Archive for October, 2012

MONUMENTS MEN’s All Star Cast

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

George Clooney has rounded up a roster of big names for his movie about the rescue of art treasures from the hands of  the Nazis, The Monument’s Men. Signed so far are Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, and John Goodman, according to Deadline. The film is based on a book by Robert M. Edsel who, after selling his oil and gas exploration company, began researching the efforts of the group called “The Monuments Men,” (which, despite its name,  included at least one woman, Rose Valland, a French Resistance fighter, to be played by Blanchett).

Clooney will direct as well as star. Filming is set to begin next March in Europe.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Robert M. Edsel
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 513 pages
Publisher: Hachette/Center Street – (2009-09-03)
ISBN 9781599951492

There are several other books on the subject (see our earlier story). Edsel is also publishing new book, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nations Treasures from the Nazis, this coming May.

Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis
Robert M. Edsel
Retail Price: $28.95
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2013-05-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0393082415 / 9780393082418

 

Tom Hanks To Adapt Kennedy Assassination Book

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver have officially joined Parkland. To be produced by Tom Hanks, it is an adaptation of Vincent Bugliosi’s book on the JFK assassination, Reclaiming History(Norton, 2007).

The movie will focus on the chaotic events at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where Kennedy was taken after the shooting. Release is planned for some time next year, which is the fiftieth anniversary of the events. No news yet on the parts each actor will play.

Bugliosi, is known for prosecuting Charles Manson for the sensational Tate/LaBianaca murders of 1969. The book he wrote about that case, Helter Skelter was a long-standing best seller. In Reclaiming History, he concludes that official investigations were correct; Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, acting alone. At the time the book was released, reviewers made much of the its length –  1,612 pages, plus notes, which were included on a CD-ROM (NYT Book ReviewThe New Yorker).

Fleming. Ian Fleming

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

When Fleming and Bond had equal billing.

Recent James Bond movies have moved further and further from their origins in Ian Fleming’s series of novels (Wikipedia offers an exhaustive essay on the differences between the books and the movies). Skyfall, which opens next week isn’t based on an Ian Fleming book or short story (and thus, there is no tie-in novel, although there is a behind-the-scenes title, Bond On Set: Filming Skyfall by Greg Williams, Penguin/DK, 10/1/12). Unlike the first Bond movie, Fleming’s name is buried in the credits.

We haven’t yet reached the point where people are surprised to learn that the Bond character first appeared in a series of books. Movie reviewers are keeping his name alive. In his Newsweek review of Skyfall, historian Simon Schama mentions Fleming multiple times and calls Skyfall the best Bond movie yet (he also calls On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, “one of Fleming’s best books” and, the movie version, “stunningly shot and artfully written”).

Bond also continues in books, written by authors hand-picked by the Fleming estate. William Boyd accepts the mantle next, with an as-yet-untitled book, to be published in the fall of 2013, the 60th anniversary of the first Bond book Casino Royale. He will follow in footsteps of several others. Jeffery Deaver published Carte Blanche, in 2011 (S&S). It was a NYT hardcover best seller for 4 weeks. Sebastian Faulks’ Devil May Care (S&S, 2008) also spent a few weeks on the hardcover list. Raymond Benson published 6 titles from 1997 to 2002; John Gardner, 14 (the same number as Fleming wrote himself), from 1981 to 1996. Kingsley Amis, under the name of Robert Markham, was the first, with Colonel Sun in 1968.

Which Bond novels are the best? Several have offered their opinions:

GoodReads, Best/Favorite Bond Book 

BookRiot.com, The Best James Bond Novels: Ranking the Fleming Originals

The TelegraphCarte Blanche: the greatest James Bond novels

FlashlightWorthy.com, Bond. James Bond

If you are doing Bond book displays, include James Bond’s guides to birds, if you own them. Fleming, a birding enthusiast, named his character after this American ornithologist.

WARM BODIES, The Movie, The Sequel

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

   

The poster for the upcoming adaptation of Warm Bodies, was released recently. Just prior to that, author Isaac Marion noted on his blog that, although “there is something uncool about writing sequels,” he is doing just that. He asks fans of the first book to “just trust that I have a story to tell and a reason to tell it, and I’ll try my best not to ruin everything.”

The film’s director, Jonathan Levine (50/50) told MTV News earlier this month that he had showed Marion some of the adaptation’s foootage and, “Luckily he was very positive about it. He’s been very supportive, and I think he’s really happy with it, which is a big relief for me.” He also noted, “I read on Twitter the other day that he’s doing a sequel to the book, which I think is awesome.”

Warm Bodies is about a well-adjusted teenage zombie and a human he rescues from a zombie attack. Levine tells MTV News that, “even though this is a love story that involves zombies … [he hopes] zombie enthusiasts will be open to a new twist on the genre.”

As we noted earlier, the beginning of 2013 was once crowded with movies vying for the Harry PotterTwilight and The Hunger Games audiences. Many of them have now been moved to later in the year. The spring now features just three —  Warm Bodies (a zombie romance, Feb. 1), followed by Beautiful Creatures (a supernatural romance, Feb. 13) and The Host (a dystopian romance, March 29).

After the jump, the schedule of all the contenders coming in 2013 (for a list of at all the upcoming movies based on books, click on Upcoming Movies Based on Books— with Tie-ins):

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New Novel From the Author of KITE RUNNER

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

   

Khaled Hosseini told the AP today that his third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, (Penguin/Riverhead, 978-1594631764) will be a “a multi-generational family story … this time revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other.” It’s set to release on May 21st.

Hosseini’s first book, The Kite Runner, published in 2003, became a word of mouth hit after it was published in trade paperback, gradually climbing the NYT list and remaining on it for two years. His second, A Thousand Splendid Suns, released in 2007, debuted on the NYT hardcover list at #1 and remained in that spot for 16 weeks. It continued in the top ten for a total of nearly 50 weeks.

CLOUD ATLAS — The Book or The Movie?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

It seems that audiences took the David Edelstein’s advice on NPR’s Fresh Air to read the Cloud Atlas, rather than to watch it. The film, which opened this weekend is regarded as a flop. The book, however, continues at #2 on Amazon’s sales rankings (it is telling that the original version is doing better than the tie-in, which is at #1,497).

   

The next big movie based on a book long considered “unfilmable” to hit theaters is Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which opens Nov. 21. As promo for the movie heats up, the book is rising on Amazon — again, the trade paperback with the original cover, now at #39, is doing better than the tie-in, which is at #3,418.

Random House/Penguin Deal Expected To Close Next Year

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Following up on last week’s acknowledgement by Pearson that the company is in talks with Bertelsmann to merge their two consumer book publishing divisions, Penguin and Random House, the companies issued a statement today that the deal is “expected to complete in the second half of 2013,” assuming it clears regulatory approvals.

Random House will own a controlling 53% share of the company that will be known as Penguin Random House. The CEO of the new group will be Markus Dohle, currently CEO of Random House. John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group will be the chairman of Penguin Random House. The new venture is expected to be based in New York, where Dohle now resides and Makinson is expected to spend more time.

This makes for a very nervous time for the staffs of both companies as they worry about which jobs will become redundant. Makinson told The Guardian that “the strategy behind the deal was not to take an axe to the editorial side of the business, but that there could be savings to be had in the back office.”

Over the weekend, news broke that NewsCorp, owner of HarperCollins, had made a counterbid for Penguin. Some reports indicated that this could undermine the proposed merger. Responding in The Guardian, Mackinson dismissed that idea, saying, “There isn’t any sort of break clause [with Bertelsmann]. It is a signed transaction.”

New Title Radar: October 29 – November 4

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Next week, new memoirs arrive from Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo and romance author Daneille Steel, along with a posthumous essay collection from David Foster Wallace and historian Thomas E. Ricks’ critique of the American military since WWII.  Booker finalist Emma Donoghue also returns with a historical story collection. Usual suspects include  George R.R. MartinRichard Paul Evans,  Karen Marie Moning, Jennifer Chiaverini, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, plus there’s a new young adult novel from Fiona Paul.

Memoirs

A Gift of Hope: Helping the Homeless by Danielle Steel (RH/Delacorte; Thorndike Large Print) is the perennially bestselling author’s memoir of the 11 years she has spent working anonymously with a small team to help the homeless people of San Francisco after her oldest son committed suicide. Kirkus says, “With poverty programs shutting down, while at the same time, more people are homeless, Steel has felt the need to drop her anonymity and go public. A simple but moving call for action.”

Elsewhere by Richard Russo (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT Audio) is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s heartfelt memoir about his fraught relationship with his fascinating but difficult mother from his childhood through her death. Librarians on GalleyChat say it’s so good that they were hard-pressed to decide what to read after finishing it

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit by J.R. Martinez with Alexandra Rockey Fleming (Hyperion) is an inspirational memoir by an American soldier who served in Iraq and survived burns over more than one third of his body and went on to become a beloved Dancing with the Stars contest winner.

 

Nonfiction

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton (Penguin) is by Prince William’s sister-in-law. Her family’s business is party supplies, so she has some background. It’s already getting advance media attention.

The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin Press; Thorndike Large Print) chronicles the decline of U.S. military leadership over the last 70 years. PW says, “His faith in the ability of great generalship to redeem any misadventure can sometimes seem naive. Still, Ricks presents an incisive, hard-hitting corrective to unthinking veneration of American military prowess.” His previous titles, Fiasco and The Gamble were both best sellers.

Both Flesh and Not: Essays by David Foster Wallace (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Print) gathers 15 essays not published in book form, including  “Federer Both Flesh and Not,” which many consider to be the author’s nonfiction masterpiece. 

Train Tracks: Holiday Stories by Michael Savage (Harper/ Morrow) is a collection of personal stories that celebrate family, home, and the holidays by the bestselling author and radio host.

Returning Favorites

Astray by Emma Donoghue (Hachette/Little Brown; Little Brown Large Print; Hachette Audio) is a story collection by the Booker prize finalist and million-copy bestseller Room. Set in Puritan Plymouth, Civil War America, and Victorian England among other locales, the stories turn on telling historical details inspired by newspapers and other documents. LJ says, “Donoghue has created masterly pieces that show what short fiction can do. Not just for devotees of the form.”

Usual Suspects

The Lands of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin (RH/Bantam) is a 16-page book of maps, intended for the gift market, but we are including it in case you get requests for the “new George R. R. Martin book.”

A Winter Dream by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster; Simon & Schuster Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is based on the Biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colors – only this time Joseph is a CEO ousted from the family business. LJ says, “More sparkly holiday hope from the author of the outrageously best-selling The Christmas Box, soon appearing in a 20th-anniversary edition.”

Iced by Karen Marie Moning (RH/Delacorte) begins a much-anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of the author’s bestselling Fever series.

The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini (Penguin/Dutton; Thorndike Large Print) finds the quilters at Elm Manor working on a Thanksgiving quilt to benefit a real charity that’s a favorite of the author. This one has been climbing in Amazon’s sales rankings, to #65 in contemporary women’s fiction.

Victory at Yorktown by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen (Thomas Dunne Books; Macmillan Audio) is this duo’s third novel about George Washington during the Revolution. Kirkus says, “Augmented with character sketches of lesser-known patriots, the book brings Washington to life as a resolute and bold general.”

Young Adult

Venom by Fiona Paul (Penguin/Philomel) starts a romantic trilogy about a 15 year-old Contessa in Renaissance Venice who’s on the path to an arranged marriage when she falls in love with an artist who helps her investigate the murder of a friend. PW calls it “a steamy but fairly predictable romance.”

Movie Tie-ins

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, translated by Norman Denny (Penguin Trade Paperback) ties into the film of the musical which arrives in theaters on Christmas Day. It stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and amanda Seyfried.

On the Road: Movie Tie-in, by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Trade Pbk) ties into the movie arriving December 21. Directed by Walter Salles, it stars Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley and Kirsten Stewart.

A Penguin Wanders Into a Random House

Friday, October 26th, 2012

   

The above two titles may eventually have more in common than their genre and cover designs.

In a tersely-worded “Statement on media coverage regarding Penguin” yesterday, Pearson set off a round of speculation and gossip in the publishing world:

Pearson notes recent media coverage regarding Penguin, its consumer publishing division, and Random House (part of Bertelsmann). Pearson confirms that it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.

Reports in European news sources, beginning with a story in Germany’s Manager Magazin on Monday, forced Pearson’s response.  When Bertelsmann, which owns Random House, was asked to comment, they simply pointed to the Penguin statement.

Speculation is now rife as to the reasons for proposed merger, with some saying it’s necessary because ebooks have changed the business and others that publishers need to gain enough clout to stand up to Amazon. Those are side issues, however; the major reason is that Pearson is focusing on their education business, and Bertelsmann’s new CEO Thomas Rabe has promised major acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

The New York Times story quotes literary agents saying that the deal will not be good for authors. Says agent David Kuhn, “a shrinking book industry could be compared to the situation in Hollywood, where studios under financial pressure now focus on churning out a handful of blockbusters a year, rather than taking risks on smaller films.”

If the merger were in effect today, seven of the fifteen NYT Fiction best sellers would be published by the new company.

Whatever the speculation, this is far from a done deal. There are still hurdles to jump, like gaining approval from U.S. and U.K. regulatory agencies (although, as many news stories point out, those agencies have allowed the music business to shrink to three major companies). The most meaningful part of Pearson’s statement may be the “if” in the final line.

RICHARD BURTON DIARIES In PEOPLE

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

  

We feel safe in saying that this is the first time People magazine has excerpted a Yale University Press title; the 11/5 issue features The Richard Burton Diaries.

Kirkus called it, “The inspiring, salacious, sad, materialistic, insecure, arrogant, hilarious and dull ruminations of a most gifted actor. Burton was not assiduous about his diary. There are fascinating flurries of activity…Occasionally, Burton had nothing to say–e.g., a six-day stretch in 1975 when each day’s entry offers but a single word: ‘Booze.’ ”

But People says Burton was “a natural storyteller who didn’t care much for getting dates or punctuation exactly right [but] offers a heartfelt inside view of the glamour and tumult that was Liz and Dick.”

In 2010, Furious Love by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger (Harper) also offered insights into the marriage, drawing heavily on Burton’s letters to Elizabeth. Martin Scorsese optioned it, but it’s just one of many potential projects for the director. He is currently filming another book-based movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. What he will do after that is a source of continual press speculation.

(For the other books covered in this issue of People, see our PEOPLE Book Review Index)

 

Kate Morton’s Best Week Ever

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

All four of Kate Morton’s books have appeared on the USA Today best seller list, but the latest one, The Secret Keeper, (S&S/Atria; Brilliance Audio; Center Point Large Print), hits a new high for the author, debuting at #18 this week.

Given 3.5 of 4 stars in last week’s People, it was praised as an ”intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present and among fully realized characters harboring deep secrets.” Booklist said it “will appeal to fans of Daphne du Maurier, Susanna Kearsley, and Audrey Niffenegger with its immensely relatable characters, passion, mystery, and twist ending.”

Cameron Buys THE INFORMATIONIST

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

James Cameron has optioned Taylor Stevens’ debut thriller, The Informationist (RH/Crown, 2011), with plans to direct it.

It’s “one of the most cinematic books I’ve ever read,” Cameron’s producing partner Jon Landau tells the L.A. Times, and it has “all the classic Jim Cameron elements — a female protagonist who is smart, physically adept and skilled, great action, an unexpected love story.” He also notes that Cameron found the book himself, “Jim is a reading sponge” (curiously, though, none of his previous movies have been based on books).

This project may be a long time coming; Cameron is currently wrestling with two Avatar sequels; back in Sept., he told the L.A. Times that writing the two scripts at the same time (they will be shot back-to-back), is a daunting task.

The Informationist, introduces Vanessa “Michael” Munroe. In reviewing the book, USA Today said that Munroe,

…evokes the spirit and intelligence of the gutsy, damaged Salander [from Stieg Larsson's books], but she’s far from derivative…Much will be made of the similarities between Munroe and Salander. But in some ways, Munroe’s brooding personality and her ability to blend in to her surroundings bring to mind the provocative Jason Bourne…Thank goodness a sequel to this fiery novel is in the works.

Munroe’s second outing came in The Innocent (RH/Crown, 8/28/12). The next will be The Doll, (RH/Crown, 6/4/13). Cameron will have plenty of material for sequels; the author is planning a seven-book series.

DIVERGENT Casting

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Author Veronica Roth writes on her blog that she has spoken to Neil Burger, the director of the adaptation of her book Divergent  (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books) and now feels her work is in “good good hands” because, “Neil knew the books remarkably well, and asked some amazing questions about the world and the story, and generally demonstrated tremendous respect for the books and for my answers.”

Roth says she is also confident in the casting choices Burger will make. Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Descendants) is currently in talks to play the 16-year-old lead. Entertainment Weekly writes why this is good news.

Meanwhile, Roth is hard at work on the final novel in the trilogy, which does not yet have a title, to be released sometime in the fall of 2013. The second book in the series, Insurgent, came out in May.

HITCHCOCK Times Two

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

If  you’ve seen Toby Jones as Hitchcock in the HBO movie, The Girl, you’ll want to compare his performance to Anthony Hopkins, in the trailer, below, for Hitchcock, set for a limited, Oscar-qualifying run beginning Nov. 23rd. That’s Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma (played by Imelda Staunton in the HBO movie).

Both movies are based on books:

The Girl —  Spellbound By Beauty, by Donald Spoto (RH/Three Rivers)

Hitchock – Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello (Dembner Books, dist. by W.W. Norton, 1990), being re-released as Hitchcock!: Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of PsychoSoft Skull Press, Dec. 24 (also, Blackstone Audio).

The original novel, Psycho, treated so disparagingly by Helen Mirren in Hitchcock, it still available in print as well as in audio.

Psycho, Robert Bloch, Overlook Press, 2010; Blackstone Audio

With the wealth of titles published about Hitchcock, this is a great time for a book display.

CARRIE DIARIES Premieres

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

What was Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw like as a teenager? Candace Bushnell has already explored that question in The Carrie Diaries and its sequel, Summer and the City (both HarperTeen/Belzer + Bray).

Following in the footsteps of the grownup version, The Carrie Diaries is poised to become a TV series, beginning in January on the CW. The pilot premiered on the opening night of the New York Television Festival on Monday. Star AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer, Bridge to Terabithia), producer Amy B. Harris and Bushnell were on hand for a Q&A session after the screening.

Naturally, the younger Carrie has a circle of friends, but thy are not named Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. Her practice friends are Maggie, Walt and The Mouse.

Official Web site: CWTV.com/Shows/The-Carrie-Diaries.

A tie-in edition of The Carrie Diaries will be published on Dec 5.