The daughter of former New York governor George Pataki, Allison, has published a novel about Benedict Arnold and his wife Peggy, The Traitor’s Wife. An original trade paperback released by Howard Books, a Christian publisher bought by S&S in 2006, it got attention from Fox News, as well as the Wall Street Journal Live.
The book rose to #5 on Amazon sales rankings as a result. Libraries are showing holds on light ordering.
UPDATE: The author is scheduled for the Today Show on March 19
The Today Show Book Club, which has been quiet for a while, re-emerges with a new pick, Nancy Horan’s novel based on the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van de Grift, Under The Wide and Starry Sky. (RH/Ballantine; released on Tuesday).
Describing the book, Savannah Guthrie says,”Think Downton Abbey with a twist.”
Stevenson’s name is in the air currently; it is also attached to the new STARZ series, Black Sails, billed a a “prequel” to the author’s classic, Treasure Island.
The film adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night, directed by Ben Affleck, will be released on Christmas Day, 2015. Affleck will star; no other stars have been announced.
Affleck’s first outing as a director was a film based on another Lehane novel, 2007′s Gone Baby Gone.
Live by Night (Harper/ Morrow) is a crime novel set in the Prohibition era about the rise of an Irish-American gangster. Prophetically, Entertainment Weekly, called it a “ripping, movie-ready yarn that jumps from a Boston prison to Tampa speakeasies to a Cuban tobacco farm.”
Affleck is currently at work as an actor, playing the lead in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, set for release on Oct 3, 2014.
Lehane is no stranger to the movies; in addition to Gone Baby Gone, films have been made of his novels Mystic River (2003) and Shutter Island (2010). He has also written for the TV series The Wire and Boardwalk Empire.
The Orphan Train, a novel by Christina Baker Kline (author of The Way We Should Be, among others) rises to #5 on the USA Today Best Seller list this week, its highest spot to date. A paperback original, it is based on historical events, the rounding up of orphans from New York streets, between 1854 and 1929, to ship them via train to the midwest, in hopes families there would adopt them.
The number one pick on the SeptemberIndieNext list is Burial Rites, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), a debut novel set in Iceland and based on the true story of the last woman executed there 1820′s. It is by Australian writer Hannah Kent, who became obsessed with the story after visiting Iceland as a teenager.
Prepub reviews have been strong, with Kirkus breathlessly applauding it for language that is “flickering, sparkling and flashing like the northern lights.” LJ puts it “In the company of works by Hilary Mantel, Susan Vreeland, and Rose Tremain” and calls it a “compulsively readable novel [that] entertains while illuminating a significant but little-known true story.” Librarians on GalleyChat also say the book had them “mesmerized.”
Libraries are so far showing few holds on minimal ordering.
Continuing the “Beach Read Challenge,” the staff at Cuyahoga Public Library are reading ARC’s (both e-ARC’s and print) to identify new titles for summer reading. Supporting the effort, Wendy Bartlett, Collection Development Manager, orders more non-reservable copies of each selected title to make it available for browsing and recommending. The first pick was The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton DiSclafani, (Penguin/Riverhead). The second arrives next week. The following is from Wendy’s weekly “hot title alert” to the staff:
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole, (RH/Ballantine) [Ed note: Digital ARC's available from Edelweiss, but hurry, they won't be available after the book is published next Tuesday].
Here’s another good book to hand customers this summer, one that is a more poignant Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Just prior to World War I, a young American writes a fan letter to his favorite poet. Little does he know that the poet is a lovely young woman. As the letters go back and forth, we learn more about Elspeth and David, and their unfolding, very complicated love story.
Elspeth lives an isolated life on the Isle of Skye, and years later, Elspeth’s daughter Margaret, in the midst of her own love story, tries to piece together what really happened and where her scattered family might be. The mystery keeps the romance from being overly sentimental. You want to see if it all works out for these likable characters.
If your customers like historical fiction and don’t mind epistolary novels, they’ll enjoy Letters from Skye.
Thanks to Sue Levinsohn and Barb Wilson, who also gave this one a test drive and came back with positive reports!
Philippa Gregory’s novels in The Cousins’ War series, set during Great Britain’s War of the Roses, have been adapted into a ten-part tv series that will premiere on STARZ cable network on Saturday, August 10th at 9pm ET/PT. Titled The White Queen, the BBC/STARZ production is actually based on the first three books [UPDATE: the fourth title, The Kingmaker's Daughter is also being released as a tie-in], which are being released as trade paperback tie-ins in early July by S&S/Touchstone.
It stars Max Irons (son of Jeremy Irons, he appeared in the movie Red Riding Hood), Amanda Hale (The Crimson Petal & The White), James Frain (The Tudors). Newcomer Rebecca Ferguson plays the Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. Amanda Hale is Margaret Beufort, the Red Queen and Faye Marsay is Anne Neville, the Lady of the Rivers. Gregory is an executive producer on the project.
The two teasers give quite different impressions of what to expect (see if you can guess which is the STARZ promo and which the BBC without looking at the credits).
The next book in the series, The White Princess, (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio) will be published on July 23.
Back in 2010, when Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling novel, Agincourt (Harper, 2009), about the battle that was also the basis for Shakespeare’s Henry V, was signed for a film, we warned you not to hold your breath. Filmmaker Michael Mann had several other projects in the works. Since then, he has completed two TV series for HBO (Luck and the documentary Witness).
Agincourt is now back in the news; Deadline reports that the script is being rewritten. There is some excitement about Mann’s renewed interest based on his handling of 1992′s The Last of the Mohicans, starring Daniel Day-Lewis (Roger Ebert called it, ”quite an improvement on Cooper’s all but unreadable book”). One more project stands in the way, however. Mann begins production in June on another feature film.
One of the early titles in our Penguin First Flights Program was David Gillham’s novel set in WW II Germany, City of Women (Penguin/ Putnam/ Einhorn). Arriving in paperback this month (Penguin/Berkley Trade), it is COSTCO Book Buyer Pennie Iannicello’s pick for May. She praises Gillham for “an unforgettable job of taking readers to 1943 Berlin. The city is filled with women who, although left behind, are forging ahead with their lives and wrestling with decisions that are heavy with life-changing implications.”
The ruthless heart of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor series is Thomas Cromwell, who pulled the strings for a time in Henry VIII’s court. The BBC has found the actor to play that juicy role in a mini-series of 6 one-hour episodes based on Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (both Macmillan/Holt). Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance, according to The Daily Mail. He is familiar with the Tudor Court; he played another famous schemer of the period, Thomas Boleyn in the 2008 film of Phillipa Gregory’s book The Other Boleyn Girl (S&S/Scribner).
They say news travels fast and bad news even faster, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in the UK, where it took the press nearly a week to respond to comments made by Hilary Mantel about Kate Middleton as part of her London Review of Books lecture.
The British tabloid, the Daily Mail accused Mantel yesterday of using the lecture to make a “venomous attack on Kate Middleton.” Since then, controversy has been raging, with some saying that the response to Mantel’s comments simply proves her point that royal women are unfairly treated by the public. She even urged the public to “lay off” the royal couple, saying “Cheerful curiosity can easily become cruelty. It can easily become fatal. We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them, and we did memorably drive one to destruction a scant generation ago.”
But what won the headlines were her comments that the Duchess fills her role so well that she seems to have been “designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile … without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.”
The actual lecture is wickedly funny and much more interesting than the controversy it’s engendered.
Sometimes the first line of a book “just grabs you,” says Rachel Martin on NPR’s Weekend Edition yesterday. That is true for The House Girl, (HarperCollins/Morrow; Thorndike Large Print), she says introducing her interview with the author, Tara Conklin.
The line is, ”Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then she knew she would run.”