Archive for June, 2017

Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of July 3, 2017

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Even the Fourth of July holiday won’t prevent books from shipping next week. Julie Garwood’s Wired (see below, under “Peer Picks”) is one of several titles with a July 4 publication date.

The titles covered 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 July 3, 2017.

Media Magnets

Woolly, Ben Mezrich (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio).

Author Mezrich has covered several wild topics, but none quite as woolly as this, to be featured this week on CBS Sunday Morning. Picked by USA Today as one of “10 Hot Books You Won’t Want To Miss This Summer,” it is described as a “Real-life thriller [that] goes inside the Harvard lab of geneticist George Church as he and his team attempt to ‘resurrect’ the extinct Woolly Mammoth.” Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires was the basis for the successful movie The Social Network. Fox has the film rights to this one.

Media Picks

Persons Unknown, Susie Steiner (PRH/Random House; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

People magazine’s “Book of the Week” in the new issue, noting, “Steiner (Missing, Presumed) populates this hot-button narrative with achingly human characters, but no one compares to the [pregnant] hormonal, mordantly funny mom-cop who will stop at nothing to save her son.”

Peer Picks

One LibraryReads pick comes out this week:

Wired, Julie Garwood (PRH/Berkley; OverDrive Sample).

“When Agent Liam Scott recruits a beautiful hacker, Allison Trent, to find a leak within the FBI, he uses her cousin’s criminal record as leverage. As they try to deny their growing attraction, the computer program Allison developed is stolen. Liam helps track down the thief while protecting her from continual harassment and attempts on her life. I genuinely enjoyed reading this novel. The whole book was tightly plotted and well written. This is a story I would highly recommend to romance readers, especially those new to the genre.” — Maria Gruener, Watertown Regional Library, Watertown, SD

Four Indie Next selections hit shelves as well:

Made for Love, Alissa Nutting (HC/Ecco; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“I don’t think I’ve gotten this much sheer pleasure from a book in a long while. Made for Love is freaking off-the-wall bonkers in the best way. We follow Hazel, a woman on the edge who recently escaped from her top-of-the-tech-world psycho of a husband (whom, she fears, desires to place a chip in her brain so that they may ‘meld’ consciousnesses), as she battles through hyper-surveillance for a life off the grid. Along the way, she meets a truly delightful cast of characters, gets into some absurd hijinks, and works through the piles of garbage the world has tossed her way. Ditch the jet skis — this is all the summer fun you’re going to need.” —Molly Moore, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Additional Buzz: It is on a number of summer reading lists including those complied by Real Simple, Literary Hub, Cosmopolitan, New York magazine, HuffPost, Nylon, and Refinery29. BuzzFeed features it on this year’s “Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017” and their “Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer” lists. The Rumpus reviews, calling it “hilarious, madcap.”

The Reason You’re Alive, Matthew Quick (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

“David Granger is a 68-year-old, conservative war veteran with a bleeding-heart liberal son, a granddaughter who needs him, and a whole lot of emotional baggage from his time in Vietnam. He is patriotic and brash, and he has no problem expressing his opinion. In our current politically divided culture, where people with different views struggle to understand each other, this story has incredible value. I wanted to dislike this protagonist, whose views are so different from my own, but I couldn’t. He was kind and caring and his story pulled at my heart.” —Melanie Locke, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Additional Buzz: A movie is in the works according to The Hollywood Reporter; Miramax bought film rights almost a year ago.

The Graybar Hotel: Stories, Curtis Dawkins (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

“Discard the thought that Curtis Dawkins is serving a life sentence and insert the thought that this is an amazing short-story collection by a debut author. In The Graybar Hotel, we glimpse the emotional lives of the inmates of a Kalamazoo prison, who are cut off from the world and in a place where time moves and sounds different than before. One character calls random numbers just so he can hear a voice or any noise for his allotted 15 minutes, anything to connect to the outside world again. The Graybar Hotel reminded me of reading early Denis Johnson, in the way that the writing is so sparse I fell right into the stories and suffered along with the inmates. A captivating read that allowed me a glimpse of the humanity of prison life.” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

South Pole Station, Ashley Shelby (Macmillan/Picador; OverDrive Sample).

“Prepare yourself for a frozen and fun adventure in the Antarctic. Cooper Gosling apparently does not have enough cold weather or oddball people in her Minneapolis life, so she heads to the South Pole Station to try to reclaim her career as a painter. Ashley Shelby has collected a wonderful cast of quirky characters in this southernmost ice box and readers are in for a treat when they meet this bunch of scientists, artists, medics, and misfits. Bundle up and enjoy the ride!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Tie-ins

Midnight, Texas, a mid-summer debut TV series premiering on NBC July 25, gets its tie-in this week, Midnight Crossroad (TV Tie-In) by Charlaine Harris (PRH/Ace; OverDrive Sample).

It is the first book in Harris’s Midnight, Texas series, followed by Day Shift (PRH/Ace, 2015; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) and Night Shift (PRH/Ace, 2016; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

Bustle calls the world of the books “Twin Peaks with vampires.” See our earlier post for full cast details and a plot summary.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

Pearl Power, Summer Reads

Friday, June 30th, 2017

“Librarian’s librarian” Nancy Pearl gives a boost to several titles on NPR’s Morning Edition this week, picking her favorite books from the spring list for summer reading.

Host Steve Inskeep begins by asking if the prolific reader is have any trouble focusing on books “in these news saturated times.” Pearl admits that she she finds her reading tastes are changing and she has abandoned her usual favorites, character-driven stories for page-turners

Her favorite is the debut, August Snow, (Soho Crime; Recorded Books). She says, “I’m not just saying that because I’m from Detroit and it’s set in Detroit.”

Prepub reviews dunned the book for veering into thriller cliches, but Kirkus noted, “it’s easy to overlook those flaws considering what this book gets right: a hugely likable hero who uses his wealth to bring his neighborhood back to life; a feel for the vitality and pride in run-down urban neighborhoods as good as George Pelecanos on Washington, D.C.; appealing supporting characters who give life to the book’s theme of the solace to be found in communities. It adds up to a very pleasurable read.”

By the end of the program, Inskeep observes, “we started out trying to get away from the news, but we’re actually getting fresh perspectives on the news of recent years … from urban struggle to rural areas that are losing population and economic vitality.”

Click here for the full list of titles and annotations.

Readers Are With THE FORCE

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Don Winslow debuts on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #10 with The Force (HarperCollins/Morrow; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Audio Sample), the highest any of his three novels have ever reached.

The book gets its lift from a great deal of press, including a review in the NYT by Janet Maslin who calls it a “shattering New York cop epic about an elite task force leader who’s a hero until he’s not.” It is also featured in the NYTBR Crime column, with long time reviewer Marilyn Stasio calling it “a scorcher.” In a third round of NYT attention, Winslow is the subject of the “By the Book” column this week. The Washington Post says it is “a big, fat book of fast-moving fiction … riveting and scary.” Adding to the buzz, film rights sold before the book even had a title. UPDATE: The movie release has just been set for March 1, 2019. David Mamet has been hired to write the script and James Mangold (Logan) to direct.

Winslow has also made news this week with an ad in the NYT that is an open letter blasting “President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for wanting to ‘drag us back into one of the most catastrophic social policies in this nation’s history: #TheWaronDrugs'” writes USA Today. He tells USA Today that he placed the ad at his own expense because “I feel so strongly that this (drug) policy is wrong. … (It) seeks to expand a disastrous policy that has ripped our nation apart.”

Holds across libraries we checked are reflecting the attention; many systems have ratios topping 5:1.

Pennie Picks KISS CARLO

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Costco’s influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects as her July “Buyers Pick” Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), a love story and family tale set in the world of the theater.

Ianniciello gives it her personal endorsement, writing “I look forward to every new book by Adriana Trigiani … her books are a joy to read.”

In an interview in the Costco Connection, Trigiani says “The plot sets the stage for a Shakespearean conflict, for it’s a story of love, loyalty and creativity that is filled with everything we all struggle with as humans.”

It lands on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list #7, her highest-ranking debut to date.

Trigiani is featured on Today in a segment headlined “Need a juicy summer read?” Chatting with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb over a breakfast of pasta and red wine, she claims this book is her “favorite of everything I’ve written.”

High Tide for BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Mary Alice Monroe hits a career high with Beach House for Rent (S&S/Gallery Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), debuting on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #12 [UPDATE: The “eco-minded” author is featured in the NYT‘s “Inside the List” column].

Beach House for Rent is book four in the Isle of Palms series begun in 2002. Each of the four books are spaced roughly five years apart: The Beach House (2002), Swimming Lessons (2007), Beach House Memories (2012), Beach House for Rent (2017). In their starred review LJ writes this newest can stand alone.

The series has been on the path to an adaptation for the Hallmark channel, announced in 2015.  Star Andie McDowell confirmed that via a video, but there has been no news since on the status. The rerelease of the first book in the series last December may indicate there is movement.

To TV: VANITY FAIR

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

A new adaptation of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair is heading to TV, streaming on Amazon and airing on Britain’s ITV reports Variety.

It will star Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as the wily Becky Sharp, a woman trying to rise through society against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. James Strong (Broadchurch) directs.

The novel, a classic of British literature, has been adapted many times, on TV and in the movies. Most recently, in the form of a film staring Reese Witherspoon an directed by Mira Nair, It was “a box-office disappointment” according to Variety. This new production hopes to revive interest. An ITV executive said the seven episode series will “bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience.”

The series is being produced by Amazon Studios and Mammoth Screen. Mammoth, an arm of ITV, produced the popular Victoria series which played on PBS in the United States. ITV is most famous in the US for creating Downton Abbey.

The historical drama is expected to debut in 2018. The book has been published in a number of editions and is also available as a full-cast audio featuring narrators Emma Fielding and Stephen Fry (BBC Books).

The Telegraph offers a primer on the story and the importance of the novel.

Reading for the Fourth, on TODAY

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The Today Show rounded up their regular group of book recommenders, BuzzFeed Books Editor Issac Fitzgerald , author and recent book store owner, Emma Straub and thriller writer Brad Thor, to suggest books to read over the holiday.

Click here for the full list of picks.

Books In The City

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Sarah Jessica Parker has picked the first novel for her new imprint SJP for Hogarth, a debut by Fatima Farheen Mirza tentatively titled A Place for Us.

According to the NYT it “follows an Indian-American family that is reunited on the eve of the eldest daughter, Hadia’s, wedding. It tackles issues of belonging and tradition, delving into the complex experience of an immigrant family in the United States.”

In a press release Mirza said “After working on the novel for eight years, I could not be happier with the home it has found … I’m confident in their vision for the novel and grateful that it will be brought into the world by SJP for Hogarth.”

Vogue writes that Parker “called being ‘taken hostage by Fatima Mirza’s heartrending and timely story’ a ‘gutting pleasure,’ and praised Mirza’s ability to afford her reader a better understanding of ‘what it means to reconcile one’s love of family and culture with a desire to find one’s own path, and one’s own faith.'”

The novel will publish in 2019. Parker will be involved in all aspects of the book’s publication and design and tells the NYT she’s a bit nervous about the editing process, fearing that “a writer might be ‘allergic’ to her feedback.”

It’s been quite  the literary week for Parker. On Monday she announced her pick for ALA’s new BookClub Central. Parker serves as honorary chair of the initiative.

A Different Kind of Author Tour

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Bestselling author JD Vance and AOL co-founder Steve Case will travel together this fall reports USA Today, on the next wave of the Rise of the Rest program, a “campaign to drum up interest in tech start-ups not based in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Seattle and other coastal tech hubs.”

This is the fourth year of the project dreamed up by Case, although it is the first for Vance. After a whirlwind visit and a series of pitch meetings, Case invests $100,000 in one local start-up. Thus far he has visited 26 cities.

“The data is the data and last year the (National Venture Capital Association) said that 75% of venture capital went to just three states: California, New York and Massachusetts,” Case told the paper. His venture capital firm started the Rise of the Rest program to help correct that by identifying and supporting start-ups across the Rust Belt and Midwest.

Vance’s bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) is currently #7 on the NYT Hardback Nonfiction list after 47 straight weeks. Film rights have been acquired as well. The memoir arrived as the presidential campaign was heating up. The media embraced Vance’s sympathetic portrait of life in the Rust Belt as an explanation for the deep divides that drove the election.

FOUNDATION To TV

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Isaac Asimov’s science fiction Foundation Trilogy may be headed to TV reports Deadline Hollywood. Skydance Television, the production company behind the new Star Trek films and World War Z, is helming a possible project.

This is not the first attempt to translate the books to screen. Den of Geek writes that as recently as 2014 HBO took a crack at it and Deadline adds “the guys who greenlit The Lord Of The Rings films [as well as] Independence Day director Roland Emmerich” have tried as well.

This time the team includes showrunners and screenwriters who have worked on the Dark Knight trilogy and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

According to Deadline the main reasons no one has been able to adapt the series yet is their sprawling nature, involving many characters and plots and because George Lucas drew on them so heavily for Star Wars “the challenge is to not appear to be ripping off one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises, even though Asimov wrote his books 75 years ago.”

The Foundation Trilogyan iconic piece of science fiction, won the 1966 Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series, beating out Lord of the Rings, even though, as io9 reports, many thought the category was invented specifically to honor that title.

io9 posted a guide to the books back when they thought HBO would make the series. Their primer is still useful for anyone who needs to get up to speed on the story. Both trade paperback and mass market editions are still in print (PRH/Spectra).

PADDINGTON BEAR Creator Dies

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

His bear traveled from “darkest Peru” to London, from the 1958 chapter book A Bear Called Paddington to a series of 13 more novels, multiple picture books and the big screen. Creator Michael Bond died at 91 on Tuesday.

In a 2007 interview in the Telegraph, Bond sai the little bear helped him deal with dark times.

The most recent in the chapter book series, Paddington’s Finest Hour (HarperCollins) will be published in the US on September 13th.

The second Paddington movie is expected arrive in theaters later this year.

Green’s TURTLES

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

As promised, John Green devoted yesterday’s vlogbrothers video to his forthcoming book, Turtles All the Way Down (PRH/Dutton YR; Oct 10; cover art to come), his first novel since 2012’s The Fault in Our Stars.

He doesn’t reveal anything about the book’s content, talking instead about the special ISBN for signed copies, causing pre-orders for that edition to spike. Along the way, he explains what ISBN’s are, knowledge he gained while working at Booklist.

Westward Ho With a Fresh Air Bump

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny by Michael Wallis (Norton/Liveright; OverDrive Sample) is moving up the Amazon charts, currently at #62 from #9,956, thanks to a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air.

The struggling Donner Party is known for restoring to cannibalism to survive, but Wallis says “there’s so much more. That’s why I wanted to tell the back story.”

Wallis details the hardships of the journey and how they broke the members of the party down, both physically and psychologically. Sadly, many of their problems came from their own errors, such as packing too much, taking the wrong route, misjudging the weather, and assuming too much while knowing too little.

On what can be learned from their story, Wallis says “I think it tells us not only about the American West but really about the whole nation … Those of us who do not learn our history are doomed to repeat it … The words that ring out to me continually are two words that combined can be very fatal, then as now, and those words are: ignorance and arrogance.”

True West reviews the book in an illustrated account, writing it “will be considered for many years the primary volume for students and scholars seeking a detailed and well-annotated history of the tragic tale of emigration on the Overland Trail to California.”

PW stars it, writing Wallis “reclaims the horrific story of the infamously ill-fated wagon train from the annals of sensationalism.”

More Martin

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

In addition to the GOT spinoffs, another George R.R. Martin adaptation is in the works. The Syfy channel just greenlighted a pilot based on his supernatural 1980 novella Nightflyers.

A team is “setting up a writers room to generate backup scripts in preparation for a potential series pickup,” reports Deadline Hollywood. The pilot script is being written by Jeff Buhler, known for the horror films The Midnight Meat Train and the upcoming remake of Jacob’s Ladder.

Variety describes the story as following “eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system in the hopes of contacting alien life. They travel aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.”

The Nerdist adds “After all, if the night is dark and full of terrors, just imagine what untold horrors lie in the inky blackness of space.”

On his blog, Martin says it is “one of my SF/ horror hybrids … a favorite of mine (especially the longer version that I did for BINARY STARS), and I think the show could have a lot of potential… especially if you like a little horror in your SF.”

The novella was adapted into what Den of Geek calls “a schlocky, limited-releasefilm in 1987. The novella itself is collected in Martin’s 1985 Nightflyers, now out of print.

Martin, who has an exclusive contract with HBO, is not involved with this new project.

Gold Rush

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

James Ledbetter, author of One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries (Norton/Liveright; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample), spoke on NPR’s Fresh Air about the ways gold has been perceived through American history.

The discussion covers the history of money in the US and the many different currencies that were used in the early days, including those issued by states and banks issued and even from other countries. The conversation also covers the role of the Gold Rush in monetary policy, the creation of Fort Knox, and the period of time when citizens had to turn in their gold to the government. In more recent times, there was even a 20th century alchemy quest to create more gold, called Operation Goldfinger.

NPR’s Dave Davies, filling in for host Terry Gross, says the book further details how gold became “a symbol of permanence and quality and most of all a store of value.”