Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

THE NIGHTINGALE Set for Debut

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

In an unusual vote of confidence for a film with no stars attached so far, Sony has announced a release date for Tri-Star’s adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s NYT bestseller, The Nightingale (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio, OverDrive Sample). Deadline Hollywood reports that it is set to debut on August 10, 2018.

The movie also features a first-time film director, Michelle McLaren. However, she has had wide-ranging experience in television, directing episodes of hit shows such as Game of Thrones and Modern Family.

The book also represents a first for author Kristin Hannah. Her first historical novel, after several best selling contemporary romances, the change in genre brought her to a new level of sales. The Nightingale was on the NYT best seller for almost two years, much longer than any of her previous novels. After its paperback release, it went immediately onto the NYT Paperback Trade Fiction list where it is currently #7.

GoT7, First Full Trailer

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Minutes after it was released yesterday the first full trailer for Game of Thrones became the #1 trending video on YouTube, where it remains today.

Hollywood Life breaks down of the key elements and Entertainment Weekly uncovers new revelations. Even a brief animated gif of the leader of the White Walkers gets a thorough analysis.

Season seven begins on July 16 and will consist of seven episodes.

Beginning with the previous season, the TV series has now moved beyond the books. As a result, there is no tie-in.

THE BEGUILED Takes Its Bow

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled got its moment in a screening at Cannes Wednesday morning. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair.” Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst, it is based on the 1966 Thomas Cullinan novel, A Painted Devil (see our earlier post for a more on the novel and its adaptations).

The Guardian writes “With its hilariously fraught psychodynamic, the film has hints of Black Narcissus and the famous Diet Coke ad about office workers admiring a perspiring worker slaking his thirst” and continues, “Coppola tells the story with terrific gusto and insouciant wit.”

On Twitter, New York Magazine’s senior editor wrote that the film was “ravishingly shot, with a ‘damn she’s good’ MVP performance from Kirsten Dunst

Others were not as impressed. Variety misses the pulp aspects of the 1971 adaption and writes “If you’re the sort of moviegoer who favors good taste over sensation, restraint over decadence, and decorous drama over porno leering, then you may actually like Coppola’s coolly pensive and sober new version of The Beguiled. But anyone else may wonder what, exactly, the movie thinks it’s doing.”

The Independent says it is Coppola’s “worst work.

Set during the Civil War, the plot involves a group of women sequestered in a girls boarding school in the South, whose lives are turned upside down by the appearance of a wounded Union soldier. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 30th. A tie-in will be published on June 6, The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by Thomas Cullinan (PRH/Penguin Books, Trade Paperback; OverDrive).

IndieWire explores Coppola’s adaptation and her jitters about appearing at Cannes for the first time since 2006, when her movie Marie Antoinette was poorly received.

Bill Gates: Summer Reading

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Add the billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft to those with summer reading recommendations.

Bill Gates posts five picks to his blog, gatesnotes, saying that “The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed.”

He offers an animated tour of each pick, detailing its pleasures:

As happened with his summer reading list from last year, several of the books are rising on Amazon as a result of his attention. Just a few weeks ago Gates took to Twitter to push Steven Pinker’s 2010 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, and it soared to the top of the Amazon sales charts.

The five picks:

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). Gates says “I loved reading this memoir about how its host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in.” It has jumped from #275 to #67 on Amazon.

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample). Gates admits he primarily reads nonfiction, but was very glad his wife gave him this novel about a heart transplant and all the lives it connects. He says “what de Kerangal has done here in this exploration of grief is closer to poetry than anything else.”

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Used as THE book to explain the 2016 election, Gates writes it also explains the impact of a chaotic childhood and says “the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it.” Already doing just fine, the Gates mention moved it from #18 to #10 on Amazon’s rankings.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (HC/Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Calling it “provocative … challenging, readable, and thought-provoking,” Gates says he does not agree with everything Harari says but thinks it is “a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity.” Another rising title on Amazon, it moved from #354 to #125.

A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). Gates writes that this presidential memoir “feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low.”

ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY Wins Nebula

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders wins the Nebula award for Best Novel for her genre-stretching book All the Birds in the Sky (Macmillan/Tor; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

It received attention in advance of publication in January 2016,  got three prepub stars and was a Feb. Indie Next pick. It went on to being picked as a best book of the year by Amazon, Kirkus, The Washington Post, and Time, where it was #5 on their list of “Top 10 Novels” of 2016. Critics praised the novel’s story, characters, and writing, but were particularly taken with Anders was re-working of the genre. NPR wrote “With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”

Seanan McGuire wins Best Novella for Every Heart a Doorway (Macmillan/Tor.com; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The opening of the Wayward Children series was a LibraryReads selection in April 2016 (the second, Down Among The Sticks and Bones, is a LibraryReads pick for this June). In a literary loop, Charlie Jane Anders sets up an excerpt that ran in io9, writing in the headline that it “Is So Mindblowingly Good, It Hurts.” NPR’s reviewer wrote, “Tight and tautly told, Every Heart grabs one of speculative fiction’s most enduring tropes — the portal fantasy, where a person slips from the real world into a magical realm somewhere beyond — and wrings it for all the poignancy, dark humor, and head-spinning twists it can get.”

David D. Levine wins the Andre Norton Award For Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy for Arabella of Mars (Macmillan/Tor.com; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Having won a Hugo for his short stories, this is his debut novel. Locus said “It is a straight-up tale of incredible yet believable adventures fit to have flowed from the quill of Robert Louis Stevenson. It is old-school Planet Stories SF without snark, smarm or apologies. At the same time it is utterly state-of-the-art, 21st-century in its sensibilities and technics. It’s an intriguing counterfactual slightly reminiscent of Novik’s Temeraire series. It’s nuts-and-bolts gadgetry SF that John Campbell would have proudly adopted. It has gravitas and humor, romance and battle, sacrifice and victory in large measures. In short, I can’t see this book—and its intended successors, since it’s labeled Volume 1—as being anything but a huge triumph.” The reviewer was spot on. Book 2, Arabella and the Battle of Venus, comes out July 18th.

Both Anders and McGuire are also finalists for the other two important SF/Fantasy awards still to be given, the Hugo and the Locus. Levine is a finalist for the Locus.

The Locus Awards will be announced the weekend of June 23-25; the Hugo on August 11.

Back Together: The DOWNTON Gang

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Golly Gumdrop! Julian Fellowes, Downton director Michael Engler, and Elizabeth McGovern are teaming up again in Masterpiece’s production of The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s 2012 novel of the same name (PRH/Riverhead; Thorndike Large Print; Blackstone Audio; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novel was a hit, landing on the NYT Best Seller list, getting strong coverage, and triggering hold queues that topped 10:1.

It is a historical set in the 1920s that traces the story of a Kansas woman named Cora (played by McGovern and coincidentally the name of the character she played on Downton), who acts as the chaperone of Louise Brooks, a 15-year-old girl who becomes the famous 1920’s movie star (played by Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair).

The movie is set to open first in theaters and then will be aired on PBS stations nationwide. Deadline Hollywood notes this will be the first time Masterpiece has produced a feature film.

McGovern is very familiar with the novel. She read the audiobook version, getting an AudioFile Earphones Award in the process. In their review, Audifile writes, “McGovern’s soft-spoken performance is utterly entrancing. Her careful use of emotion and mastery of expression pull listeners into this period piece about a young woman on the road to self-discovery and a girl on the brink of fame … an outstanding audio experience.”

A premiere date has not been announced.

Moriarty talked about the book at 2012’s BEA:

INTO THE WATER Surges to #1

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Reviews be damned, Paula Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) can now be declared a #1 best seller. In its second week on sale, it moved to that spot on the new USA Today Best Selling Books list, jumping from #4 and knocking James Patterson off his perch in just one week. This practically guarantees it will be #1 on the NYT list later this week.

Holds are growing, reflecting the considerable interest in the author and some recent PR, via media interviews and her U.S. book tour. Patron demand is catching up. After a rather sluggish start, especially when compared to the pre-pub holds for her debut, lists have grown and libraries have placed multiple re-oreders.

Gabriel Allon to TV

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Time to crank up the betting on which actor will play Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin Gabriel Allon from Daniel Silva’s New York Times bestselling novels. Deadline reports that MGM Television, has bought the rights to the books.

Silva has published 16 titles in the series beginning with The Kill Artist in 2000, but says he’s been waiting for the “right time and the right partner” to adapt the books. The partner he chose is currently hot, having produced Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and FX’s Fargo. As MGM Motion Pictures president Jonathan Glickman notes, the books have been hot for some time, saying bidding was “highly competitive” and the rights “have been sought after for years.”

The 17th title in the series, House of Spies will be published on July 17th (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe)

To Screen: THE BOOKSELLER

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Julia Roberts will star in and produce a big screen adaptation of Cynthia Swanson’s 2015 debut novel The Bookseller (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), reports Variety.

The novel was not widely reviewed. It made the NYT eBook bestseller list for a week and rose to #85 on the USA Today list. It was also an Indie Next pick:

“In 1962, 38-year-old Kitty Miller lives unconventionally. She’s an unmarried working woman who is running a bookstore with her best friend. But at night, in her dreams, it’s a different story. There, Kitty (now Kathryn) explores the path not taken. She’s the married mother of three. It’s the life that might have been, and the novel explores both Kitty’s waking and dream lives in alternating chapters. Swanson’s enjoyable debut really gets interesting when the lines between waking and dreaming, fantasy and reality, begin to blur.” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

A starred review in LJ said, “This is a stunner of a debut novel … Kitty/Katharyn’s journey is intriguing, redolent with issues of family, independence, friendship, and free will. This will especially resonate with fans of the movie Sliding Doors and the authors Anna Quindlen and Anita Shreve.”

This marks the latest in a run of book-based films for Roberts, who, like Reese Witherspoon, has had success with adaptations. Early in her career she starred in the film version of John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief . She is now set to star in and produce Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once and, with Viola Davis, will feature in the film version of Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things.

MR. MERCEDES Gets Air Date

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes has wrapped. It will air on August 9 on AT&T’s Audience Network, a satellite service most widely available via DirecTV.

David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) created the series and Jack Bender (Game of Thrones; Under the Dome) directs multiple episodes. It stars Brendan Gleeson (28 Days Later) as the detective who comes out of retirement to stop the serial killer, Mr. Mercedes, played by Harry Treadaway (City of Ember).

A mass market paperback tie-in edition comes out on July 25, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (S&S/Pocket; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) [art work not available, the above image is from the 2015 mass market edition].

A departure for King, the novel is less horror than hard-boiled. The NYT review lauded “King’s affectionate awareness of the hard-boiled tradition and his point of departure from it” adding “King is clearly having fun, and so are we.” It won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

As we posted earlier, this is only one of many King adaptations in the works.

To Screen: THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Well-known for hating screen adaptations of her work, Ursula K. Le Guin just sold the rights to one of her most famous novels, the 1969 Hugo and Nebula award winning The Left Hand of Darkness, an iconic work of feminist science fiction.

The studio Critical Content (responsible for the TV version of Limitless), reports Variety, will create a limited series based on the book with Le Guin serving as a consulting producer.

The novel is part of her Hainish Cycle and explores the ways sex and gender shape a culture. Variety speculates that the audience avidly following Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale will seek out Le Guin’s story as it is another “allegory about sexual politics and power.”

If your collection needs fresh copies, the novel has been republished a number of times, most recently in October 2016 in hardback as part of the Penguin Galaxy series with an introduction by Neil Gaiman: The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin (PRH/Penguin; BBC Audio; OverDrive Sample).

This is the second time this year that Le Guin has agreed to sell the rights to her work. In February she sold the 1966 SF novella Planet Of Exile, also part of the Hainish Cycle.

LibraryReads Pick To The Movies

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Big Little Lies producer and star Reese Witherspoon has issued a “Great Book Alert!” to her 9.7 million followers on Instagram, about the LibraryReads pick Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (PRH/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Just a few days later, Deadline Hollywood, reported that she will produce the film version and likely star.

The actress and Hollywood powerhouse when it comes to adapting books, says the novel is “Beautifully written and INCREDIBLY funny … I fell in LOVE with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love too!”

Her rave review adds star power to what is already a buzzy debut, as does the fact that she also added it to her rwbookclub on Instagram.

Beyond a Rave: SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS

Friday, May 12th, 2017

There are good reviews and there are rave reviews, and then there are the rare few, that make you want to run out and get the book right away. Ron Charles, chief book critic for The Washington Post does that for Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). The novel is climbed up Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #257 to just outside the Top 100, at #110.

He calls the novel a “quiet masterpiece,” “engrossing,” and “ingeniously plotted,” and is most impressed with the way Sullivan develops her characters, writing that the book, “in the rare miracle of fiction, makes us care about them as if they were our own family.”

He is also lauds her writing chops, saying she “never tells too much; she never draws attention to her cleverness; she never succumbs to the temptation of offering us wisdom. She trusts, instead, in the holy power of a humane story told in one lucid sentence after another.”

Librarians are impressed as well. It is a LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat choice. As we wrote earlier this week, it is also a title frequently on monthly and seasonal best lists.

Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI wrote the LibraryReads annotation:

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

Holds have yet to take off, although they are topping 3:1 ratios in a few libraries we checked, soaring over an 8:1 ratio in one locations.

EarlyReads: Live Chat with
Gin Phillips, Author of
FIERCE KINGDOM

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Read our chat with Gin Phillips, below.

To join the program, sign up here

Live Blog Live Chat with Gin Phillips, FIERCE KINGDOM
 

Patterson, Father and Son Authors

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Co-authors James Patterson and his son Jack, sat down with CBS This Morning to discuss their first book together, released last week, Penguins of America, (Hachette/ Little, Brown).

Described as a “childrens book that illustrates the humorous connection between Penguins and humans,” the authors say the inspiration came from Jack’s obsession as a kid with seeing the world as if it were populated by penguins. Asked who the audience is, Patterson replies it will appeal to anyone “from 2 to 102. Kids are going to like it. They won’t get some of them, but they will get a lot of them. That’s the way kids are, they’re used to not getting everything, but they will love the illustrations.”

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Asked about the novel he is currently working on with his latest collaborator, Bill Clinton, James Patterson says they are about “halfway through it.” Asked whether they will work on more books together, Patterson replies with a somewhat hopeful “Maybe.”