The pilot for a Lifetime series, The Clan Of The Cave Bear, based on Jean M. Auel’s 1980’s books, has behind it high-profile executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The cast is now taking shape, indicating that filming may begin soon.
Set 25,000 years ago, Auel’s Earth Children series, the first of which is The Clan Of The Cave Bear (RH/Crown) , imagines a clan of Neanderthals adopting an orphaned Cro-Magnon girl Ayla, who, as she grows up, demonstrates superior intellect and eventually breaks free of the restrictions imposed on the female members of the Clan. The book was a New York Times best seller for five months.
The lead role of the adult Ayla went to British actress-model Millie Brady in January. Since then, other major roles have been filled. Johnny Ward will play Broud, the future clan leader. Hal Ozsan will play Brun, the current Clan leader. Charlene McKenna has just joined the cast in the role of Brun’s sister Iza, the Clan’s medicine woman and Ayla’s mentor.
The first woman to win the British Fantasy Award, Tanith Lee has died at age 67 after a long illness. She won the World Fantasy Award twice and was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the World Fantasy Convention and the Horror Writers Association. Although she never won the Nebula, she was nominated twice.
In an appreciation, the SF web site i09 says Lee “was one of the most prolific and influential authors of fantasy and horror. Everyone seems to know her for something different. Some people are obsessed with The Silver Metal Lover, [RH/Spectra; originally published in 1977] while others devoured her fantasy series.”
But the Guardian notes she “seemed to have fallen out of favour as a writer in recent years, as did many writers who came to prominence in the SF fields in the Seventies.” the author herself said in a 1998 interview, with Locus Magazine “If anyone ever wonders why there’s nothing coming from me, it’s not my fault. I’m doing the work. No, I haven’t deteriorated or gone insane. Suddenly, I just can’t get anything into print.”
Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, who was the subject of an award winning film, has written a memoir about the high-risk work of operating on the brain, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Marsh appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross yesterday and described how he relies upon a quarter ton microscope to see inside the jelly-like substance of the brain and uses a microscopic vacuum cleaner called a sucker to remove tumors.
The memoir made multiple shortlists for a range of awards in Britain including the Guardian First Book Prize and the Costa Book Award.
Why has no one ever written a book like this before? It simply tells the stories, with great tenderness, insight and self-doubt, of a phenomenal neurosurgeon who has been at the height of his specialism for decades and now has chosen, with retirement looming, to write an honest book. Why haven’t more surgeons written books, especially of this prosaic beauty? Of blood and doubts, mistakes, decisions: were they all so unable to descend into the mire of Grub Street, unless it was with black or, worse, “wry” humour? Well, thank God for Henry Marsh.
Making the wives of the 1% nervous, a tell-all memoir set in the lavish world of the NYC elite, Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster), is racing up the Amazon rankings ahead of next week’s publication date.
Martin, a social researcher who moved with her financier husband and toddler son to the Upper East Side, turns her trained eye (she has a PhD from Yale) on the women who lunch – at charity benefits that can cost $10,000 a table.
She found herself bemused at the culture until she framed the quest for the newest “it” bag and the preschool hierarchy through the lens of anthropology, both befriending and observing the women of her new circle and collecting their stories.
The women who told their tales, as the NY Post’s “Page Six” reports, are now feeling exposed, “a guessing game has emerged about which glossy, manicured moms are included as stories in the book.”
Martin wrote an essay for the NYT which has drawn plenty of attention and commentary. Some of the attention-getting tidbits include upper-crust husbands granting wives year end bonuses, parents paying obscene amounts of money for their babies to have food coaches and sending toddlers to tutoring sessions to learn to interact well in play dates.
The guessing game of who does what, along with the gossipy and avid reading, is a scene straight out of the The Help.
The club is announced in the June issue of COSTCO Connection, with a plot summary, “This debut novel tells the story of Etta, who, in her 80s, sets out to walk from her home in Saskatchewan to the ocean. Leaving behind her husband, Otto, Etta is joined by James, a coyote. And, she is trailed by Russell, who has always loved her.”
It also happens to be one of the titles that librarian and book club guru, Nancy Pearl recently selected as one of her under-the-radar summer picks on NPR’s Morning Edition. Nancy credits it for involving character development, saying that the book is a page turner in the less traditional sense of the term, because it “makes you want to find out more about [each character] … as you turn the pages, you delve deeper into their hopes and where they are at the moment in their life.”
The COSTCO Connection features an accompanying story on how to develop a book club and they’ve hit on some crossover potential, noting that Costco warehouses carry many items useful to book clubs beyond books, like food, beverages, folding tables and chairs.
Ianniciello has long been recognized in the book business for giving a new life in trade paperback to debuts and below-the-radar titles.
She’s not the only influential Costco buyer, the company’s wine buyer, Annette Alvarez Peters, is recognized as a major influence in that business (Costco is the largest importer of French wine in the world).
Talking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Nancy begins with The Revolutions by Felix Gilman (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample), which she calls a “21st-century example of Victorian science fiction … with a little bit of steam punk.”
The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample) clearly captures Inskeep’s love of history (he just published a book on American history, Jacksonland), prompting him to break into Nancy’s summary to share a bit about the history of the East India Company. Set in India in 1837, it involves a new member of that company and a mysterious agent on the hunt for a notorious writer.
Two titles that did not make it into the on-air discussion are included in the online article:
Deadline also reports that GOTT is ” the fastest selling adult novel in history with over two million copies sold in the United States alone.” but that story, recently reported by the Wall Street Journal now has a correction which reads, “In an earlier version of this article, the book’s publisher incorrectly said it was likely the fastest ever to reach that sales figure. Books that have sold faster include Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which sold 2 million hardcovers in just over a month, not including ebooks.”
Catch glimpses in the ET video of Sarah Paulson as prosecuting attorney Marcia Clark, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simspon, John Travolta as Simpson’s lawyer, Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Courtney B. Vance as Simpson co-counsel Johnnie Cochran, and Billy Magnussen as Kato Kaelin.
No boadcast date yet, but the tie-in is scheduled for 9/29/15.
Two best selling authors returning next week, Nelson DeMille with his first book since 2012, Radiant Angel, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio) and Clive Cussler with the 10th in his Oregon Files series, Piranha, (Penguin/ Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Wheeler Large Print). A debut gets a leg up from Entertainment Weekly and the NYT Book Review in the contest for The Book of Summer 2015, Kent Haruf’s final novel arrives, as well as several other titles with strong recommendations from peers in libraries and bookstores.
New Yorker cartoonist Diffee does well with rejection. In 2011, he edited (or “rescued”), The Best Of The Rejection Collection:293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker (Workman). Now he does the same for some of his own rejected cartoons, as well as several that actually made it (sometimes after many tries). He was interviewed by NPR earlier this month.
This gets double coverage in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on the “Must List; the Top 10 Things We Love This Week” (“heartbreaking yet funny”), it is reviewed in the issue. It’s also reviewed by Kate Christensen in the upcoming NYT Book Review.
Starred by PW and Kirkus, it also is an Indie Next pick:
This enchanting tale set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean is a bittersweet double love story told in reverse. The Rocksbegins with a dramatic, shocking event and then moves backward in time to reveal the 60-year-old secret that caused the unraveling of a marriage and forever altered the lives of the two families involved. A page-turning family saga with a mystery at its core, this is the perfect book to usher in a summer of great reading!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick‘s, La Jolla, CA
An Indie Next #1 and LibraryReads pick, this is the author’s final book, published after his death last year. As the Wall Street Journal reports, he knew he was dying as he wrote it. “Normally, it took him six years or more to write a novel. But in a rush of creative energy, he wrote a chapter a day.” He finished it in 45 days.
Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed. — Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.– Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ
“Meet Plum, a woman who has forever defined herself by her obesity and who gets through her daily routine by looking forward to the life that will come after her weight-loss surgery. When Plum discovers that she is being followed by a strange girl, her life is changed forever. While Plum embarks on her journey of self-acceptance, a violent feminist crusade takes the world by storm. As the two storylines converge, readers witness an unexpected transformation. This is a fun, no-apologies-offered debut!” —Tess Fahlgren, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT
Of the movie and TV tie-ins releasing this week (for a list of all upcoming movie/tv ties-ins, check our Edelweiss collection), the adaptation that’s making the most impact is based on Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, (Abrams, 2012). As a result of the buzz, the book hit the NYT YA best seller list for the first time last week and continues this week.
The hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the screening won a standing ovation, the Audience Award for best drama, as well as the Grand Jury Prize, over-the-top reviews and Oscar predictions (see our list of other book adaptations in the early Oscars pool). The movie opens in limited release on June 12.
Memorial Day weekend signals the kick-off of one of our favorite literary games, predicting which title will become THE book of the summer.
Two early candidates have just been released and you can join the game. The library marketing departments of both Random House and Simon and Schuster have agreed to offer copies. We just ask you to tell us what you think by posting your reviews on Edelweiss. Scroll down to the end of this post to find out how to enter.
Hitting best seller lists this week, in the footsteps of several other “girls” is Luckiest Girl Alive (S&S; S&S Audio). People calls it “the perfect page turner to start your summer,” naming it a “Book of the Week.” It’s had several endorsements, from EarlyWord GalleyChatters to Reese Witherspoon, who has announced plans to adapt it as a movie for Lionsgate.
Entertainment Weekly calls I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, (RH/Crown; RH Audio), the “first big beach read of the season” and a “hilarious debut.” Sister publication People backs that up by making it a “Pick of the Week.” It’s been likened to a big book of another summer, Where’s You Go Bernadette (with the reference slyly underscored by a similar minimal cover). Curiously, there is a Gone Girl connection for this title; both were edited by Lindsay Sagnette.
GalleyChatter Janet Schneider’s (Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY) recommends it in her Edelweiss review:
If it were possible to cross the complex, shifting morals of Gloria Wandrous from Butterfield 8 with the wacky decency of Bernadette Fox from Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’d come up with Lily Wilder from Eliza Kennedy’s timely, thought-provoking page-turner I Take You. Lily is an amazing character–she has had a rocky emotional past and made some questionable choices–and her current dilemma about how to move forward in her relationship with fiance Will takes some unexpected yet realistic turns. I Take You. is a book for grown ups–who are looking for a fresh and frisky heroine to root for, with some genuine insights into the true meaning of fidelity along the way.
Chelsea Clinton will publish a book this September: It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! (Penguin Young Readers/Philomel; Sept. 15; ISBN 978-0399176128).
Her debut effort is aimed at younger readers in the tween and teen set. “That’s the age when I started tuning in more to issues I cared about and trying to make a difference,” Clinton tells People magazine, “I loved the book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and remember wishing there were books like that on other issues I cared about. This book is my attempt to do that for kids today.”
Penguin Young Readers has created a dedicated web page for the book, including a “Letter from Chelsea” that further describes the idea behind the book:
In It’s Your World, I try to explain what I think are some of the biggest challenges facing our world today, particularly for young people … I also explore some of the solutions to those challenges and share stories of inspiring kids and teenagers doing amazing work to help people and our planet have brighter and healthier futures. My hope is that the book will inspire readers to realize that they can start making a difference now, in their own way, for their family, their community, and our world.
For some reason, the executive producer of the CBS series based on James Patterson’s Zoo, thinks the statement “We really want the whole world to fear their schnauzers,” is a good promo line.
That quote became the headline for Variety ‘s report on a press event to promote the series. The Hollywood Reporter chose to use a quote from master marketer Patterson instead, who said, “People always say the book is always better than the movie, In this case, I think the series is going to be better than the book.”
The actual tag line for the series is “Animals once ruled the Earth. What if they decided to take it back?”
The 13-episode series premieres on CBS at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30
Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves (Harper/William Morrow; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample), published yesterday, offers a door-stopper of post-apocalyptic SF and has already reached #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
The plot sounds like a winner. The moon explodes for reasons unknown and before scientists can figure out why, they realize it hardly matters as a “hard rain” of debris will soon destroy the Earth. Obviously it is time to leave and a space station is adapted as a global ark, for the very lucky and the very few.
Reviews are mixed for the 880-page tome, however, and holds vary widely.
Both LibraryReads and Amazon picked it as one of the best books of May with Keith Hayes of Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC saying:
Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.
Steven Poole writing for The Guardian is less convinced, praising many of Stevenson’s ideas but ending his review with the comment that the book put him to sleep:
…in the novel’s snail-paced last third, there are lots and lots of lavish descriptions of imaginary machines: city-sized orbiting habitats, giant pendulums reaching down into the Earth’s atmosphere, “sky trains”. After scores of pages of this, my eyelids were succumbing to a powerful gravitational force. And I quite like giant space gadgets.
A similar story is playing out in requests for Seveneves across the country. Some libraries are showing heavy holds on modest ordering while others have low queues on light ordering. In Stevenson’s hometown holds are skyrocketing and The Seattle Times offers a strong review.
Steve Inskeep’s Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross and a Great American Land Grab (Penguin; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) rises to #51 on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the author’s appearances on Morning Edition (where he is the co-host) and on PBS NewsHour.
Inskeep’s history explores Jackson’s role in the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation as well as the brilliant efforts of Chief John Ross to stop him, using the tools of democracy and politics to protect Cherokee land. He sought white allies, brought suit in the United States Supreme Court (and won), and published stories in newspapers. Nothing, however, could stop the relentless expansion Jackson and white farmers sought.