A trailer has just been released for the movie Sully, based on Highest Dutyby Chesley Sullenberger (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2009), a memoir by the man who piloted an airplane to safety on New York’s Hudson River after its engines were disabled by a bird strike.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks is in the lead role, with Laura Linney as his wife. The movie will be released on Sept. 9.
In the novel, Atwood explores the true story of a double murder that took place in Canada in the 1840’s. Like a 19th century version of Serial, the question of whether the poor young Irish immigrant Grace Marks was guilty of killing her employer and his housekeeper captured public attention at the time.
The novel received critical acclaim winning The Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. It was also named to the ALA Notable Book list, and picked as one of the year’s best novels by The New York Times as well as by Booklist and Library Journal.
Reading Francine Prose’s description of the plot in the NYT Sunday Book Review, you can see what attracted the producers to the story about “a pretty young woman who was either the loathsome perpetrator or another innocent victim of an infamous crime” and imagine the pitch, “Making a Murderer meets Penny Dreadful.”
Netflix has not yet set a release date for the series.
Costco’s influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello generally picks one title to feature in Costco’s monthly publication, The Costco Connection, but for the July issue, she picks an entire format, audiobooks. It seems she is new to audio, perhaps influenced by Costco’s own sales numbers, or by reports, such as the one by Market Watch in May, that it is the “fastest-growing segment of the book publishing industry … popular enough to outsell some traditional books … sometimes four times as well.”
She highlights two recent titles narrated by Scott Brick as examples:
The Job: A Fox and O’Hare Novel by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (PRH/Random House Audio)
The Assassin, Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (PRH/Penguin Audio)
In an accompanying interview, Brick says he reads every book before he begins recording, looking for details such as character names, place names, pronunciation issues, and foreign phrases and a researcher makes sure he gets them right. “If you guess how something is pronounced,” he says, “you will be wrong.”
On Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross held a 30-minute conversation about Zika with Donald G. McNeil, a science reporter for The New York Times and author of the new book, Zika: The Emerging Epidemic (Norton; Random House Audio).
The two talk about how Zika is transmitted, its odd scale of danger, the Olympics, and the timeline for a vaccine.
McNeil says Zika is a mild infection in 99.99 percent of the cases. Only women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are at risk and the infection carries grave danger in those cases. This year is excepted to be the worst for infections as no one in the US has yet developed antibodies.
McNeil says that the scientific community is split on cancelling the Olympics due to Zika, pointing out that August is actually a low season for the insects.
The best way to prevent bites while sitting outside is simply to have fans blowing, says McNeil, the bugs have to expend a great deal of energy to fly and fans make it even more difficult for them.
The interview makes clear why this is likely to be one of the summer’s major topic of conversation.
Taking off like a hot Internet IPO, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, Antonio García Martínez (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is rocketing up Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping over thousands of books in its way to rise from #6,415 to 301, due in part to NPR’s Marketplace, which featured the book yesterday. Host Kai Ryssdal talked with the author, a Silicon Valley insider, about Facebook Exchange, the software that enables ads to follow users from online shopping sites to Facebook. That code has created an income stream which is essential, says García Martínez, because ads “pay for the Internet.”
The book was also recently covered in the The New York Times, in a review that begins by detailing all the reasons not to like it, including the author’s boasting about his own lavish lifestyle, and including a “blizzard of score-settling.”
Then the review turns to the importance of what García Martínez has to say when he is not bragging or bashing, his insights into how the Internet and Silicon Valley work, which raises the book to a level of “a must-read” that is “an irresistible and indispensable 360-degree guide to the new technology establishment.”
Each month, our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower rounds up the favorites from our most recent Twitter chat (#ewgc). Below is the June column.
The next GalleyChat is July 5. Extend your holiday by joining us, Details here.
In last month’s GalleyChatter column, we highlighted the titles we expected to be hearing about at Book Expo America. We’re happy to report our predictions were accurate, but the real fun of the show is the unexpected gems.
During the post-BEA GalleyChat, those who had just returned from the show were eager to share newly discovered titles that had been lugged home. Below is a mixture of titles that were featured during the show with either author appearances or plentiful galleys and we are happy to report that these all lived up to the promotional efforts. As we head in to the Fourth of July holiday, consider downloading digital review copies of these titles from Edelweiss or NetGalley.
And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles that can still be nominated.
For a complete list of the 127 titles mentioned during the chat, check here.
Nathan Hill was prominently featured in BEA’s Buzz programs for his debut novel The Nix (PRH/Knopf, August). This 640 bag sprawling saga about a college English teacher’s search for his mother rated five stars from frequent Galleychat contributor Cynthia Baskin who said, “This engrossing, humorous novel takes the reader from the rural Midwest to New York City and to the Chicago riots in 1968, and finally to Norway. It’s a book that is going to be a big success!”
Another debut novel receiving kudos from both booksellers and librarians is Affnity Konar’s Mischling(Hachette/Lee Beaudroux Books, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20), a historical novel set during WWII. Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) reports, “On the surface, this is a haunting novel about the brutality and depravity inflicted upon “multiples” at the hands of Josef Mengele in Auschwitz. It soon becomes apparent, however, that this novel is an affirmation of the importance and power of family, whatever your definition of family may be. This is a beautifully written, powerful reminder of the destructive nature of hate and the redemptive powers of love and hope.”
With a mix of contentious friendships, exotic locations, and a bit of adversity, Invincible Summer by Alice Adams [not be confused with American author Alice Adams who died in 1999] (Hachette/Little Brown, June), is the perfect book for tucking into a beach bag and a contender for book groups. Heather Bistyga, ILL/Periodicals Librarian from Anderson, SC, says, “Invincible Summer paints a deft picture of the first 20 years of adulthood, with a resonance that transcends nationality and specific life experiences. A fast, enjoyable read.
Another title poised to be a hit with literary readers and book groups is Brit Bennett’s novel set in a contemporary African-American community in southern California, The Mothers (PRH/Riverhead, October; LibraryReads deadline: Aug 20). Jessica Woodbury, Book Riot contributor, says this skillfully written story “is about three characters, following them from 17 or so until their mid-20’s. But its theme is mothers and love and family and community. Bennett doesn’t get a thing wrong.”
Stacks of the psychological suspense novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press, July), were readily available in the Simon & Schuster booth. So far feedback has been very positive with many saying it’s even better than Ware’s first novel, In A Dark, Dark Wood. Anbolyn Potter of Chandler Public Library (AZ) said, “It’s a contemporary version of ‘the country house mystery’ set on a luxury cruise ship with a limited number of people who could have committed the crime. An ‘unstable’ main character, untrustworthy cohorts, and the claustrophobia of being trapped on a boat, ratchet up the tension.” I agree and add that the atmosphere was so well done I finished the book feeling a little damp.
A dapper Amor Towles charmed the audience at the BEA Penguin Random House breakfast, and many raced to secure a galley of his next book, A Gentleman in Moscow (PRH/Viking, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20). One of the first librarian readers was Abbey Stroop, of Herrick District Library, Holland, MI, who says “All the clever language and charm that made Katie Kontent (Rules of Civility) irresistible is infused into a Russian aristocrat, banished to house arrest in the attic of a luxury hotel in the middle of Moscow after the Bolshevik takeover. With nothing but time on his hands, Rostov stumbles into being a better man and, ironically, a man of purpose. Keep a pencil in hand, as Towles plays with words like cards in a magic trick and you’re going to want to keep some passages fresh in your mind well after you finish.”
Susan Mallery’s Daughters of the Bride(HarperCollins/HQN Books, July), was mentioned at the Book Group Speed Dating session as a good bet for women’s discussion groups and is also perfect for readers of Debbie Macomber. New Rochelle (NY) Public Library’s Beth Mills says, “Mallery gives readers another appealing small town setting and the story of three sisters planning their widowed mother’s wedding while trying to deal with each other, their mother, and the men in their lives. Mallery’s smooth-as-silk storytelling makes this a winning summer read.”
There’s no argument that The Haunting of Hill House remains one of the greatest haunted house mysteries in publishing history but the author has been an enigma. The new biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Norton/Liveright, September; LibraryReads deadline: July 20) exposes the author’s life. Jen Dayton of Darien (CT) Library says “This delightfully readable biography is served up with equal measures of dysfunction and genius. I really think that after reading this, it would behoove us all to lay in her backlist.” Fortunately, attendees who weren’t lucky enough to win the “lottery” and pick up a print galley can access the DRC from Edelweiss and NetGalley. [Note: Penguin Classics is reprinting a new deluxe edition of The Haunting of Hill House in September]
Please join us for our July 5 at 4:00 (ET) with virtual happy hour at 3:30. To keep up with my anticipated 2016 titles, “friend” me on Edelweiss (click on the “Community” tab).
Each discusses how they translate their own fears into their writing as well as the influence of H.P. Lovecraft and growing awareness of his racist views.
LaValle re-worked a Lovecraft story as The Ballad of Black Tom, taking Lovecraft’s idea that the most horrific idea is a universe that doesn’t care about your existence and turning it instead to a universe set against you, intent on wiping you out. He says that Lovecraft’s prejudices “limited his understanding of the breadth and depth of his own concept.”
They close by listing what scares them most, various visions of the future.
The fourth season of the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, just released in its entirety, features characters who discuss books with a fervor that spills over into the real world. A past episode even launched poetry lessons on the meaning of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” such as this one on Slate.
Keying into the interest BuzzFeed has published a list of all the books referenced in Season Four, along with clips from the show. HuffPost (Canada) has a list of every book read during seasons 1-3. Libraries have also created reading lists tied to the show.
Of course, the Netflix series is began life as a book. Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (RH/Spiegel & Grau; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) was the basis for season one and at least one university is using the book as an all-campus reads title.
Kerman told the LA Times in 2013 that while she was in prison, books were “complete lifelines. They were the only legitimate forms of escape.”
Two big-budget adaptations open this week, both based on classics.
Opening Friday is Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, based on the childrens novel by Roald Dahl. As we noted earlier, Deadline Hollywood reported that it got a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes film festival.
Despite the enthusiasm from audiences at Cannes, Variety, predicts disappointment at the box office, noting that Spielberg has not had a major hit in several years, “The man who ushered in the summer blockbuster era with Jaws hasn’t done as much escapist fare in recent years, preferring to spend his time on historical dramas such as last winter’s Bridge of Spies and War Horse. That may have been artistically fulfilling, but didn’t result in many financial windfall.” In addition, The BFG has to go up against Finding Dory, which continues to dominate box offices after two weeks in theaters.
Spielberg’s next project, an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, set for release in March, 2018, may reverse the trend, says Variety, since it is “appears to be more mainstream.” Seeming to prove that, each new casting announcement causes a spike in the book’s sales.
The Legend of Tarzanis the other big opening this week. In this live-action take on the familiar story, Tarzan has left Africa for the high life as an aristocrat in England, but is offered a job as a trade emissary to Congo that returns him to his jungle home and plenty of trouble. Variety predicts it will also be a disappointment, saying that “The failure of sequels such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Huntsman: Winter’s War has led some analysts to suggest that audiences are rejecting the overly familiar and are desperate for more original entertainment.”
The film stars Alexander Skarsgård in the title role, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent and Christoph Waltz.
There is no direct tie-in.
Also opening this week isLife, Animated, a Sundance award-winning documentary following the life of Owen Suskind (son of author Ron Suskind) who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Unable to speak as a child, Owen found a way to communicate through classic Disney animated films. Variety calls it “captivating” and The Hollywood Reporter says it is “radiant.”
A tie-in is set for release after the film opens, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell; on sale July 12). The original hardback was published in 2014.
Adding to the wave of crime series on cable, such as True Detective, comes Quarry, Cinemax‘s dark and moody adaptation of Max Allan Collins’s noir 1970s era series about a hit man. The eight-episode run will premiere on September 9th and star Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) as a Marine who comes home to Memphis after the Vietnam War and gets caught in a world of violence and corruption.
Publisher Hard Case Crime has recently re-issued the original Quarry novels with their signature retro covers. According to GraphicNovelReporter, the publisher revived the series in 2006 (after a 20-year gap) and Collins has written seven new titles thus far. The latest is Quarry in the Black (RH/Hard Case Crime; October 4, 2016).
Collins’s graphic novel Road to Perdition was adapted as the critically acclaimed 2002 film starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.
The winner inthe Science Fiction category is Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) the final book in the series which began with Ancillary Justice winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The middle novel, Ancillary Sword, also won the Locus award in 2015.
Pratchett and his fellow nominees in the YA category are all male, a choice that has raised eyebrows even as the Locus awards have avoided much of the controversy that has plagued the Hugo awards.
The Guardian reports on the story, saying that “the Locus awards were broadly representative of a sci-fi field that is continuing to grow in diversity: 18 female to 17 male writers, with many upcoming writers of colour among the voters’ top picks. Placed in that context, the way the YA category has turned out seems less like myopic sexism, and more indicative of the older demographic of readers who read Locus magazine and see the YA genre from their own preferences.”
However, YA author Gwen Katz said:
“YA, including YA fantasy, is a vastly female-dominated age category, but there’s a history of male authors being picked out for awards or heralded as champions of the age category … Yet another all-male slate reinforces the message that an art form primarily practised by women and girls only becomes noteworthy when a man gets in on it.”
Neil Gaiman won twice: in the Novelette category for ‘Black Dog,’’ a piece in Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which also netted Gaiman another trophy for best Collection.
Beyond the winners, readers’ advisors looking for suggestions in SFF will find a ready list of titles in the award’s short lists.
The SF nominees read like a who’s who of the genre:
Currently, Patterson has only 4 books on NYT Best seller lists — the first two titles in his new trade paperback original series BookShots, which debuted last week on the combined list, 15th Affair at #14 on the hardcover fiction list after 7 weeks and Jacky Ha-Ha on the Childrens Middle Grade list after 13 weeks. So it’s high time to publish a new title.
Next week’s title is the next in the Private series about a private security agency cleverly named Private. Head of the agency Jack Morgan heads to Rio to provide security for the Summer Olympics, as he did the 2012 Olympics in London in Private Games.
Griffin comes off her #1 NYT best seller of last year with a new title told from the perspective of two very different sisters, one who has a traditional family, but envies her sister’s single life. Of course, the single sister is desperate for a child. This one is described by PWas “Giffin at her finest, a fantastic, memorable story.” Kirkus agrees, “Giffin’s fans will be pleased with this fast-paced, witty, and thoughtful new offering.”
Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate, Gary J. Byrne, (Hachette/Center Street; Hachette Audio)
As we wrote earlier this month, this embargoed title, the latest in a line of books aimed at discrediting Hillary Clinton, has topped Amazon’s sales rankings for weeks. Byrne is a former Secret Service officer who was assigned to the White House when Bill Clinton was in office. Politico reports that Secret Service veterans “blast writer Gary Byrne for having ‘underlying motives.'”
Free-lance journalist van der Leun discovers some uncomfortable truths about a story that made headlines in its day. During the Clinton administration, a young American activist was murdered in South Africa. Her parents, in an amazing act of grace, forgave the killers.The only book reviewed in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, which gives it and A- and says, it is “a story steeped in extraordinary characters and circumstances …a dense and nuanced portrait of a country whose confounding, convoluted past is never quite history”
We Could Be Beautiful, Swan Huntley (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), has already appeared on several summer book previews and is this week’s People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” which calls it a “riveting psychological thriller [that] takes you inside the world of Manhattan’s elite — and keeps you on tenterhooks.”
“Wealthy art collector Catherine spends her time fussing over her tiny boutique card shoppe so that she can feel like a productive member of society. She meets the handsome and refined William Stockton, yet something seems just a little too good to be true. The plot thickens as long hidden family secrets emerge. Huntley certainly knows how to build up the suspense. This debut novel includes some nice plot twists and Catherine’s character evolves favorably. Recommended for fans of psychological fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“This is a thoughtful police procedural about a missing person case and the secrets that come to the surface when a feisty detective becomes relentless in finding the truth. Edith is a successful college student from a well-known family, but all is not what it seems. Detective Manon Bradshaw is feeling the pressure to quickly resolve the case. What sets this apart from other detective stories is how the lead character is brought to life; she exposes her melancholy and it adds a satisfying mix to the thrills. Recommended for fans of Tana French.” — Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
A Certain Age, Beatriz Williams (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio).
“Open the pages of A Certain Age and be drawn into Williams’ rich, atmospheric world of Manhattan in the 1920s — a world where society pages hint at gossip, speakeasies tease with gin, and secrets and hidden desires lie just below the polished veneer of the fashionably dressed and well-bred families of the city. This deft retelling of Richard Strauss’ comic opera Der Rosenkavalier is simply exquisite.” —Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA
“Nine-year-old Alex and his mom, Valerie — the ex-star of a superhero TV show — make their way across the country, Comic-Con by Comic-Con, toward a future of inevitable loss. They visit the fallen heroes, wise women, and wizards of pen-and-ink who have all shaped the story of their lives. Pushed and pulled by so many other people’s stories, can Alex and Valerie learn to write their own?” —Cat Nichols, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
“Two disparate individuals pass the time counting pigeons in the town park and finally make each other’s acquaintance: Marguerite, a retired and lonely 80-something plant scientist, and Germain, an unemployed, undereducated, dim-witted 45-year-old who lives in a trailer behind his mother’s house. Soon, Marguerite is reading to Germain, who eventually overcomes his childhood aversion and begins to read himself. This is a lovely story of the redeeming qualities of civil conversation, the possibility of friendship bridging many years and inquiring minds, and the worlds opened up through reading.” —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common
As a result of Miranda’s summer reading pick, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton (Penguin Books) went back on the NYT Paperback Non-fiction list at #2 ten years after it was published in trade paperback (in 2005, its highest position was #12). Currently, it is #1 on that list.
Seth Meyers interviewed Neil Gaiman on Late Night yesterday about his first collection of nonfiction [video here] and the upcoming STARZ adaptation of American Gods, set to premiere in 2017 [video here] .
On compiling his nonfiction collection The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), Gaiman admitted he had difficulty locating some of the pieces. In one case. he even had to enlist the help of a super obsessive fan.
Gaiman is interviewed in more depth about the book in today’s L.A. Times.
Anticipation is building for the STARZ series adaptation of American Gods. Today, The Hollywood Reporter offers a get-up-to-speed guide (amusingly, they feel the need to tell their readers that it began life as a book). They also give kudos to the choice of director, Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, Hannibal) saying. “His shows lean toward the supernatural and the visually sumptuous, so he’s the perfect person to bring American Gods to the small screen.”