Featured on Fresh Air yesterday was Mark Harris on his new a book about filmmakers in WWII, Five Came Back: A Story Of Hollywood And The Second World War, (Penguin Press; Recorded Books).
The author describes the shift in relationships between the film business and the U.S. government, “Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films … to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.”
Coming today on Fresh Air, Kevin Young shares poems from his new collection, Book of Hours, (Knopf) about the death of his father and the birth of his son.
This week, Jon Stewart gives rare attention to a novelist (who happens to be well-known as the creator of Family Guy and director of Ted). The rest of the week, he returns to his interest in politics and the future. Colbert should have fun on Tuesday with “the rockstar of the Internet,” Jaron Lanier.
Billed as MacFarlane’s debut novel, this actually began life as a screenplay. A movie of the same title, starring Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, as well as MacFarlane himself, premieres on May 30th.
The Wall Street Journal interviewed MacFarlane last week, saying, “In an inversion of the usual adaptation process, Mr. MacFarlane reverse-engineered A Million Ways to Die in the West from a script he co-wrote with his friends and frequent collaborators, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.” Guess they never heard of a novelization. Describing the book, the article adds, “The novel is likely to be polarizing—with some finding it bitingly funny and fresh and others dismissing it as juvenile—much like his animated shows and his blockbuster 2012 comedy Ted.”
The trailer for the movie, below (warning, NOT for the squeamish and also NSFW):
The rest of the week:
Tuesday, March 4
Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jim DeMint, former South Carolina senator, a leading tea partner, and now CEO of conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation. His new book is Falling in Love with America Again, (Hachette/Center Street, March, 2014).
The Colbert Report
Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future?, (trade pbk reprint, March 4, S&S) — Originally published last year, The New York Times called this “brilliant” and “daringly original.”
Thursday, March 6
Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, (Perseus/PublicAffairs, Feb. 11) — The Washington Post calls this a ”masterful synthesis of polls.”
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. There were German terrorist cells in Amearica during WW I, blowing up American factories and ships and carrying out germ warfare on thousands of American horses being shipped to Europe.
Howard Blum investigates that story in Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany’s Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America (Harper, Feb. 11). He was interviewed on Fresh Air yesterday, sending the book to #57 on Amazon’s sales rankings.
The latest update of the classic children’s bed time story, Goodnight Moon, arriving today and featured on Buzz Feed, is Goodnight Nanny-Cam: A Parody for Modern Parents by Lizzy Ratner and Jen Nessel, illustrated by Sara Pinto (Penguin/Plume).
Stewart is a bit late to the party on this book, which was featured on NPR after it was published last fall. He has a natural affinity for the subject; his forthcoming movie, Rosewater, (no release date yet), is based on another book about a family in Iran, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari, (Random House, 2011).
Tuesday: The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind, Michio Kaku, (RH/Doubleday, 2/25/14)
The media’s favorite physicists explores the cutting edge of brain research.
Thursday — Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, Kevin Roose, (Hachette/Grand Central)
The author also appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition last week (see our earlier story ).
If you haven’t yet become inured to the “greed is good” phenomenon among financial kingpins, give a listen to Kevin Roose on NPR’s Morning Edition as he reveals the dripping distain they exhibit towards outsiders during one of their annual secret society events, which Roose describes as being “like The Wolf of Wall Street meets the Elk Club.”
In his new book, Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, (Hachette/Grand Central), Roose follows eight people in their first two years on Wall Street. It seems that world has lost its shine. Of the 8 people, only 3 are still in finance and just one of them is happy in the job. Says Roose, “The sex appeal is in Silicon Valley now. That’s where you go if you want to strike it rich. It has the cultural cachet that Wall Street used to have.”
As part of Sunday’s Olympics coverage, NBC debuted a preview of the Universal movie Unbroken (the studio is part of NBC), directed by Angelina Jolie. It is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller, Unbroken (Random House, 2010), still on the NYT hardcover nonfiction list at #11 after 156 weeks.
Looks like the movie will bring new readers to the book; the preview sent the book up to #2 (from #62) on Amazon’s sales rankings.
It will be several months before the movie theatrical opening (set for Christmas Day), but the Olympics serves as a good tie-in, since the hero of the film, Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O’Connell) competed in the 1936 Olympics. The real-life Zamperini, now 96, is also featured in the preview, narrated by Tom Brokaw.
He appears tomorrow night on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to talk about his book, released last week, The Party’s Over : How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat, (Penguin/Dutton).
Libraries show growing holds on light ordering for The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (Norton; Brilliance Audio).
Holds continue to rise on Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio), spurred by the author’s appearance on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report (video below) as well as NPR’s Fresh Air. The book has also jumped from #24 on Amazon’s sales rankings to #4.
Still to come; an interview with the author is scheduled for Feb. 27 on Good Morning America.