Archive for the ‘Nonfiction’ Category

CIRCLING THE SUN is #1 for Indies in August

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The August Indie Next List is available to preview.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.11.37 AMTopping the list at #1 is Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun (RH/Ballantine; BOT and RH Audio)

About the adventurer and aviation pioneer Beryl Markham, it is also a LibraryReads pick for July as well as a GalleyChat favorite. The summary, written by Rhianna Walton of Powell’s Books, offers useful sell lines for those still looking for a way to capture its content and feel:

Reading Circling the Sun reminded me of the deep pleasure of solid storytelling: the vast landscape of colonial Kenya, complicated and compelling historical characters, love, suffering, and adventure combine to create a captivating narrative. McLain imagines the African childhood and early adulthood of real-life horse trainer and pioneering female aviator Beryl Markham, as well as her social milieu, which included Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa. Markham lived a fascinating and uncompromising life filled with danger, ill-fated romance, and stunning bravery, and McLain does justice to her memory with this sensitive and beautifully written portrayal.

Some library reading groups are planning to read it along with Markham’s own memoir, West With the Night (Macmillan/North Point Press). Her contemporary, Ernest Hemingway memorably said about it. “this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.14.56 AMKitchens of the Great Midwest (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Penguin Audio) by J. Ryan Stradal

A debut novel about a savant chef and the power of cooking,  Jessica Stockton Bagnulo of the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY says it is a novel that “everyone is going to be talking about!” Librarians certainly are as it made our GalleyChat picks back in March and is the number one LibraryReads pick for July. ALSO NOTE: Please join our Penguin First Flights live online chat with the author is on July 15.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.16.03 AMThe list includes a number of other debuts, including The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample) by Natasha Pulley. A literary blend of steampunk, fantasy, and historical fiction, it is a book readers’ advisors might want to particularly note, as Amanda Hurley of Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL) makes clear at the end of her annotation: “Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.20.20 AMBig Names appear as well. The long anticipated Armada (Crown/RH; RH Audio) by Ernest Cline makes the list with the comment that it “will not disappoint the myriad fans of Ready Player One. On the contrary, it is another magical, nerdy romp through science fiction and fantasy pop culture where the thing that happens to the hero is exactly the thing every sci-fi lover secretly — or not so secretly — dreams will happen to them!” Note also that Steven Spielberg is directing and adaptation of Ready Player One expected to begin filming next year.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.22.58 AMThe newest Alice Hoffman novel, The Marriage of Opposites (Simon & Schuster; S&S Audio) makes the cut as well. It is about the life of Rachel Pomie Petit Pissarro and her son, Camille, the great Impressionist painter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.27.20 AMIn nonfiction fans of Alex Kershaw have a new book to enjoy, Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris (RH/Crown; BOT and RH Audio), about the chief surgeon at the American Hospital in Paris who worked with the underground network to move people to safety during WWII.

STEVE JOBS, Official Trailer

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The “first look” trailer in May was only the beginning. Now we have the “Official First Trailer”  for the movie Steve Jobs based on the book by Walter Isaacson (S&S, 2012).

For a while it looked like the movie might not come together at all. Directors were changed, several potential leads dropped out (including Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale). As Entertainment Weekly reports, once Michael Fassbinder was on board, the rest fell into place quickly.

Directed by  Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire 2008), the script is written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, The Newsroom, The Social Network). The screenplay reportedly is in three acts, each based on one of Jobs’s major launches. Kate Winslet, who plays one of the original Apple employees, said in a recent interview, “Each act is continuous 45 minutes backstage of real time at each launch that Steve Jobs made during those time periods — ‘84 was the launch of the Macintosh, ‘88 was the NeXT computer, ‘98 was the iMac. Each act takes place backstage and literally ends with him walking from the wings on to the stage to rapturous applause.”

The movie arrives Oct. 9.

A tie-in has not yet been announced.

Misty Copeland Makes History

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Call it #WeNeedDiverseBallet. After 14 years with the American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland has just been become the company’s first black female principal dancer.

9781476737980_f76ddHer autobiography, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, (S&S/Touchstone; Tantor Audio), was published in hardcover last year and is also available in trade paperback.

She also published a children’s picture book, Firebird, illus. by Christopher Myers, (Penguin/Putnam) picked as a best book of the year by NPR:

9780399166150_a023d

“The book is for very young dancers who may not see many people who look like them in the world of ballet. It’s illustrated by Christopher Myers, whose collagelike work is painterly, vivid and emotional. Copeland’s writing and Myers’ art draw you into a beautiful world, rich with color, texture and drama. For all budding young artists who maybe don’t have role models they can relate to, this little book provides some inspiration.”

She was one of Time magazine’s 100 Most influential People this year and was profiled in May on 60 Minutes and said she dreamed of becoming ABT’s principal dancer one day. That day has come.

PROJECT FATHERHOOD
on Fresh Air

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

9780807014523_3ffaaYesterday NPR’s Fresh Air featured a much-needed inspiring story about the possibility of change, the dangers of stereotyping, and how a group of former gang members in Watts come together to learn to become better fathers.

That effort is covered in the book,  Project Fatherhood by Jorja Leap (Beacon Press, 6/9/15).

ORANGE Alert

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

9780812986181_0d2c5Orange is the New Black, season three, debuted on Netflix two weeks ago, moving the memoir  by Piper Kerman it is based on (RH/Spiegel & Grau) back onto best seller lists.

The series is known for bringing attention to other books as well. Entertainment Weekly points out that the new season is a bit lighter on specific titles (all the books in the prison library are burned after a bed bug is discovered in a copy of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH).

But there’s plenty of titles to mine from previous series for a book display.

Season Two Reading List

Season One (BuzzFeed)

The series has been renewed for a fourth season.

CAPTIVE, Trailer

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Faith-based movies and tv shows have become significant money makers, so much so that the Hollywood trade publication Variety sponsors an event titled “PURPOSE: The Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit.”

One of the keynote speakers this year will be David Oyelowo, who starred as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. According to Variety, he is a devout Christian, who only takes roles that reflect well on his beliefs.

In the upcoming movie Captive, he plays the real-life Brian Nichols, an escaped convict who murdered four people and took Ashley Smith as hostage in the process. By reading to Nichols from Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life, (Zondervan,2002), Ashley (played by Kate Mara) managed to talk Nichols into turning himself in. She then wrote an account of the experience, Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story Of The Atlanta Hostage Hero (HarperCollins/Zondervan, 2005), on which the movie is based.

The movie is being released by Paramount on 9/18/2015. The trailer was just released:

Tie-in:

Captive : The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero
Ashley Smith
HarperCollins/Morrow: August 18, 2015
Paperback, $14.99 USD, $18.50 CAD

But the book that may get the biggest boost  from the movie. is The Purpose Driven Life,

QUEEN OF THE DESERT, Trailer

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Based on the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell, often called “the female Lawrence of Arabia,” the international trailer has been released for Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, leading up to its opening in Germany this fall (no U.S. release date has been announced).

The movie stars Nicole Kidman as Bell, with Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence. Also starring are James Franco and Damian Lewis.

Reviews were not kind when it was shown at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. IndieWire ‘s headline stated unequivocally that it’s “Werner Herzog’s Worst Movie in Years” and Variety complained, “Herzog has seldom been accused of subtlety, but this particular narrative is actually so understated, it will have to be handled as a specialty title in most territories.”

The movie is not based on a specific title, but several recent bios of Bell are available, as well as her own writings. Penguin is releasing a collection in August that refers to the movie:

9780143107378_4df42A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert

Gertrude Bell, Georgina Howell (Edited by), Georgina Howell (Introduction by)
Penguin Classics: August 11, 2015
USD, $19.00 CAD, £9.99

 

 

Holds Alert: DOWN THE
RABBIT HOLE

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.01.17 AMLibraries that bought Holly Madison’s new memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny (Harper/Dey Street Books; HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio) are seeing soaring holds.

Madison, once a Playboy bunny and now a reality TV star, is pushing hard for a TV movie deal, telling E! she hopes Lily James (of Cinderella and Downton Abbey fame) would star.

Of course, all of this may just be wishful thinking by Madison, but she is a skilled promoter and already has a TV show (after Dancing with the Stars and The Girls Next Door), so she may get her wish, if not her fairy tale casting.

Hold ratios are deep in the red where libraries bought lightly and attention is still going strong with an appearance today on Good Morning America and reaction coming from Hugh Hefner in response to her allegations about life in the Playboy Mansion.

THE CORFU TRILOGY,
New Adaptation

Friday, June 19th, 2015

111780The beloved memoirs by Gerald Durrell (Lawrence’s younger brother), The Corfu Trilogy are set to become a 6-part TV series, commissioned by ITV in the U.K. Deadline reports that filming is expected to begin this summer.

The series, titled after the first book in the trilogy, My Family And Other Animals (1956), is about Durrell’s childhood prior to WW II, when his mother moved the family to the Greek island of Corfu. There he learned to love wildlife, leading to his career as a well-known naturalist and zookeeper. The other books in the series are  Birds, Beasts, And Relatives (1969) and The Garden Of The Gods (1978).

Two other adaptations have been made of the first book, a TV series in 1987 by the BBC and A&E and a 90 minute made for TV movie in 2005.

ASTRONAUT WIVES Arrive

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Astronaut Wives Club  AWC_Key_Art_Embed

The 10-episode series The Astronaut Wives Club, debuts on ABC tonight. Based on Lily Koppel’s book of the same title about the wives of of the first U.S. astronauts (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio and Large Print), unfortunately, it does not seem to have lift-off.

The New York Times review dismisses it saying it does the women a “disservice by sugarcoating them almost as much as NASA did some 50 years ago.” The L.A. Times damns it with faint praise, “it is not the worst way to spend an idle hour on a summer night.”

The cover of the book, above left, features the actual wives. They were profiled on CBS Sunday Morning when the book was published in 2013. Next to it, the poster for the series, featuring the wives as portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominique McElligott, Odette Annable, Erin Cummings, Azure Parsons and Zoe Boyle.

Extended sneak peek, below.

Madoff TV Series Staffing Up

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

51WqdPxwodL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_If you were wandering the streets of Queens yesterday, you may have seen a production crew at work on ABC’s limited TV series, Madoff, based on The Madoff Chronicles by Brian Ross (Hyperion, 2009). The subject of the series, Bernie Madoff, now incarcerated for developing an infamous Ponzi scheme, was born in Queens.

Starring Richard Dreyfuss as Madoff and Blythe Danner as his wife Ruth, new cast members Charles Grodin and Lewis Black joined this week.

No release date has been announced, but in November the Disney Book Group plans to release a new paperback version that “will serve as a tie to the ABC drama starring Richard Dreyfuss.” (it and other tie-ins are listed in our Upcoming Movie and TV Tie-ins).

The Madoff Chronicles (Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth)
Brian Ross
Disney Book Group/Kingswell; November 10, 2015
Paperback; $14.99 USD, $16.50 CAD

HBO has also had a competing product in the works, a movie starring Robert De Niro as Madoff. Announced in 2011, a new screenwriter was assigned in late 2013, In February of this year, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg, it was still in development

De Niro talked about prepping for the role in an interview with Bloomberg in April 2013:

The De Niroa project is based on two books:

Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell (Hachette/Little, Brown, 2011), based on interviews with Madoff’s family.

The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana B. Henriques (Macmillan/ St. Martins; Tantor Audio, 2011)

Order Alert:
THE SEVEN GOOD YEARS

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.15.55 AMWith so many memoirs coming out each season, it’s difficult to predict which ones will take off. Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years: A Memoir (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) is moving up Amazon’s sales rankings after the author’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. And no wonder. Portrayed by trade reviews as a diffuse collection of parenting stories set in war-torn Israel, it comes across quite differently in the interview.  Host Terry Gross introduces it as a collection of funny and moving tales by a contributor to This American Life focused on war, religion, and history.

It is titled The Seven Good Years because that is the time period between the birth of Keret’s son and the death of his father.

Keret appears wry and rueful with an odd sense of charm, as this excerpt illustrates:

As a 5-year-old I asked my father, “What’s a prostitute?” He said to me, “A prostitute is somebody who makes a living by listening to other people’s problems.”

I asked him, “What’s a mafia guy?” He says, “A mafia guy is like a landlord but he collects money from houses that he doesn’t own.”

And I asked him “What’s a drunk person?” He said, “It’s somebody who has a physical condition that the more liquids he drinks, the happier he becomes.”

At that stage I couldn’t really decide if when I grow up I want to become a drunk prostitute or a drunk mafia guy, but [both] options seemed very attractive.

In addition to the NPR coverage, Keret’s book is one of  Amazon’s “Best Books of June” and made Esquire’s Summer Reading List.

Ordering is light, but where copies are available holds are strong.

Bound For Best Seller Lists: MODERN ROMANCE

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 11.18.53 AMOn the heels of fellow Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman hitting the best seller lists with  Gumption, Aziz Ansari is doing well with his book,  Modern Romance (Penguin; BOT and Penguin Audio) co-written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg.

A blend of humor and social science examining the dating scene in all its modern Match.com/Tinder wonder, the book is currently at the #11 spot on Amazon, indicating it will appear on next week’s best seller lists.

Modern Romance is also getting attention from a who’s who of media including NPR’s All Things Considered, Vanity Fair, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Slate.

Ansari appeared yesterday on Good Morning America.


ABC US News | World News

Libraries have ordered the book very lightly. Where copies are available holds are exceed 3:1 ratios.

PRIMATES OF PARK AVE.
Movie Deal

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMFirst the buzz, then the questions about accuracy and now the possible movie.

After a competitive auction, according to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM has won the film rights to the recently published Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster; ebook, 9781476762722).

It hit the NYT Combined Nonfiction Best Sellers list at #2 this week.

PRIMATES OF PARK AVENUE Raises Doubts

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMThe buzzy memoir Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster; ebook, 9781476762722) is falling victim to the truth squad with questions arising about the events in the book and its timeline.

According to The New York Times, publisher S&S plans to add a note to future editions as well as the eBook, saying “It is a common narrative technique in memoirs for some names, identifying characteristics and chronologies to be adjusted or disguised, and that is the case with Primates of Park Avenue. A clarifying note will be added to the e-book and to subsequent print editions.”

After early juicy reporting pre-publication, questions have been raised by the New York Post about how accurate the stories are. Reviewing it, Janet Maslin in the daily New York Times includes whoppers such as “Ms. Martin’s description of her book as a ‘stranger-than-fiction story’ is fair — but only because fiction usually makes sense” and “someone has a book to fill and a theme to stick to, regardless of whether it has any point.” On the other hand, Vanessa Grigoriadis in the NYT Sunday Book Review, someone who knows the territory, wasn’t bothered if a few things are suspect, “the sociology rings true, even if the codification can be off (a common practice among stay-at-home moms and their working husbands in a flush year called ‘presents under the Christmas tree’ is here designated a ‘wife bonus’). ”

On track to hit best seller lists this week, the attention is likely to only add to the interest, following the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.