Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

But Is It Good For Books?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

ColbertStephen Colbert, as we’ve often noted here, has been very good for books. Many authors have enjoyed the benefit of the “Colbert Bump” even as the host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report makes mock fun of them on his show.

It’s just been announced that Colbert will leave that show to take the place of retiring David Letterman on CBS Late Night, beginning some time in 2015.

Entertainment Weekly raises the question on many minds. Who is the real Colbert once he sheds his mock-conservative persona?

We just hope the real Colbert continues to be interested in books.

THE LEFTOVERS: Teaser Trailer

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The first teaser trailer for HBO’s The Leftovers, based on Tom Perotta’s novel, gives away very little:

The 10-episode series is co-created by Perotta and Damon Lindeloff, co-creator of the tv series Lost, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that the book first came to his attention via Stephen King’s review in the New York Times Book Review.

The series, starring Justin Thoreau, Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, premieres on June 15 at 10 p.m. EST, following the season finale of Game of Thrones.

The Leftovers (TV tie-in edition)
Tom Perrotta
St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan
On Sale Date: June 3, 2014
Trade paperback; 9781250054227, 1250054222

Final TRUE BLOOD in June

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

The final season of HBO’s True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, premieres Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT.

The teaser trailer, below, will be shown before tonight’s premiere of Game of Thrones season four.


All Together Dead (TV Tie-In)
Charlaine Harris
Penguin/Ace Hardcover
On Sale Date: May 27, 2014,
9780425271551, 0425271552
Mass market (rack) paperback
$7.99 USD / $9.99

Games Creatures Play  Dead But Not Forgotten

Although the Sookie Stackhouse series ended with Dead Ever After, (Penguin/Ace Hardcover, 2013), death in the Stackhouse universe is a relative thing. She continues to appear in short stories:

Games Creatures Play, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Brilliance Audio; April 1) – includes a new Sookie Stackhouse story

Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Nov. 25, 2014) –  a collection of 15 stories written by authors chosen by Harris.

Midnight Crossroad

Harris begins a new trilogy in May, set in the small town of Midnight, Texas; Midnight Crossroad, (Penguin/Ace Hardcover; Recorded Books; Thorndike; May 6). The town has strange residents, of course, including a vampire that works in a pawn shop (on the night shift).

Publishers Weekly calls it “a solid entry in Harris’s catalogue [that] will do very well with her fans.”

Libraries are showing holds.

WOLF HALL Begins Shooting

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Chalfield Manor

The village of Holt in Wiltshire is gearing up for the BBC’s arrival next week to begin filming the adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. The shoot will take place in Great Chalfield Manor, standing in for Thomas Cromwell’s home.

Mark Rylance, who will play Cromwell, is familiar with that house. It was used as the Boleyn family home in the 2008 film of Phillipa Gregory’s novel, The Other Boleyn Girl (S&S/Scribner), in which he portrayed Thomas Boleyn.

Fans who have been eagerly awaiting Mirror And The Light, the projected final volume in Mantel’s series, were disappointed when it was announced that her next book, coming at the end of September, is The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories, (Macmillan/Holt, Macmillan Audio, read by Simon Vance), which is obviously not part of the Tudor series.

She has said, however, that she plans to finish Mirror And The Light this year. That book is clearly very much on her mind. On Saturday, speaking on BBC radio about why she finds her subject Cromwell so fascinating, she addressed the inevitable final event of the story, when his “life will end abruptly on the scaffold.” Rather than an indication of failure, she hopes her “reader, when we get there, will be moved, will be sorry, but will also be  astounded by the life I’ve narrated. I aim to leave my reader harrowed, and yet braced, ready for the next thing.”

Beyond FLOWERS, An Entire Bouquet

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

petalsonthewindcover doll_thorns_1 200px-SeedsofYesterday MySweetAudrina

The Lifetime cable channel is going “V.C. Andrews crazy,” according to BuzzFeed, as a result of the ratings success of their adaptation of what BuzzFeed characterizes as “the incest classic,” Flowers in the Attic.

Flowers in the Attic

In the midst of filming the sequel, Petals on the Wind, the network, according to an unnamed source, has signed the other two books in the original Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, (but not the prequel, Garden of Shadows), as well as the standalone, My Sweet Audrina.

Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn will return in the sequel to Flowers, but, since Petals picks up the story ten years later, the Dollanganger kids have been recast with older actors.

No release date has been set for the sequel, but new editions of the books have been announced (no covers yet)

Petals on the Wind
V.C. Andrews
S&S/Gallery June 17, 2014
Trade paperback, $14.00
9781476789552, 147678955X

S&S/Pocket Books
Mass market, $7.99
9781476789569, 1476789568

GAME OF THRONES Has A “Massive Problem”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Vanity Fair Games of Thrones HBO’s Game of Thrones cast and crew get the Annie Liebovitz treatment in the April issue of Vanity Fair.

The cover story has been setting the internet afire by declaring that, with season four  beginning on April 6, the show has a “massive problem on the horizon,” in that it is catching up to the books.

This is not a new concern, however. It was anticipated, even before the HBO series began. As Time magazine’s TV critic says, the “answer generally was, Martin will hurry up with the last two books, or HBO will take a while with the series or–look, a raven!”  That appears to still be the answer.

The executive producers tell Vanity Fair that they’d like to wrap up the show after “seven or eight seasons.” To that end, they have met with Martin (who is also a producer on the show), to find out how the various plot lines will end, so they have a road map (for more details on the books, a longer version of VF‘s conversation with Martin is available online. Sorry, he doesn’t reveal what he told the executive producers).

The pressure from the show is nothing compared to what Martin, who is five volumes in to the planned seven-book series, has already endured from fans to get on with it (as the New Yorker wrote  on the eve of the 2011 publication of Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, they can be pretty unforgiving).

HBO’s Season 4 covers roughly the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third in the book series. To add a little confusion for casual observers, Book Four, A Feast for Crows, will be released as a tie-in edition.

As Time‘s critic advises, it’s best just to relax and enjoy each series for their unique pleasures.

A Feast For Crows, Tie-inA Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
George R.R. Martin
RH/Bantam, 4/1/14
Trade paperback; 9780553390575, 0553390570
$18.00 USD / $21.00 CAD
Mass market paperback; 9780553390568, 0553390562
$9.99 USD / $11.99 CAD

ORANGE Is Back June 6th

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Orange is the New Black   Orange is the New Black tie-in

People magazine presents an exclusive sneak peek, in the form of four photos from the second season of the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, which made Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2011; tie-in, 2013) a best seller. It premieres on Friday, June 6.

They do their best to try to turn into a story. It’s almost as fun as watching Glamour magazine try to glean news from the 17-second teaser trailer that was released last month.

Making Science Cool Again

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Cosmos Tie-inThe Fox/National Geographic reboot of the 1980 PBS phenomenon, Cosmos, has plenty of star power to bring to its goal of “making science cool again.” Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is behind it along with the ”Hollywood cool“ astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is also the host. The first episode on Sunday was introduced by President Obama. It even got the ultimate in cool promotions, its own Superbowl commercial.

Reviews of the first show are mixed, but cautiously optimistic for the rest of series. Unfortunately, as the L.A. Times reports, the ratings indicate that it drew “only” 6 million viewers and was “trounced by ABC’s premiere of Resurrection,” (reminder: that series is based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott, Harlequin/MIRA).

The original series made a best seller of Sagan’s  tie-in. With twelve more episodes to go, the new one could still do the same for the revised tie-in (RH/Ballantine).

It may also bring renewed attention to Tyson’s many books of his own, the most recent of which is Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (Norton, 2012).

This Week on Comedy Central

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

This week, Jon Stewart gives rare attention to a novelist (who happens to be well-known as the creator of Family Guy and director of Ted). The rest of the week, he returns to his interest in politics and the future. Colbert should have fun on Tuesday with “the rockstar of the Internet,” Jaron Lanier.

A Million Ways to Dine in the West

Monday, March 3, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Seth MacFarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West, (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; BOT; March 4).

Billed as MacFarlane’s debut novel, this actually began life as a screenplay. A movie of the same title, starring Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, as well as MacFarlane himself, premieres on May 30th.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed MacFarlane last week, saying, “In an inversion of the usual adaptation process, Mr. MacFarlane reverse-engineered A Million Ways to Die in the West from a script he co-wrote with his friends and frequent collaborators, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.” Guess they never heard of a novelization. Describing the book, the article adds, “The novel is likely to be polarizing—with some finding it bitingly funny and fresh and others dismissing it as juvenile—much like his animated shows and his blockbuster 2012 comedy Ted.”

The trailer for the movie, below (warning, NOT for the squeamish and also NSFW):

The rest of the week:

Falling in Love with America  Who Owns the Future  The Next America

Tuesday, March 4

Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Jim DeMint, former South Carolina senator, a leading tea partner, and now CEO of conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation. His new book is Falling in Love with America Again, (Hachette/Center Street, March, 2014).

The Colbert Report

Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future?, (trade pbk reprint, March 4, S&S) — Originally published last year, The New York Times called this “brilliant” and “daringly original.”

Thursday, March 6

Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, (Perseus/PublicAffairs, Feb. 11) — The Washington Post calls this a  ”masterful synthesis of polls.”


Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Veronica MarsThe cult favorite, Veronica Mars TV series, starring Kristen Bell as a teenage sleuth, was canceled after its third season in 2007. Since then, creator Rob Thomas has not allowed the property to die. Through a Kickstarter campaign, (the most successful one to date), he raised the funds for a movie version. He also signed with RH/Vintage for two books based on the character (he has written several novels, including the 1996 YA title Rats Saw God).

The movie debuts on March 14 (see trailer below) and the first book, Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, which features the 28-year-old Mars after the events of the movie, arrives on March 25. It is currently at #29 and rising on Amazon sales rankings.

To catch up on the story, link here.

Also on the horizon is a collection of essays in the Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, coming in May, Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die), edited by George A. Dunn.

Back in the Groove: THE DAILY SHOW

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Since Jon Stewart returned from his time away from The Daily Show to direct a movie, he’s shown greater interest in Hollywood, featuring more actors and director and fewer authors.

But this week, he is back in the groove, with three of his four weekly shows featuring authors.

9780385535328_a7512  The Future of the Mind   Young Money

Monday: The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran, Hooman Majd, (RH/Doubleday, 11/8/13)

Stewart is a bit late to the party on this book, which was featured on NPR after it was published last fall.  He has a natural affinity for the subject; his forthcoming movie, Rosewater, (no release date yet), is based on another book about a family in Iran, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari, (Random House, 2011).

Tuesday: The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind, Michio Kaku, (RH/Doubleday, 2/25/14)

The media’s favorite physicists  explores the cutting edge of brain research.

Thursday — Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, Kevin Roose, (Hachette/Grand Central)

The author also appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition last week (see our earlier story ).


Monday, February 24th, 2014

The LeftoversFilm crews return to Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. this week for the HBO adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2011).

Starring Liv Tyler, Amy Brenneman and Justin Thoreau, the show’s creator is Lost‘s Damon Lindelof, who spoke to Entertainment Weekly last month about how he discovered the book,

I was reading The New York Times Book Review – which is the way that I pretend to read books; I read the reviews of the books and then I can articulately pretend like I’ve read them — and Stephen King wrote a review of The Leftovers, which he described as the best episode of The Twilight Zone that had never been shot …  I ran and got the book immediately and I got maybe 50 pages in before I decided: This should be a television show…

A tie-in edition is scheduled for release in May.

ORANGE/Black, Season 2

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Orange is the New Black tie-inJust announced, the second season of the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, which made Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2011; tie-in, 2013) a best seller, premieres on June 2.

Actress Taylor Schilling stars as Piper, who was incarcerated for 13 months in the Danbury Federal Prison in Connecticut

Below is the 17-sec. teaser trailer. If it leaves you wanting more, Glamour‘s Web site offers “4 Things You Need to Know About Season Two

TRUE DETECTIVE’s Literary Allusion

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

An MTV headline asks — True Detective: Who The Hell Is The Yellow King?

King in YellowThe answer? It’s a reference is to an 1895 collection of interconnected horror stories, The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, which just jumped to #5 on Amazon’s sales rankings. It is also available, as the MTV story points out, as a free download from Project Gutenberg.

HBO’s True Detective has several literary connections. It was created by Nic Pizzolatto, who has published a collection of short stories, Between Here and the Yellow Sea, (McAdam/Cage, 2006), named by Poets and Writers magazine as one of the top five fiction debuts for 2006, and a novel, Galveston (S&S/Scribner; admiringly reviewed by Dennis Lehane in the NYT BR).

The series is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who, incongruously, was the director of the most recent film adaptation of Jane Eyre. His next project, according to a recent interview with Forbes, is also based on a book, Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala, (HarperCollins, 2005), with Idris Elba in the lead.

R.L. Stine — Movies, TV and Fear Street

Monday, February 17th, 2014

+-+29495110_140   eye_candy_key_art_mtv_a_p

Several new projects have the name R.L. Stine attached. MTV has picked up a 10-episode series based on his title for adults, Eye Candy (RH/Ballantine, 2004; cover, above; initial series logo to right, featuring a shot of Brooklyn’s trendy DUMBO neighborhood).

The pilot was directed by Catherine Hardwicke (the first Twilight movie), who is exec. producer of the series. It stars Victoria Justice as a hacker being pursued by a cyber stalker (The Hollywood Reporter, 2/11/14). No news yet on when it will premiere.

A new film adaptation of his Goosebumps series (Scholastic) is gearing up for production, as evidenced by several new casting announcements. The latest addition is Dylan Minnette, to co-star with Jack Black, who was announced back in September. Minette will play Zach Cooper, who moves with his family to a new town where their neighbor is, in a twist, R.L. Stine himself (played by Black). Odeya Rush is set to play Stine’s niece Hannah.

Party Games by R.L. Stine -- exclusive imageMeanwhile, Scholastic recently relaunched the Goosebumps series, with Goosebumps Most Wanted (Scholastic)  which Stine describes as “a new book series featuring all of my most-wanted villains and most-wanted stories.”

His Fear Street series is also set for relaunch (the result of a Twitter campaign), beginning with Party Games in October from Macmillan/St. Martin’s.

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly previews the cover of Party Games (at right)