Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL) makes clear at the end of her annotation: “Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.20.20 AMBig Names appear as well. The long anticipated Armada (Crown/RH; RH Audio) by Ernest Cline makes the list with the comment that it “will not disappoint the myriad fans of Ready Player One. On the contrary, it is another magical, nerdy romp through science fiction and fantasy pop culture where the thing that happens to the hero is exactly the thing every sci-fi lover secretly — or not so secretly — dreams will happen to them!” Note also that Steven Spielberg is directing and adaptation of Ready Player One expected to begin filming next year.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.22.58 AMThe newest Alice Hoffman novel, The Marriage of Opposites (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio) makes the cut as well. It is about the life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pissarro and her son, Camille, the great Impressionist painter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.27.20 AMIn nonfiction fans of Alex Kershaw have a new book to enjoy, Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris (RH/Crown; BOT and RH Audio), about the chief surgeon at the American Hospital in Paris who worked with the underground network to move people to safety during WWII.

STEVE JOBS, Official Trailer

The “first look” trailer in May was only the beginning. Now we have the “Official First Trailer”  for the movie Steve Jobs based on the book by Walter Isaacson (S&S, 2012).

For a while it looked like the movie might not come together at all. Leonardo DiCaprio was interested in the lead, Christian Bale was announced, only for that to fall through. As Entertainment Weekly reports, once Michael Fassbinder was on board, the rest fell into place quickly.

Directed by  Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire 2008), the script is written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, The Newsroom, The Social Network). The screenplay reportedly is in three acts, each based on one of Jobs’s major launches. Kate Winslet, who plays one of the original Apple employees, said in a recent interview, “Each act is continuous 45 minutes backstage of real time at each launch that Steve Jobs made during those time periods — ‘84 was the launch of the Macintosh, ‘88 was the NeXT computer, ‘98 was the iMac. Each act takes place backstage and literally ends with him walking from the wings on to the stage to rapturous applause.”

The movie arrives Oct. 9.

A tie-in has not yet been announced.

MG Novel GREENGLASS HOUSE
to Movies

9780544052703_7f178Winner of this year’s Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, and a nominee for the National Book Awards in Young People’s Literature, Kate Milford’s middle grade novel Greenglass House ((HMH/Clarion; Recorded Books, 2014) may be on the road to the big screen.

Deadline reports that Paramount in final negotiations to acquire the rights, has assigned a producer and screenwriter and is considering breaking the story in to several parts, to create a film franchise.

On her web site, Milford says she’s very happy with the choices because,  “I really loved what the producer Ian [Bryce, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers: Age Of Extinction] told me about what he wanted the movie to be … He hit all the points that you’d want to hear someone hit if you’ve read Greenglass House and had strong feelings about it. In fact, it was immediately and overwhelmingly clear that he himself had read the book and had strong feelings about it, and I think the best thing an author can hope for in someone who’s going to shepherd their work to a new phase of being is that that person is as passionate about it as the author is, and that you have the same vision for the story you’re telling.”

RA Alert: THE DIVER’S CLOTHES LIE EMPTY

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.34.31 AMOn Fresh Air yesterday author Vendela Vida spoke with Terry Gross about her new novel The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty (Harper/Ecco; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample), one of the show’s early summer reading picks.

The novel, about a woman’s unraveling identity, has received admiring reviews in local and national papers, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Cleveland Plain Dealer to the daily New York Times and the Sunday Book Review.

As a result, holds are spiking in some places and are generally outpacing fairly light ordering.

If you need a way to describe the story, check out these takes:

  • Entertainment Weekly, which gave the book a B+, offers a bang-up summary: “Vida’s twisting, feverish novel may be slim, but it’s full of intrigue, betrayal, and enough mysterious doppelgängers to overwhelm even Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany.”
  • The Huffington Post’s “Bottom Line” says it is for readers “interested in feminist literature, funny stories, and spare plots that’ll make your heart race.”

Misty Copeland Makes History

Call it #WeNeedDiverseBallet. After 14 years with the American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland has just been become the company’s first black female principal dancer.

9781476737980_f76ddHer autobiography, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, (S&S/Touchstone; Tantor Audio), was published in hardcover last year and is also available in trade paperback.

She also published a children’s picture book, Firebird, illus. by Christopher Myers, (Penguin/Putnam) picked as a best book of the year by NPR:

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“The book is for very young dancers who may not see many people who look like them in the world of ballet. It’s illustrated by Christopher Myers, whose collagelike work is painterly, vivid and emotional. Copeland’s writing and Myers’ art draw you into a beautiful world, rich with color, texture and drama. For all budding young artists who maybe don’t have role models they can relate to, this little book provides some inspiration.”

She was one of Time magazine’s 100 Most influential People this year and was profiled in May on 60 Minutes and said she dreamed of becoming ABT’s principal dancer one day. That day has come.

TEN THOUSAND SAINTS, Trailer

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.31.55 AMEleanor Henderson’s debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2011; OverDrive Sample) is about to land in movie theaters (on Aug. 14) . It premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Festival.

Adapted by the team behind American Splendor, the film stars Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, and Emily Mortimer and is set in the hardcore punk scene of Manhattan during the late 80s, on the eve of the Tompkins Square Park riots.

Early reviews are mixed, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it “unassumingly strong” and Variety praising its tone and setting but questioning its selling power, “this warmly conceived dramedy will likely resonate strongest with audiences who have a direct connection to the story’s place and time. Otherwise, there’s not much to suggest a theatrical windfall.”

The NPR’s review of the novel deemed it “a sad, funny…bittersweet, lovely book.” Based on the trailer, that tone seems to have carried over to the movie with its music, inter-generational dialogue, and teenage angst.

HarperCollins releases a movie-tie in edition next month:

Ten Thousand Saints MTI
Eleanor Henderson
HarperCollins/Ecco; July 28, 2015; Paperback
9780062428691, 0062428691
$15.99 USD, $19.99 CAD

GREY Gets a Spanking

Last night’s live online Twitter chat with E.L. James (#AskELJames) turned into some Fifty Shades bashing. As Entertainment Weekly puts it, “E.L. James’ Twitter Q&A didn’t really go as well as planned.”

Before all that broke loose, James responded to a question about plans for other romance novels by saying,

I’ve written a new book and am halfway through another. Both romances. Not sure when I will finish them. :)

Locus Award Winners, 2015

The 2015 Locus Awards, for outstanding Science Fiction and Fantasy are:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 12.28.53 PMAnn Leckie won best SF novel for Ancillary Sword (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the follow-up to Ancillary Justice which won the 2014 Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.

Nominees in the category that had the bad luck of going up against that juggernaut are The Peripheral (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) by William Gibson, The Three-Body Problem (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Cixin Liu, Lock In (Macmillan/Tor; Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) by John Scalzi (which was a LibraryReads pick for August 2014), and all three books in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The first in the set, Annihilation (Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), just won the 2015 Nebula.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 12.34.00 PMKatherine Addison won best Fantasy novel for The Goblin Emperor (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It topped an equally strong group of nominees that includes Steles of the Sky (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample) by Elizabeth Bear, City of Stairs (Hachette/Jo Fletcher Books; OverDrive Sample) by Robert Jackson Bennett, The Magician’s Land (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Lev Grossman (also a LibraryReads pick for August 2014), and The Mirror Empire (PRH/Angry Robot; OverDrive Sample) by Kameron Hurley.

The Locus Awards are decided by the readers of Locus Magazine. A full list of winners and nominees can be seen on the io9 site.

A Touch of Green

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In a bit of an understatement, the Hollywood trade Deadline notes “[John] Green’s young-adult allure has made him as bankable an author as there is right now.”

Just last week it was announced that a film adaptation of a collection of three linked short stories, one of them by Green, Let It Snow (Penguin/Speak, pbk original, 2008), will be released on Dec. 9, 2016.

Another Green title has just taken a step closer to the screen. Director Rebecca Thomas is in talks for Looking For Alaska.

And, of course, Paper Towns, starring  Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne is set to open in less than a month, on July 24.

So, what about his other books?

On his web site, Green says that An Abundance of Katherines, has been optioned, but is “a long way off.”

9780525421580_80048That leaves just Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he wrote with David Leviathan. It hasn’t been optioned, says Green, because,”To quote a real live movie producer who really said this about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, ‘The only thing Hollywood hates more than smart teenagers is smart, gay teenagers’ I hope Hollywood will prove this movie producer wrong someday.”

Green has helped Hollywood get over that first objection. He may conquer the second as well.

Silva Summer: THE ENGLISH SPY

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.05.17 AMSeveral things happen around this time of year: the heat intensifies, humidity blooms, and Daniel Silva releases another Gabriel Allon thriller.

This time it is The English Spy (Harper; HarperAudio) which comes out tomorrow.

In this new title, Silva’s character, Israel’s super spy Allon, finds himself torn between the past and future as he is forced to leave his pregnant wife to fulfill a longstanding vendetta. It is a quest that will ensnare his British cohort Christopher Keller (who first appeared in The English Assassin) and a number of other old friends and enemies.

Making the book tour rounds, Silva appeared this morning on the Today Show to talk about how he borrows from the headlines, politics, and current events to create the background for his plots.

He was also on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday where he offered brief comments on politics and writing. While there are a number of complications in writing a political series (and his series  is very political, with a conservative point of view about Israel and Middle Eastern and Russian politics) he says it is those complications that give his Allon books their edge. He also discussed the burdens of writing a successful franchise, revealing that he has numerous blue note cards full of stories that do not feature Allon, but feels that his fans would revolt if his next book didn’t continue the series.

For now, Allon reigns supreme but fans might one day meet a new Silva character.

ALA’s Carnegie Medal Winners, 2015

The winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. winners were announced this weekend at the Annual ALA Meeting .

The winner in fiction is the long-running best seller, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in literature, as well as finalist for the National Book Award, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner).

The winner is nonfiction also hit the NYT best seller list, for one week at #10, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio,  OverDrive Sample).

Audio sample:

The book was one of the NYT Book Review’s 100 Notable Books, described as, “An activist lawyer’s account of a man wrongfully convicted of murder reads like a call to action.”

Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, has been called by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “America’s young Nelson Mandela.” In a long blurb on the book’s cover, John Grisham says that Stevenson is  “… doing god’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”

Stevenson appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air  and on the Daily Show last year.