Archive for September, 2013

Shooting Begins for GONE GIRL

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Gone Girl

This may be unprecedented. Two books by one author are being adapted simultaneously.

One of our favorite oddball movie sites, On Location Vacations (a handy guide for those who like to plan their vacations around movie shoots) reports that filming is set to began for the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s third novel, Gone Girl (RH/Crown).

Dark PlacesA new cast member was also announced today; Emily Ratajkowski, known for appearing topless in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines music video, is set to play the college student with whom Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) has an affair. Rosamund Pike stars as Nick’s wife, Amy.

Meanwhile, filming is continuing the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s second novel, Dark Places (RH/Crown), starring Charlize Theron. Christina Hendricks, who originally joined the cast in a supporting role as stripper Krissi Cates, now has a lead role, as the murdered mother of the main character. Former Sopranos star Drea de Matteo will now play Cates.



Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

The LeftoversHBO has announced that they are taking the pilot based on Tom Perrotta’s best selling 2011 novel The Leftovers, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s), to a 10-episode series (no news yet on when it will begin).

The series is being produced by Lost‘s Damon Lindeloff, with Perrotta as the co-writer.

About the people in one small town who are left behind after a Rapture-like event takes some of their family members and neighbors, Perrotta’s novel was acquired by HBO before it was published. In an earlier interview about the project, Lindelof indicated that the series would go beyond the book, saying it “probably only has enough content for two or three episodes.

9781250034700 Playing the lead is Justin Theroux, as the town’s police chief. Amy Brenneman (Private Practice) plays his wife Laurie. Liv Tyler plays Meg, whose relationship with Laurie is pivotal to the book.

Perrotta’s latest book ,a collection of short stories, Nine Inches, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio), was released last week.

Nat’l Book Awards: Poetry Longlist

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013


Following yesterday’s announcement of the longlist for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature, the poetry longlist was announced this morning.

The Book Beast, which has the exclusive on the announcement, notes that the list includes “acknowledged masters like Frank Bidart, Lucie Brock-Broido, and Brenda Hillman; dynamic newcomers like Matt Rasmussen, and the decade-in-the-making follow-up to Mary Szybist’s debut, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Granted.”

The Book Beast annotates each title, with links to reviews and author interviews. Full bibliographic information is available on our downloadable spreadsheet, Natl Book Awards- Poetry Longlist.

The nonfiction longlist will be announced tomorrow, followed by the fiction list on Thursday.

Nicholson Baker Coming to THE COLBERT REPORT

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

We’ve grown familiar with Stephen Colbert’s interview style, faux-challenging guests, like he did Andrew Bacevich last night about his book Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country, (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books) — (video below).

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

9780399160967Tonight, in what seems like an odd pairing, Colbert hosts a quite different author, Nicholson Baker.

Reviewing  Baker’s new novel, Traveling Sprinkler (Penguin/Blue Rider) in the NYT last week, Dwight Garner said, “Reading his novels makes your world weirdly vivid, geeked out; you feel that you’re wearing X-ray specs tucked behind a pair of Google glasses.”

Maybe it’s not such an odd pairing after all.


Monday, September 16th, 2013

Dr. Sleep CoverStephen King’s new book, Doctor Sleep, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike), may be the definition of “review-proof.” It’s on multiple most anticipated list from the literary-leaning L.A. Times critic David Ulin’s to the more populist USA Today‘s and, really, what more does one need to say than “it’s the sequel to The Shining“?

But that won’t stop the reviewers. The NYT‘s Janet Maslin tackles it today, over a week before publication, saying it’s “scary enough to match the first book, though not better or scarier … Doctor Sleep is less panic-inducingly surreal.” She becomes more enthusiastic by the review’s end, saying that King “is so good at scaring that he can even raise goose bumps when he writes about the measles.”

Maslin’s isn’t the first review. Two others beat her to it yesterday. New York magazine judges the sequel as not as good or as scary as the first, but finds it, “Funnier, slyer, and less genre-bound.” Conversely, the New York Daily News Shcrryl Connelly is a fan, saying Doctor Sleep represents “King at his best, perhaps not as shrill as in The Shining, but thoroughly terrifying.”

The Shining was published nearly forty years ago. So far, the only review to address whether the sequel stands on its own is Library Journal‘s which says it will “satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.”


Monday, September 16th, 2013

[Note: if you are looking for the story on Wendell Berry, the correct link is Wendell Berry Interviewed by Bill Moyers. Sorry for the incorrect link from the newsletter]

Last week, Jon Stewart featured an author each night on The Daily Show, sending their books up Amazon’s sales rankings.

9780345807229Scaling back, he features just one author this week. On tonight’s show, he interviews Robert Reich whose book Aftershock is the basis for the documentary, Inequality For AllThe movie was an unexpected hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and won a special jury prize. It was picked up for distribution by The Weinstein Co., and is being rolled out in a limited number of theaters beginning next week.

A revised tie-in edition of the book, Aftershock: (Inequality for All — Movie Tie-in Edition), (Penguin/Viking) will be published next week.

First Nat’l Book Awards Longlist

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The National Book Awards committee is working to create excitement about this year’s nominees. Taking a cue from other awards, the announcements will be rolled out slowly, with a longlist for each category, followed by shortlists on Oct. 16 and the winners announced on Nov. 20.

Adding more anticipation, and more opportunity for media coverage, the longlists of ten titles for each category are being announced each day this week, on the Book Beast:

Today —  Young People’s Lit. — Click here for the BookBeast listing with annotations and links to consumer reviews. Our downloadable spreadsheet with bibliographic information and alternate formats — Nat’l Book Awards; Young People’s Longlist

Tues. — Poetry

Wed. — Nonfiction

Thurs. — Fiction

Covers of the titles on the Young People’s Literature longlist below:


Man Booker Awards Open to US Authors Next Year

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The British literary world is “stunned,” reports the UK Independent, by the news that the influential Man Booker Awards will allow entries from U.S. authors next year.

The organizers say that excluding US writers is increasingly “anachronistic.” Indeed, nationalities are becoming more fluid. For instance, Ruth Ozeki, on the shortlist for A Tale for the Time Being, (Penguin/Viking), was born in New Haven CT., studied at Smith College, and now lives in both the U.S. and Canada. Jumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowland,  (RH/Knopf), was born in London to Indian immigrants, moved with her family to the U.S. when she was two, currently lives in Rome, but has said she considers herself American.

NYT Magazine’s Education Issue

Friday, September 13th, 2013

9781594488221Education reform is the focus of the upcoming issue of the New York Times Magazine.

One of the featured pieces, titled “The Real-Life ‘Glee’ in Levittown, Pa.,” is adapted from  contributing writer Michael Sokolove’s latest book, Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater (Penguin/Riverhead, 9/26).

The article has particular resonance because Sokolove experienced his subject, inspirational drama teacher Lou Volpe, first hand, when he was a high school student. He returned to Levittown to chronicle Volpe’s final classes before retirement. Kirkus calls the book, “A memorable, uplifting story about a man who helped students create meaning, hope and magic for themselves and their beleaguered community.”

LibraryReads List for October

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Library-Reads-LogoThe second LibraryReads list, featuring the ten titles published in October that librarians most look forward to promoting, is now available.

Rosie ProjectThe number one title is The Rosie Project, (S&S; S&S Audio; Thorndike). As we’ve reported, this debut has been building a groundswell of support from librarians for several months.

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

Download the official release here; OctoberLibraryReadslist. Download our spreadsheet with ordering information and alternate formats here; LibraryReads, Oct. The list and promotional materials will be posted on on Oct. I.

Nominate your favorites titles for upcoming lists. The deadline for the November list is Oct. 1.

New Title Radar, Week of Sept 16

Friday, September 13th, 2013

9780399164422  9780399164736  9781455520657

Leading in library holds of the books releasing next week are Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Aucdio; Thorndike), followed closely by Catherine Coulter’s The Final Cut, her first book with a co-author and the first in a new series (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print), and Nicholas Sparks next sure-to-be-a-major-motion-picture, The Longest Ride, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print).

Also among the big names next week is Nelson DeMille, taking a bit of a detour into Dan Brown territory with a novel featuring characters in search of  the Holy Grail.

All titles highlighted here and more coming next week, are available on our downloadable spreadsheet, New Title Radar, Week of Sept 16.


The Quest, Nelson DeMille, (Hachette/Center Street; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print)

There are no prepub reviews on this one because it was already published in paperback in 1975. This is a revised hardcover, with DeMille’s current signature cover treatment, of a book the author wanted to return to. As he as he told PW‘s BEA Show Daily, “I think a lot of authors would like the opportunity to take one of their earlier books which are good, but not as good as they could do after all the years of working in the trenches. Authors do become better writers.”

Watch List

9780399158377  9780399158384

Seven for a Secret, Lyndsay Faye, (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike)

The first in Lyndsay Faye’s series, The Gods of Gotham, came out last year to a great deal of fanfare (NPR’s Fresh Air reviewer Maureen Corrigan called it “one of the worthiest successors yet” to Caleb Carr’s The Alienist). Librarians have praised the sequel on GalleyChat, saying they liked it even better than the first. Clearly, the publisher feels there is a need for a rebranding, giving this one a new cover style. The cover blurb, from Gillian Flynn, is a single word, “Amazing.”


Help for the Haunted, John Searles, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe)

Excitement began building for this title on GalleyChat and was then sealed when librarians were charmed by the author at the AAP librarians dinner at BEA. It is a Sept. LibraryReads pick:

“Fourteen-year-old Sylvia slowly unravels deep family secrets after her demonologist parents are gunned down in a deserted church. Creepy, disturbing, and compelling, with gothic overtones and well-drawn characters, Help for the Haunted is definitely one of my favorite suspense novels of the year. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to older teens, and it would also make a terrific movie.” — Robin Beerbower, Salem Public Library, Salem, OR

This is the second of two books this week with a cover blurb from Gillian Flynn; “Dazzling … a novel both frightening and beautiful.”


The Big Crowd, Kevin Baker, (HMH)

In this coming Sunday’s of the New York Times Book Review, author Scott Turow gives this title a strong full-page review, ending with, “I’ve read few other novels that portray in such a nuanced way the temptations of power, the complex division of control in a great metropolis and the perils of political deal-making in that environment.” Kevin Baker, the author of the City of Fire trilogy: DreamlandParadise Alley, and Strivers Row,   has recently been writing about politics for Harper’s Magazine and the New York Observer. This one seems to have fallen below the prepub radar; only Booklist covered it, lso very positivelybut library orders are   light.

Media Magnets 


Command And Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Eric Schlosser (Penguin Press; RH/BOT; Thorndike)

Yes, the Fast Food Nation guy now takes on a new subject,  the dangers of storing nuclear weapons, beginning with a near-disaster in Damascus, AR.  It is reviewed in this week’s NYT Book Review, and the author is scheduled for several shows, including CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, PRI’s To the Point. Reviews are expected from many consumer sources, including The Rolling Stone.


Simple Dreams, Lind Ronstadt, (S&S; S&S Audio)

The 60’s singer has been much in the news for her announcement that she is suffering from Parkinson’s and can no longer sing. Next week, she is scheduled to appear on ABC/ World News with Diane Sawyer; ABC/Good Morning America; ABC/Nightline and NPR’s Fresh Air. Entertainment Weekly gives the book a B, saying she does not mention her Parkinson’s, diagnosed as the book was going to press,  and that, although she “writes evocatively about growing up in the Arizona desert and her musical collaborations, this is a largely scuttlebutt-free zone. That’s her right, but the few tales of excessive behavior by the likes of Jim Morrison and Gram Parsons do leave you wanting more.”


Kate: The Future Queen, Katie Nicholl, (Weinstein Books; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike)

This one was embargoed so that Vanity Fair, where the author is a contributor, could have the exclusive, with an excerpt in the Oct. issue . After all, they had to protect the hot news that the future queen eats muesli bars and smoothies for breakfast.

9781476716831The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, Samantha Geimer, (S&S/Atria)

A memoir by the woman Roman Polanski was convicted of raping as a girl. She is set  to appear next week on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s The View, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and NPR’s Weekend Edition.


Movie Tie-ins

9781401310448A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips, (Hyperion)

Advertising is heavy and early reviews are strong for this adaptation of Captain Richard Phillips’ memoir, A Captain’s Duty, which opens Oct 11, starring Tom Hanks. Phillips became a national hero in 2009 when he courageously led his crew to safety after Somali pirates hijacked his unarmed merchant marine ship. There’s no tie-in, but the paperback now features a sticker, “The Inspiration for the Major Motion Picture.”

Adore: A Novella, Doris Lessing, (HarperPerennial)

9780062318961_0_Cover-1Based on Doris Lessing’s novella, titled The Grandmothers, this is a reminder that fiction about older women sleeping with teen age boys was not invented by Alissa Nutting in Tampa. The “grandmothers” in Lessing’s book are childhood best friends who had affairs with each other’s teenage sons. The movie, titled Adore, starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, is in a limited number of theaters and on VOD (reviews have not been kind — see the NYT, and NPR’s web site, while Entertainment Weekly was somewhat more positive).

HARRY POTTER; Not Over Quite Yet

Friday, September 13th, 2013

fantasticBeasts_It’s not over until it’s over (especially when billions of dollars are involved).

On her Web site yesterday, J. K. Rowling announced that she is working with Warner Bros. on a new franchise, based on the fictional Hogwarts textbook that Rowling wrote for the Harry Potter series in 2001, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, (Scholastic), under the name Newt Scamander. Set 70 years before Harry and crew enrolled in Hogwarts, the films will feature the book’s fictitious author, a revered former Hogwarts headmaster. Rowling will write the screenplay.

In her statement, Rowling says,

It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood. As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”

A Chance to Win 66 SQUARE FEET

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

9781617690501As some of you know, EarlyWord World Headquarters are in Brooklyn, which is often, rightly, viewed as an urban, even gritty environment.

You may be surprised to learn that Brooklyn also has a softer, natural side. There are trees, birds, parks, and gardens, some in impossibly small spaces. One of them, in fact, is in just 66 square feet, which is also  the name of  the popular and inventive food and gardening blog, and now of a book based on that blog, 66 Square Feet: A Delicious Life, One Woman, One Terrace, 92 Recipes by Marie Viljoen (Abrams/Stewart, Tabori and Chang). Not only does this tiny garden produce flowers, but also vegetables, fruits and herbs, which Marie then turns into delicious meals in her, of course, impossibly small kitchen.

Marie writes about even more than cooking and gardening. She is also a talented forager, not only cooking her finds, but using them to create dazzling cocktails. The book is about celebrating life, enjoying the natural world around you, even amidst the densest of urban environments, and illustrates how limitations can inspire creativity.

Since Marie’s 66 square feet is just around the corner from EarlyWord (and visible from our own roof deck) we wanted to celebrate the book’s publication. Happily, Abrams has agreed to make five copies available to EarlyWord readers.

UPDATE: This offer has now ended. Thanks for all your entries and congratulations to the winners.


Thursday, September 12th, 2013

peoplecover_205x273-2The 9/23 issue of People examines one of life’s important questions, whether Bethenny Frankel can bounce back after her divorce. Once readers have gotten past that, they’ll discover another important question in the book section — what are the “Fall’s Hot Tiles”?

Most of the eleven picks selected by the book review editors are fairly sure bets, since they’re written by authors with established track records  — Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath, (download the full list with biblio. info here — People Mag. Fall 13 Book Preview)

Rosie ProjectThere is one debut title, however, The Rosie Project, (S&S; S&S Audio; Thorndike). It’s already been a hit  with librarians on GalleyChat for months and the Cuyahoga P.L. picked it as a one of their favorites back in May. Head of Coll. Dev.,  Wendy Bartlett  describes it this way,

Need a laugh? Here’s the funniest book of the year. Don is a professor who thinks dating is a colossal waste of his time. (Think Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, and you understand the kind of guy Don is). So with the help of his friends, he devises a questionnaire to find the perfect wife, and ends up helping someone completely unexpected. You’ll love this main character. Customers who liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or Temple Grandin’s books will enjoy this light-hearted look at living with Asperger’s. It also reminded me of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, last year’s big Brit import. This book was released in the U.K. first and was a big hit (read the review in The Guardian).  I think it’ll be a big hit here too; this will be a great reader’s advisory title.

Judge for yourself; the e-galley is currently available for download from Edelweiss.

The Wall Street Journal profiled the author last week. He has an unexpected background for the writer of a romantic comedy, “a 57-year-old Australian information technology specialist, has emerged as one of this year’s most promising and original debut novelists,” (his previous book is Data Modeling Essentials).

Below, the author describes the book himself:

Booker Prize Short List

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

9780316230810-1  9780316074315  978-0-385-52077-5    9780307265746  9780670026630  9781451688382

The shortlist for the Man Booker Awards was announced this morning. Although U.S. writers are not eligible for this award, it has significant impact here. The Booker has made long-running U.S. best sellers of many titles, including Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

Below are the 2013 titles, with links to reviews:

We Need NewNames, NoViolet Bulawayo, (Hachette/Little, Brown)  — Consumer review links

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, (Hachette/Little, Brown) — coming in Oct — no U.S. consumer reviews yet; no prepub reviews listed; UK reviews — Telegraph; The Observer

Harvest, Jim Crace, (RH/Doubleday/Nan A. Talese) —  Consumer review links

The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri, (RH/Knopf) — coming late Sept. — no consumer reviews yet, but it is on the majority of “most anticipated” lists for the fall

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozseki, (Penguin) — Consumer review links

The Testament of Mary, Colm Tóibín, (S&S/Scribner)  — Consumer review links

The Booker Awards traditionally engender controversy: they have been regarded as too British, too male, too popular, and, conversely, not readable enough.

This year’s list seem to have been crafted to answer all those criticisms. It includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada (in today’s world, though, nationality is not as clear as it once was. Jumpa Lahiri, for instance, was born in London to Indian immigrants, moved with her family to the U.S. when she was two, now lives in Rome, but has said she considers herself American). Four of the six authors are women and although the list skews towards the literary, it also includes authors who have been best sellers.

The title that leads the list, according to British bookies, Harvest by Jim Crace, arriving at the end of this month here, has been ordered in minimal quantities by U.S. libraries. If  Crace wins, it would be a fitting end to a career; the author has claimed this will be his last book.

The book most widely represented in U.S. libraries is Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, to be published here in two weeks. Lahiri became a best seller as a result of another prize; she won the 2000 Pulitzer in fiction for her debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies. Both her first novel, The Namesake and her next collection of short stories, Unaccustomed Earth, were best sellers.

The one debut on the list, NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, is also well represented in U.S. libraries, with most still showing significant holds.

The title that was ordered the most lightly by U.S. libraries is New Zealand author Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, which will be published here at the end of October. This is her second novel; her first, published here in 2010 when she was just 23, The Rehearsal, received praise from the NYT Book Review

The winner  will be announced on October 15.