Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

OLIVE KITTERIDGE Premieres At The Venice Film Festival

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The first review of HBO’s four-hour mini-series based on Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, (Random House, 2008) has arrived and it’s a rave.

The series premiered  at the Venice Film Festival yesterday. The Hollywood Reporter calls it, “emotionally satisfying, funny-sad …  directed with an impeccable balance of sensitivity and humor by Lisa Cholodenko [The Kids Are All Right].”

UPDATE: More reviews have appeared and it’s a hit with the critics – Variety calls it “finely crafted, wonderfully cast,” but fears it may lose audiences; IndieWire hails it as “the biggest positive surprise at Venice” and the U.K.’s Telegraph calls it simply, “brilliant.”

Three clips are now available via IndieWire. Below is Clip #3, featuring Bill Murray with Frances MacDermond as Olive, who optioned the book and produced the series with Tom Hanks, among others. Click here for Clip 1 and Clip 2.

The series will be shown on HBO beginning Sunday, Nov. 2.

Tie-in:

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 10/28/14

HBO’s OLIVE KITTERIDGE Release Dates Set

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Olive KitteridgeHBO’s miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, 2008) is scheduled to debut on Sunday, Nov. 2. The first two parts will be shown that night, followed by the final two parts the next night.

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), with Tom Hanks and Frances McDormand producing, the series stars:

Frances McDormand … Olive Kitteridge

Richard Jenkins … Henry Kitteridge (Olive’s husband)

John Gallagher Jr. … Christopher Kitteridge, (Olive and Henry’s son)

Cory Michael Smith … Kevin Coulson, (Olive’s former student)

Zoe Kazan … Denise Thibodeau, (works with Henry at the pharmacy)

Brady Corbet … Henry Thibodeau, (married to Denise)

Rosemarie DeWitt … Rachel Coulson

Unfortunately, no trailers have been released yet.

Official Web Site: HBO.com/Olive-Kitteridge

Tie-in:

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
Random House Trade Paperbacks: October 28, 2014
Trade Paperback: $15.00 USD / $15.00 CAD

Best Seller Debut:
WE ARE NOT OURSELVES

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

9781476756660_e9693Arriving at #32 on today’s USA Best-Selling Books list is a debut that has been a growing critical hit, We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas., (S&S; S&S Audio). 

The novel is also a hit in the U.K., where is on the long list for the Guardian First Book Award. The author was interviewed in that publication  yesterday.

As we noted in our earlier story, Big Books of the Fall, holds are growing in libraries.

Major Promo for
THE MINIATURIST

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

9780062306814_315ffA sure indicator that a new book season is upon us is a WSJ story on the marketing efforts behind a particular title.

This season, it’s The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton, (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperLuxe).

About a lonely young woman in 17th C Amsterdam who creates a magical dollhouse that begins to predict the future, it is also a LibraryReads pick and gets an A- in Entertainment Weekly. Read a sample vis OverDrive.

Based on a review in the locally influential Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wendy Bartlett of Cuyahoga Public Library, has already put in a hefty additional order that is quadruple the initial quantity.

article-2717879-2021DE2300000578-388_306x473Published earlier in the U.K., it’s been in the top ten there since July. The Wall Street Journal details the elaborate U.K.  marketing campaign, with intricate shop displays that include “doll’s houses and Delft pottery, in one case flying a motorized parakeet around the books (a green bird figures in the novel).”

The U.K. cover features an actual dollhouse, complete with its own “making of” video.

 

Big Books of the Fall

Monday, August 25th, 2014

9781400065677_611e9   9781476756660_e9693

The fall season gets into gear next week with the release of David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks, (Random House; Recorded Books) A profile of the author in today’s NYT notes, “Mr. Mitchell has evolved from being a cult author with a small but rabid fan base to a major literary figure whose work has been compared to that of Nabokov, Pynchon and Dostoyevsky.”

The #1 IndieNext title for September, it rose to #153 (from  #296) as a result.

Over 600 pages long, it’s a big book in more ways than one and competes for serious review attention, as well as readers’ time, with another 600-plus-page, very different novel, We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas, (S&S; S&S Audio). Released two weeks ago, this debut has heavier holds than Mitchell’s book and is now at #74 on Amazon. It’s received a string of laudatory reviews, beginning with Entertainment Weekly and continuing with the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, the L.A. Times‘s David Ulin, and USA Today. The New Yorker uses it a springboard to “reassess the burgeoning genre” of books about Alzheimer’s, beginning with Still Alice by Lisa Genova. and giving the highest marks to “Thomas’s realist epic [because it] … exceeds the usual boundaries of fiction on the subject [and] offer the truest and most harrowing account of a descent into dementia …

OverDrive sample — We Are Not Ourselves

NPR “Esclusive First Read” — The Bone Clocks

Holds Alert: WE ARE NOT OURSELVES

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

9781476756660_e9693Libraries are showing growing holds on We Are Not Ourselves, a debut novel by Matthew Thomas, (S&S; S&S Audio), which was heavily promoted at Book Expo this year. It just broke into Amazon’s top 100, and is currently at #53.

Featured in the book section of the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, it is also passionately recommended on EW‘s “Shelf Life” blog because, “it’s amazing. It’s beautiful and simple and elegant.”

We tend to agree, based on reading the OverDrive Sample.

KICK Gets Boost From Maslin

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

9781476749785_a7da7Chelsea Cain’s latest, One Kick, (S&S; S&S Audio), releasing today, is the beginning of a new series, one that the NYT‘s Janet Maslin says “is capable of reaching a much broader audience because it is far less gruesome [than the author's Gretchen Lowell series], at least by Ms. Cain’s standards.”

The reviewer for sister publication, the NYT Book Review, however, sees it as an “unsettling new thriller, which delves into the bleak and disturbing subject of child abduction and pedophilia,” and compares the protagonist to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

See how disturbing you find it, by reading the OverDrive Sample.

One Kick is also the #1 LibraryReads pick for August.

Holds are currently modest in most libraries, but if Maslin’s prediction proves true, they are likely to grow.

Ann Leckie Wins Hugo

Monday, August 18th, 2014

9780316246620_7d223American author Ann Leckie’s debut novel, Ancillary Justice, (Hachette/Orbit; trade pbk original; Recorded Books), the first in a planned space opera trilogy called Imperial Reich, won the Hugo Award at a ceremony held in London last night.

9780316246651_975ecreview in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette said that the book “puts a new spin on old tales, forces us to face quandaries we’d never even imagine in our day-to-day lives, and shows us life from fresh, impossible perspectives,” and that  “her unique narrator may be the novel’s most notable innovation.” Read a sample from OverDrive here.

The book has already won the Nebula Best Novel award, the Arthur C Clarke award, as well as tying for the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel award.

The next book in  the trilogy, Ancillary Sword, is coming in October (Hachette/Orbit, original trade pbk).

The author lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Looking For DARK PLACES

Friday, August 15th, 2014

2332_top1It was going to be a fall that featured two major adaptations of Gillian Flynn novels.

Gone Girl, which arrives in theaters on Oct 3, is the focus of  Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Movie Preview (full story only available by subscription).

But the other adaptation, Dark Places, with an A-list cast headed by Charlize Theron, is nowhere to be found in the issue.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 1, that date has since disappeared from IMDb (if you’re headed to Norway in November, however, you can catch it there). The release of the movie tie-in has also been postponed, so we have to assume the movie is being held as well.

Meanwhile, as we noted earlier, Flynn’s first novel, Sharp Objects, is being adapted as a TV series.

Gone Girl director David Fincher upset fans earlier this year when he seemed to imply to Entertainment Weekly that the movie’s final act will different from the book’s. In the new issue, he claims the quote was taken out of context. When asked to clarify if anything has been changed, he says, “Everything and nothing … But at its core, it’s exactly what I think Gillian always intended” (see if you can make sense of the full quote here).

R.A. Alert: DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

9780385538138_7ec07On NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Maureen Corrigan gave an enthusiastic shout-out to a book arriving next week, sending it into Amazon’s top 100.

She calls Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (RH/Doubleday), “a hilarious academic novel … composed of a year’s worth of recommendations that our anti-hero — a weary professor of creative writing and literature — is called upon to write for junior colleagues, lackluster students and even former lovers.”

EarlyWord Kids correspondent Lisa Von Drasek is also a fan, calling it “wickedly delightful,” and agreeing whole-heartedly with the publisher’s description, “Finally a novel that puts the ” ‘pissed’ back into ‘epistolary’.”

If you have the galley, grab it. We guarantee that the minute you crack it, you’ll find yourself reading it aloud to anyone available. UPDATE: Get a taste for what we’re talking about by reading a sample via OverDrive’s new Readbox product.

The author is also scheduled to be interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered on release date, Aug. 19.

MAGIC BREAKS Into Hardcover

Monday, August 11th, 2014

9780425256220_f1dcdAuthor Ilona Andrews, who has been a best seller in paperback, released the 11th Kate Daniels novel in hardcover, Magic Breaks, in late July (Penguin/Ace; Recorded Books) and admits on her blog that she feared the shift would decrease sales.

Instead, it debuts on the NYT hardcover list at #13 and at #6 on ebooks only list.

Library journal calls it, “one of the best urban fantasy series around.”

Flannagan on NPR

Monday, August 11th, 2014

9780385352857_702c0Featured yesterday on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, was Richard Flanagan, the author of one of the books on the Man Booker Award long list, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (RH/Knopf).

The author is a favorite of Seattle Public Library’s David Wright who says he is, “a consummate stylist, but with a style that is in service to the realities he’s writing about, which are often deeply painful and tragic. That is certainly true in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which depicts with a fair amount of detail the horrific experience of POWs in WWII (Flanagan’s father was a survivor of the Thai-Burma death railway) … He is so skillful in showing how these events affect mens’ lives … his writing is devastating, generous, and deeply caring.”

The book is being published tomorrow. Several libraries are showing heavy holds on light ordering.

Holds Alert: DEAR DAUGHTER

Friday, August 8th, 2014

dear-daughter-bcHolds are growing for the mystery that was listed at #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” last week, Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books).

Earlier, we suggested it as one to recommend for readers who can’t get their hands on Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies, but now both are difficult to come by.

People magazine makes it as one of three book picks of this week. They compare it to yet another title, “Quick-witted and fast-paced, this debut mystery should be a hit with Gone Girl fans,” as does the Associated Press reviewer, “The unlikable protagonist with a biting personality and outrageous actions, but who is fascinating at the same time, has never been more popular. Just think of Gone Girl. In her confident fiction debut, Elizabeth Little puts a fresh spin on this character.”

Scalzi Series to TV

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

14300349Syfy has ordered a TV series based on John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series (Macmillan/Tor). Although it is titled after the second book, Ghost Brigades (because it sounds “sexier” says the author in his blog post), it will draw from all five books.

Scalzi’s latest, Lock In, (Macmillan/Tor; 8/26/2014) is a LibraryReads pick for August. Read how happy that pick made the author here (and remember to make your favorite authors happy by nominating their upcoming books for LibraryReads). 

Nancy Pearl Interviews Sarah Bird

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

9780385350112_ccf64Author Sarah Bird escapes the Austin, Texas, heat to be interviewed in cooler Seattle by librarian Nancy Pearl.

She explains why her latest novel,  Above The China Sea,(RH/Knopf, 5/27/14; Recorded Books) is considered a “stunning departure” from her earlier books.

 

For more of Nancy’s favorites, listen to her on Seattle’s KUOW radio station.