Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

AMC Introduces The PREACHER

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Signaling high expectations, AMC debuted the first  trailer for their upcoming series, Preacher, during Sunday’s extended episode of the Walking Dead series, utilizing what Deadline calls “prime preview real estate.”

9781401222796 It also has some prime talent attached. Developed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the show runner will be Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin, who also wrote the script, it stars Dominic Cooper. It is expect to debut midyear 2016.

As the trailer states clearly, the series is “Based on the cult comic series” by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Published by DC Comics/Vertigo, it is available in several compilations (no tie-in has been announced yet).

NBC To Tidy Up

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Can a quirky nonfiction book on cleaning sustain a half-hour comedy show? Deadline  reports that NBC is willing to find out.

9781607747307_9d11aThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpThe Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, (Ten Speed Press; Tantor Audio) by Marie Kondo will serve as the inspiration for a new show.

The cult hit racked up long holds lists and sat atop bestseller lists for nearly a year. It is currently holding tight to the #2 spot on the NYT Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list. So popular is Kondo’s message, she was named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2015.

Writer Erica Oyama (Burning Love, Schooled) and Greg Malins (Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Will & Grace) will work on the project, which “centers on a young woman in a moment of crisis who attempts to get her messy life in order.” Note to neat freaks, it sounds like the show will be very loosely based on the book, basically just using the title as a launching point.

The group behind the project and is also, as we noted earlier, working on Josh Schwartz’s horror dramedy Horrorstör for Fox TV. It is based on Grady Hendrix’s faux-IKEA catalog/horror story, Horrorstör (Quirk).


13 REASONS WHY Makes Detour to Small Screen

Friday, October 30th, 2015

9781595141880Netflix is adapting Jay Asher’s multi-award winning 2007 YA novel about teen suicide into a 13-episode series. The news caused the book to jump up Amazon’s sales rankings (#355 from #719).

According to Variety, Selena Gomez will serve as an executive producer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey will write the pilot. Back in 2011, Universal acquired rights for a big-screen adaptation, but it seems those plans have changed.

Asher’s novel, with the stylized title TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, each addressed to one of her classmates, explaining how they contributed to her decision.

Deadline reports that Gomez will not star in the show herself and the leads not been cast. An air date has yet to be set.

A YALSA Best Books of 2008, it was a NYT best seller  in hardcover for over two years and continued as a paperback best seller until two weeks ago.

Writers On The Air

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Last night two high profile authors got late night treatment.

Lauren Groff appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She is in countdown mode for the Nov. 18 announcement of the National Book Award and is fresh off her Morning Edition Book Club appearance.

Meyers is proving to be a deft interviewer of authors. That may be because, as he revealed last night in a throwaway aside  he thinks of himself as a writer too, having been the head writer for Saturday Night Live.

The pair discuss Groff’s process, her stereoscopic approach to Fates and Furies, and writing sex scenes.

Jonathan Franzen starred in a skit on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and sat down for a conversation as well.

The skit mocks Amazon through a bedtime story entitled “Little Read Reading Hood.” The US Department of Justice stars as the woodsman and there is a typical Colbert twist at the end.

The conversation, in which Colbert’s snark sometimes got the better of Franzen, ranged from Twitter to reading to football. Nevertheless, n the strength of his appearance, Purity rose on Amazon’s sales rankings, from 445 to 356.


Monday, October 12th, 2015

New trailers for several forthcoming adaptations made their debuts at at New York Comic Con over the weekend. In addition to MTV’s Shadowhunters, which we covered earlier, the following three were featured.

The Magicians, Syfy channel, 12 episodes, beginning January 15

Official Web site:

Based on: Lev Grossman, The Magicians, fantasy trilogy (The Magicians, 2009; The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land)

Tie-in: Lev Grossman, The Magicians (TV Tie-In Edition) (Penguin/Putnam, 11/24/15)

Shannara Chronicles,  MTV, 10 episodes beginning January 5

Official Web site:

Based on: Terry Brooks, Shannara series (first in the series is Sword Of Shannara, but the first in the TV series is based on the second book Elfstones Of Shannara)


Terry Brooks, The Elfstones of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles) (TV Tie-in Edition), (RH/Del Rey; mass market; 12/1/15)

Terry Brooks, The Wishsong of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles) (TV Tie-in Edition) (RH/Del Rey; 12/1/15)

Outcast, Cinemax, 10 episodes begin 2016 (no exact release date yet)

Official Web Site:

Based on: Robert Kirkman comics, Outcast

Tie-ins: the series and the comics are being created simultaneously. The first collected edition of the comics was published earlier this year. Volume 2 arrives this week.(Image Comics).

A Two-Book Week for Stephen Colbert

Monday, October 12th, 2015

This week two books get the Colbert treatment on The Late Show.

9780399167256_d72dfTonight Elvis Costello, author of the new memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink (Penguin/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is a guest. In the book, Costello reflects on his career, details many of his most iconic songs, and muses on his musical coming of age.

Fan will recognize Costello’s voice as the narrator of the audiobook version

Also being released is an accompanying  soundtrack album, featuring 38 songs.

9780062351425_a339dOn Thursday, Colbert features Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor,  the creators of the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast and a debut novel set in the same world as the show, Welcome to Night Vale (HarperCollins/Harper Perennial; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). The audio version highlights Cecil Baldwin, the person who performs the podcast.

In Dallas, It’s 11/22/63 Again

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Tourists at Dealy Plaza in Dallas were treated to eerie reminders of the past, as filming for the Hulu series based on Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 (S&S/Scribner, 2011) is wrapping up.

Produced by J.J. Abrams and starring James Franco, the series is expected to air next year.

Zombies: Choose Your
Favorite Flavor

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

walking-dead-graphic  walking-dead

In what’s become a rite of October, The Walking Dead return in several flavors next week.

If you prefer your zombies televised, AMC’s version appears in its sixth season next week.

Fans of the print comic, which manges to be even more violent than the TV series, will have been following the monthly installments. Those willing to wait for the compendiums can enjoy The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 3 (Image Comics) arriving next week.

Also coming is the next in the novel series, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Invasion by Jay Bonansinga  (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne; and in yet another version, Macmillan is also releasing it in audio), which uses characters from both the TV series and the comics.

Each are different, but tying them all together is the Dead‘s originator, Robert Kirkman, who is involved with all three properties.

Below is the latest trailer for AMC’s version:

It’s Based on A Book?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

9780312428877Sometimes the connection between a book and a screen adaptation is not obvious.

The second episode of the heavily-promoted CBS action thriller, Limitless airs tonight. It’s based on the 2011 movie starring Bradley Cooper, which in turn is based on Alan Glynn’s 2001 debut techno-thriller with a different title, The Dark Fields (Macmillan/Picador).

The TV series picks up where the movie left off and is therefore several more steps removed from the source material, but still offers the opportunity to promote copies of the movie tie-in you may still have in the stacks, as well sa DVDs of the movie.

Below is the trailer. The series stars Jake McDorman. Bradley Cooper, who started in the movie, has a recurring role.

Glynn’s next book is Paradise (Macmillan/Picador, 2016). According to the Hollywood Reporter, it is currently being shopped to studios as “Enemy meets Vertigo“.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Begins Tonight (Sans Authors)

Monday, September 28th, 2015

The next iteration of The Daily Show starts this evening as Trevor Noah takes over the chair made famous by Jon Stewart.

While political junkies and comedy fans wait to see how Noah will do (Salon has grave doubts), those in the book business want to know how (or if) he will cover authors.

The opening line-up does not look good for the book world.

An actor, a musician, the CEO of a dating app, and Chris Christie, one of the few GOP candidates who has not written a book, fill the first week.

Based on an interview in Rolling Stone, Noah says week one will set the table for the show: “The first episode will be a reintroduction of the show, but you can’t just go off one … you’re building a relationship. So what we’re doing is dividing the first week into a four-part miniseries that will set the tone for what we hope the show will be.”

However, it generally takes hosts a while to establish their style. As we wrote earlier, it was several years before Jon Stewart began featuring serious authors on The Daily Show.

Meanwhile, there are authors on network late Nnght TV. Junot Díaz appears this week on Late Night With Seth Meyers while Elizabeth Gilbert comes on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

While neither host fully takes up the slack left in the wake of Stewart’s focus on authors (or Colbert’s on the Colbert Report), at least there is a bookish presence on TV to remind readers, and maybe even Noah, that books fuel fascinating conversations.

Last week Colbert interviewed Malala Yousafzai, author of  I Am Malala, (Hachette/Little, Brown) and subject of the documentary, He Named Me Malala, which opens on Oct. 2.

This may be the first time in history that a Nobel laureate has been challenged to do card tricks.

Donald Trump: New Book
On The Way

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.14.43 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.19.34 AMSet to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight, Donald Trump may announce that he has a new book coming on Oct. 27, on the heels of his update of Time to Get Tough: Making America Great Again (Regnery Publishing).

Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of S&S that also publishes works by Karl Rove, Glenn Beck and Lynne Cheney, will release the as yet untitled book (S&S/Threshold Editions; 240 pages; ISBN 9781501137969; October 2015; $26.00).

Quoting from a statement by S&S, Vanity Fair reports the book will:

“… outline how a crippled America could be restored to greatness [and] explore Trump’s view on key issues including the economy, big CEO salaries and taxes, healthcare, education, national security, and social issues. Of particular interest will be his vision for complete immigration reform, beginning with securing the borders and putting American workers first.”

Included in the same statement is Trump’s own take on his newest offering:

“I am excited to announce that work on my new bestseller is almost done and I’ll have a new book out from Threshold Editions and Simon & Schuster later this year. Not since The Art of the Deal have I had this much fun writing a book.”

The Washington Post’s nonfiction critic, Carlos Lozada, earlier offered a round-up of some of Trump’s other bestsellers, experienced via a massive binge-reading session.

From our previous story on Lozada’s reactions, he “encountered a world where bragging is breathing and insulting is talking, where repetition and contradiction come standard, where vengefulness and insecurity erupt at random.” He doubts Trump would be satisfied if he actually became President, quoting him on what makes him happy, “The same assets that excite me in the chase, often, once they are acquired, leave me bored … For me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having.”


Monday, September 21st, 2015

Olive KitteridgeHBO had a good night at the Emmys, particularly for its book-based series, Olive Kitteridge and Game Of Thrones.

Olive Kitteridge, based on Elizabeth Strout’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, took home a total of 8 Emmys, including one for best miniseries. A passion project for Frances McDormand, who bought the rights to the novel in 2010, she was rewarded by winning her first Emmys, as star and producer.

In accepting the award, McDormand gave full credit to the source, declaring twice, “It started as a book!” effectively refuting host Andy Samberg’s opening monologue, in which he inexplicably dissed books, saying, “The Emmy’s are all about celebrating the best of the year in television. So, sorry, books, not tonight,” as the words, “SUCK IT BOOKS” appeared on the screen.

McDormand signaled her interest in continuing the series, according to Deadline, telling reporters in the press room after the Awards, “It’s 13 short stories … it was infinitely exciting to read and I thought that it could be a great town to spend some time in,” adding, “We would love to do more and we would love for you all to start a social media campaign to do more.”

PBS’s Wolf Hall, based on the first two books in Hillary Mantel’s Tudors series, was nominated in several categories, but ended up with no wins

Kid’s Graphic Novel on LATE NIGHT

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 10.06.09 AMStephen Colbert isn’t the only one trying to shake up late night TV. Seth Meyers has broken ground by featuring novelists on Late Night. Last night, he highlighted graphic novelist Judd Winick, author of the new kid’s series Hilo (RH Books for Young Readers).

As The New York Times reports, the hero of the planned six-book multicultural series “is an enigmatic boy who crashes to Earth and befriends two children, D.J. and Gina … D.J. is the only one of five Asian-American siblings who is not “awesome at something,” and his best friend, Gina, who is black, has two aggressively positive sisters who are cheerleaders. Each book will reveal more about the characters and the mystery of Hilo’s destiny.”

Winick and Meyers know each other from Winick’s time writing for The Awesomes, an animated series created by Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. He has also worked on Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Justice League, and Star Wars comics. He has also had experience on TV, having been one of the housemates on season 3 of MTV’s Real World.

Winick decided to write the series so his own children could read his work, after he got a bit jealous of his son’s avid fanboy reaction to Jeff Smith’s Bone.

Colbert’s First LATE SHOW
Book Bump

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Reporting on the guests Colbert interviewed in his first week replacing David Letterman as host of The Late Show, The Hollywood Reporter headline reads, “Joe Biden and Wonky Guests Are Great But Celebrity Chats Could Be Improved.”

The guests got even wonkier this week, with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer appearing last night. There to promote his book, The Court And The World, (RH/Knopf), out today, he got little chance to talk about it, but it rose on Amazon’s sales rankings nonetheless.

Breyer also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Morning Edition and the book was reviewed in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. All that attention sent the book to #203 on Amazon’s sales rankings, but Colbert had even greater impact, sending it to #110 this morning.

THR notes, “One look at Colbert’s guests in the next two weeks emphatically proves that he — and CBS — are going all-in on this [wonky] strategy: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders Friday, Global Poverty Project founder Hugh Evans and Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Sept. 23; Archbishop Thomas Wenski on Sept. 24 and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on Sept. 25.”

Bernie Sanders is publishing two updated books in December, The Speech: On Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class  (Nation Books) and Outsider in the White House (Verso; Exp Upd edition).

Elizabeth Waren’s book, A Fighting Chance (Macmillan/Metropolitan) was published last year.

Malala Yousafzai’s book, I Am Malala (Hachette/Little, Brown) is credited as the inspiration for the documentary, He Named Me Malala, to be released Oct. 2.

LATE NIGHT Colbert Debuts

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Tonight, Stephen Colbert takes over David Letterman’s chair as host of The Late Show and the media is engaged in a game of trying to predict how he will transition from his Comedy Central persona to a more traditional style. As the New York Times asks, “Will the new digs have room for ‘truthiness’ and ThreatDowns?”

Looking at the initial lineup of guests that includes Justice Stephen Breyer and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Variety comments, “It’s a different sort of mainstream late-night program, the kind that convenes guests from broader walks of life, almost in recognition that the nation has grown very weary of seeing actors and actresses hype their latest project and go on their merry way.”

Those in the book business are hoping he will continue to give authors the famous “Colbert Bump.” Encouragingly, an author will be featured in the first week, although one who doesn’t need the bump. Stephen King is scheduled for Friday’s show. It’s a big week for him; the day before he receives the National Medal of Arts presented by Barack Obama.

Bazaar of Bad DreamsKing’s Finders Keepers came out in June. A new collection of short stores, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams will be published in November (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio).

The finale of CBS’s adaptation of King’s book Under the Dome will be broadcast on Thursday.

King already has a rapport with the host, having appeared on the Colbert Report in 2009.

The real character of the new Late Night is likely to take a while to emerge. As CNN points out in their run down of various iconic late night shows, many of them took months or even years to hit their strides.