Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10
Catches a New Wave

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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Fall books have replaced most of the summer titles on best seller lists, but one is still going strong. Months after its publication on July 19, Ruth Ware’s second novel,  The Woman in Cabin 10 (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), continues at #17 on USA Today’s list released today, and is therefore declared “a sleeper hit.”

According to the book’s publicist, quoted by USA Today, the success is due in part to word of mouth and the April release in paperback of Ware’s debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood, which “set the table for Cabin.”

Although it was listed on multiple summer reading lists, it received few reviews in the consumer press, other than a glowing mention in a thriller roundup from the Washington Post comparing it aptly to Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

Librarians were early advocates. Both her novels have been Library Reads picks as well as Galleychat favorites.

Library holds queues are long are growing.

More is coming from Ware. She signed a deal with her British publisher for two more books, to be released in the summers of 2017 and 2018 and Reese Witherspoon acquired the film rights to her first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood.

“Word Nerds” Celebrated

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

2016_31_1024x1024Generally, Hollywood thinks of “writers” as  those people who turn out screenplays. Recently, Hollywood has had to give respect to another kind of writer, those who create books, which can then be turned into money-making movies or TV shows.

In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter created their first list of the “25 Most Powerful Authors,” an idea that didn’t have
much currency at the time. When #8 on the list, James Patterson was contacted, he thought the notion was crazy. “Power list? More like powerless list.”

He moves up to #3 in this year’s group of what the THR calls the most powerful “word nerds” saying, in seemingly non-ironic movie biz lingo, that they are doing better than ever because they are “among the creator groups benefiting from the proliferation of new platforms and outlets in entertainment.”

Featured on the cover are Paula Hawkins (above, left) author of The Girl On The Train and Emily Blunt, the star of the film adaptation widely expected to be a blockbuster when it opens on Oct. 7th.

Hawkins tells THR that she doesn’t agree with all the comparisons to another best selling book with “Girl” in the title that was also adapted into a blockbuster film, seeing her book as not about unlikable women and the dark side of suburbia, but rather, “how technology has turned us all into voyeurs.”

Also included in the issue is a story about a classic author receiving renewed attention from Hollywood, Agatha Christie, as well as profiles of “6 Up-and-Comers to Watch” including Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe, Sept. 6). A film adaptation is currently scheduled for release in January.

MINECRAFT: The Novels

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

minecraft-ac74aaafd41db8e5949a5e1d341c4e2a00764be9045439491e14b34dc103d611The internationally popular electronic game Minecraft is set to be spun off as novel, with the first, Minecraft: The Island, by a high-profile author, Max Brooks (World War Z).

Thee’s no pub date or ISBN yet but the game developer Mojang released details of the plot: “Think cuboid Robinson Crusoe, but madder: a hero stranded in an unfamiliar land, with unfamiliar rules, learning to survive against tremendous odds.”

Brooks’s title will lead a series of Minecraft novels reportedly in the works. Keith Clayton, VP, Associate Publisher at Del Rey said in a release “we’re so fortunate to have someone of Max’s incredible talent and passion on board for the launch of the series.”

Brooks chimed in with “I’m very excited to be part of this new venture … Finally I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”

For those not familiar with Minecraftthink electronic LEGOs, says Tech Insider, which offers an illustrated overview of this game that has a massive global reach. It is “the second-bestselling game of all time,” reports Time magazine, and “has been selling at an average pace of 53,000 copies a day since the start of this year.”

The game is well on its way to being a multimedia franchise. It already has fan fiction ebooks and in June came news a movie is in the works.

DARKTOWN Gains Attention

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

9781501133862_bc1ceNPR’s Morning Edition this week featured Thomas Mullen’s newest novel, about Atlanta’s first black officers.

Inspired by a 1947 Newsweek article estimating “that one-quarter of Atlanta policemen were, in fact, members of the Ku Klux Klan,” NPR calls Darktown (S&S/Atria/37 INK; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) “a blend of history, mystery and violence.”

The new officers faced tough restrains. They operated out of a YMCA for fear they would cause a riot at police headquarters, “they could only patrol the back neighborhoods; they weren’t supposed to set foot in the white parts of town,” Mullen says. “They couldn’t drive squad cars; they had to walk their beat with a partner” and were not allowed to arrest white people.

NPR notes “some of the tensions described in Darktown — like the ability of white police to injure or kill black citizens with impunity without being charged or punished — sound disturbingly familiar.”

Mullen plans this as the first in a series with each book focusing on new officers who replace those that retire “as the story of Atlanta’s racial coming-of-age moves into contemporary times.” The second book is expected in fall 2017.

In a publishing twist, NPR reports that Mullen’s agent “circulated his manuscript without his name or photo attached.” Mullen, who is white, has lived in Atlanta for 15 years. The influential Dawn Davis of Simon & Schuster bought the book for her imprint. She told NPR she found the blind submission forced her “to read it just as a piece of literature … I couldn’t look up what kind of reviews the author got, I couldn’t look up anything about the author. What his previous books were, even — or if it were even a man. I had to just kind of read it, and explore it for what it was.”

It  is already heading to the small screen. In what Deadline Hollywood terms “a very competitive situation,” Sony won the rights to the novel for a TV project headed by the high-powered producer Amy Pascal and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx.

The Washington Post review suggests it could transfer well to TV, calling it “gripping,” “unflinching,” “complicated crime fiction that melds an intense plot with fully realized characters.”

The New York Times adds “One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city’s rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you.”

Librarians and booksellers agree; it is a September LibraryReads and Indie Next selection.

TV Spin-off for DARK TOWER

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

9781501161803_ec6949781501161834_b8d51A film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is set to premiere on February 17, 2017 starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

Plans for the adaptation of the enormous series, which includes novels, short stories and comics, have been in the works for at least a decade. Originally, it was conceived as a trilogy of movies, with a TV series between each film.

Finding financial backing for such a large project proved difficult. Finally, the film adaptation was announced, but whether there would be sequels or a TV component hinged on the first film’s success.

But now, reports Entertainment Weekly, plans have firmed up for the TV series. Intended to fill in the backstory, the series is expected to air in 2018, around the time the film hits streaming and cable channels.

Idris Elba, who plays the gunslinger Roland Deschain in the movie, is on board to reprise the role on the small screen, along with Tom Taylor, Jake Chambers, but there is no word yet if Matthew McConaughey will also make the transition.

EW reports the 10- to 13-episode show will cover “Roland’s origin story [set] years before the events depicted in the film” and that,  while some material for the TV series will be taken from The Gunslinger, “the bulk of the show will focus on the fourth book in the saga, Wizard and Glass” which is “primarily a prequel” to the series.

The LA Times reports that at least three additional key figures from the film, including the director and two of the writers, are involved with the TV series. It has not been announced which network will carry it, but EW predicts that, given the content, it will land with a cable or streaming service.

The entire series is being re-released in mass market paperback starting in October in anticipation of the film’s release (see our list of tie-ins to upcoming movies).

Patterson Calls Off THE MURDER OF STEPHEN KING

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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Stephen King can rest a bit more easily. James Patterson has called off the publication of a title in his new BookShots series, originally scheduled for November, The Murder of Stephen King.

Having announced the book just two weeks ago, its cancellation, reports The Guardian, was a result of Patterson “belatedly deciding that he did not want to cause King and his family ‘any discomfort.'”

It will be replaced with Taking the Titanic, co-authored with Derek Nikitas. A book with the same title, but co-authored by Scott Slaven, is listed on retailer and wholesaler sites for April. The Hachette site, however, has it listed for November, but still with Slaven as the co-author.

Several other new titles in the series have been announced, including a hardcover collection of four BookShot titles, Kill or Be Killed, set for publication in October, and three mass market “ominous” editions. See our downloadable spreadsheet, BookShots Oct, 2016 thru May,2017

Best Sellers: Patchett Hits New Highs

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

9780062491794_46ce0Ann Patchett lands at #4 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, making Commonwealth (Harper; HarperAudio) her highest ever debut.

According to the paper, Bel Canto reached #8 in 2003 but debuted at #70 and State of Wonder hit, and peaked, at #12.

Commonwealth is #1 on the PW Fiction list, making it likely to land on the NYT‘s list at #1 as well when the Oct 2 list comes out later this afternoon.

Library patrons are echoing the sales figures. Holds are strong on all formats at libraries we checked.

It looks like Jonathan Burnham, publisher of HarperCollins’s Harper imprint, was correct when he told The Wall Street Journal “It’s probably the most commercial novel Ann has written yet.”

As we noted earlier, it is a darling of critics. It made most, if not all the fall reading previews. It is also the Indie Next #1 pick for September; Entertainment Weekly gave it a solid A review; The Guardian says it is “outstanding;” and Jennifer Senior reviewed it early for the daily NYT, calling it “exquisite.

HIS BLOODY PROJECT:
The Interview

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

9781510719217_2caa3The author of the most under-the-radar title on the Man Booker Prize shortlist  His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae (Skyhorse; OverDrive Sample), Graeme Macrae Burnet is interviewed by The Wall Street Journal today [subscription may be required].

The brief exchange focuses on the author’s writing process.

In a response to a question about the novel’s structure, including the use of fictional primary documents, Burnet talks about the personal differences in recollection and says he “wanted to present the reader with different viewpoints of the same incident, so they can … make up their own mind about what happened.”

He says he gathered some of his insider details from working his way through primary source “documents [that] still have wax seals on them. These are original, handwritten documents of post-mortem reports on victims or psychiatric evaluations of prisoners about to stand trial.”

As to the eloquence of his murderer he says “it goes against one’s expectations of how somebody who has committed a violent act will behave.”

Very interested in the interior workings of a character, Burnet concludes the interview by saying his favorite crime writer is Georges Simenon, author of the Inspector Jules Maigret series because he “is a brilliant writer on the psychology of his characters, and he’s brilliant at setting a scene in very simple language. You’re completely transported to whatever place he’s writing about.”

Burnet talks more about his research in a video created by his Scottish publisher:

The Flavor of Grief: UMAMI

Monday, September 19th, 2016

9781780748917_edecdNPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday features an under-the-radar debut novel by a Mexican author, published in English by an indie British press, Umami by Laia Jufresa, translated by Sophie Hughes (Perseus/Oneworld Publications, dist. in the U.S. by Perseus/PGW; OverDrive Sample).

Host Scott Simon lyrically introduces the book as set in a Mexico City neighborhood where “The residents … each have their own stories told in different times, different stories that, in time, reveal common threads of love, loss, regret, recovery, mystery, loneliness and an undefinable richness.”

All the characters are struggling with some level of loss and Jufresa says she wanted to write a book about “grief during a [specific] period of time because I also wanted to write about the end of grief … this kind of grief where you’re already coming out.”

About the process of translation Jufresa says that “It’s such a treat to have someone translating your work because no one ever will read your work as closely as a translator does … you have the fantasy that you will have readers like this, I think, that pick up all the details.”

Jufreza was named as one of the most outstanding young writers in Mexico as part of the 2015 project México20. Her novel was listed as one of the titles on The MillionsMost Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview” and The Rumpus called it “Dynamic and delicate.”

 

Late Night Literati

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

9780385542364_b2a61Last night, Seth Meyers turned his attention from celebrities to an author he’s been a “fan of for a long time,” Colson Whitehead and his book The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT).

Although he features authors on his show relatively rarely, Meyers is known for reading widely and for personally selecting the books he features.

The book is currently at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction best seller list, after 5 weeks.

First segment:

Click here for the second segment.

THE NIX To TV

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The NixThe glittering era of cinematic TV adaptations continues with the news that movie star maven Meryl Streep and Star Wars director J.J. Abrams are teaming up to produce a small screen limited series of The Nix by Nathan Hill (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Deadline Hollywood reports the deal is with Warner Bros Television which will be able to auction the finished project to the highest bidder.

New York Magazine has already called the debut novel “One of This Fall’s Buzziest.

As we noted, it racked up accolades when it hit the shelves with People magazine making it a pick for the week, calling it  “as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen.”

Entertainment Weekly was also impressed, giving it an A- and calling it “a big fat cinder block of a book brainy enough to wipe away the last SPF-smeared vestiges of a lazy summer but so immediately engaging, too, that it makes the transition feel like a reward.”

Early days yet and no word on who will star opposite Streep in the role of her on-screen son, Samuel Andresen-Anderson.

LIVE BY NIGHT Trailer

Friday, September 9th, 2016

MV5BMjMwNTI2NzY2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDc2Njc5OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_  9780062197757_16315

Dennis Lehane’s novel, Live By Night (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012) hits the big screen on Jan 13, 2017, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.

In addition to Affleck, it stars Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper and Elle Fanning.

Tie-ins in trade paperback and mass market will be published on Dec. 27th. For more tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection.

The moody first trailer has just been released:

 

Taking Odds

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

9780307593313_66750 9780679743460_9b3f7Betting is underway on who will win the Nobel Prize in Literature with Japan’s Haruki Murakami topping the list.

He may be the Susan Lucci of authors, having led the betting for the last three years, only to see Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian journalist and oral historian take the prize last year, French novelist Patrick Modiano win in 2014 and Canadian Alice Munro in 2013.

He is not alone. Americans Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates and Irish writer John Banville annually get bandied about as the bookies make odds and this year is no different. Roth is the third favorite to win with Oates right behind him. Banville’s odds have, oddly enough, fallen out of the top 10. Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, another frequent pick for several years, is still in the top five.

There is a new name in the top three, Adunis, the pen name for a Syrian poet and essayist, has risen through the ranks and is now holding the #2 spot on the oddsmakers list.

Predictably unpredictable, the Nobel Prize in Literature has baffled odds makers for years and is just as likely to go to a  dark horse this year.

The exact announcement date has yet to be set but is most often awarded in early to mid October.

io9 Fall Reading Picks

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

SFF fans have much to look forward as the new publishing season gets underway. io9 surveys the field with “All the New Scifi and Fantasy Books You Absolutely Must Read This Fall.”

9781597808774_abdc8The list gets of to a fast start with the Sept. 6 release of MJ-12: Inception, Michael J Martinez (Skyhorse/Night Shade Books).

The author tells io9 that the first in an expected trilogy is “a paranormal Cold War spy-fi thriller. Think Bond meets X-Men during the height of the Cold War.”

9780765377104_ccd7bDeath’s End, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Macmillan/Tor Books) also arriving in September, marks the final volume in the award-winning trilogy. The first book, The Three-Body Problem won the Hugo and was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus awards. The second novel is The Dark Forest.

9781481424301_06864Liu’s own next book, The Wall of Storms (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio) pubs in early October and is the sequel to the highly regarded Grace of Kings.

9780345540676_7bd4cCrosstalk, Connie Willis (PRH/Del Rey) hits shelves in October. io9 writes “A pair of lovebirds who both work in tech decide to undergo a simple medical procedure to increase empathy between them.” Fans of Willis know what follows will be far more complicated than that.

A number of other works, including spin-offs of favorite story lines from the classics Dune and Star Wars, complete the list, which a;sp includes nonfiction and anthologies.

See our catalog for a running list of the Fall picks as they are announced.

THE MINIATURIST To Screen

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

9780062306814_f3fe5BBC One is adapting a 2014 LibraryRead’s pick, Jessie Burton’s debut novel, The Miniaturist (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), reports Deadline Hollywood.

The planned three-part mini-series is in the works for 2017. No specific start date or stars have yet been confirmed.

Burton’s book did very well in the UK. Radio Times reports it was “one of the fastest selling debut novels in a decade, shifting more than a million copies in 37 countries.” It won Waterstone’s Book of the Year (one of the UK’s biggest bookstore chains), the UK National Book Awards New Writer of the Year, the UK National Book Awards Overall Book of the Year, and The Observer‘s Book of the Year, which said “The writing is fluid and addictive and the story grows out of the most irritatingly brilliant idea imaginable.”

Burton said in a press release “It’s an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. John Brownlow’s script is perfect. Short of actually being published, it’s the best news I’ve ever had.” (Brownlow wrote the screenplay for the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Ted and Sylvia, aka Sylvia).

Posting on Twitter Buton was less restrained.

Stateside, Entertainment Weekly gave the novel an A-, writing “The Miniaturist is one of the year’s most hyped novels, and it’s easy to see why.” The Wall Street Journal ran a feature on the book (subscription may be required). Kirkus gave it a starred review, writing “With its oblique storytelling, crescendo of female empowerment and wrenching ending, this novel establishes Burton as a fresh and impressive voice; book groups in particular will relish it.”

Need a refresher on the plot? Elizabeth Angelastro of Manlius Library, Manlius, NY provided the LibraryReads annotation:

“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”

The executive producer for the BBC show said to think of the novel as “Wolf Hall meets Tulip Fever.”