As we noted at the time it hit shelves, the LibraryReads selection generated media attention. It debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #1 and is currently at #8 after 14 weeks.
NPR Weekend Edition Saturday featured the author, opening with a gripping summary:
“Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Connecticut … is barred from tending to a newborn baby by the baby’s parents. Ruth Jefferson is African-American. Brittany and Turk Bauer are white supremacists. But Davis, their baby, goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is on duty, briefly alone in the nursery. Should she disobey the order she’s been given by the hospital or touch the baby to try to save him? And does her slight hesitation doom the newborn boy?”
A memoir from a MIT mathematician who beat the casinos at their own game is building reserve lists in libraries and climbing Amazon’s sales rankings, moving from #424 to within the Top 100.
A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market, Edward O. Thorp (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) recounts Throp’s life in finance, distilling advice as well as mob-tinged tales.
The Wall Street Journal says the memoir “delightfully recounts his progress (if that is the word) from college teacher to gambler to hedge-fund manager. Along the way we learn important lessons about the functioning of markets and the logic of investment.”
Thorp, says the New York Post, invented the art of card counting, and incurred the wrath of the casino industry, so successfully that he was targeted for harm when he proved he could beat the house at blackjack. His 1962 guide, Beat the Dealer, sold over a million copies and is still in print.
After his careers in academia and the casinos, Thorp started hedge funds and tangled with Rudy Giuliani, who at the time was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Thorp prevailed and continued his successful career making money.
Holds range from almost 5:1 to 47:1 on modest ordering in systems we checked.
I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, which reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates.
The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.
Each week seems to bring a new Gone Girl/Girl on the Train contender. This week’s candidate is My Husband’s Wife, a debut by Jane Corry (PRH/Pamela Dorman; BOT; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).
A best seller in the UK, it is showing high holds ratios in advance of its release here. Parade Magazine features it this week, predicting, “If you loved Gone Girl and The Talented Mr. Ripley, you’ll love My Husband’s Wife…It’s got every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.” It received strong reviews from Booklist and PW, but Kirkus panned it. Note that holds are heavier, on another contender, The Girl Before by JP Delaney (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), as we wrote last week.
The titles highlighted in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar, Week of Jan 30,2017
The parents of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American high school student who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012, an incident that helped spur the Black Lives Matter movement, will appear on several shows this week.
USA Today – video interview, today ABC Nightline – 1/27
ABC The View – 1/30
Comedy Central Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah – 1/30
ABC Good Morning America – 1/31
“Louise meets a charming man in a bar and is smitten. The attraction is mutual, but David confesses he is married. They go their separate ways…until the next morning when Louise goes to work and realizes that the new psychiatrist who has been hired by the practice is David. Adele, David’s wife, is struggling to keep their marriage alive, but David has tired of her lies. A friendship begins between Adele and Louise. David and Louise are still attracted to each other and the triangle is complete. This is not your average thriller. It is absolutely riveting!” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
“I celebrate whenever there’s something new by Paul Auster. I wasn’t prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that’s the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.” —Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as the Beast. Ewan McGregor is Lumiere and Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Potts.
Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast (Updated Edition): Inside Stories from the Animated Classic to the New Live-action Film, Charles Solomon (Hachette/Disney Editions)
The live-action version of the Archie comics, Riverdale, premiered last night on the CW.
In their rave review of the first four episodes, Den of Geek! calls the show “highly addictive” and writes “Yes, this is a show that mixes sex and murder and noir with Archie, but it does so in a way that is self-aware and instantly ready to shatter expectations … And you know what? It is magnificent.”
The live-action adaptation stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It is already getting criticized for whitewashing, and TasteofCinema wonders if it will succeed.
Daphne du Maurier’s moody Gothic romances have been adapted by many directors. Alfred Hicthock was a particular fan, basing two of his movies on her novels RebeccaandJamaica Innand a third, TheBirds on one of her short stories.
One that escaped him was 1951’s My Cousin Rachel (republished in 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Adapted as a film in 1954, it starred Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, winning him a Golden Globe award as “Most Promising Newcomer, Male.”
The international trailer for a new adaptation, set to debut on July 14, has just been released.
Variety summarizes the Cornwall-set story as that “of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.” As Slate notes, the sex between cousins angle was toned down for 1950’s sensibilities. It seems that will not be an issue this time around.
The comic world is outraged. Eric Reynolds, an editor at Fantagraphics Books, told the New York Magazine “Good comics have forever had to scratch and claw for legitimacy and resist marginalization, and this feels like a step backwards.”
A spokesperson for the NYT told New York magazine that “The discontinued lists did not reach or resonate with many readers … This change allows us to expand our coverage of these books in ways that we think will better serve readers and attract new audiences to the genres … [the change] allows us to devote more space and resources to our coverage beyond the best-seller lists.”
“Comics need to be measured against themselves, not the larger whole of books,” Charles Kochman, editorial director of Abrams ComicArts, the graphic novel imprint of Abrams, told PW.
“Quick note to fellow comics/graphic novel fans: The Times is not cutting back on coverage of these genres/formats but rather expanding on coverage in ways that reach more readers than the lists did. To wit: new graphic reviews by comic artists, more reviews and more news and features about then [sic] genre and it’s [sic] creators. We are big fans, and want to recognize growing readership. Stay tuned.”
On the mass market side, PW quotes Steven Zacharius, CEO of Kensington Publishing, saying cuts were “enormously troubling … [it] effects sales, and not having this list will hurt authors tremendously.”
After a flirtation with the big screen, Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy trilogy is now headed to the small screen via a pilot order by Fox for a possible 10-episode series adaptation.
Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights) will write the pilot and Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) will direct. Cronin is on board as a co-producer.
Deadline Hollywood reports “The Passage‘s road to the screen started in 2007 when, in a fierce bidding situation … Fox 2000 landed the first book — then half-written — for $1.75 million … Originally developed as a feature, the producers eventually determined that the property would be better served as a TV series.”
Scott Free Productions is behind the series. Founded by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, The Martian) and his brother Tony Scott (Top Gun), the production company is no stranger to high concept adaptations. They are the team responsible for The Man in the High Castle based on Philip K. Dick’s classic 1954 SF title and AMC’s upcoming The Terror, based on Dan Simmons’s historical horror novel.
Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31. Singer/actress Selena Gomez, an executive producer for the show, posted a clip on Instagram Thursday, which quickly took off. It is now the #1 trending video on YouTube:
The series is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.
It stars a relatively unknown cast, including Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro. and Michael Sadler. Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) directs. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) wrote the script.
A tie-in comes out in March:
13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
Razorbill (Penguin Publishing Group)
On Sale Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN 9780451478290, 0451478290
Trade Paperback | 336 pages
$10.99 USD, $14.99 CAD
Due to his reporting on the murder while he was the Moscow bureau chief for The Guardian, Harding was expelled from Russia.
He has also written about Edward Snowden (The Snowden Files) and Julian Assange (WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy). Both books were sources for films, Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, and The Fifth Estatestarring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange.
The book is rising on Amazon’s sales rankings today, skyrocketing from #116,292 to just outside the top 100. Libraries have been slow to order, or have bought in low numbers, perhaps due to a lack of pre-pub reviews.
The full interview also addresses possible Russian hacking of the US Presidential election, fake news, and Putin’s end game.
Entertainment Weekly reports “The connection between ‘alternative facts’ and Orwell’s dystopian novel was made on CNN’s Reliable Sources, where Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty said, “Alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase.’ ”
Outside of the United States interest is strong for the novel as well. The NYT reports that this January “sales have risen by 20 percent in Britain and Australia compared to the same period a year ago.”
Variety says the film depicts the “dire consequences of a warming earth — from flooding in Miami and the Philippines, to the worst drought on record in Syria, bringing human suffering there that predated the ongoing civil war, to air pollution so bad in some parts of China that life expectancy has declined by six years.”
Critical reaction to the screening is mostly positive. Slashfilm says “If An Inconvenient Truth was an eye-opening disaster movie, then An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is the heartbreaking post-apocalyptic follow-up … You can sense Al Gore’s frustration, and he is certainly angrier this time around, but still as passionate as he ever has been.” The Hollywood Reporter adds “this fine film is a match for the first.”
The Oscar nominations, announced yesterday, are providing good opportunities to build displays and make book lists, given the number of nominated films based on books.
Four of the nine Best Picture nominees are based on published material. Each is also in the running for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar:
Arrival, based on a story in: Stories Of Your Life And Others (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample). The movie is also nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Fences, based on: Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson (PRH/Plume). Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor, Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress and the film is also a nominee in the Production Design category.
Hidden Figures, based on: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Octavia Spencer is in the running for Best Supporting Actress.
Lion, based on: A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). Dev Patel got a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Nicole Kidman for Best Supporting Actress. The film is also nominated in the Best Cinematography and Original Score categories.
Florence Foster Jenkins, which nets Meryl Streep a history-making 20th Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. The tie-in is Florence Foster Jenkins: The Inspiring True Story of the World’s Worst Singer, Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Elle, for which star Isabelle Huppert is nominated for Best Actress. The film is based on Oh…by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).
Nocturnal Animals sees one of its stars, Michael Shannon, in the running for Best Supporting Actor. The tie-in uses the original title of the novel, Tony and Susan, Austin Wright (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).
I Am Not Your Negro is nominated for Best Documentary. It is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, called by the publisher in a companion volume, to be published in February, “the most famous book Baldwin never wrote.”: I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck, James Baldwin, Raoul Peck (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).
Putting Delaney in the company of Ruth Ware, B.A. Paris, and Shari Lapena, “the tier of writers a solid two or three notches below Tana French and Gillian Flynn,” he points out that even an imperfect novel can be fun to read and, as his review illustrates, fun to talk about. He concludes that this one is “worth a few hours of idle pleasure.”
She acknowledges that the novel works in many ways. It is set in “a high-tech house so sadistic that it practically spanks” the main characters. It features a man who is “50 shades of pervy but still charms, ” is fast paced, and “milks suspense” from its juxtaposing plots.
Unlike Finch, Maslin, who was an early supporter of the fun to be had from recent successful “girl” titles, does not find this one a worthy “girl” contender, saying “The author, clearly writing with commercial success in mind, has used as many other familiar genre ploys as the book can hold, to the point at which it has everything but a dead cat. Oh, wait. There’s a dead cat too.” There is also “clumsy trickery” and, at times, “unnerving ghoulishness.”
Based on the strong holds in libraries, Finch’s theory, that an imperfect novel can still be fun to read, has more followers.
UPDATE: the minimal book trailer underscores the meaning of the title.
On Sunday night, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards held during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Colson Whitehead won the fiction prize for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
Both books are also included on RUSA’s Notable Books List, announced Sunday night as well.
Cataloging his other accolades, including already winning the National Book Award and being a finalist for the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the AP calls the Carnegie was “a thank-you from the country’s libraries” to Whitehead.
Both winners paid tribute to libraries in return. Whitehead told the AP that “Libraries have propped me up” and Desmond said “Libraries are not just places where people go read a book, but places where an immigrant goes to take English lessons and where folks out of a job search for community … Libraries are on the front lines.”
Amazon plans to produce a six-part series based on Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, a fantasy-comedy novel written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, 2007; trade pbk.; orig. pub date 1990; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).
“Good Omens takes place in 2018 when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity … So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, and tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming war. And…someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.”
In the same release, Gaiman says “Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world … It became many people’s favourite book. Three decades later, it’s going to make it to the screen … I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it.”
The Guardian points out that it has been adapted before, as an award-winning radio drama on BBC Radio 4 and there were a proposal for a film adaptation, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp as Crowley and Robin Williams as Aziraphale, that did not move forward.
The series will premiere sometime in 2018. Casting information is not yet available.