Archive for the ‘Literary’ Category

Celeste Ng On ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Everything I NeverOne of our Penguin First Flights authors was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered on Saturday, Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You, (Penguin Press). Host Arun Rath says the reader is hooked from the book’s opening line, “Lydia is dead, but they don’t know it yet.”

Learn more about how the Ng structured the novel in  our online chat with the author.

Become a member of Penguin’s First Flights program here.

Small Press Title Wins Women’s Prize for Fiction

Friday, June 6th, 2014

A Girl is a Half-Formed ThingPublished by a very small press in Great Britain (it was only their second book) and coming in September from Coffee House Press in the U.S., A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, the author’s debut novel, won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, announced in London last night.

The book, which the 37-year-old author wrote ten years ago, was initially rejected by agents and publishers who considered it too difficult to sell. The author put it away until she tried again with Galley Beggar Press, a start-up in the author’s home town of Norwich. It received glowing reviews that acknowledged the book’s unconventional language, described by the Guardian as “devoid of commas, a fractured, poetic, pre-conscious voice, pregnant with full stops and half rhymes … But it actually feels like language anyone could read and understand. Its subject matter is the real difficulty, the story of a young girl, struggling to deal with her older brother’s illness – a brain tumour – and the abuse she experiences.” It went on to win the newly-created Goldsmith’s Prize for Literature and was published in paperback by Macmillan/Faber & Faber.

McBride won over competition from several literary heavy weighs, including Donna Tartt, for The Goldfinch. She says she has “nearly finished” a second novel.

Colbert Gives Amazon the Finger

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

When Amazon began their fight with publisher Hachette, they may not have taken into account the fact that Stephen Colbert is published by Hachette.

Colbert explains the situation below and shows Bezos what he thinks of it.

Colbert brings on “fellow Amazon victim,” Sherman Alexie, who is also published by Hachette.

Since debut authors are most at risk from Amazon’s tactics, Alexie helps one of them by recommending viewers pre-order California, by Edan Lapucki, (Hachette/Little, Brown, July 8; audio from Dreamscape) via Powells.

9780316250818_1a106

The book has appeared earlier on summer reading lists, including the Pittsburgh Post Gazette‘s, with the following recommendation,

When the American economy collapses and anarchy reigns in the land, a couple from Los Angeles head for the hills where they have to forage for food and improvise shelter. They are quickly confronted by stark choices and must figure out whether reconnecting with other survivors would be worth the aggravation that comes with being a part of civilization.

To The Movies; THE GOOD LORD BIRD

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Good Lord BirdLast year’s National Book Award winner, The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike) may be heading to the big screen. Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid, After Earth) have signed to star, with author McBride taking on a role as producer. Smith will play Henry “Onion” Shackleford with  Schreiber in the role of abolitionist John Brown.

McBride’s’ Miracle At St. Anna (Penguin/Riverhead, 2002) was adapted by Spike Lee in 2008. An FX series based on the author’s book Song Yet Sung, (Penguin/Riverhead, 2008), about Harriet Tubman, was announced last fall.

Holds Alert: FAMILY LIFE

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Family LifeAfter a glowing cover review in the New York Times Book Review, Family Life by Akhil Sharma (W.W. Norton) is getting even more attention. It is called the “year’s first great novel” by Salon. In a review on NPR’s All Things Considered on Thursday, Meg Waltzer says the author, “takes a simple, emotionally difficult story and makes the reader brave the ongoing pain and become fully absorbed,” and the Huffington Post designates it as the week’s “Book We’re Talking About.”

Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds ratios.

GalleyChatter: E-Galley Buzz

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

[Note: the following is from our regular GalleyChatter columnist, Robin Beerbower]

Librarian friends on Edelweiss have been busy marking and reviewing hot e-galleys. Below are a few that have interested us the most. I will be writing about new titles rising to the top of TBR piles; if you want to join in, please friend me.

Bees   bees back cover

The March GalleyChat round-up featured The Bees by Laline Paull, (HarperCollins/Ecco, May), and it has since received even more buzz with seven librarians giving it “much love” on Edelweiss. Vicki Nesting said “Every once in a while a book that you never expected captures your imagination.” I’m keeping my fingers crossed this will be a top LibraryReads choice for May (the second image, above, is from the back cover of the book).

catch

A few lucky librarians have received a sweet little drawstring bag marked with a skull and crossbones containing an ARC of Taylor Stevens’ The Catch(RH/Crown, July). Fourth in the popular Vanessa Michael Munroe series, the “informationist” goes to Africa and gets involved with kidnappings and Somali pirates. Might be a good fiction match for Captain Phillips.

It’s been four years since book group favorite Jane Smiley has published an adult book, so it’s no wonder there is high anticipation for her next book Some Luck, (RH/Knopf, October), the first in an epic trilogy featuring a farm family.

Euphoria

On Edelweiss Jen Dayton raved about Lily King’s Euphoria(Grove/Atlantic, June), a novel loosely based on Margaret Mead’s journals, saying “King’s language is as lush as the landscape…” It has received “much love” from five peers and the publisher compares this to Horan’s Loving Frank and McLain’s The Paris Wife.

Last year, I loved Ann Hood’s The Obituary Writer so much that I selected it as a Thorndike Peer Pick. Many of us are excited to see Hood has a new one coming, The Italian Wife (W.W. Norton, Sept.), a multi-generational novel about an Italian family in America. I’ll be watching closely for the e-galley tentatively scheduled for April.

Bone OrchardPaul Doiron’s fifth in the Game Warden Mike Bowditch mysteries, The Bone Orchard, (Macmillan/Minotaur, July), has snagged the interest of a number of Edelweiss friends.

This atmospheric series set in Maine are good for those who like C. J. Box and William Kent Krueger.

 

Natucket Sisters   matchmakers

Set a story on a beach and I’ll read it, so I am pleased two of my favorite authors have galleys available for their June books. Nancy Thayer’s Nantucket Sisters(RH/Ballantine), and Elin Hilderbrand’s The Matchmaker(Hachette/ Little, Brown), are not only perfect for fans of women’s fiction but they also have covers that scream “stuff me into your beach bag.”

We’re looking forward to hearing out what you’re reading. Join us on Twitter for GalleyChat, this coming Tuesday, April 1 (we kid you not), from 4 to 5 p.m. EST (4:30 for virtual cocktails), #ewgc.

Karen Russell’s Lastest: e-Book Only

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Sleep DonationIf you heard the promo for Karen Russell’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, and thought, “I didn’t know she had a new book out,” you are not alone.

Her new book is actually an eBook-only novella titled Sleep Donation. Dozens of writers have released eBook-only short fiction, many of them “bridge” stories between titles in a series, to tide fans over between books, (such as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novella, High Heat, RH/Delacorte). But when an author with Russell’s literary cred does it, it gets attention.

Adding further to the media allure, this is the first release from Atavist Books, a joint venture between media mogul Barry Diller and movie producer Scott Rudin, run by former Picador USA publisher Frances Coady (more on the company here, but fair warning, this story buys the Kool Aid that it is “revolutionary,” even though there are many others in this business). Adding even more media-worthy names, it comes with an audio read by indie actress Greta Gerwig, and even has an interactive cover designed by that oxymoron, a famous book designer, Chip Kidd. Plus, it has its own website.

Unfortunately, however, it does not seem to be available to libraries.

Appropriately, the novella is about an insomnia epidemic ravaging America, the result of people paying too much attention to electronic devices (take note, Arianna Huffington; this could be a cross-promotional opportunity for your book).

Gone McCann   New Year's

In addition to the attention from Fresh Air, the novella was also the lead title in Entertainment Weekly’s book section last week, in a story titled “Let’s Get Digital” that includes Joe Hill’s short story Wolverton Station (from HarperCollins/Morrow and available to libraries), Greg Iles’s novella, The Death Factory (also HarperCollins/Morrow and available to libraries) plus upcoming titles by two other literary darlings, Column McCann’s Gone (released March 18 by another ebook-only publisher Byliner and apparently not available to libraries) and Adelle Waldman’s New Year’s, a companion story to her The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., coming in May, from the old world publisher where Francis Coady used to work, Macmillan/Picador (presumably one of those places she refers to as “print originators [who] tend to see digital as a slightly embarrassing offshoot of print.”)

Early Attention for FROG MUSIC

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Frog MusicAfter the huge success of Room, it’s no surprise that critics are vying to be the first to review author Emma Donoghue’s next book, Frog Music, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio and Large Print), which arrives this coming Tuesday (although some libraries are showing that it is in process).

The Washington Post‘s is among the first of the consumer reviews, with Ron Charles noting, “The millions of readers who know Donoghue only from the harrowing tale of that little boy [in Room] will discover in Frog Music just how expansive and boisterous this Irish Canadian author can be … Donoghue has created a full-throated murder mystery, spiced with song and forbidden love.”

The Wall Street Journal profiles the author’s background research, in which she came up with a solution to a real-life murder that took place in San Francisco in 1876.

The film rights for Room were acquired in 2013. It is still in development as of January, according to a story in Deadline.

Backlist Best Seller: GEEK LOVE

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Geek LoveA former Paris Reviw editor pays tribute in Wired this week to the “dazzling oddball masterpiece,” Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn (Knopf, 1989), on the 25th anniversary of its release, citing its many well-known fans. Author Karen Russell recalls discovering it at 15, “I felt electrocuted when I read that first page with Crystal Lil and her freak brood. I stood there in the bookstore and my jaw came unhinged. No book I’ve read, before or since, has given me that specific jolt.”

Although it had success in its day (it was a National Book Award finalist), the novel brought in more royalties for Dunn last year than in any year before.

The piece also includes some lore for publishing geeks; it was legendary editor Sonny Mehta’s first acquisition for Knopf and was designed by the then little-known Chip Kidd’s.

All copies are out in circulation at the libraries we checked.

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, Trailer

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The U.K. trailer for Half Of A Yellow Sun has just been released, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). As yet, it has not been scheduled for release in the U.S.

When it premiered at the Toronto International Film festival, Variety damned it with faint praise, calling it an “attractive adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestseller … a diverting but surface-level saga that, true to its title, feels less than whole.”

The novel it is based on, Half Of A Yellow Sun, (RH/Knopf, 2006), fared much better with the critics. It won the Women’s Prize for Fiction (then called the Orange Prize) and the author was selected as one of the best writers under 40 by The New Yorker.

In a live interview in the Huffington Post last week, Adichie says her most recent novel, Americanah, (Knopf, 2013), is quite different from her earlier works, calling it her “middle finger” book, the one in which she does not “follow the rules.” It was just released in paperback and in audio (Recorded Books). UPDATE, 3/13/14: The book has won the NBCC prize for fiction

From HUNGER GAMES To THE GOLDFINCH

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The GoldfinchThe producers behind The Hunger Games announced that they have acquired the option to adapt Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, possibly as a TV mini-series. According to The Wrap, the producers are currently looking for a director and no stars have been named.

The novel, Tartt’s third, was named as one of the best books of the year by multiple sources and is on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller at #3 after 19 weeks.

Says producer Nina Jacobson: “We’ve been thinking we are more likely to make a limited series for TV. There’s so much scope to the book. At the same time, a film-maker could come in with a perspective that changes our mind.”

Eleanor Catton on PBS NewsHour

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Award for The Luminaries, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Brilliance Audio), is currently making appearances in the U.S.

On  PBS NewsHour last night, Jeffrey Brown gave her a chance to explain her novel, which she herself calls a “publisher’s nightmare,” one that, says Brown, “all the reviewers [are] trying to figure out and explain to their readers.”

The book is currently at #19 and rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and, as we noted previously, holds are rising in libraries.

Link here for a  video of the NewsHour interview. Listen to Catton read from the book here.

Holds Alert: THE LUMINARIES

Monday, November 11th, 2013

9780316074315-1Once again, the UK’s major book award, the Man Booker, has influenced readers in the U.S. Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, (Hachette/Little, Brown; Brilliance Audio), which was released here on the day the award was announced, has been on the NYT Fiction Best Seller list for two weeks and is showing heavy holds on modest ordering in most libraries.

Reviews appeared here shortly after the award was announced. All noted the book’s unusual length (834 pages), without calling it  overlong. Said Bill Roorbach (Life Among Giants, Workman/Algonquin, 2012) in the NYT Book Review, “as for the length, surely a book this good could never be too long.”

Arriving Tomorrow: Amy Tan’s Latest

Monday, November 4th, 2013

9780062107312_0_Cover Amy Tan talks about her research into Chinese pornography from the 1700′s for her new novel, The Valley of Amazement, (HarperCollins/Ecco; Brilliance Audio; HarperLuxe), on today’s CBS This Morning. She is also scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s NPR Morning Edition. 

This is Tan’s first book with HarperCollins. As she explains to the Wall Street Journal, the change in publishers was the result of her search for “the perfect editor.” Tan’s previous book Saving Fish From Drowning, may have disappointed some of her readers, notes the WSJ, quoting her agent, “It’s a very different book for Amy. I think people feel she’s been away.”

The Valley of Amazement is both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick for November.

Below is the video from CBS This Morning.

Now Filming: HBO’S OLIVE KITTERIDGE

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Olive KitteridgeLocal press in Cape Anne, MA. reports that film crews are currently shooting the HBO miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in the form of linked short stories, Olive Kitteridge (Random House).

Why Massachusetts, rather than the author’s beloved Maine? It seems it’s become a popular choice for filmmakers because of favorable tax incentives.

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), the four-part series stars Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.

McDormand, having fallen in love with the book before it won the Pulitzer, bought the rights and has been nursing the project along. She is co-producing it with Tom Hanks’ Playtone Partners.