Archive for the ‘Nonfiction’ Category

HBO’s LEWIS & CLARK
Moving Ahead

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

9780684826974The HBO series, Lewis And Clark, based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, (S&S, 1996) has faced some challenges, including wildfires on location and the firing of both the director and director of photography over creative differences three weeks into the production.

But HBO is still “undaunted,” declaring that filming will resume in the spring, according to Deadline, starring Casey Affleck as Meriwether Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts as William Clark. The series is being produced by Tom Hanks’s company, Playtone, along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B. Entertainment.

On the Screen: Organized Crime, British Style

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 12.07.45 PMLegend starring Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) is set to hit theaters in early October, based on The Profession of Violence by John Pearson, a 1972 nonfiction account of the Kray twins who ran the organized crime scene of London’s East End during the 50s and 60s.

The two also owned a nightclub in the swanky West End and hobnobbed with celebrities and politicians, by all accounts living a glittering existence, enjoying the money they raked in through extortion, robbery, arson, assault, and murder. They were arrested and jailed in 1969 and sentenced to life in prison.

Brian Helgeland, a director (42, A Knight’s Tale) and screenwriter (Mystic River, L.A. Confidential) directs. Hardy plays both twins. The cast also includes Emily Browning and Paul Bettany. A movie-tie in edition is due on Sept. 8.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV spreadsheet and link to our listing of tie-ins.

John Pearson
HarperCollins/William Collins; September 8, 2015; Paperback
9780008150280, 0008150281
$14.99 USD, $17.99 CAD

MISS MANNERS for Academics

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Editors Note: We’re pleased and delighted to announce that EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek will be serving on the 2017 Caldecott Award Selection Committee.

Unfortunately, this means that she will be on hiatus as our Kids Correspondent until her Caldecott duties are wrapped up.

She will still report on the occasional “grown-up” title she falls in love with, as she does below:

9780553419429_3ba86Flying under the radar is The Professor is In: The Essential Guide To Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job (RH/Crown, original trade pbk.) by academic employment consultant and former tenured professor, Karen Kelsky, who gives a no-holds-barred look at the academic market. It should be required reading for PhD candidates, recent graduates, prospective PhDs, and recent-hires on the tenure track.

Although the majority of the books I review are children’s and Young Adult titles, I have a side interest in business particularly professional development and management, so when I spotted a DRC of this book, I downloaded it.

As one of the lucky few who landed a full time academic appointment in an R1 university, I had read Kelsky’s blog also titled The Professor is In as well as her columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education for her practical, snark-tinged advice.

Kelsky has no patience for readers who ignore the obvious. Tenure-track positions are few and far between. Bottom line: there is a glut of qualified graduates for the rare full-time positions. She dispenses tough-love advice laying out the cost (economic and emotional) of trying to land one. “Achieving financial, emotional AND intellectual well being in academia is somewhat akin to climbing Everest blind.” For those who insist on getting on the tenure track, she provides best-case scenarios and information on how to achieve academic and employment goals. For those who do not achieve their goal, she also provides suggestions for repositioning job skills.

A cross between Carolyn Hax, Ask Amy and Miss Manners, Kelsky is the faculty mentor we all wish was in the office next door.

I can attest that her ideas work. Kelsky makes the case for sucking it up, jumping through the hoops and not making excuses. No one has time to write. Write anyway. Are academic leaves available? Apply for them. This was exactly my problem. My teaching and the daily tasks of my department left no time. There was a leave that I could apply for but I hadn’t been in position very long. I thought that my projects weren’t “good enough,” “research oriented enough” or “what these leaves were for.” I went back to the call for proposals only to discover that I had just a 24-hour window before the deadline, so I sucked it up, jumped through the hoops, made no excuses and got my application in.

A month ago, I received a letter from our director that I am approved for a 6 week writing leave. Seriously, this book is life-changing.

Filming: LOST CITY OF Z

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.42.21 PMThe convoluted path The Lost City of Z (RH/Doubleday;2009; OverDrive Sample) has taken to the big screen is finally set to deliver.

As we reported in 2013, the on-again/off-again movie adaptation has been bumpy, with everyone from Brad Pitt to Benedict Cumberbatch cited as possible stars but the project ended up shelved multiple times.

Now Deadline reports that the next actor to play Spider-Man, Tom Holland, will join the cast that already includes Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Charlie Hunnam. Flming has begun in Belfast and will continue in Colombia in the fall.

The book grew out of a New Yorker article by David Grann, (Doubleday, Feb, 2009), about British explorer, Percy Fawcett, who disappeared int the Amazon in 1935, during an attempt to prove his claim that a highly sophisticated city, which he called the City of Z, was hidden in the jungle. At the time it was published, the NYT critic Michiko Kakutani gave it a rare rave, “at once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd,” adding, “it reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.” It ended up topping most of the year’s best books lists.

As originally planned, James Gray (We Own the Night) is directing and Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B is overseeing the project.

JUST KIDS To Showtime

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.18.09 PMShowtime has bought the rights to adapt Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids (Harper/Ecco, 2010) as a limited series. reports Deadline.

Along with John Logan (Penny Dreadful), Smith will both write the screenplay and produce the series.

Just Kids recieved rave reviews and won the National Book Award Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.14.54 PMfor Nonfiction. It chronicles Smith’s friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and their creative lives as young artists.

M Train (RH/Knopf; BOT), Smith’s next memoir, is coming out on Oct. 6th.

Nancy Pearl on Graphic Bios

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.32.35 PMOn her weekly radio appearance on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW, librarian Nancy Pearl talks about Jessie Hartland’s Steve Jobs: Insanely Great (RH/Schwartz & Wade).

It is a graphic biography Nancy thinks would be perfect for middle and high school students, making it an alternative tie-in to the upcoming biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s 600+ page tome about the computer legend.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.33.48 PMFilled with black, white, and gray free-flowing images and text that often breaks out of speech bubbles, the nonfiction work details Jobs’s achievements and personality. Hartland’s website gives a quick glimpse of her style.

When asked by host Marcie Sillman, Nancy said that she thought Jobs would adore it, as she did, putting her on the hunt for Harland’s previous graphic biography, Bon Appétit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child (RH/Schwartz & Wade, 2012).

 

TRUMBO, Trailer

Monday, August 17th, 2015

From the goofy dad on the Fox comedy series Malcolm in the Middle to the chilling meth kingpin on AMC’s Breaking Bad and LBJ in Broadway’s All the Way (also set for an HBO adaptation), Bryan Cranston has shown a broad range. Next, he plays Dalton Trumbo in a biopic about the screenwriter who fought against the Hollywood blacklist in the 1940’s, to be released Nov.6 . The trailer has just been released.

Based on the book of the same title by Bruce Cook (S&S/Scribner, 1977), the movie also stars Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife, Cleo, Elle Fanning as their daughter, Nikola, Helen Mirren as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, along with John Goodman and  Louis C.K.

Trumbo wrote the screenplays for many well-known movies, including Spartacus, Roman Holiday, Papilion, and The Way We Were. He also wrote and directed Johnny Got His Gun, based on his own novel.

A tie-in has not been announced.

Closer to Screen: THE DEVIL IN
THE WHITE CITY

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

9780375725609After years in development, the adaptation of Eric Larson’s true crime title, The Devil in the White City (RH/Crown, 2003) is set to be directed by Martin Scorsese, with Leonardo DiCaprio starring as the serial killer H.H. Holmes who preyed on single young women drawn to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This will be the actor and director’s sixth project together.

Paramount won the film rights in a major auction after Warner Bros. let the them lapse last month (DiCaprio bought the rights back in 2010, with plans to star in it. Before that, in 2003, Tom Cruise acquired the rights, also planning to star).

Those who have read the book will agree with Deadline‘s assessment it presents a screen writing challenge because it  “interlac[es] the two main characters, the producer/architect of the World’s Fair and the man who works for him and turns out to be a mass murderer.” However, reports Deadline, the new script writer “[Billy] Ray cracked that, and the town flipped for it.” They don’t explain exactly what they flipped for, however.

Scorsese  is currently wrapping production on Silence, based on the 1996 novel by Japanese writer Shûsaku Endô, expected to release some time next year.

As usual, the director has several other balls in the air. In June, another of his favorite actors, Al Pacino said he’s hoping they will work together on The Irishman, based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brand (Steerforth, 2005).  Late last year, Mark Wahlberg was urging him to do a Boardwalk Empire movie. He has also announced plans direct Sinatra about the singer and to produce The Snowman based on the book by Jo Nesbø. It’s not known which project he will turn to first.

DiCaprio will next be seen in The Revenant, directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu and based on the book by Michael Punke, set for release in December.

Jon Stewart’s Final Book Shout Out

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

I9781579656232_0f768n his final week hosting the Daily Show, Jon Stewart uncharacteristically did not interview any authors, but he did a shout out to a book coming in October, Do Unto Animals, (Workman, Artisan), by an author he knows well, Tracey Stewart.

As a result the book has been rising on Amazon’s sales rankings and is currently
at #7.

Stewart’s final episode airs tonight. The show resumes on Sept. 28 with Trevor Noah as host.

Dolphins Close Up

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.53.48 AMOn NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Susan Casey talks about  her new book Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins (RH/Doubleday; RH and BOT Audio; OverDrive Sample), sending the book charging up the Amazon rankings.

In a fascinating and lengthy interview Casey details sections from her book including stories about dolphin researchers investigating language acquisition, her own unexpected swim with a pod of spinners, the astounding attributes of dolphins, and the threats facing them today.

In the following clip from the audio narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Casey explains what draws her to scuba diving, even when there is a threat of sharks.

Casey, an experienced ocean adventure writer, has also published the bestselling books The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean and The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks.

Holds are steady on fairly light ordering.

Trump Biography Moved Up

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.06.39 AM Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success by Michael D’Antonio (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne; Oct. 6) will be in the hands of readers sooner than first planned.

Originally scheduled for release in January, it will now be issued in early October in response to “high demand and heightened interest in Republican Presidential candidate Trump,” reports Entertainment Weekly. The LA Times adds that the biography will feature information gathered from interviews with Trump’s children and his ex-wives.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.19.34 AMAn update of Trump’s own 2011 book, Time to Get Tough: Making America Great Again (Regnery Publishing) is set for publication on Aug. 31. The burst on the cover, “Updated for 2016” indicates this may be his campaign book (the original, published in 2011, came out before the 2012 elections. He had hinted he would run then but ended up dropping out).

Neither book, however, will be available before the first Republican debates, scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, August 6 at 9 p.m EST.

Trump has published many books. Carlos Lozada, nonfiction book critic of The Washington Post, binge-read all eight of them and reports he “encountered a world where bragging is breathing and insulting is talking, where repetition and contradiction come standard, where vengefulness and insecurity erupt at random.” He doubts Trump would be satisfied if he actually became President, quoting him on what makes him happy, “The same assets that excite me in the chase, often, once they are acquired, leave me bored … For me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having.”

Rousey Knocks It Out

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.30.19 AMFirst came the controversy over the violence in UFC fighter Ronda Rousey’s autobiography My Fight/Your Fight (S&S/Regan Arts;  OverDrive Sample), which is sitting pretty at #16 on Amazon.

Now comes news that Paramount Pictures has bought the rights to the book and will cast Rousey in the starring role – playing herself. According to Variety Mark Bomback, who adapted Insurgent for the screen, will work on the script and serve as executive producer. Mary Parent (one of the people behind Noah and Godzilla) will produce along with Rousey. A start date has yet to be determined.

It will not be Rousey’s first role. She has been in The Expendables 3, Furious 7, and Entourage and is set to appear in Mile 22 alongside Mark Wahlberg.

SELP-HELF #1 Self Help Title

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.26.49 AMYouTube star Miranda Sing debuts at #1 on the NYT Advice, How-To, & Miscellaneous bestseller list with her first book, Selp-Helf (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample).

It is #6 on the USA Today list, an even more impressive feat since that list does not divide titles by category, putting the social media author right behind:
1) Go Set a Watchman, 2) Grey,
3) Paper Towns, 4) To Kill a Mockingbird, and 5) Girl on the Train.

The NYT Sunday Book Review covers the book (actually, it’s more like a printed scrap book) in their “Inside the List” column, saying “YouTube star Miranda Sings — real name Colleen Ballinger — has become a comic sensation by milking the disconnect between her supreme confidence and her hopeless lack of ability in pretty much any human endeavor: can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t apply lipstick inside the lines. Now she’s taken that endearing incompetence into the book world with a parody advice guide.”

Sings is just one of the social media personalities charging into the old media world of books. As we reported earlier, there are dozens of others getting attention (see our collection of 17 new and forthcoming titles).

The book may have been propelled by the author’s appearance at VidCon which just wrapped and is shining old media attention on new media disruption. Founded by VlogBrothers John and Hank Green in 2010, it has grown exponentially.

In his lengthy report on the convention, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair writes that “I have been to the high temple of digital video and I have seen its awesome, occasionally terrifying might. The revolution is not coming. It’s here.”

New York magazine signals their unease with the headline, “An Old Person’s Remote Recap of VidCon 2015.”

AMERICAN SNIPER’s Footsteps

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

9781455582297_3f737  American Sniper

Following the success of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, Hollywood is mad for military movies based on books. Underscoring that, a film based on 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff (Hachette/Twelve,2014) opens on January 15, 2016, the same weekend that its predecessor opened last year.

Retitled 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, it is directed by Michael Bay and stars John Krasinski and James Badge Dale,

The release of the trailer was enough to send the book moving up Amazon’s sales rankings (currently at #88).

Tie-ins:

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
MItchell Zuckoff
Hachette/Twelve: November 24, 2015
Trade Paperback
Mass market

THE END OF THE TOUR Arrives Tomorrow

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

9780307592439_19091  9780316920049

The movie adaptation of David Lipsky’s Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace, (RH/Broadway Books, 2010), titled The End of the Tour,  opens tomorrow.

The book and the movie are based on interviews with the normallly press-averse David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal in the movie) by Rolling Stone journalist Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) conducted when Wallace toured for his novel Infinite Jest. (Hachette/Little, Brown, 1996).

As a result, Wallace’s book, not Lipsky’s, is rising on Amazon sales rankings.