USA Today devotes several column inches to a book that explores the “Baltimore Plot” to kill president-elect Lincoln and describes “how detective Allan Pinkerton and America’s first female private eye, a 23-year-old widow named Kate Warne, saved Lincoln from assassination in 1861.”
On the Today Show this morning, New York Post TV columnist Linda Stasi discussed her first novel The Sixth Station (Macmillan/Forge) released last week. It is described as a “religious thriller” about “one journalist’s exploration into a man who is either the Second Coming or Revelation’s anti-Christ.”
Booklist called it a ” riveting first novel” noting that “Dan Brown and Steve Berry fans have another controversial novel in which to lose themselves.” Indeed, the cover carries a quote from Berry, “Mayhem, madness, passion…you’ll be gripping the pages so tight you knuckles will turn white.” It is also blurbed by Bill O’Reilly. Personal friend Liz Smith gushed over it (admitting she only is half-way through it) in the Huffington Post.
Kirkus was less enthusiastic, calling the protagonist “overly plucky” and saying the author, “trots out the usual tricks in this provocative but often clunky thriller.”
Libraries have ordered it cautiously and holds are in line with ordering. Excerpt here.
Today, Deadline reports that filming may begin this year, with Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) directing and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) in talks to star. Noomi Rapace (who starred in the Swedish-language Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is in talks to play his wife, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
NPR backs up raves on GalleyChat for The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch (RH/Hogarth; AudioGo; Thorndike Large Print coming soon), by giving it an “Exclusive First Read” on their Web site. It’s about two brothers and their wives who get together for a fancy dinner in Amsterdam. This is not a celebratory dinner, however; they have come together to discuss a grisly crime perpetrated by their sons, for which they remain uncaught. As the meal progresses, the parents regress, revealing carefully hidden insecurities and resentments. When it was published in the UK in August, The Economist headlined its review, “The best beach read of the season is finally published in English.” It also notes that the translation is “seamless.”
It was featured at the Random House MidWinter Buzz session and is available as a digital review copy on Edelweiss, as are many of the other RH Buzz titles.
If you’ve ever tried to talk someone into reading short stories, here’s some tips from George Saunders, author of The Tenth of December, (Random House; BOT), from his appearance on The Colbert Report last night. It seems to have worked; the book is on the rise again on Amazon’s Sales Rankings, moving from #25 to #7.
If you doubt Colbert’s claim that Sunders appeared on the show five years ago, here’s proof, an appearance to promote his collection of his nonfiction pieces, The Brain-Dead Megaphone, (Penguin/Riverhead, 2007):
Yesterday, Al Gore visited the Today Show to promote his just-released book, entitled, grandly, The Future, (Random House; RH Audio; BOT). Lauer took him to task for selling his Current TV channel to al Jazeera, which some regard as hypocritical in light of the accusation in his book that ”Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal, and gas companies … with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened.”
Unsuprisingly, it appears this will be a common theme on talk shows; it also came up during MSNBC’s Morning Joe interview today. We’ll see if Jon Stewart addresses it when Gore appears on The Daily Show tonight.
In the midst of a media blitz for his book, Hitmaker, (Hachette/Grand Central), music mogul Tommy Mottola appeared on the Today Show with Matt Lauer yesterday. Gossip columnists (and Lauer) are fascinated with the section of the book in which he apologizes to ex-wife Mariah Carey, but his career is as legendary as his personal life (check the Huffington Post interview and the New York Observer story).
The book is rising on Amazon Sales Rankings (currently at #143), but libraries are not showing holds.
The author’s beautifully illustrated narrative tells the story of his brother’s journey to the end of life, a deeply personal tale inspired by his brother Jack’s death, in 1995. Written in verse that echoes Shakespeare and William Blake, Sendak’s longing to be reunited with his deceased sibling serves as a suiting good-bye from the beloved Where the Wild Things Are author. As longtime friend Tony Kushner notes in the book’s jacket, “We’ll miss him forever.”
Pre-pub reviews are ecstatic, with Horn Book noting, “As the ultimate not-for-little-children Sendak, this profoundly personal book about loss and healing should find its audience among thoughtful adults (and perhaps some teenagers).”
The founder of the popular East Village food shop Baohaus got an early push for his “brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip” memoir (Publishers Weekly), with a profle last week in the NYT‘s “Fashion & Style” section, followed by a review in the “Books” section by Dwight Garner, who clearly enjoyed the ride, concluding, “It’s a rowdy and, in its way, vital counterpoint to the many dignified and more self-consciously literary memoirs we have about immigration and assimilation. It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”
The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won’t Tell You About What They’ve Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War, Kevin Sites, (Harper Perennial; Blackstone Audio)
Pre-pub reviews have been strong on this original trade paperback, which profiles 11 soldiers. The author is an award-winning journalist and former soldier. PW calls it a “riveting and emotionally raw debut.”
The author of six memoirs and this, returns with her second novel, (more on her earlier books, here), Lancaster has endeared herself to fans with her humorous takes on her own shortcomings (check her blog post on joining a gym). The novel, about going back to high school to right wrongs, sounds like an exercise in wish fulfillment. The trailer, below, gives the idea:
Lancaster performs another kind of exercise in her upcoming, The Tao of Martha (as in, Stewart). Subtitled, My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog, it is about her efforts to live like the domestic goddess and is the basis for a possible TV series of the same name, exec. produced by Martha (as in, Stewart).
Richard Russo compares librarian favorite Haigh’s new book to Sherwood Anderson’s classic:
The characters …are so vividly drawn, the inner lives revealed so deftly, with such intelligence and sympathy, that fictional Bakerton, Pennsylvania, takes on the additional weight of, say, Winesburg, Ohio.”
Until the End of Time, Danielle Steel, (RH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio; RH Large Print); Steel with a spiritual twist; two intertwined love stories, the second (between an Amish woman writer and her publisher), a possible reincarnation of the first.
Speaking from Among the Bones, Alan Bradley, (RH/Delacorte; RH Audio; BOT; Thorndike); in the fifth Flavia de Luce novel, the main character remains eternally eleven-years-old (as she will in the next five titles in the series). Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty and Revolutionary Road) has optioned the books for a possible TV series.
Insane City, Dave Barry, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Wheeler Large Print); An IndieNext selection for February, Barry’s first adult novel in ten years is about a destination wedding that goes off the rails (you may entertain thoughts of The Hangover).
Keep your eye out for these titles for kids and young adults, arriving this week.
Lick!, Matthew Van Fleet, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Libraries participating in Every Child Ready to Read programs will want to own multiple copies of this heavy stock interactive title, the second in the new series that began with Sniff!. There are never enough truly engaging interactive books for the just toddling set and this new series is groundbreaking as was Van Fleet’s Tails.
It has been five decades since the literally minded housekeeper first arrived on the scene and grabbed pen and paper to “draw the curtains” and get some little clothes to “dress the chicken.” Early readers have loved her for generations and we rejoice that this series continues with Peggy’s nephew, Herman Parish who has carried on the misadventures of Amelia Bedelia with a new leveled reader and two chapter books.
Fans of Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2010) will go nuts for Peanut(RH/Schwartz & Wade; paper original; ages 11 to 14) a graphic novel by Ayun Halliday, illustrated by Paul Hoppe. It’s the story of Sadie, who decides to try to win friends via a deception. Of course, she ends up weaving a tangled web.
Public and school libraries won’t want to miss Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, Americas First Black Paratroopers, by Sibert Winner Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick; ages 10 and up), out just in time for Black History Month.
An “exclusive peek” at Kate DiCamillo’s next book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick, 9780763660406, 9/24/13; Listening Library), appears in USA Today. The accompanying article notes, “The 240-page novel, which tackles issues like loss and grief with humor, is interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and illustrations by K.G. Campbell.” USA Today also interviews DiCamillo.
Below is the excerpt (available via Scribd., so we don’t feel that we’re breaking USA Today’s exclusivity):