Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category


Monday, May 4th, 2015

9780684826974  9780743224543  9781476728742_a9b5d

Shooting is expected to begin this summer on the HBO series Lewis and Clark, based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, (S&S, 1996). Starring Casey Affleck as Meriwether Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts as William Clark, the series is being produced by Tom Hanks’s company, Playtone, along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B. Entertainment. It is expected to be released some time in 2016.

Playtone, with Stephen Spielberg, adapted another book by Ambrose Band of Brothers (1992) into a successful HBO series in 2001 just before the author’s death in 2002.

HBO and Playtone have also aquired the rights to David Mcullough’s The Wright Brothers (S&S; S&S Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), publishing this week. This will be the second of McCullough’s books the companies have adapted, after 2008’s John Adams.

You Can Stream It On A Phone

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

In what may be the first press release written in rhyme, Netflix announces that they are adapting Green Eggs and Ham as a 13-episode animated series.

We’d love to share some happy news
based on the rhymes of Dr. Seuss.
Green Eggs and Ham will become a show
and you’re among the first to know … [more]

Executive producer Ellen DeGeneres contributes her own rhyme in the video below.

Coming in 2018, she promises the series will use cutting edge animation

TV to Movies; Movies to TV

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Take heart, YA series fans. If a book doesn’t succeed as a movie adaptation, it may go to TV, and vice versa.

The Selection  The Elite  9780062059994_be9c6

The CW network played a game of on again, off again with their plans to develop a series based on Kiera Cass’s YA title, The Selection (HarperTeen, 2012), finally abandoning the idea after two tries, each going as 9780062349859_b3458far as the pilot stage. Now, according to Deadline, Warner Bros. has won the film rights and has a screen writer set to adapt it for the big screen.

The fourth novel in the series, The Heir (HarperTeen), arrives next week.

On the other hand, the movie based on The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, the first in the Y.A. urban fantasy series by Cassandra Clare, made it to the screen, but plans to turn it into a franchise died along with the box office receipts. ABC Family now plans to create a spin-off TV series, titled Shadowhunters, and has just announced that Dominic Sherwood (Vampire Academy) has won the male lead.

9781481455923_84766New trade paperback editions of the six titles in the series as well as of the 3-part prequel series, Infernal Devices are coming in September.




Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

9781602862418_df7f5A year after it was controversially featured as the opening film at Cannes, American audiences will finally get to see the bio-pic featuring Niclole Kidman as Princess Grace, titled after the book it is based on, Grace of Monaco by Jeffrey Robinson (Perseus/Da Capo; Audio, Dreamscape).

It is not coming to the big screen, however. In quite a comedown from opening the Cannes Festival, it makes its U.S. debut on the cable network Lifetime on Memorial Day, May 25th.

The film was booed at Cannes and the kinder critics said is was “not Kidman’s finest hour.”


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Sword_of_shannara_hardcoverPromoted as the heir to Game of Thrones, MTV executives debuted a clip yesterday at a “glitzy event” (according to the L.A. Times) held in New York of the as yet unscheduled series The Shannara Chronicles.

Part of MTV’s efforts to win back ratings, it is based on Terry Brooks’s long-running series which began with The Sword of Shannara (RH/Del Rey 1977). I just  recently begun production, but MTV has already begun promoting the stars on their web site.

Tie-ins are currently scheduled for release in December.

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles Book One) (TV Tie-in Edition)
Terry Brooks
RH/Del Rey, December 1, 2015
Trade PaperbackMass Market

The Wishsong of Shannara (The Shannara Chronicles Book Two) (TV Tie-in Edition)
Terry Brooks
RH/Del Rey, December 1, 2015
Trade Paperback

Coming to ABC

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Astronaut Wives Club  AWC_Key_Art_Embed

The 10-episode The Astronaut Wives Club will debut on ABC in June 18, based on Lily Koppel’s book of the same title (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio and Large Print). The cover of the book, featuring the actual wives is on the left. The poster for the series, featuring the wives as portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominique McElligott, Odette Annable, Erin Cummings, Azure Parsons and Zoe Boyle.

The first episode is directed by Lone Scherfig, director of the An Education and One Day.

About the wives of of the first U.S. astronauts, the book became a best seller after it was featured on another network, CBS Sunday Morning in 2013.

This Week on the DAILY SHOW

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

9780062333810_9ddcdLast night, Jon Stewart’s guest was Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield (Harper, 4/21/15), the story of a group of  women who volunteered for a mission to help Rangers in Afghanistan, by making contact with a group they could not, Afghan women. Called “cultural support” rather than front theater combat troops, they were in fact on the front lines and the woman at the center of the story died.

Visibly moved, Stewart called it “a terrific book.”

A hot property in Hollywood, the film rights to the Ashley’s War were recently won at auction by Reese Witherspoon.

The interview was somewhat overshadowed by Stewart’s announcement that his last show will be Aug. 6.

9781455584895_22802Tomorrow night, the show will feature Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush and a political commentator for Stewart’s favorite punching bag, Fox News. Her book And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side. (Hachette/Twelve; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print) is being published today.

On Thursday, Stewart will interview one of his favorites, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium. His new TV series StarTalk begins on Monday night on NatGeo. He is the author of several books, including, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (Norton, 2012), The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet (Norton, 2009) and Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (Norton, 2007).

Elmore Leonard

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

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The final episode of FX’s Justified ran on Tuesday night, bringing renewed attention to Elmore Leonard via subtle homages to the author that were not lost on fans, the switching of the iconic Stetson hat to a version closer to the one Leonard lobbied for and a cameo of the book Leonard said he often re-read for inspiration, The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (Macmillan/Picador, 1972; OverDrive Sample).

9780062120342_927acThe series, originally based on Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” (from the collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, re-released in trade paperback as Fire in the HoleHarperCollins/Morrow; OverDrive Sample) and featuring the central character who also appeared in the novels Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Raylan, the last novel Leonard published before his death in 2013, has been a powerhouse show for the network and brought more fans to Leonard.

Both Fire in the Hold and The Friends of Eddie Coyle are currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Glowing reviews of the series’ end all laud Leonard as well, from New York Magazine’s in-depth conversation with executive producer Graham Yost to a consideration of Leonard’s character in Word & Film.

The renewed attention makes this a good time to promote Leonard’s extensive backlist and many adaptations through virtual and in-house displays.

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The three Justified novels. as well as the collection featuring the original short story, have been reprinted with bursts on the covers to make the connection, “Featuring RAYLAN GIVENS, from the new FX Series, JUSTIFIED.”

Beyond the series, classic examples of Leonard’s style include Hombre, Rum Punch, Be Cool, and Killshot. The Morrow imprint of HarperCollins recently re-released those titles as well several others in new trade paperback editions.

Many of Leonard’s books have been made into movies such as 3:10 To Yuma, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, and the recent Life of Crime (based on The Switch). The first five seasons of Justified are available on DVD and the final is on its way.

Don’t forget the audio versions. Favorite narrators Frank Muller and George Guidall served as narrators for many of his titles.

A Two-Book Week for Jon Stewart

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Author Fareed Zakaria will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight, and U.S. Navy SEAL Eric Greitens on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.43.55 AMCNN host Zakaria, a frequent guest on Stewart’s show (see his post 9/11 appearance here), generally writes about  the Middle East. Last week, he engaged in a heated discussion with Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time about Maher’s views on Islam.

His newest book, In Defense of a Liberal Education (Norton; S&S Audio), addresses a different topic. A short ode to the value of a well-rounded education, it is an argument against the growing focus on vocational training over more traditional subjects.

Zakaria advocates for the importance of learning how to think critically, write well, and communicate effectively, and perhaps most of all, for acquiring the ability to continuously learn over the course of a lifetime, a message well-timed for college graduation gifs.

Eric Greitens, who appears on Thursday, is the founder, chairman and CEO of The Mission Continues. Librarians might recognize his name from his 2011 New York Times bestseller The Heart and the Fist.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.44.51 AMHis newest book, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (HMH; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), is a series of letters (which read like a cross between a pep talk and an essay) written to a fellow solider in need of aid. The central message is the importance of resilience and ways to live a more focused, wise, and strong life.


The Librarian MAD MEN Connection

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.12.27 AMReaders who geek out on Mad Men already know Billy Parrott, the Managing Librarian of the Art and Picture Collections at the New York Public Library, from his contributions to #MadMenReading, his blog, The Man Men Reading List, and Pinterest board, all dedicated to the books featured in the series.

Now Parrott is partnering with AMC to create an official reading list and is capturing the attention of the media as the final season of Mad Men airs. The Guardian features Parrott in a lengthy piece on the key books of the series – including works by Frank O’Hara and Dante – while New York magazine asks Parrott to provide a run down of the best literary scenes from the show.

Taking the opportunity to plug the library profession, he tells The Guardian,

“This is what librarians do on a daily basis. Every morning, on the subway on the way to work, I look to see what others are reading, and I think about what else I might suggest for them if they came up to me in the library and asked for a recommendation.”

Jon Stewart Owns Pigs

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

You may think of Jon Stewart as a city person, but on last night’s Daily Show, he reveals that he owns a couple of pigs, during an interview with Gene Baur, author of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, (Rodale, 4/7/15).

Stewart uttered the magic words, “It’s a terrific book … Get it!” causing it to jump to #68 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Kristen Stewart In Talks for

Monday, April 6th, 2015


Filming is set to begin on director Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s award-winning novel about a group of soldiers returning home from Iraq, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, (HarperCollins/Ecco; Dreamscape Audio, 2012).

In talks to join the cast is Twilight‘s Kristin Stewart, most recently seen in a supporting role in Still Alice starring Julianne Moore and based on the book by Lisa Genova.

The Billy Lynn cast includes newcomer Joe Alwyn in the starring role, along with Garrett Hedlund and Steve Martin.

Considered a modern-day Catch 22, Ben Fountain’s novel is not a traditional war story, but the press release that announced the film project promises that the director, know for his ground-breaking special effects, as in the 3-D Life of Pi, “… envisions creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”

Hollywood is now mad for military movies based on books, cued by the success of American Sniper. Several nonfiction titles are currently set for adaptation.

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Gearing up is a film based on 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff (Hachette/Twelve, 9/9/14). Directed by Michael Bay it will star John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Pablo Schreiber and Freddie Stroma (Pitch Perfect). Filming is about to begin on a set that is currently being built in Malta.

Recently, a heated auction for war photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War (Penguin Press, 2/5/15) ended with Steven Spielberg set to direct and Jennifer Lawrence in the lead. The rights to another women-in war book, Ashley’s War, 9781250045447_6d9ebThe Untold Story Of A Team of Women Soldiers On The Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (Harper, 4/21/15), were recently won at auction by Reese Witherspoon.

Television is also in on the act. NBC recently picked up the Weinstein Co.’s 6 hour series based on The Reaper by Nicholas Irving with Gary Brozek, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s).

For more, see our list of upcoming book adaptations, as well as our list of tie-ins.


Saturday, March 28th, 2015


The HBO/BBC adaptation of  J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, (Hachette/Little, Brown) debuts on HBO April 29th & 30th.

It has already aired in the U.K., where fans resented a change in the ending. As a result, many took to Twitter to urge others to read the book instead.

The trailer for U.S. audiences was just released. Harry Potter fans will recognize one of the actors.

Media Tie-in Edition (cover not yet released):

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
Hachette/Back Bay Books: April 28
Trade Paperback  $18.00 USD, $20.00 CAD

The BBC has also signed the detective series that Rowling wrote under the name Robert Galbraith (The Cukoo’s Calling, The Silkworm) for a series.

It’s a Three Author Week for
Jon Stewart

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart showcases three authors this week.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.45.11 AMMonday started with a bang as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs Reformation Now (Harper), was interviewed by Stewart, who clearly does not agree with her book’s thesis. Excerpted on ABC News, it opens with the assertion that “Islam is not a religion of peace” and goes on to criticize the faith with a broad brush and to suggest five reforms. Stewart pushes hard against the idea that Islam is different in its history of struggle over definition than other religions, pointing out that the Christian Reformation led to over a hundred years of violence triggered by a desire for a purer form of faith. While Hirsi Ali kept to her guns, Stewart was not convinced. The book is rising on Amazon, moving in to the top fifty bestsellers.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.44.39 AMSure to be a much lighter segment, Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (Riverhead Books; OverDrive Sample), returns to the show tonight. It will be his third appearance with Stewart and based on past interviews the two obviously appreciate each other. Ronson’s book, which will be released early next week, is timely given the current focus on the shaming culture, most centrally highlighted by Monica Lewinsky.
The comic satirist, as Stewart dubs him, has spent years meeting those who have been shamed and those doing the shaming and writes about the fallout on the victims and society as a whole. Ronson’s book was excerpted in the 2/12 NYT Magazine.

By the way, it was recently announced that Scarlett Johanson has signed to star in the film adaptation of Ronson’s earlier book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. He also wrote The Men Who Stare at Goats (S&S, 2004), which was the basis for the 2010 movie starring George Clooney.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.46.17 AMJohn Hargrove ends the week with his appearance on Thursday. He will discuss Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish (Palgrave Macmillan; BOT Audio).

Hargrove worked for Sea World and was featured in the searing documentary Blackfish. Kirkus calls his account of his years as a trainer and his current advocacy efforts to change laws regarding orcas in captivity “a shocking, aggressively written marine park exposé.” Hargrove was also a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday which sent his book racing up the Amazon charts.


Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Two separate adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor series are featured in the New York Times online today. In the Television section, it’s the BBC series which begins on PBS Masterpiece on Sunday, April 5th. The Theater Section features the Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage adaptation which opens tomorrow in the Winter Garden theater on Broadway (note to those going to BEA, it will be running then).

The six-part TV series has already aired in the U.K. where it’s been a hit. According to the New York Times, it drew “an average of 4.4 million viewers a week, making it the most popular television drama on BBC Two since ratings began in 2002.” (Downton Abbey, which aired on ITV in the UK, has had a much larger audience, from a low of 8.29 million to a high of 12.9 million).

Mark Rylance will play the lead as Thomas Cromwell. Considered “the best actor of his generation” by many, including Al  Pacino, he is less well-known to American audiences than Damien Lewis (Homeland), who costars as Henry VIII. Soon to be a household name here, Rylance costars with Sean Penn in The Gunman opening this weekend and is set to play the lead in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming childrens movie, based on the Roald Dahl story, The BFG.

Rylance is featured in an inside look at the series on BBC News Night:

Promo for the play:

Tie-ins were published this week:

9781250077585_a734f   9781250077608_83fe0

Wolf Hall: As Seen on PBS Masterpiece
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077585, 1250077583
Trade Paperback, $16.00 USD

Bring Up the Bodies: The Conclusion to PBS Masterpiece’s Wolf Hall
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077608, 1250077605
Trade Paperback, $16.00 USD

The script  of the play is also available. It includes, according to the publisher, “a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any reader looking for an even deeper understanding of Mantel’s historical creations.”

9781250064172_adad7Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies: The Stage Adaptation, 
Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton (adapted by)
Macmillan/Picador: February 24, 2015
9781250064172, 1250064171
Trade Paperback; $16.00 USD