Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Best in Horror

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement in horror and dark fantasy were announced at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia last weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.01.32 AM  Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.27.13 AM  Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.02.29 AM

Steve Rasnic Tem won in the Novel category for Blood Kin (Solaris Books; OverDrive Sample) while Maria Alexander’s Mr. Wicker (Raw Dog Screaming Press) was selected as best First Novel. John Dixon took honors for best Young Adult Novel for Phoenix Island (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample) and Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.03.09 AMJonathan Maberry won the Graphic Novel category for Bad Blood (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample).

Jack Ketchum and Tanith Lee each received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The full list of winners and nominees is available on the Horror Writers Association website.

Holds Alert: THE BONE TREE

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.46.31 AMHolds are spiking well over a 3:1 ratio at some libraries for Greg Iles’s The Bone Tree (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample), the fifth novel in his Penn Cage series and the second in a 3-book arc that began last year.

The novel, which picks up where Natchez Burning left off, debuted on the NYT best seller list at the #4 spot on May 10 and moved down slightly to #6 on the May 17 list.

We listed it as one of the “Six Titles to Make You an RA Guru” the week of April 21 and The Washington Post’s Bill Sheehan gave it a glowing review yesterday, saying:

Like Natchez Burning, Iles’s latest is a hugely elaborate illustration of a famous line by William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Iles puts his own distinctive stamp on that Faulknerian theme, and the result is a very American epic-in-progress that leaves us waiting, none too patiently, for whatever revelations are still to come.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Tobey Maguire is developing a cable series based on Natchez Burning, working with David Hudgins who was the co-showrunner for Friday Night Lights. The project is with Amazon Studios, which has ordered scripts for two episodes.


Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 6.07.17 PMAs season one of the Outlander series winds down on Starz (the finale airs May 30), shooting has begun on the next season.

Based on the second novel in the book series, Dragonfly In Amber (RH/Delta; 2001; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample), it follows Jamie and Claire as they escape to France and try to stop the Jacobite rising.

Once again, it spans multiple time periods and also introduces new characters, including Jamie and Claire’s adult daughter Brianna, Fergus, Jamie’s spy and one-day-adopted son, and a young Lord John Grey.

According to the website zap2it, author Diana Gabaldon is pleased with the plans for season 2, saying:

The Parisian stuff is very good, and in fact I’m deeply impressed by the outlines I’ve seen of those scripts … I think they’ve done a wonderful job of pulling out the most important plot elements and arranging them in a convincing way …

Season two is slated to air in the spring of 2016, so fans will have to endure a year-long wait, or as they call it, #Droughtlander.


Monday, May 11th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.36.25 PMChristopher Bollen’s second novel,  Orient (Harper; HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) “might well be this summer’s most ambitious thriller or this summer’s most thrilling work of literary fiction” according to author Ivy Pachoda in her glowing LA Times review of Bollen’s second novel.

It is a review with plenty of juicy quotable lines for readers’ advisors to reference – especially when working with patrons who like their crime novels filled with high body counts and a thrumming sense of place.

And Pachoda knows a thing or two about capturing a strong sense of locale — she did it in her book Visitation Street (HarperCollins/Ecco; OverDrive Sample), set in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In her review of Orient she clearly appreciates a fellow author who is able to create a similar vibrant evocation of place, saying:

The Orient of Bollen’s novel is of course Orient Point, the town at the eastern-most tip of Long Island’s less fashionable North Fork — think Gatsby’s West Egg to Daisy’s East Egg — which has so far resisted the Ralph Lauren and McMansion uprising of the Hamptons to the south. But the artists are coming, scooping up pricy shorefront properties, gutting the charming homes, bringing their cavalier city ways and transforming the quaint town as they see fit.

Her quotes just get better, ending with this summary:

There’s a smorgasbord of delights in Orient, from its murderous plot to the cheeky fun Bollen has at the expense of the art world. And there is ample room in this expansive novel for surprisingly soulful descriptions of everything from the intricacies of beekeeping to the beauty of deer hunting. Most impressive is how Bollen’s book is rich in literary diversions, moments of keen sociological and emotional insight — often into personal isolation — that transcend the conventions of its story.

Pachoda is not alone in her admiration. USA Today offers another quotable line:

… a gorgeously written book whose literary chops are beyond doubt. Come for the prose, and stay for the murders.

Entertainment Weekly,
Summer Reading, 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

ew1363cvr-cover-postBuried in Entertainment Weekly’s new issue, long after the “Baby Power List,” the lavish look at Quentin Tarantino’s “Bloody, Brutal Hateful Eight” and the excerpt of Stephen King’s upcoming Finders Keepers, (not online) comes the “Summer Books Preview.”

The full listing of 40 titles is not available online, but we’ve created an Edelweiss collection of all the titles so you can check for Digital Review Copies (NOTE: Ernest Cline’s hotly anticipated Armada, RH/Crown, just became available).

Below are links to the sections that are available online.

10 Big Fat Beach Reads To Look Out For This Summer

Hot Reads: 5 Sequels Coming To Bookshelves This Summer

5 Out-Of-This-World Tales To Read This Summer


Monday, May 11th, 2015

big little liesCalling it the “next True Detective,” the Hollywood trades announce that HBO is set to adapt Liane Moriarty’s best seller Big Little Lies (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn), winning it away from Netflix in a competitive auction. Niclole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are producing and plan to star. They originally acquired the rights to the book and planned to adapt it as a novel.

Like True Detective, which burnished the careers of its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Hollywood watcher think this may do the same for Witherspoon and Kidman.

Before I Go To Sleep  Silent Wife  Second life

Both actress/producers have developed a taste for domestic thrillers. Kidman starred in Before I Go to Sleep, based on the novel by S.J. Watson (Harper, 2011). She’s also bought the rights to The Silent Wife, by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin original trade pbk, 2013).

Reese Witherspoon recently optioned Watson’s upcoming mystery thriller Second Life (Harper; HarperAudio; HarperLuxe) and was a producer for Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (RH/Crown, 2012).


Monday, May 11th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 10.17.05 AMEmily St. John Mandel has won the Arthur C. Clarke award, recognizing the best in Science Fiction, for her bestselling novel Station Eleven (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).

The book, a post-apocalyptic tale that weaves back and forth in time as it follows the fate of several characters while also exploring the sustaining power of art, has racked up a litany of accolades.

A finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner, it was picked as one of the Favorite of Favorites by LibraryReads, and made multiple best books of the year lists including Entertainment Weekly’s which selected it as their #1 pick.

As we reported, George R.R. Martin is on the bandwagon too, lobbying fans to support it for the Hugo award.

The genre categorization doesn’t sit well with Mandel. Responding to a review in the Washington Post’s “Science Fiction and Fantasy” column she told Ron Charles,

I was surprised to discover that if you write literary fiction that’s set partly in the future, you’re apparently a sci-fi writer … my only objection to these categories is that when you have a book like mine that doesn’t fit neatly into any category, there’s a real risk that readers who only read “literary fiction” won’t pick it up because they think they couldn’t possibly like sci-fi, while sci-fi readers will pick up the book based on the sci-fi categorization, and then be disappointed because the book isn’t sci-fi enough.

On the other hand, this offers readers advisors an opportunity to use Station Eleven to expand both SF and literary readers’ horizons.

Check your holds, they  are heavy in some libraries and trade paperback edition is scheduled for June 2,

Strange & Norrell Arrive In June

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The seven-part adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, is finally set to air on BBC America beginning June 13.

The U.S. trailer has just been released:

When the book was published in 2004, it went on to  become a hit, heralded by an profile of the author in the NYT Magazine. In the NYT Sunday Book Review, Gregory Maguire approvingly called it “Hogwarts for Grown-Ups,” saying, “Clarke’s imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.”

Today, the TV series is being compared to Game of Thrones.

The U.S. tie-in is scheduled for the end of this month.

9781620409909_bcf4fJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA, May 26, 2015
9781620409909, 1620409909
Trade Paperback, $18.00 USD, $20.00 CAD


Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Dark PlacesAfter a long hiatus, the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s second novel Dark Places has quietly been added to the domestic movie schedule, with a release date of August 8th.

Premiering in France earlier this year, it has a lot going for it, including the major success of the author’s previous adaptation, Gone Girl, and an A-list cast featuring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Chloe Grace Moretz.

Theron worked to promote it, telling interviewers that she suffered a trauma similar to the one portrayed in the film, but trade reviews were not appreciative (The Hollywood Reporter was mixed but Variety was not).

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

Flynn, who has a developing career in Hollywood, is now at work on an original script with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen.


9780553418484_52cc6Dark Places (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Gillian Flynn
RH/Broadway: June 2, 2015
9780553418484, 0553418483
Trade Paperback
$14.00 USD, $17.00 CAD


SyFy Big On Book Adaptations

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Pilot season is in full swing, with the networks announcing which of the hopefuls will make the transition to full series.

The Syfy channel has picked up Lev Grossman’s fantasy trilogy The Magicians as a 12-episode series. Set to begin shooting in Vancouver in July, it stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year) as Quentin Coldwater.

Syfy has a few other book adaptations in the works. Coming in December, a series based on Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, (RH/De Rey).

Also set to premiere in December is The Expanse, based the series by James S.A. Corey, beginning with Leviathan Wakes, (Hachette/Orbit, 2011).

9780765331533   BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition

Coming some time next year, is a thriller series, The Hunters based on Whitley Strieber’s Alien Hunter, (Macmillan/Tor, 2013).

In addition, Syfy recently announced that they are isteaming with Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin TV for a series based on Aldous Huxley’s classic,  Brave New World.

Small Screen Magic

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Teasing Americans, BBC One has released a trailer for the seven-part adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which begins in the May. It is set to air on BBC America, but the release date has not yet been announced.

Adding to the frustration, The Sunday Times of London says the series “could be magic” because it’s “a perfect fit for the new age of small-screen drama.”

Neil Gaiman writes in The Guardian how he fell under the book’s spell in 2004 and continues to love it to this day. The book’s author Susanna Clarke describes the weird sensation of seeing “my own characters walking about.  A playwright or screenwriter must expect it; a novelist doesn’t and naturally concludes that she has gone mad.”

The U.S. tie-in is scheduled for the end of this month.

9781620409909_bcf4fJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA, May 26, 2015
9781620409909, 1620409909
Trade Paperback, $18.00 USD, $20.00 CAD

NPR’s Morning Edition
Book Club Returns

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.05.10 AMCheck your holds on Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), announced today as  the second pick in NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club.

NPR asks a well-known writer to select each book for the club and to explain the reasons for that choice on the show. Gillian Flynn did the honors for this one, saying that Atkinson exhibits a “vast humanity for her characters, [an] incredible empathy… and is an author that can make readers weep on one page and laugh on the next.”

A God in Ruins is a companion of sorts to the bestselling Life After Life, (Hachette/Little, Brown OverDrive Sample), following a character from the first book, Ursula Todd’s younger brother Teddy. It is the story of a life strongly affected by war and is told through three generations – Teddy, his daughter, and grandchildren.

Flynn says readers will enjoy dissecting the book’s many characters and will have differing opinions about them, making it a good book group pick.

NPR provides a reading guide and instructions on how to post questions and comments via Facebook, Instagram and  Twitter  (using #morningeditionbookclub). Atkinson will appear on Morning Edition June 16th to answer those questions and discuss the book.

A God in Ruins follows Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine And The Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). As we reported, the push from NPR helped that nonfiction account take off. A movie based on the story, titled The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Gabriel Byrne will be released November 13.

Flanagan in U.S.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

9780804171472_f2c70Winner of the 2014 Booker, Australian novelist Richard Flanagan is making his first appearances in the U.S. Yesterday’s interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, interviewed by guest host Indira Lakshmanan, caused The Narrow Road to the Deep North (RH/Knopf; RH/Vintage trade pbk; Blackstone Audio) to rise again on Amazon’s sales rankings (listen here, if for nothing else, to hear him read from the book, beginning around time stamp 7:15).

On Friday, he appears in conversation with Claire Messud at the PEN World Voices Festival.

Ruth Rendell Dies at 85

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.04.40 AMAuthor Ruth Rendell, who also wrote under the pen name Barbara Vine, has died at age 85, after suffering a stroke in January.

Known for her skill in crafting dark, pointed, and intellectual psychological thrillers, Rendell is one of the pioneers of crime fiction.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.45.54 AMShe is the author of the Inspector Reginald Wexford mysteries, beginning in 1964 with From Doon with Death (RH/Ballantine, 2007; OverDrive Sample). She went on to write 23 more over a career that spanned fifty years (the most recent is No Man’s Nightingale, S&S/Scribner, 2013; OverDrive Sample).

Rendell also wrote successful standalones. The newest is The Girl Next Door (S&S/Scribner, 2014; OverDrive Sample).

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.05.54 AMHer next book, also a standalone, is scheduled for December, Dark Corners (S&S/Scribner, 12/1/15; 9781501119422, 1501119427).

As Barbara Vine, Rendell wrote hits such as A Dark-Adapted Eye (currently out of stock in print; available digitally from Open Road Media; OverDrive Sample) and The Birthday Present (RH/Broadway; OverDrive Sample).

The Guardian suggests five key works for new readers to try and for established fans to revisit.

Edgar Honors Go To King and Flynn Among Others

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.48.39 AMA relative newcomer to the hardboiled detective genre, Stephen King, wins the Edgar award for Best Novel with Mr. Mercedes (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The book, a cat-and-mouse game between an ex-detective and a killer who turns a car into a weapon, is the first in an expected trilogy. As we reported, the second book, Finders Keepers, comes out in early June.

This is King’s first individual Edgar Award. He was named a Grand Master in 2007 and was nominated for an Edgar in 2014 for Joyland, although The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood took the prize that year.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.51.34 AMGillian Flynn won the Best Short Story category with “What Do You Do?” published in Rogues (Penguin/Bantam Books; OverDrive Sample) which was a LibraryReads pick last June.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.52.26 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.53.31 AMAdditional Edgars, which are widely considered the premier awards for the mystery genre, were also awarded to Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton; OverDrive Sample) for Best First Novel (it was a LibraryReads pick last July) and The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Penguin; OverDrive Sample) for Best Paperback Original.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.55.10 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.54.11 AMThe two top nonfiction picks went to Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (Harper; OverDrive Sample) for Best Fact Crime and to Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton/Countryman Press) for Best Critical/Biographical.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.58.01 AMThe Mary Higgins Clark Award went to Jane Casey for The Stranger You Know (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; OverDrive Sample) and two new Grand Masters were named, Lois Duncan and James Ellroy.

A complete list of winners and nominees is available on the Edgar site.