Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Pennie Picks KISS CARLO

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Costco’s influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects as her July “Buyers Pick” Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani (HarperCollins/Harper; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), a love story and family tale set in the world of the theater.

Ianniciello gives it her personal endorsement, writing “I look forward to every new book by Adriana Trigiani … her books are a joy to read.”

In an interview in the Costco Connection, Trigiani says “The plot sets the stage for a Shakespearean conflict, for it’s a story of love, loyalty and creativity that is filled with everything we all struggle with as humans.”

It lands on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list #7, her highest-ranking debut to date.

Trigiani is featured on Today in a segment headlined “Need a juicy summer read?” Chatting with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb over a breakfast of pasta and red wine, she claims this book is her “favorite of everything I’ve written.”

Rumor Control: DOWNTON Movie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Rumors of a Downton Abbey movie have resurfaced.

Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, said at an event in Singapore this week for Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, that the company hopes “to assemble 20 cast members from the popular TV series” for a new film, currently set for 2018.

The headline of the AP story, however makes it sound much more definite, “NBC says ‘Downton Abbey’ movie production to start in 2018.”

The news seems to have taken much of the cast by surprise. A film version has been rumored for years.

Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, told the AP “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

“Oh, well, you’ve got confirmation before us. We have no idea if that’s happening,” said Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy.

Creator Julian Fellowes was hopeful, responding “I think we’ve got a film in us. I hope it happens.”

As we posted earlier, Fellowes and Elizabeth McGovern are already booked for now, working on the Masterpiece’s production of The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s 2012 novel, which is set to begin filming soon in NYC.

 

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.

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.

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:

Mary Doria Russell’s Movie Deal

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

9780812980004_9dbf29780062198761_2c369Doc Holliday is heading to the movies again in a new feature starring Jeremy Renner, reports Deadline Hollywood.

Film rights to Mary Doria Russell’s Doc (PRH/Ballantine) and Epitaph: A Novel Of The O.K. Corral (HC/Ecco), were sold to independent studio Palmister Media, which most recently released Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith.

“We are excited to re-introduce this classic American character to a whole new audience by chronicling Doc Holliday’s incredible transformation from Average Joe dentist to a man who Wyatt Earp called the ‘nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a six-gun [he] ever knew’,” said Renner and a co-producer in a joint statement. Another producer for the project said, “Jeremy Renner as Doc Holliday…f*cking awesome.”

Renner will join the ranks of Victor Mature, Kirk Douglas, Stacey Keach, Dennis Quaid, and Val Kilmer, all of whom have played the dentist turned gunfighter in previous films.

Doc won the ALA Reading List award in 2012 and Epitaph was named one of LJ‘s best historical fiction novels of 2015. Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles called Docfantastic” and wrote “If I had a six-shooter (and didn’t work in the District), I’d be firing it off in celebration of Doc … I’m in awe of how confidently Russell rides through this familiar territory, takes control and remakes all its rich heroism and tragedy.” The paper later called Epitapha remarkable accomplishment.”

Librarian Nancy Pearl discussed those novels with Russell in an interview in 2015.

 

Pennie Picks LILAC GIRLS

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

9781101883082_110caCostco’s influential book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello, selects as her May “Buyers Pick” a debut novel, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).  The novel is based on the true stories of three women from vastly different backgrounds who were involved with the Ravensbruck concentration camp during WWII.

The book was a hit with librarians. It was voted a LibaryReads Favorite of Favorites for 2016. Andrea Larson of Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL wrote the annotation,

“This is story of the Ravensbruck Rabbits: seventy-four women prisoners in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Using alternating first-person narratives, the characters relate their experiences from 1939 through 1959. Drawing upon a decade of research, Hall reconstructs what life was like in Ravensbruck. More than a war story, this is a tale of how the strength of women’s bonds can carry them through even the most difficult situations. Lilac Girls is a solid, compelling historical read.”

In an interview in the Costco Connection, Kelly says that after her 10 years writing and researching the book,  “I thought I might self-publish and no one would care.” Far from going unnoticed, Kelly gained a contract for it, as well as two more books, prequels to Lilac Girls.

People magazine pick and an Indie Next selection, it did not fare so well with the NYT, which was merciless in their review, saying that the characters are all “stereotype[s] with no narrative force” of their own, adding the killer line, “it takes some doing to make a concentration camp survivor appear an ingrate.”

Nevertheless, it managed to hit the lower rungs of NYT bestseller list, cresting at #13. It has gone on to do better in paperback and is currently #6 on that list after 8 weeks.

Holds remain active at almost every library we checked with a number still running a triple digit reserve list.

Shattuck Breaks Out

Friday, April 7th, 2017

9780062563668_1bcb5The third time’s a charm for Jessica Shattuck. Her third novel, The Women in the Castle (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), debuts at #6 on this week’s NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list.

Press coverage has been very good. The NYT features it in their “World War II Fiction: The Home Front” round-up, writing “Her achievement — beyond unfolding a plot that surprises and devastates — is in her subtle exploration of what a moral righteousness [looks] like … in the aftermath of war.”

USA Today adds. “World War II has inspired dozens of unforgettable novels, but Jessica Shattuck offers a mesmerizing new look.” People calls it a “masterful epic” (review not available online), and Bustle says it is “Riveting and emotional … a WWII story like you’ve never seen before.”

Librarians were on board early. It is a LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat choice. Holds are strong in everywhere we checked, with some spiking as high as 15:1.

As we noted earlier in Titles to Know, the story has personal resonance, as Shattuck reveals in a NYT Op/Ed piece titled, “I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.”

OUTLANDER: More Books On The Way

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Outlander season three premieres on Starz in September. As a partial cure for fan’s Droughtlander affliction, yesterday’s Entertainment Tonight provided a brief tour of the Outlander armoury as well as glimpses at footage from season three. The weapons props master for the show says “We had four trucks of weapons … Seven hundred weapons on a daily basis for two weeks” as they shot the scenes for the Battle of Culloden.

Three book are will be released in anticipation of the new series.

9780399593420_28ab7In late June comes a hardcover collection of Gabaldon’s short stories featuring characters from the larger Outlander world, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction, Diana Gabaldon (PRH/Delacorte; Recorded Books)

Two stories are new, “Besieged” features Lord John Grey, while “A Fugitive Green” stars his older brother, Hal Grey. The rest of the stories have been previously published in various anthologies, collections, and as e-novellas.

The tie-in edition the TV series arrives on August 15, Voyager (Starz Tie-in Edition), Diana Gabaldon (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample). Cover art is not yet released.

9780399178573In early September, Gabaldon lets fans in on some of the secrets to her success, with the ebook, I Give You My Body … “: How I Write Sex Scenes (PRH/Dell; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample). The publisher says it includes a “handy lists of naughty euphemisms (with instructions for use).” Sounds useful, even for non-writers.

As to the TV series, Den of Geek has the official synopsis of the third season:

“The story picks up right after Claire (Caitriona Balfe) travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant with Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) child, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. The budding possibility that Claire can return to Jamie in the past breathes new hope into Claire’s heart… as well as new doubt. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them on the path to reunion. And the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago?”

DOWNTON Goes To GUERNSEY

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780385340991Called a “Downton Abbey Reunion,” the adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (PRH/Random House, 2008), currently filming in Australia, features four actors from the popular BBC series. Lily James, who played Downton‘s Lady Rose, is the movie’s lead. Recently joining the cast are Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton‘s Lady Sybil), Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot), and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley).

Also recently added are Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adeline, Game of Thrones), as well as Tom Courtenay (45 Years).

Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directs the re-titled Guernsey. Release is expected in 2018.

The epistolary novel set during WW II received strong reviews and was a long running best seller. No tie-in has been announced

THE WHITE PRINCESS
Release Date Set

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

9781501174926_7136bStarz’s The White Princess will premiere on April 16. It’s the sequel to The White Queen, which aired on Starz in 2013, and was based on the first four books in Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War series, about the long-running War of the Roses. It won both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

The new series adapts the fifth title and final volume in the historical fiction series. Gregory outlines the chronology of the novels on her website.

Deadline notes “The White Princess picks up three days after the conclusion of The White Queen, as a new generation ascends to the throne … The historical drama is told from the perspective of the women waging the ongoing battle for the English throne.”

The tie-in cover depicts Princess Elizabeth of York’s bloody hands gripping a white rose, the symbol of the House of York. In the book she is forced to marry into the House of Tudor.

A trade paperback tie-in will be released on March 28: The White Princess, Philippa Gregory (S&S/Touchstone; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market).

THE ALIENIST Adds A Star

Monday, January 16th, 2017

9780812976144TNT’s upcoming adaptation of Caleb Carr’s 1994 long-running best seller,  The Alienist (PRH/Random House) is moving along. Entertainment Weekly announces that Dakota Fanning (the Twilight films, War of the Worlds) has been cast as the female lead, “Sara Howard, a headstrong secretary on [Police commissioner Theodore] Roosevelt’s staff who is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City.”

She joins Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglorious Bastards, The Zookeeper’s Wife) who plays criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train, The Hobbit trilogy) who stars as newspaper reporter John Moore.

The 8-part series, set during NYC’s Gilded Age, is expected to premiere in late 2017. No tie-in has been announced.

WHITE PRINCESS, STARZ

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

The trailer has just been released for the TV series adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Princess, set to air on the STARZ channel some time in 2017.

The sequel to BBC’s 2013 series The White Queen, adapted from the first novels of Philippa Gregory’s the “Cousins’ War” series, which also ran on STARZ, it features the same writer/director team and stars Jacob Collins-Levy as Henry VII, Jodie Comer as Princess Elizabeth, Essie Davis as Elizabeth Woodville, Joanne Whalley as the Duchesss of Burgundy, Michelle Fairley as Margaret Beaufort and Suki Waterhouse as Cecily of York.

The sound track features a haunting version of Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line by Halsey (incongruously, it is also used for the new Power Rangers trailer).

Below, Gregory, who serves as executive producer on the series, describes the history behind the novel.

The final book in the series, The King’s Curse was published in 2014.

OUTLANDER Comes to The End

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

9780553393699_747569781101884249_b01b1Diana Gabaldon is talking about the inevitable, the end of the Outlander series. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, she plans to conclude the series with book ten.

Eight books have been published. Book nine, not yet scheduled for publication, has the working title. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

Gabaldon told fans at the EW PopFest that she already knew the ending of the last book, however, an explanation of the famous ghost scene in the first novel in which Frank, Claire’s husband, sees the ghost of Jamie staring up at their window.

“It’ll be the very last thing in the last book, which I think is probably book 10,” says Gabaldon.

That could be some time from now. It took the author five years to finish the current title after book seven hit shelves in 2009 and she has not turned a book around in less than two years since 1994.

On her website she tells readers, “An official publication date for this new book has not been announced. In other words: No, I don’t know yet when I will finish Book Nine of the OUTLANDER series! I am working on it now, and don’t even have a ballpark date.”

Fans may want to temper their expectations about the series length as well. Gabaldon is far from definitive about her plans and has said different things at different times.

Currently on her website she tells readers:

There’s at least one more. I’ve never been willing to commit to more than one at a time, because I just don’t know — I don’t plan the books out ahead of time. So I have no idea how much ground we’ll cover in each book. But there is certainly one more book, because I wasn’t finished telling the story at the end of book eight.”

For those who need consolation reading while they wait, Gabaldon sometimes posts working excerpts from book nine.

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: