Archive for August, 2013

LIFE OF CRIME Premiere to Honor Elmore Leonard

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

9780062206138In The Rolling Stone Daniel Schechter describes the lengths he went to in his effort to get the rights to Elmore Leonard’s book, The Switch (HarperCollins/Morrow, part of a series of recent rereleases in trade paperback of Leonard’s classic backlist) and how hopeful he was that the author would like the resulting movie, titled Life of Crime.

He had reason to be nervous. With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work. With the author’s death on Tuesday, first-time director Schecter will never know which category his film would have fallen into.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, the movie was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie Aniston starred in earlier, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime, which also stars John Hawkes, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins, will premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival’s closing gala, which, notes The Rolling Stone is “an unprecedented honor for a relatively new filmmaker” and will be dedicated to Leonard’s memory.


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

9780062303998On Inside Edition, Jane Velez-Mitchell discusses her book, Exposed: The Secret Life Of Jodi Arias (Harrper/Morrow; download the EXPOSED_PRESS release with more information on the book here). The book was embargoed, so there were no prepub reviews.

It was also excerpted in the New York Post over the weekend.

Many more appearances are in the works on CNN (the author has a nightly show on CNN/HLN).

Demand Rising for BONE SEASON

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

9781620401392 Today marks the arrival of two major launches. In addition to Night Film (see previous post), Samantha Shannon’s  The Bone Season, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury) also arrives. The first title in the Today Show’s  reincarnated Book Club,  announced today, is this debut by a  21-year-old novelist, the first in a planned seven-part series (yes there is talk of a movie).

The launch of the Club received a remarkable amount of press, including a feature in  the New York Times, “Today Is Starting Oprah-like Book Club.” The author was also profiled in today’s USA Today, and, over the weekend, NPR asked an often-repeated question, “Could This Be The Next Harry Pottter?

Libraries report that demand is rising.

The Today Show announcement is below:

The official book trailer:


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We just learned the sad news that Elmore Leonard, who was hospitalized three weeks ago with a stroke, died at 87 at his home this morning. The news was announced on his Web site.

The most recent of his 45 novels was Raylan, published last fall (Harper/Morrow; Blackstone Audio) the third crime novel featuring U.S. marshal Raylan Givens. The character was the basis for FX series,  Justified. According to the NYT obituary, he approved of the series, which was unusual for him, since he “candidly and comically disdainful of the treatment his books generally received from Hollywood,” and even wrote this book with the series in mind.

Release of the Day: NIGHT FILM

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Night FilmToday is the release day for Marisha Pessl’s heavily-anticipated second novel, Night Film, (Random House; RH Audio). Random House pulled out all the publicity stops, liberally greasing anticipation with advance readers copies. That worked. It was listed in many of the summer previews, from The Millions to USA Today and was reviewed in advance of publication by several consumer sources.

As a result, libraries are showing a respectable number of holds on cautious ordering (275 on 50 copies in one large system), about the level of prepublication demand for another title Random House pulled out the stops for, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, (RH/Doubleday, 9/13/11).

The latest review, from USA Today is much more intriguing than their 3 out of 4 star rating would indicate. Says the reviewer, “In her haunting 600-page novel, Pessl fashions an indelible character, a deeply enigmatic master of terrifying cinema,” also noting, “There’s even a Night Film app. If this all sounds too multi-media gimmicky, it actually adds to the urgency of a thoroughly spooky story.”

The other reviews have been mixed, but we’re betting that readers will continue to want to know what the fuss is about.


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Lawrence in ArabiaScott Anderson’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday to discuss his new book Lawrence in Arabia, (RH/Doubleday; Blackstone Audio) caused the book to soar to #16 on Amazon’s sales rankings (from #96).

Holds continue to grow in libraries on minimal ordering (we issued a Holds Alert on it last week).

FALLEN For the Movies

Monday, August 19th, 2013

978-0-385-73893-4Jeremy Irvine, who played the lead in 2011’s War Horse, is set to star in an adaptation of the first book in Lauren Kate’s best selling YA novels featuring fallen angels, Fallen, (RH/Delacorte, 2009) reports Deadline. Starring opposite him will be Addison Timlin, who appeared in the decidedly non-YA Showtime series, Californication

9780385742658Kirkus praised the book’s Southern Gothic atmosphere, as “so well crafted that readers can easily picture Luce walking among the marshes and crumbling buildings.”

No news yet on who is going to play the book’s “evil school librarian.”

Fallen, was followed by Torment (2010), Passion (2011) and the final title in the series, Rapture (2012). Kate begins a new supernatural YA trilogy this fall with Teardrop (RH/Delacorte, 10/22/13; Listening Library).

In other supernatural-YA-romance-to-movie news, the first trailer for Vampire Academy has just appeared online. Based on the first book in Richelle Mead’s series (Penguin/Razorbill), it is expected to be the beginning of a franchise (there’s plenty more material; the series consists of six books with more in the on-going spinoff series Bloodlines). Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls), it stars Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry and opens Feb. 14, 2014.


Monday, August 19th, 2013

The Husband's Secret   Silent Wife   9780143122548

With titles that make them sound like the odd couple of fiction, the word-of-mouth hits of the summer are steadily climbing the best seller lists. The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty, (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn; Thorndike) is now at #10 on USA Today‘s list, up from #32 last week, after 2 weeks. The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin; Blackstone Audio), a trade paperback original, is a few spots behind, at #17, up from #26, after 5 weeks (no doubt helped along by the fact that it is now stocked at Walmart).

Both have been compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, (RH/Crown), now at #24 after an amazing 62 weeks.

The new attention to the “domestic suspense” genre is perfect timing for mystery critic Sarah Weinman’s new book, Troubled Daughters. Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense, (Penguin) coming next week. The NYT Book Review‘s “Inside the List” notes that readers looking for more in the genre should explore the authors in Weinman’s book, who, as she says in her introduction, use the genre to “take a scalpel to contemporary society and slice away until its dark essence reveals itself.” Salon‘s Laura Miller also features Weinman’s book in “The Grandmothers of Gone Girl.”

Watch for an opportunity to win Troubled Daughters. Twisted Wives in Penguin’s giveaway on EarlyWord tomorrow.

New Title Radar: Week of Aug. 19

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Among the titles we’re watching next week is a book that has had so much attention it seems to be causing a backlash among reviewers, Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Random House). Author James McBride publishes his first book in four years, a novel with a surprising twist and newly minted best seller JoJo Moyes follows up last year’s word of mouth hit.

All of the books highlighted here and more coming next week, are also listed on our downloadable spreadsheet with ordering information and alternate formats, New Title Radar, Week of Aug 19

Best Selling Authors

9780670022809 9780670026609-2 9780670026616

After publishing ten novels, British romance author Jojo Moyes became a best seller last year with Me Before You, a book that added a Jodi Picoult type poignancy to the author’s usual style, featuring the relationship between a quadriplegic and  his caregiver. This step away from the romance genre was signaled by a distinctive all-type cover. The Girl You Left Behind (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike) continues that cover style (now that Moyes is a best selling author, her name migrates into large letters above the title). The novel follows two love stories, 90 years apart linked by a painting. This is more familiar territory for Moyes; Last Letter From Your Lover, 2011, also features a double love story, set years apart and linked by a letter. Entertainment Weekly gives the new book an A-.


The Good Lord Bird, James McBride, (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape audio; Thorndike)

Speaking of covers, at first glance, does the one at the left look like a novel by James McBride, or a new book by Alexander McCall Smith?

Clearly something is afoot. McBride, author of the memoir, The Color of Water, a NYT bestseller for over two years, and two novels based on events in African American history, Miracle at St. Anna (2002) and Song Yet Sung (2009) again turns to history . This time, it’s the abolitionist John Brown. The twist signaled by the cover is that this one, amazingly, is a comedy. It is featured on the cover of the upcoming NYT Sunday Book Review, which applauds the book for its “countless uproarious moments,” and says McBride is “like a modern-day Mark Twain: evoking sheer glee with every page.”

Watch List 

Night Film Night Film, Marisha Pessl, (Random House; RH Audio)

After a remarkable amount of prepub attention, including a feature on last week’s CBS Sunday Morning, which included the book’s eerie trailer, Marisha Pessl’s novel broke in to the top 100 on Amazon sales rankings with growing holds in libraries.

Now come the backlash. Janet Maslin reviews it in the NYT on Thursday and is definitely not a fan. Author Joe Hill, reviewing it in the upcoming NYT BR also rains on the parade and the L.A. Times critic, David Ulin finds it problematic, saying the book held him “hostage” (and not in a good way). Even Entertainment Weekly, for all the attention the “Shelf Life” blog lavished on the book, gives it just a B. Several librarians on GalleyChat reported they were grabbed by the first half, but let down by the second. All said they were enthralled by the integration of images and text (the Wall Street Journal looks at the lengths the author went to in creating the visual elements. A free app is included in the book to explore more).

The book is on the inaugural LibraryReads list, with this convincing annotation:

Scott McGrath has it all — a successful career in journalism, a beautiful wife, and an adorable daughter — until his impulsive, possibly libelous comment about the mysterious film director Stanislav Cordova causes everything to fall apart. Five years later, Cordova’s talented daughter, Ashley, dies from an apparent suicide — or is it? A giant, delicious, juicy read in the noir tradition that cuts across genres.

Elizabeth Olesh, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

9781620401392The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury)

The 21-year-old novelist is profiled in New York magazine ahead of publication, noting that the author has been ” lauded as ‘the next J. K. Rowling, a comparison that both thrills and rankles,” the author who was six years old when the first Harry Potter was published and a big fan. But, she says her story about a clairvoyant who is shipped off to a penal colony in a future Great Britain which outlaws such powers, is “much darker.” It is an Indie Next title for Sept:  “Shannon has created a world that will set your imagination on fire and lure you in so absolutely that you will forget your surroundings.” The book is also considered a strong YA crossover title.

Media Magnet 


Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press, 8/20; Blackstone Audio)

We’ve had our eye on the controversy this book has been getting, expecting it to take off a la Tiger Mom. We’re surprised to find, however, in spite of all  the attention, holds are still low in libraries.

Erotica Trumps Patterson

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

9780425267080On the new USA Today best seller list (download it here), the latest title by James Patterson, Mistress,  lands at #2, behind Maya Banks’ Burn (Penguin/Berkley; Brilliance Audio), the final book in her erotic trilogy, Breathless. This is the author’s  first time at #1 on the list.

Banks’s deal with Penguin/Berkley for the Breathless series was big news when it was announced, so big that it got covered by the Hollywood trade site, Deadline, even though no movie deal was attached.

This series makes use of less explicity erotic covers than some of Banks’s previous titles, featuring closeup photos of water, ice, and smoke.

The previous books in the series arrived in quick succession and both hit the USA Today list. Rush, published in February, arrived at No. 4 , and the second, Fever, hit No. 2 in April.

Letting Go (9780425272947), the first title in Banks’ next series, the Surrender Trilogy, (a spinoff of her earlier series, Sweet Surrender) will be published by Penguin/Berkley in February, 2014.

LIFE AFTER LIFE To Get Another Life

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Life After LifeLife After Life, British author Kate Atkinson’s eighth title was published to critical acclaim in the spring and became the author’s biggest seller, debuting at #3 on the  NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller. It remained on the main list for 8 weeks.

Lionsgate has just acquired the film rights according to Deadline.

The book’s involved plot about woman who is reborn multiple times will represent an interesting challenge for screenwriters Semi Chellas, who has written for Mad Men, and Esta Spalding, (The Bridge).


Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Vampire Academy The new issue of USA Today offers a first look at the adaptation of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, the first in the series by Richelle Mead (Penguin/Razorbill). The director, Mark Waters, describes Zoey Deutch, who plays the lead, as having “a lot of personality, and that fun, brassy energy is what makes Rose interesting,”

Deutch has experience with YA adaptations. She appeared in a supporting role in this year’s Beautiful Creatures, based on the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Vampire Academy arrives in theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2014.

Two New Dystopian Teen Movie Trailers

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

A new trailer for Catching Fire has been released online (if you’re trying to keep track, this is the third, the “Official international Trailer.” It follows the first, shown at the MTV Movie Awards in April and the second, shown at Comic-Con last month, which is not much different from this one). The last two trailers both emphasize the SF elements of the story, while the first focused on the politics of the Hunger Games. The film debuts on Nov. 22.

9780553376050Meanwhile, the trailer for another dystopian teen movie, one that is more frightening because it is set in the near future and seems all too plausible, How I Live Now, has also been released.

It is based on a Meg Rosoff’s debut novel (RH/Wendy Lamb), a Printz Award winner, published in 2004, before the term “YA dystopian novel” was common. The film is directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Of Scotland) and stars Soairse Ronan as Daisy, an American teenager who’s sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside just before World War III breaks out.

The film will be released in the UK on October 4; the US release date has yet been set, but it is expected in the fall.

First LibraryReads List Is Live

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Library-Reads-LogoThe inaugural LibraryReads list, featuring ten titles that librarians have read and most look forward to promoting in September, has been collated from nominations by library staff across the country. It has just been released to the library community (the official email announcement is here). Coming to the web site in time for the launch to the public, are templates for posters, press releases, and digital banners  for libraries to use to spread the word to their communities.

FangirlThe number one title is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Listening Library). Published as a YA title, it was chosen for its crossover appeal to adults. The list quotes one of the nominations, from Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library, “At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath’s journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell’s previous novel, Eleanor & Park.”

The other nine titles on the list represent a mix of genres by both well-known authors and debuts as well as nonfiction, in both hardcover and original trade paperback.

Link here for a spreadsheet with ordering information, LibraryReads, Sept.

Nominate your favorites titles for upcoming lists. The deadline for the October list is Sept. 1. You can nominate any forthcoming titles for it and future lists.


Monday, August 12th, 2013

9780812986181On Today’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviews Piper Kerman. the author of the memoir, Orange is the New Black, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; Tantor Audio), the basis for the new Netflix series.

Gross asks Kerman how accurate the show is. She says “tremendous liberties” were taken, “dreamed up by [producer] Jenji Kohan and her remarkable team of writers.” Gross will interview Kohan tomorrow.

The series has placed the paperback edition on the NYT Non-fiction list. It is currently at #2.