October 9th, 2015 By: Nora Rawlinson
Called the “Fall’s Buzziest Book” in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, the title dominating the literary world’s attention is Garth Risk Hallberg’s big (900 plus pages) novel, City on Fire (RH/Knopf). One of the rare books to spark a bidding war, it ended up selling to Knopf for an estimated $2 million.
The country’s major literary critics are now weighing in. It’s on the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review, David Ulin reviews it in the LA Times as does Ron Charles in the Washington Post (we’re still waiting for the daily NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani to post her verdict). While not venturing to guess whether the money is well spent, they agree that it’s worth the time it takes to read it.
We’re more impressed that it was made a number one pick for the month by a tougher audience, one that is closer to readers –librarians. They made it the #1 LibraryReads pick for the month. Booksellers also picked it for Indie Next.
Hallberg spoke at the Random House Librarians Breakfast held at Book Expo America in June.
Holds are light in most libraries so far, but enthusiasm from librarians and booksellers indicates that once it reaches readers, it will be propelled by word of mouth.
The holds leader of the week, is Nicholas Sparks’s next, See Me (HachetteGrand Central) about one of his favorite topics, second chances at love. It seems he’s had his own experiences in that arena, Sparks made news this week when it was announced that he is planning an ABC comedy series titled The Next Chapter, about, says the Hollywood Reporter, ” a top-selling romance novelist Ben Diamond, who goes through a divorce and not only begins to question his belief in love, but must also learn to date again and live on his own — all while dealing with the pressures of his public persona as the world’s most foremost ‘expert’ on love.” Yes, it is loosely based on the author’s own life.
Fans will welcome a new Stone Barrington novel by Stuart Woods, Foreign Affairs (Penguin/Putnam) and a new title by Elin Hilderbrand, who steps away from the beach for a Winter Stroll (Hachette/Little, Brown) in the sequel to last year’s Winter Street, her first Christmas novel.
Adriana Trigiani also makes a departure, setting her latest novel in a bygone glamor era of Hollywood. Titled All the Stars in the Heavens (Harper), it is based on the real life romance between Loretta Young and Clark Gable. it is People magazine’s pick of the week, “Reading Trigiani’s latest is like settling in with a bag of popcorn and watching an old black-and-white movie.”
Trigiani has made her own foray into movies, directing a film based on her first novel, Big Stone Gap, which opens in theaters this week.
The titles covered here, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet ,EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 12, 2015
Indie Next: “This thoroughly delightful story chronicles Hickam’s parents’ road trip from their coal-mining town in West Virginia to Orlando, Florida, to return Elsie Hickam’s pet alligator, Albert, to a home in a more suitable climate. Along the way, the travelers — Homer Sr., Elsie, Albert, and an elusive rooster — encounter famous American authors, movie stars, and minor league baseball teams and become embroiled in union strikes and bank robberies. It’s hard to say what is true and what isn’t, but either way, Carrying Albert Home is a very enjoyable journey!” — Lori-Jo Scott, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, NC
And West Is West by Ron Childress (Workman/Algonquin)
Indie Next pick: “Ethan is a young Wall Street quant who writes an algorithm that allows his company to profit from the financial upheaval caused by antiterrorist strikes. Jessica is a young Air Force drone pilot who is discharged because she has discussed a questionable UAV strike in a letter to her father. This book is a powerful wake-up call to understand how fear, greed, and war inform our technological advances. Childress has truly earned his PEN/Bellweather Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.” — Karen Tallant, Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
Indie Next: “Isabel Lyon, who was born to gentility, supported herself as a nanny and a secretary and is best known as secretary/companion to the family of Samuel Clemens. Her late marriage to Clemens’ business manager left her life in shambles, as afterwards both were fired and slandered. What led to those dramatic shifts is the premise behind Twain’s End. Mark Twain may be beloved beyond all American writers, but Cullen has crafted a well-researched tale supporting the view that a very manipulative, selfish, and distant Samuel Clemens and his family hid behind that façade. It is up to you to decide. A marvelous read!” —Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
(for our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins).
Hitting a select number of theaters today and expanding “everywhere” (a broad statement, but that’s but that is what the studio claims) on Oct 23, is the movie Steve Jobs based on the book by Walter Isaacson (S&S, 2012). For children, it’s the live-action Pan, which, we can’t help saying, is getting panned by NPR, the NYT and by Entertainment Weekly. Set before J.M. barrie’s book, there are not tie-ins.
Also opening is Adriana Trigiani’s directorial debut, Big Stone Gap, based on her own book.
On TV, BBC America begins The Last Kingdom, based on the first book in Bernard Cornwell’s series The Saxon Tales, The L.A. Times says it “brings complexity and personality to the Middle Ages..” On Sunday, the Hallmark Channel debuts the third in a series of movies based on Beverly Lewis’ Amish romances, this one titled Beverly Lewis’ The Reckoning.
New York Comic Con opens today featuring The Shannara Chronicles. In addition to a panel presentation, executive Producer Terry Brooks will sign copies of an exclusive edition of The Elfstones of Shannara. The series is set to begin on Jan. 16.
Tie-ins scheduled for publication this week are:
Following up on his success with the Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has started on a new venture, Outcast. This time, however, the comics and the screen adaptations are being created simultaneously. The first collected edition of the comics was published in the spring. Volume 2 arrives this week.(Image Comics).
Movie opens October 16.
Netflix made a splash by buying the rights to Beasts of No Nation, a major new movie, directed by Cary Fugunaka and starring Idris Elba and based on the 2005 novel by Uzodinma Iweala about child soldiers in West Africa. There’s one catch. In order for it to be eligible for Oscar consideration, the movie has to open in theaters. Entertainment Weekly, which give the movie a solid A in the new issue, notes that the four largest theater chains have refused to show it, as “a sort of kamikaze stand against the encroachment of VOD.” It will, however appear in the smaller Landmark Theatres chain.
Movie opens October 16.
Based on the memoir by 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes, the movie Truth tells the story of the scandal that caused CBS News anchor Dan Rather to step down. Robert Redford stars as Rather.
Movie opens November 13.
A best seller after it was picked as the first title in NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club, the film adaptation stars Antonio Banderas.
Also arriving is a raft of tie-ins for the big Pixar childres animated movie, The Good Dinosaur,. Opening Nov. 25 it’s being hailed by the SF site i09 as a “stunning nasterpiece“.