Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Saunders To Silver Screen

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Lincoln in the BardoMegan Mullally (Will & Grace, Infinity Baby) and husband Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, The Founder), have bought the film rights George Saunders’s NYT bestseller, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Overdrive Sample).

The couple will produce alongside the author. Both worked on the audiobook version with him.

I am thrilled to be in artistic cahoots with Megan and Nick, two artists I’ve long admired,” Saunders told Deadline Hollywood, “This is going to be big fun. My hope is that we can find a way to make the experience of getting this movie made as wild and enjoyable and unpredictable as the experience of writing it — I am so happy to have such fearless companions on the trip.”

The A.V. Club points to the challenges facing the adaptation, “The book has more than 150 narrators … then there’s the matter of the archival texts intercutting the musings of Willie and his new neighbors. And that’s all before you get into those neighbors’ appearances.” However, the producers have already dealt with those issues for the audiobook version.

RITA Award Finalists

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The Romance Writers of America announced on Tuesday the finalists for the RITA Awards for romance fiction.

9780062100344_217efThere are 13 categories include over 80 nominees (a good opportunity for displays, see The Romance Dish for useful descriptions of all 13 classifications).

Among the finalists are popular authors such as Sabrina York, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, J R Ward and Loretta Chase, whose Dukes Prefer Blondes (HC/Avon; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), part of her Dressmakers series, appears in the Historical Romance: Long category.

Attesting to the growing reach of self-published novels, 11 of the nominees come from the authors’ own imprints, including AAB Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane (Create Space; OverDrive Sample), in the Contemporary Romance: Long category.

RWA’s the Golden Heart award nominees for unpublished manuscripts were also released.

All the winners will be announced on July 27.

Mystery Great Colin Dexter Dies

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

9780804114905_1e4b39780804119542Colin Dexter has died, age 86. He created the character Chief Inspector Morse, the beloved, curmudgeonly detective based in Oxford who likes opera, poetry, and has a fiendishly clever mind.

The first book in the series is Last Bus to Woodstock was published in 1975. The final book, #13, The Remorseful Day, was published 24 years later in 1999. The books were adapted into the Inspector Morse TV series that ran on PBS from 1987 until 2000. The show spun-off two sequels, one about Morse’s partner, Inspector Lewis, and one about a younger Morse, Endeavour.

“He was one of the greatest crime novelists of the 20th century and deserves to be ranked alongside Chandler, Christie and Doyle,” Andrew Gulli, the editor of the mystery magazine The Strand, told the NYT.

The paper also reports that he won two Golden Dagger awards from the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain and, in 1997, he received the organization’s lifetime achievement award, the Diamond Dagger.

Dexter killed off Morse in his last book, using for the title a line from an A. E. Housman poem, “How Clear, How Lovely Bright,” as a way of saying goodbye:

How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

BERNADETTE Begins Filming This Summer

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780316204262Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Where’d You Go, Bernadette starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will start filming July 2017, reports Austin360.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple (Hachette, 2012). Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars) wrote the screenplay.

Fans of the book will have to wait to find out who will play Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter, Bee Branch, the story’s narrator.

Semple won an Alex Award for the book in 2013. It spent a few weeks on the NYT Hardcover Bestseller list, and many more in trade paperback, hitting a high of #2.

As we noted earlier, Semple has another title headed to a screen. Julia Roberts will star in HBO’s adaptation of her newest novel, Today Will Be Different (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

No stranger to TV herself, Semple, who worked on Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development, will write the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

EXIT WEST Hits NYT Bestseller List

Friday, March 17th, 2017

9780735212176_8834cAfter weeks of critical attention, Mohsin Hamid’s newest novel, Exit West (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the NYT Bestseller list at #5.

Coverage is continuing. PBS Newshour and The Wall Street Journal released video interviews. The Seattle Times reviews it, saying the “penetrating, prescient new novel feels like bearing witness to events that are unfolding before us in real time.” The Guardian writes:

Exit West shifts between forms, wriggles free of the straitjackets of social realism and eyewitness reportage, and evokes contemporary refugeedom as a narrative hybrid: at once a fable about deterritorialisation, a newsreel about civil society … and a speculative fiction that fashions new maps of hell.”

Holds are strong across libraries we checked, with the majority showing holds at 5:1 or higher.


Thursday, March 16th, 2017

9780062572233_d8645Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods premieres on Sunday, April 30, 2017. A just-released new trailer is making news, and is now #1 YouTube.

Entertainment Weekly says it is “full of gorgeous fantasy imagery and gothic drama.” The Verge notes it is the “most extensive and violent look yet [and it] gives a better idea of the stakes: the older gods face an existential crisis, and Shadow will help with the fight.” RollingStone gives more specific warnings, “The teaser also showcases some disturbing … visuals: bloody beaches, rain pouring on corpses, eerie caves and a zombie-like woman walking down a picturesque suburban street while clutching her chopped-off arm.”

Tie-ins hit shelves in late March: American Gods, Neil Gaiman (HC/William Morrow; also in mass market;HC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

No Mara, No Craig, No Larsson

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Many names will be missing from the second English-language adaptation of the Millennium series, following 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sony has announced that the movie will be released on October 5, 2018, but that neither of the two leads, Rooney Mara or Daniel Craig will return.

Also missing from the credits is the originator of the series of novels, Stieg Larsson. This second movie will be based on the fourth book in the series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz after Larsson’s death.

1487331620_MILLENNIUM-CROPPEDThe date of the movie release was announced at a launch party for the fifth book in the Millennium series, also by Lagercrantz, titled in Swedish The Man who Chased His Shadow (Mannen som sökte sin skugga;cover at left), but listed in the US as Untitled Millennium Book 5 (PRH/Knopf, 9/12/17). The Swedish publication The Local describes the plot,”[Lisbeth Salander]  will begin the novel serving a short sentence at a women’s prison, where she is attempting to avoid conflicts between prisoners, and the tale will develop into a story of ‘state abuse, honour problems and shadows from a childhood that still haunts Salander’.”

There’s been no explanation about why the movie will skip ahead to the fourth book in the series, but  Sony, whose options on the rights to the Larsson books ran out in 2015, may have decided to avoid dealing with Larsson’s famously contentious estate.


Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Today, J.K. Rowling fans are pondering the meaning of the title of her next book, which she revealed yesterday in an online contest.

The next in the Cormoran Strike series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, it’s titled Lethal White. So far the leading guess is that the title refers to a rare genetic disorder among horses.

At this point, there’s no ISBN and it’s not listed on wholesaler or retailer sites. Rowling did not give a publication date, but said that she is at work on chapter 23. Based on that, there is a slim possibility that it will be released this fall, which would be good timing since the first in the TV series adaptation of the books is expected to air on HBO later this year.

9781338132311_cc2efShe has plenty of other projects to occupy her time, including the screenplays for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies, with the second scheduled for November, 2018. There may also be another non-HP book in the works under her own name, as she teased back in December.

Yesterday’s release of an updated version of the faux Hogwarts text book, Fantastic Beasts, also set the internet ablaze because it contains some new details about the HP universe.

Lost and Found

Monday, March 13th, 2017

9780143107316_af1eaA novel by the influential Harlem Renaissance author Claude McKay, Amiable with Big Teeth (PRH/Penguin; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) was all but lost in the Columbia University archives. It remained unpublished for 70 years until it was discovered by a doctoral student while doing research, causing a flurry of news reports.

Published last month, it now sports an eye-catching cover and has received a series of pre-pub reviews that drove libraries to buy copies.

Consumer coverage is now catching up.

Time says the novel “lives up to McKay’s reputation. The book satirizes life in Harlem during the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia … Socialites, intellectuals and hucksters debate the conflict abroad from the parlors and churches of Harlem … McKay mocks both sides, but he knows the stakes: ‘If a native state can maintain its existence in Africa and hold its head up among the white nations,’ one character says, ‘it adds to the self-respect of the colored Americans.'”

Paste reports on the find and the authentication process. The Atlantic provides an in-depth feature.

Claude McKay was already known to the literary world. His 1922 collection of poetry, Harlem Shadows, was a landmark work “that helped usher in the Harlem Renaissance” writes The Atlantic.

At the time the novel was discovered, the NYT provided a account of McKay’s writing and influence on a “generation of black writers, including Langston Hughes. His work includes the 1919 protest poem If We Must Die, (quoted by Winston Churchill) … He also wrote the 1928 best-selling novel Home to Harlem.”

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard University scholar and one of experts who examined the novel, told the paper, “This is a major discovery … written in the second half of the Harlem Renaissance, it shows that the renaissance continued to be vibrant and creative and turned its focus to international issues.”

White, Black and Blue

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

9780451493699_50a6dOn NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, author Hari Kunzru is interviewed about his new book, White Tears (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio), a story about two white hipsters from Brooklyn who become deeply involved in collecting old Blues music. NPR calls it “a mystery, a coming of age story, a history.”

The interview explores the complex historical relationship between the black creators of the Blues and the “elite white men” who collected the music, making it popular with other elite whites and, in the process, turning it into an “image that suited them.” One of the most famous collectors made recordings from Southern penitentiaries without seeming to be touched by the conditions suffered there.

Reviews are very strong. The Washington Post calls the novel “captivating” and writes “Kunzru’s graceful writing is exquisitely attuned to his material … White Tears is a profoundly darker and more complex story of a haunting that elucidates the iniquitous history of white appropriation of black culture.”

The Huffington Post calls it “The Horror Story La La Land Should Have Become.”

It is also a March Indie Next pick.

Hollywood Intersects with LibraryReads

Friday, March 10th, 2017

9780399184512_3767cAdd Kerry Washington to the list of Hollywood women seeing the possibilities in book adaptations. Variety reports she will produce the planned Warner Bros. feature based on Brit Bennett’s debut novel, The Mothers (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Bennett is on board to write the screenplay and will serve as an executive producer.

The Mothers was a LibraryReads selection for October 2016. Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO wrote the annotation:

“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothers asks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.”

Bennett made waves last year and was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 authors for 2016. Her novel was a NYT bestseller for two weeks, starting in late October 2016 where it debuted at #18. It did better and stayed longer on the LA Times list, where it rose to #7 and lasted six non-consecutive weeks.

Bestseller performance aside, it was a literary hit, getting critical attention, glowing reviews, and several best book nods. It was also a Librarian Favorite of 2016, making the top 7 picks.

Kerry, known for her portrayal of the take-no-prisoners Olivia Pope in the hit TV show Scandal, is on the path to becoming “a Producing Powerhouse” wrote Vanity Fair last year, pointing out that she was the executive producer for HBO’s Confirmation. She also starred in the series, earring nominations for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.

The studio optioned the book just recently, so it will be a while before plans firm up, but naming the high-profile Washington to the project is a major step.

Alex Delaware Heads to TV

Friday, March 10th, 2017

9780345541437_00dfbJonathan Kellerman’s best-selling Alex Delaware series is in development for a TV series. IDW Entertainment (Dirk Gently, Wynonna Earp) is creating the show. It’s early in the game, so no stars have been named and it hasn’t been picked up by any of the networks.

The newest Delaware novel, Heartbreak Hotel (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), released last month, is the 32nd in the long running series, which began in 1985 with When the Bough Breaks. That novel won Kellerman both the Anthony and the Edgar Award for best first novel. It was made into a TV movie in 1986 starring Ted Danson and Richard Masur.

IDWs’ press release states “every book in the series made the Top 10 on the New York Times best-seller list, most premiering in the Top 5.” Heartbreak Hotel, currently at #6 on the Hardcover Fiction list, debuted at #4 during its first week on sale.

Known for his rich characterizations, Kellerman says “What sets the Delaware series apart is the meld of page-turning compelling crime stories with authentic psychological insights …The books illuminate the ‘whydunit’ without sacrificing the whodunit.”

This is not the first attempt to create a Delaware TV series. In 2013, Fox had plans for the books as well, but that project seems to have faded away.

IT Closer To Screen

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9781501156687_c02cdStephen King’s horror classic IT is getting closer to its release date, one of them, that is.

The 1986 story that made a generation terrified of clowns is being made into a 2-part movie.

Part one follows a group of teenagers, members of the Losers’ Club, who live in a small town in Maine and fight against an ancient and shape-shifting evil that terrorizes the town every 27 years. Part one of the film version follows those kids. It releases on September 8, 2017.

King, never shy about sharing his views on adaptations of his movies (he famously hates Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining), let it be known that he was happy with what he has seen so far. His message board now has a post reading that “he saw a screening of IT today and wanted to let everybody know that they should stop worrying about it as the producers have done a wonderful job with the production.

Part two will follow those same terrorized teens as adults, as they once again stand guard against the recurring evil of It. Filming is about to begin, a surprise to the film fan site BloodyDisgusting  , which thought the studio would wait to see how well part one does, “We figured cameras wouldn’t start rolling unless/until box office numbers came in, but it seems we were quite wrong about that … filming will begin March 17, 2017 on the second film, under the secret title Accordion.”

Andrés Muschietti (Mama) is directing and Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård plays the evil clown Pennywise. One of the producers is Seth Grahame-Smith, known for launching the mashup craze with his books Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

The producers were clearly holding their breath for King’s reaction. Muschietti posted on Instagram, “Not a humblebrag. A brag! Mr King, you had us at ‘stop worrying’.

Entertainment Weekly posted a creepy picture of Pennywise, calling the character a “bloodthirsty jokester — just one incarnation of a shape-shifting evil that feeds on fear, misery, and the occasional child.”

A mass market tie-in edition, It (MTI): A Novel, Stephen King (Pocket/S&S), comes out on July 25, 2017. Cover art has yet to be released.

Louisa Clark Returns

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9780143130154_50bd2Jojo Moyes is writing a third novel starring her beloved character Louisa Clark, reports USA Today. Lou first charmed readers in the international bestseller Me Before You as she cared for and eventually fell in love with the paralyzed and bitter Will Traynor. That book became the successful film with the same title, earning over $200 million worldwide.

In the sequel After You, Lou tries to move on after Will’s death, finds new love, and a job in New York City. In the yet-to-be-titled third novel, according to USA Today, “Lou must decide if her personal Brexit should be permanent.” It will be published sometime in spring 2018.

In a statement, Moyes said:

“I always knew that once I committed to write the sequel to Me Before You, I would also write a third book; I saw it quite clearly as a trilogy. Revisiting Lou has been a joy, as I push her into a completely new country, a brand new world, and a house full of secrets. With her usual blend of humor and emotion she has to ask herself some pretty fundamental questions — not least, which side of the Atlantic does she really belong?”

9780143130628_63a15Meanwhile Moyes is publishing a new paperback original on April 11, The Horse Dancer (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT).

According to the publisher, it is “A quintessential Jojo Moyes novel about a lost girl and her horse, the enduring strength of friendship, and how even the smallest choices can change everything.”

Order Alert: Le Carré Brings
His Spy In From The Cold

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

9780735225114John le Carré’s most famous literary creation, George Smiley, has not had a literary outing in 25 years. That is about to change.

The Cold War spymaster is coming back in A Legacy of Spies (PHR/Viking; Sept. 5; ISBN 9780735225114; cover art not final). On his website le Carré writes, “George Smiley is back… The past has come to claim its due.”

Le Carré’s agent, Jonny Geller, told The Guardian that the new book will “close George Smiley’s story.” That story began with Call for the Dead in 1961, played out in multiple novels including the iconic The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, and was thought to have ended in 1990 with The Secret Pilgrim.

The new book will also feature another familiar character, Peter Guillam, who, reports The Guardian, has “retired from the world of spooks to a farm in southern Brittany … Summoned back to London, Guillam and his colleagues are subject to scrutiny for past misdemeanours, committed at a time when there were fewer scruples about the methods used to win the ideological war raging between the west and the Soviets.”

The Guardian adds, “It is believed that the author was inspired to revisit his old characters because of the current political situation.” Geller tells the paper that idea was “far too simplistic” although he admits, “As a readers you can see parallels between what we thought was over and what is happening now.”

As we have posted and the LA Times points out, le Carré’s “books are currently hot material for film and television adaptations.”

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was adapted in 2011 and starred Gary Oldman as Smiley and Benedict Cumberbatch as Guillam. Last year, AMC and BBC aired the miniseries The Night Manager based on the 1993 novel. The networks are partnering again on an adaptation of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, which was earlier made into a famous film, starring Richard Burton as Smiley. 2016 also saw the release of Our Kind of Traitor starring Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, and Stellan Skarsgård.

The renewed attention a brand-new audience to both the books and the author and to his memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which was covered widely last year.