Archive for the ‘Memoirs’ Category

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hold Alert: THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 11.07.10 AMAn unlikely title has moved into the top 100 Amazon sales rankings, James Rebanks’s The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches From an Ancient Landscape (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; OverDrive Sample).

About his life as a shepherd in the wild landscape of the Lake District area of England, it celebrates the deep-rooted legacy of family farming that Rebanks can trace back through multiple generations.

That might sound overly specialized, but like H is for Hawk before it, Rebanks’s memoir seems poised to capture a large audience that appreciates fine writing and a sharp eye for detail and place.

For a sense of the landscape and work Rebanks describes, take a look at his book video (he is a man who understands the modern as well as the past, starting his book as a Twitter feed (@herdyshepherd1 which has garnered 63.8 thousand followers to date).

Certainly reviewers are taking note.

The New York Times offers:

“Expertise — and explanations of the craft and clockwork behind the ticktock of a profession — is hugely compelling when described with ardor and élan, and Mr. Rebanks brings both to his account … at once, a memoir, a portrait of his family’s world and an evocative depiction of his vocation as a shepherd.”

The Guardian glows:

“told with perfect pitch, in prose that flows as easily as speech, cleaves hungrily to the particular, and shifts without strain between the workaday and the imaginative.”

The Seattle Times says simply:

“It is as moving, truthful and at times poetic as anything you’re likely to read.”

Readers have gotten on board. Holds are growing with many lists exceeding a 3:1 ratio.

Redford Takes A WALK IN THE WOODS

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

9780767902526The first trailer has been released for Robert Redford’s movie based on Bill Bryson’s hilarious account of an attempt to hike the Appalachian trail despite “years of waddlesome sloth,” A Walk in the Woods, (RH/Broadway; RH Audio, 1998). The movie debuts Sept. 9.

Bryson is played by Redford. Joining him in the adventure is his old pal Katz, a man even more ill-prepared for the effort than Bryson, played by Nick Nolte (in a role originally intended for Redford’s late friend Paul Newman).

A Walk in the Woods (Movie Tie-In): Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson
RH/Broadway, July 28, 2015
Trade Paperback; 9781101905494, 1101905492;  $15.99 USD
Mass Market Pbk; 9781101970881, 110197088X; $7.99 USD

Our Books to Movies & TV listing has updated information on over 400 adaptations in the works (for tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection).

Neurosurgery’s Boswell

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

9781250065810_f4331-2British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book, Do No Harm  Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s; HighBridge Audio, 5/25/15), “gives us an extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening understanding of his vocation. He writes with uncommon power and frankness,” according to critic Michiko Kakutani in today’s New York Times.  The New Yorker also gives the book high marks  saying Marsh “writes like a novelist—he thinks in terms of scenes, patterns, and contrasts,” comparing him to Ian McEwan, who provides the book’s cover blurb,

Neurosurgery has met its Boswell in Henry Marsh. Painfully honest about the mistakes that can “wreck” a brain, exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient, and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine’s most difficult art and lifts our spirits. It’s a superb achievement.

Marsh is more interested in his failures than his successes, and therefore, as Kakutani says, the book can make unsettling reading. However, given the number of books by physicians that have found their way to best seller lists recently, that may not be a deter readers. Check your holds.

THE DAILY SHOW Features
Big Lives This Week

Monday, May 4th, 2015

A Curious MindBrian Grazer appears tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss his new book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) co-written with Charles Fishman.

Grazer, a high-powered Hollywood producer best known for films such as Apollo 13 and the currently hot Fox show Empire, was profiled early last month on CBS Sunday Morning, helping the book to land on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list.

His book explores the power of curiosity as a motivating and life-changing force. It has been such a central concept in Grazer’s life that he has conducted hundreds of “curiosity conversations” with a who’s who of famous names.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.02.44 AMOn Tuesday the legendary Willie Nelson sits down with Stewart to talk about his memoir It’s a Long Story: My Life (Hachette/Little, Brown; Machete Audio; OverDrive Sample), which chronicles the 82-year-old’s life from childhood in small town Abbott, TX, through the heyday of his career, following up on his 1988 memoir, Willie, and the more philosophical The Tao of Willie (2006) and 2012’s Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.

Nelson’s memoir is written with David Ritz, an award-winning author focused on music biographies, who also helped Ray Charles and Rick James tell their tales.

Nelson performed one of his most well-known hits on the finale of PBS Austin City Limits:

M TRAIN Cover Reveal

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

M Train Patti SmithThe release of the cover for Patti Smith’s upcoming memoir, M Train (RH/Knopf; RH Audio, Oct. 6) is bringing a raft of media attention, from Rolling Stone to the New York Times and even the Religion News Service (“Patti Smith’s spiritual curiosity on display in sequel to Just Kids“).

Entertainment Weekly claims to have the “exclusive cover reveal,” and describes the cover image as, “a sacred memento for Smith: It shows her at Cafe ‘Ino in Greenwich Village, where M Train begins, and where Smith went every morning for a breakfast of black coffee and brown bread. On the last day before Cafe ‘Ino closed, a passing photographer took the picture. Smith calls it ‘the first and last picture at my corner table in Ino … My portal to where.’ ”

The title of the book refers to the NYC subway line which runs through the Brooklyn neighborhood where she once shared an apartment with Robert Mapplethorpe and in to Greenwich Village. The book itself is described by the publisher as “a journey through eighteen ‘stations.’ It begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee.”

Candice Bergen’s Double Header

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.47.13 AMOn the Opening Day of baseball season, Candice Bergen had her own double header with appearances on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday to talk about her new memoir A Fine Romance (S&S; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Calling the book a “love letter” to her daughter, Bergen writes about her marriage to the French film director Louis Malle, her time on Murphy Brown, motherhood, and her difficult childhood as the daughter of the famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (who, improbably, became a big hit on the non-visual medium of radio).

Bergen tells CBS’s Jane Pauley that her dad cut her out of his will but left a bequest to his wooden ventriloquist’s dummy, Charlie McCarthy.

Bergen’s new book is geScreen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.47.52 AMtting the media attention one would expect for such a well-known actress. She will be interviewed on the Today show, Charlie RoseLive with Kelly and Michael and Ellen, as well as in a range of print publications, from Vanity Fair to AARP Magazine.

A Fine Romance follows her bestselling 1984 memoir, Knock Wood (S&S; OverDrive Sample), which was re-released last July. The title refers to her feelings about her father’s performing partner.

Holds are heavy in some libraries we checked, spiking well over a 3:1 ratio.

Scott Simon Times Three

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The voice may be familiar, but not the face. Scott Simon, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday began moonlighting as a regular correspondent on yestaday’s CBS Sunday Morning. It’s a busy time for Simon. In addition to radio and TV, his new memoir, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) hits the shelves on Tuesday.

UnforgettableIn 2013 Simon was at his mother’s bedside as she died, tweeting about grief and his experience from the intensive-care unit. It was a vigil that played out on Twitter with millions following along. In this, his third memoir, he writes about his mother’s glamorous but difficult life, his childhood, and witnessing her death. As The Washington Post captures in its glowing review, it is an affecting story.

A Curious MindIn his debut on Sunday Morning, Simon interviews Hollywood powerhouse Brian Grazer, best known for Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and the currently hot Fox show Empire, who is also publishing a  new book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (S&S; S&S Audio; April 7) co-written with Charles Fishman. In it, he explores the power of curiosity and open-mindedness in his career, which has also allowed him to conduct “curiosity conversations” with Barack Obama and Eminem among hundreds of others.

Unfortunately, the embed code for the segment does not work; watch it here.

As a result of the show, Grazer’s book rose to #49 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Currently holds are light for both titles but expect demand as the PR machines rev up for each.

Holds Alert: BETTYVILLE

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 10.15.35 AMBettyville by George Hodgman (Penguin/Viking; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample) is getting increased attention. The just released memoir by a former editor for Vanity Fair and book editor for Henry Holt who moves from NYC to tiny Paris, Missouri to care for his aging and ill mother, has already been featured in a profile in  The New York Times, which called it,

 “… a most remarkable, laugh-out-loud book … Rarely has the subject of elder care produced such droll human comedy, or a heroine quite on the mettlesome order of Betty Baker Hodgman … For as much as the book works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery), it is the strong-willed Betty who shines through.”

Yesterday, Terry Gross conducted a lengthy interview with Hodgman on Fresh Air. When asked about how he works to make his mother happy, Hodgman shared that they watch Dirty Dancing every week and “I started giving her books to read. We started with Nicholas Sparks. I don’t think there is anybody in this world who is more thankful for Nicholas Sparks than I am.”

The memoir is also People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” saying, “Slowly — convincingly — [Hodgman and his mother] come to terms with each other. You won’t finish their tale dry-eyed.”

Check your holds, some libraries have ratios over 5 to 1.

AMERICAN SNIPER Story Continues

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 8.09.04 AM Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, is writing a memoir entitled American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Renewal (HarperCollins/Morrow; Blackstone Audio). Co-written by Jim DeFelice who also co-wrote American Sniper, it will be released on May 4, 2015.

Publicity has already begun. ABC announced yesterday that Robin Roberts will interview Kyle on both Good Morning America and 20/20 on May 1, days before the book’s release.

The LA Times’ “Jacket Copy” reported the news as well, tying the book to Chris Kyle’s own bestselling memoir, pe2015-01-30-recap-thumbwhich continues to dominate best seller lists after the release of Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster film version of American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper. Taya Kyle worked with the screenwriter and consulted on the film.

She was in the news last month when she testified at the  trial of her husband’s killer and has been featured in stories in People, US Weekly, and NPR.

Check your orders; some libraries have not ordered it yet and most have ordered it modestly. You can expect to be seeing more of the media savvy Taya Kyle.